Somerset – County of Contrasts

Glastonbury TorWhen you mention Somerset one of the first things you think of is Glastonbury Festival. But there’s so much more to this historic county. Whatever kind of place you want to spend your holiday in – city, coast or countryside – you’ll find it in Somerset.

 

Cheddar GorgeWhere to start? The Georgian splendour of Bath, the medieval intricacy of Wells, and Bristol’s historic seaport all are on the doorstep. From the wildlife-rich Levels, famous for the starling murmerations, it’s just a stone’s throw to the wild beauty of Exmoor. Cheddar Gorge reaches 500 feet in places, and the sides of the ravine boast the highest inland limestone cliffs in England. The Mendip Hills are one of the most important caving areas. Horse racing’s another speciality in these parts with racecourses at Taunton and Wincanton and several top UK National Hunt trainers.

 

Wells CathedralIf you’ve got a young family, how about a traditional family holiday? There is mile upon mile of level golden sandy beaches, and dozens of attractions including Wookey Hole Caves, the Steam Railway, Fleet Air Arm Museum and Haynes International Motor Museum, Dunster Castle and of course Glastonbury Tor at the heart of Somerset.

Weston super Mare

May be it’s been a tough year and you want the kind of holiday where you can just relax. There’s the lovely fishing village of Porlock View, Exmoor’s historic Tarr Steps and the tranquillity of Glastonbury Abbey and Wells Cathedral.

 

Porlock WeirDon’t forget the cider, and the cheese, and the fudge, and the ……..  There is so much to mention, perhaps you should sample it for yourself and stay in one of our lovely holiday cottages.

 

Springfield CottageSpringfield Cottage is a charming, detached cottage set on the outskirts of the village of Norton St Philip, just seven miles from Bath. This quaint and quirky home is perfect for two; small, yet full of character.

 

 

BrooklynBrooklyn is a delightful cottage, a real home-from-home, in the quiet village of Timberscombe, which lies within the Exmoor National Park, not far from the medieval village of Dunster.

 

 

 

Marley CottageAccommodation on Exmoor cannot be found in more delightful surroundings than Porlock. Marley Cottage is in a secluded yet central location, and has been thoughtfully decorated and furnished to create an inviting holiday home.

 

 

Dove CottageDove Cottage at Stringston near Kilve, is a pretty 400 year old terraced cottage. A small stream crossed by a stone bridge is to the front and to the rear is a large parking area, enclosed lawn and patio.

 

 

You can check availability for any of our cottages throughout the Westcountry by clicking here: westcountrycottages.co.uk

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Staycation?

What to do on your StaycationDomestic holidaymakers are now very much open to the idea of the south west of England playing a greater role in their choice of destination.  However staycation in the beautiful West Country comes with the unfortunate proviso that it will probably rain at some point.  Walking some of the stunning South West Coast Path or building sandcastles on sweeps of golden sand sounds lovely, but the reality is that the changeable English climate will mean you are stuck indoors at some point.

Here are a few holiday cottages which have indoor facilities or activities to keep all members of the family occupied.

Maenporth EstateMewstone and Pine Cottage are situated on the Maenporth Estate near Falmouth. The leisure complex includes an indoor heated swimming pool, spa, sauna and sun terrace, and a games hall with a pool table and table tennis. A short walk from the leisure centre are two all-weather tennis courts and an enclosed play area for younger children.

Brookfield Lodge at Drimpton, Welloe Rock near Porthleven, The Milking Parlour at Wookey, and Harford House near Tavistock, all have a games room.

Colmer EstateThe Coach House on the Colmer Estate in South Devon enjoys shared use of an indoor pool, a fitness room with a range of cardio-vascular exercise equipment and a small games room which has a pool table.  There are also lots of outdoor facilities which includes a heated swimming pool, boules and croquet, and coarse fishing.

Grange Farm
Grange Farm, Bossiney near Tintagel is home to a six-foot pool table, supplied with the equipment for billiards, snooker and pool; spectators can sink into the leather sofas in the adjoining sitting room and watch the match!

 

Triscombe Farm
Triscombe Farm is in a sheltered wooded valley overlooking the River Quarme and has its own indoor heated swimming pool, tennis court, games room and 190 acres of farmland to explore!  Stay at Fern Cottage or Primrose Cottage.

Coast or Country – What’s Your Favourite?

Coast or CountryWhether your particular itinerary includes sightseeing, good food, family attractions or just simple relaxation, the towns, villages, countryside and beaches of the West Country are hard to beat.

Cornwall is famous for its great beaches, delicious local food and laid-back way of life.  Tantalising views of deep wooded valleys and wide vistas of sparkling blue sea combine with a varied colourful landscape, historic market towns, attractive fishing villages and picturesque riverside hamlets.

hillcrest_distantHillcrest is a detached bungalow set on a hillside overlooking Porthtowan and the beach, which is popular for swimming and surfing. Keen walkers are just a few minutes from the Coast Path; you can head for St Agnes to the north or Portreath to the south.

 

Devon has a diverse and beautiful natural environment combined with a mild climate.  The Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks provide perfect opportunities for getting active in wild, unspoilt open expanses; the quintessential rolling Devonshire countryside is an idyllic patchwork of fields, farms and hedgerows.

heamoor_viewSituated in the rural village of Cheriton Bishop on the edge of Dartmoor, Heamoor Lodge is ideal for couples or families wishing to explore the heart of Devon. Set in the grounds of West Beer Farm, surrounded by seven acres of woodland and rural countryside, this superb barn conversion is designed and furnished to a high standard.

Somerset is a county alive with history and legend; walk in the footsteps of King Arthur and King Alfred, explore Exmoor, the home of Lorna Doone, and visit the mysterious Glastonbury Tor, rising out of the Somerset Levels like a beacon.

dovecottage_louStringston near Kilve is situated on the northern slopes of the Quantock Hills, famous for wildlife and wonderful walks across acres of heathland and forests.  Dove Cottage is a pretty 400 year old terraced cottage.  As soon as you enter the cottage you become aware of the owner’s innate sense of style that blends contemporary and traditional furnishings, to create a welcoming holiday home.

Click here to check availability of all our cottages http://www.westcountrycottages.co.uk/public/search.aspx

 

Starry Starry Nights on Exmoor

Dark-Sky-logo-large-225x300If you have been inspired by the recent BBC programme Stargazing Live, you might be interested to know that Exmoor National Park is Europe’s first designated International Dark Sky Reserve.  With some of the lowest levels of light pollution in the country, the skies above Exmoor on a clear night are exceptionally starry.  March and April are particularly good months for stargazing, with late summer and autumn providing the best chance to see a shooting star.  All you have to do is go outside and look up!

 

 

We have some lovely cottages situated within the National Park – why not come and explore one of the finest landscapes in the UK this year?

brooklynBrooklyn is a delightful cottage in the quiet village of Timberscombe, which means wooded valley. The village lies within the Exmoor National Park, not far from the medieval village of Dunster, and is an ideal location to enjoy country walks as well as the beautiful North Somerset coast. The village pub, the Lion Inn, is just a stone’s throw away, so guests staying at Brooklyn can wander across for an evening drink or a meal.

littlethatch_louSituated on a country lane, Little Thatch is a charming thatched mid-terrace cottage, which has been renovated into a cosy holiday home. This character cottage retains some original features and outside there is a small private patio area to the rear of the property, where you can sit and enjoy a glass of wine whilst listening to the babbling brook which runs close by.

porlock_louIn the lovely town of Porlock is Marley Cottage. Dating back to the late Victorian era, the cottage is the end terrace of six properties originally built as homes for local boat builders. Recently renovated, Marley Cottage has been thoughtfully decorated and furnished to create an inviting holiday home, with a pretty south facing seating area.

riversidecottage_extSet in the splendour of the Exmoor National Park Riverside Cottage is a pretty, detached holiday home are bordered on two sides by a trout stream. The cottage is comfortable with co-ordinated soft furnishings and a woodburner.  The owner offers holistic therapies including Reiki, yoga, relaxation and meditation by arrangement.  

 

 

Pretty Marley Cottage

Secluded Riverside Cottage

Cosy Brooklyn

Chocolate Box Little Thatch

Spring Bank Holiday Escapes

The Spring Bank Holiday and Queen’s Jubilee celebrations are nearly upon us.  Get away from the crowds and relax with a break in the Westcountry.

West Country Cottages still have limited availability at some of our smaller properties sleeping 2-4, offering the chance to get away from it all, but still within easy reach of the coast and major events taking place during the Bank Holiday weekend.

Coombe Cottage, Nr Bude is the perfect retreat for couples. You get a tantalising glimpse of the sea before descending into the beautiful valley of Crockwood Farm. The cottage is in a tranquil country setting where you are free to wander through the acres of grounds which include a pine forest, stream and a lake.  If you are feeling energetic you can walk to the sea.

Get away from it all in North Devon at the Parlour in Winkleigh.  The vibrant farming village of Winkleigh is conveniently located between Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks and is just an hour’s drive from the superb beaches on the North Devon coast.  The property has an open plan living area and sleeps four + cot.

                                                                                                                                            The Parlour has a beauty salon on site and guests can indulge in a range of pampering treatments during their stay with special pamper weekends also available on request.  Treatments can be booked directly with the owner.

 

 

 

Polroan is situated in the lovely quiet seaside location of Gorran Haven close to Mevagissey and with stunning beaches nearby.  The property is within easy reach of major tourist attactions including the Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan. Polroan is ideal for a couple or small family to have a relaxing break.

 

Orchard End is a new property close to Exmoor National Park. From this secluded bolthole you can relax and enjoy your favourite book or for the more energetic, venture onto the moors for walking, riding and cycling. Trekking and livery is available at a nearby farm by prior arrangement.

 

Search Availability for a full list of properties available over the Bank Holiday.