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The Dairy House is a charming, grade II listed ham-stone cottage sleeping 16. Nestled in a beautiful and secluded garden in the private parkland around Dillington House, it is the perfect place for a calming, restorative escape.
Comfortable and stylish inside, the spacious house has many historic features that add to its charm, with mullioned windows, old oak beams and a wood-burning stove set into a huge inglenook.
The open-plan living space feels warm and homely despite its spaciousness. It comprises a sociable kitchen area with an island for prepping and serving, and a sitting area with wood-burning stove set into a large old fireplace surrounded by comfy sofas.
The dining table seats 16 and is situated in a large garden room conservatory just off the open plan living space. This looks out over, and opens out onto, the spacious lawn and beautiful garden, so you can enjoy being surrounded by nature, whatever the weather.
A separate sitting room/snug offers privacy or space to relax on sofas in front of the large TV, and there is a utility room with washing facilities.
There are seven bedrooms, three of which are en suite, three with flexible zip and link beds, and two are bunk rooms. There are four bedrooms in the main house and three in the “cowshed”, which is a converted barn a few yards from the main house.
In the main house, the master ensuite has a superking sized wooden sleigh bed. Two of the other three bedrooms have zip & link beds that can be arranged as superking doubles or as twin singles, one of these is an en suite and the other shares a bath/shower room with a bunk room also in the main house. The bunk room can accommodate three if needed, with one on a pull-out trundle bed kept under the bunk. The bunks are adult-sized beds, but do have slightly thinner mattresses.
The three bedrooms in the cowshed include two zip & link doubles that can also be set up as twins. One has an en-suite shower room, the other shares a bath/shower room with the third bedroom in the cowshed, which is another bunk. The bunk room accommodates up to three in the same way as the bunk in the main house.
The wonderfully well appointed property is cocooned by a stunning and secluded garden. With bursting flowerbeds, interesting trees, a spacious lawn and a stone terrace, there’s even a small wood, perfect for children to explore and play hide and seek in.
The garden also has a wood-fired hot tub, from which you can look out over the nearby parklands while you soak.
You are welcome to pick the fruit from the apple, pear and plum trees in the garden when they’re in season. You’ll also find basketloads of blackberries when in season. There is a chicken coop in the orchard, so please also help yourself to the eggs. There is also a good sized climbing frame which children are welcome to use.
Set in the parklands around Dillington House, The Dairy House offers guests total privacy and the benefit of being able to enjoy access to the park as well as the house’s garden itself.
Its private rural location makes The Dairy House a great escape for those looking for a fix of space and countryside air. There are plenty of pubs to walk or cycle to and things to see and do. The convenient shopping in Ilminster with its supermarket is 5 minutes by car.
Nearby there are several pubs, some within walking distance – like the Barrington Boar – others a little further, but worth cycling or driving to, such as the Dinnington Docks or Lord Poulett Arms. Bikes can be hired locally and dropped off at the property.
Barrington House, a National Trust house with gardens open to the public, is nearby, as is Dillington House. The Dennis Chinaworks in Shepton Beauchamp are also very close and worth a visit, for the tea rooms as much as anything else.
There are several local cider producers whose orchards and presses are worth seeing, Perry’s Cider in Dowlish Wake being one, and Julian Temperley’s cider and cider brandy distillery over at Burrow Hill another.
A little further away the beach at Lyme Regis and walks along the Jurassic coastline are 40 minutes or so to the south, and the Hauser and Wirth gallery near Bruton is 40 minutes or so to the east.
Below is a list of recommended local caterers who can help look after you during your stay:
Emily Hilton: 07801 639 937 | www.mykitchencatering.co.uk
The Blackdown Dining Co: 07860581680 | www.blackdowndining.co.uk | email@example.com
Liz Beale: 07964 193588 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jo or Carolyn Killin: 07919181066 | email@example.com
Mariam Archer: 07801 289205 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellison’s Dining: 07710 521559 | email@example.com
EATING & DRINKING
Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton St George (4 miles). Just a ten minute drive away, the Lord Poulett Arms is an elegant and traditional (but still cosy) award-winning gastropub. Great for a nice dinner or Sunday lunch. It has a large rear garden.
Barrington Boar, Barrington (2 miles). A five minute drive, or 45-60 minute walk across the fields, the Barrington Boar is a relaxed pub to walk to on a fine day, serving food and drink from local suppliers.
Dinnington Docks, Hinton Saint George (4 miles). A ten minute drive away, Dinnington Docks is a rustic and charming little pub. It has an eclectic clientele, which usually includes a dog or two, and serves a good variety of traditional pub food.
f.east, Rose Mills, Ilminster (3.5 miles). Tucked away in unit 1 of the Rose Mills industrial Estate, but with its delicious food and relaxed industrial style, this vegetarian restaurant is well worth a visit for brunch, lunch or tea (Tues-Sat).
Pip’s Railway Carriage Café, Lopen (3 miles). The Railway Carriage Café is next door to the Trading Post farm shop and the quirky interior, being in a railway carriage (and now a bus too) isn’t the only highlight; it serves delicious food and coffee from 9:30am to 4:00pm everyday except Sunday.
The Firehouse, Somerset, Langport (7 miles). The Firehouse is a traditional pub turned award-winning pizzeria. The pizzas are home-baked and delicious, whether served as eat-in or takeaway.
Candlelight Inn, Bishopswood, Chard (9.5 miles). A 15 minute drive west, the Candlelight Inn is a 17th century traditional country pub in the Blackdown Hills (which are a great place for walks and cycling). It’s a dog-friendly, rustic and cosy gastropub serving excellent local food.
The White Hart, Somerton (13 miles). A 30 minute drive away, the White Hart is a rustic-chic gastropub, with a quirky, stripped-bare, but cosy interior, and delicious food from the ex head-chef of the River Cottage.
The Castle Hotel, Taunton (14 miles). The Castle Hotel is a 30 minute drive away, and this four-star hotel has a restaurant and brasserie, so if you don’t mind the drive, or are heading towards Taunton anyway, there is plenty to choose from.
The Pig at Combe, Gittisham (24 miles). The Pig at Combe is a 40 minute drive away and well worth a visit on a trip down to the Dorset / Devon coast. Part of the down-to-earth “derelict-chic” award-winning hotel group, it’s a great spot to enjoy fine food for lunch or dinner and sumptuous cocktails (or not…if you’re the designated driver!)
HIX Oyster & Fish house, Lyme Regis (20 miles). HIX Oyster & Fish house is another restaurant that should feature as part of a trip to the South Dorset coast. A 45 minute drive away it is a great stop on any visit to the historic fishing port of Lyme Regis.
The Hive Beach Café, Burton Bradstock (23 miles). The Hive Beach Café is located right on the beach at Burton Bradstock on the Jurassic Coast. With views across Lyme Bay and Chesil Beach, it’s a great location to enjoy informal, fresh, local seafood. They don’t take bookings though, and it can be popular, so on busy days be prepared to queue!
The Club House, West Bexington (26 miles). A nearby sister restaurant to the Hive Cafe where bookings are taken, where,according to them “the fish is always the hero of the dish”. The cooking is delicious and no frills. A great option after a long walk along the Jurassic Coast.
At The Chapel, Bruton (25 miles). A highly-rated all day restaurant and bar located in a converted 17th century former chapel, this restaurant is well worth a visit, for dinner or for lunch, perhaps in combination with a trip to the Hauser and Wirth modern art gallery in Bruton.
FUN FOR KIDS
Drakes Farm Riding Centre, Drakes Farm, Ilton (3.5 miles). Drakes Farm Riding Centre offers riding lessons and hacking near to the Estate. They can offer lessons to riders of all ages and abilities and have indoor and outdoor facilities at the farm.
Crewkerne Aqua Centre (7 miles). Crewkerne Aqua Centre boasts a 25 metre pool, warm teaching pool, aquarobics, swim school, gym and studio classes including spinning, pilates etc.
Jungle Jungle, Lufton (12 miles). An indoor soft play area in Yeovil (20 minute drive away).
Ferne Animal Sanctuary Wambrook, Chard (12 miles). Set in 51 acres of stunning Somerset countryside the Sanctuary is a great place to come and explore.
Fleet Air Arm Museum, RNAS Yeovilton (15 miles). A major naval aviation museum, great for kids of all ages, with a large collection of aircraft and interactive displays including a replica of the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and a Concorde, both of which you can explore.
Axe Valley Wildlife Park, Summerleaze Farm, Kilmington (16 miles). A 35 minute drive away, the Axe Valley Wildlife Centre is a small, friendly zoo that’s home to a variety of small animals from around the world, from antelopes to zebra. It’s a great to visit with kids and can also be combined with a trip to Lyme Regis beach and the Jurassic coast.
Haynes Motor Museum, Sparkford, Yeovil (18 miles). An all weather attraction, with over 400 cars and bikes in the museum from the 1800s, through the nostalgic classics, to modern super cars like the Jaguar XJ220.
Fossil hunting from Lyme Regis and Charmouth beaches (20 miles).
Wookey Hole, Somerset (30 miles). Around an hour’s drive away, Wookey Hole is famous for it’s amazing caves, but also other indoor fun, from a hall of mirrors, to penny arcades, an indoor play castle and some outdoor crazy golf.
Dennis China Works, Shepton House, Ilminster (1.5 miles). A local pottery making interesting and innovative vases and tiles, run from the converted stables of a Victorian Gothic rectory…and with tea rooms attached!
Barrington Court, Barrington, Ilminster (3 miles). A ten minute drive away, Barrington Court is a National Trust Tudor Manor house. It was restored in the 1920s, and is surrounded by farm buildings, abundant flowers and orchards.
Perry's Cider Mills, Dowlish Wake, Ilminster (4 miles). Cider farm, mill, cellar and tasting shop, the home of Perry’s award-winning farmhouse and premium single variety ciders.
Somerset Cider Brandy Co, Burrow Hill (5 miles). The Temperley’s beautiful and ramshackle cider orchard and press and award winning cider brandy distillery, Also the home of the Cider Bus, famous for its appearances at Glastonbury and other festivals.
Montacute House, Montacute (8 miles). Another National Trust house, this one a 20 minute drive, it is of Elizabethan Renaissance architecture and design and features striking walls of stone-mullioned ham-stone windows.
Forde Abbey, Chard (10 miles). Forde Abbey is a fascinating combination of a medieval monastery and a family home. Beautiful grounds, gardens and tea room are open daily throughout the year.
UK Llamas, New House Farm, Beaminster (11 miles) offers trekking around the county with Llamas.
Hestercombe Gardens, Hestercombe (16 miles). This wonderful garden restoration, featuring temples, lakes and formal beds, is the joint work of design greats Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edward Lutyens.
Mapperton House & Gardens, Beaminster (16 miles).
Land Rover Experience West Country, Wessington Farm, Awliscombe, Honiton (21 miles).
Glastonbury Tor and Abbey (22 miles). The Tor is a prominent hill overlooking Glastonbury and Somerset, topped by the roofless St Michael’s Tower, and situated near the town of Glastonbury, with tea rooms and it’s ruined abbey.
Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton (25 miles). A pioneering world-class modern art gallery and multi-purpose arts centre set in some converted old (and new) stone farm buildings. There is also an on-site restaurant, the Roth Bar & Grill.
Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar (30 miles). A beautiful and remarkable spot for walks, or for the more adventurous to explore its caves or climb its cliffs, there is also an “escape room” experience to try, as well as a museum of prehistory.
WALKS/NATURE RESERVES/COUNTRY PARKS
The South West Coastal Path passes through Devon’s Jurassic Coast and you are able to pick this up at most of the beaches in either direction. Beautiful walks along the Jurassic coast can be done in shorter sections, and are well served by public transport links. We recommend taking in the Golden Cap at Bridport, with the Anchor Inn at Seatown as a stop along the way, and/or fish and chips in West Bay.
The Blackdown Hills form a tranquil, beautiful, and relatively isolated landscape on the Devon and Somerset border. Steep ridges, high plateaux,valleys and springs create a stunning mosaic of countryside dotted with farms, villages and ancient features.
Lewesdon Hill, Beaminster (National Trust) (14 miles), the highest point in Dorset with views between the trees over Devon, Somerset and out to sea. Standing at 915 feet (279 metres), with Pilsdon Pen (see below) nearby.
Pilsdon Pen (National Trust) (16 miles) is a bracing hilltop walk up to the second-highest point in Dorset. Pilsdon Pen boasts magnificent far-reaching views across the Marshwood Vale.
Eggardon Hill Fort (National Trust) (21 miles), a great place for walking with extensive views.
Easter Fairytale Kingdom, Wookey Hole (30 miles).
Easter Fairytale Kingdom, Wookey Hole (30 miles).
Axe Vale Festival, The Showground, Woodmead Road, Axminster.(14 miles).
Vintage Tractor & Stationary Engine Club Rally, Melplash Showground (20 miles).
Bridport Food Festival, Asker Meadow, Bridport (19 miles).
Beaminster Festival of Music & Arts, Beaminster (14 miles).
JULYBeaminster Festival of Music & Arts, Beaminster (14 miles).
Lyme Regis Regatta & Carnival Week, Lyme Regis (19 miles).
West Bay Day (21 miles).
Bridport Carnival, Bridport (19 miles).
Burton Bradstock Festival of Music & Art, Burton Bradstock (22 miles).
Lyme Folk Festival, Lyme Regis (19 miles).
Buckham Fair Pony & Dog Show, Stinford Lane, Beaminster (14 miles).
The Honiton Agricultural Show, Honiton (19 miles).
Beer Regatta, Beer (23 miles). A week packed with different events to suit all ages. From scavenger hunts and children’s fun to fireworks and late night dances.
RNLI West Bay Fun Day (21 miles).
Melplash Agricultural Show, Melplash Showground (20 miles).
Candles on the Cobb, Lyme Regis (19 miles).
Seaton Carnival Week, Seaton (21 miles).
Symondsbury/Symene Fete, Symondsbury (20 miles).
Crewkerne's Charter Fair is an annual event held in Crewkerne (7 miles) on the first Friday and Saturday of September and consists of a street market and entertainment, including a Fun Fair.
Seaton Carnival Week and Illuminated Carnival Procession (September 3), Seaton (21 miles).
Bridport Hat Festival, Bridport (19 miles).
Food Rocks Festival, Lyme Regis (19 miles).
Autumn Charity Garden Fair at Mapperton, Mapperton House, Beaminster (16 miles).
Lyme Regis ArtsFest, Lyme Regis (19 miles).
Bridgwater Fair – large travelling fun fair and market (21 miles).
Wellington Carnival (last Saturday in September) (20 miles).
Chard Carnival (8 miles).
Hinton St George, Punky night – last Thursday in October (4.5 miles). A Punkie is a hollowed-out mangold or manglewurzel with a lit candle inside to make a lantern.
Honiton Carnival, Honiton (19 miles).
Dorset Food Week, various locations throughout Dorset.
Bridport Literary Festival, Bridport (19 miles).
Bridport Annual Christmas Tree Festival, Bridport (19 miles).
Eype Makers Christmas Market, Highlands Leisure Park, Eype (21 miles).
Bridgwater Carnival (21 miles).
Wookey Hole Santaland, Wookey Hole (30 miles).
Wookey Hole Santaland, Wookey Hole (30 miles).
Things you need to know about The Dairy House if you’re thinking of booking a holiday there:
*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.