Greg's Great Escape to Devon & Somerset
Keen to explore the spectacular sites within our Ark Collection, our Concierge Team recently headed to two of our most opulent new retreats. We caught up with Greg, Team Leader, to find out his experiences of the Southern counties...
"When we received news that we were soon to be launching a selection of luxury properties in South-West England, myself and the rest of the Concierge Team headed straight online to explore our new locations! I think I speak for the entire team when I say we were all in awe at the variety of exceptional accommodation offered across both the Dillington Estate in Somerset and the Carswell Farm cottages in Devon. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to head down not long after our grand launch to explore them in person!
Following a pleasant journey down to Plymouth (our base camp for the trip) one Sunday evening, we awoke early the next day to take the short drive over to the Carswell Farm cottages. Located in the South Hams, within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (made even more stunning by the fantastic weather we were blessed with!) we were greeted by Retreat Manager Catherine on arrival who showed us around the collection. There really is something on offer for all tastes at Carswell; from the traditional yet tastefully furnished Lambside House, through to the contemporary and spacious Corner Cottage and the Lodge. Trips to these beautiful hideaways can also be complemented by hot-tub hire (that’s if your cottage does not already boast a wood fired tub as in the Mews and Beach Hut!), and any four-legged friends are more than welcome at several of the properties too. Following a walk around each cottage, alongside the farm’s wildflower meadow and childrens’ play area, we headed out to explore the local area.
Mothecombe Beach is located just a 6-minute drive (or around a 50 minute walk if you're feeling active) down the coastal path from the cottages and has everything you’ll need for a family day out on the coast. The vast, wide sands and calm water within the cove make it the ideal place to relax. With facilities onsite including a beach shop with café, toilets and parking, this spot comes highly recommended and is a must-see during your stay.
Heading out of Carswell and the wider Devon county, we then continued our journey up in to Somerset and to our next destination; the Dillington Estate. Upon arrival at this new location, visitors are instantly drawn in to the magnificent Dillington House, so we took the opportunity to wander around. Built in the 16th century, the grand, jaw-dropping architecture and exquisitely kept grounds make for the perfect photo opportunity prior to arriving at your cottage. After meeting Wendy from the team at the Estate office, we headed on down to the first of those in the collection, Orchard Cottage. The quirky pink exterior makes way for an interior that simply oozes luxury. All cottages within our portfolio on the Dillington Estate boast wood-burning stoves, large flat-screen televisions, comfy sofas and plenty of outdoor space for those warm summer days. On arrival you will also be greeted by a selection of locally sourced items in your welcome hamper, alongside luxury toiletries and bathrobes too!
Making our way through the other cottages in the collection, we eventually arrived at the gem in the heart of the Estate; Whitelackington Manor. It's hard to describe in words how breath-taking the Manor is and there is no doubt that any guest to the property will spend several hours running around like a little one, exploring all of the features and facilities the house boasts. The first thing any visitor will most likely discover is the extensive private grounds that surround the house that include a tennis court, swimming pool, water fountain, sunken terraced patio and elegant lawn. Moving inside, each individually named bedroom (of which there are 10) are uniquely furnished and finished, making the decision of where to rest your head the ultimate challenge here! Accompanied by a magnificent dining room seating up to 20 and versatile games room/hall, it is understandable why Whitelackington Manor would also make the perfect setting to host corporate events, wellness retreats, weddings or any other celebration for that matter.
Tearing yourself away from the Manor for a moment, the local area has a huge amount to shout about as well. A variety of scenic walks can be undertaken from your doorstep that explore the area, and a wander over to the pub in Dinnington for Sunday lunch is something that should not be missed. Additionally, famed for its cider, Somerset proudly boasts several producers close by. The orchards of Perry’s and Julian Temperley are both just a short drive from the Estate and are well worth a visit! If a trip to the seaside is on your to-do list, the Jurassic coastline and beach at Lyme Regis are also just a 40 minute drive away.
Heading back up North following both our Carswell Farm and Dillington Estate visits, we had time to reflect on the properties which now form part of our new Ark collection. Both retreats epitomise luxury, self-catering accommodation as well as offering a whole host of different activities for the family to enjoy. Within each, you will find a cottage to suit everyone, and a tour of the South-west combining both spots would be the perfect way to experience the area in style!
Should you have any further questions relating to a stay with us at these, or any other of our accommodation within our portfolio, please do not hesitate to contact our Concierge Team on 01625 416 430."