Holiday retreats take home unique awards

Heather Sunderland at The Ducket.
Heather Sunderland at The Ducket.

Two north Northumberland holiday retreats have taken home top prizes in the Unique Holiday Cottages national awards.

The Ducket, at Outchester Farm, near Bamburgh, took the best unique retreat title while The Gate Lodge, at Cheviot Holiday Cottages, was runner-up in the best unique property category.

The judges were united in voting The Ducket the winner and thought the combination of its luxurious interiors and individuality gave it the edge.

With spectacular views of Budle Bay and Holy Island, the owners John and Heather Sunderland transformed the 65-foot tower into luxury self-catering accommodation.

John said: “Winning this award is a terrific encouragement for us because it not only acknowledges the very special, magical feel of The Ducket, but also recognises the work we all did to convert it from ruined historic stone tower to five-star holiday retreat.

“It makes the eight long years of restoration well worth it. We’re delighted to win. Thank you so much.”

The Gate Lodge, which is set on the edge of the Northumberland National Park, was runner-up in the best unique property award and impressed the judges who deiced to award it the title of ‘outstanding interiors and service’.

The new replica Gate Lodge is owned by Tyrsha and Graham Stephenson and is located at the approach to a Grade II-listed 18th-century former rectory.

“We are delighted to be a runner-up in the Unique Holiday Cottages Awards best unique property,” Trysha said.

“The Gate Lodge is a romantic Northumberland hideaway offering a new concept for couples seeking the very best-quality self-catering.

“This stunning holiday cottage, which was awarded a very rare 100 per cent by Visit Britain, includes its very own private infrared sauna, Harmon Kardon sound system throughout, bicycles and remote-controlled log burner.”