When I was growing up, I used to visit North Devon with my family every summer. When I was really little, we’d pitch a tent and camp on a resort in Ilfracombe, but my parents eventually invested in a cottage in Combe Martin and this soon became our second home.
Now that I have a family of my own, I have started taking them to Devon for the holidays too. Fortunately, both the Greek God(zilla) and my son have fallen in love with the area as much as I have.
This summer, we relaxed on our favourite beaches in Woolacombe, Croyde, Saunton and Putsborough; and fished for crabs in the rock pools of Combe Martin and Lee Bay. We had a wonderful time and it was made even better this year because my sister and her family, my parents and my brother all decided to join us! However, as my parent’s cottage only has 2-bedrooms, my sister and her family ended up camping on a site nearby, while my parents and my brother stayed in the pub next door.
With our growing families, what we now really need is to upgrade to a 6-bedroom house, but as that is unlikely to happen any time soon, or ever, another option is for us to rent one.
I recently had the opportunity to stay in a large house in North Devon with a group of bloggers, courtesy of the family run lettings agency, holidaycottages.co.uk. With over 30-years experience and cottages in popular destinations across the UK, they have something to suit everyone.
We were staying at the detached Lympscott Barn, which is set in a rural position offering stunning countryside and open farmland to explore. The property was just a few miles from the charming villages of Bradworthy and Kilkhampton, both perfectly positioned to enjoy the North Devon and Cornwall coast. There are many sheltered coves and fishing villages to explore, as well as sandy surfing beaches. Quite simply, just the kind of place my family love to spend time.
In the main house, there are a 6-bedrooms in total: 2 double rooms with en-suite shower room with WC on the first floor and 1 further double, 1 twin and 1 family room with 4 single beds and en-suite shower room with WC. On the ground floor there is a twin room with patio doors opening out onto a private courtyard area and en-suite bathroom with bath, shower, WC and under floor heating.
Other facilities include a large kitchen/diner and open plan lounge with wooden and slate flooring. There’s a wall mounted TV, and a well-equipped kitchen.
What I loved most about the layout was how sociable it felt, which is perfect for big families like mine. It means that the person preparing dinner in the kitchen can still join in the conversations around the table, or woodburner.
Just off the lounge, is a utility room with washing machine and tumble dryer. Outside, there is a BBQ for those warm summer evenings. Or, if you are married to the Greek God(zilla), the cold ones too.
A games room complete with pool table and table tennis is also available exclusively to the property.
Adjacent to Lympscott Barn is a renovated former farmhand’s cottage with a further 3-bedrooms. I didn’t find time to personally view this property, but it would be fab for guests who enjoy having a space of their own to escape to, away from the hustle and bustle of the main group.
I arrived at Lympscott Barn a day later than the others, so sadly missed out on the first-night hot tub action, but this was probably a good thing for all concerned.
In past experience, wine and swimwear has never been a very good mix for me.
Look, you can fit 11 people in there!
When I finally arrived the following morning, my blogging wife, HPMcQ, showed me to our room. We were staying on the first floor of the property, which was accessed by a grand staircase.
Our room came with a stylish en suite shower room and loads of closet space to hang the 3 outfit changes I had packed for my 24-hour stay.
After settling in, it was time for a scavenger hunt around Tamar Lakes that the lovely people at holidaycottages.co.uk had organised for us all. Near Bude on the North Cornwall coast, the lakes offer a variety of activities including watersports, angling, walking and relaxing. The popular round lake walk took about an hour to complete and was great fun.
When we returned back to the house, there was time for a quick shower and change before heading out for dinner to the nearby Bradworthy Inn. The restaurant staff were very accommodating with gluten-free requests and the team at holidaycottages.co.uk had kindly called ahead to let them know about my dietary requirements in advance, so there wasn’t a big fuss made at the table. The Rioja was also deliciously gluten-free…
I really did have a wonderful time at Lympscott Barn and have already been looking into dates to go back with my family in the new year. I’m even setting aside a room for the lovely Emma and Katy from holidaycottages.co.uk, who made us feel so welcome and looked after us so well during our stay.