I rented this property for five nights with my wife and boy of 7 to enjoy the North Devon coast. We were charged as if we stayed 7 nights: there is no flexible pricing during the summer months, although we were permitted to start on a Sunday when the usual handover day is Saturday.
The approach by car to this cottage is through a 'No Entry' sign down a sloping narrow one way street. Once you've got past that, you'll see the sign for 'Smugglers Steps' - this is what the first floor property is called, but you'll see it advertised as 'Treasure Steps' online - not sure why they refer to it with different names.
As soon as you open the door, you are welcomed by the smell of the sea - it's probably the humidity or damp caused by the lack of ventilation on the stairway that were carved out of the original cottage. But once you're up the old uneven steps, there is a very well furnished modern flat which is clean and welcoming.
The kitchen is quite well equipped. There is a washing machine and a tumble dryer.
But there is no dishwasher: so you will spend time doing the dishes on your holiday! The fridge wasn't the coldest one we've come across and a pint of milk did curdle in it after a few days. We only used the washing machine once as we found puddles of water on the kitchen floor after one use. The oven was adequate, but it probably could do with an upgrade. There is a sign telling you to empty all your rubbish before you vacate - we're fine with that but it could have been supplied with more bin bags - we had to buy our own bin liners and we also had to top up with toilet paper - a little extra wouldn't go amiss.
Bathroom was fine, the water was always hot.
Our favourite room was the upstairs lounge built into the roof space: it was nice and cosy with views of Capstone Hill through the dormer windows. My son loved it here and we played some board games supplied. It still retains some of the old wooden beams, so not only do you have to watch your step but also mind your head! A nice relaxing space to enjoy at the end of the day.
The two bedrooms can sleep four, one has a small double and a single, the master has a larger double bed which also comes with an alarm clock - but you won't need it as you'll be woken up by the seagulls at half-five every morning!
In fact, you may find it a little noisy at night , when the drinkers leave the tapas bar directly opposite or the pub a few doors down. But you are in Fore Street, apparently the oldest and most historic street in Ilfracombe, just a few hundred yards away from the harbour.
There is a sun trap terrace further up the steps, but I didn't think that any previous holiday makers used it, as it was a bit untidy, covered in leaves and cobwebs. It could do with a good spruce up. However, you can get a good overview of the surrounding properties.
We did enjoy staying here due to it's central location but there is no parking outside the property. We parked in Marina Drive by the harbour front, a long stay car park about 5 or 6 minutes walk away. It costs £4.40 for 24 hours parking. No parking isn't unique to this property, you'll find plenty of other tourists parking overnight in the public car parks here. So if you're here longer term, it maybe worthwhile getting a parking permit from the tourist office.
We loved Ilfracombe and the surrounding areas: the long golden sands of Woolacombe beach, the stunning island of Lundy, the historic Carriage Museum in Arlington and the fantastic cliff railway in Lynton & Lynmouth are all within easy reach by car.
What we enjoyed: buying fresh fish from the harbour side and taking it back here to cook and eat. To sum up: a fairly good flat in an excellent location. We'd come to North Devon again but will try another rental.