We spent a week here in the May half term holidays and had a lovely time. We have two children aged 6 and 3 and they they really loved being able to run around in the spacious gardens and especially enjoyed visiting the chickens and collecting some eggs. We were made to feel very welcome by Rich, the owner, and appreciated advice on the local area. The cottage is situated in a lovely rural spot yet so close to all the wonderful attractions that the South Devon coast has to offer.
Lovely relaxing week spent here at willow cottage. The cottage is very cosy and had everything we needed. Great views and very peaceful. The location is a great base to explore all major tourist attractions. Even though it's in the country it is very quick and easy to get into Totnes, Paignton and Torquay.
The Owner is very friendly and helpful.
Our children are aged 3 and 5 and they also loved it, especially the farm animals and tyre swings. We would definitely stay here again.
Starting with the area itself, Willow Cottage is located just off the A385 between Paignton and Totnes so its location is perfect for exploring Devon. Totnes and Paignton being 5-10mins drive away, and the likes of Torquay and Dartmouth within 30mins.
Willow cottage is located on Longcombe farm - the view outside across the hilltops with all the sheep is great, but especially when the sun shines! You do have your own garden area but it is not fully enclosed so keep an eye on the kids. If you have kids that are very adventurous then be aware that there is a pond at the bottom of the grassed area and we did spot some dog muck near to the pig pen albeit this is a farm!
Outside for your use there is a picnic table with parasol, a trampoline, pair of swings, a BBQ. The swings are of the sit-in-tyre variety so if you have very young children, the chances are it will be you on the swing with them sitting on your knee! The trampoline is officially only for one person although if the truth be known, you could fit two small kids on it easily.
And then the main feature outside is the pig pen and the hens! Kids (and adults) will love greeting these animals every morning. The cock-a-doodle-doo that greats you every morning is also a novelty, not at all annoying.
The cottage itself, to my eye, looked to be a modern construction with a stone render to it on the front rather than a conversion of an old barn and internally is fairly modern. For some, the internal decor probably lacks a bit of charm/decor/character for a holiday cottage but this wasn't really an issue for us.
The layout is a combined kitchen/dining/living area. A lobby off this area leads to the bathroom and the children's bedroom (3 beds). A second door leads directly to the master double bedroom. All rooms are of a decent size - the combined kitchen/dining/living area probably being a little larger than made out on the website photos. We thought it might be a bit tight for a family of five but this didn't prove to be an issue.
It's probably worth noting that there is no bath - just a shower/WC/wash hand basin. The kitchen utensils provision covers the basics.
There were two surprises with the property that we thought worth highlighting;
1. There is a coin operated electric meter. To be fair, this is probably very common in this area of Devon for holiday cottages but rarely advertised. However, our meter was fully loaded and as we were fairly careful with electric use and so we didn't need to top up for all the week. This was in Summer though and the cottage is all-electric, so I am not sure what would happen in the Winter as it is electrically heated - this point may be worth clarifying prior to booking.
2. The internet provision is from a Wi-fi network based in the adjacent farm house. We were unsuccessful in obtaining a signal within the cottage itself and only managed to connect to the internet when sat at the picnic table outside. For us, internet provision was a high priority in order to keep our teenager happy whilst he was on holiday but mercifully the weather was good most of the time so he could use it outside. This form of internet provision may not be suitable for other people's needs however.
These two minor points aside, our stay at Willow Cottage was overall really pleasant. The location is ideal for exploring the area and living on the farm is a great learning experience for the kids. The accommodation works particularly well for a family but could perhaps just do with a few more toys/games to keep the kids entertained.
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