For more than 30 years I owned a holiday rental company in France. Now retired back home in the UK, we felt we should dip our toes into a UK holiday. However, we did not wish to stay in a hotel. This was our first self-catering holiday rental experience in the UK. We arrived immediately after a long lockdown due to the Coronavirus. As a result of working in the industry myself for several decades, we were looking for quality, premium presentation. In addition, being safe against COVID-19 took priority for us.
What makes Exmoor Character Cottages such high-end accommodation?
We chose Exmoor Character Cottages because the company reassured us they were taking care of every aspect of cleanliness. All their properties looked inviting and we would have been happy to stay in any of them. Lucy was helpful in her advice and we chose Stone Barn – it was perfect!
We were so impressed on arrival at the level of cleanliness, standard of presentation, beautiful bed linen, fluffy towels, very well-equipped kitchen and certainly all the comforts of home. Upon arrival, we spotted a delicious fruit cake, a tea tray and fresh bottled milk in the fridge. Who could ask for more?
Things to do in North Somerset/ Exmoor
Exploring the region was on our ‘to do’ list as this was our first time to the north Somerset/Exmoor coastline. Our arrival gift of a copy of The Little Book of Walks was invaluable. In it were 12 pages of inviting places to visit. We noted the exact directions on how to find each destination and the best walking paths to take. The routes were so precise. It was obvious the writer had actually walked each and every trail, rather than just written about it from afar.
We thoroughly enjoyed Lynmouth and Lynton, such a pretty cove with colourful boats bobbing about on the water’s edge. We continued this trip with a visit up to the National Trust’s Watersmeet. What totally amazing waterfalls, so beautiful.
The village of Dunster and its delightful array of boutiques and shops looked amazing with the colourful bunting organised by the villagers. Dunster Castle and its beautiful gardens was certainly worth a visit. Unfortunately, when we went to Dunster Village it was immediately after Lockdown. As a result, many of the restaurants and tea rooms were preparing to open, but not quite there. Given this, we will definitely be returning to enjoy an afternoon tea in this pretty village.
We took a long walk from the end of Minehead, along the coastline behind the golf club and ending up at Dunster beach. A picnic on the beach, then a stroll back. Perfect day out!
A beautiful look-out point
Taking a wrong turn one morning as we came out of Stone Barn, we found ourselves behind St Michael’s church. Climbing up Moor Road, then onto Hill Road, we had no idea where we were heading. We were so pleased to arrive straight onto Exmoor, with stunning views over Minehead and beyond. Up and up we went, wondering where we would end up. We reached a dead end on the top of Bossington Hill! So peaceful and views as far as the eye could see. We thoroughly recommend this drive and walking directly on the moors.
Porlock Weir was another delight. We were disappointed that we missed out on the Porlock oysters – yet another reason to return!
For our first experience of a self-catering, high-end accommodation holiday in the UK, we could not have found a better location. There was so much to see and do within easy reach and in a comfortable, beautifully presented home. Thank you Exmoor Character Cottages – we hope to be back before Christmas!
Marion and Godfrey Edwards stayed at Stone Barn in July 2020
Interested to hear all the other reasons guests love staying with us? Read more Exmoor Character Cottages guest stories here.