out of 10
We had a lovely stay at Birchwood at the end of August 2019, aided by a heatwave. The accommodation is very big and spacious and was ample room for our extended family of 8 (3 kids, 2 parents, 3 grandparents). The grounds are lovely, its good the garden is fully enclosed and the kids are safe, the games room and toys / equipment for the kids was greatly appreciated.
There are however, a number of things that could be improved in the property - and should be improved based on the charge out cost. One of the two swings in the garden was thread bare and we had to tie it up to prevent the children using it as it was unsafe. The cleaning of the property needs to be improved, we had to bottom the kitchen before first use, and the whole house needs a good deep clean. The sofas and mattresses are uncomfortable and need replacing. However, the worst issue for us was the presence of insects and flying ants. We were using the downstairs double and put our 3 year old twins in the down stairs twin room next door as I was worried they may fall down the stairs in the night. The twin room had hundreds of ants all around the window, carpet and curtains. We caught them and disposed of them, and had to spray the area with multipurpose cleaner as this was the only thing to hand. The following day a few more appeared and so we did the same. They never returned after that. I was very surprised though that they were there in the first place, especially if the house had been cleaned just before our arrival. And obviously having my children in that room was worrying. It may have been the time of year, or the heat, but I am sure they should have been seen by the cleaners or caretaker before our arrival.
None of this spoilt our holiday, and we would consider returning as the house is lovely. But I really do hope the owners take notice of the repeated issues that people are raising, as nothing seems to be improving, (ovens have no dial instructions, poor cleanliness, lack of kitchen equipment for large parties etc). The washing machine was not very good either, or the dishwasher, pots came out half cleaned. The downstairs bathroom got soaked when using the shower and could do with a cubical or curtain and tray. The ice machine did not work, the BBQ was dirty (most likely the previous occupants - we did clean and use it and it worked fine). The play equipment in the garden badly needs replacing.
it is in a nice quiet area in the countryside, just a short ride from Skegness and Ingoldmells - although parking is approximately £8 per day per car (we spent almost £100 on parking through the week). The open top bus rides are great, the outdoor swimming pool was fab, the indoor one has a flume slide, the free paddling pool (fairy dell) is lovely, Arnold palmer crazy golf was good, and we had a fun 2 hours at the seal sanctuary. Fantasy island theme park is great (online wristbands are cheapest), and Hardy's farm is a good day out. The Welcome Inn pub down the road was lovely, it has a big beer garden with playground for the kids, and the food and service was great.