Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has taken over the management of the privately-owned three-star, 48-bedroom Haycock hotel in Wansford, Cambridgeshire.

Situated north-west of Peterborough, the 16th-century property will operate as a Macdonald Associate Hotel and will benefit from sales, marketing and management services provided by the group, which currently operates more than 40 four- and five-star hotels throughout the UK and Spain. The Haycock name and all 40 staff will be retained.

The hotel's owner, Judith Carter, will continue to be involved in the property's management.

Under the new agreement, the food offering in the one-rosette Orchards restaurant will be enhanced in keeping with Macdonald's policy for using only skilled chefs to prepare dishes from the finest and freshest produce.

Chris Gillett, managing director, Macdonald Hotels Management Services, said the Haycock offered impressive and modern conference facilities and could readily accommodate 250 delegates. "These factors, combined with its geographical location make the Haycock an excellent strategic fit for Macdonald Hotels & Resorts," he explained.

"As a company, we now look forward to supporting general manager Linda Nicholson and her staff in developing the potential of this beautifully appointed country house hotel."

It is claimed that the Haycock was a resting place for Mary Queen of Scots en route to her execution and also once welcome Queen Victoria as a guest.

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By Janet Harmer

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