Dairy Cottage is part of the Cottage in the Dales collection, three 5-star gold cottages based close to beautiful Aysgarth Falls, and is run by Diane and Andrew Howarth. As well as their 2018 LABC Building Excellence Award, they also picked up bronze in the Visit England Inclusive Tourism Award 2018.
From the very start of the Dairy Cottage project, Diane wanted to create luxurious and relaxing 5-star accommodation that would be suitable for all guests, whether they had a disability or not. And they’ve certainly achieved this.
AccessTOG ambassador Debbie North says:
“Having stayed at The Dairy, I certainly concur with the judging panel. What Diane and Andrew have achieved, together with their builders Acton & Mudd, is truly amazing. They’ve thought of everything.”
“In the kitchen they’ve installed units that move so that a wheelchair user can sit comfortably at the sink and cooker. There’s extra worktop space at wheelchair level and even they’ve installed coloured taps for people with sight impairments.
“The bathroom is a dream! It certainly has the wow factor. Diane and Andrew have proved that a wet-room doesn’t have to be clinical or look medical. As Diane says: ‘We roll out the red carpet, not the red pull cord’.”
The LABC Building Excellence Awards showcase buildings and design teams that have had to tussle with complex technical or construction issues and building site constraints, highlighting innovative and creative solutions that lead to safe, sustainable and high-quality construction projects.
The panel of expert judges said:
“This scheme goes above and beyond minimum building regulations standards. It used flexible bathroom, kitchen and bedroom layouts, products and design solutions to create a 5-star experience, plus the same level of luxury as their non-accessible offering.
“This results in a non-clinical feel which appeals to all customers regardless of whether they are looking for an accessible holiday property or not. This entry is a very well thought out property delivering truly inclusive design.”
And Diane, understandably, was delighted to receive the award!
“After being nominated for this award by our local building inspector, we were delighted to reach & win the North & East Yorkshire award in June 2018,” she says. “This turned to amazement when we were chosen to represent Yorkshire at the Grand Finals for England & Wales. We realised we were definitely David amongst the Goliaths in our category as 10 of the 12 finalists were multi-million pound architect-led projects, including The Bloomberg in London which cost £1 billion to build!
“We were truly speechless with the winning announcement. It wasn’t about the size or cost of a project. It was our universal design approach that made the difference as The Dairy provides the accessibility facilities for guests who need them, which then disappear if they don’t, providing what we term ‘Accessible Luxury’.”