We have just returned from a wonderful week in Lorna Doone cottage. The cottage is probably situated in the best location possible in Exmoor. Malsmead is set in a valley between open moor, woods and fields and fields of sheep. The river East Lyn runs through just across the lane and makes it's way all the way down to the sea at Lynton. It's a lovely 6-7 mile walk with convenient stops at pubs in Brendon, Rockford and scrumptious rock cakes at the National Trust Watersmeet. We had a different walk each day directly from the cottage across Doone valley or to Oare where we saw a calf that had been born only a short while before and was staggering around on jelly legs. The cottage was spotlessly clean with comfy sofas, fluffy duvets and pillows. The whole of the downstairs is open plan which makes it ideal for families who want to chat whilst dinner is cooking. The café/deli next door is open most days from 11am but didn't bother us at all. The bedrooms where spacious with lots of hanging and cupboard space. The garden is all yours from about 5pm and is a lovely sun trap to sip a gin and tonic in whilst watching the swallows dart across the river. Thomask is usually around to help with any issues or to give a friendly wave in the mornings. He helped us with a problem shower door and produced another frying pan to fry eggs in. The plumbing was a bit odd and we didn't quite get to grips with it but it didn't really cause us problems. My daughter enjoyed two horse rides from the local stables at Brendon Manor stables 4 miles up the road. They were friendly and catered for all grades of riders.
There is no chance of a mobile phone signal anywhere in the valley but there is wifi. We slept with the windows open and woke to the morning chorus of birds and lambs, and at night the owls called to one another across the valley. If you want a get away from it all break in the most beautiful part of Exmoor then this place is for you. We will most certainly be back.
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