Hurstone is a large country house in a peaceful setting on the edge of Exmoor National Park. Surrounded by breathtaking Somerset countryside, this former farmhouse dates back to the 14th century; over the years it’s been lovingly renovated and is now a large group holiday house that sleeps 14 guests in 7 bedrooms, with an adjacent annexe to sleep 2 adults (extra charge). The games room, hot tub and large grounds, make this a great choice for happy family holidays and quiet celebrations.

Hurstone is tucked away deep in the countryside where the pace of life slows down; it’s so peaceful and the views across the valley where the River Tone slides gracefully along are wonderful. A short walk down the hill in the leafy village of Waterrow there’s a very good gastro pub, The Rock Inn. Go there for Sunday lunch after a stroll round the nature reserve that’s right on the doorstep; walk as far as you like on the footpaths and bridleways that take you up and down the hills, through ancient copses, and across open fields.

Just a few miles away is Exmoor National Park where a diverse landscape waits to be explored; rugged wind-blown moors, heather topped heaths where wild ponies roam free, dramatic cliff tops, steep wooded hillsides, and scenic river valleys. Amble along the river at Watersmeet, cross the ancient clapper bridge over the River Barle at Tarr Steps, climb to the top of Dunkery Beacon for panoramic views that will astound you. Take the kids to Lynton to ride the Victorian Cliff Railway and walk out to the Valley of Rocks where wild goats live.

Have a day at the beach, travelling there by steam train with the West Somerset Railway; spend the day on the sands at Minehead or Blue Anchor. Pootle over to Kilve for fossil hunting and rockpooling, or if surfing is your thing, head down to Croyde on the North Devon coast. In about an hour you can be on the Jurassic Coast where there are quiet coastal villages and small seaside towns; at Lyme Regis you can catch your supper on a mackerel fishing trip, play crazy golf, and go to Dinosaurland Fossil Museum.  

At Tiverton you can drift along the Grand Western Canal on a horse drawn barge, or hire kayaks and Canadian canoes for a paddle on the waters. Then tuck into a big fat cream tea at The Canal Tea Rooms & Gardens, or have a drink on Duck's Ditty Floating Cafe Bar. Whatever you choose to do, at the end of a wonderful day out you can get back to Hurstone, shut the world outside the door and settle down for a contented evening with your nearest and dearest. We wouldn’t be surprised if you want to come back every year because this is such a special place; it weaves its magic all around you, it’s where memories will be made, of the perfect large group stay.

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