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Review: Exeter

City/Town/Region/Island

United Kingdom

Devonly Good

  • By SilverTraveller soopernan

    35 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon

  • Oct 2012
  • Family including children under 16

25 people found this review helpful

We recently wanted to have a family holiday together, three generations under one roof for a week. The last time this occurred was Christmas last year, a great success, so this time wife and daughter decided on a Devon holiday barn conversion that appeared at first sight to be in the middle of nowhere, but in reality was handy for so many places we were spoilt for choice. They trawled through various web sites for hours, and finally came up with www.holidaycottages.co.uk who had a superb choice, and after a lot of discussion decided on Warden Farm, near North Tawton, about a dozen miles from Crediton. The directions were excellent, with resident owners on hand to welcome us. Make sure you read the instructions about what to bring, because a lot is provided, and there is a Spa shop in the village that keeps very late hours bearing in mind that it is not a great metropolis. Their web site http://www.holidaycottages.co.uk/devon/mid-and-east-devon/warden-farm-bale-house (yes, I know it’s a long one, but it’s worth the effort) is informative, with the reality being even better. They provided the basic groceries as well as bottle openers, cork screws, and lots of little unexpected extras. Towels are even included. But wi-fi connection is intermittent to be kind, during our week-long stay I only connected once with my laptop. If that aspect is important to you, bear in mind, but if you want a relaxing break, then forget all about it. The phone signal is excellent so your mobile works fine. There are four properties on site, all converted from dilapidated barns. We stayed in one of the four bed roomed ones, being grandparents claiming the large private one above the lounge. This bedroom is huge, high ceilings, integral shower room and connected toilet, sink in the bedroom, above all of which was a large dolls house. Nice touch. Good sized dining area, with separate stairs to the corridor containing a large bathroom and three bedrooms, one en suite. We had a nose at the other properties, one another four bedroom, the next three bedrooms all on one floor, and the last a one bedroom ideal for a loving couple to snuggle into which even had a telescope. Looking at the photo of the before, I found it incomprehensible how one person could have achieved all of this on their own, but they did, and they did it very well, with rooms thoughtfully well appointed. He could have been a professional barn converter, instead of this being a one-off project. And it was built to last, as the conversion occurred five years ago, with little signs of wear and tear. When walking into North Tawton, take note of the distance from the converted barn to civilisation. Their half a mile is more akin to a Devon measurement, reality is that short distance will take you in excess of half an hour at a good pace. There is a very good choice of shops, be patient when trying to find somewhere to park, as the locals abandon their vehicles everywhere. The best pub is the White Hart. Lisa and Jeff cook excellent meals at reasonable prices, they have a pool table in front, and a skittle alley in back. Even the smokers area is pleasant, so daughter tells me. Before going to the White Hart, ring Jeff on 01837 82473 and ask if you can drive down leaving your car on the vet’s forecourt next door. He might volunteer to drive you back so you can all have a drink. We had a pizza take-away from the village on the first night, they didn’t take credit cards, but found us very easily and quickly. I have deliberately written comprehensively just about this aspect of our stay, with another full-length article about what to do in Devon under the title ‘What to do in holiday Devon’. Bear in mind that at all times you will be driving long distances wherever you go, but the holiday let is central to a lot of places, with Exeter less than half a hour away. The overall experience was an excellent one, but don’t kids these days want to stay in bed for hours, even while on holiday? (and the middle generation, but let’s not be too critical here).

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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