In the last year, we have designed, created and built Castle View from scratch. It’s taken an enormous amount of love, attention, patience and creative thought – and finally we’ve just opened the doors! It’s exciting. We had various friends over to try out the accommodation before we launched it on Airbnb and the feed back was great. But the ‘real’ public is the big test! We want our guests to LOVE it. We want them to feel ‘wowed’ but also ‘rested’ when they visit; we want it to be a sanctuary, a retreat, a base, and we want people to come from far and wide!
Our first set of ‘real’ overseas guests arrived yesterday. 3 nurses from Australia. They had a problem with the holiday cottage they were staying in in the Lake District and decided to come down Castle View for the rest of their stay in the North of England. They were seemed so thrilled with the peaceful location and commented that the Lake District had been ‘just too busy’. Apparently in the Lakes they hadn’t been able to find anywhere for lunch – there were queues coming out the doors…and people walking around bumping into each other.
One of them – Janice – told me she wants to design a house just like Castle View to live in forever
When I saw them this afternoon it was so great to get their thoughts after 24 hours in Lancaster and hear their first impressions of the location and of course Castle View. They said they all had a lie in, which is a real rarity but they said the beds were so comfortable. The enthused about the duvets and the mattresses. One of them used the sofa bed and said it didn’t feel like a sofa bed at all. One of them – Janice – told me she wants to design a house just like Castle View to live in forever. They had all had a lovely day wandering about town, getting their bearings. I had given them some pointers and they also checked out things to do in the Visitor Information Centre (which is at the bottom of our road).
As the designated driver of the group had broken her arm a few days ago and the other two don’t like driving, they are thrilled to be right next to the mainline railway station. “We’re going to ditch the car” they said “and explore by train…it’s so easy as it’s just 2 minutes away”.
I asked them what didn’t they like – they said there was no microwave and no hooks behind the bathroom door! I never use microwaves, so had totally overlooked this. “Great feedback” I thought! And immediately ordered one and some hooks!
we want Castle View to do a little something to put Lancaster on the map!
Even though it’s a “Heritage City” Lancaster is often by-passed by tourists, who seem to have a blind spot for this hidden gem, tucked behind Junctions 33-34 on the M6. As they drive up the motorway they ‘oooooh’ and ‘aaaah’ at the wonderful views and the enchanting Ashton Memorial that peeks out the top of a large, deep, dark forest (I was sure Sleeping Beauty lived in there when I was little) but they don’t stop. They head straight up to The Lakes…like sheep. As well as making an income – we want Castle View to do a little something to put Lancaster on the map! So I’d love to think that our first guests will go back to Oz and say, “Forget the Lake District – go to Lancaster. It’s peaceful, has a fascinating history and is a far smarter place to be based to explore the North West. Oooh…and there’s a really great Airbnb right at the foot of Lancaster Castle…with a copper bath, an ultra comfortable ‘bed in a cupboard’ and thanks to us, they’ve even got a microwave”.