Finding a big holiday house near the sea isn’t the easiest task in the world. Oh, there’s no shortage of caravans and campsites, quaint little cottages and modern apartments, but if you’re looking for something significantly bigger, it gets a bit more tricksome. Hill View is the answer; it sleeps up to 16 people, has a hot tub, and is tucked away in the most tranquil countryside just ten minutes from the Devon coast.
Hill View was a busy place in days gone by, when it was the milking parlour on a dairy farm. But that’s all changed and it’s seen an incredible transformation, with not a trace left of its former use. Honestly, you’d never know if we hadn’t told you. This big holiday house near the sea offers commodious light and airy group accommodation, making it absolutely spot on for family holidays, celebrations, hen weekends and corporate breaks, whether you’re team building or providing a spot of hospitality.
Interiors are fantastic; a lot of the original rustic features have been kept, enhanced by up-to-the-minute industrial touches and fabulous contemporary furnishings. It all works really well – just look at the pictures, it’s gorgeous! There are no pokey little rooms, no separate dining room, kitchen and that, but instead what you’ve got is one vast open-plan living space, which is great because it means you can all spend time together chatting and laughing, singing and dancing, and just generally relaxing and having a brilliantly sociable break. And that’s exactly what it’s all about, is it not?
We were chatting in the office the other day, saying what we like best about Hill View, what makes it so special. There’s the location for a start, it’s just so peaceful; tiny lanes wind up and down the valleys so you won’t hear much traffic at all, maybe the odd car or a tractor chugging up the hill and that’s about it. And then there’s the hot tub; it’s always nice sitting in a hot tub anyway but at Hill View you can sit there and look out on hills and fields that seem to gently tumble before you. There’ll be birds twittering, sheep bleating now and then, and the fresh air, clear fresh air. Blissful.
The bathrooms. We like the bathrooms too. Well, shower rooms mostly, but they’re incredibly tasteful, quite funky, quite trendy. We like it. And the bedrooms, which are all a good size, and they have zip and link beds, so the beauty of that is that you can have them arranged as superkings or twins, entirely up to you. They’re all very stylish too, like the whole of Hill View, with a really cool pared back edge. You’ll like it all, especially the secret door in the bare timber wall at the end of the kitchen, and the work top in the kitchen that’s inlaid with 2p pieces; everyone of them except 3 are heads up, so there’s something to keep you quiet on a rainy day – find the tails.
But the best thing is that Hill View is near the sea! Really close! Jump in the car and in ten minutes you can be on the beautiful Jurassic Coast where you’ll find very diverse beaches within a few miles. Beer is the closest, a peaceful fishing village where the main street slopes down to a shingle beach past an old wooden shack where you can buy fish fresh from the day’s catch. There are beach huts and fishing boats, rockpools to explore, and a few little cafes where you can buy snacks or your lunch. They say the crab sandwiches at Ducky’s Beach Café are not to be missed, so do that, get some after a fishing trip or a cruise around the bay with Beer Self Drive Motorboats. Of an evening book for supper at Smugglers Kitchen or grab a pint of the local brew and sit in the beer garden of the Anchor Inn, watching the sunset over the sea.
Next along the coast is Branscombe, a sleepy village that comes alive in the summer when day trippers head for the beach. The lane down to the car park is lined with flower hung cottages, there’s a working Water Mill and Forge, and an Old Bakery where you can have a cream tea if you’re peckish, otherwise go to the Sea Shanty Beach Café. The more daring can head up behind the church and down over the perilous zig-zaggy cliff path to Littlecombe Shoot, a tiny cove backed with nothing more than a few cabins snucked in the cliffs.
Sidmouth has a long sand and shingle beach good for swimming and rockpooling; it’s sheltered by dramatic red sandstone cliffs, and behind is the promenade and shops and cafes. It’s all got a distinct Regency feel, like a proper seaside town and there’s so much going on throughout the year – a Folk Festival in the summer, a Regatta, an air display, a classic car show, and on Boxing Day hundreds of people come out for a late morning swim, which is quite a spectacle.
Further along is Budleigh Salterton, with 2 miles of pebbles, safe clean waters and a town with a wonderful quiet ambience, so whilst you’re here have a potter round the shops and find somewhere for a bite to eat because it’s all so relaxing. Exmouth is more lively, with a vast stretch of golden sands, and if you like watersports, well this is the place to come because you can get out on the sea kite surfing, kayaking or windsurfing. Browse round the shops, have a leisurely lunch somewhere – the River Exe Café is very good and such a treat because it floats in the Exe estuary so you can only get there by boat or water taxi.
Back the other way, there’s Seaton which has a long pebbly beach and a very peaceful air; right out the end of the dog friendly beach, tucked away between the cliffs is the Hideaway Café. Stroll out to Axmouth harbour for an amble along the beach or along Seaton Marshes on the Axe estuary, a haven for wildlife and they have regular hands on activities, so take the kids, go and join in. Tell you what you can do. From Hill View drive down to Colyton station, leave the car there and hop on the tram to Seaton, it’ll make a change and it’s such a novel way to get there.
Just over the border in Dorset is Lyme Regis; it gets very busy but that’s understandable because it’s so lovely and there’s a lot you can do here. The museum is good, and there are fossil shops, the Town Mill art gallery, and a delight of a second hand bookshop stacked floor to ceiling with books and nick-nacks. The kids will love Dinosaurland Fossil Museum and the Marine Aquarium at the end of the Cobb. The Cobb is the harbour wall; walk right out the end where you can catch a mackerel fishing trip, come back and climb down the stone steps known as Granny’s Teeth. Go and play crazy golf in the town gardens, treat yourselves to supper at HIX Oyster and Fish House.
So, you see, if you stay at Hill View for a week you could go to a different beach every day, plus all the other stuff you could pack in – visits to Beer Quarry Caves, Pecorama, The Donkey Sanctuary, Seaton Jurassic, Axe Valley Wildlife Park, Wildwood Escot. There’s loads to do but its up to you how much you want to cram in; you might just want to spend much of the time idling the hours away in the hot tub or taking your ease in this beautiful big holiday house near the sea. Whatever you do, don’t miss it; check availability and book today!