Well, here we are enjoying a beautiful English springtime at Stonehayes Farm, even if it has been a little chilly at times. Everything is looking so lush and gorgeous now, the hawthorn blossom is out, filling the air with its heady fragrance, the hedgerows are full of cow parsley, campions and snapdragons, and up at Dumpdon Hill there are striking drifts of bluebells.
It’s a very positive time of year and with the dark days and long nights of winter behind us we can look forward to welcoming guests here for long weekends and lazy summer holidays in the idyllic little world at Stonehayes Farm. We’re really getting to grips with things now and after a lot of hard work we’re ready to tell you about the changes we’ve made to our Devon holiday cottages. We’ve even got a new website which we’re thrilled with; it tells you all about the cottages and things to see and do when you’re on your family holiday in Devon.
One of the big changes we’ve made is the names of our country cottages; we did this because we wanted original, quirky names that would help people to remember them and something that we felt would reflect the ethos of what we want to do here. You see, when you come for a holiday or a shortbreak at our Devon holiday cottages we want you to feel that it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, like you’ve left the city streets behind and escaped to a place that in a way, harks back to more traditional times when life was simple and the pace much slower. It’s a time to stretch your limbs and enjoy those morning lie-ins, to fill your days with leisurely picnics, trips to quiet beaches, a potter round the town in Honiton, or a stroll down across the fields to the river. That’s the essence of Stonehayes Farm, that’s where we want you to be.
So we’ve chosen bird names. What used to be the Cider House is now Siskins Nook, The Granary has been renamed Pipits Retreat, what used to be The Shippen is now Wagtail Corner, and The Linhay is now called Dippers Rest. We see a lot of bird life in this part of Devon and these are all species we’ve spotted whilst out walking round the lanes and fields; you’ll often see little wagtails hopping about around the farm.
We've also thought about holidays for bigger groups. Of course it’s always possible to book as many of our holiday cottages sleeping 4-6 as you like but unless you get organised a long way in advance the chances are that they won’t all be available at the same time. So, we’re offering Whinchat Barns, which is Wagtail Corner and Dippers Rest together, to sleep 11; these two cottages are right next to each other so it’s a good arrangement for two families with children as each family has their own space, but you can all play together and dine together as what we’ll do is put a big table in Wagtail Corner for you. Don’t forget that all the cottages still have their own unfenced garden area as well as access to 15 acres of shared grounds with a fantastic play area and a games room.
The other thing we’re excited about is that we can also offer large group holidays for 14 people in the Devon countryside – in what was the thatched farmhouse at Stonehayes Farm. We’ve called it Pippinsands and my word, we’ve been SO busy with this one! It’s been painted and decorated and it’s had new furniture, the garden’s been tidied up and there’s even a hot tub. And what a delight that is – can you imagine how blissful it is to sit back in a tub of lovely hot bubbles looking out on a vista of open fields and green hills that roll gently down to the Otter valley? And everyone knows that in the country the skies are so much clearer at night, so look up and you’ll see them all twinkling, it’s incredible!
You see, we realised that quite often, two or three generations of a family want to spend time away together and we wanted to be able to offer something to those people – and now we can! So come to Pippinsands or Whinchat Barns with grannies and grandads, aunties and uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters – bring Uncle Tom Cobbly and all! You’ll have a wonderful time, with the grounds to explore, plenty of places nearby to visit, and several very good restaurants, cafes and welcoming country pubs within just a few miles. Come and celebrate that special birthday, order a cake in, book professional caterers to come and cook you a special feast; make wonderful memories to take home with you.
So, if you’ve been to Stonehayes Farm before, you’ll know how it is; you’ll be greeted by one of our team and there'll be someone on hand if you need any help during your stay. Other than that our country cottages still have that seamless blend of rustic charm and modern facilities, the play area is still there, and the games room with a pool table, table football and ping-pong, and dogs are still welcome. The only thing that isn’t there sadly, are the chickens and ducks. We had a tough decision to make there as we kept getting a visit from a very hungry fox so what he didn’t have for his dinner we rehomed nearby. But the squirrels that scamper about on the lawn haven’t gone anywhere and it's still the same magical old place, surrounded by beautiful countryside, fresh air and birdsong. Come and stay, come and unwind...
Pip, Sam, Tom and Maisy x