We had a lovely four days holiday in Somerset, Southwest of England earlier this week. It’s a part of England we haven’t visited in a long time – we were last here on a camping trip in Cornwall back in 2009! This year so far, we have already had a few trips within England – a wonderful weekend in Peak District National Park staying at Losehill Hotel and Spa, two trips down to London and now our lovely stay at Wayside Cottage in a tiny village Shepton Beahchamp, Ilminster, Somerset.
We booked our cottage through Sykes Cottages who have more than 5,000 “personally-inspected holiday cottages to rent in the UK and Ireland” and provide the option to choose from a wide range of cottages suited for all needs – from luxury boutique to barn conversions, for couples as well as catering for large groups. We have booked through them exactly a year ago when I organized a trip in Wales for 22 people. Their customer service is excellent, it is easy to book online and they are also available to discuss booking options by phone till 9pm. Depending on the season and the area, you can get really good deals and affordable prices.
We booked at the very last-minute, literally the day before we left – And it was the beginning of half term and valentines weekend! I had to discuss our requirements over the phone as many places were booked and we had specific requirments – countryside, a fire-place and within 4 hours driving south from Sheffield. Ashique is a bit ‘obsessed’ with fireplaces 🙂 Wayside Cottage in Shepton Beachamp, Ilminster, Somerset – “a relaxing rural holiday” fit the bill and we headed there the next day.
On the way down we had a few hours at Warwick Castle, which was absolutely brilliant. Worth the steep costs as we had the castle to ourselves mostly thanks to it being a working day and halfterm hadn’t started yet. For whatever reason our kids school had halfterm the week before (BINGO!)
The cottage is a renovated farm worker’s cottage which dated back to over 200 years. It has been beautifully restored, is full of character with lovely warm touches in all parts of the cottage. Two bedrooms upstairs with the living room, kitchen and bathroom downstairs. The living room is very cosy with a lovely fireplace that was not only a huge success with Ashique but also with my son who discovered his new favourite hobby! He LOVED learning to start a fire and ways to keep it going.
The kitchen had everything we could possibly need – stacked with all utensils, pots, pans, plates, wine glasses and Cafatiere. Dishwasher was a bonus and there was tea, coffee and biscuits laid out as well. There was a Laundry Machine which we didn’t need to use and a small utility room with refrigerator and other items you could possibly need.
The stairs leading to the second floor was a huge success with Shama as she loves being a monkey and going in and out through the steps onto the sofa underneath. Upstairs there were two bedrooms, one with a double and the other one with two single beds. Nice touch with the pillow with an inspirational quotation (I have always loved this) and lovely lampshades.
There is no garden which was the only negative I have to say. It works fine for us in the winter when we are not out as much but would definitely be nice to have one in the summer. Good thing is just across the cottage, there is a path leading into fields with beautiful countryside views. There is also a national cycle route that runs through the village. Nice walk along the fields will take you to Barrington Court which was fun to visit as the shooting of several scenes from Wolf Hall was done here.
The village itself is quite small, there is one little shop which is also the Post Office, one Pub where we enjoyed a lovely lunch and a Church and graveyard which we also visited. You can walk through the fields from our cottage and get to the village in 15 minutes. People were friendly everywhere and we passed through such lovely cottages along the way!
Just a bit of background to explain why we loved our time here so. We have been waiting for several weeks now to move to New Zealand have been living out of suitcases and pacing restlessly around an empty house. Our home doesn’t feel like home at the moment. The first thing both the kids, Ashique and I felt and said aloud on our first evening at Wayside Cottage was how homely it felt. The little touches, the stone walls, the fireplace, our time spent here playing Uno and Talisman, cooking and having a special valentines meal, short walks to the village and surrounding here, it all came together to make this holiday here very special. The owners have gone out of their way to provide lot of information on what there is to do around the area, detailed maps of local walks and the good thing is that there were several other sights to do and activities to do around the area if we wanted to have a more exciting or active holiday. We went bird watching at RSPB Swell Woods one evening, and to Barrington Court earlier that day. The other days were just family time indoors playing with the fire, playing games, and exploring the local village. We came back to Sheffield with moods uplifted, relaxed and happy – ready to face further waiting around till (and if) we get visas to move to New Zealand!
I would highly recommend Wayside Cottage as well as Sykes Cottages for planning and enjoying a wonderful English countryside holiday 🙂 We were given a discounted media rate during our stay but all opinions are always our own. We would not do it any other way.
This post is linked to #weekendwanderlust hosted by A Brit and a Southerner, #Weeklypostcard hosted by Travel Notes and Beyond and #Wkendtravelinspiration hosted by Reflections Enroute and Weekly Photo Challenge