Friday, 1 June 2012

Dig deep into the West Country for hidden holiday gems – directions included!

Great local knowledge is the key ingredient when hunting down a secluded West Country cottage or holiday home with just the right amount of peace and tranquillity, balanced with nearby attractions.

Driving through the winding West Country lanes as they open out onto views across beautiful countryside and seascapes, it should feel like you’re about to make an important discovery – so take a look at some of our holiday cottages that have hidden gem appeal in abundance. Each one comes with directions carefully written by our team, who have been to visit each one personally.

Acorn Cottage, close to the top end of Roadford Lake country park in Devon, is tucked away off a no-through farm lane (with one farm beyond). The cleverly converted carthorse stable hides a suntrap patio and lawned garden surrounded by big oak trees and 12 acres of the owners’ adjoining woodlands where owls, buzzards and deer are often spotted.  The spectacular 730-acre reservoir and country park in beautiful, sparsely populated farmland is a popular place for watersports, fishing, birdwatching and walking.

Hill House Farm Cottage, in the pretty village of Upper Weare, Somerset, sits high on a quiet lane, giving superb panoramic views from all rooms. Look across expansive green fields towards Cheddar Gorge in one direction and the Mendip hills and Crook Peak in the other. The Gorge’s natural beauty or the nearby golf course might just be able to tempt you away from the cottage itself.

Stonehaven Cottage is nestled in a hamlet between Bideford and Barnstaple in north Devon. The journey through deep winding lanes reveals a wing of a handsome detached house converted from 16th century barns. The Tarka Trail cycleway and lovely Tapeley Park Gardens, plus the sandy beach at Instow, are all nearby.

Sheltered by mature trees and an ancient hedgerow, Briar Cottage, in Tregadillett, north Cornwall, has all the character you’d expect from a former gamekeeper’s cottage. It stands on a little-used lane and has a garden full of shrubs with long tranquil views and great proximity to stunning nature walks, fishing, boating and a steam railway stop.

For more ideas, take a look at our hand-picked holiday homes in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset