Kenilworth holiday cottages set to exceed pre-pandemic trade levels
The MP for Kenilworth and Southam has visited one of the region’s leading providers of self-catering holiday cottages as it gears up to exceed pre-pandemic levels of trade for the first time since 2019.
Sir Jeremy Wright MP visited Kenilworth’s North Mere Self Catering Cottages, off Chase Lane, to find out more about how the business has fared over the past year, as well as its plans for the year ahead to mark English Tourism Week (17-26 March).
He also explored some of the nearby Kenilworth Trails, which consist of free guided walks around the town that explore the town’s nature, heritage, Kenilworth Castle’s ruins and an interactive, riddle-led trail surrounding St Mary’s Abbey. A new trail has also been launched which explores the romantic tale of Elizabeth I and Lord Robert Dudley.
Zoe Bell is from North Mere Self Catering Cottages which was formed in 2007, and now provides three self-catering cottages on the grounds of Pleasance Farm which covers 460 acres of countryside, and sits in the shadow of Kenilworth Castle.
The cottages have sustainability at their heart – including a wood pellet heating system, low flow shower heads and solar panels – with the wider farm managing woodland to create more habitats for birds and invertebrates, and adopting regenerative agriculture practices on the farm to reduce damage to soils.
Zoe said: “Last year we started to see overseas visitors from Australia and the USA returning to supplement the strong levels of interest we had from domestic visitors – and we are expecting this to increase even further over the coming months.
“We have limited availability for all of our cottages in April and May – which is promising – and we are currently fielding a number of enquiries for the summer holidays – as well as for business-related visits.
“Our location means we are the top choice for many visitors to the area.
"Not only are we in close proximity to various walking trails and cycling routes, but we are in the shadow of Kenilworth Castle and also a short drive away from other key Warwickshire destinations including Leamington, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon.
“It was great to meet with Sir Jeremy so he can see first-hand the value that we bring to the town.”
Sir Jeremy Wright MP’s visit was organised by the tourism board for south Warwickshire, Shakespeare’s England, to mark English Tourism Week.
Sir Jeremy added: “North Mere Self-Catering Cottages is a fantastic example of how farms can successfully diversify, and I’m delighted to hear from Zoe during my visit that the venture is going from strength to strength.
“The Kenilworth Trails are ideally located next to the cottages too, and provide not only a fantastic free activity for visitors to enjoy, but help to improve people’s wellbeing too by engaging with nature.
“Initiatives such as English Tourism Week play a key role in helping to highlight some of the amazing destinations we have in our region so that they can truly realise their potential from attracting visitors both domestically and from overseas.”