Cottage | 8 bedrooms | sleeps 15
the road from Porlock (large village at the seaward end of the marvellous Vale of Porlock) to Lynmouth has perhaps the most spectacular views of any road in the South West - of the sea to Wales on one side, heather hills and deep valleys on the other. About 5 miles from Porlock, 7 from Lynmouth, a private lane takes you, avoiding meandering pheasants, to the fine house of a family-owned 850 acre estate. You are welcome to walk the estate (adhering to the normal country code). Paths lead into the Oare valley of Lorna Doone legend, and to Culbone Church, the smallest in England. Pub/restaurant/cookery school, 1 mile. This is one of the most beautiful and romantic parts of Exmoor.
Lillycombe, built in 1914 by the architect Voysey for the Countess of Lovelace who was widow of Lord Byron's grandson, is splendidly set looking down a deep combe and over the Oare valley and Weir Water to open moorland and Larkbarrow. The terraced garden is mainly of lawns (clock golf, basketball and badminton nets) with some flowers. Less formal garden areas with trees and shrubs slope below the terraces. To the side are the former stables/garages and the farm manager's house.
The house is family enjoyed: some parts splendid with fascinating portraits and antiques. Overall it is a 'home', delightful and special, many typical Voysey touches, solidly built, Grade II listed. Oak front door to slate-floored hall with cloakroom (loo/washbasin). Short flight of stairs down to the wood-panelled former study and very large and lovely drawing room (splendid views over the gardens) with polished floors (rugs), and recessed alcoves either end - one with TV/DVD/video, one for peace and quiet with open fireplace - and French windows leading to a beautiful parquet-floored 'loggia' (sunroom) with windows on three sides (tremendous views), doubling as a playroom (table football), and with doors to terraces/garden. Next door, formal dining room with table seating 15 easily, two antique corner cupboards and dresser. Easy-to-work-in fitted kitchen with stainless steel worktops (dishwasher, microwave, two electric range-style cookers); walk-in slate-shelved larder; boiler room/back hall with plenty of space for boots, walking gear, etc; cloakroom (loo/washbasin). Utility/flower room with double oven; 6 steps down to good drying room (Sheila Maid, washing machine, tumble drier, freezer).
From hall, stairs up to eight bedrooms – the master double (6' sleigh bed) plus large ante-room/dressing room with old altar table; dormitory with four single beds; two twin rooms. All these have fine valley/moorland views. Also a double and a single room; and, up a short flight of stairs, two single rooms. All these overlook the front driveway/entrance. There are two bathrooms (suites plus hand-showers), two shower-rooms (suites).Spring water. Professional catering (dinners, lunches), by arrangement. Sleeps maximum of 15 plus 2 babies. Family parties only. Damages Deposit £400.
|Size||Sleeps up to 15, 8 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, Yes, smoking allowed|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, Video player, Telephone|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||8 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms of which 4 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (7), Double beds (2)|
|Other||Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Shared garden, Private fishing lake or river|
|Further details indoors|
Please bring your own beach towels.
The agent has its own star rating system to quantify interior quality, comfort and ambience. This property has been rated 4 star.
The West Country region
Exmoor: exquisite National Park beside the sea: beech trees, sheep, wheeling buzzards and heather hills, from many of which you look over the sea to Wales and its mountains. Below are the most gracefully carved of steep oak-filled valleys where rushing, bouldered little rivers are paddleable and the red deer spend the winters, and perhaps the most dream-like rose-covered cottage villages of them all, where the pace of life is leisurely. At night, marvellously unpolluted skies for stargazing (recently designated an International Dark Sky Reserve).
Porlock Vale is one of the most beautiful farmed bits of England, Dunkery must be ascended, the area of The Chains is wild and wonderful for walking or riding; the Oare valley (Lorna Doone country) is an excellent place to take Granny for a visit to tiny, fascinating Oare church, a cream tea in Malmsmead and a sunset drive afterwards through the Valley of the Rocks to Woody Bay (if you drive well). Minehead, the main town, is good for sandcastles, has a Butlins (and a good golf course and a harbour) and isn't too big. Medieval Dunster is very pretty and has a fine castle (inhabited, National Trust); Dulverton, on the southern edge of the moor and popular with artists, has interesting shops and galleries; Culbone church, one of England's smallest, is worth walking to. Lots of good food pubs in 'hidden' villages, like Luxborough, where the welcome is warm and the atmosphere relaxed.
Porlock: large village (shops, restaurants, pubs) between Exmoor and the sea, at the foot of the marvellous Vale of Porlock. The sea (pebble beach) is a mile away across fields or, by car, 2 at Porlock Weir (harbour, pub, pebble beach); sand at Minehead (small resort, good golf, Butlins), 6 miles. Cookery school/restaurant, 4½ miles. Excellent base for Exmoor, popular with riders (stables).