Fantastic location for exploring Exmoor. Lovely peaceful farm setting, ideally suited to reach all areas of Exmoor.
We stayed in Bracken - a late minute booking, so not first choice - would have been better suited for family rather than couple with dog as there is no private garden to let dog into. On the plus side we had oodles of space! This is a generous proportioned cottage with upside down living ( open plan living area with lovely beams upstairs). Gorgeous wood burner with free logs and kindling ( and importantly for instant fire - firelighters!) that will warm upstairs.
The cottage is old and has thick walls. But the nature of this kind of building means it will get damp and cold if allowed. There are electric heaters, but we would not have wanted to use them due to the costs,as unfortunately the electric is on a coin meter! I never carry cash so the coin meter worried me. We were also on a tight budget ( hence self catering cottage) and when on holiday I don't want the worry of the electric running out! I found myself checking the meter cupboard obsessively! Saying that we stayed in September and lighting the fire on one night of the three was suffice ( although you could feel damp and cold in the air downstairs, and those not used to not having central heating might find this more difficult). The duvets and bed was amazing - feather down I suspect and kept us cosy. We slept really well. The hot water is HOT, so bath was better than electric shower. The owner told us next year that a whole new central heating system would be put in which would solve the electric and warmth niggle, hence I have given the cottage a five in anticipation. I would think the smaller cottages ( Fern looks particularly lovely with woodburner and garden) wouldn't have this problem anyway.
The Owner we met - Leonne? was very helpful and friendly. The cottages are very dog friendly which is wonderful. There is a field in which dogs ( and children I guess) can run around in and it goes down to a little river. A lovely place to relax. There is also a small mowed area of grass with tables so even if your cottage doesn't have a garden you can sit outside to eat. In a separate field there are pygmy goats, ponies and sheep to complete the idyllic setting.
We explored the coast - Porlock, Lynmouth etc. I would recommend Valley of the Rocks as an easy ( but not for those with vertigo) and spectacular walk along the coast - seeing the goats clinging to the cliff is something special. We also saw red deer from the top of Dunkery Beacon ( late afternoon). The Doone valley also has some lovely walks. There is a folder of useful places to visit in the cottage as well as books on walks. Very helpful.
We walked into Exford (turn right out of farm and allow 3/4 hour at a relaxed pace) to the White Horse Inn and had good meals there.
Overall we had a wonderful relaxing break and our stay at Riscombe Farm was an important element of this. I would recommend staying here, and it is also very good value which was an important factor to us when looking for somewhere for a short break. ( hope this doesn't change when the electric system changes!).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Four charming self catering holiday cottages by the River Exe in the heart of Exmoor National Park, south-west England. The cottages sleep 2, 4, 5 and 6 people. Pets are welcome and stabling is available if you want to bring horse(s). All VisitBritain 4 star quality. River frontage, fields, games room, laundry, ponies, sheep & Lambs, goats, chickens, ducks and guinea pigs! Enjoy the tranquil moorland with Exmoor ponies and red deer and the beautiful nearby coast and historic villages. ... more less