Things you need to know
The devil’s in the detail
We think the only surprises you’ll find during your stay at one of our cottages will be nice ones. However, we know that not everyone is as familiar (and enthusiastic) about old buildings and their quirks as we are, so we have compiled the guide below to help you know what to expect and enable you to get the most out of your holiday. Forewarned is forearmed after all!
Exmoor Character Cottages live up to their name – and the keyword is “character”. These Grade II listed properties are special. With wonky floors, low beams, original materials such as lime plaster and examples of fine craftsmanship at every turn, all of our properties exude character and charm. Our philosophy is to marry old-world charm with modern luxury living to give you the best of both worlds. We have equipped all the cottages with the mod cons guests require, while ensuring they sit happily alongside the properties’ historical features. We trust you will be extremely comfortable in any of our properties, and find everything you need.
If anything isn’t right during your stay, please let us know as soon as you can, and we’ll do everything we can to put it right.
If a member of your party has mobility issues, please contact us to discuss access. We will be happy to advise on which property will provide the most comfortable accommodation for you. We have arrangements with a local service who can supply mobility scooters and wheelchairs. We have a pack of specialist equipment on-site that we can use should you need it including tap turners, bath grab rails, shower chair and bed guard. You can find detailed Access Statements for each property below and on their individual cottage pages. If you would like to find out more about the equipment and services please contact us with your requirements.
Wattle and daub, lime-washed walls, thatch and timber frames are just some of the things that make our properties so special. Please be aware that there are some unique considerations attached to such historic materials. If you are used to living in a modern home, please be prepared to encounter a little more “weather” than you do at home. From time to time walls may feel slightly damp to the touch. If you lean against the walls, you might get a little bit of a chalky limestone residue on your clothes. However, this should easily brush off or wash out. In some rooms, the doorways and timbers are low, and taller guests will need to be aware of this. We, and many of our guests, believe this all adds to the authenticity of the place. If you don’t enjoy a bit of history (and all that this entails) these perhaps aren’t the cottages for you.
Inevitably, we have added additional bathrooms to all our properties. In some cases, this has involved installing a macerator/Sanilav toilet because the buildings do not have the plumbing infrastructure required for other systems. Please, please follow the instructions in the WC and do not put anything other than the obvious down these lavatories!
Heating and hot water
In all our cottages we provide hot water on tap 24/7, and the heating is set on a timer to come on early evening and morning when required. Thermostats are at your disposal and instructions are provided should you need to over-ride the timers (or call us).
In The Oval and Pilgrim Corner in particular, the hot water has to travel a long way to your bathroom so please be patient. But do be sensible – if four of you choose to shower or bathe at the same time, it does put pressure on the hot water supply so we advise you to please avoid doing so. Also, draining sinks and showers can take longer than you’d expect in a modern house. If you are in any doubt about the functioning of the facilities, we’re only a phone call or email away.
The hot tubs
Many of our guests choose Pilgrim Corner, The Old Sweet Shop and Stone Barn as they are some of the few cottages in the region to boast a hot tub. It’s hard to beat sitting out under the stars with a glass of wine in hand and enjoying a jacuzzi. We do everything we can to maintain our hot tubs to make sure that guests can enjoy them. Please help us to do this by ensuring that you read and adhere to the hot tub instructions (these are for Stone Barn, but those for Pilgrim Corner and The Old Sweet Shop are similar). You will also receive a copy of all the safety information in the cottage booklet sent to you prior to arrival. Occasionally, we are forced to close the hot tub for health and safety reasons beyond our control.
Old properties and open fires go hand in hand. Our guests constantly tell us how much they have enjoyed having a real fire. Three of our properties have wood burners. Stone Barn is the only property without a real fire, instead we have a wood effect-fire in the living area. Those properties with a real fire come equipped with a basket of logs to get you started. We even lay your first fire for you so all you do is light a match and sit back.
With wood and reed building materials in our cottages, we take the risk of fire very seriously. We check our smoke alarms every changeover to ensure our guests’ safety. If you hear a fire or carbon monoxide alarm, please don’t ignore it but follow our guidance. This can be found on the back of the bedroom doors in all the properties and in our Guest Books.
We review our fire prevention measures regularly and adapt them to changing guidance (latest October 2023). We ask you to read them when you arrive and follow them throughout your stay to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday.
Barbeques, thatch and old timber don’t mix very well. Please understand that due to the nature of the buildings and their surroundings, we don’t allow barbeques.
Pooches of all shapes and sizes will get a very warm welcome at all our cottages. It’s their holiday too, of course. All the usual rules apply – please pick up after your dog and ensure that all four paws stay firmly on the floor at all times! For more information, please read our Dog Policy. And if you have another pet you want to bring, do contact us to discuss this.
If you want to completely switch off, you’ll be hard pressed to find somewhere better to do it. But we know that that’s just not practical for many people. All our cottages are fitted with Wi-Fi and, where necessary, boosters to improve the signal and help the connection travel through walls that, in some cases, are several feet thick. All our cottages are fitted with BT Business broadband which is not only fast and usually reliable, but does ensure we get hands-on support from their engineers 24/7 if there is a problem. We use their boosters to improve the signal and help the connection travel through walls that, in some cases, are several feet thick. With normal service, speed ranges from 25 Mbps to 60 Mbps depending on the property. Please bear in mind that, despite our best efforts, signal strength and connectivity can vary. The connection is typically good enough for guests to take advantage of our Netflix subscription, but won’t stand up to six guests simultaneously watching films on multiple devices, for example. If you need to have an uninterrupted internet connection during your stay, please contact us to discuss your requirements before you book.
Mobile phone signal
Mobile phone signal strength varies by carrier and, quite literally sometimes, depends on which way the wind is blowing! Typically, there is good signal in Minehead, but please be aware that this can be patchy at best out on the moors and in the valleys. We have provided a landline for guests to use at The Oval as mobile reception in Dunster is often poor. We operate an honesty box system to cover the cost of calls.
All our cottages are equipped with Smart TVs and a Netflix subscription. A basic Sky subscription is also available at all cottages except The Oval. For those who prefer to watch DVDs, you’ll find your cottage equipped with a DVD/Blu-ray player and a selection of movies. Some cottages have an iPod dock and a Bluetooth speaker bar, and all the properties have radios – but bear in mind, you may not enjoy a good quality DAB reception.
We are lucky enough to have two reserved spaces at The Oval in Dunster. You can also sometimes park on West Street here.
The Old Sweet Shop and Stone Barn
We have on-site parking for two cars at The Old Sweet Shop and one car at Stone Barn. The driveway for these properties is shared. Please be considerate of other guests when parking and manoeuvring your vehicle/s. We ask that you get a passenger to help you to back in and out of the driveway as visibility is restricted.
We ask guests staying at Pilgrim Corner to park on Moor Road, which is a very short distance away (50 yards). Please do not park outside Pilgrim Corner other than to load or unload, and also do not park elsewhere on Vicarage Road. We can advise on the best nearby streets to park in if you are bringing several cars.
Electric Vehicle Charging
We do not offer EV/Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle charging at any of our cottages due to the restrictions placed on us by our insurers. We take the risk of fire extremely seriously so reducing the sources of ignition is in everyone’s interest. Guests found charging any electric vehicle while staying in our cottages will have their holiday curtailed immediately. In this eventuality, no refunds will be considered. Find one of the many fast charging points, read our blog, and contact us if you have any questions before booking.
A security deposit is payable two weeks before the start of your holiday. This deposit will be returned to you in full within seven to 10 days of your departure provided the cottage and contents are returned in good order and free of any damage. We aim to notify you following inspection if it is necessary to retain any of your deposit. We provide guidance on what the deposit covers when we contact you to collect it shortly before your stay. Guests or would-be guests can of course request this from us at any time by emailing us. It is extremely unusual for us to have to use guests’ deposits in this way, and we go out of our way to work with you to rectify any issues that occur during your stay, but occasionally, we regret that it is necessary.
Lost Property Policy
After every departure, our experienced housekeeping team carries out a thorough clean. At this time, if we find any lost property, we will inform you and ask if you’d like it to be returned. This excludes items listed in point 1:
- We are unable to return food, underwear, socks, prescription or OTC medication and some heavy items such as liquids and toiletries. We will safely dispose of these items if found after you checkout.
- For any items we find that you request we return, there is a minimum charge of £10 to cover postage, packaging and admin. We will ask you to pay this via BACS before we send the item. If you have paid a Refundable Security Deposit, we will deduct the postage fee from there.
- For special delivery/signed for/larger items, we will get a price for the return from the Post Office. We will ask you to pay this in full via BACS before despatch.
- Valuable items will be sent via Royal Mail Special Delivery. We will provide a tracking number for you to check the item.
- Once the item has left our local Post Office, we cannot be held responsible for any items lost in transit.
- Sorry, but we cannot be held responsible for any items not found by our housekeeping team.