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Shortlist
Grade 5 Star rating
Sleeps
10
Bedrooms
5
Pets
3

Situated in rural Norfolk, ten miles from the Sandringham Estate, Ashwood Manor is set by the River Nar and offers both space and comfort, with several sporting activities on offer, and plenty of room to relax amid beautiful surroundings. Adjoining the owners’ home, both properties are located in extensive grounds with gardens, a lake, and an indoor heated swimming pool with sauna. Further facilities include an exercise room, children’s adventure playground and games room.
Ashwood Manor has been renovated and offers comfortable, well furnished rooms, ideal for large parties. There is a spacious sitting room with lovely views over the lake and countryside, separate dining room, and attractive kitchen leading to a conservatory, as well as five bedrooms, one with a king-size four-poster. Ashwood Wing offers smaller but equally comfortable holiday accommodation for a group with fewer people. Guests at both properties have their own enclosed garden and access to the owners’ 7 acres of paddocks; the lake is close to the house but is fenced for safety. Fly-fishing and coarse fishing is available all year round at Narborough trout and coarse lakes ½-mile away. Lake at house available for fun fishing.
The local area offers wonderful woodland/river walks, and the superb gardens and park at Sandringham can be visited when the Royal Family is away. Good places to visit include Castle Rising and Castle Acre. The coast is only 15 miles and is a haven for bird-watchers, with the nearest RSPB reserve at Snettisham, which also has a beautiful church and Park Farm. The long sweep of sandy beach runs from here to Hunstanton and beyond, from where the Norfolk coast path begins. Medieval Kings Lynn, with its handsome waterfront, shops, inns and restaurants is just 8 miles. Swaffham market town, 6 miles. Shop ¾ mile.

Living room with wood-burning stove. Dining room with wood-burning stove. Well-equipped farmhouse-style kitchen and doors to conservatory. Utility. Twin bedroom. Shower room with toilet. First floor: Two double bedrooms with 5ft beds each with en-suite shower room and toilet. Further double bedroom with 5ft canopied bed. Twin bedroom. Bathroom with shower attachment and toilet. Additional TV in two double bedrooms.

  • Three TVs (one digital satellite)
  • Payphone
  • Washing machine
  • Tumble dryer
  • Wi-fi

  • Wood-burning stove(s) – fuel included
  • Electricity, full oil central heating, bed linen and towels included
  • Cot
  • High chair
  • DVD
  • Stereo/CD
  • Microwave
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Garden with patio and furniture
  • Shared grounds of 7 acres with fenced lake
  • Barbecue
  • Shared children’s adventure playground
  • Shared indoor heated swimming pool with coin-operated sauna and changing facilities
  • Hot tub
  • Small exercise room
  • Games room with table tennis, pool table and darts

WAS
NOW
£973-£3098
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
6
Bedrooms
3
Pets
0

Pretty stone cottages with a shared heated indoor swimming pool
Set in a beautiful valley within the Exmoor National Park
Five acres of gardens and grounds with BBQ area and picnic area and a shared all-weather tennis court
Excellent walking, cycling and riding country
Some cottages boast four-poster beds and woodburners
Allocated parking for each cottage





In a setting of stunning natural beauty in the Exmoor National Park, with indoor heated swimming pool, Triscombe Farm Country Cottages are a combination of 19th century cottages and skilful conversions from existing farm buildings. Leisure facilities include an indoor heated swimming pool, games room and all-weather tennis court (please bring your own racquets and balls). Natural water is provided from our own spring. With unspoilt countryside all around, and reached by a long, sweeping driveway, the country cottages are nestling in a sheltered, wooded valley overlooking the River Quarme. Each of the cottages has been individually styled and equipped to offer comfortable holiday accommodation.

The cottages make the perfect base for holidays at any time of the year. There are five acres of lovely gardens for you to enjoy and explore. A stream cascades through the hillside garden, there is ample space in which to sit and relax, or enjoy a family picnic or barbecue. Spectacular views across the valley to Dunkery Beacon unfold as you wander around. Badgers, buzzards, foxes, red deer and an abundance of birdlife can often be seen, so don’t forget your binoculars. Bracken Cottage ref: B5817, Juniper ref: 28060 and Primrose Cottage ref: 30027 are ground floor cottages with valley views, Rose Cottage ref: B5810 and Whortleberry Cottage ref: 29890 are cosy family cottages, Coachman’s Cottage ref: B5813 is a spacious original cottage and Garden Cottage ref: B5812 and Orchard Cottage ref: B5811 are ‘upside down’ cottages with farmland views.


From Triscombe Farm you can explore the magic of Exmoor, an area of wild natural beauty, inhabited by native ponies and red deer. Exmoor Safaris take you right into the heart of this area of heather clad moors, sheltered wooded combes, pretty villages with thatched cottages and ancient packhorse bridges. The National Park rangers provide guided walks.


A few miles from Triscombe is Exmoor’s spectacular northern coast, the highest in Britain, where steep cliffs plunge into the sea. You can enjoy fantastic coastal walks here along the cliff top coastal path, with dramatic views of the coastline and out to sea. From Dunkery Beacon (1707ft) there are panoramic views to Wales, Dartmoor and beyond. Minehead is only 10 miles away with a beach, Butlins, harbour and fantastic steam railway. Historic Dunster (NT castle) is one of the prettiest villages on Exmoor. Porlock and Dulverton offer interesting shops and tea shops where you can enjoy a traditional Somerset cream tea. There are many places to visit locally including Knightshayes Court, a splendid Victorian house at Tiverton.


Other holiday pursuits include fishing and sailing at Wimbleball Lake, and horse riding, mountain biking and hiking across the moor. There is so much to do locally, the owners hope to welcome you back time and time again.
Triscombe Farm Country Cottages - the perfect base for all year round holidays. Shop, pub and restaurant 1 mile.
Stream Cottage ref: 27550 and Juniper ref: 28060 can be booked together to accommodate up to 6 people and Bracken Cottage ref: B5817 and Coachman’s Cottage ref: B5813 can be booked together to accommodate up to 4 people.

Ground floor: 3 steps down to living room with beams/dining room/kitchen. First floor: 3 bedrooms: 2 double, one four-poster with 2 steps up to en-suite shower room with toilet, 1 twin. Bathroom with shower over bath and toilet.

Electric coal-effect fire in living room by meter reading. Economy 7 NSH by meter reading. Cot and high chair on request. Freeview TV. Ceramic hob. Electric oven. Microwave. Dishwasher. Fridge/freezer. Enclosed, small lawned garden with sitting-out area and furniture. Parking (1 car).

All properties: Electricity by meter reading. Bed linen included. Towel hire £5per person per booking. DVD. Microwave. Shared laundry room with washing machine and tumble dryer (small charge). Wi-fi. Shared payphone. Extensive shared gardens with sitting-out area and furniture. Shared barbecue area. Cycle store. Shared games room with table tennis and snooker/pool table. All-weather tennis court. Heated indoor swimming pool (9.7m x 4.2m, depth 0.8m to 1.9m), closed November-Easter. No smoking. Friday to Friday. NB: Stream in grounds (young children must be supervised).

WAS
NOW
£237-£1100
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
18
Bedrooms
6
Pets
2
The Manor House Ref: ROO3

Nestled in the Peak District National Park, this 16th-century manor house shares 14 acres of grounds with the owners’ other holiday homes and is furnished in a shabby chic style with antiques, wood panelling, beams, stained glass and mullion windows (low ceilings, low doors and uneven floors in some rooms). There is use of a range of facilities (1 hour per day private use), including a shared indoor pool, sauna, solarium and treatment room. Bakewell, 3½ miles, offers shops, bars, a bistro, restaurants, twice weekly market, antique country fairs and music festivals. Stroll alongside the River Wye or a circular 3½-mile walk on part of the Monsal Trail. Chatsworth House, 5 miles, is set in 1000 acres and visitors have the opportunity to see the wild deer grazing. Other places to visit include Carsington Water and Buxton Opera House, both a short drive. Golf and horse riding are within 5 miles. Shops 3½ miles, pub 1 mile.

Early beamed entrance/sitting room with open fire. Beamed living room with sofa bed (alternative sleeping for two adults) and open fire. Large beamed kitchen/dining room with dual fuel Range (for cooking), open fire and flagstone floor. Four steps to small beamed double bedroom with stained glass window and low ceiling. Steam shower room with toilet. First floor: Henry’s room: Double bedroom with four-poster bed, wood panelling, double mullion window and step up to en-suite shower room with toilet. Jemima’s room: Double bedroom with 6ft (zip & link) bed, two additional chair beds (for +2 children under 8 years) and en-suite bathroom with over-bath shower and toilet. Chelsie’s room: Double bedroom with four-poster bed, wooden floor and step up to en-suite shower room with toilet. Sam’s room: Split-level double bedroom with two day beds (each for +1 children under 8 years) and en-suite shower room with toilet, low headroom on one level and steep, narrow tread stairs to glazed sitting area with double bed. Mum and Dad’s pad: Beamed double bedroom with exposed trusses, 6ft four-poster bed, child bed (for +1 child under 5 years), Calvari rain bath, double basin and toilet. All bedrooms with LCD TV.

  • Three open fires - fuel available locally
  • electricity, full gas central heating included, bed linen and towels (included pool towels and bathrobes) included
  • Cot and high chair on request
  • 6-ring dual fuel Italian range (halogen griddle) included
  • Eight TVs
  • DVD
  • CD
  • iPod dock
  • microwave
  • 24-hour laundry service available at cost
  • Two dishwashers
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Wi-fi
  • Walled inner courtyard with furniture
  • Enclosed garden
  • Barbecue
  • Ample parking
  • Games room in Victorian summerhouse with Wii games console, small billiards table, table tennis, flatscreen TV
  • Shared indoor heated swimming pool (1 hr per day private use) with shower, changing facilities (23ft 6in x 11ft 6in, depth 4ft 6in)
  • 4-person Jacuzzi
  • No smoking
  • Friday to Friday

WAS
NOW
£1999-£3588
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
8
Bedrooms
3
Pets
0

"An ancient landscape of rolling downs, sheltered valleys
and Iron Age forts, immortalised in Hardy’s writings ..."

Enjoying a truly tranquil position in the village of Harcombe Bottom, close to the popular resort of Lyme Regis, Harcombe House offers a variety of accommodation to suit all tastes and requirements. The house started life as a Victorian gentleman’s residence, and was later used as a boarding house for the local public school. Surrounded by 9-acre grounds, comprising gardens brimming with rhododendrons, well-tended lawns and shady woodland, each property is furnished to a good standard and enjoys shared use of an indoor swimming pool, hard tennis court and games room and well-equipped children’s playroom – making this an attractive choice for families. With sandy beaches, a host of seaside attractions, and beautiful countryside peppered with picture-postcard villages, all on the doorstep, Harcombe House truly is an ideal holiday location for exploring the delights of Dorset.
Just 2 miles distant lies Lyme Regis, setting for the TV adaptation of John Fowles’ novel A French Lieutenant’s Woman. Here colourful fishing vessels and pleasure craft line the pretty harbour, and a host of outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, sailing and windsurfing tuition, and golf can be enjoyed. Superb coastal walks can be taken along the World Heritage Coast, with its stretches of fossil beaches to explore, and magnificent views to admire from Golden Cap – the highest point on England’s south coast at 626-ft high.
Nearby, Hardy Country beckons visitors to discover the rolling green pastures and pretty thatched villages made famous in his novels, while for a great family day out, the Georgian seaside town of Weymouth is within easy reach, offering in addition to its harbour and sandy beaches, a host of all-weather attractions, as well as several RSPB sanctuaries. Also well worth a day trip is the county town of Dorchester (20 miles), alias Hardy’s Casterbridge; offering a bustling market square, and some excellent shops and restaurants, Dorchester is also a great base from which to explore the impressive Maiden Castle rising up from the plains. Exeter is within easy driving distance, its skyline dominated by the distinctive monument of St Peter’s Cathedral. Other important historical buildings in the city include the 14th-century Guildhall, several ancient churches and the restored Quayside with its Custom House dating back to 1681. Another town well worth a visit is Weymouth, with many attractions for all the family. The Sea Life Park gives the opportunity to get close to sharks and rays, the Deep Sea Adventure tells the sobering story of the Titanic disaster and The Timewalk contains an entertaining and educational walk-through exhibition of Weymouth’s maritime and brewing past.
Nearby Sidmouth boasts nearly 500 buildings listed as having special historic or architectural interest, and in August the town hosts what many consider to be the country’s best folk festival at the beginning of August. Folk and roots artists from around the world as well as dance and theatre companies take over various venues in the eight-day event. The fishing village of Beer lies huddled within a small sheltered cove between gleaming white headlands. Much of the village remains unchanged since the time when it was a smugglers’ eyrie. With numerous stately homes and gardens to visit locally, including Abbotsbury Swannery and Tropical Gardens, ancient forts perched upon hilltops affording far-reaching views and a host of seaside towns, including Seaton (with its tramway) stretching along the coastline, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this part of the country. Shops ¾ mile.

Six steps to entrance. Living room with sofa-bed (for +2), rugs on wooden floor and French door to garden. Dining room. Modern fitted kitchen area with tiled floor. First floor: Two double bedrooms, one with en-suite shower room and toilet. Bunk bedroom. Bathroom with shower attachment and toilet.

  • Video
  • Microwave
  • Washer/dryer by meter reading
  • Dishwasher
  • Parking

  • Electricity, full oil central heating and bed linen included
  • Towel hire
  • Cot (except DQP)
  • TV
  • Shared laundry room with coin-operated washing machine and tumble dryer (except DCCQ)
  • Fridge/freezer (except DQM & DQL)
  • Wi-fi
  • Shared payphone (games room)
  • Gardens of 9 acres with woodland and furniture
  • No smoking
  • NB: Shallow fenced pond in woodland

SUPERB INDOOR AND OUTDOOR FACILITIES (AVAILABLE ALL YEAR ROUND)
* Indoor heated swimming pool (10m x 4.5m, max depth 1.35m) with shower and changing facilities (open everyday 10am–10pm)
* Sauna
* Hard tennis court
* Indoor games room with TV, video, table tennis, coin-operated pool table and seating area with wood-burning stove
* Children’s room with table football, small pool table, toys, books, games and videos

WAS
NOW
£402-£1409
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
8
Bedrooms
4
Pets
0

"An ancient landscape of rolling downs, sheltered valleys
and Iron Age forts, immortalised in Hardy’s writings ..."

Enjoying a truly tranquil position in the village of Harcombe Bottom, close to the popular resort of Lyme Regis, Harcombe House offers a variety of accommodation to suit all tastes and requirements. The house started life as a Victorian gentleman’s residence, and was later used as a boarding house for the local public school. Surrounded by 9-acre grounds, comprising gardens brimming with rhododendrons, well-tended lawns and shady woodland, each property is furnished to a good standard and enjoys shared use of an indoor swimming pool, hard tennis court and games room and well-equipped children’s playroom – making this an attractive choice for families. With sandy beaches, a host of seaside attractions, and beautiful countryside peppered with picture-postcard villages, all on the doorstep, Harcombe House truly is an ideal holiday location for exploring the delights of Dorset.
Just 2 miles distant lies Lyme Regis, setting for the TV adaptation of John Fowles’ novel A French Lieutenant’s Woman. Here colourful fishing vessels and pleasure craft line the pretty harbour, and a host of outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, sailing and windsurfing tuition, and golf can be enjoyed. Superb coastal walks can be taken along the World Heritage Coast, with its stretches of fossil beaches to explore, and magnificent views to admire from Golden Cap – the highest point on England’s south coast at 626-ft high.
Nearby, Hardy Country beckons visitors to discover the rolling green pastures and pretty thatched villages made famous in his novels, while for a great family day out, the Georgian seaside town of Weymouth is within easy reach, offering in addition to its harbour and sandy beaches, a host of all-weather attractions, as well as several RSPB sanctuaries. Also well worth a day trip is the county town of Dorchester (20 miles), alias Hardy’s Casterbridge; offering a bustling market square, and some excellent shops and restaurants, Dorchester is also a great base from which to explore the impressive Maiden Castle rising up from the plains. Exeter is within easy driving distance, its skyline dominated by the distinctive monument of St Peter’s Cathedral. Other important historical buildings in the city include the 14th-century Guildhall, several ancient churches and the restored Quayside with its Custom House dating back to 1681. Another town well worth a visit is Weymouth, with many attractions for all the family. The Sea Life Park gives the opportunity to get close to sharks and rays, the Deep Sea Adventure tells the sobering story of the Titanic disaster and The Timewalk contains an entertaining and educational walk-through exhibition of Weymouth’s maritime and brewing past.
Nearby Sidmouth boasts nearly 500 buildings listed as having special historic or architectural interest, and in August the town hosts what many consider to be the country’s best folk festival at the beginning of August. Folk and roots artists from around the world as well as dance and theatre companies take over various venues in the eight-day event. The fishing village of Beer lies huddled within a small sheltered cove between gleaming white headlands. Much of the village remains unchanged since the time when it was a smugglers’ eyrie. With numerous stately homes and gardens to visit locally, including Abbotsbury Swannery and Tropical Gardens, ancient forts perched upon hilltops affording far-reaching views and a host of seaside towns, including Seaton (with its tramway) stretching along the coastline, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this part of the country. Shops ¾ mile.

Fourteen steps to entrance: ‘Upside-down’ style accommodation. Ground floor: Two double bedrooms, one with en-suite shower room and toilet. Twin bedroom. Bathroom with shower attachment and toilet. First floor: Spacious living/dining room with rugs on wooden floor, door to garden and modern fitted kitchen area with tiled floor. Twin bedroom.

  • Video
  • Microwave
  • Washer/dryer by meter reading
  • Dishwasher
  • Grassed area with garden furniture
  • Parking

  • Electricity, full oil central heating and bed linen included
  • Towel hire
  • Cot (except DQP)
  • TV
  • Shared laundry room with coin-operated washing machine and tumble dryer (except DCCQ)
  • Fridge/freezer (except DQM & DQL)
  • Wi-fi
  • Shared payphone (games room)
  • Gardens of 9 acres with woodland and furniture
  • No smoking
  • NB: Shallow fenced pond in woodland

SUPERB INDOOR AND OUTDOOR FACILITIES (AVAILABLE ALL YEAR ROUND)
* Indoor heated swimming pool (10m x 4.5m, max depth 1.35m) with shower and changing facilities (open everyday 10am–10pm)
* Sauna
* Hard tennis court
* Indoor games room with TV, video, table tennis, coin-operated pool table and seating area with wood-burning stove
* Children’s room with table football, small pool table, toys, books, games and videos

WAS
NOW
£447-£1563
Shortlist
Grade 5 Star rating
Sleeps
6
Bedrooms
3
Pets
0
The Old Bakery Ref: DAAB

The Old Bakery, a wing of the owners’ house, is steeped in character and dates back to the 16th century. With its own swimming pool, it is located in the pretty village of Blo’ Norton on the River Little Ouse, an area perfect for cycling, walking and bird watching. Shop 2 miles, pub 1½ miles.

Large, beamed living room with inglenook fireplace and wood-burning stove. One step to large beamed kitchen/dining room with range (for cooking). Bathroom with toilet. All rooms with brick floors. First floor: Two steps to double bedroom with 5ft bed and wooden floor. Double bedroom. Twin bedroom with low entrance and exposed brick fireplace. Shower room with toilet.

  • Wood-burning stove - initial fuel included, thereafter available locally
  • Electricity, full oil central heating, bed linen and towels included
  • TV
  • DVD
  • CD
  • iPod dock
  • Electric range included
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine, tumble dryer (external utility)
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Wi-fi
  • Enclosed garden, furniture
  • Shared use of owners’ garden
  • Barbecue
  • Ample parking
  • Private outdoor heated swimming pool (23ft x 12ft, depth 4 ft) 9am-6pm, May-September, heating £100per week poa, short break price by arrangement
  • Hot tub
  • External games room with pool table, table football and air hockey
  • No smoking
  • Friday to Friday
  • NB: Unfenced pond in garden

WAS
NOW
£461-£1362
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
8
Bedrooms
4
Pets
1

"An idyllic Lakeland setting in 4 acres of woodland on the western shores of Lake Windermere at the heart of the beautiful Lake District. . ."

A spacious first floor barn conversion with vaulted roof and original beams, this wonderful split-level apartment is accessed via an external staircase onto a gallery verandah which leads into a large entrance hall. Living room with wood-burning stove and dining area. Modern kitchen. Two double bedrooms. Shower room/W.C. Two twin-bedded rooms, one with 2ft 6in beds. Modern bathroom/W.C. with over-bath shower.

Graythwaite Cottages offer the opportunity for an exceptional holiday experience. The original buildings of this unique Victorian ‘model farmstead’ have been tastefully refurbished to a very high standard. They provide not only superb holiday accommodation, but also an outstanding range of facilities, including an indoor heated swimming-pool, table tennis and a fitness suite. The stunning location offers plenty of gloriously natural space to visitors and a one-mile walk (which crosses a road) leads to private frontage on the softly lapped shores of Windermere itself. A 2½-acre stocked lake provides free trout fishing and, at the hub of the estate, beautiful Graythwaite Hall’s lovely surrounding gardens are open to the public in the Spring.
The cottages form part of the Graythwaite Estate, which has been in the same family since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and remained intact as a large working estate throughout four centuries. The farm stead, from which the cottages have been formed, was built in 1890 and its position was chosen at a time when the popularity of the Lake District was just beginning to rise in wealthy Victorian circles. Thus the tranquillity and beauty which first captivated visitors to this area can still be enjoyed in heavenly surroundings where peace reigns supreme.
Visitors are well placed to explore the extraordinary and dramatic scenery for which the Lakes are so famous. Hilltop Farm at Near Sawrey, the cottage where Beatrix Potter’s imagination was stirred to create Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck, is just 4 miles away. At Hawkshead (4 miles) there is a gallery dedicated to her original drawings and illustrations. Within 10 miles are Rydal Fell, Rydal Water, Grasmere and the cottage of the poet who made them famous and brought the Lake District to the attention of the world, William Wordsworth.
The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Steam Railway (4 miles) runs through the valley of the River Leven; its trains connect with a leisurely steamer going to the busy, cosmopolitan town of Bowness-on-Windermere. The steamer also wends its way further north to Waterhead, the stop for the pretty little town of Ambleside.

  • Wood-burning stove – logs included
  • Full central heating included
  • Travel cot
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer

  • Electricity and bed linen included
  • Towels available for hire on request (provided for overseas visitors)
  • High chair by arrangement
  • Digital TV
  • Microwave
  • Shared washing machine on request
  • Shared heated drying room
  • Wi-fi
  • Shared payphone
  • Shared patio with furniture
  • Shared barbecue
  • Shared 4-acre grounds
  • Parking
  • Fly fishing foc
  • Table tennis available
  • Shared indoor heated swimming pool (39ft x 16ft, depth 5ft), open daily from 8.45am to 7.45pm
  • Fitness suite with treadmill, bikes and multi-gym £20 per person per week (£15 per short break) poa
  • Bicycle hire
  • Natural purified lake water supply
  • NB:Lakeside frontage (1 mile)

SUPERB FACILITIES - AVAILABLE ALL YEAR ROUND:

  • Indoor heated swimming pool with limited changing facilities, open daily from 8.45am to 7.45pm
  • Four acres of shared woodland grounds
  • Trout lake, 2½ acres with free fly fishing
  • Fitness suite with aerobic and toning equipment £20 pp pw (£15 per short break) poa
  • Private lake frontage
  • Bicycle hire nearby
  • Dedicated children’s play area

WAS
NOW
£1418-£1418
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
1
Pets
2
Clotted Cream Ref: 27548

These two holiday homes are set amongst 10 acres of grounds and woodland area in the Hampshire countryside, close to Romsey and the New Forest. The Ayrshire ref 28461, a semi-detached property, with a decking area from which to enjoy the views and access the garden and hot tub. Clotted Cream ref 27548, is a first floor renovated barn with a patio from which to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and glorious views. Walkers and cyclists will find plenty to do with footpaths leading straight from the farm. Romsey (3 miles) has a 10th-century abbey, King John’s House, one of the oldest surviving houses in England, and Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and Aboretum. Visit Southampton (8 miles) with the Maritime Museum and the medieval Merchants House. Winchester, Salisbury, Poole and Bournemouth are within an easy drive. Shop, pub and restaurant 1 mile.

Ground floor: Utility room. Open tread stairs to entrance. All on first floor: Living room with double sofa bed/dining room/kitchen. 1 double bedroom (6ft zip and link) with en-suite bathroom with Jacuzzi bath, shower cubicle and toilet.

Oil central heating (£30per week October-April, May-September on request, £4 per day). CD. Freezer. Lawned garden with patio and furniture. Barbecue. Ample parking.

Both properties: Electricity, bed linen and towels included. Freeview TV. DVD. Electric cooker. Microwave. Shared laundry room with washing machine. Wi-fi. Shared 10-acre grounds and natural woodland. Cycle store. Shared unheated, outdoor swimming pool (9.5m x 4.7m, depth 1.2m to 2m), open mid May to September. Shared hot tub. Shared games room with half size snooker table. Welcome pack. No smoking. Friday to Friday. Couples and family bookings only. NB: Pond in grounds.

WAS
NOW
£425-£425
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
2
Pets
0

"Greenwood Grange offers the ideal holiday combination - premium quality accommodation, fine facilities all within a family-run friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and it has achieved a Green Tourism Business Scheme Gold Award"

Set at Higher Bockhampton (which is Hardy’s ‘Upper Mellstock’), Greenwood Grange is a secret hideaway set in its own 4 acres of peaceful grounds and landscaped gardens. All the cottages have undergone a major refurbishment and offer the very highest quality accommodation and facilities, with each cottage having its own individually styled interior using natural and recycled materials where possible.
As well as offering plenty of space for strolling and relaxing, there are two en-tous-cas tennis courts, lawns for croquet and badminton, a children’s play area with swings and yurt (with toys and games) and a dogs’ exercise paddock, in addition to the organic vegetable garden and pick your own fruit area, with free range chickens providing eggs, to be enjoyed by all the family. There is also a magnificent Roman-style indoor heated swimming pool (complete with mural!) with full changing facilities, a large sauna and sitting area.
At the entrance of Greenwood Grange is Thorncombe Wood - a wildlife sanctuary from which a nature trail leads through magnificent chestnuts, beeches and oaks, and through 70 acres of black heath, furze, birch, holly, heather and rhododendrons. This is just one of many walks directly from the door over some of the most beautiful countryside in Dorset, perfect for healthy walks for dog lovers and all the family.
Those interested in the literary landscape can explore the locations of Hardy’s famous novels. Steeped in history, Greenwood Grange was built by Thomas Hardy’s father, whilst a short distance away is the thatched cottage where Hardy himself was born, built by his great-grandfather and little altered. At Lower Bockhampton, Hardy went to school and there is a lovely walk from there to the next village, Stinsford, where his heart is buried.
All around is a wealth of glorious National Trust countryside, pretty towns and villages as well as the beautiful coastline just 6 miles away. Excellent local village restaurants and pubs can be recommended. Kingston Maurward College with animal park, gardens, conference, function and education centre is within walking distance.
Dorchester (Roman Durnovaria and Hardy’s ‘Casterbridge’) is a pleasant walk away (2 miles) and a most attractive country town, with museums of the dinosaur and the military, swimming pool, golf (good golf can also be found at Weymouth and Charminster) and has plenty of good shops, restaurants and pubs. Also of interest is Prince Charles’s development at Poundbury, near Dorchester.
Weymouth is 8 miles with its Georgian seafront beach - ideal for castle building! It is overlooked by an elegant 3-mile level esplanade; there is swimming from the beach, and there are lots of traditional entertainments. Two nearby RSPB reserves are at Lodmoor and Radipole which has nature trails from which grebes, swans and warblers may be seen.
The beach at Ringstead Bay (6 miles) is known for its geology, fossils and the vegetation and wildlife of its undercliff; nearby can be seen the outlines of a village abandoned in the Middle Ages.
The Dorset World Heritage Coastal Path offers magnificent views and surprising sights, such as the natural arch of Durdle Door, and the almost circular cove of Lulworth, about 7 miles away.
Further west dotted along the coastline towards West Bay and the market town of Bridport are the ‘chocolate box’ villages of Burton Bradstock and Abbotsbury (famous for its swannery and gardens).
The area offers abundant river stretches for coarse or trout fishing, and sea angling from the coast.
Gardens flourish in the mild climate, and there are many to choose from: Mapperton Gardens, Kingston Lacey, Knowle Gardens, Compton Acres, Forde Abbey Gardens and the subtropical gardens at Abbotsbury are well worth an excursion. Shop 2 miles.

Set within the courtyard, with individually styled rooms. Comfortable living room with contemporary electric fire and French doors to patio. Modern fitted kitchen with dining area. First floor: Double bedroom with LCD TV. Twin bedroom (zip & link beds). Bathroom with over bath shower and toilet.

  • Dishwasher
  • Backs on to shared large enclosed lawned garden area
  • Patio
  • No smoking
  • Friday
    to Friday

  • Combined heating, electric, leisure facilities, bed linen and towels included
  • Travel cots and high chair by arrangement
  • Two TVs - with Freeview (one TV in DHR, three in DKG)
  • DVD
  • Microwave
  • Shared laundry room with freezer, washing machines and tumble dryers
  • Wi-fi
  • Garden furniture
  • Ample parking
  • Special welcome hampers by arrangement
  • NB: Pond in grounds

SUPERB INDOOR POOL AND SAUNA COMPLEX
Sensitively created in old stone to blend with the cottages, Greenwood Grange’s magnificent pool is open daily all the year round. For the exclusive use of visitors, it is spectacularly designed in Roman style, with a mural depicting an emperor and his hand-maidens.
* Fine 32-ft x 18-ft indoor heated swimming pool with full changing facilities (please bring own towels)
* Shallow ‘D’ end for young children’s supervised paddling
* Sitting area overlooking pool
* Six-person sauna
EXTENSIVE INDOOR AND OUTDOOR FACILITIES
Indoor Amenities (Games room closed November to March, except Christmas and New Year):
Set next to the pool building and sympathetically designed in stone and brick, the purpose-built leisure building has Freeview TVs and offers plenty of things to do, whatever the season.
* Table tennis, table football, bar billiards and full-sized pool table
* Fenced ‘under fives’ play area with play slide, play train and tot rocker
Outdoor amenities:
* Peaceful grounds extending to 4 acres
* Children’s play area with swings
* Two en-tout-cas tennis courts (or please bring your own racquets)
* Croquet lawn (equipment foc, or please bring your own)
* Badminton lawn (equipment foc, or please bring your own)
* Dogs’ exercise paddock

WAS
NOW
£412-£1265
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
4
Bedrooms
2
Pets
0

"Deep in Tarka the Otter country where the river glides beneath the trees and time stands still..."

Orford Mill lies alongside the River Torridge in a beautiful wooded valley, nestled below the historic town of Torrington. With its air of peace and tranquillity, abundant wildflowers and river life, it became the setting for Henry Williamson’s magical story of Tarka the Otter. Indeed, the mill wheel in which Tarka hid from the hound Deadlock was at Orford Mill. This superb location makes a wonderful holiday base, especially for families, with sandy beaches on the North Devon coast only 10 miles away.
The complex consists of a Grade II listed water mill and manor house, now converted into nine delightful cottages, all equipped to Visit Britain ‘4 Star’ standard. Most overlook the charming ornamental courtyard with its ponds and flowerbeds. Riverside is detached and overlooks the river. All cottages retain character features such as exposed beams and stonework, and each is furnished in an individual style to a very high standard. Guests can enjoy an indoor heated swimming pool, with lovely river views, as well as an all-weather tennis court, games room and fenced outdoor children’s play area. There is an on-site cafe with wi-fi (open 9am-9pm). In addition, fishing rights are available on 200 yards of river (bring own licence, or avail locally at cost). All the waterways are safely fenced.
The countryside around Orford Mill is dotted with sleepy villages nestled among the hills, while extensive woodlands, traversed by many footpaths, offer the chance to experience the area’s natural beauty at close quarters. Adjacent to the grounds are the renowned RHS gardens at Rosemoor, and other local attractions include Dartington Crystal, offering a factory tour and visitor centre. Great Torrington is only a mile away with good shopping and amenities, and there is golf at nearby Hartland. Orford Mill adjoins Torrington Common which extends to 365 acres, incorporating 20 miles of footpaths. The common is a haven for wildlife. The ‘Big Sheep’ and ‘Milky Way’ theme parks are each less than 10 miles away.
The River Torridge runs downstream to the ancient port of Bideford, still with a working quay offering boat trips out to Lundy Island. Just around the corner is the attractive little town of Appledore with its colourful houses and narrow streets. To either side lies Devon’s most spectacular stretch of coastal scenery – a chain of magnificent cliffs and rocky promontories, interspersed here and there by long flat sandy beaches, where the Atlantic breakers roll in to create ideal surfing conditions. There are splendid beaches at Instow and Westward Ho!, the latter bordered by the Royal North Devon Golf Club, and the Northam Nature Reserve. Further west is the supremely picturesque Clovelly, whose narrow, cobbled main street descends at a dizzying gradient to the little harbour below. To the south, the cathedral city of Exeter can be reached via a delightful drive through lush river valleys.
Orford Mill offers very attractive accommodation set in 3 acres of beautiful gardens with streams, waterfalls and the water wheel which is still operational. Excellent as a touring base, it makes a good choice for a holiday whatever the weather. Shop ½ mile.

This is a first floor property, accessed by an external stone staircase. First floor: Open-plan living/dining room with electric ‘wood burner’. Well-equipped modern fitted kitchen. Double bedroom (5ft bed) with TV. Twin bedroom. Bathroom with over-bath shower and toilet.

  • Electricity ‘wood burner’ included
  • DVD

  • Electricity, full oil central heating (controlled by owner), bed linen and towels included
  • Cot, travel cot and high chair by arrangement
  • TV with digital terrestrial channels
  • Stereo/CD
  • Microwave
  • Washer/dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Wi-fi (in on-site café, open 9am - 9pm)
  • Shared grounds with sitting-out area and furniture
  • Gas barbecues for hire by arrangement
  • Ample parking
  • Shared games room with pool table, games machines
  • Shared outside area with table tennis
  • Shared indoor heated swimming pool (12ft x 33ft) with changing and shower facilities
  • Shared hard all weather tennis court (bring own equipment, and tennis shoes – no trainers)
  • Professional tennis ball machine with wide speed variation from 12-80 mph for hire (over 16s only)
  • On-site river fishing (bring own licence, or available locally at cost)
  • Children’s play area with swings and playhouse
  • Heidi’s Hideaway (playroom for toddlers and young children)
  • Adventure fort
  • No smoking
  • NB: Securely fenced river on-site
  • Main TV in each cottage is linked (via colour video.audio camera) to its own individual bird box, providing live images on TV

WAS
NOW
£256-£1014
Shortlist
Grade 4 Star rating
Sleeps
15
Bedrooms
7
Pets
0

"Enjoy the ‘cream’ of Devon at one of the twelve cottages on the Ashcombe Estate..."

Situated in the heart of rolling Devon countryside, the privately owned Ashcombe country estate nestles in a peaceful valley close to the sandy beaches of Dawlish and Torquay. Enjoy walking on the estate’s hills and woodlands, swim in the heated indoor swimming pool, or relax in the sauna at Woodhouse Farm while children play in the indoor and outdoor playgrounds. The owners have made a great effort to ensure that the cottages are both comfortable and practical while the location could not be better for a wide range of Devon attractions.
It might be a family holiday or big reunion, a special celebration, a fun business get-together, a group trip, or a relaxing weekend to recharge your batteries; whatever the reason the facilities are designed to be perfect for winter and summer holidays and the secrets of the Ashcombe cottages’ appeal are presentation, comfort and convenience. The cottages are maintained to very high standards. All have leather sofas, flatscreen digital TVs and very comfortable mattresses - the owners consider a good night’s sleep the most important thing! The cottages either have Italian tiled floors or wooden floors, and some still retain many original features including oak beamed ceilings. The properties cater for almost any party size, sleeping from 4 to 28 people and are all rated either 4 or 5 stars. Ashcombe’s larger cottages provide great value for money for visitors sharing with their friends and families. For meals, an in-house chef can be booked to come and do the hard work. The heated indoor swimming pool is perfect for any rainy days and keep the children happy. Cider Barn sleeping 16 and Nut Tree Farm sleeping 28, which are both 5 star rated, also have outdoor swimming pools for the summer.
For those wishing to enjoy a more adrenaline-charged holiday, the brilliant Ashcombe outdoor activity centre (at extra cost) offers quad bike safaris, clay pigeon shooting, archery, paintballing and more and is located just under a mile down the lane and is available for those 14 years and over. At the end of the day the Ashcombe Village Club provides cheap beer and a cheerful atmosphere.
Both Dartmoor National Park and the historic city of Exeter are only 20 minutes’ drive away while the famous South Devon Coast, with wonderful sandy beaches, is barely 3 miles. Exeter and Newton Abbot Racecourses, several golf courses, loads of family theme parks, zoos, sailing and fishing are all within easy reach, not to mention the many excellent pubs and restaurants that Devon is famous for. The wild beauty of Dartmoor is 20 minutes away with its abundance of wildlife and dramatic landscapes. Numerous National Trust properties are close by including Agatha Christie’s Greenway. Steam trains travel from Kingswear to Paignton and Totnes to Buckfastleigh. Visit historic Dartmouth with bustling boat harbour, castle, contemporary art galleries and boutiques. Salcombe with its beaches, sailing and water sports is also easily accessible, as well as Blackpool Sands, Slapton and picturesque Dittisham with its annual crab catching competition.

Slightly further afield, East Cornwall and the Eden Project are within an hour’s drive. Take a walk along the South West Coast Path which runs along the entire length of the Jurassic Coast and offers the walker stunning views, with a bird’s eye view of many coastal features. From the coast path you can experience the drama of sheer cliff faces, take in the wonderful towns of Beer, the ‘picture postcard’ fishing village, or Budleigh Salterton. This tranquil and historic seaside town nestles on the edge of a pebble beach beneath spectacular red cliffs, made famous by literary giants such as Noel Coward, P.G. Wodehouse and Anthony Trollope. Visit Seaton with its famous trams or Sidmouth which still has a unique charm and has captivated thousands of holidaymakers. Beautiful gardens, leisurely walks, Regency history, clean beaches and friendly shops – it is all here in this lovely seaside town. All in all Ashcombe is an excellent base to explore, experience and enjoy ‘The Cream of Devon’. Main shops 3 miles.


Endeavour was once the main Woodhouse Farm house and features its own private garden and sauna. Part of the building overlooks Ashcombe Valley, the remainder overlooks the old farm’s courtyard, and the house is just across from the indoor swimming pool. Entrance into spacious open-plan living room with open fire. Large dining room with electric ‘log-effect’ fire. Well-equipped fitted oak kitchen with oil Aga, elec cooker and breakfast area. Utility with 5-person sauna. Double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with over-bath shower and toilet. Cloakroom/toilet. First floor: Two double bedrooms, each with en-suite shower room and toilet. Two twin bedrooms, each with additional single bed (for +1); one with en-suite shower room and toilet. Further twin bedroom with en-suite shower room. Single bedroom. Bathroom with toilet.

  • Open fire – initial fuel included, thereafter available locally
  • Electric ‘log-effect’ fire
  • Full NSH included
  • Fan heater
  • Towels for hire £4per person
  • Further cot
  • Oil Aga included
  • Washer/dryer
  • Wi-fi
  • Small enclosed patio garden
  • Gas barbecue
  • Sauna

  • Electricity included
  • Bed linen included
  • Cot
  • High chair
  • Hair dryer
  • DVD
  • Microwave
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Shared payphone (in foyer of heated swimming pool)
  • Garden furniture
  • Parking
  • No smoking

ADDITIONAL FACILITIES (at Woodhouse Farm)
* Indoor heated swimming pool with changing rooms (available all year) 10am–7pm.
* Pool table.
* Lounge with TV and broadband avail for early arrivals
* Small indoor children’s playroom
* Sauna
* Sun terrace with furniture (adjacent to pool).
* Enclosed orchard with seating.
* Enclosed children’s playground with swings and slides.
*Village club with licensed bar at Ashcombe, weekly events - 1 mile from Woodhouse Farm.
ASHCOMBE ADVENTURE CENTRE - AVAILABLE ALL YEAR ROUND
* Quad biking (woodland safaris)
* Clay pigeon shooting
* Paintball over streams and ravines
* Licensed bar and restaurant
* Conference rooms

WAS
NOW
£964-£2974
Shortlist
Grade 5 Star rating
Sleeps
5
Bedrooms
2
Pets
3

"Colourful gardens amidst acres of farmland – just a mile from South Devon’s golden sands . . ."

Just a mile inland from the beach and sea at Man Sands, these five cottages enjoy a gloriously secluded rural situation on a 47-acre working farm, yet are convenient for the delights of picturesque Kingswear (1½ miles) and historic Dartmouth. Imaginatively formed within a charming group of barns, they are set in superb landscaped shared gardens. An indoor heated swimming pool and a sauna have been created in a separate building, and a further barn offers facilities for table tennis, pool table, ‘fun’ netball and badminton. A spacious play area within a walled garden is equipped with swings, a sand pit, adventure playground, large outdoor trampoline (with safety netting), a large lawned area with raised decking, complete with garden furniture and views over the surrounding countryside; and here there is also an indoor playroom with ball pool, climbing frame and a range of children’s ride-on tractors and cars for outdoor use. The gardens are a riot of colour, with flower beds, tubs, hanging baskets and an intriguing network of brick paths, courtyards and paved terraces. Further afield the estate includes a well-stocked one-acre fishing lake (rods not supplied). Children are welcome to help feed the animals; and there are goats, ponies, kune kune pigs, sheep, lambs, rabbits and guinea pigs to make friends with. The taste of rural life at Nethway continues with walks through the fields.
The cottages themselves have been meticulously converted, with careful use of traditional stone and slate. All are tastefully furnished and decorated throughout, and comprehensively equipped. All of the properties have their own patios with furniture (Hyssop and Lovage Cottages have their own lawned garden), and all enjoy shared use of a separate barbecue area. They are ideal for holidays at any time of the year – all properties are cosily heated throughout and this region is especially beautiful in the quieter off-season months. For Christmas and New Year holidays, each cottage has a festively decorated Christmas tree and the roaring log fires in all living rooms are ideal for the Autumn and Winter months. This peninsula is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is renowned for its coastline, which offers coastal walks and a choice of footpaths leading to secluded beaches. The village of Kingswear itself is set on the Dart estuary opposite Dartmouth – which can be reached via ferry. Here you will find a wealth of things to do, including the Kingswear–Paignton steam railway, Paignton Zoo and Woodlands Leisure Park, to name but a few, and many Blue Flag beaches and hidden coves are within easy reach. Coleton Fishacre (NT) is 1 mile away. Torquay, Brixham and Paignton offer an array of seaside attractions and are within easy driving distance. Dittisham and Totnes make excellent river excursions from Dartmouth, and Dartmoor is only 45 minutes drive. Golf, sailing and riding can all be enjoyed locally and the nearby coastline boasts a choice of surfing beaches. Shops 1½ miles.

Farmhouse kitchen with dining area. Steps to living room with wood-burning stove and doors to patio and garden. Cloakroom and toilet. First floor: Two bedrooms; one double and one twin with additional single bed (for +1). Bathroom with over-bath shower and toilet.

  • Private enclosed lawned garden with patio and furniture

  • Wood-burning stove - logs included
  • Electricity rads (£35per week, £20 per short break October-April)
  • Radiant fire
  • Electricity, bed linen and towels included
  • Cot
  • High chair by arrangement
  • Satellite TV (Freeview)
  • DVD
  • Microwave
  • Washer/dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Wi-fi broadband
  • Shared payphone
  • Shared landscaped gardens and farmland grounds
  • Garden furniture
  • Shared barbecue
  • Parking
  • Indoor heated swimming pool (30ft x 12ft x 4ft), open 24 hours a day, all year round, except Saturday mornings
  • Sauna (coin-operated)
  • Games room with table tennis, pool table, ‘fun’ netball and badminton
  • One-acre coarse fishing lake (rods not supplied)
  • Children’s play area and playroom
  • Free-range eggs available from neighbouring farm
  • Grocery and daily paper delivery by arrangement
  • Natural spring water supply

WAS
NOW
£504-£1265
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