One of my favourite things about escaping London, is heading to single track roads, surrounded by drooping trees and English hedgerows, pondering over thatched cottages and dreamily looking at beautiful old farmhouses.
On a recent visit to Devon, we stayed at Great Sloncombe Farm on the outskirts of Moretonhampstead on the edge of Dartmoor. This is a classic, picturesque farmhouse with history dating back to the 13th century. It’s the type of farmhouse you image when you picture Devonshire villages, stumble upon on oil paintings of villages from bygone eras in antiques markets and see featured on Countryfile.
The farmhouse is Grade 2 listed, and although its history, according to the owners dates back to the 13th century, it seems that the farmhouse now probably originates from the 16th century with subsequent alterations over the following centuries. However,m there has been a settlement here for much longer and possibly prior to the 13th century.
The farmhouse is a granite and cob longhouse. From the outside it looks like one building, but when you get inside you are transported into a bygone world, of stone flagged hallways, uneven floors, low ceilings, slanting doorways, ancient beams and panelling, stone fireplaces and a wonderful sense of history and antiquity. The Oak Screen in the entrance hall dates back to the 16th century and there are also ecclesiastical architectural features which suggests a relationship to the church at some point. Just down the road is also Great Sloncombe Manor.
In 1645, Oliver Cromwell and Fairfax marched down from Okehampton through Moretonhampstead on their way south to take Bovey and Plymouth in their final quest to conquer the West Country. They have found artefacts in their fields dating back to the Civil War and General Fairfax camped at Moretonhampstead Church. There is also a Cavaliers grave by the track in Fingle Woods which is closeby. One can almost imagine that you are no longer in 2018, when you stand on the farm track. Then hustle and bustle of everyday life seems so far away.
This Bed and Breakfast has three rooms, a double, a twin and a family room and all of them are decorated exquisitely, in a beautiful farmhouse style. We stayed in the family room which was gorgeous. Very comfortable, lovely cosy bed, views over the back and front gardens and had everything we needed, including a mini fridge, plenty of storage, TV and DVD player, chairs, selection of books and DVD’s, fresh milk and water. It was so lovely we didn’t want to leave.
The host Trudie, could not have been more welcoming and happy to chat about the area, the farmhouse and life in general. We thoroughly enjoyed our sumptuous breakfast every morning and nothing was too much trouble. There was a lovely selection of yogurt, fresh fruit (Plums from their own garden), and cereals and then a choice of cooked breakfast options, from a full english, to scrambled eggs and delicious bacon. We had breakfast in a wonderful little room, with stone flagged floors, and every room is steeped with collections of the owner as well as plenty of old photos of farms, farmers, horses, animals and Dartmoor.
There is also a wonderful array of books to flick through in the sitting room as well as plenty of local information for days out. Something which I often do not find in B and B’s. I loved gathering my collection of books every morning to ponder through Dartmoor life in times gone by, over my coffee and toast, with homemade jam.
I also had my 4 year old with me and he loved it. Trudie was very accommodating of him and more than happy to chat to him, which he does a lot. We felt very welcome here.
Situated on a little lane in the hamlet of Sloncombe , just off the A382 which runs down from the A30. It is in a great location and easy to find and only a couple of miles out of the town of Mortonhampstead which has some nice village pubs and local shops, as well as a beautiful church.
The lane is very narrow so drive slowly, but there are plenty of lovely walks from here. As well as a wonderful old stone drinking trough just outside the house. The farm also has lots of lovely farm buildings with many interesting features and an old horse to say hello to in the mornings, when you go to your car. parking is easy and is just beside the farmhouse in the courtyard.
So if you fancy a weekend away, book yourself into Great Sloncombe Farm for a traditional Devonshire farmhouse experience.
Visit their website for booking at http://www.greatsloncombefarm.co.uk/