Here at Accomable, we know you love browsing our listings to find the accessible holiday destination that’s right for you. We also know that when it comes to choosing the perfect accessible property, the devil really is in the detail - so we’re bringing you more of it.
Meet The Vendors is a series of interviews designed to take you behind closed (fully accessible) doors and give a more in-depth look at some of the properties we feature. Shona, Head of Operations at Accomable, takes you behind the scenes with George at Annie's Cabin.
Hello, who are you and which property are you claiming ownership of?
I’m George Tasker, proprietor of Annie’s Cabin, near Ludlow, Shropshire.
Is there an interesting story behind Annie's Cabin?
It’s a hand-scribed log cabin, which means that it’s made out of tree trunks shaped and jointed to fit together. Building from unsawn logs means irregular shapes, judging things by eye, and not being able to draw or measure every detail on paper - so it lures you into a different way of working, deciding some things up front, but adapting and refining the plan as you go along. The lack of exact measurements also means everyone does more talking about the building as it progresses, and that way you can often use teamwork to turn apparent problems into something better than the original plan. Our project brought together a great team of people, and the building reflects their liveliness as well as a natural feel from the materials.
Wow, it's beautiful! And such an interesting concept, I don't think I've ever seen a cabin that has been constructed in such a way.
How have you adapted the cabin to enable people with disabilities to stay?
The cabin is on a single level with step-free entry, all doors are at least 950mm wide, and there’s a fully equipped wetroom with a wall-mounted shower chair and grab rails.
We have two bedrooms, one double and one twin. The double bedroom has 1.3m clearance on one side, and we can raise the bed (normal height of mattress is 620mm) with prior notice. And the twin bedroom can have one bed removed to give more space if needed, and again the bed can be raised if needed.
Why did you think it was important to have adaptations?
It’s not too difficult or expensive to adapt a new building so that most people with disabilities don’t find it a struggle to live in, but it can be difficult after it’s built. With a bit of effort, you can find things like grab rails that blend into the design more and are less clinical-looking. Enabling access for a wheelchair tends to make a house more enjoyable for everyone in a number of ways – wider doorways, extra space around everything, and easy reaching are good for all of us. We were also aware, through Shropshire Council, that people with disabilities can have a limited choice of places to stay on holiday in the county, so accessibility can attract some very appreciative people and widen the appeal of a holiday let.
Have you ever had anyone famous stay at the cabin?
The cabin seems to make its own friends via the internet, and some of them are unusual – we appeared in a Taiwanese travel magazine, and the BBC filmed a Christmas episode of ‘Mr. Bloom’s Nursery’ here. I think that’s probably a ‘no’. . . Neil Young is bound to show up sooner or later.
What do you enjoy doing in the local area?
I love walking, especially walking in the hills - there’s plenty of inspiring countryside close by. It’s also a fantastic area for locally produced food and drink.
Are there any exciting activities in the area that are adapted for people with disabilities?
There are ideas at Virtual Shropshire, but this question has made me think I need to start a book in the cabin, so that guests with disabilities can recommend places and activities – I don’t have a disability myself, so it’s difficult for me to see things from that perspective.
That's a great idea, we know that peer recommendations are really helpful. Have you got any other tips for people before they come to stay at Annie's Cabin?
The cabin is fairly well equipped so you shouldn't need to bring anything additional. We’re happy to do anything we can to help, all you need to do is ask – examples in the past for guests with disabilities include raising the height of a bed, providing an upright chair, and removing one of the single beds to make more space for a wheelchair. As long as you make the request before you arrive then we'll do our best to accommodate.
And finally, what sort of a traveller are you, where do you like to go and what sorts of things do you like to do on holiday?
We like riding about in our campervan with no particular place to go, preferably for a good few weeks, though that’s a rare event. I also like giving up driving for several days and walking, maybe with the help of buses and boats. I seem to be drawn to places with mountains close to the sea – days spent hiking, swimming, and eating good food with the locals are the best.
Thank you George, I think I've fallen a little in love with Annie's Cabin, it's such a beautiful building and looks like such a tranquil setting, I'm pretty sure I could lose track of time here!
If you'd like to book Annie's Cabin click here.