Owners of The Bamburgh Coach House – The Jones family – reveal how they came up with its design and their favourite things to do in Northumberland.
What does the Coach House mean to you?
Every time we return as a family (Neil, Carole-Ann and daughters Sophie, Jessica and Isabelle), which is about three or four times a year, if we are lucky, we find Northumberland and the Coach House a place where we reconnect as a family, away from our busy everyday working lives and evening taxi service to the various clubs for the kids.
It’s a place where we actually talk to each other – rather than receive the occasional grunt from behind the iPad – and play board games, table tennis or simply read at night.
What are your favourite things to do in Northumberland?
We never get tired of what Northumberland has to offer by day. Whether it’s an early morning walk on the beach in all weathers or a trek across the fields, via the golf course to the Copper Kettle for lunch, and a gentle amble back.
We also like revisiting one of the many, hugely varied castles the area has to offer for what seems the hundredth time, but always with something new observed. One of our favourites for its uniqueness is Chillingham Castle although we rarely get our eldest to go with us, as it does spook her out. And we like nothing better than to take a windy stroll up to Dunstanburgh Castle, followed by lunch or an early tea at the Jolly Fisherman in Craster.
What do you bring with you?
We always bring our bikes – the rides are getting longer with round trips to Holy Island or Wooler.
Tell us a bit about yourselves…
Having met when we both worked for Unilever (Birds Eye Walls), in the late nineties, we swiftly moved on from our southern base in Hampton Court, to live and work in Rome, our second favourite place to spend time. Having enjoyed the many things Rome could offer for a few years, when the family started to arrive in regular intervals, we relocated our home base to Harrogate in Yorkshire, where we now live opposite the conveniently located village pub.
What made you choose a holiday home in Northumberland?
Having visited Northumberland on several occasions for weekends and the odd week’s holiday, over several pints in the The Castle Inn in Bamburgh, we hatched the idea to buy a place to which we could return time and time again, to escape the rigours of daily life. Ultimately when we ship the kids off to university, we plan to spend more and more time taking in the sea air.
Having viewed several properties in the area, we kept a close eye on the development that was starting to take shape at Glororum. We were impressed with the quality and finish of the work, looking at several of the properties. The large enclosed garden (particularly important when our kids were younger) and the spaciousness of the Coach House (previously named Humbleton House) made the decision an easy one. We bought the property in April 2013, and then started on the exciting task of furnishing and decorating. We renamed the property to reflect what it had been in its working life, the ‘The Bamburgh Coach House’.
How did you come up with the design?
We wanted to keep it simple, but at the same time make it interesting and comfortable. The cow-patterned kitchen wallpaper fitted well as Carole-Ann comes from farming stock. The butterfly theme in the main bedroom, seemed to be appropriate, but hopefully we have kept it subtle. The second bedroom, we focused on making this themed around the coast, with our own kids in mind, as the kids grow up we will likely adapt the decor accordingly. Elsewhere we enjoyed looking in various small shops around the coast to find things that would add interest to the property including work of some local artists. This is the only property we let out for other people’s holidays, we hope we have struck the right note to help anybody staying in the property relax the way we do.
What about the new addition of a games room?
After spending two years staring at an open carport from the sitting room, we decided that an extra touch of enjoyment for ourselves, and our guests, would be to convert it into a games room. We have been delighted how this has added to our enjoyment when we visit, with several evenings ending in hilarious family challenges.
What did you do last time you visited the Coach House?
In every visit we have done something different – last time it was completing (or cheering on) the Bamburgh half marathon.