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Accommodation Sleeps 12

12. What a nice round number for a large group holiday, be it a whole week away, a weekend stay or a cheeky midweek break. That could be six couples, three young families, a big family group of two or three generations, 12 friends on a hen weekend, or a posse of 12 for team building or corporate hospitality. Whichever it is, we’ve got all possibilities covered at Group Stays and you’ll find there really is something for everyone, plenty to keep everyone entertained regardless of their age – and do you know what? That even includes the family pooch as most of our large holiday homes are dog friendly.

You see, we listen to what people want and that’s why Groups Stays luxury holiday houses have games rooms, swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, BBQ lodges and play equipment. There’s no risk of cries of “I’m bored!” – oh no, we’ll have none of that, we want everyone to enjoy their stay with us to the full. We’ve even made things easy for those of you with babies and toddlers by making sure our big cottages and houses have stairgates, highchairs, cots and toddler beds, so that you don’t need to worry about trying to fit that kind of thing into the car besides all your luggage.

We’re keen to accommodate the less able bodied where we can, after all, no one should miss out on the chance of a wonderful holiday. That’s not always possible with older properties but when we get involved with barn conversions and the like we always work with the owners to include an access friendly bedroom with a big en suite wet room and to make sure there’s level flooring, ramps, and so on. Take a look at Shires, due for completion next Spring and you’ll see what we mean.

We like to make sure there’s plenty of room for everyone too; nice big rooms, en suite bathrooms wherever possible and if it’s not then not too many sharing, and a dining table that’s big enough to seat you all comfortably. Kitchens are well equipped and ample enough to cook for a large group, allowing for socialising at the same time – you know, music on, a glass of wine, casual chit chat, that’s what it’s all about, so it’s a pleasure rather than a chore. Mind you, there’s always the option to book one of our recommended mobile caterers; they’ll come in, all professional and efficient and make it look like a piece of cake, if you’ll excuse the pun. Think of it – cocktails and canapes on the terrace, a hot or cold buffet, or a fabulous three course feast; a fantastic idea if the reason you’re all getting together is to celebrate something special, like a milestone birthday or an anniversary.

So where do you fancy? We’re based in the South West so that’s where most of our large group self catering accommodation is – in the glorious countryside of Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, but we’re also very proud of Pitmaston House, our impressive town house in Worcester, The Benches, our Italianette style villa in Monmouth, and the beautiful 600 year old Chateau La Chuteliere in France.

We think you’re spoilt for choice with Group Stays. For instance, high on a hill overlooking the Somerset Levels we’ve got Orchard View, modelled on the footprint of an old Dutch Barn; you can sit in the hot tub and look out on the frothy apple blossom filled orchard at the back, utterly bucolic. Not far away is Riverside, a red brick Victorian cottage right on the banks of the River Tone with views stretching far across the moors, and inside it’s so homely, it’s a dream. Just over the lane is Walnut Arbour, once used for storing withies used in the basket making industry, but now transformed into a luxurious holiday house with an indoor pool, games room, sauna and steam room – it’s like your own private spa!

Frog Street near Taunton is a traditional longhouse with wisteria scrambling up the walls, and it’s got a swim spa, hot tub, games room and BBQ lodge. Halse Water House, not far from Exmoor National Park, is your quintessential chocolate-box cottage, with a hot tub, a 5 acre paddock, and a stream running through the garden. Close to the Quantock Hills, Dancing Hill has a swim spa, hot tub and games room, and the views! Oh the views! Honestly, you can see almost the whole of Somerset, and right over to the Bristol Channel. Named romantically after some of the old combes in the Quantocks are five luxury timber clad lodges, each with their own private indoor pool and a games area, and you can book them individually or as a pair if you’ve got two groups of 12. Check out Thorncombe or Cockercombe and you’ll get the picture.

Fuzzy Orchard and Ham Bottom are first-rate large group holiday lodges tucked away round the winding lanes near Wellington, each in their own two acre plot with rolling fields and hills all around. Both have an indoor pool, sauna, covered hot tub, games room, BBQ lodge and play equipment; perfect. Jurston Barn is close by and is another of our top-notch holiday homes with a private pool, hot tub and games area, and there’s Millgrove House with similar facilities and a secluded garden. On the Blackdown Hills we have Flossy Brook, a five star holiday lodge with large grounds, an integral indoor pool and a play area, and over the border in Devon is Culmbridge House, on the edge of a quiet village, with a gorgeous garden where there’s a BBQ lodge, play equipment, indoor pool and sauna.

Whitehaven is a spacious country cottage for 12 in the Forest of Dean, so heaps of activities right on the doorstep. It’s got an indoor swimming pool, games area, play equipment, and what’s really lovely is the outdoor dining pavilion where you have an optimum outlook over miles and miles of breath taking scenery.

Tempting, isn’t it? Very tempting. Well, get yourself comfy and take a little time to have a closer look at these beautiful holiday homes. We reckon you’ll find something that’s the perfect holiday or short break accommodation to sleep 12.