Kentisbury Grange, nr Barnstaple
A sumptuous country house hotel, with waterside self-catering lodges for families and cottages for lovebirds, perfectly situated for exploring Exmoor's coast and moors.
Muddy likes a boutique countryside hotel but Muddy also likes a luxury waterside lodge with hot tubs. But which is best? At Kentisbury Grange, my fickle friends, you can have your socially-distanced countryside cake and eat it, thanks to its numerous staycay options.
Flexibility is this 4-star Victorian manor’s middle name, so you choose from sixteen ensuite bedrooms, ranging from standard rooms to luxury suites on the first floor, or stay in the grounds and go self-catering in one of 11 two-bed waterside lodges complete with hot tubs, OR stick with B&B in one of five brand-spanking new cottages. So, whether you’re after a self-indulgent defrazzler for two or fancy a self-catering break with the family and the pooch – this bucolic retreat ticks all the boxes.
Locals might remember back when KG was known for its swanky Michael Caines restaurant, The Coach House. Since the hotel closed briefly in 2020, the focus has shifted away from fine dining, to a fresher, and frankly more funster, vibe, although the sumptuous decor, island-sized beds and rolltop baths remain. The Coach House restaurant still has those lush velvet seats and marble-topped bar, but instead of fine dining, now you’ll find classic British pub classics, including fish and chips and Exmoor burgers, on the menu.
And brides and party gals needn’t feel left out – if you’re planning a Big Day, you can hire out the hotel and Coach House and have it all to yourself for two blissful days, with help from Sue, the hotel’s dedicated wedding planner.
While it feels completely remote and off the beaten track, with 360 views of green hills, in reality, you’re just off the A39 and about 25 minutes from Barnstaple (an easy zip north from the M5 if you’re coming from outside the county). The gorgeous windswept stretches of beach on the North Devon coast, Woolacombe and Saunton are an easy drive, too, with the National Trust Arlington Court and Exmoor Zoo close by. Which all adds up to brilliant location for a country break with lashings of romance, relaxation or family fun. We’ll happily take it all but we’ll leave it to you to decide.
Kentisbury EX31 4NL
01271 545 008
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