Thursday, 20 January 2011

From castles to cosy cottages…

Magnificent architecture, stunning rooms and oodles of history. These grand country houses, castles and estates are a stones' throw from our holiday cottages and a perfect day out.

Caerhays Castle and Gardens (pictured) in Cornwall is an entire estate worth perusing. Owned by the Williams family, it is located in a sheltered valley overlooking Porthluney Cove on the south Cornish coast equidistant from Truro and St Austell. The fascinating garden, open from mid February to early June, benefited from the finds of plant hunters in China around the turn of the 20th century. Stay at this elegant early Victorian house in Fowey and enjoy your very own lovely, long estuary views.

Forde Abbey and Gardens (pictured) in Chard, Somerset is another family home and county jewel. Once a Cistercian monastery, it has more than 900 years of history and 30 acres of award-winning gardens. Stay close by at the fairytale-looking thatched and aptly named Gingerbread House. The hexagonal Grade II listed home on the edge of woods can't help but boost the holiday magic.

Sherbourne Castle in Dorset was built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 and was the stately home of the Digby family since 1617. Visitors will see a variety of decorative styles from over 400 years of English history. Pack even more variety into your visit by staying out on the coast, at the Grade II listed thatched Dormouse Cottage in Burton Bradstock.

The National Trust looks after Arlington Court (pictured), near Barnstaple in north Devon. Another prime example of an English family estate, it houses much loved collections of everything from model ships to shells. The tea room makes good use of the produce from the thriving walled kitchen garden and the grounds even include an ancient heronry and a Carriage Museum, complete with working horses and stables. A short trot along the coast is the hamlet of Higher Clovelly and this Grade II listed cottage, converted along with the neighbouring buildings that once made up a Victorian ‘Model Farm’. Beautiful panoramic views over countryside to Bideford Bay beyond.

If you fancy visiting a grand house in the West Country it’s easy to find which of our properties are nearby – just head to our Advanced Search page or call us on 01647 433593.