EXMOOR COTTAGE HOLIDAYS
Exmoor and North Devon is a very popular destination for UK family holidays. The spectacular beaches, beautiful countryside and many attractions have something to offer everyone in the family, and the food and customs are familiar when compared to holidays overseas. There is good access from the motorway network and the region is easier to reach than Cornwall and less commercialised than South Devon.
Exmoor Cottage Holidays are ideal for families who prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle of the principal resorts and yet be in an excellent central location from which to explore Exmoor and the spectacular North Devon coast.
The five stone-built self-catering cottages are in the friendly village of Challacombe within the Exmoor National Park. The cottages are well equipped for family holidays, with one to three bedrooms, sleeping up to six people (+ cot). Every cottage has a log fire (with a free basket of logs and kindling) and an enclosed private garden with a picnic table and a bird-feeder (which is filled regularly). You can reserve a BBQ, travel cot, high chair, stair gate and fire-guard free of charge, and there are laundry facilities either in your cottage, or our laundry room (available when we are on-site).
We visit most days to help with any enquiries (and feed the birds). We have lived in North Devon for over 20 years with our children, and are very happy to point out the best places to visit on an OS map (which you may borrow). We can recommend the best attractions for your family, and often have special deals arranged just for our guests. We can show you how to light your log stove and keep it going, and recommend local services (e.g. taxi, horse-riding lessons, cycle hire, fishing trips, vehicle repairs, etc.). We also offer (charged extra) towel hire, more logs and kindling, cottage cleaning, and a service wash and dry so that you can get the most from your family holiday.
The enchanting grounds are a wildlife wonderland for children. Children are free to explore (at parental discretion) the paths up and around Humphrey's Hill, play in the Delve and scramble through the woods, build dens, play hide-and-seek in the long grass, investigate the wildlife pond, and search for small frogs & lizards. There is a large play area with an impressive climbing frame with two towers, linked with a bridge, and incorporating swings; slide; rope wall; climbing wall; periscope; driving wheel and fireman's pole.
For the budding stargazer Exmoor is the best place in the UK to look at the Milky Way (when considering light pollution and cloud cover) and the first place in Europe to be designated an International Dark Skies Reserve. Exmoor is also perfect for any would-be David Attenborough or Johnny Kingdom, with several unique animals (the Exmoor pony, Red and Roe deer and Lynton feral goats) being relatively easy to view in the wild. Buzzards are very common in the area and you may also see sparrow-hawks and kestrels.
The TV's in the cottages have a DVD/CD player and lots of digital TV channels are available through Freeview. Some board games, books and packs of cards are provided. Free WiFi is available and although there is a dedicated telephone line at the cottages just for broadband, the bandwidth can be limited, especially at peak times.
Family pets are welcome and there is a delightful walk up Humphrey's Hill where they can be exercised on site. The village shop and Post Office is within two minutes walk and stocks groceries, snacks and drinks, and you can arrange a delivery with them for your arrival. You can also arrange a delivery with the local Tesco or Sainsburys. Beside the shop is an award winning family-friendly pub, which serves very good home made food and has a small playground in the garden.
Within 100 yards of the cottages is a shallow ford and small footbridge across the river Bray, where children often like to watch the minnows and small trout. There are lots of excellent walks throughout the village and on the surrounding hills, and you can visit Shoulsbury Castle, a spectacular Iron Age hillfort; Bray Reservoir, a pretty local reservoir, source of the river Bray; and atmospheric Pinkery Pond, source of the river Barle.
There are many places to explore in North Devon and Exmoor, most within half-an-hours drive from the cottages. There are miles of golden sandy beaches at Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton Sands; dozens of hidden rocky coves, for example at Hele Bay, Lee Bay and Woody Bay; and plenty of amazing walks, for example at Watersmeet, Horners Wood, the Doone Valley, Tarr Steps and the Valley of Rocks.
There is a former railway line along the coast from Braunton to Bideford, now a cycle track called the Tarka Trail, where we have often enjoyed a family day out - our favourite stretch is from Fremington Quay to Instow. There are several bike hire shops along the way and we once hired three bicycles for eight of us; one bike pushed a wheelchair, one was a tandem with a pull-along bike and the third was a tricycle with two back seats!
There are lots of local attractions specifically for children, such as The Big Sheep, The Milky Way, Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park and Watermouth Castle. Exmoor Zoo is an excellent day out, and is only a few miles from the cottages. There is a small aquarium in Ilfracombe and boat trips are available from the harbour for sightseeing and fishing. For young children there is a play gym in Barnstaple and for older children there are lots of exciting things to do nearby, including swimming, horse-riding; coasteering; quad-bike riding; paint balling; high rope adventure and canoeing.
If you are looking for a perfect cottage for a family holiday with children in Exmoor and North Devon, then look no further than Exmoor Cottage Holidays. We are easy to reach and have excellent child-friendly facilities, including a large play area in the grounds and a pub and shop within a short walk. It is only a short drive to many spectacular beaches and several major attractions.