A family business, even the dog has a role!

independent family business, self-catering cottages, little hideaways, Seahouses

A family business, even the dog has a role!

As we plan to bring you our story of walking the Northumberland Coast Path later in the month of March. We thought we’d do a little meet the team!

Little Hideaways started with one holiday cottage, a love for the Northumberland Coast and a background in hospitality (from me, and one very handy husband!)

Whilst Myself and Rob direct and navigate Little Hideaways through the market of self-catering holiday lets, we ultimately have lots of people around that help us deliver our service to our guests.

So, we thought we’d introduce everyone and bring you a little bit about us!

Rachel – The Boss

That’s me, I dragged everyone into this! I even bought our first holiday let without Rob even seeing it. The first time he saw it was when we had the keys and he opened the door with a paint brush in his hand to set to work!

independent family business, self-catering cottages, little hideaways, Seahouses

My background is and always has been hospitality since I was a teenager.

My first job at the age of 15 was helping to clean local holiday cottages on a Saturday and make up all the beds. Over the next few years, I went to college and then onto university where I studied Hospitality at both. My career took me to work in some amazing places, including The Post Hotel, Canada, The Malmaison, Oxford before returning to the North East to work at Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Garden as one of their event managers. An insight into events then took my career away from the North East and into North Yorkshire where I was the event manager at Bettys and Taylors, Harrogate.

After a few more years and lots of different experiences later including a 7 year spell and founder of a flavoured gin business, I went full circle back into the world of holiday letting in Northumberland!

I love: Getting out and about exploring, whether that’s walking on beaches or up hills, I love a great view at the top or a good pub at the end.

I secretly love a challenge and never think I can do it, but always sign myself up anyway! I occasionally drop my training for my current challenge of The Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge on Instagram stories. If you’re going to send me any chocolate, please send Malteasers!

Rob – Husband, great with power tools and has the patience of a saint!

Rob is used to my decision making by now! He didn’t get to see Tern Cottage or St. Cuthbert’s Cottage before we acquired them and we blagged our way through acquiring Guillemot when our offer was accepted before either of us has really seen it! However, Rob always takes on the challenge, paint brush in hand with a power tool and has been seen to be throwing mattresses out of windows and into skips on our refurbishments!

independent family business, self-catering cottages, little hideaways, Seahouses

Rob also has a full-time job! A fully qualified Sports Therapist working with athletes and patients in his clinic to get everyone up and moving more effectively.

Rob loves: Previously a keen rugby player, Rob hung up his boots a few years ago but now loves the outdoors, walking up steep hills, golf (his favourite golf course is Dunstanbugh Castle Golf Course) and ice cream!

He especially loves ice cream from Spurellis, Amble and Morwick Diary, Warkworth, but not when it gives him an ice cream headache!

Jane and Andrew – Aka Mum and Dad

Andrew and Jane invested in holiday letting way before it was a cool and a popular holiday choice!

The then, family farm had three holiday cottages situated in the grounds, dating back to the late 70’s early 80’s, when providing bed linen and towels was an added extra!

independent family business, self-catering cottages, little hideaways, Seahouses

Andrew and Jane are traditionally cattle farmers and race horse breeders, where holiday letting, as it is for many farmers, was a form of diversification and they could share their fantastic countryside surroundings with a larger audience. Jane has spent many years managing and looking after the cottages on the farm.

Based at the now, Northumberland family farm, 2021 saw the redevelopment of an old 1960’s shepherds’ cottage into what is there today, the magnificent Swallows Rest.

Jane loves: Dog walks on the beach with Ted the Labrador,  photography, chatting to guests about the local area, watching Strictly and a good teacake!

Andrew loves: His horses, farming chat, watching the wildlife in the fields, watching boats down on the coast and chatting to guests about farm life.

Emily – Our Toddler

Emily joined the crew back in 2020, if it doesn’t involve Peter Rabbit or splashing in muddy puddles, she’s usually not that interested! However, she does an amazing job of tagging along whenever we have projects to do.

independent family business, self-catering cottages, little hideaways, Seahouses

Emily’s first visit to work in Northumberland was when we undertook a project at St.Cuthbert’s Cottage when she was just 8 weeks old.

Emily loves: Running wild and free on beaches, bread sticks, baked beans and splashing in puddles on the family farm with Nanny and Grandad.

Nicole – Our very helpful housekeeper keeping our cottages tip top

Nicole is at our cottages each week getting them guest ready, she’s super helpful and always makes great suggestions! I’m always sending her ‘urgent messages’ when I’ve forgotten something!

Nicole loves: a tidy store cupboard and if you mess up the towels, you’re in trouble, I’m pretty sure she hates transporting logs and filling up all the log baskets in the cottages over the winter, but she does it anyway and never complains!

Steve – Is Steve a real person?

Steve is like a stealth, undercover secret agent! Even we hardly ever see him! Steve is always at the end of the phone though and he’s our handy local maintenance man! Any time of day, if we have a maintenance problem, Steve is on speed dial!

Whether it’s fixing a toilet, or a TV cable, we couldn’t manage our cottages without him!

Betty, Betty Chopperlump, The Chopperlump, Bets, ‘Betty No’

Betty, our slightly naughty Labrador, answers to all of the above (apart from when she us having too much fun and has selective hearing!)

independent family business, self-catering cottages, little hideaways, Seahouses

I think she actually thinks her name is ‘Betty No’ when our toddler constantly tells her off! Her full professional name is ‘Betty’ Chopperlump Dickenson!

Best friends with Emily our toddler, the two of them are always up to no good!

Betty patiently comes along for the ride around cottages while we’re doing jobs, on the promise that she gets to run around on the beach! Beadnell Bay is her favourite!

Betty loves: Chasing her ball on the beach, pinching Emily’s bread sticks when she isn’t looking, running after rabbits and playing with Ted!

Come and join us in Northumberland!