It’s hard to believe how time flies! This time one year ago, we were welcoming our first guests to stay at Highway Hill as part of Helix Yoga’s week-long retreat. It had been a busy few weeks and months in the buildup to this deadline as we got all hands on deck to get the accommodation and other facilities ready to use; I think we were all surprised at how much work it took to ensure all the details were just right! However, we ended up with something that we felt really proud of and it was a thrill to have the Helix Yoga guests to stay with us. We got great feedback on the event and lots of useful information to help us learn and grow for the future.
Since then, things have been pretty non-stop for us. The rest of the 2017 season was relatively quiet in terms of people coming to stay – not unexpected given how few people knew about us yet – but we were kept very busy with all of the demands of setting up a new business and getting our name out there. In the autumn, one of our directors, Jeremy, took a well-deserved post-retirement trip to Australia and New Zealand for two months, leaving new co-director Anna in charge. It was a challenging time because we were very much in the early stages of setting up lots of processes, but somehow we managed to cope without Jeremy and it ended up being a really helpful learning curve for us.
Fast forward to 2018, and we found ourselves opening our new season right in the middle of the Beast from the East! The weather had made installing our new facility, a large safari tent for use as a communal space, an absolute nightmare as it was delayed and then had to be put up in the freezing cold and howling winds. Even worse, our poor Office Manager Bianca had booked the whole site for a birthday party, and had to struggle through a weekend of camping in extremely adverse weather conditions!
Thankfully, 2018 has only gone uphill from there. We’ve been getting busier and busier with overnight guests, and have been overwhelmed with how much positive feedback we’ve been getting from them. Guests consistently tell us that they find the surroundings at Highway beautiful, peaceful, and relaxing, that the accommodation and facilities are immaculately clean and well thought out with great attention to detail, and that they really enjoy meeting Dave & Ewe’s friendly animals. We’ve been working so hard to give our guests the best possible experience they can have so it’s a fantastic morale boost to keep getting this kind of feedback and makes us even more motivated to keep trying harder!
One thing that we are learning about working at Highway Hill is that is it never boring, and no two days are the same! Some of our highlights of the year so far have been: working with Oldbury Tours to offer a bundle of our accommodation and their local history tours; one of our happy guests writing to the Times Travel magazine about us in glowing terms; having regular classes and activities in the Hayloft and Potters Wood; and the birth of Dave & Ewe’s new pygmy kids, Tia and Todd. We have lots of exciting plans for the future so watch this space for more to come…
Finally, happy birthday to us! We couldn’t be more pleased and proud of what we’ve achieved and we are excited to see what the future holds.