*Ad – Gifted. All opinions are my own.
After all the upheaval of the last few months, a holiday was the last thing on my mind. It’s not that one wouldn’t have been welcome, I just didn’t think it would be conceivable for us to be able to get away with school starting, both Alyssa and I being unsettled and of course money. A holiday was very much needed though and when we were invited by Snaptrip to try one of their UK holidays, I jumped at the chance (in fact I may have shed a tear or two) to be not too far from home but to be able to get away and relax. I honestly wouldn’t have cared if we’d gotten a bed in a shed, away would have been away. However, we got so very much more and it’s honestly one of the nicest trips I have ever been on.
For those not in the know, Snaptrip is effectively a holiday search engine that helps you to find holiday houses, cottages, apartments and lodges all over the UK. We were super fortunate to be offered a holiday cottage in Devon right on the edge of Exmoor National Park. We knew which cottage we would be staying in so had a sneak peak before hand at all the photos on the Snaptrip website and it looked lovely. There was to be no phone signal (heaven!!) but there was Wi-Fi and all the general amenities.
It took us around 2.5 hours to get there and we actually arrived early but the lovely owners of The Oriel cottage came out to introduce themselves and greet us and kindly let us in early – my fault as I’d mixed up the check-in time. As I said, we had looked at pictures online so we were prepared for it to be nice, what we were not prepared for was how breathtaking the whole place would be. From the absolutely gorgeous high ceilings and exposed beams to the patio doors looking out onto the hot-tub in the master bedroom, to the deep bath tub and double showers, to the safely fenced in garden and the beautiful views surrounding us.
It literally felt like we were on top of the world and in the middle of nowhere. I stood and just listened and breathed it all in and I’m not sure I have ever been so thankful for my job. There were two bedrooms; the breathtaking master bedroom with en-suite and king sized bed and the family room at the opposite end of the property with a king-sized bed and a single bed in the same room. The beds were super comfortable, came ready made and towels were provided also.
The decoration was all light and airy and as I said the family bathroom was just to die for. I also don’t think I have ever been somewhere where they provided so much. Lots of tea and coffee, some biscuits and whole tubs of dishwasher tablets, laundry tablets and washing up liquid. They also had some milk in the fridge for arrival too as well as copious amounts of information about the surrounding area and days out.
There was a TV in the lounge and in both bedrooms as well as a DVD player. We picked the most gorgeous time to go because it was the last of the September summer we didn’t light it but there was the most amazing log-burner in the lounge as well. The whole place is dog friendly and you can have up to 2 pets to stay with you and the whole place is incredibly secure for them. Being aware that pets were allowed I did wonder if there would be the tell-tale signs of hair or the smell but I would never have known that pets stayed there if it weren’t for the provided bowl for water!
We spent 3 gorgeous days here – the first we merely lazed around, drinking prosecco and trialling the hot-tub…hard life I know. We met with family the next day and spent the whole time at Hele Bay a somewhat unknown beach area where the dogs were able to run free and Alyssa spent almost the entire day rock-pooling; she caught a million shrimp and 3 fish but couldn’t locate any crabs rather disappointingly.
However, the next day, despite the drizzle we donned our macs and went to Lynmouth Harbour, where the tide was out and we finally spotted our long awaited for crab and took a cliff-side drive which I don’t mind telling you scared the bejesus out of me.
However, the nicest part of each day, was having the beautiful Oriel Cottage to come back to. The sunsets were incredible and as there was no light pollution the starry skies were incredible. The peace and calm were just what the doctor ordered and accompanying it all with prosecco in the hot tub was just divine.
This trip could not have come at a better time for us, so much so I pretty much wept with the joy and relief of finally relaxing and actually sleeping through the night which I haven’t for the past few months. Snaptrip made this holiday super easy and quite clearly find you really high quality places to stay that match all your criteria. I won’t hesitate to go with Snaptrip again on the next family trip away.