TeamCocopup Charlie and doting dog mum Hannah Tan-Gillies are getting cosy and hunkering down at the Higher Wiscombe cottages in East Devon for a luxury doggy staycation that won’t get damped by bad weather.
We arrived in Higher Wiscombe late on Friday evening and right on the cusp of Storm Freya’s arrival. After almost four hours of driving through rain and harsh winds — with large chunks spent on the M25 no less — our arrival at the warm and undoubtedly charming Thatched Barn could not have been more perfectly timed.
Higher Wiscombe is a cluster of three, generously-sized, luxury self-catering cottages in the heart of East Devon. It is part of Premier Cottages collection, which features 1,000 four and five-star self-catering cottages all over the UK, from intimate boltholes, to large family-friendly estates, including a wide selection of pet-friendly properties.
Surrounded by rolling hills and just short drive away from the Jurassic Coast, Higher Wiscombe is the perfect spot to hunker down, get cosy, and wait out a storm.
We stayed in the Thatched Barn, which is a sprawling barn conversion for six with three ensuite bathrooms, heated floors, a fully stocked kitchen, outdoor terrace and oodles of charm. The Thatched Barn offers a wealth of contemporary amenities, but unlike other luxury properties, does not sacrifice character in pursuit of modernity. Each room follows a distinctive colour palette with the master suite also equipped with a handsome four poster bed and roll top bath.
On the kitchen counter, we were greeted with a welcome basket filled with a selection of locally-sourced products. TeamCocopup Charlie was greeted with a welcome package of his own, which included a Dicky bag, bio poo bags, and also some treats.
Alistair and Lorna, owners and custodians of Higher Wiscombe, live right next door and will go out of their way to make you feel right at home. They offered us plenty of recommendations on nearby restaurants and dog-friendly things to do – of which there are an abundance. The property is near many supermarkets, and you can even have your groceries delivered straight to your door before arrival.
As storm Freya raged on throughout our stay, we were unable to take a dip in the property’s heated outdoor pool. We did, however, get a private tour of The Winery. The spectacular cottage can sleep up to twenty and is the perfect spot to bring family and friends together for a relaxed weekend getaway or a big celebration. As with many other businesses ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, Higher Wiscombe has had to adapt, temporarily halving the Winery to abide by the all-encompassing Rule of Six.
Outside of your cottage, Higher Wiscombe offers 52 acres of private rolling Devon countryside, perfect for long walkies, even in the rain. You can also drive to the nearby coastal towns of Sidmouth and walk along the Jurassic Coast, the quaint mining town of Beer, or take a short drive to Lyme Regis.
Walkie enthusiasts can even access the East Devon Way directly from the property, which leads to a number of picturesque National Trust properties too. And finally, after you and your pooch have spent the day discovering everything that East Devon has to offer and more – there is simply nothing better than returning to the Thatched Barn, putting a log on the burner, and enjoying a nice cuppa. Because as we discovered, a stay at the Higher Wiscombe is truly a wonder, even in the middle of a storm.
A week’s stay in Higher Wiscombe’s Thatched Barn for up to six starts from £895. To book go to www.premiercottages.co.uk or call the owner on 01404 871360. Premier Cottages offers the widest range of accessible properties in the UK with many offering on-site facilities like swimming pools, gyms, spas, indoor games rooms and children’s play areas.