Georgian Country Estate, Middleton Lodge engaged a creative studio to renew its digital presence and lead by example through design. We caught up with Middleton Lodge and Creativehill on how the project came about and the challenges along the way.
Rowena Lee, communications manager at Middleton Lodge: “We were looking for a fresh approach to our website, we knew that the visual message was our strongest form of communication, therefore we wanted a simplistic design that was not only visually pleasing but its functionality was key to enhance the user experience."
Based in Newton Aycliffe, Creativehill is an award-winning design studio and consultancy providing creative, digital and print solutions for truly unique businesses like Middleton Lodge. Although helping lots of companies the consultancy specialises in the leisure, hospitality and lifestyle sectors, aimed at selling products and experiences,
“When we met James and the team it was clear we could help, they have an amazing experience that wasn’t being translated correctly, I’m not going to say it was an easy task but having such a tactile and forward thinking brand did help” - Adam Hill, Creativehill
Middleton Lodge is a Georgian country estate, based in the heart of rural North Yorkshire. The Main House is an 18th century country mansion, available for exclusive hire for weddings and private events. Also located on the 200 acre estate is the award winning Coach House, a boutique hotel and restaurant and the team has just completed restoration on its Kitchen Garden and Orangery.
The 12 month project was aimed at bringing the Middleton Lodge lifestyle directly to the end user and selling an experience ‘digitally’. It was heavily reliant on great photography paired with cutting edge website design.
“With so many exiting things happening at Middleton Lodge we needed to build something versatile and scalable” - Adam Hill
The challenge was to create an administratively functional website allowing the staff to control content but without the compromise of design. Each page of the new website is unique, by not only the way it is built but the content it holds. Each page feels like you’re discovering something new and if you look hard enough there is plenty to see - over 80 pages in fact. Built for a range of platforms from mobile through to desktop, with considerations even made for smartwatches - it’s a real showcase of the truly inspirational country estate Middleton Lodge is.
Since the website launch in January 2017 Middleton Lodge have seen an increase in digital engagement and with over 25k visitors per month, it really does ask the question “Do we really need commission based booking systems to drive traffic?”. Many hotels around the UK rely on third party booking sites as their main revenue stream but with great strategy and cutting-edge design this can be overcome.
‘Our website is always evolving as we increase our offer across the Middleton Lodge estate. It’s fantastic to be at the stage we are now in development and we’re looking forward to see it grow as the next chapter of the estate unfolds. Working with Creativehill over these past twelve months has been a fantastic collaborative approach, and our results so far just show the commitment everyone involved with this project has.”