EXMOOR COTTAGE HOLIDAYS
John & Melanie Moore are a husband and wife team with four children. They have been in the holiday letting business since 1997, when they bought a run-down caravan park near Ilfracombe; which they developed into the first 5 star caravan park in North Devon. They moved to Town Tenement in 2006, attracted by the timeless atmosphere of the cottages and grounds. Since then, they have fully renovated all the cottages, including new kitchens and bathrooms, and developed the grounds into something of a wildlife haven. The cottages are not quality graded but are equivalent to 3-5 stars.
Melanie & John have both attended "Welcome Host" courses and are entitled to display the Welcome Host and Welcome to Excellence logos. They are attracted by the ideals of self-sufficiency and 'the good life' and try to combine these with their business. Their mission is to provide good quality accommodation in a safe, welcoming and pleasant environment; with an emphasis on good decorations, furnishings and equipment, attractive surroundings, excellent customer service and sustainability.
We don’t just provide accommodation, we offer a beautiful place to stay and our personal attention to ensure that you have a memorable holiday. We don’t live on site but visit every day to help with your enquiries and provide a chambermaid service (unless you prefer not to be disturbed!). We have a good knowledge of Exmoor and North Devon and are very happy to share this with you to help you plan your days out, and help arrange services such as taxi, guided tours, fishing trips, vehicle repairs, and horse-riding – and we always have some special deals that we have arranged just for our guests. We can help light the fire in your cottage, show you how to keep it going, and offer a free service wash and dry so that you can enjoy your day to the full. We are happy to show you the wild flora and fauna on site, and usually have some nets to catch the wildlife in the pond. If you don’t want to do anything while you are here, we can provide extra house-keeping services including towel hire, B&B and cottage cleaning, and we can arrange dog or baby-sitting in the evening so that you can enjoy that special meal or show at the theatre – but if you just want self-catering and don’t need our help, then that’s OK too!
Exmoor Cottage Holidays is more than just a business to us, it is a way of life. We love what we do, feel lucky to work in such beautiful surroundings and really enjoy meeting our guests and helping them to get the most out of their holiday. Three generations of our family are involved: our youngest son Alfie helps out by cleaning and mowing lawns in the summer; our daughter Isobel is a very good chambermaid and often services the cottages; our middle son Henry (who we expect will one day take over) works with us full-time whilst also taking an apprenticeship in Building Repairs & Maintenance at Petroc College; and Johns mother Joan provides guidance based upon many years experience in retail & hospitality.
We take your safety very seriously. We check the children’s play area every day, make a written inspection every three months and have an independent inspection every year by RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). We check the stoves and the smoke & carbon monoxide detectors in the cottages between each stay, and fully service all stoves, flues and chimneys every year (the Rayburn in the Farmhouse is serviced every six months). The fire-fighting equipment in the cottages and laundry room is inspected yearly by a BAFE (British Approvals for Fire Equipment) registered contractor. Every year we undertake a comprehensive Risk Assessment of the cottages and grounds, and test all portable electrical appliances; and periodically we have all the electrical wiring inspected by a NAPIT (National Association of Professional Inspectors & Testers) registered contractor. The business is insured with reputable insurers NFU (National Farmers Union) including Public and Employers Liability. All records are available for your inspection on request.
We try to preserve the environment and believe we offer eco-friendly and green holidays. We do whatever we can to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels; to recycle where possible; to manage the grounds responsibly; and to encourage wild flowers and wildlife. The loft spaces in the cottages are insulated with over 300mm of Rockwool, the external walls of Gatehouse and Inglenook are insulated behind the plaster walls and the floors and walls of Wisteria are insulated with 120mm of Kingspan. We encourage the use of logs for heating, which are carbon neutral and cut where possible from our own trees on site. This helps to maintain our woodland (many of the trees we cut down are non-native sycamore) and eliminates the energy used for transport. We have also agreed to cut down some larch trees in a nearby forest, in return for the logs - it’s quite an adventure to fell the trees, cut them up, roll them out of the woods and collect them by driving our tractor and trailer through the river!
To further reduce our carbon footprint in 2015 we installed solar photo-voltaic panels on the roof of Farmhouse and Inglenook Cottages, and on the roofs of Garden Cottage and Wisteria Cottage. These generate free electricity during the day (so please do try to use the laundry machines, immersion heater and dishwasher when the sun is out!) and any excess is passed on to the National Grid.
We encourage you to use the recycling bins for glass, plastic bottles, cans, cardboard and newspapers. We also provide a metal bin for food waste and ashes from the fire, which goes onto our compost heap. All of our garden waste is composted and the compost used to enrich the soil and grow seedlings and cuttings. We encourage wild flowers in the meadows and provide many nesting boxes for wild birds and each cottage has its own bird feeder, which we fill every day. We also have some tame ducks on site – please let us know if you would like to try their eggs - and we grow lots of fruit and herbs, which you are welcome to sample when in season (not everything on site is edible, please ask if unsure). We have a variety of flowers that attract bees and butterflies and many areas of the grounds are left wild to encourage and shelter wildlife.