Langley Castle, near Hexham, has been welcoming visitors again since July 4 – some staying longer than intended after being impressed by the sanitary and social distancing measures in place.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that VAT will drop to just 5% for tourism and hospitality businesses has been celebrated at Langley, which believes it will make a massive difference for those planning a staycation break this year.
Margaret Livingstone-Evans, executive general manager at the 14th Century castle hotel, said: “We have stayed upbeat and optimistic and have managed to generate enquiries throughout lockdown, by being creative about the ways in which we can make things happen, in a safe way.
"We are continuing to evolve what we can offer and a lot of product development is taking place. This may well see us trialling new experiences now, which become permanent features, whether that is afternoon teas in our extensive grounds or the new Bubble Weddings that are already proving such a hit.
"It’s all about being positive and having a can-do mentality, whilst operating within the boundaries of what is legal and safe to do.”
Safety measures in place include new check in and check out times to enable the housekeeping team to carry out deep cleans, enhanced hygiene routines, safe check-ins with sneeze screens, pre-meal bookings and socially distanced restaurant settings.