Have you ever found yourself looking for an easy afternoon watch after a long day at work or a binge watch on a rainy weekend?
A game show like The Chase might hit the spot, but if you’re thinking where to plan your next stay, you might want to cast your eyes to Four in a Bed – which pits four bed and breakfast owners on the other side the country.
And viewers in the coming week might see the familiar sight of the Northumberland countryside – as Crackin’ View Guest House & Holiday Cottages in Tynedale appear on the show.
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Opened by husband and wife team Steve and Maria Turnbull just a week before the 2020 Covid lockdown was declared, Crackin’ View hits our screens on Tuesday.
While fun, Maria describes the two weeks of filming in April 2021 as grueling. It took the Turnbulls to Yorkshire, the Midlands and Norfolk, but as the country was still under lockdown it meant they didn’t have to cancel guests’ stays. Maria said: “It was extremely hard work. It was long days, early in the morning and late at night. It was very repetitive but it was enjoyable… Exhausting anyway!”
With views of unspoiled countryside, a full Northumbrian breakfast and a place to admire the stars in Europe’s largest Dark Sky Park, Crackin’ View has been popular with guests who have been able to stay there for up to now – earning an overall score of 9.5 on Booking.com. And since the show was filmed, the couple have added a pool and sauna, which Steve is pretty sure is the only heated pool for miles. It could be very relaxing after a bike ride around Kielder Reservoir or a long walk.
Steve and Maria have yet to see the show but are confident they turned out well and their appearance will lead to more bookings. Steve said: “We’ve been assured by Channel 4 that we’ll have plenty of bookings, it’s happened with others who’ve appeared on the show in the past. I’d like to think we’re pretty nice people but it depends how they edit us! We are entirely in their hands, but we were only ourselves. We were nice.
One of the must-have Four in a Bed is upon arrival, guests check the cleanliness of their new quarters. It can go far beyond what regular tourists expect, with guests tagging other contestants for seemingly microscopic dots on baseboards or cobwebs in hard-to-reach places.
But Steve says that’s not the couple’s style. He continued: “We’re not going to go in there and rub our fingers all over the place. If there’s anything egregious, we’d report it and we’ve done it. I’m sure some of the smaller things that the people picked up will be made much bigger!But we take everything as is and hope we will get lots of good feedback.
The couple are keeping it tight-lipped about how they fared in the competition and their experiences with other guests, which means I’ll have to see how they fare along with everyone else. They do, however, reveal that they had a ‘very funny’ sound with a banger.
The Turnbulls have yet to decide whether they will be watching at home or with others, with Maria saying: “The family wants to come party but I’m not so sure.”
Steve added: “It’s the problem of where we live. In Lanehead everyone knows each other. Everyone wants to put it on and watch it together in the party hall!”
There are two big nights for Crackin’ View. The first is on Tuesday the 22nd, when they host, and the second is Friday’s final reveal – where business owners find out how much their competitors have chosen to pay, and most importantly, who the winner is.
Whether Crackin’ View wins or not, its owners are optimistic after a “rough” start to their business. According to Steve, the newspaper is very healthy at the moment, with around half a dozen bookings each day. Maria is keen to add that they are also receiving return guests from last summer, which she describes as very pleasant.
And with a swimming pool and sauna added since filming, it’s one more thing to tempt people booking their breaks in and around the North Tyne.
For more on Crackin’ View, visit the website or tune in to Four In A Bed which airs at 5pm on Channel 4 from February 21-25.
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