“Mate; there isn’t an entrance to Narnia in the wardrobe and I need to hang up my clothes.” My friend Emma said, interrupting me mid-search. I emerged from the wardrobe squinting in the sunlight pouring through the large windows into our beautiful twin room in our home for the weekend.
Huntsham Court is nestled in the Devon countryside, close to the town of Tiverton and not far from Exmoor National Park. The country manor has over thirty rooms, sleeps up to eighty people and is set in five acres of glorious countryside and could easily be the setting for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
There are over 75,000 holiday rentals in the UK and with the continuing staycation trend the number continues to increase. From swanky city apartments, to windmills, to Downton-esque mansions, the offering is becoming more diverse and downright awesome. Huntsham Court is a Victorian manor turned self-catering rental lovingly brought back to life by Chris Badham and Damian Llambias who bought it in 2012.
Grand but relaxed, the country house’s decor is a mixture of stags heads, wood panelling and light filled spaces; while the bedrooms range from couples rooms with four-poster beds and twin baths, to interconnecting family rooms, right through to a contemporary dormitory style-room, perfect for a pre-wedding night bridal party.
Despite the epic proportions of the house, Damian and Chris’s home from home ethos means that renters can really relax. Emma and I didn’t need much steer on this as we felt comfortable enough to wander around in pg.’s while she followed me on my exhaustive search for secret passageways; followed by a kip on a sofa in front of one of the roaring fires and frequent visits to help ourselves to snacks and wine from the Butlers Pantry.
With activities can be organised on-site and there are a number of attractions nearby including on site beauty treatment by Rosewood Beauty; archery, pistol shooting, clay shooting or fencing organised by Birds Hill Days and Land Rover Experience organise pick up and drop off to Hunstham Court.
A short drive away there’s Quad World a quad biking centre suitable children and adults.
Two-night hire starts from £7,200.
How to get there:
First Great Western provides a regional and national service to Tiverton Parkway, which is a 12-minute drive to the house. The London express service from Paddington only takes only two hours and advance single fares start from £39.50 each way.