Hear birdsong, the bleat of sheep, the odd tractor, a whisper of breeze,
Silence.... with no background hum of traffic.
Marvel at the brilliance of stars in a truly Dark Sky......with no city glow to dim them
Tucked away down a private lane - in sight of Exmoor & 5 miles from the sea.
Our 5 acres of garden, woodlands & meadow offer a central base close to Arlington Court (N.T.), Wistlandpound Reservoir and Blackmoor Gate - the western gateway to Exmoor National Park.
A peaceful Holiday Cottage, away from holiday crowds, yet within easy reach of North Devon's famous surfing beaches, sandy coves, dramatic cliffs, glorious moorland and numerous visitor attractions.
The Old Farmhouse has been our well-loved family home for 25 years.
We hope it will feel like your home, during your stay.
Guests call it 'a real home-from-home' or 'a Happy House'.
Children say it's 'magical'.
Well, it may not be Hogwarts, but it does have lots of character & places to explore!
'City kids', especially, relish the space and freedom - with no traffic or neighbours to worry about!
Our traditional Devon Farmhouse provides spacious accommodation for parties of 4 - 12 (+ 2 Cots).
Farmhouse, Cottage & Barns date from the 18th c, maybe earlier.
A real character property full of beams and Country Cottage charm.
There are even roses and honeysuckle round the porch!
The Main windows face south - making it light & sunny - with beautiful views across the wooded Valley.
Thick stone walls keep it cool in hot weather and with full central heating & most windows double glazed, it is always warm and cosy -even in the depths of winter.
So - If the weather turns grey - you can toast your toes in front of a cheery log fire, curl up in an armchair with a book, play games or watch an old movie.
At Christmas and New Year we decorate the house with boughs of greenery, twinkly lights and traditional decorations, plus, of course, a real Christmas Tree.
With logs crackling in the Inglenook fireplace, our guests often comment: the old Farmhouse looks just like a Christmas Card!
Downstairs 2 large oak-beamed rooms with large windows looking onto the front garden, open off the Entrance Hall, which displays masses of local information.
The spacious 'Old Kitchen' is well-equipped and offers a round (extending) dining table plus comfy sofas round the log burner + small TV/DVD & Radio/CD.
Well-stocked book shelves and a dresser cupboard choc-full of games, jigsaws, puzzles etc. - for children and adults.
The Big Sitting Room has an Ingle Nook with log burner, lots of comfy chairs (incl sofa bed) and a traditional flagstone floor with rugs & a huge antique table which comfortably seats 12++.(see photo)
Our Home Cinema System has 42” TV, BluRay DVD with optional 3D (plus adult and child sized specs)
Wii with games. CD/DAB radio/iPod dock.
This cosy room easily accommodates12, but having separate rooms for different choices of music/TV can sometimes be useful!!
2 bathrooms: one at each end of the house, at the foot of (2) small carpeted flights of stairs leading to the bedrooms.
One has shower + standard bath, the other has a lovely old bath which is long and deep enough to lie down in.
Bring bubbles for a relaxing holiday soak!!
Bedroom A (large room): 1 pine double + single divan.
Bedroom B (medium room): 1 pine double (photo)
Bedroom C (smaller room): 2 pine singles
Bedroom D (very large room): 1 pine double, 1 pine single, pine bunkbeds, pine Cotbed.
All beds are adult size. Our 2nd cot (standard-size) will fit in Room A or we have a travel cot which will also (just) fit in Bedroom B.
When we have visitors, the two of us live in the lower end of the white Cottage (see last photo), a traditional 'Devon Longhouse'. The two buildings do not overlook each other - thus giving us (both!) privacy.
However, we are on hand if you need assistance, require local information or just feel like a chat!
We are always happy to put on the kettle, spread out the map and point out our own favourite paces in this beautiful area.
We prefer the personal contact of making bookings with our visitors directly.
It is quick and simple!
Tell us you would like to book.
We email you booking form and bank details - or you can pay by cheque.
You return completed booking form & make online transfer of one third deposit (or full payment if booking less than 2 months ahead)
We email our receipt and date for balance payment.
6 weeks before arrival you transfer remaining two-thirds balance, & we email our receipt for full payment and directions on how to find us!
We hope you will decide to come and stay in the Old Farmhouse.
- we assure you of a warm Devon welcome!
Cheryl and Edward Thornburgh
|Size||Sleeps up to 12, 4 bedrooms|
|Rooms||4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 family bathrooms|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Fireplace, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, Video player, CD player, Safe, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Furniture||Double Beds (3), Sofa Beds (1), Bunk Beds (1), Single Beds (4), Cots available (2), Dining seats for 14, Lounge seats for 14|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair available|
|Outdoors||Private garden, BBQ|
|Access||Parking, Not suitable for wheelchair users|
The Grounds and Surrounding Area:
The Farmhouse has a pretty south-facing private walled garden at the front, which is a real sun-trap.
The garden path leads from the front porch out into the main (paved) farmyard - with plenty of parking.
At the rear, the back door leads from beside the kitchen into a paved area with terraced flower beds and built-in brick BBQ.
Three steps lead up into the pretty rear garden, which has picnic tables, lawns, mature trees and lots of flowers.
Behind this, is a large wildflower meadow, an informal Volleyball/Badminton Pitch, Football Goal, a Willow Dome and a rather splendid lime tree which makes a great kids' den.
Half an acre in all, so plenty of room for young ones to run around and let off steam - and no neighbours to complain about noise.
Subject to parents taking responsibility, we have tried to make the guest gardens child-friendly and we treat them as your own private space during your stay
Beyond these, we invite you to explore the winding trails through the rest of our 5 acres of gardens, woodland and meadow (asking that an adult always accompany little ones as there are also ponds and some fragile structures). We even provide you with an illustrated map - which has been used for several treasure hunts!
Our land and original farm buildings form an 'island' surrounded by the grazing pastures of Tidicombe Farm, a working hill farm with sheep and cattle. With lots of wildlife, plenty to please young animal lovers - especially the baby lambs of Spring/Easter !
There are many delightful public footpaths in our immediate area (we provide maps/guides) and one actually passes through our property. One way leads across the fields to an excellent award-winning Farmshop, selling local produce. (5 minutes by car)
The opposite direction leads down through our valley (with exquisite views), crosses the tiny River Yeo (watch for salmon) and up the other side to the village of Bratton Fleming.
Just past the farmshop, is Wistlandpound Reservoir (6 minutes drive)- now a pretty Country Park where you can fish for trout or walk the delightful perimeter track (wheelchair, push chair and kids bike friendly) - with picnic tables, bird watching hides, carved wooden puzzles for children and usually a nice lady selling coffee.
At the end of this road is The Old Sation Inn at Blackmoor Gate. A large Pub/Restaurant catering for families with kids menu, outside seating, llamas and a play area. They also do a take-away service (useful if you don’t want to cook - or just want their excellent chips. Its only 7 minutes by car) They give our visitors 10% discount and also sell a few basic food supplies.
Half a mile away is Arlington Court, the former home of the Chichesters, now run by the National Trust with an interesting house, beautiful grounds and their famous Carriage Museum.
Local towns Barnstaple, Bideford, South Molton, Lynton/Lynmouth and the Victorian sea-side resort of Ilfracombe are all within 15-30 minutes drive. Each has its own distinctive character and history (all have museums) and as well as general shopping, the first three offer regular Pannier Markets selling local produce.
Many excellent restaurants ranging from the glamorous, e.g. Damien Hurst’s Ilfracombe harbour-side eaterie and tapas bar, to cheerful family ‘chippies’ frying local fish.
Most Country Pubs, including several near us, serve good food.
Cottage Tea Gardens serve toasted teacakes and wicked but wonderful Devon Cream Teas...with scones and jam and clotted cream...yum!
The nearby Old Station Inn (7 mins) has a family restaurant serving a wide range of good value food and has a take-away service. It also sells a basic range of foodstuffs.
Even closer, is our local award-winning Farm Shop (a few minutes drive or a pretty walk across the fields by the footpath)
There are also Village Stores at Kentisbury and Bratton Fleming (10-15 mins)
There are several interesting Historic Houses and Gardens in the area.
Within a mile is Arlington Court, owned by the National Trust.
The ancestral home of the Chichesters (who once owned Tidicombe), it has lovely grounds and walks, an interesting house, walled garden and a renowned Carriage Museum. They offer Bat Watching and lots of summer activities for families.
Several excellent Open Gardens include wonderful RHS Rosemoor and Marwood Gardens.
A little further afield (but a pretty drive and great 'day out') is the dramatic Eden Project with its vast climatic ‘Biomes’ enclosing tropical rainforest and other ecosystems.
A lot of Artists and Musicians live in North Devon and we are well served with Theatres, Cinemas and numerous Art and Crafts Galleries, including the superb Broomhill International Sculpture Garden & Restaurant.
Various venues offer regular live Music and Theatre and there are various themed Music and Arts Festivals throughout the year. e.g. The Lynton Jazz Festival in June, Art Trek open studios in July and the North Devon Show in August.
Numerous public footpaths cross unspoiled countryside, moorland, and follow Coast and River Estuaries (including the Tarka Trail which can be explored on foot or by hired bicycle).
One footpath crosses our farmyard, goes down the valley, across an old stone bridge and up past the pub into the village of Bratton Fleming. In the other direction it crosses fields to arrive at the local farm shop.
There are many others close by, including one through the pretty woods of ‘Frog Street’ and a lovely scenic path round Wistlandpound Reservoir and Country Park (4 mins by car). The Reservoir also offers fly fishing (rainbow trout).
Many of our guests bring bikes. We are on a Sustrans Cycle Route which offers hills, but for those who prefer level cycling, there are pretty, traffic-free cycle routes, along the Taw and Torridge River estuaries.
Fishing trips, Coastal tours and day trips to Lundy Island.
Golf courses, Sea/Freshwater Fishing, Surfing, Windsurfing, Riding, Cycling (Tarka Trail with bike hire), Paragliding, Sailing, plus excellent indoor facilities for Swimming, Tennis, 10 pin bowling, Gym/Fitness Studios etc.
Holiday Attractions for both adults and kids (many are under cover):
Fairground Rides - Adventure Parks - Farm Parks - Falconry & Sheepdog Displays - Wildlife Parks - Animatronic Dinosaurs - Sheep Racing (yes, really!) - Glass Blowing at Dartington Crystal - Quad Biking - Train Rides and Railway centres - Tropical Adventure Pool - Brass Rubbing - Pottery throwing - Working Beehives - Cider Making - Paintball - even ‘Barometer World’ and The Gnome Reserve (visitors wear red pointy hats) - so all tastes and weather are catered for!