Holiday Cottages – Say something simple

Nant Las observatory – Stunning holiday cottage

I attended a fantastic meeting with the North Wales holiday cottage caretakers yesterday to discuss the environmental work on the go in Wales, and to gain their thoughts and feedback on how holiday cottages as a portfolio of properties can assist with energy efficiency.

The group are quite inspirational and were full of really practical ideas on how The National Trust can engage with visitors to the cottages by providing “real” examples of what people can do in their own homes.

The “eureka” moment came towards the end of the discussion when Maureen, a lady who volunteers here time to the trust in order to ensure visitors have the most enjoyable stay possible –

“I understand the need to protect the buildings from frost and dampness by leaving heating on at low levels when not in use. I also understand that when you arrive you want to be greeted by a lovely warm cottage. What I do not understand is why we simply do not close the curtains to keep as much heat in the building as possible, saving expensive fuel”

Discussion ensued about visitors arriving to a cottage where all the curtains were closed, and first impressions.

To this challenge she simply answered –

“Why then do we not put a few paragraphs into the Holiday Cottage brochure explaining the reasons why we close the curtains? Surely the National Trust is expected to provide an example of Environmental good practice? If it was explained visitors would appreciate why”

There is really nothing you can say to challenge that!

We are very lucky in the trust to have extremely knowledgeable and committed people working with us.  They also offer the most sensible and often simple solutions, all we need to do is make sure we ask and then listen.

For more information about our holiday cottages go to – “www.nationaltrustcottages.co.uk”

Also have a look at the “Holiday Cottage N.Wales” tab at the top of the page.

Egryn Holiday Cottage

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2 Responses to Holiday Cottages – Say something simple

  1. T. Caine says:

    I think that cottages like these have a deeper lesson to teach us about efficiency, namely spatial efficiency and how much built space we actually need in our homes. Here in America, the average home size grew for decades before peaking in 2008, but despite its modest decline since we still built homes much larger than we need or even utilize. We need to look towards these models of living that remind us that we don’t need space that we almost never use. Things like a formal living or dining room are part of an antiquated idea of home living and are merely more space to build, temper and maintain. Small homes like these are very refreshing.

    • Keith Jones says:

      thanks for the comment. most of the houses we are looking after are quite old and so the affliction of large pointless rooms is something we don’t have to deal with. i agree with you in that we today want more room but we need a lot less. the oldest cottage (Egyrn) dates back to 1420 ish. Buildings then were also vernacular, as in built for their location and out of materials they could get locally. they were built to deal with the weather, use and peculiarities of their areas and not a ‘one size’ fits all approach. all the best and thanks

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