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English Farmhouses:  places we've stayed

On our last three trips to England we have rented large farmhouses to have our family and friends come and stay with us. So far these have been in Dorset and Devon in the west-country of England. Usually reliably the best summer weather in England.

For those of you interested or even who stayed with us on those trips - here are those farmhouses:

Moorbath Farmhouse,  Symondsbury, near Bridport (~4 miles) South Dorset

Moorbath is our favorite farmhouse - we went back there which we almost never do anywhere! It has lots of space inside & out and is quite well equipped. Its conveniently located yet seems miles away from anywhere. It also has unique features of a swimming pool inside an old barn along with a skittle alley in another barn and table tennis & kids pool table in another barn. It  also sleeps 13. The Illchester arms in Symondsbury has good local Palmers beer and serves good food too. We shopped in Bridport - a nice little town with good Indian restaurants and fish & chips!

While we were there we saw horses in the field up the lane, sheep being moved down the lanes, cows in the fields behind us and a pair of barn owls in the barn gables and a tawny owl in the tree opposite. There were some good walks behind the farm and up the hill. I also tried to climb Colmers Hill - the imposing one above the village - but difficult due to masses of high ferns on most approaches...

The last time we were there a small business was operating in one of the far barns smoking meat and fish. We went over and they showed us their operation and we bought freshly smoked chicken, duck, salmon & trout - all excellent.

We even thought about going back a third time but we have seen so much of the whole area now it wouldn't be the same experience again.  All in all though a really great place!

Ashwell Court,  Harburtonford, near Totnes (~8 miles) South Devon

Ashwell Court is the main farmhouse building while there are other parts of the original buildings that have been sold off. The threshing barn opposite looks well developed while the small barn has been converted for accommodation in an modern very open plan manner. The owners have a small weekend cottage in an old outbuilding too .

The main house is quite large - but spread out in that 'added to over the years' way.

The setting appears remote (like with Moorbath) yet is not inconvenient and Totnes is a nice little town just 8 miles away. The small store in Harbertonford just about 3 miles away is actually excellent too. It is well located for South Devon beaches.

The setting is very nice - a wooded approach yet some nice open grassy areas around the farm too. The lanes to the property are very narrow - our small minivan was hitting the hedgerows on both sides for the last mile of driving - a little unnerving at first!

There is a spring on the property feeding 3 small ponds and one larger pond. The small ponds are in fact right behind the house. There's a hard surface tennis court and the larger trout pond has a small rowboat. The old trees also have several rope swings attached for the kids and a pool table inside.

There were two white geese roaming the property when we arrived - they were not at all  aggressive and looked cute - but they sure do leave a lot of droppings everywhere! There was also a mother goose and 5 goslings holed up in one of the barns, the goslings were almost as large as the mother - so they would be let out loose soon (more droppings still).

We liked the setting - but the ponds encourage flies (so do the droppings), the house was not in as good repair as Moorbath so though we'd still recommend it - we'd have some reservations.  

Higher Westcot Farmhouse,  Talaton, near Honiton (~10miles) Devon 

Higher Westcott is a traditional large thatched roofed building. Outside it looks huge - inside - much smaller... the up to 2 foot thick walls and thick thatch sure do steal space!

It was not as comfortably furnished as it could have been and was not as well equipped as we expected. We did have some fun games for the garden, clock golf and putting, cricket etc

There were some very nice walks in the area including through a farm stradled by the footpath opposite the farm.

Talaton has a pub & small  store but its too small to be practical to seriously shop in - so we'd go to Honiton or Exeter. Honiton did have a very good Indian restaurant.

Based on size we would only recommend this for less people - maybe 8 maximum, even though it claims to sleep more - there just isn't really room in the public areas for more.

Copyright (c): Alan Moore 2006 - 2014       Page Updated: 12/16/2014     Page Views: Hit Counter