Deep in the Devon countryside, Lower Leigh is set back from a winding country lane, surrounded by the incredible countryside of the Blackdown Hills AONB. This centuries old thatched farmhouse and the Dairy have been brought right into the 21st century with a high end renovation and professionally designed interiors. The result is beautiful group accommodation for 14 with a hot tub, games room, Nordic style BBQ lodge and large grounds adjoining open fields.

Right from the doorstep you can stride out for circular walks along the lanes, otherwise pootle over to Culmstock and climb up to Culm Beacon where the views are panoramic; round it off with well deserved refreshments in the Culm Valley Inn, or coffee from The Strand Stores. At Wellington Monument you can stroll up through the beech woods to the tallest three sided obelisk in the world; on open days you can climb the stairs to the top and see for miles.

When you’re staying somewhere as idyllic as Lower Leigh, you’ll most likely be content to stay put, but if you’ve got little ones with you have at least one family day out because they’ll thank you for it – especially if you take them to Crealy Theme Park & Resort where there are over 60 rides, or to Wildwood Escot where they can ride the zip wire and look out for elusive red squirrels. Take a trip to Tiverton and head down to the canal basin for a ride along the waterway on one of the few horse drawn barges left in the country. Back on dry land treat yourselves to a proper job cream tea at the Canal Tea Rooms & Gardens or a drink and a snack at Duck’s Ditty Floating Café Bar.

Perhaps a day by the sea is on the agenda, in which case Exmouth is your best bet because you can be there in under an hour; it’s got a long stretch of sand to play on, rockpools to explore and places to eat a-plenty. If you prefer quieter beaches, Budleigh Salterton will suit you where the pebbly shore line is backed by towering red sandstone cliffs. Further along the Jurassic Coast there are picturesque coastal villages like Beer and Branscombe with cafes on the shore; take a hike on the South West Coast Path, go and see the fascinating Beer Quarry Caves or ride on the miniature train at Pecorama.

If you prefer days in the city with a spot of retail therapy, Exeter will serve you well, straight down the M5 in less than half an hour. Go and see the Gothic cathedral on the green, take a tour of the medieval underground passages or marvel at the exhibits at the RAM Museum. Down at the historic quay you can have fun at Clip n Climb, or hire kayaks and paddle up the River Exe to The Turf Locks for a pub lunch.

Closer to home you can watch the planes and parachutes come and go at Dunkeswell Airfield, browse around the Heritage Centre and have a bite to eat at the café. If you’re here for a special celebration and fancy going out to dinner, we’d recommend The Ashill Inn, The Pig at Combe, and for good Italian fare, Villa Verde near Wellington. Wherever you go, whatever you do, even if you do nothing at all, you’ll have such a wonderful stay at this very special holiday house.

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