EXMOOR COTTAGE HOLIDAYS
Winter holidays and winter breaks are very popular in North Devon and Exmoor due to the spectacular unspoilt countryside; the slow pace of life; and easy access from Cornwall, South Devon, Dorset, the Midlands and the South East. England is often beautiful in the spring, autumn and winter; and winter holidays and breaks in the UK are very good value compared to those taken in the school summer holidays.
A stay at Exmoor Cottage Holidays is hassle free and ideal for your winter holiday or winter short break in Exmoor and North Devon. The five holiday rental cottages are warm and comfortable and each has a lovely log fire in the living room. The first basket of logs and kindling is free, and our prices include fresh bed linen and electricity for lighting and heating (no meters). We also provide a handy welcome pack (with tea, coffee, milk, sugar, cleaning materials and cloths) and some necessities you may have forgotten (shampoo, conditioner, soap and toilet roll).
We offer a beautiful place to stay and the personal attention you would normally receive in a B&B or hotel so that you get the very most from your winter break. We are on site every day to help you with any enquiries, and provide a chambermaid service (unless you don’t want to be disturbed!). There is a bird-feeder outside each cottage (filled daily), some tame ducks on the pond, and delightful grounds with lovely views and plenty of wildlife (if you are lucky you might see a red deer, or its footprints in the snow!). There are lovely walks up and around Humphrey's Hill, a children’s play area and a meadow ideal for exercising your dogs.
Even if the weather is poor, you can snuggle up in front of a real log fire and play a DVD, CD, or watch one of the many digital Freeview TV channels. Free WiFi is available at the cottages and we provide a pack of cards, some board games and lots of books. We are happy to help light your log fire and show you how to keep it going, and can usually supply more logs and kindling without charge. We can provide a BBQ, high-chair, cot, stair gate, fire-guard, and a free laundry service so that you can enjoy your day to the full.
We know Exmoor and North Devon well and can help you to plan your days out, show you the best winter walks (to shelter in the valleys, or the best views for photographers) and places to visit on an Ordnance Survey map (which you may borrow) and help you make arrangements with local services e.g. spa, Christmas markets, taxi, vehicle repairs, guided tours, horse-riding lessons, restaurants, pantomime trips etc. – and we always have some special deals for our guests. We can provide towel and linen hire, self-cook evening meals (home-made by our local shop, who can also deliver groceries for your arrival) and other house-keeping services including full cottage cleaning, B&B and dog-sitting.
The friendly village shop is just a few minutes walk away from the cottages, and sells general groceries, snacks, excellent cakes, home made soup, guides and maps. Next to the shop is the unusually named Black Venus, a traditional inn with award winning home made food, real ales and fine wines.
There are excellent walks in and around the village, for example to the local church through a beech forest; to the charming Bray Reservoir, source of the river Bray; to Radworthy, an abandoned farm mentioned in the Doomsday Book; to Pinkery Pond, source of the river Barle; to the atmospheric Bronze Age burials at Chapmans Barrows; and to Shoulsbury Castle, a huge Iron Age hillfort with spectacular views.
The cottages are in a good central location to explore the whole of Exmoor and the spectacular coastline of North Devon and Somerset. There are lots of amazing walks within a short drive, for example at Tarr Steps where there is a prehistoric clapper bridge; the Valley of Rocks near Lynton which has spectacular rock formations; Watersmeet, a lovely forest walk along the side of a river; and Wistlandpound Reservoir, a gentle walk around a charming reservoir, only a few miles away from the cottages.
Thanks in part to Johnny Kingdom, Exmoor is well-known for its unique wildlife, and in particular, the Exmoor ponies and Red deer, which originate on Exmoor and are not found elsewhere in the wild. They are both fairly shy and secretive, but there are places on the moor where they can usually be seen, please ask when you are here. Goats have also lived on Exmoor since prehistoric times, but they died out and the present herd, in the Valley of Rocks outside Lynton, was introduced in the 1970's.
In 2011 Exmoor was the first place in Europe, and the second in the world, to be designated an International Dark Skies Reserve, it being recognised that when considering light pollution and cloud cover together, Exmoor was the best place in the UK for looking at the stars.
There is plenty to see and do in bad weather, for example visiting the interesting local towns of Clovelly, Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, Lynton & Lynmouth and Dunster, and several historic buildings including Dunster Castle, Tiverton Castle and Hartland Abbey. The unusual church of St Petrock in Parracombe, unchanged for 200 years is only a few miles away, Dartington Chrystal in Torrington is good to visit on a cold day, you can watch the glass blowers at work and perhaps pick up a gift or two in the shop. For children there are lots of covered attractions, including Funderzone, a play gym in Barnstaple; and in South Molton there is an indoor play gym at Quince Honey Farm, and for something more challenging, an indoor climbing centre.
Exmoor Cottage Holidays are ideal for your winter holidays and short breaks in Exmoor and North Devon. The cottages are well-appointed, warm and comfortable, with real log fires and no electricity meters, they are available all year round for short breaks, and ideal if you want to escape for Christmas and the New Year (we usually provide a decorated Christmas tree in each cottage). They are easy to reach, being only a couple of hundred yards off a main road and there is a traditional pub and a handy shop just a short walk away.