Higher Wiscombe is modern five star self-catering at its best. Crisply made beds and fluffy towels await you in the bedrooms, and the kitchens are fully equipped with everything from range cookers to garlic presses. Located at the head of the beautiful Southleigh valley, all the properties have private gardens and stunning views. It’s a truly rural setting, 52 private acres surround the property where you are free to roam, and there is not a road, railway or pylon in sight. You are within five minutes of the sea, with the wonderful South West Coast Path and World Heritage Jurassic Coast, yet just ten minutes from a Waitrose, or whichever other supermarket takes your fancy.
There are three cottages, starting with the massive Old Winery, which has ten ensuite bedrooms, all of which can be doubles if required. The dining room can seat up to thirty two guests aound the oak dining table making it ideal for large groups of all kinds. The two smaller cottages have three bedrooms each and are all ensuite too, The Thatched cottage has a huge sitting/dining/kitchen with the most amazing view and Flint cottage has exclusive use of a seperate cinema room. The courtyard setting makes it easy to combine the three properties yet be far enough apart for individual bookings to be private. The cottages are decorated in a contemporary rural style with modern bathrooms, some have wet-rooms and some have roll-top baths, and an eclectic range of artwork adorns the walls. There is a games room and in the summer there is a heated outdoor pool with views over the valley. The cottages all have underfloor heating throughout, powered by a biomass boiler, all part of the extensive environmental credentials which lead to Higher Wiscombe being shortlisted as one of the greenest tourism businesses in the UK.
East Devon may be the less crowded part of Devon but it does not lack in activities for visitors. Within easy reach of Higher Wiscombe, there are the beaches of Lyme Regis, Beer, Branscombe, Sidmouth and Exmouth. Sidmouth remains an unspoilt Regency town by the sea and a promenade along the front is a an absolute must, perhaps taking in a cream tea. Remember in Devon they do it the right way, cream first and them the jam. Honiton is a renowned antique centre and a litle further away Exeter offers all the benefits of being the regions capital, the brand new Princesshay shopping centre, restaurants, some great attractions, including the Cathedral, the Roman Tunnels, and the wonderfully updated RAAM museum. For the more energetic there is white water rafting, the tallest indoor climbing wall in the South West and cycle hire. For the younger family members there are some unusual places to visit, that the parents can enjoy too. Escot, described itself as “a natural place” has lots to do all year round. It has the only breeding red squirrels in the South West and you can go into their enclosure and get really close, there is also a huge maze and a breathtaking woodland slide. Overlooking the coast there is Pecorama, a wonderful minature steam railway that winds through a series of garden designed by famous designers, all over-looking Lyme bay.
If you don’t feel like cooking up some of the delicious local food, then there is s a huge choice of where can you go for lunch or dinner. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls River Cottage is a short journey away from the Higher Wiscombe cottages, giving you the choice of light (and very inexpensive) meals in the Canteen or the full blown tasting menu as seen on television at River Cottage itself, booking essential. Mark Hix has his Oyster and Fish Restauarnt in Lyme Regis, about fifeen minutes away, with amazing views over the famous Cobb and a delicious locally sourced menu. Nearer still there is Combe House in Gittisham, a multi award winning hotel and restaurant that is one of the foodie destinations in Devon. Honiton too boasts two great award winning pubs, The Holt and The Railway, again focussing on local produce and always bustling with a great atmosphere.
There is so much to see and do in this relatively undiscovered part of Devon, you might need to come again.
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