We stayed in Downland House for two nights in July 2012.
Downland House is a lovely, large Edwardian House, just a very short walk from the centre of Woolacombe. It has 3 bedrooms, all with balconies, and all facing the sea.
The owners have previously run a larger hotel in Woolacombe and bought this house only a year or so ago. They have decorated the whole house to a very good standard and added a large conservatory on the side for breakfast.
The rooms are beautifully decorated and the furniture is a far higher "spec" than you would expect from a B&B.
There is parking for 3 visitor cars at the back of the house, and a rear "front door" to the house (of which you are given a key) so you have complete freedom to come and go as you wish.
The breakfasts in the conservatory are fine, without being anything extra special. This is not a critisism of them, and you will enjoy them, but they feature all that you would expect but no more (one choice of fruit juice, a couple of choices of cereal, some hot croissants, and of course a "full English" breakfast or I think salmon and scrambled egg on muffins).
The view from the balconies is towards Woolacombe and the beach, and the lovely rolling hills that lie behind the beach. On a fine sunny morning or evening it would be lovely to sit on the balcony and watch the day begin or end.
We stayed in room one, and the only slight critisism is that the bathroom is quite small. It juts out into the hall as I assume it was "added on" to the room. The shower, sink and toilet are all rather close together, making for little room to move.
I think the owners added a bedroom in the loft (their bedroom) and the stairs up to this bedroom (which are just outside our room) probably replaced a small "box bed room". So I assume our bathroom was added on during that project and there was not much space for a larger bathroom.
After years of running a larger hotel the owners are very relaxed about running this smaller B&B. By their own admission it is a sot of "retirement" project, and of course far less work than runing the larger hotel they owned previously, so there is a lovely relaxed atmosphere about the place. The owners will sometimes go out for the day, but as you have your own key to the "front door" you can leave or come back at any time you wish.
The location of Downland House is on Beach Road, one of the main roads out of Woolacombe, though it is pretty quiet. It is a short walk downhill in to the town (no more than 10 minutes) and of course a slight walk uphill when you return.
I had never been to Woolacombe before and it is a very small seaside town with a huge lovely beach (good for surfers), and quite a few shops and places to eat, but to be honest there is little else to do there.
For me the best thing about the area was the land owned by the National Trust (all along the coast between Mortehoe and Woolacombe), which has prevented the building of houses and hotels and apartments. Some of the land along the coast is crammed with buildings so it is nice to have places like Morte Point and Woolacombe Down still available to walk on.
If you like mild walking in lovely surroundings, or on dramatic coastlines, then this area is a lovely place to stay,
Best "secret" thing we found was Barricane Beach, just along from the main beach in Woolcombe (going towards Mortehoe). This lovely little beach has large rocks either side so is a long thin beach, but it has a small cafe that does lovely food in the evening (from 6pm but I am not sure if it is every night). Lovely to sit outside on the veranda of the cafe and eat your evening meal watching the sun go down.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Newly renovated Edwardian residence offering stylish and comfortable Bed and Breakfast accommodation. All three rooms are king size doubles with their own private facilities and each has a balcony with sea, beach and countryside views. Ample parking and just a short stroll to the beach, local shops, pubs and restaurants. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Downland House Woolacombe, Devon