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Booking during the COVID-19 epidemic

New Bookings during the COVID crisis

[Last updated 31st May 2020]

The Hyning Estate is currently closed

All online bookings are currently disabled until 4th July (following the Prime Minister's update in the House of Commons on 11th May) and online bookings for linked properties are disabled until 1st April 2021 as "Social Distancing" measures are anticipated for some time to come. Those wishing to stay with friends or relatives should instead book multiple smaller properties as discrete (nuclear) households.

Both dates are our current best guess and will undoubtedly change as we receive further direction from the Government.

We are operating overlapping "furloughs" so one of us is back in the office every 12 days or so during which time we'll ensure that this page and our online systems are updated to reflect the latest Government guidance. Please leave a voicemail or email enquiry if you'd like to discuss your requirements in more detail and we'll be back in touch next time we're in.

Stays at The Hyning Estate following a relaxation of the "lockdown"

This page was written during the initial UK lockdown and looks forward to a period when we can once more go out of the house but when we will be forced to live alongside the virus, exercising social distancing and taking a lot of care to protect both ourselves and other people.

It's clearly not possible to know when this period will come to an end but it has been suggested that a vaccine might not be available in large enough quantities for at least 18 months and in the meantime we have no idea when enough of us may become immune to the virus in sufficient numbers for us to gain "herd immunity".

During this period, the possibility of further periods of lockdown, illness, cancellation and other restrictions will combine to make it more difficult to purchase comprehensive holiday cancellation insurance whilst at the same time the costs of providing the accommodation have increased substantially.

Visit Britain is currently working on the development and recognition of a ‘STAY SAFE’ charter mark and lobbying Government to allow those who can demonstrate their compliance to be able to open before those that can't. You'll see from the paragraphs that follow that we're already well ahead of the pack in regard to such measures.

Our commitment to your safety

In the short term our focus is on the safety of staff & guests. It's too early to consider the longer term implications on prices which currently remain unchanged since November 2018. Our key safety principles are as follows:

  1. Until such time as the risks of catching the virus have reduced significantly there will be a 72 hour minimum gap between new bookings in each property (a "firewall" based on Government guidance for COVID-19 lifespan). This will also have the effect of halving the numbers of bookings that are possible, further reducing the chances of infection. The costs of our implementing this will be very significant (and we don't think that you'll find many other providers offering to do the same) but for us the safety of guests and staff is paramount. [When the risks reduce significantly and confidence builds in the new NHS "Test & Trace" Service / App then the size of the firewalls will be reduced progressively until normality can be restored].
  2. In support of current guidance on "Social Distancing" we are not taking bookings for our linked properties before 1st April 2021 and we would ask that each booking is for just one discrete (nuclear) household (so please make multiple bookings if staying alongside relatives or friends).
  3. We have a robust approach to cleaning, personal hygiene and social distancing with revised procedures for arrivals & departures. You can read more about this below.

Protecting your holiday

We anticipate that there will be a big increase in the number of "Last Minute Bookings" with guests checking the latest Government advice before travelling. Other guests will want to book ahead to ensure that they secure our unique "firewalled" accommodation and in the event of a cancellation due to a general, national or or locally imposed COVID-19 travel restriction or closure then we may be able to issue a Voucher (credit) if you are unable to make a claim on your holiday cancellation insurance. We have updated our Terms and Conditions to provide for the following:
  • Up to the date that the balance payment is due (8 weeks or 12 weeks before arrival depending on the property) Guests have always been able to cancel their booking (for ANY reason) and to transfer their deposit (35%) and any other payments to a new booking subject to a £50 administration fee (but they can only do this once). Under normal circumstances this gives us a reasonable chance of re-letting the property whilst securing a future booking.
  • It has always been the Guests' responsibility to ensure that they have adequate holiday insurance to enable them to claim back monies paid should they need to cancel their stay after the balance is due and in "normal times" we will always try to re-let a late cancellation in order to make a partial refund to the Guest in due course. Guests may then claim any net loss from their insurers.
  • Since March 23rd 2020 holiday cancellation insurance policies may not cover cancellations due to a general, national or locally imposed COVID-19 travel restriction or closure. In the event that you find that you are unable to make a successful claim due to a general restriction of this type then the following additional terms and conditions apply:

    • You must have purchased holiday cancellation insurance and must have made an unsuccessful claim or there must be a specific COVID-19 lockdown or closure exclusion in your policy.
    • A Voucher (credit) will be created if the booking has to be cancelled as a result of a general, national or locally imposed, COVID-19 travel restriction or closure. [This does not extend to cancellations resulting from the calling off of a linked function (such as a concert, festival, party or wedding), household / group restriction or problem (including illness, the requirement to self-isolate or to shield high risk member(s) of your party) or other social distancing restrictions (where those who live together would generally be permitted to stay here) and you should ensure that your holiday cancellation insurance covers all other eventualities].
    • The credit will be equal to the total value of the booking if you are prevented from taking the whole holiday or that proportion of the holiday that is cancelled if the general restriction or local closure occurs during your holiday.
    • The Voucher may subsequently be applied to a new booking in whole or in part without further deduction and any unused credit may be applied to a further booking or bookings if necessary.
    • Any credit remaining after 12 months from the date of the cancellation will be lost if not used in full. [Whilst the full value of the Voucher needs to be applied to new booking(s) within 12 months the new booking(s) may be made for dates before or after this].
    • There will be no refund in any circumstances.

Keeping you Safe

Nothing can ever be guaranteed and the best way of keeping each other safe is to assume that the virus is all around (and to act accordingly) although we haven’t knowingly come in contact with it yet.

Guests will have very real concerns and questions when booking or just ahead of arrival and we would like to reassure you that we are doing everything that we can:

  • What we’ve always done:
    • All bathroom surfaces are spotlessly clean (using anti-bacterial cleaning products).
    • Ditto Kitchens and dining tables (but with food-safe anti-bacterial cleaning products).
    • We wipe down surfaces using disposable paper towels when cleaning rather than cloths. 
    • All hard floors are steam cleaned. The steam cleaning pads are always changed between properties and between bathrooms and kitchens within the same property.
    • If the previous guests have hand-washed plates or utensils then we re-wash them in a dishwasher.
  • Extra precautions during the COVID-19 outbreak:
    • Minute attention to detail in respect of personal hygiene (significantly reducing the chances of cross-contamination).
    • Empty-days are being kept clear between new bookings in each property for the added protection of staff & guests. [Depending on the surface we're told that outside a host the virus can only survive between 5 hours and 2 days in extreme circumstances. UK Government guidance is 72 hours (3 days) - hence our initial 3-day "firewalls"].
    • All other hard surfaces (bedside drawers, banisters, door handles, keys, leather sofas etc.) are also cleaned with anti-bacterial products (where previously they may have been cleaned with a spray polish).
    • All plates and cutlery are now being rewashed in a dishwasher come what may.
    • As a temporary measure we will not provide any "Welcome" food or drink items or put anything in the fridge (so no milk, bread, cheese etc.) to reduce the chances of contamination.
    • For multi-week stays we will provide fresh towels and bed linen at the end of each completed week but we will not come into the properties to make beds during your stay - please place used linen in the laundry basket provided.
    • We are managing our availability in order to ensure that we have the time required to fully implement our additional procedures. [To help us implement our intensive cleaning regime and "social distancing" we ask that you strictly observe the published "arrival after" and "departure before" times and ensure that any grocery deliveries are booked at least one hour after the published arrival time (or that you choose "click & collect")].
  • Notes for keeping yourself & others safe:
    • Choose to limit travel to your own car and avoid public transport (which will also facilitate a “safe” and swift return home should one of your party develop symptoms whilst away).
    • All the supermarkets in Kendal offer “Pay at Pump” (but ensure that you use gloves).
    • There is no need to go to the Supermarket – Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's will all deliver to The Hyning Estate. You may prefer to "Click & Collect" if you can't obtain a suitable delivery slot. Note that unlike the nationals, Booths operate a very friendly next day "Click & Collect" service for essential items (Milnthorpe is a good out of town option).
    • Each property is self-contained.
    • Each property has its own MVHR system (Mechanical Ventilation & Heat Recovery) which means that the air in the property is being continually replaced with fresh air. Air is never recirculated and the input and output filters are independent so there can be no cross-contamination.
    • With two large National Parks, Hadrian’s Wall and the Arnside and Silverdale ANOB to explore, you should be able to keep a safe distance from other people whilst enjoying the Natural Beauty of the countryside but please enforce the 2 metre rule whilst also trying to avoid busy areas and check for local restrictions and procedures in place for cafes, pubs, restaurants, gyms and other attractions.
    • You must act responsibly to minimise passing on the virus to others, particularly if you have been in contact with someone who has since diagnosed with the virus or if you’ve travelled back from an area of high infection in which case the Government is telling you to stay at home. Please see:
    • Should you be concerned that you have been exposed to someone with the virus or worried that you may have developed symptoms then please let us know before leaving home and if you develop symptoms whilst you are here then tell us as soon as possible.

    • The Government has asked that we adopt “social distancing” to stay safe and keep others safe. We look forward to welcoming everyone personally again at some point in the future but in the short term Reception will be closed (so no Printer, DVDs, Books, Maps etc) and we will leave your keys in the property along with a Welcome letter and our comprehensive Welcome Guide. Be reassured that we will also be on-hand to answer questions or to address any issues you may have. To simplify matters we’re not asking couples for the normal pre-authorisation but ask everyone else to call us in advance so that we can process the pre-authorisation for you over the telephone (so that we can release your keys).

We hope all of our actions will help to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to keep us all safe but please do let us know if you have any particular concerns.