The following information has been provided for your assistance and safety and we recom-mend that you read this information in conjunction with our Booking Conditions.
Properties with character
If you choose to holiday in an older property, remember that much of its character and charm is due to its age. We feature many properties that are over 100 years old. Please bear this in mind if you're planning to take an elderly person or very young children on your holiday.
In rural locations, people around you will often be earning their living and country hours can run into the late evening and very early morning. It's also worth remembering that because all the properties we feature are privately owned;, they are decorated and furnished according to the individual owner's tastes.
We'll do everything we can to help those in your party with special requirements by suggesting properties that are especially suitable - just provide us with all relevant information at the time of booking.
Many property owners offer cots free of charge, but please note, property owners who provide cot and high chair facilities may not necessarily offer other infant equipment. Please check with your holiday adviser when booking.
Easy walking access: A visitor using a walking aid should have no difficulty in gaining access to the principal rooms (sitting room, dining room, kitchen, one of the bedrooms, a toilet and a bathroom or shower room) and the garden of a property described in this way.
We feature a number of properties which have no internal stairs or steps or have at least one bedroom and one bathroom on the ground floor. Please ensure at the time of booking that the property matches your individual needs, particularly relating to access to the property and garden. Simply call us and we'll be happy to give you further details.
Caring for your Safety
We do our best to ensure that owners take your safety and wellbeing very seriously and that their properties are well maintained for your comfort and safety. Nevertheless, please remember that when you stay in unfamiliar surroundings, you must take special care of yourself and your family and keep your guard up. Here are some useful pointers to help you enjoy your stay and avoid some possible pitfalls. Please read the information carefully and ensure that other members of your party are also aware.
- Allow sufficient time to get to your holiday property and the airport/port/station, if relevant.
- Leave your travel details with your next of kin or an emergency contact, especially if travelling abroad.
- Take contact details for us and the owner with you, as well as the directions to the holiday property. Bear in mind that mobile phone reception can be patchy in certain locations.
Many properties are chosen for their individual character and charm and therefore extra care may be needed for families with children or anyone at risk due to the architectural character of the property, especially if the property has unconventional stairs or a balcony for instance. Please take special note of the following:
- When you arrive, familiarise yourself with the location of any safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher/fire blanket and read the operating instructions.
- Take extra special care when moving around the property, especially at night. Familiarise yourself with the layout of the property and location of light switches, always put a light on when moving around the property at night. Consider leaving a stair or landing light switched on.
- Always securely lock the property whenever you leave it and at night. Make sure windows are closed (and locked), where possible. Never leave valuables in open view.
- Always climb/descend stairs/steps very carefully. Hold any handrail and walk slowly. Always accompany young children.
- If smoking is permitted always ensure that all smoking materials are safely extinguished and never smoke in bed.
- If you smell gas, report it immediately. Black sooty marks or stains and lazy orange flames on a gas appliance could indicate a fault - report any concerns
- Switch off electrical appliances at night and do not leave appliances like the TV, washing machines and driers running when you go out.
- If the property has open fires or wood burning stoves, make sure you use the fireguard, keep children and pets under close supervision and ensure that the fire is safely out before you go to bed.
- Something as simple as a window blind cord or chain can present a real danger to young children check all areas and keep all cords and chains out of reach of babies and young children.
- Take extra care in bright sunlight as it may not be obvious whether the windows or patio doors are open or closed.
- Surfaces such as tiles and marble floors can be very slippery.
- If your property has night storage heaters, these must never be covered.
- Cots and highchairs must conform to local national standards. If they are damaged or deficient in any way then please report.
- If there is a garden pond or other water features, ensure that children or anyone at risk cannot access it. Look for any steep drops or steps in the garden, and, if there are garden sheds or outbuildings, ensure that children or anyone at risk cannot get into them.
- Equipment in children’s play areas should be safe and in good condition. You should satisfy yourself that the equipment is safe and in good condition before use. Children should be supervised by a responsible adult at all times.
Unless otherwise indicated in the property description, outdoor swimming pools are not usually available outside the main summer period (normally end-May to mid-September for properties in France and Italy). If your holiday is before June or after August, please check opening times before booking. Outdoor pools are not usually heated, unless indicated in the property description.
- Read the pool rules before you swim, private holiday properties will not have a lifeguard and holiday complexes do not employ lifeguards.
- Familiarise yourself with the pool layout so you know where the deep and shallow ends are, especially before jumping or diving in. Never dive into water less than 1.5m deep and pay attention to any specific instructions or signs relating to the pool.
- Don’t jump or dive from any raised features or from poolside furniture.
- Chlorine is normally added to the pool when it is closed so check the hours of pool operation and never use the pool when it is closed.
- Don’t swim immediately after a meal and never swim when you’ve been drinking alcohol or if you feel unwell.
- Don’t swim if suffering from an upset stomach. Leave 48 hours before entering the pool following a stomach-related illness.
- Children or anyone at risk, in and around the pool area must be supervised by an adult at all times.
Hot Tubs and Saunas are a wonderful way to relax and unwind, if your property includes the use of a hot tub or sauna then please ensure all guests read the important user guidelines before use.
Our owners take care to ensure the hot tub is ready for you to use on arrival although whilst every attempt is made on some occasions due to the strict cleaning and disinfection procedure they follow the hot tub may not have reached the required temperature and there could be a short delay before you can use it.
- If you have a serious illness, or have a heart condition, high or low blood pressure, or any other medical condition which may affect your reaction to heat then you should consult with your doctor first.
- The body temperature of young children will rise much quicker than that of older children or adults using the hot tub/sauna due to their undeveloped thermo-regulatory mechanisms. Children under the age of 4 should not use the hot tub. Children over 4 should be supervised closely at all times by a responsible adult.
- Pregnant women are advised not to use hot tubs/saunas or to seek medical advice before doing so.
All activities during your holiday are undertaken at your own risk.
Use of boats and other activity equipment
Some properties may have use of a boat or other activity equipment such as trampolines, swings, climbing frames and sporting equipment. You will find details of such equipment in the brochure description. Please note that any activity equipment is provided directly to you by the owner and does not form part of your contract with us. Use of such equipment is at the property owner's discretion, and liability for availability and condition rests solely with the owner. It is your responsibility to (i) ensure that you are familiar with the operation of the equipment, (ii) satisfy yourself that the equipment is safe to use, (iii) to use the equipment responsibly, and (iv) supervise children using the equipment at all times.
Protecting your holiday environment
The properties featured on our website or in our brochure are set in some of the loveliest parts of the country, so naturally we are interested in anything we can do to help preserve the environment. Even our brochures are printed on paper made from trees which are grown commercially as a renewable resource - and two trees are planted for every one felled. You can help too, by respecting the area you visit and remember the following points:
- Don't litter
- Don't waste energy and water
- Guard against fire
- Respect the rights of land and property owners
- Follow the Countryside Code
Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have further information you may find helpful.