I think I’m in love. No, sadly not with a real person, but with a house. This weekend I was in Somerset about 30 miles from the nearest railway station, Taunton, practically in the middle of nowhere. While I was feeling quite queasy about how remote it was, once I woke up and looked around I was enamoured by what I saw.
We were staying in an historic, super-sized cottage (sleeps 12) in the magnificent Exmoor National Park, in a tiny village called Allerford. It was short walk from the coast so several rooms had not-so-distant sea views while others over-looked rolling hills and forests. It honestly felt like something out of a Thomas Hardy novel – in fact Lorna Doone by R.D. Doddridge was based in that area.
Not only were the bricks and mortar of this cottage centuries old – it’s been with the same family for three centuries and part of a farm site built in 1400s – but the owners have some serious antique tastes too.
Every room boasted hefty antique furniture, traditional features such as sinks in bedrooms, country-style tapestry and furnishings, local art and large beautiful sideboards adorned with amazing china and crockery that would give Alfies Antique Market in London a run for its money.
Obviously I couldn’t resist taking a few green-eyed snaps…
It appears most of these stunning old cottages are now guest houses and holiday accommodation and a quick peek at the holiday rental prices around here and you’d understand why. The owners of West Lynch cottage where we stayed were originally turnip, wheat and barley farmers but 1954 – 1980 was the last time it was a working farm; now the owners rely on paying visitors for income.
If you don’t mind the drive then it’s really worth a trip south west. Take long walks, discover the history, admire some antiques, enjoy the stillness and re-connect with nature. I’m now ready to face the week!