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 and far from traffic noise, the pretty 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 unique hand painted tiles and oils and water colours by local artists. Upstairs, French windows open onto a wide balcony, set with a table and chairs for alfresco dining, under a century old walnut tree. Steps from here lead down to the heated swimming pool The pool is heated from 11th of May until 6th September. You are welcome to enjoy a swim whenever you wish and additionally, the pool is exclusively for your use, as our only cottage guests, from 1pm until 4pm from Mondays to Fridays. The pool is sixteen feet by thirty feet, with Roman End steps and has a depth of between four and five foot throughout.
Downstairs, in the cottage kitchen, is a table and two chairs, and a comfortable armchair. On the beech worktops, there is a toaster, a kettle, the hob, and the microwave, and below this is a cooker, a fridge and several drawers and cupboards. Next to this is a shower room with a power shower, a wash basin and a separate WC. Fresh flowers will be on the kitchen table, along with your cream tea of scones, jam and clotted cream which is included for our weekly guests.
In the living room/bedroom you will find a comfy sofa, so you can watch TV or sit and read in the sunshine through the French windows. The TV may also be seen from the super-king bed, which has a thick, comfortable mattress and a soft topper.
Opening the french windows onto the balcony, the ballustrade is entwined with roses and clematis. Here you can survey the landscape and watch the doves fly in and out of their dovecote. Steps with a banister rail take you to the paved terrace with borders filled with scented flowers such as roses, lilies and daphne and herbs such as lavender and thyme surround the pool.
The clear water of the pool is perfect for a refreshing dip.
In a sheltered corner is a suntrap with a glass topped table, reclining chairs and a parasol for shade. Or you can lean back on soft cushions on teak recliners upon the grassy lawns or under the old apple tree, to read, or simply go to sleep.
The cottage and the terrace and gardens around the pool have mobile phone reception and free WIFI broadband internet coverage.
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.
We hope you will consider this your home during your stay.
The pool is occasionally used by the owners and by those staying with them.
The cottage and surrounding grounds has good mobile phone reception and free Wi-Fi broadband internet.
There are some books and games available within the cottage and DVD’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. I charge a damage deposit of £50, to be paid on arrival.