The West Country has long been favoured as a UK holiday destination, and we’ve got some fabulous properties for large group stays in this part of the world. Like this beauty, tucked away on a private estate deep in the Somerset countryside; snooze space for 18 people in 9 en suite bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool and a games room.
You start to get a taste of how wonderfully secluded Holemoor Stables is as soon as you turn off the main road and drive along the winding lanes to get there, and yet it’s only a few miles to the local market towns of Ilminster and Chard, so if there’s anything you need popping out to the shops won’t take long at all. The approach is a delight; the private drive is a tree lined avenue that takes you round the back of a Hamstone manor house and on to Holemoor Stables. There’s plenty of parking and far reaching views of rolling fields and wooded hillsides.
The house has something of the feel of a Roman Villa, the way it’s laid out around a grassed courtyard, and with the Travertine tiles and underfloor heating; nice and cool beneath your feet in the summer, warm and cosy in the winter. You’ll feel any worries just slip away when you step inside the main building; floor to ceiling windows let the natural light pour in, and you’ll sense the calm that pervades the whole house. Go left to the open plan living space with 3 of the bedrooms beyond - and what a huge and sociable space this is – the décor is modern with soft muted tones that help to create that relaxed ambience, yet it’s homely and welcoming. The kitchen is Shaker style, the chunky dining table enormous and we bet you’ll have some happy times gathered round tucking into scrumptious feasts, whether it’s cooked by your own fair hand or by one of our recommended caterers. That’s a serious option, especially if you’re celebrating something special like a milestone birthday or an anniversary, and it’s certainly something to bear in mind if you’re a corporate group.
To one end are big inviting sofas, and with the wide screen TV it’s just right for getting together for a film night, with bowls of popcorn and crisps; otherwise get the beers and nibbles in and get comfy for that all-important match – with Sky TV you don’t have to worry about missing it. There are three more bedrooms to the other end of the main building, and another three in a self-contained annexe across the courtyard; that’s the perfect set up for young families, for grandparents, or for people who just like to have their own space, who don’t necessarily want to be in on the action all the time. The bedrooms are all good sizes, well co-ordinated, and very, very restful. There’s somewhere to hang your clothes, and what’s great is that all the beds are zip and link so you can have them arranged as superkings or twins – just let us know and we’ll do the rest.
Having a central courtyard means it’s easy to keep an eye on the children when they’re playing on the grass, but it’s also a great spot for topping up your tan as it’s quite a suntrap. Still, when it gets too hot you can just head to the pool room for a dip. Just outside the main living area is a big patio with plenty of garden furniture and far reaching views over a pond (don’t worry – it’s all fenced in) and on the grass there's a play area for the young ‘uns. No doubt the teenagers (and the Dads) will make much use of the games room where there’s a pool table and table football.
More often than not, guests are so happy here that they don’t feel the need to go out, but if you do want to, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. You might just want to stay very local, in which case you can potter about the lanes and fieldpaths; walk to the pub for lunch, or up to the nearest village for a newspaper. Motor in to town for a browse around the shops; Ilminster is a charming little town with several traders in the antiques/vintage line, and a fabulous butchers. If you like history and beautiful gardens go to Forde Abbey, Montacute House or Barrington Court; if you want a day on the coast you can be there in about half an hour – play crazy golf or go mackerel fishing at Lyme Regis, watch the fishing boats come and go at Axmouth, or watch the sunset on the beach at Seaton or Beer.
The wide appeal of Holemoor Stables can’t be underestimated; it’s perfect for hen weekends, and you can even book up mobile therapists to come and pamper you, or stroll down to Hornsbury Mill for a wander around the lake and a cream tea. It’s also great for corporate groups whether its hospitality or team building; you’ll find activites nearby, like clay pigeon shooting, and a very good golf course at Cricket St Thomas Golf Club. You can even have a full-on falconry experience with Sharandy’s Birds of Prey – they can come to you or you can go to them. Of course, Holemoor is just the ticket for holidays for a few families, or for multi-generations, and you won’t have to go far for days out. Our Things To Do pages are packed with ideas.
Holemoor Stables is equally good for week long holidays or short breaks any time of year; the lovely owners live in the manor house so they’re usually about if you need help with anything – or, Dara, the housekeeper will be there in a flash. It’s all you could possibly want and more; check availability and start planning a happy holiday at Holemoor Stables.