Smiddy Cottage

Exmoor National Park, near Dulverton, Devon
4 Guests
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    Smiddy, sleeping 4, is located in the glorious surroundings of Exmoor National Park
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    Smiddy Cottage has a private patio area with garden furniture and shares a lawned garden
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    Guests have shared access to 60 acres of grounds including fields and an SSSI area of marsh and woodlands
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    Mini guests are well looked after with shared use of a well-established adventure playground
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    Dogs and horses are welcome, the latter being accommodated on a DIY livery basis
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    The cottage is a perfect base for exploring Exmoor, with easy access to its superb footpaths, bridleways and dramatic scenery
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    Ground floor: Spacious open plan living space comprising a sitting area with a wood burning stove, a dining area and a fitted kitchen area
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    Ground floor: Dining and sitting areas in the spacious open plan living space
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    Ground floor: Dining area in the spacious open plan living space with wood burning stove
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    Ground floor: Fitted kitchen area in the spacious open plan living space
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    Ground floor: Twin/double bedroom with 3′ zip and link beds
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    Ground floor: Family bathroom with bath and separate shower which can be accessed from either the ground floor bedroom or living area
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    Relax amongst magnificent views and wildlife and enjoy the absolute peace and quiet
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    First floor: Galleried double bedroom with 5′ bed
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    First floor: Galleried double bedroom with 5′ bed
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    First floor: View from first floor gallery to open plan living space below
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    Smiddy is set slightly away from the three other character cottages at West Hollowcombe Farm
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    The three other character holiday cottages at West Hollowcombe Farm
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    Guests have shared use of an activity play area suitable for children under 10
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    Shared use of a well-established adventure playground as well as a selection of ride-on toys
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    A plan of the accommodation at West Hollowcombe Farm
sleeps4Ground Floor BedroomTwo Nightschildren-01dogwififirebBQparkingAvailableeasyWalkingAccess
This traditional stone barn conversion is located in the glorious surroundings of Exmoor National Park on the Devon/Somerset border, just five miles from Dulverton and within easy reach of the coastal towns of Porlock, Lynton and Lynmouth. Smiddy is set slightly away from the three other character cottages at West Hollowcombe Farm, as it is tucked around the corner, abutting the rear of Kiri Cottage. Guests have shared access to sixty acres of the owner’s fields and woodlands, part of which has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The family friendly owners guarantee a very warm welcome and mini guests are well looked after with shared use of a well-established adventure playground as well as selection of ride-on toys. The cottage also offers a choice of books and games, as well as useful baby and toddler gear including cots and highchairs.

Smiddy Cottage is a comfortable and tastefully furnished cottage sleeping four, with original features including exposed beams. Guests are greeted with a spacious open plan living space which includes a dining and sitting area with a cosy wood burning stove and well-equipped kitchen which is set slightly apart. A twin/double bedroom and family bathroom with separate shower complete the ground floor accommodation. Upstairs, a further galleried double bedroom is accessed via a spiral staircase.

The cottage is a perfect base for exploring Exmoor, with easy access to its superb footpaths, bridleways and dramatic scenery. Or simply relax amongst magnificent views and wildlife and enjoy the absolute peace and quiet! Early risers may get a glimpse of the red deer which occasionally graze in an adjoining paddock. Numerous birds also frequent the feeder that can be viewed from the sitting room window. A wide variety of moorland birds and mammals such as hares and rabbits, stoats and weasels are regular visitors. Additionally Exmoor ponies are often to be seen grazing on adjoining common land.

The Two Moors Way passes the gate and, for the energetic, numerous other walks are accessible directly from the cottage. Dogs and horses are welcome, the latter being accommodated on a DIY livery basis. A host of other country pursuits within easy reach include watersports, fishing, pony trekking, shooting, bird watching and mountain biking.

The owners are very keen on the environment and help to manage the SSSI area of marsh and woodlands in their grounds with the help of Exmoor National Park. The marsh land next to the river, which has not been cultivated for hundreds of years, makes an ideal spot for many rare plants and wildlife, especially the Heath Fritillary, one of the rarest butterflies in this country. The SSSI extends off into the woodlands and the owners are sympathetically managing this to promote its flora and fauna, with rare lichens on some of the older trees and fallen trunks providing great homes for all sorts of creatures.

Smiddy Cottage is an ideal base to explore the North Devon coast and its picturesque villages including Porlock, Lynton and Lynmouth. Dulverton, considered to be the southern gateway to Exmoor, is 10 minutes’ drive away. This pretty town is well stocked with quality boutiques, grocery shops, inns and restaurants as well as the Exmoor National Park visitor centre.

The other three holiday cottages at West Hollowcombe Farm, are Jasper Cottage (sleeps 4), Kiri Cottage (sleeps 6) and Norton Cottage (sleeps 4). All four cottages can be booked together for larger groups to accommodate up to 18. Please see the individual properties for more details.

West Hollowcombe Farm is a fabulous holiday destination for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities, dramatic landscapes and wildlife.

 

 

Overview

  • 4 Guests
  • Two bedrooms; one double, one twin/double
  • One bathroom
  • Suitable for a baby (travel cot, highchair and stairgates available on request)
  • Children are welcome
  • The cottage welcomes well-behaved dogs
  • Private patio area with garden furniture and barbecue on request
  • Shared lawned garden
  • Shared playground for children under 10
  • Stables, tack room and fields for ponies and horses on a DIY livery basis
  • Linen, towels and logs provided
  • Ample parking

Features

  • A delightful stone barn conversion on a quiet farm in the beautiful Exmoor National Park.
  • The cottage, rated 4 stars by the AA, boasts charming original features including exposed beams.
  • Designed with your comfort and relaxation in mind and tastefully furnished, with a sociable open plan living area.
  • Private large patio sitting area and shared use of a children’s activity play area and large enclosed lawned garden.
  • Flexible accommodation – the ground floor bedroom can be either a twin or double to suit your party.
  • Short and mid week breaks are available, with a minimum stay of two nights.
  • Brilliant in all seasons and the ideal setting for Autumn and Winter breaks. The barn is warm and cosy with a wood burning stove and comfortable beds.
  • The three other holiday cottages at West Hollowcombe Farm, Jasper Cottage (sleeps 4), Kiri Cottage (sleeps 6) and Norton Cottage (sleeps 4), can be booked with Smiddy Cottage to create a large property for family get-togethers or groups of friends of up to 18 people. Cottages may be taken individually or in any combination.
  • Should you wish to bring your horse on holiday with you on a DIY livery basis, there are four large stables, two pony stables, tack room and large paddock with direct access to Exmoor.
  • There are outstanding walks straight from the front door including the Two Moors Way, as well as sixty acres of the owner’s fields and woodlands, part of which has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest with an abundance of wildlife.
  • Perfectly located for exploring stunning Exmoor National Park and the North Devon coast, plus a wealth of outdoor activities including riding, fishing and birdwatching.
  • Within easy reach of the beautiful beaches of Instow, Saunton Sands, Westward Ho!, Woolacombe Sands and Croyde Bay.
  • Just 10 minutes’ drive from Dulverton, a lively village with specialist shops selling local farm produce, antiques and gifts, character pubs and home to the Exmoor National Park visitor centre.

Property layout

  • Ground floor

    Spacious open plan living space which comprises a sitting area with a wood burning stove, a dining area and a fitted kitchen area.

    Twin bedroom with 3′ zip and link beds which can be converted to a 6′ double on request.

    Family bathroom with bath and separate shower.

  • First floor

    Spiral staircase from living area to a galleried double bedroom with 5′ bed.

Equipment

  • Electric heating, wood burning stove in the sitting room
  • Electric cooker and hob, microwave, dishwasher, fridge/freezer
  • Communal utility room with coin operated washing machine and tumble dryer
  • An overspill fridge and freezer are located in the communal utility room
  • Digital TV with Freeview, DVD, digital radio with MP3/iPod dock and integrated CD
  • Large selection of books and games
  • WiFi internet access*
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Barbecue and related tools on request
  • Four large stables, two pony stables, tack room and large paddock
  • Secure bicycle storage
  • Ample parking

  

”We loved exploring Exmoor. Peter and Irene were great hosts and fantastic with the kids. They were in heaven with the playground and all the ride on toys. What a beautiful spot. We will be back!”
Laura C, Ramsbury – September 2017
”Was great to not hear any traffic noise, just sound of the birds and being able to watch them on the bird feeders that were topped up everyday. The panorama at the front of the cottages was spectacular and being able to walk by the river offsite through the woods (albeit down a steep hill) was a bonus. Saw red deer and Exmoor ponies most days in the area. Excellent walks in the area and very well signposted. Cottage was well equipped and clean. Owners Peter and Irene were so friendly and welcoming always had time for guests even though they are always busy maintaining the site. Highly recommended.”
Tina B, Kent – June 2016
”Have returned many times and stayed in all the cottages over the years, depending on our numbers (2 to 6). Such a beautiful setting and very relaxing. Comfortable accommodation, very well equipped, wood burner (so nice and cosy) and importantly, both dog and child friendly. Lots of walks and plenty of other things to see and do, just a short car ride away. Wonderfully hospitable owners on site, who provide a delicious cream tea on arrival. Who could ask for more?”
May 2016
”This will be something like our fifth stay at West Hollowcombe Farm and despite all the preparation by Peter and Irene and ourselves it didn’t go quite to script. The cottage was immaculate as ever with a cream tea on the table and a fire in the wood burner all ready for our arrival. Absolutely nothing wrong with that but after a couple of days when returning from Tiverton our vehicle developed a problem. We limped it into Moor Motors to see if they could fix it but that was going to take a while. So we rang Peter who dropped everything to come and collect us. He and Irene then made sure we were able to get where we needed to be and that we had a good degree of mobility – “above and beyond” we call that! It made a sticky problem almost insignificant!

As previously Peter and Irene have spent a lot of time and money on keeping the grounds in excellent order. The walk along Danes Brook was a gentle stroll and the climb up out of the valley was still hard going. If you cross the wooden bridge and return via the far side and back along the road past Zeal Farm the landowner is replanting the coniferous wood, it is interesting to see the process at work. As a consequence there are more deer in the Hawkridge side of the valley this year (if you are quiet).

We visited a number of our favourite pubs, The Black Venus, The White Horse (Exford) and the excellent London Inn at Molland. We also ate at Wood’s in Dulverton. None of the food which was prepared for us was not to our liking. Hot and plentiful.

The roads are good for cycling and the countryside offers many walks of varying degrees of difficulty. One nice walk is down to Tarr Steps from the farm for a lunch or afternoon tea, although the uphill section is quite a challenge after.

We have absolutely no qualms in recommending West Hollowcombe farm to anyone who likes their peace and quiet, good walking or cycling and good food/beer combined with comfortable clean accommodation. There is also the added bonus of a good natter with Peter and Irene during the day.”

April 2016
”We stayed in the well equipped “Smiddy” cottage and had a 5 star welcome and a very comfortable stay for ourselves and our dog. Even a feeding table for chaffinches to watch over breakfast. Lots of lovely walks in beautiful countryside. A very enjoyable time.”
April 2016
”On our arrival everything was ready for us two families, 3 teenagers, 2 horses, two dogs.
Peter and Irene, our hosts, were so warm and welcoming, the cottages had their log burners all alight, the cottages are fully equipped from boot rooms, kitchens, lounges, dining, bedrooms and bathroom. The beds were so comfortable, great after a long day riding on Exmoor. The weather was horrendous with hurricane Imogen – Peter and Irene were amazing letting us stay until the wind dropped. The stables and field was immaculate, once again everything you needed for a perfect stay – our horses were very happy. 5 star accommodation both for our horses and ourselves. A dog and horse riders paradise with everything you ever want for a peaceful, beautiful stay with amazing hosts.

Congratulations to Peter and Irene the cottages and your home are stunning. Thank you we will be back.”

February 2016
”We’ve stayed here several times now and always feel very welcome.
We’ve used Smiddy when it’s just been the two of us and both Jasper and Norton when we’ve come with friends.
Most visits have either been early or late in the year to avoid others, but it’s never busy on this secluded and isolated part of Exmoor.
There’s no mobile phone coverage, but that’s a good thing! In the cottage, though, there is a reasonable wifi service, so you’re not totally cut off.
Peter and Irene are brilliant and keep the cottages in a good state of repair. They provided a delicious cream tea for us on arrival and the log fire was already going.
There is no limit on how much firewood you can have, but there is a pay-as-you-go electricity meter installed with £10 already in to start you off. We usually find this has to be topped up during the week for the months we arrive in.
We hesitate to recommend as we like to have the site to ourselves, but I guess that’s a little selfish!
Oh, and by the way, at the moment, I would say the tariff is very reasonable compared with other places of similar quality.”
February 2016
”On arrival we were greeted by the most welcome roaring fire in the wood burner, the best cream tea ever and a couple of bottles of wine.
The cottage was so well equipped and spotlessly clean.
Our hosts, Peter and Irene are just the most friendly and obliging couple who have worked hard to make sure that your stay in any one of their four cottages is the best it can be.
Beautiful unspoilt countryside, with warm inviting pubs that also welcomed our wet dogs!
Thank you Peter and Irene, we hope it won’t be too long before we are back.”
January 2016
”We stayed here for a week over Christmas 2015 as part of a family gathering who had hired all 4 cottages. My wife and I stayed in SMIDDY along with our 2 dogs (border collies). For a couple of nights our 2 grown-up sons joined us and stayed in the downstairs bedroom. We used the upstairs bedroom which has ample drapes for privacy. The spiral staircase is very modern and open but quite safe (as long as you don’t want to run up and down it after a few drinks!). If there had just been the 2 of us we would have used the downstairs bedroom as that has direct access to the bathroom. All these cottages are brilliantly equipped. You name it and each one has it. Even down to teapots (who uses those nowadays!), with a choice of a metal one or a traditional large china one. But the jewel in the crown is the location — if you want to get away from it all (except your family of course) but still have WIFI, then this is the place to go. The only thing you will hear in the evening when it gets dark is either the tele or your partner/kids tapping away on their smart phone texting or messaging, etc. No cars, planes or trains to hear. Peter and Irene have made sure that all you have to worry about is holidaying. Any glitch and they are there to help. The blokes can do real man things like lighting the fire and getting the logs. The dogs loved it as you can go across the fields and down to Dane’s brook. There you can walk by the side of the brook for as long as you like, occasionally spotting the deer up the side of the wooded valley that you are in. This is our 2nd visit as we did the same for Xmas 2007. Would thoroughly recommend it.”
December 2015
”Our family had an excellent stay between Christmas and New Year. The accommodation could not be faulted and was equipped for more than a family of six. We were made very welcome by the owners, who obviously had worked very hard to get the accommodation 100% perfect for us after a busy Christmas. I would highly recommend a stay here.”
December 2015
”My family and I spent a great week over Christmas 2015 here. A great welcome from the owners of scones, cream and jam, along with some wine was a nice touch. The cottages provide a warm haven from the rain and wind over Christmas, but we still managed to explore with our dog and also by car the great countryside of Exmoor. We had been here before in 2007 and will definitely return.”
December 2015
”Thank you Peter and Irene for a fantastic week staying at your cottages for our family Christmas break. The cottages had everything you could ask for, upon arrival you had supplied us with a lovely cream tea, and everything you needed to make our first cuppa, and 2 bottles of wine, you made sure we had everything we needed, will definitely be coming back in the new year, thank you once again for a lovely time.”
December 2015
”We have just come back from a week’s stay in one of the cottages on this family run site, called Smiddy. On arrival we were given a warm welcome. A cream tea awaited us in the lounge. Our log burner was made up. We already had £10 put on the meter, which almost lasted the week.

Its a great place to stay for a rest. Do make sure you have petrol in the car and food with you as the nearest shop is 5 miles or so away. This is very rural so be prepared!

The cottage was very comfortable and the kitchen well stocked with amenities. We had loo roll, soap, t towels, towels all provided.

All in all, a fab place to stay.”

November 2015
”My wife, daughter and I spent four nights here this week. The cottage was perfect – comfortable and well-equipped, and in the midst of the most beautiful countryside imaginable. Wonderful walks in all directions, with good places to eat within 30 minutes’ drive. We took two horses and a dog with us, and humans and animals alike had a superb time. For an amateur astronomer like me, the dark skies were fabulous – we even had a lunar eclipse!”
September 2015
”The sort of place you would quite like to keep a secret!! Just the best place for a riding holiday – you can devise your own short/long ride by getting a really good map of all the local bridleways but there will be gates to open! This wonderful place is also amazing for walking and sightseeing – so many deer, ponies and other wildlife. The heather in early September is truly beautiful. The good sized stables are great and really secure. Abundance of grazing available. The cottages are lovely, have great lawns, places to sit and superb views. If your going to stay on Exmoor, this is the place to go but leave room for our return visits!”
September 2015
”We have stayed on Exmoor many times and yet this is by far the best location we have found for horse riding and dog walking and in fact you could ride without ever having to go on the road . The facilities were great including a perfect paddock for turnout and stabling for the horses and Pete and Irene went out of there way to accommodate all our horse requirements . The cottage and gardens were beautiful but most of all we were made to feel so welcome and nothing seemed to be to much trouble for Pete and Irene with those extra personal touches that made a perfect holiday ..”
September 2015
”Just had a lovely few days in smiddy.On arrival greeted by Peter and Irene and a cream tea, anything we needed to know Peter was more than helpful.Very dog friendly lots of fields and woods to walk in.Home from home thank you.”
September 2015
”Recently returned from West Hollowcombe, what can I say!!! From the moment we arrived Pete and Irene were the perfect hosts, greeting us with a cream tea and Irene’s delicious scones.
My sister and I wanted somewhere to take Mum and her dog. the extensive walks around the farm were well suited for dog walking and Mac loved swimming in the river! As far as he was concerned it was brilliant because he never had to go on the lead.
The accommodation was spotless and there was not one thing missing, dish-cloths, rubber gloves, salt and pepper etc etc. Everything had been thought of. The beds were equivalent to those in a 5* hotel, comfortable, luxury linen, all ensuring a good nights sleep. Plenty of room for clothes storage. Each bedroom had en-suite facilies, plus a further wc in the hall.
The lounge area was cosy with a beautiful view. Kitchen fully equipped with everything you could possibly need, although we tended to eat out most evenings and Pete has extensive knowledge of the local hostelries!!! The inn at Tarr Steps is definitely worth a visit!!
My only complaint ………. we must have had the wettest week in August on record!!! Pete did his utmost to rectify this and the sun did make an occasional appearance, well I suppose there are just some things which are out of his hands!!!
A superb place to visit, England at its best.”
August 2015
”Lovely cottages, we have been a few times and absolutely love the place. If you are lucky enough you can see the Deer and Stags roaming the gardens. Great for the dogs as well, loads of lovely places to walk and explore. Tarr Steps is a great walk to combine with a lovely pub meal, or nearby Withypool which has another great pub! Already planning next years visit.”
August 2015
”This was our first visit having found the cottages on the Internet. The cottages were spotlessly clean, well equipped and well presented. Peter and Irene were perfect hosts, helpful and friendly without being intrusive. The location was amazing. We are regular visitors to Exmoor and this has to be our favourite location. There are riverside walks, it is close to the moors, Tarr Steps and lots of other nice places. In both directions are bridges (a few minutes drive) which our children still enjoy building dams in even as teenagers. The whole family is coming back at Easter as we were so impressed.”
July 2015
”Iv lost count of the number of times we have visited West Hollowcombe. We go twice a year as we cant get enough of the lovely relaxing cottages and the ideal location for peace and tranquillity. They have everything you need and more… And Irene and Peter are extremely friendly and helpful. Cant wait for our next visit as 2 weeks still isnt long enough!”
June 2015
”When we arrived we found a totally clean cottage with flowers and handmade scones on the table in the living room. Birds were around all the time. They were fed by Peter and Irene. We came from Hungary and this was our first visit to Exmoor. I have to say it is worth to travel there and would highly recommend to stay in one of the cottages. Peter and Irene’s kindness made our time unforgettable.”
April 2015
”Perfect location to explore Exmoor on foot or horse. Our 9&7 boys loved the cottage and made ful use of the extensive play area and were soon in the river happily dam building. The ponies accommodation was first class and the horse approved of his immaculate stable! The cottage was superb with every possible need met even a welcoming cream tea on the table on arrival! The dogs also thought the log burner was a dream come true. We couldn’t recommend this place highly enough and look forward to returning soon!”
March 2015
”We’ve just got back from a week’s break at West Hollowcombe and loved it. Peter and Irene are so hospitable. The fire was lit when we arrived and the view from the full length window in the living room over the valley was superb – we even saw a stag running across a nearby field
The “dark sky” status enjoyed by the area led to spectacular viewing on the clear nights we had.
Walking from the cottage is varied, quiet and not to be missed.
A welcome pack was provided and quickly consumed and there was a generous supply of logs for the wood – burner which was just as well because it was freezing outside for several days.
WiFi was accessible from everywhere in the cottage – just as well because we couldn’t get a mobile phone signal.”
February 2015

 
STABLING

Do you dream of riding out in wide open spaces or exploring woodlands and riverbanks? Exmoor is the place for you and your horse!
West Hollowcombe Farm has four large stables and two pony stables should you wish to bring your horse on holiday with you. The tack room is at your disposal and the owners provide a water bucket for each stable as well as one bale of dust extracted woodchips. However, as it is on a DIY basis, you do the mucking out yourselves.

There is also a large paddock on site for them to run around in. They will have wonderful views and can watch the Exmoor ponies on the moor opposite. You can ride out onto the moor from the farm gate.

Exmoor has over 625 miles of footpaths and bridleways so you can explore in all directions. You can ride directly from the stables onto the moor only using the lanes occasionally. Alternatively you can arrange riding for yourself at the local stables.

LOCAL INFORMATION

West Hollowcombe Farm is situated in the village of Hawkridge, just north-west of the picturesque town of Dulverton, on the Two Moors Way. The famous Tarr Steps is only 1.75 miles and you can also walk to Dulverton or Withypool or simply take a circular walk around the farm estate along Danes Brook, through West Hollowcombe Woods and back through the village.

FOOD AND DRINK

There is a rich tradition of locally produced food on Exmoor. There are also a multitude of pubs, restaurants and tea rooms around Exmoor serving good food and drink. The closest being;

Tarr Farm Inn, TA22 9PY (1.7 miles) – 16th century inn above the River Barle’s medieval clapper bridge with good food using local produce, children and dogs are welcome.
Withypool Tea Room, Withypool (3.7 miles).
The Royal Oak, Withypool (3.8 miles)
Hinam Farm Tea Room, near Dulverton (4 miles).
The Sportmans Inn, Sandy Way (5.3 miles).
Woods Bar & Restaurant, Dulverton (5 miles).
The Bridge Inn, Dulverton (5 miles).
The Exmoor White Horse Inn, Exford (6 miles).
The London Inn, Molland (6 miles).
The Royal Oak, Winsford (7.5 miles).
The Masons Arms, Knowstone (9 miles) – Michelin starred restaurant.

EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK

Exmoor National Park is the smallest of the National Parks covering around 267 square miles of stunningly beautiful scenery and wonderful views. There are over 625 miles of footpaths and bridleways. It is possible to ride, cycle, walk or even run all day only touching the roads to cross them. The highest point at 1704 feet (Dunkery Beacon) enjoys wonderful panoramic views over the moor, the Quantocks and across the Bristol Channel to Wales.

Uniquely there are thirty-four miles of coastline within the park; it has the highest cliffs and the longest stretch of coastal woodland in England. The North Devon section of the South West Coast Path passes through the remote coast of North Exmoor, through Combe Martin and the popular resort of Ilfracombe. Popular walks include the coastal path from Lynmouth to Watersmeet.

Exmoor is characterized by steep wooded combes and a very varied landscape that changes with the seasons. No matter when you visit it is not possible to be unmoved by its spectacular beauty. In the autumn the moor is covered in heather and you may even be lucky enough to find the local delicacy of whortleberries. The moor is dotted with wild Exmoor Ponies, the Heath Fritillary as well as the largest herd of wild Red Deer in the country.

This is Lorna Doone country – visit the church and village of Oare and the valley from where the dreaded Doones terrorized the neighbourhood.

The area of southern Exmoor is renowned for excellent walking, fishing and horse riding and you can even take an organised off-road trip by Land Rover around Exmoor to see red deer, rare birds and Exmoor ponies.

The National Trust has a number of interests in and around the park, notably Knightshayes, Arlington Court, Dunster Castle and Lundy. You can take a boat trip to Lundy Island, spend the day walking around this spectacular National Trust Island watching the seabirds, and even perhaps spot the basking sharks and puffins. Just as spectacular is the Valley of the Rocks and Watersmeet, just off Lynmouth and Lynton.

The large towns forming a triangle around Exmoor are Minehead, Barnstaple and Taunton. Within the Park there are a number of small towns and many villages; some of the best known being Dunster, with its lovely castle and grounds overlooking Minehead, Porlock, Selworthy, Allerford, Bossington and Exford.

TOWNS & VILLAGES

DULVERTON (5 miles) is the southern gateway to the Exmoor National Park, a small town standing between the rivers Barle and Exe, which meet further down the valley. Dulverton has some quaint narrow streets weaving between fine Victorian buildings and a three arched bridge crossing the river leading to riverside walks. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and pubs in Dulverton and in the square is the Exmoor National Park visitor centre and art gallery, offering plenty of inspiration for exploring the vast expanse of the moor on foot, on horseback or from behind the wheel.

PORLOCK (14.5 miles) is a quaint village with plenty of gift shops along with pubs, cafes and restaurants. The picturesque harbour of Porlock Weir offers wonderful views across the Bristol Channel. Porlock offers the choice of sea fishing from the weir.

TIVERTON market town (17 miles) is famed for its Heathcote lace. One of the principal attractions is Tiverton Castle, a beautiful habited property dating from the twelfth century revealing a number of contrasting architectural styles and some delightful gardens, including a romantic walled garden and kitchen garden.

DUNSTER (17.5 miles) is a medieval village with many old buildings and winding cobbled streets. The whole village is dominated by the Dunster Castle on its hill and the focal point of the High Street is the picturesque Yarn Market, a covered area built in 1609. Dunster is well served with traditional inns, individual shops and interesting places to explore including the working 18th century watermill.

MINEHEAD (18 miles) has golden sandy beaches, a pretty harbour and plenty of cafes, shops and bistros. Enjoy a nostalgic steam train journey from the seafront on the West Somerset Railway, or visit Blenheim Gardens, winner of many awards for its beautiful floral displays.

LYNTON & LYNMOUTH (19 miles) in the Exmoor National Park are connected by a fascinating Cliff Railway, with fabulous walks to Watersmeet and the stunning coastline at the Valley of the Rocks.

BICKLEIGH (21 miles) is one of Devon’s most photographed villages with its thatched cottages, lovingly tended gardens and beautiful riverside setting. Bickleigh Mill offers a rural retail experience. Here you will find shopping opportunities, craft centre, farm shop, restaurant, coffee shop and waterside tea garden together with picnic areas and trout lakes. Nearby, Bickleigh Castle was once a Royal stronghold and boasts a picturesque moated garden, armoury, ancient chapel and much more. Yearlstone Vineyard is another popular attraction, where the silty clay loam and naturally protected slopes provide ideal conditions for grapes to thrive. The vineyard now has a shop and a café overlooking the river Exe, ideal for those yearning to learn more about wine production right here in the UK.

BARNSTAPLE (22 miles) is a lively traditional coastal town with a pannier market, shops, restaurants and bars, along with two fabulous sandy beaches, which are popular with surfers and families. Barnstaple is also home to a multi-screen cinema, the Queen’s Theatre, leisure and tennis centre and a bowling alley. The town is renowned for its floral displays having won a Britain in Bloom award and flowers are found around every corner of the town in the most unusual places. Barnstaple lies at the end of the magnificent Tarka Line railway, which takes you through the spectacular North Devon countryside of wooded river valleys, rugged moorland and a stretch of coastline.

GREAT TORRINGTON (27.5 miles) is an unspoilt town built on high ground above the River Torridge. A leading tourist attraction is Dartington Crystal where visitors can see craftsmen blowing and shaping glass, follow the history of glassmaking and buy some beautiful pieces. The town has a good selection of individual shops, a friendly atmosphere, and some good inns. About a mile from Great Torrington is the spectacular RHS garden at Rosemoor, splendid with colourful roses in summer and in a breathtaking setting by the River Torridge.

BIDEFORD (31 miles) is a quaint town with various shops, restaurants and galleries. Running alongside the river, the town has a lovely country feel. Attractions include the quirky shops, pannier market and the Tarka Trail pedestrian and cycle way. Take a boat trip to Lundy Island, a unique and unspoilt island, undisturbed by cars, and home to a fascinating array of wildlife amidst dramatic scenery: deer, seals, ponies, dolphins and rare birds. On the edge of Bideford is the Atlantic Village, a large shopping outlet housing more than 30 retailers.

ILFRACOMBE (31 miles) is a beautiful Victorian seaside town, home to artist Damien Hirst and his statue ‘Verity,’ which stands proudly above the pretty harbour. Fresh seafood can be enjoyed in several of the restaurants and tea rooms, and there are lovely galleries and shops to peruse. Attractions include Ilfracombe Aquarium. From Ilfracombe Pier you can set sail for Lundy Island. Tunnels Beaches are a network of beautiful sheltered beaches and tidal Victorian bathing pool accessed via four tunnels hand carved in the 1820’s. Located alongside the blue flag beach is a café.

APPLEDORE (32 miles) is a quaint fishing village whose only connection to the mainland is a wonderful peninsular surrounded by salt marshes, which are part of a world biosphere site, and a stunning coastline. Home to shipbuilders and Hocking’s ice cream, which is only sold in North Devon, there are Ferry links to Instow. Attractions include The North Devon Maritime Museum & Victorian Schoolroom.

CLOVELLY (42 miles) is set into a steep hillside that drops more than 400ft down to Clovelly Pier. One of the most famous villages in the world, the car-free cobbled streets have made it a wonderful place for visitors to walk. Home to a cluster of shops, café and public house, attractions include Hobby Drive Walk and Clovelly Court Gardens.

CASTLES, HOUSES & GARDENS

Knightshayes Court (National Trust), Tiverton (16.5 miles) is a Victorian country house surrounded by acres of glorious gardens and parkland.

Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles) is an ancient castle with dramatic vistas and subtropical gardens, set above the medieval village of Dunster. Dating back over 1,000 years, Dunster Castle is now run by the National Trust as a tourist attraction with events and activities held during the year.

Arlington Court and the National Trust Carriage Museum (National Trust), Arlington, near Barnstaple (23 miles). The Regency house holds an impressive collection of horse drawn vehicles and beautiful gardens. Arlington has over 20 miles of footpaths, trailing around lakes and bridges.

Broomhill Sculpture Garden, Barnstaple (25.5 miles). Surrounded by woodland and streams, the garden features a number of international and local sculpture projects, as well as an excellent restaurant.

Castle Hill Gardens, Filleigh, Torrington (28 miles).

Marwood Hill Gardens, Marwood, Barnstaple (28 miles).

Tapeley Park Stately Home and Gardens, Westleigh, Bideford (28 miles).

RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington (29 miles).

Clovelly Court Gardens, Clovelly (42 miles).

Powderham Castle, Kenton, Exeter (45 miles).

Hartland Abbey & Gardens, Hartland, Bideford (45 miles).

Barrington Court, Ilminster TA19 0NQ (49 miles).

BEACHES

North Devon beaches are well known around the world for their clean water, golden sands and excellent waves. All these beaches are located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and are situated along the South West Coast Path.

Instow beach and pretty village (28 miles), home of the Royal North Devon Yacht Club.

Tunnels Beach, Ilfracombe (30.5 miles).

Saunton Sands (31.5 miles). Saunton is an ideal surfing beach for beginners, providing a more smooth ride.

Westward Ho! (32 miles) has a gorgeous beach, which is popular for surfing and swimming. The clean sands are protected by a large pebble ridge and grasslands, which lie within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Woolacombe (32.5 miles). Putsborough, located in the southern corner of Woolacombe, will tend to have clean surf when nowhere else does, due to the high cliffs protecting it from the gales.

Croyde Bay (33 miles) has one of the best beach breaks in the UK and therefore attracts the more experienced surfers.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS

North Devon Hawk Walks, Withypool, Exmoor (4 miles).

Quince Honey Farm in South Molton (12.4 miles) is a family run working honey farm with 1,000 hives. Visit the world’s largest Honeybee exhibition; BeeWorld! There is a large indoor soft play area, an outdoor play area and a Critter cabin. Cafe and shop, dog friendly.

Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre, West Lynch Farm, Allerford, near Porlock (15.5 miles). Visit the Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre to see their collection of owls, birds of prey and other friendly animals plus the opportunity to participate in full or half-day bird of prey experiences.

Dunster Working Watermill (National Trust), Dunster (17.5 miles), an 18th century mill set in the peaceful surroundings of Dunster Castle.

Dunster Castle (National Trust), Dunster (17.5 miles).

Exmoor Zoo, Bratton Fleming (18 miles).

Cobbaton Combat Collection of military vehicles, Cobbaton, Chittlehampton (20 miles).

West Somerset Railway is a 20 mile steam railway running through stunning countryside between Minehead (20 miles) and Bishop’s Lydeard, near Taunton.

Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust, near Watchet (22 miles). A charming and atmospheric collection of railway memorabilia and real vintage engines and cars.

Tropiquaria Wildlife Park, Watchet (22 miles) – a small tropical house and zoo. Puppet theatre and 2 life-size pirate adventure ships. Also new indoor play castle.

The Tarka Trail (22 miles) is the former Barnstaple to Bideford railway line, one of the country’s longest continuous traffic-free walking and cycling paths, and forms part of the Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route. Providing excellent views of the Taw estuary the route is relatively level.

Wildlife & Dinosaur Park, Combe Martin (23 miles).

Watermouth Castle and Family Theme Park, Berrynarbor, near Ilfracombe (27 miles).

Dartington Crystal, Great Torrington (28 miles).

The Big Sheep is an amusement farm park located in Abbotsham, near Bideford (32 miles).

The Milky Way Adventure Park, Clovelly (39 miles).

Crealy Adventure Park, Sidmouth Road, Exeter (40 miles) – Roller coasters, drop slides and water flumes plus lots more.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

The surrounding area is perfect for golf, horse riding, watersports, quad biking, fishing and flying, which can all be enjoyed locally.

GOLF

Highbullen Hotel Golf and Country Club, 18 hole pay and play (19 miles).
Chulmleigh Golf Course 18 hole par 3, pay and play (20 miles).
Libbaton Golf Club, High Bickington, Umberleigh (23 miles).
Portmore Golf Park, Barnstaple (21 miles).

HORSE RIDING/PONY TREKKING

Horse riding allows you to venture off the conventional footpaths and experience the landscape and scenery like never before. Many of the riding stables in the area offer both coastal and countryside treks, and can cater for all levels of experience.

West Anstey Farm Stables, Waddicombe (3.7 miles).
Brendon Manor Riding Stables, Brendon Manor Farm, Brendon Manor, Lynton (16 miles). Ideal if you want to go horse riding over Exmoor.
Bold Try Riding Stables, Leigh Road, Chulmleigh (20.5 miles).
Dean Riding Stables, Lower Dean Farm, Dean, Parracombe (21.5 miles). Ride out on a quiet or adventurous hack around Exmoor.
North Devon Equestrian Centre, Shirwell, Barnstaple (27 miles).

INLAND WATERSPORTS

The majestic lake at Wimblewall Country Park (11 miles) is also a premier trout fishing location, and provides tuition in numerous water sports, including sailing, windsurfing and canoeing.
At the reservoir at Wistlandpound (20 miles), there are the opportunities to try sailing, windsurfing and canoeing.

COASTAL WATERSPORTS

World class beaches at Saunton, Woolacombe and Croyde provide ideal opportunities for surfing, coasteering, kayaking and kite surfing:
Surfside Kayak, Combe Martin, Ilfracombe (25 miles).
North Devon Surf School, Westward Ho! (32 miles).
Surf South West, Croyde Bay (34 miles).

ADVENTURE CENTRES

Rock and Rapid Adventures, South Molton (11.4 miles) has the largest indoor climbing wall in North Devon.
Exmoor Adventures, Porlock Weir (15.6 miles) provides a range of outdoor activities including coasteering, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing, raft building, archery, hill walking and orienteering activities across North Devon and Somerset.
South Down Adventure Ltd, South Down Farm, Umberleigh (26 miles) offers quad biking, zorbing, clay shooting archery or air rifle shooting.
North Devon Karting, Barnstaple (24.5 miles).
Keypitts Stables ‘n’ Quads, Ilfracombe (28 miles).
The Ultimate Adventure Centre, near Bideford (32 miles) offers coasteering, mountain boarding, mountain biking, high ropes, climbing wall, kayaking and surfing.
West Somerset Adventures offer a variety of activities and day packages to suit those looking for an alternative Exmoor adventure. West Somerset Adventures is a local company based on the edge of Exmoor.

SWIMMING

South Molton swimming pool (14 miles).
Tiverton swimming pool, Exe Valley Leisure Centre (16 miles).
Wivey Pool, The Recreation Ground, Wiveliscombe (18 miles) – outdoor open air swimming pool.

FLYING

Aerosaurus Balloons & Virgin Hot Air Balloon Flights, Tiverton Rugby Club, Tiverton (16 miles).
Eaglescott Airfield (26 miles) – light aircraft, microlights, gliding, training, aerobatics and air experience flights.

BOWLING

South Molton Bowling Club (12.5 miles) has an outdoor bowling green for the summer and indoor short mat bowling during the winter.

COARSE FISHING

Riverton House & Lakes, Coarse Angling Centre, Barnstaple, Swimbridge (17 miles).

FLY FISHING

Bellbrook Valley Trout Fishery, Oakford, Tiverton (10 miles).

SAFARIS

Experience Exmoor offers a range of outdoor experiences in Exmoor. You can take part in a luxury 4×4 safari, where you can go off road, see the coast or explore Exmoor with a pub lunch to keep your energy levels up. Experience Exmoor also offers sea safaris, clay pigeon shooting and walks.

Red Stag Safari offer Safaris on Exmoor in a Land Rover Discovery with a local Somerset guide, see Red Deer on Exmoor and discover its fascinating past.

EVENTS

APRIL

Dunster Castle Express, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Lunchtime Fish and Chip Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
North Devon & Exmoor Walking Festival
Dunster Castle events, Dunster (17.5 miles).

MAY

Dunster Castle Express, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
North Devon & Exmoor Walking Festival
Lunchtime Fish and Chip Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Murder Mystery Special, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Dunster Castle events, Dunster (17.5 miles).
Events at Arlington Court (National Trust), Arlington, near Barnstaple (23 miles).

JUNE

Dunster Castle Express, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Cheese & Cider Lunchtime Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Steam & Cream Tea Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
4 Seaweed Festival, Clovelly (41 miles).
10-18 Ilfracombe Victorian Celebration, Ilfracombe (31 miles).
16-18 GoldCoast Oceanfest, Croyde (33 miles).
Events at Arlington Court (National Trust), Arlington, near Barnstaple (23 miles).
Outdoor Theatre, Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).

JULY

Dunster Castle Express, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Days out with Thomas, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Yarn-Bombing, Clovelly (41 miles).
Cheese & Cider Lunchtime Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Steam & Cream Tea Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Murder Mystery Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
8 Clovelly Gig Regatta, Clovelly (41 miles).
16 Clovelly Maritime Festival, Clovelly (41 miles).
World War I Assault Course, Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
Summer events at Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
31 Woolsery Agricultural Show, Clovelly (41 miles).
Victorian Explorers with Exmoor Zoo, Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
Somersault Festival, Castle Hill Gardens, Filleigh (28 miles).

AUGUST

Dunster Castle Express, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Victorian Falconry, Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
Outdoor Theatre, Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
2 North Devon Show, South Molton (12.5 miles).
Victorian Explorers with Exmoor Zoo, Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
Exmoor Rail, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
5-6 Clovelly Lifeboat Weekend, Clovelly (41 miles).
Civil War Weekend, Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
Lunchtime Fish and Chip Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Events at Arlington Court (National Trust), Arlington, near Barnstaple (23 miles).
National Sandcastle Competition, Croyde Beach (33 miles).

SEPTEMBER

Dunster Castle Express, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Events at Arlington Court (National Trust), Arlington, near Barnstaple (23 miles).
Cheese & Cider Lunchtime Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Steam & Cream Tea Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Sea Ilfracombe Festival, Ilfracombe (31 miles).
Late Summer Weekend, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Lobster and Crab Feast, Clovelly (41 miles).
Events at Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
Barnstaple Carnival, Barnstaple (22 miles).
The Appledore Book Festival, Appledore (32 miles).

OCTOBER

Dunster Castle Express, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
The Appledore Book Festival, Appledore (32 miles).
Events at Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
Autumn Steam Gala, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Morning Deer Walks, Arlington Court (National Trust), Arlington, near Barnstaple (23 miles).
North Devon Foodfest, Barnstaple Pannier Market (22 miles).
Spooky Pumpkin Trail, Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
After Dark, Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
Spooky Night Walk, Arlington Court (National Trust), Arlington, near Barnstaple (23 miles).
Murder Mystery Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Steam & Scream, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).

NOVEMBER

Christmas Fair Arlington Court (National Trust), Arlington, near Barnstaple (23 miles).
Clovelly Herring Festival, Clovelly (41 miles).
Minehead Station Christmas Market (20 miles).

DECEMBER

Dunster by Candlelight, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Santa Express Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Sherry & Mince Pie Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Christmas through the ages and illuminated trail, Dunster Castle, Dunster (17.5 miles).
Christmas Lights, Clovelly (41 miles).
Murder Mystery Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Father Christmas, Arlington Court (National Trust), Arlington, near Barnstaple (23 miles).
Carol Trains, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Winter Steam Festival, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).
Lunchtime Fish and Chip Specials, West Somerset Railway, Minehead (20 miles).

 

 

Visitors’ Notes

Things you need to know about Smiddy Cottage if you’re thinking of booking a holiday there:

  • Smoking is not allowed inside any of our properties
  • This cottage welcomes dogs and other pets, providing they are well behaved
  • Reception for mobiles, although currently limited, is showing signs of improvement. However there is a pay phone and fax in the main house.
  • Barbecues and related tools are available on request
  • The first £10 of electricity is free and the owners charge you their current supplier’s price for any additional electricity used during your stay
  • Additional beds in the cottages are priced at £30.00 per week
  • Horses and ponies on a DIY basis, with stable, use of tack room and grazing at £40.00 per week or £7.00 per night
  • Minimum stay 2 nights in off peak periods. Minimum stay 7 nights Friday to Friday during Summer High season.

*Internet access is offered at this property for recreational purposes only and is not meant for business use. Speed/service may vary depending on the package obtained by the owner which is provided to guests free of charge. Should guests experience difficulties or loss of use, neither the owner nor the agent will be held responsible.