Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Planning a big event?

The Royals can't be the only ones with a big event on their hands this year but we don't all have a palace to fall back on for the venue.

If you’ve been tasked with planning a ‘do’, fear not! Helpful Holidays can come to your rescue with huge holiday homes and grand houses suitable for large gatherings, both formal and informal. True to our name, we can answer any questions you have about the suitability of our big houses to help you find the best match to your needs.

Here are two suggestions that would be perfect for a once-in-a-blue-moon get together over the summer or Christmas holidays or for a special celebration or small conference at any time of year.

Outstanding Brimpts Barn is right in the heart of Dartmoor National Park, where the East and West Dart Rivers meet in a beautiful wooded valley. It sleeps 32 people if you are prepared to bunk up, otherwise 20 very comfortably in ten double or twin bedrooms, all en-suite.

Spectacularly positioned amid trees looking across the deep valley to open moorland and tors, it is one of five ancient tenements of the moor and has been farmed by the same Dartmoor family for more than 30 years. The owners have received a wildlife habitat award from Prince Charles, as well as farm diversification and food producer awards. Cream teas have been available in the farmhouse since 1914 and as the Visitors’ Book of 1933-1947 catalogues, even during the war people found holiday refuge at Brimpts.

Part of the joy of staying here is the range of both energetic and gentle activities available. Most popular are the farm tours by Landrover, but there is also climbing and abseiling instruction on the 30’ high climbing tower, mountain biking tours, orienteering, pony riding – or simply enjoy a scenic walk or a soak in the hot tub.  

Stunning Rashleighayes Farm, sleeping 16 and set on a working farm with its own outdoor pool, is the ultimate fusion of work and play. Just 1½ miles from Bickleigh Bridge and 3 miles south of Tiverton, this is a house of tremendous charm, a special place of ‘treasured isolation’ in its own deep, hidden, beautiful and unspoilt valley.

The original 17th century house has been sympathetically extended. Its south-facing patio and enclosed lawn garden complete with barbecue are great for lazy summer days. The owner is a farmer and environmentalist who will be delighted to show you round the 150 acre working farm, winner of a Devon Wildlife Trust Silver Award and Highly Commended in the 2008 'Britain's Most Beautiful Farm' awards.

The big comfortable living room and enormous kitchen/dining room are ideal for relaxing and socialising and there’s plenty to keep you entertained in the games room with 10’ home-cinema/TV screen, baby grand piano and half-sized snooker table.

We’ve hand-picked around 600 of the finest self-catering holiday cottages in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset. Take a look at the rest of our Big Houses to find a special place for your event.