Cat Hole Cottages

Frequently Asked Questions

Maintenance & Problems

Maintenance problems during a holiday

Guests are requested to let either the Owner or Cat Hole Cottages know as soon as possible of any maintenance problems in a cottage, so repairs can be made so as not to inconvenience following guests.

Ring 01748 886366.

There are two categories of maintenance problem: Emergency and Non-emergency.

Emergency: problems such as the heating/hot water/cooker/electric/gas not working are categorised as emergencies, and as such, the Owner and Cat Hole Cottages will try their utmost to resolve such problems as soon as possible, although subject to being able to summon suitable tradespeople during normal working hours/days. In the event of a problem being outside normal working hours, the Owner and Cat Hole Cottages will try to help holidaymakers as much as is reasonably possible.

Non-emergency: problems such as non-working TV/radio/dvd player/non-essential lights/cd player/broken furniture etc are categorised as non-emergency. Whilst being an inconvenience, they cannot be termed as vital to a cottage holiday and as such, the Owner and Cat Hole Cottages will try to effect repairs, or summon tradespeople, within normal working hours. Repairs etc will therefore be subject to fitting in with diaries and appointment calendars of relevant tradespeople and neither the Owner, nor Cat Hole Cottages, can guarantee that repairs can be made during the holiday. Unfortunately, no refund for inconvenience can be made.

Problems - what do we do if something unexpected occurs?

At Cat Hole Cottages we do everything possible to ensure you have a marvellous holiday, but we do understand that occasionally things go wrong. If a problem occurs, please let us know immediately and we will do our utmost to work with the Owner / Housekeeper to resolve it. We provide this service in our capacity as Agent, on a goodwill basis only.

Please get in touch straightaway, as you will appreciate that complaints made after your occupancy cannot be entertained.

Standards - what can we expect and how are they maintained?

At Cat Hole Cottages we strive to give you a wonderful holiday in a beautiful cottage. We personally inspect each of our cottages regularly to make sure they are maintained to the highest standards. We try to give as full a description, with pictures, as we can to provide you with the information you need to choose between any of the lovely cottages we have.  We also include comments, where possible, from previous guests to give you a flavour of the area and the cottage.  If you have any objections to your comments being used on this site, please let us know – they will not be used.

We listen to all comments from visitors to our cottages and pass on all suggestions given to the cottage owners to help improve both the quality of accommodation and our service to holidaymakers. Please feel free to tell us about any issues arising, either during your holiday or at any time afterwards.

Many of us go on holiday to experience the thrill of staying in a type of home very different to our own. However, you should remember that your Yorkshire holiday cottage, like all homes, may have idiosyncrasies you may not be used to. Old properties often have thick walls and small windows, and as a result may feel colder and darker than modern homes, especially in Yorkshire!

Cottages on farms (and even in villages) are surrounded by the noises of the countryside and the mobile phone reception in upper Swaledale and Arkengarthdale (EE only) is patchy. Even TV and radio reception can be poor at times.

Please make sure you check with us at the time of booking about reception etc if you have a particular requirement of this nature. If the cottage is advertised as having a ‘private water supply’ you should be aware that the water will be from a private source and has not been processed in a water treatment facility. However, all such cottages have filters in place, so the water is perfectly safe to drink.

If a cottage has a septic tank, it is vital that only organic waste and toilet tissue are flushed down the loo!

I've left something at the cottage - can it be returned to me?

We can certainly return any item you have unfortunately left behind at one of the cottages.  However, an administration charge of £5 will be made to cover the cost of packaging and posting the item, including travel costs to the post office.  Please send a cheque for £5 (or contact us to make an online bank transfer) and once we receive it, we’ll send you the item.

However, we would recommend you make a last minute survey round the house to make sure you’ve collected all your belongings – much easier for everyone!

Travel & Parking

Will the weather affect my holiday?

If there is severe flooding or wintry weather, the council will try and open the main roads ie the main route up Swaledale and up Arkengarthdale as a priority. If you have any doubts about whether the road is passable, please ring the Highways for advice on 08453 669501.

Other minor roads, including all single track roads, will not be cleared by the council.  If in doubt about whether you can reach your cottage, use discretion and care – walk ahead to look and see and, if necessary, wait for others who have come through to check and see if they think it is advisable to carry on. Please take care not to get stuck – quite apart from the damage to your own car, you will block the road for others.

If you have booked a holiday at a cottage not on a main road, please note that under the Terms and Conditions of your booking, your holiday is not refundable if you cannot reach it due to weather conditions.

We strongly recommend you take out suitable insurance to cover all eventualities when you book.

Car access - is it difficult for any of the cottages?

A few of our cottages are set high up on the hills, having stunning panoramic views. Access to these cottages is obviously more challenging than those situated in villages, especially in wintry weather.

Nettlebed, East Calvert House, Joe House, The Old Stable, The Byre and Throstle Nest Barn are also found along single track roads, although not particularly steep.  Nettlebed is then reached by an unmade track from the road, through 2 gates. The track can be difficult when wet and you will need to negotiate the two tight bends with 3 point turns, depending on which direction you are approaching from. You may need to either reverse 20m from the road to the first bend, then carry on forwards or leave the car on the lower part of the drive and walk up to the house (approx 100m), although most cars should be able to get up the track, as long as you go wide enough – give us a ring for a chat or advice.

The Rash is found about 120m up a rough track from the main road. The track is quite challenging at a certain place, although in good weather it should be fine for most vehicles, when tackled confidently. 4x4s will find it easier, and should manage it even in wet weather (but not snow or ice). However, normal cars may find it difficult or impossible to negotiate the track in wet weather; if cars cannot negotiate the track, they can be safely left by the side of the main road and guests can walk up and down from the house.

Holidaymakers should also be aware that in wintry weather, the tiny roads to all the above cottages are not gritted by the council, although there are piles of salt and grit at intervals up the hills, which can be accessed by individual car drivers if necessary (bring a shovel). It may still be necessary, however, to leave the car at the main road (or as far as you can get) and walk up and down, or to and from the cottages in poor weather.

If in any doubt about access for any cottage, please ring us for advice before booking. However, we cannot take any responsibility for any difficulties with access under any circumstances and your booking is made entirely at your own risk. You are reminded that your deposit is non-refundable once a booking is made and a deposit paid.

We cannot stress enough how important travel insurance is, to cover any of these, or any other unforeseen, circumstances. It is often hard to imagine the poor weather or road conditions we get here, very close to the Pennines, especially if you’re booking when the weather is balmy!

Is there car parking at the cottage?

Some cottages have no parking near them, whereas others have parking spaces which may or may not be on land belonging to the cottage.

If you need a parking space near the cottage, we suggest you contact us to enquire.

In all cases, whether your car is parked on land belonging to the cottage, or on a public road, or common land (which belongs to nobody), you park entirely at your own risk and neither cottage owners, nor Cat Hole Cottages, can take any responsibility for any damage to your car, howsoever caused.

Parking - The Rash

There is parking for 3 or 4 cars at The Rash, but once you have 3 or 4 in the hard-standing gravel, to the front of the house, there is no room to manoeuvre them, so some are blocked in. Recent guests have used the field to the rear of the house to a) park cars and b) turn their cars round there. Unfortunately, that field doesn’t belong to The Rash!!

The field owner, John, has therefore become quite annoyed by this, so we would request that you strictly do not turn round or park in the field under any circumstances. The grass in the field, once grown, is mown for hay/sileage and cars driving over it stop it growing. The field is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, SSSI, and is to be carefully treated as a result.

There is room to turn probably 2 cars round (with 3-, 5-, 7-, 9-point turns, depending on length of car) on The Rash hard-standing, inside the gate. Further cars can be left down by the road. There is a pull-off space in front of the garage by the road, big enough for 2 cars. There is also a layby 20m away on the corner, with space for 2 or 3 cars.

Your booking is made on the understanding that cars do not use the field for parking or turning.

What if I can't get to the cottage due to poor weather?

Under the Terms and Conditions of your booking, we’re sorry, but we can’t accept any responsibility for you being unable to reach your cottage due to adverse weather conditions.

Cottages in villages will usually be reachable once the council ploughs/grits/clears the main roads.

Cottages in more rural situations, ie Nettlebed, The Old Stable, Joe House, The Byre and Throstle Nest Barn are reached by single track roads, which are not cleared by the council in poor weather.

You may need, therefore, to walk from main roads to your cottage, if your car can’t make it along/up the smaller roads.  We can’t offer any discount or refund under these circumstances – sorry!

We strongly recommend you take out suitable insurance as soon as you book a holiday, to cover you against unforeseen cancellation etc.

I'm visiting from the Netherlands - are the Yorkshire Dales near Hull ferry port?

The Yorkshire Dales are very easy to reach from all northern ports – just contact us for more information on how to get here and how long it will take.

Payment & Booking

Cancellation - what happens if I need to cancel my holiday?

In the event that you have to cancel your holiday, we shall try to relet it for you. If it is relet, monies received by Cat Hole Cottages for the relet holiday, less the deposit, booking fee and any extras already paid by the holidaymaker, will be refunded to the holidaymaker within 2 weeks after the relet holiday has taken place. If we are unable to relet, all monies paid will be forfeited to the Agent/Cottage Owner. Further details of our Cancellation Policy are available in Section 4 of our Terms and Conditions of Rental.  Please note that once your holiday is booked and a deposit paid, the deposit and booking fee are non-refundable under all circumstances.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to take out suitable insurance as soon as your booking is made, which covers you against unforeseen cancellation, inability to reach your cottage due to the weather, change in circumstances and generally anything that might stop you from being able to take your holiday.

I can't or don't want to book online - can I reserve a holiday any other way?

Simply give us a call on 01748 886366 and we’ll find you the perfect cottage for your needs. Or if you know the cottage you want, call us and we’ll reserve it for you there and then. Alternatively, contact us by email and we’ll give you a call back at your convenience.

Holiday changes - what happens if we want to make any changes to our holiday?

Contact us if you would like to alter your holiday booking – if it is possible, we will do our best to help you.

I want to book a cottage a long way in advance. How far ahead can I book?

We can provisionally hold almost any future date, as long as the owner is happy for us to do so. As soon as we are able to agree a price with the owner, we will contact you to confirm your booking. If you are unhappy with the price, your reservation will be cancelled with no penalties, and we will look for an alternative property for you.

Payment - are there any extras?

The prices shown on each cottage page are the prices you pay for your holiday – a £10 booking fee is included.

We don’t charge anything extra for pets, unlike most other agencies! However, we do ask you let us know if you’re bringing your pets with you.

Some cottages don’t include towels and Cat Hole Cottages can provide a towel hire service, if you wish, for £2pp.  Please ask for this when you enquire or book.

Payment - how can we pay for our holiday?

If you are booking well in advance we take a deposit of £90, including the £10 booking fee. The balance of the rental is due 8 weeks before the start of the holiday, along with any extras such as towel hire.

If you are booking within eight weeks of the start date of the holiday, or reserving a short break at any time, we require full payment at the time of booking. Please note that for peak periods, we do not take short break bookings unless it is a last minute enquiry.  We may, however, accept short breaks for February half terms.

Please remember that once the holiday is booked, the deposit and booking fee are non-refundable under all circumstances.

You can pay by debit or credit card, cheque or BACS transfer. We don’t charge a surcharge for credit card payments, but if you can pay by any other method, it helps to keep our costs down.

Cheques should be payable to Cat Hole Cottages and sent to Cat Hole House, Thwaite, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL11 6DR.

Paying by BACS:

  • Sort Code 09-01-28
  • Account Number 37806627

Debit or credit card, give us a ring on 01748 886366 to make payment.

We strongly recommend you take out suitable insurance as soon as you book to cover the possibility of unforeseen cancellation.

Price - how much will my holiday cottage cost?

Pricing information is listed on each individual cottage page – simply find your holiday dates on the list to find the price for a week, fortnight or a 3 or 4 night short break – the price you see is the price you pay (all reservation include a £10 booking fee).

If your dates cross over different holiday bands, or you would like to stay for a different number of nights, please contact us for a quote.

We don’t charge extra for dogs!

Short Breaks - can I book a short/weekend break?

Most cottages allow short breaks. The prices for 3 and 4 night short breaks are shown on each cottage page.

While you are welcome to book a short break online, we reserve the right to refuse your short break booking if it does not fit in with other bookings or potential bookings. If we need to cancel your reservation, we will contact you. If you have made payment before we manage to contact you and we cancel your booking, we will refund you.

Short breaks are available at most times of the year for most cottages – check individual cottage details. If you would like to stay for a different number of nights, give us a call.

We try to be as flexible as possible and may consider 2 nt breaks, but they will generally only be a maximum of £15 cheaper than the 3 nt price.

Please note that for peak periods (including half terms), short breaks are not generally available – but please do ask if you have a particular request.

You can book for a week at peak periods and we’ll be happy to arrange for you to arrive later or leave early. Short breaks at Throstle Nest Barn are generally only available between November and the end of February (excluding festive and half term weeks). However, the owners occasionally visit for weekends etc over the summer period, so short breaks may be available to guests round those owner bookings.

If you see a cottage you’re interested in has short break availability, even at peak periods, and you’d like to fit your own short break in, call us to discuss. Give us a ring on 01748 886366 to enquire further or contact us by email.

We would like a holiday cottage next week. Is there a discount for last-minute bookings?

At Cat Hole Cottages we pride ourselves on offering amazing value throughout the year. If you would like to make a booking for the following week, contact us to find out if a discount may be available.

What day do Christmas and New Year bookings run from?

In 2019, Christmas bookings run from either Friday, 20th to Friday, 27th December, or Saturday, 21st to Saturday 28th December and obviously New Year bookings will follow on.

Whether it is Fri to Fri or Sat to Sat depends on who is first to book either of the weeks at any cottage.

We try to be as flexible as possible if your requirements are different. Please ring us to check.

Occasionally an owner will have made their own arrangements, which may mean the booking periods are slightly different for a few cottages.

Short breaks - the holiday I want crosses price bands - what price will it be?

Where the price for a short break crosses price bands, it will generally be charged at the higher price for all the nights – give us a ring to check.

Fuel and Power - are they included in the holiday price?

All of our cottages include power in the rental price. Most also include all fuel for multi-fuel stoves ie logs / coal / sticks. Occasionally a cottage provides only the first basket of logs / coal for a holiday – details of where to buy more are included in individual cottage descriptions.

Cottages & Facilities

Arrival and Departure - what time can we arrive and when do we have to leave?

Lettings commence at 3.00 pm (4.00 pm in peak weeks) on the first day of your holiday and end at 10.00 am on the day of departure. Please ensure you leave promptly, even in low season and after short breaks, to give the owner or housekeeper sufficient time to prepare the cottage for incoming guests. You are, however, expected to leave the property clean and tidy. If you would like to arrive or leave early, please contact us – it may be possible to arrange this. Make sure you are aware of key collection details, or feel free to give us a ring to check.

Can I have my groceries delivered?

Ghyllfoot Tearoom (in Gunnerside) can provide frozen “bistro-style” meals for you to cook at your leisure in your cottage:

www.ghyllfoot.co.uk | email: enquiries@ghyllfoot.co.uk | call: 01748 886239.

There are small shops at Reeth, and Muker (restricted opening hours off-season).

Hawes and Leyburn each have two reasonably-sized supermarkets and there are two supermarkets in Richmond, one of which is a large Lidl.

Catterick Garrison, 5 minutes from Richmond, has a very large Tesco’s (open early till late), which also delivers.

Asda and Sainsbury’s in Darlington also deliver.

Make sure when you order your delivery that you include a landline number of the cottage, or Cat Hole Cottages phone number, as it is likely that your mobile phone number will not work in Swaledale (unless it is an EE phone and even then the signal is patchy). Or include detailed instructions for the delivery team as to how to find your cottage (we will have sent you these with your confirmation of booking).

Can we bring our dog with us?

Some of our cottages accept dogs – check on individual cottage pages.  You will find information there about how many and what size of dogs are accommodated.  In all cottages accepting dogs, holidaymakers are required to leave the cottage clean and free of dog hairs.  If extra cleaning is required, you will be invoiced within 7 days of departure and immediate payment will be required.  For the comfort and convenience of other guests and the owners, dogs are not allowed upstairs or on any furniture whatsoever. You must not leave your pet unattended in the property.

Swaledale and Arkengarthdale are farming areas, with sheep and cows in fields, and on pastures and moors.  Dogs must be under strict control at all times and on a lead near livestock. However, if there are cows with calves in fields, they can be extremely protective and will chase your dog. If this happens, let go of the lead and allow the dog to run away from the cows, or you may be hurt yourself. Your help and respect for the surrounding environment is greatly appreciated. It is your responsibility to keep your pet safe as, even if the property has a garden, it may be possible for a determined pet to escape! Should your dog leave unwelcome deposits in the garden, please ensure you remove them before you leave.

We do not make an extra charge for pets, but please let us know when you book if you are bringing your pets.

Children - what facilities are there for my young child?

Please check individual cottage details to see if high chairs / cots are available. Please note cot linen is not provided in any cottage.

Furnishings, equipment and basics - will our cottage contain everything we need?

All our cottages are equipped to a very high standard, with hopefully everything you could want on your holiday. If you find equipment broken or missing, please let us know as soon as you can, so we can deal with it for future guests. Most cottages provide teatowels, washing-up-liquid, cleaning materials, sponge scrubbers, foil, clingfilm and enough toilet and kitchen roll for the first two days. You might want to bring provisions/toilet rolls/kitchen roll/logs/sticks/firelighters etc with you to save a trip to Reeth on arrival.

Have a look at individual cottage pages for particular facilities you might be interested in – or feel free to give us a ring for any details you need.

Is there mobile coverage at the cottages?

Mobile coverage is very patchy in Swaledale.

EE is the best network coverage, but it only reaches to between Gunnerside and Muker, and even where there is coverage, the signal is not very good inside the cottages (thick walls!).

For more information on whether you will have signal for your phone at our cottages, please click here.

Linen - what is provided?

Many cottages provide all linen, which includes bedlinen, personal towels and teatowels (all cottages have duvets). Some cottages only provide bedlinen and teatowels, and you will need to bring your own personal towels. Please check individual cottage pages carefully. Alternatively, Cat Hole Cottages can provide a towel hire service – please enquire when booking. Towel hire is £2 per person. Cot linen is not provided in any cottage.

Rubbish collection days - when are they?

Some holiday cottages are still on Domestic Refuse Collection, while others are on Commercial Waste Collection, but either way, collection day is Wednesday (please but bins out Tues evening); note, smaller green wheelie bins are ONLY for garden waste.

If your cottage is on Commercial Waste, the bin (could be a black or blue) will have a Commercial Waste/Yorwaste sticker on it and, if you are in a village, the collection days is Wednesday every week.

Throstle Nest Barn is Commercial Waste, but due to its location, collection is every alternate Wednesday, and bin needs to be out on the road for collection (schedule in the cottage).

Most cottages have no recycling collection, as they are classed as Commercial Waste, so please take recycling to local points in Muker Car Park, Keld Lodge, Reeth mini Industrial Estate and Langthwaite car park ; they take everything except black plastic and plastic film. There are also recycling points in larger towns and supermarkets etc.

Guest comments on cottages

Comments about the area and individual cottages from previous guests appear on individual cottage pages to help you choose the most suitable cottage for your needs. If you would prefer your comments not to be included, please let us know.

Holiday cottages on the Pennine Way

If you’re planning to walk all or just part of the Pennine Way, all our cottages are either on or nearby the route. If staying in Thwaite, you can walk over Great Shunner Fell on the Pennine Way, to Hardraw, about 8 miles, but very well signposted and with stone flags to walk on in the muddiest places. Or the other way, up over Kisdon (a hill with tremendous views over Swaledale) to either Keld, maybe 3 miles, or Muker, 2 miles.

If you’re staying a little further downdale, maybe in or around Gunnerside or Low Row, you can take the Little White Bus up to Muker, Thwaite or Keld and walk back along the Pennine Way route (lovely views), www.littlewhitebus.co.uk and click on Swaledale Shuttle.

I have allergies - how do I find out if a cottage is suitable for me?

If you have any allergies or medical problems which might affect your choice of cottage, please give us a ring to check – we have detailed knowledge of all the cottages on our site.

Which cottages have good views?

There are lovely views to be found anywhere in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, with most Cat Hole cottages having views of hills or meadows from upstairs windows, and quite a few with views from the garden.

If there are photos of magnificent views on a particular cottage page, this is the view from outside this cottage – we don’t try to trick you by putting pictures of wonderful views on a cottage page which doesn’t have good views.

About the area

Photos and walks around beautiful Swaledale

If you’ve noticed beautiful, framed photos of Swaledale in many of our cottages, you may be wondering where you could buy the same or similar photographs. Many are taken by Debbie and Graham, of Scenicview Gallery in Reeth. You can visit the website, scenicview.co.uk, or, better still, drop into the gallery when visiting Reeth and browse framed and unframed photos there.

Joan Bryden also has wonderful local photos available to buy and use, and has also published walks around this area, and slightly further afield. Visit wildcardwalks.co.uk for more information.

Links to popular walks around Swaledale: