We spoke to Lesley from Durham House, a holiday let in Sedgefield, about the property, applying for the North East England Tourism Awards for the first time and her love of the area.
Tell us a bit about Durham House
We used to go away a lot with other families and we always struggled to find suitable family-friendly accommodation for a large group. When an old pub came on the market in Sedgefield we spotted an opportunity to create a holiday let which was perfect for large family gatherings or celebrations.
We took over Durham House in Winter 2016 and transformed it into a holiday let which can sleep up to 22. We managed to keep some of the original features from the pub – including a fully functioning bar! Guests can buy a keg of beer for their visit, so no more excuses for people to slope off to the nearest pub for a drink! We also have a huge dining table that can sit 22 which is perfect for large groups.
We attract a lot of large groups for weekends away – either celebrating a special occasion or just catching up with family or friends. We have a wide variety of people staying at Durham House, from families with young children through to older groups celebrating a birthday or anniversary. We are extremely flexible and can cater for any group dynamic.
Where did you hear about the North East England Tourism Awards?
We have been looking for ways to raise our profile and showcase our amazing property. Through Visit Durham, we have spoken to many other hospitality businesses in the area and heard about the North East Tourism Awards and how entering, and hopefully winning, could help us.
What has inspired you to enter the Awards?
We really want to shout about the unique offering we have at Durham House and to get validation from peers in the tourism industry would mean a lot to us.
What is your favourite part of the North East and why?
I might be a bit biased, but I absolutely love Hardwick Country Park in Sedgefield. I go running around the Park every day and always think to myself how lucky I am to live close to such a beautiful place.
Are there any hidden gems in the North East that you would encourage people to visit?
There are way too many hidden gems in the North East for me to mention them all. For me, the best way to see them is to get out and explore the region – you might be surprised at how many gems that you stumble across.