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. Guest blogger Ciaran talks to Steve and Ruth Dawes, owners of the beautiful Croft Bungalow in the Peak District.
Steve and Ruth at Croft Bungalow
Hi guys! Tell us about Croft Bungalow.
Croft Bungalow offers wheelchair accessible holiday accommodation in Birchover. It has two bedrooms, level access, private parking, and lovely open country views.
That sounds great. What’s the history of the property?
It was built approximately 75 years ago and originally served as the quarry manager’s house. The village thrived on the local quarry back then, and some stone is still produced by it today - particularly the pink gritstone in Westminster Palace.
Quarries aren’t usually top of the list when it comes to accessibility. How much work went into adapting the property?
We did a massive renovation project that took nine months. It was a complete overhaul - we moved three walls, moved the kitchen, moved the bathroom, created an accessible wet room shower with grab rails and widened every doorway. Outside, the front and rear have been landscaped with level access and a picnic area.
Wow! A major project then. What made you decide to convert the bungalow into an accessible holiday property?
Ruth has a professional association with MS and Parkinson patients, so we were very aware of a lack of suitably adapted properties in the holiday industry. We bought the property with the specific intention of providing fully accessible holiday accommodation.
Give us some info on the local area. Are there any adapted activities for disabled visitors?
There’s lots to do nearby. Carsington Water and The Monsal Trail are great days out. Chesterfield and Cromford Canals are wheelchair accessible, as is Matlock Farm Park, Calke Abbey and Crich Tramway Village. There's definitely plenty to do in the surrounding area so you won't get bored!
Monsal Trail, Peak District
Disabled travellers know that preparation is key. What tips or advice would you give to guests in advance of their stay at Croft Bungalow?
We send out a comprehensive visitor pack with each booking, but there are a few important things to remember: There’s no shop in the village so bring supplies for the first couple of days and plan ahead. It’s also worth doing some research to make sure you get the most out of the Peak District and everything that's available. Having said that, don’t forget to make time to enjoy the views, the garden and the BBQ!
What’s the most popular feature of your accessible holiday property, and have you had any famous faces to stay?
What people have commented on most is the beauty and tranquillity of the garden - it’s a haven for birds and wildlife. One of our bedrooms can be turned into a sensory space, and we’re hoping to add a sensory garden wheelchair track soon.
As for famous faces, we’ve only been open for eight months but we’ve already had a Paralympic athlete staying here - Shelley Bark was Javelin Ball World Champion from 1992-2000 and ambassador to the Sydney Paralympics in 2000.
Wow, a great claim to fame!
We love to talk travel. When you’re not busy owning and operating an accessible holiday home, where do you like to go for the perfect getaway?
When we travel, we like to explore new places and cultures. A recent trip for us was a family tour of China to celebrate Steve’s latest ‘big’ birthday!
Wow, what a great trip! It was so lovely chatting to Steve and Ruth, hopefully they've inspired you to book an escape to the Peak District!