Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Go large in 2011 with one of our big houses…

For those with bigger broods or grand ambitions, a big house can provide enough space for a special family reunion, a weekend with friends, or even a wedding. The West Country has a fantastic array of huge houses in beautiful locations, and we're lucky enough to have a wide variety of them on our books.

Secluded farmhouses, historic manor houses, vast converted barns, seaside houses overlooking delightful beaches - all are available to rent through Helpful Holidays for your exclusive use.

Don't be fooled by the name, because Little Bocombe in north Devon sleeps 14 in a big detached house and separate cottage chalet. This Arts and Crafts style Grade II listed house is comfortable and very welcoming. It has a proper big house feel, with a big hall-cum-dining room with original floorboards, and an equally big fitted kitchen with an oil-fired Aga. Two sitting rooms, both with open fires, have lovely garden views. Upstairs there's four bedrooms, with another two in the cottage chalet. There's a spacious feel outside too, with the property surrounded by 9 acres of mature gardens, daffodil woods and pasture.

Sheafhayne, in east Devon, is a superbly positioned, Grade II listed, Elizabethan manor house, formerly Sir Francis Drake’s shooting lodge. This is an incredibly grand place. As soon as you enter through the big stone entrance porch and heavy ribbed oak door, you'll see why it was likened by the Sunday Times to ‘a full-sized game of Cluedo’. 24 people can be easily housed amongst these regal surroundings, which include a huge, medieval, walk-in ornamental fireplace, a billiard room, William Morris-designed wallpaper, a piano, a four door Aga, a proper old-fashioned larder/wine store and former butler’s pantry, four staircases, eleven bedrooms, five bathrooms and four shower-rooms. You could easily get lost in here!

Brimpts Farm is set on the hillside above Dartmeet, Dartmoor, and is one of five ancient tenements of the moor, passing to the Duchy of Cornwall in 1307. 700 acres of forests, tors, stone circles, East Dart river and open moor encircle a farmhouse and a huge, L-shaped, detached barn which has been converted into accommodation for as many as 32 people if you are prepared to bunk up, otherwise for 20 very comfortably. Part of the joy of staying here is the range of activities available, including farm tours by Landrover, climbing and abseiling instruction, guided walks, mountain biking tours, pony riding and orienteering, all set in the most beautiful countryside. If you prefer more gentle recreation, the farm has a number of scenic walks and a large hot tub and sauna to relax in.

Read more about our big houses and find one that's just right for your special occasion. They are very popular throughout the year, so be sure to book well in advance.