Shillings Cottage is a small but compact, romantic hideaway for two, with room for a cot for a baby, nestling in the beautiful Blackdown Hills. These unspoilt hills are rich in wildlife, with deer, heron, duck, woodpeckers, badgers, foxes, kingfishers, pheasants, buzzards and sparrow hawks. Hidden away, in an area of low pollution and far from traffic noise, the stone cottage sits in a peaceful setting within six acres of gardens and orchard. It is the only cottage to-let on the property.
The cottage has several features such as beamed ceilings, hand painted tiles and oils and water colours by local artists. Upstairs, French windows open onto a wide balcony under a walnut tree, with steps down to the swimming pool, which is open from mid May until mid September. You are welcome to enjoy a swim whenever you wish. Additionally, the pool is exclusively for you as the only cottage guests, from midday until 4pm from Mondays to Fridays. It is sixteen feet by thirty feet, with Roman End steps down and has a depth of between four and five foot throughout.
Downstairs the kitchen has a table and chairs, a comfortable armchair, a kettle, toaster, hob and microwave upon solid beech worktops, with a fridge, oven, cupboards and drawers beneath.
Fresh flowers will be on the table, with your free cream tea of scones, jam and clotted cream for our weekly guests.
Next to the kitchen is a shower room with power shower, a wash basin and a separate WC.
The stairs lead up to the living room/bedroom where you will find a comfy sofa, so you can sit and read in the sunshine through the French windows or watch TV. The TV may also be seen from the super-king bed, which has a thick, comfortable mattress and a soft topper.
Beyond this, the balcony is entwined with roses and clematis, with chairs and a table where you can you can survey the landscape or watch the doves fly in and out of their dovecote. Steps from here take you to the paved terrace with borders filled with scented flowers and herbs surrounding the pool. The clear water is perfect for a refreshing dip. In a sheltered corner is a suntrap with a table, reclining chairs and a parasol for shade. Or you can lean back on soft cushions on teak recliners under the old apple tree, read, or simply go to sleep.
Just a short walk from Shillings Cottage, on the river Culm, lies the historic village of Hemyock with its Castle, shops, excellent pub, take away, Post Office, bowling green, boules and tennis courts. There are also many traditional country pubs in the local villages nearby, serving food, local beers, ciders and fine wines.
The Blackdown Hills are the perfect destination for those who enjoy walking, cycling or horse-riding amid unspoilt countryside. The gently rolling landscape retains old fashioned methods of farming, with small meadows surrounded by banks and hedges within small dairy or beef cattle and sheep farms. You can walk straight from the door through grassy fields or along one of the many footpaths, or take a stroll along the river. Or enjoy the bird song while you have a picnic on a hill side.
If you wish, you may bring your own bike or borrow one of the owners and cycle the quiet lanes, over the hills and through the valleys.
For those who want to explore the area further, to the south, the Jurassic Coast is within 16 miles. Here you will find both many quiet beaches and small seaside villages between Lyme Regis and Exmouth. The coast path runs right along this coast and also along the North coast, which is within an hour's drive and has long, sandy beaches famous for surf. Exmoor, Dartmoor, Lundy Island, the Eden Project, Rosemoor and Clovelly are all within reach. There are also many historic houses nearby and lovely gardens to visit. The city of Exeter is 22 miles, Taunton is 12 miles and the small market towns of Honiton and Wellington are 9 and 6 miles respectively. The owners will be happy to give ideas, directions and recommendations. We also have a range of walks and maps available for you to choose from.
The pool is occasionally used by the owners and by those staying with them.
The cottage, balcony, terrace and gardens around the pool have mobile phone reception and free WIFI broadband internet coverage.
There are some books and games available within the cottage and DVDâ€™s may be borrowed from the owners.
Hampers of local farm produce and ales or ciders may be ordered in advance.
An online shopping service, via the nearest Waitrose, can be ordered by you and unpacked prior to your arrival.
There is no smoking inside the cottage.
Full central heating makes the cottage ideal all year round.
We have found that babies sleep best in a familiar cot, so we ask guests to bring their own, but a high chair can be provided. Pease mention you will be bringing a baby and the child's age.
There is secure off road parking.
Dogs are welcome, but there is an additional charge, so please mention this when booking.
Shillings Cottage is a romantic hideaway. It lies within 7 acres of carefully tended gardens and an orchard, with an adjoining field, in the centre of the unspoilt and traditionally farmed Blackdown Hills. It is the one and only cottage within the owners grounds and there is exclusive use of the outdoor pool during weekday afternoons. The local village is friendly and welcomes visitors to the area. The nearest coastline is 16 miles. This is the Jurrasic Coast, which is a fossel hunters paradise. To the north is Exmoor and beyond that the sandy beaches of Woolacome and Westward Ho! Dartmoor is within sight on a clear day and there are many lovely gardens and historic houses to visit nearby, as well as small market towns and pretty villages.