“Thatched self-catering cottage (sleeping 6-10 plus children) in Dartmoor National Park: great for friends and families seeking stylish seclusion”
Beyond the garden wall are endless opportunities for hiking, biking and riding, and some of Devon’s best beaches are just a short hop away. Even if the weather's bad, you can grab a glass of wine, borrow a book or DVD, and snuggle up under a blanket by the wood-burning stove. It’s cosy in winter and magnificent in summer; come here with friends or family and revel in glorious isolation.
Information provided by Higher Westcott Farm on 10/09/2020.
Guests must observe government regulations around larger gatherings, such as the 2-household rule or 6-person rule - or whatever is in force at the time of stay.
- Interiors blend period charm (beamed ceilings, flagstone floors, an original oak muntin screen) with stylish creature comforts and top-notch fittings
- There’s a fancy kitchen should you want to cook; should you want to be cooked for, Jo can deliver delicious homemade dinners
- Ideal for multi-generational gatherings, with room for up to 10 adults and 3 children. Smaller groups can book 3 bedrooms for reduced rates
- Very child-friendly, with a toy-filled child’s bedroom, a playroom, and an enclosed garden with sweeping lawns to run around on
- Impressive eco credentials - a biomass boiler provides heating, and water comes fresh from a moorland spring
- There's no mobile phone reception (thank goodness)
- The WiFi was a little temperamental during our visit, but Jo and Sam assure us it now works well throughout the house
- The rough, narrow track leading to the house could prove a little tricky to negotiate in winter weather
- Only 1 bedroom can be set up as a twin
- Beware of the strict cancellation policy
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Cottage
- 5 double rooms + 1 child's room
- Self-catering (+ dinner on request)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
Décor is simple and understated, with calming white walls and cream carpets that let the lovely views take centre stage. But that doesn’t mean it’s short on style: furniture is sleek, striped cushions and throws add splashes of colour, and walls are lined with contemporary art.
Off the flagstoned hall is the lounge, where huge leather sofas and shelves of DVDs, books and board games await lazy evenings or rainy afternoons around the wood-burning stove (a bag of firewood is provided). Beyond are the kitchen and dining room, plus a playroom with bean bags, a laundry room with a loo, and a cupboard of useful supplies (candles, batteries and maps).
Head up the main staircase or the steep stone steps leading from the kitchen and you’ll reach the 4 first-floor double bedrooms (one can be made up as 2 singles). Three have ensuites (one with a tub and overhead shower, the rest with walk-in showers), and there’s another shower room off the landing. There’s also a child’s room with crammed with toys (and a small double bed).
Crowning the house is an attic room snuggled into the eaves - in our opinion the nicest bedroom of all. It has a kingsize bed, a window seat piled with cushions, and an ensuite bathroom with a fabulous free-standing bath (no shower) that’s made for long, indulgent soaks.
All the bedrooms face the front and catch the morning sun. Wardrobes come stocked with hairdryers, towels, and you’ll curl up at night under crisp Egyptian cotton and duck-down duvets.
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Ipod dock
- Local maps and guides
- Tumble dryer
- Washing machine
The dining room has a huge hearth and a table for 10 - ideal for lavish family feasts. And the kitchen, set on the other side of an oak screen that once kept animals out of the living quarters, is kitted out with everything you need to prepare them: double oven, hob, fridge-freezer, microwave, toaster, blender, dishwasher, crockery and cutlery, drawers full of utensils, even a stack of cookbooks.
Cupboards come stocked with all the basics you’d expect (salt, pepper, dishwasher tabs, washing-up liquid) plus a few extras you wouldn’t (tea and coffee, organic milk, fresh eggs). For other supplies, you’ll find a grocer, baker, butcher and small supermarket 10 minutes away in Moretonhampstead, and weekly farmers’ markets in Chudley and Exeter.
But don’t worry if you don’t fancy cooking: Jo can deliver home-cooked meals, made with local, seasonal ingredients. These normally take the form of a hearty pie that you can pop in the oven (favourite fillings include wild mushroom, organic chicken and sweet leek, Brixham fish, or beef and ale with a blue cheese crust), followed by homemade ice cream - perhaps vanilla with seasonal fruit, or deliciously boozy brown bread and rum.
There are plenty of options for eating out within a short drive, too. We liked the The White Horse in Moretonhampstead (10 minutes away), which serves sophisticated Mediterranean-inspired pub grub, and nearby Bovey Castle is a grand venue for cream teas. For a special occasion, splash out at the double Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park (though better for lunch than dinner unless you want to get lost in the dark on endless windy lanes).
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Go walking, riding or cycling through the dramatic landscapes of Dartmoor National Park, criss-crossed with 600 miles of paths, tracks and bridleways. You’ll find an information folder at the house, with details of tried and tested walks, bike hire companies and local stables
- Pack up a picnic and head to one of Dartmoor’s pretty waterfalls. Becky Falls (25 minutes away) sits in a woodland park with bouldering and animals, and Canonteign Falls (15 minutes away) is one of England's highest. There are further falls - and a series of gushing whirlpools known as the Devil’s Cauldron - at National Trust-owned Lydford Gorge, 40 minutes away
- Visit Castle Drogo at Drewsteignton (25 minutes away). The last castle to be built in England, it was designed by Sir Edward Lutyens to make the most of its spectacular location above the Teign gorge
- The Miniature Pony Centre (10 minutes away) will be a hit with young children, who can ride and stroke the little ponies and meet lots of other farm animals
- Hit the beach. Jo and Sam recommend Dawlish Warren (25 minutes away) for families, with over a mile of golden dunes and safe, clean swimming. Exmouth (40 minutes away) has a long sandy beach with kite-surfing and rock-pooling
- Dozing on the Dart, lovely Totnes combines New Age quirkery with centuries of history. Spend an afternoon exploring 15th-century St Mary's Church, the 11th-century Guildhall and the healing waters of Leech Wells
- You can play golf at nearby Bovey Castle, which has an 18-hole course overlooking the Teign valley
- Fishing is available on local lakes, and most of the Dart river can be fished with permits from the Duchy of Cornwall. Salmon and trout are very popular. In season, Jo and Sam can also set up foraging and shooting
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
Higher Westcott Farm is ideal for self-catering family holidays, particularly if you’re coming with grandparents or another family. There are plenty of treats for children - toys, board games, DVDs, a playroom plus 2 cots and a highchair for babies. The enclosed garden provides space to run around in, and there’s lots to entertain littl'uns nearby, including a miniature pony centre, woodland trails, beaches and playgrounds. They’ll also have fun discovering castles and waterfalls, and spotting ponies on the moor
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
The child's room on the top floor has a small double bed and is packed with toys and books. The 5 double bedrooms (1 can be made up as a twin on request) provide plenty of space for extended families, and 2 airbeds and 2 baby cots are available free of charge. Smaller families can take just 3 bedrooms for a reduced rate
Jo and Sam can recommend tried, tested and thoroughly trusted local babysitters
Baby monitors work throughout the house - you’ll need to bring your own
- 2 baby cots
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The house is fully set up for self-catering, with a large kitchen, snazzy kit and basic supplies - there’s even a pile of cookbooks to provide inspiration. Jo can deliver homemade dinners on request and will happily tailor them to children’s tastes
Kids Activities on site:
- Children’s DVDs
- Toys and books
- Board games
- Enclosed garden to play in
Kids Activities nearby:
- Miniature Pony Centre (15 minutes away)
- Castle Drogo (20 minutes away)
- Bellever Woods (20 minutes away) - perfect for picnics and paddling in the river
- Becky Falls (25 minutes away) - woodland park with waterfalls, a picnic area, bouldering and animals
- Dawlish Warren beach (25 minutes away)
- Woodlands (50 minutes away) - a family theme park and indoor playground suitable for all ages, including toddlers
Families Should Know:
The stone staircase leading from the kitchen up to the first floor is rather steep; there are stairgates on one set of stairs
- Airport: 30 minutes (Exeter)
- Hospital: 20 minutes (Exeter)
- Shop: 10 minutes (Moretonhampstead)
Higher Westcott Farm is located 4 miles (7km) from the small town of Moretonhampstead, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, southwest England. It’s a 20-minute drive from Exeter and the M5.
Exeter (19 miles / 31km away) is the nearest airport, and is served by flights from around Europe - click on the links below for a list of airlines. There are also many international flights to Bristol (79 miles / 128km away), but if you’re arriving from outside Europe you’ll probably fly into London Heathrow (175 miles / 287km away).
From the Airport
The remote setting means it's best to hire a car (see below) - taxis are few and far between and you’ll probably need to drive to pick up supplies.
There are frequent trains from Bristol, Birmingham, London Paddington and other towns and cities in the UK to Exeter St David’s, which is a 20-minute drive from the house.
Higher Westcott Farm is a 2-hour drive from Bristol and 4 hours from London. For car hire see our car rental recommendations.
Detailed directions will be provided when you confirm a booking through i-escape.com.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Exeter 31.0 km EXT
- Bristol 128.0 km BRS
- Beach 9.0 km
- Shops 7.0 km
- Restaurant 7.0 km