One of the latest holiday homes we’ve added to our portfolio of luxury large group holiday homes is this dream of a big country cottage in Devon. Pippinsands sleeps 14 people in 6 bedrooms and has a hot tub and a large garden with plenty of room for the young ‘uns and the dog to run around. Easily reached from the M5 and A30 yet set in glorious countryside overlooking the Otter Valley near Honiton, this is the perfect rural retreat for relaxing family holidays, reunions, celebrations and sophisticated hen weekends.
Pippinsands in Devon dates back to the 15th century and served as a working farmhouse for hundreds of years before being sympathetically transformed into a family home, and then a large group holiday cottage. So much thought has gone into this; there is every modern convenience, yet the essential character remains – the thick bumpy walls, centuries old timbers, flagstone floors and deep windowsills. It’s lovely, it’s the house in the country that we all dream of, a chance to escape and put your feet up, to have this idyllic world all to yourselves for a week long holiday, a midweek break or a weekend away.
Inside it’s all big and sociable, with a homely kitchen you can gather together in and chitchat whilst dinner is cooking; grab a bottle of wine from the walk-in pantry, set the table for 14 in the adjoining dining room. While away an hour or two with your head in a book in the snug, have afternoon tea in the bright and airy drawing room, or have a luxurious soak in the hot tub out on the lawn, fill your lungs with fresh country air, listen to the birds chirruping and watch squirrels scamper about. Bliss.
It’s entirely up to you whether you go out or not, we don’t blame you if you’re happy to stay put. Maybe you might just amble from the garden gate down the valley for a stroll along the river, or up to Dumpdon Hill, an Iron Age fort not far from the house. You can even walk from the village of Combe Raleigh into Honiton where if it’s market day you can browse the stalls and then go for lunch at The Holt or JK’s Bistro. If you fancy lunch at a country pub you won’t have to go far to find a good one – the Drewe Arms at Broadhembury, the Six Bells Inn at Payhembury and the Culm Valley Inn at Culmstock are all within the Blackdown Hills AONB and are very welcoming.
If you’ve got children in your group you could have a family trip to Exeter where you’ll find plenty to see and do; have fun at Clip n’ Climb, visit the cathedral, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, take a tour of the medieval Underground Passages. Have a day at Crealy Adventure Park, or head over to the Jurassic Coast where you can spend time on the beach at Sidmouth, Lyme Regis, Branscombe or Beer; have a bite to eat at a beach café, go mackerel fishing, crabbing or rockpooling.
Nearer to home you can try go-karting at Mansell Raceway, watch banger racing at Smeatharpe Stadium, or see planes land and take off at Dunkeswell Aerodrome. Get out and discover the beautiful Otter Valley on horseback with Devenish Pitt Riding School, book Stillwater Lake at Yarcombe all to yourselves, let the anglers catch trout and then have a leisurely picnic. Depending on the time of year you might catch one of the local events, like Honiton Agricultural Show, Tar Barrels or Pixie Day in Otter St Mary.
You should come because it’s beautiful in these parts and Pippinsands is the perfect English country cottage for large groups. A place to unwind, a place to enjoy, a place to remember.