The Black Hall Lodges Story

A History of Black Hall Lodges

We started planning the venture late in 2001 soon after we got married. There were a lot of reasons for us to look for different things to do and to supplement our farming income.

The first thought on our minds was for Sharon and I to do something different and extra to what had been going on before at Black Hall. We were also looking for a diversified income separate from agriculture to help support our 5 children. Farming in this area was devastated in 2001 by the foot and mouth outbreak. 

I had for some years been interested in building a Log Cabin. I find there is a great appeal in building a warm cosy home out of natural and environmentally sustainable materials. Having looked at many British and European designs, we contacted some relations in Canada and received a package with dozens of Log Home Building magazines. This was where we found the Saw Mill in Kamloops that supplied the logs for our first buildings. We were particularly drawn to the barn style buildings with vaulted ceilings allowing open trusses, fly rafters and purlins to be on show.

We gained planning permission in early 2002 and we immediately set about applying for a Rural Enterprise Scheme grant which was successful. This was crucial to our ability to finance the first phase to build 6 log cabins. We decided to build 2 initially (Winnipeg & Michigan) and see how they went. Back in 2002 many people did not think anybody would want to visit Knighton for a holiday at all, and certainly not in the winter, so we were taking a big risk and pushing the boundaries. 

We opened the first two buildings in Easter 2003, just 6 months after starting the project. 

During 2004 we built the other 4 Canadian Log Homes (Erie, Huron, Superior & Ontario) and the business ticked along quite nicely with guests coming to the Farm House on arrival and most work being done within the Family. 

Hot tubs soon became a big feature of our offering, and we were one of only six original luxury lodge sites in the Hoseasons Autograph collection, which set out to showcase the very best lodges in the country with hot tubs. This branding proved to be hugely successful, with our occupancy climbing to over 85%.  We were now confident enough to expand. Our enthusiasm was also fuelled by our Girls Sadie, Jamie and Zoe who had helped us hugely as children, and now wanted to be able to work from home and within the business. 

We believed that to encourage more customers we should have a Leisure Building with good facilities, so in 2007 we set about building a large and very unique log building to house a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gym and games room. This took us two years to complete and was very interesting and seemed quite challenging at times. 

We went way over budget, and to get extra income, decided to build a second phase of lodges in 2009 this time in a Scandinavian style (Inari’s & Helsinki’s). These were opened at Easter 2010. 

In 2012 we added six Wigwams to capture the new craze for Glamping or posh camping. The Wigwams went very well, but for us Lodges were always the most successful, so in 2017 we sold the Wigwams, replacing them with seven luxury couples only lodges (VIP Lodges) which opened January 2018. Our last and final lodge built was the New Hampshire Lodge, opened in May 2018. Originally the communal block for our glamping site, this is now our most luxurious lodge onsite, and with only one of these lodge types, it is very difficult to book.

But it seems hard work pays off with many awards under our belt from Hoseasons including Best in Britain 2017 and Best Small Lodge Park in Heart of England 2019. We thrive to keep our family business a success. Many guests don’t realise that all the lodges are built on what was and very much still is a running organic farm by Myself, Sharon & our family.

Andrew Beavan


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