Set on 20 Acres of land is two dog-friendly holiday cottages owned by Elaine, Adrian and their friendly dog Ralph. The Old Shippen which is a two bedroom cottage and The Old Piggery which is a two bedroom bungalow, both of which are situated on Kerswell Farm.
We booked our two-night stay in The Old Shippen which has a brilliant upside down layout with the bedrooms and bathrooms on the lower floor and the lounge, kitchen/diner upstairs so that you can look out and enjoy the view.
The name of this cottage comes as it is a conversion of the original Shippen of Kerswell Farm and the work that has gone into this beautiful holiday home is absolutely amazing.
Our experience from booking at Kerswell Farm was a 5* service. When we booked our stay Elaine sent us details of how to get to there (as we know Sat Nav's can get a little lost when out in the Country) and was happy to help with anything that we needed.
We were also offered their home cooking service which is something we have never been offered before. If you are arriving later in the day or you just don’t feel like cooking, Elaine can cook you a meal which will be waiting for you when you arrive for your stay. This is something that they can offer throughout your stay too and going from the homemade goodies we had you will not be disappointed.
When we arrived we knew that our stay was going to be one of relaxation and enjoyment. Our cottage was open for us to just let ourselves in, so we set to explore inside and let Yianni and Yoko commence on their sniffing of every nook and cranny.
As soon as we opened the front door Yianni and Yoko headed straight up the stairs to the kitchen, it was if they knew what was waiting for them. We found them both sitting facing the kitchen worktops looking excited and sniffing the air. No surprise as they could smell our welcome gifts that had been left for our arrival - a fresh loaf of homemade bread, homemade dog biscuits, a bottle of red wine, locally inspired snacks and fresh milk in the fridge.
We couldn’t make them wait so before we continued our tour we let Yianni and Yoko enjoy their welcome snacks which did not last long, so they must have been good! The newly fitted Kitchen was well equipped and had all of the up to date mod cons – coffee machine, Induction Hob etc.
On the dining table, we found a beautiful welcome card (which we later found out was a picture of the flowers growing in their fields). We also had a handbook which was filled with helpful information about where we were staying and its features, along with information on where you can go in the area.
The Living room was extremely cosy with a wood burner, two large comfortable sofas and beautiful leather footstool - the perfect place to sit and unwind after a day of adventures. We had a lot to keep us entertained - books and magazines to read and a TV with the option of Netflix and an array of DVD’s to choose from.
The main bedroom has a lovely double bed, two wardrobes and enough room for a dog bed or crate if this is something you use when you’re away. They ask that dogs do not stay on the bed which is completely understandable as we know as dog owners dog hair can be extremely difficult to remove!
We obviously had to check the comfort level of the bed and it passed with flying colours! We learnt from the amazing cottage handbook that the bedding is filled with natural wool and studies have shown that sleeping under wool increases the duration of the most beneficial phase of sleep – REM (Rapid Eye Movement) which contributes towards good health, wellbeing and results in happiness!
The second bedroom is spacious and has two single beds which again passed to the comfort level with flying colours! I say this as on previous holidays the comfort of beds is not always consistent, especially with single beds for some reason?
The Artwork throughout the cottage has been created by local artists and adds that little bit extra to the character of the cottage – especially the historical pictures of Kerswell Farm.
After our look around, we settled down in front of the warm fire and enjoyed the wine and snacks which had left for us – perfect way to start our break away.
There are so many places to visit in the area which are dog friendly we didn’t know where to start. We started to wish that we had booked for two weeks instead of two days! After looking we decided to visit the dog friendly beach in Instow which was only a 20-minute drive away and it is the most dog-friendly beach we have ever visited! Just dogs everywhere, running and enjoying the wide open space of the beach - Heaven!
What comes with a beach visit – Sandy Paws. Removing sand is normally a painstaking process but not at Kerswell farm, as they have an outdoor heated shower in the garden for your dog and towel to dry them off if you had forgotten yours.
After our clean up from our dog-friendly walk we were greeted with a complimentary Devon Cream tea that Elaine has made herself and of course we ate the Devon way - cream on the bottom and jam on the top. We sat and thoroughly enjoyed them in the beautiful, tranquil garden, while Yianni and Yoko had fun running and playing together.
Even though it is no longer a working farm, Kerswell is managed for wildlife and conservation. The 20 acres of land is open for you on your stay to go and explore how you wish. Whether that is to walk around the fields and woodland or to sit at one of their four lakes to read a book or draw the wonderful wildlife with a glass of wine - I say wine as it is a holiday after all!
During our stay, we had the pleasure of walking the 1.5 miles of land with the owners Elaine, Adrian and their Lurcher Ralph. Well Yianni, Yoko and Ralph did more running than walking. We enjoyed hearing and learning about the work they have done and plan to do with the Devon wildlife trust as part of their land is designated as a County Wildlife Site.
As a dog owner, you realise that when places say dog-friendly this could mean two different things:
1. They tolerate them (luckily there are not too many of these places around that we know) 2. They truly accept dogs as members of your family.
This is a holiday cottage which will guarantee you luxury accommodation that is peaceful, dog-friendly and a home away from home and is a place that truly accepts that your dog is not just a pet but a member of your family.
So would we visit again to this dog-friendly UK getaway? Yes and for longer!
If you have had the pleasure of staying at Kerswell Farm please share your stay below. If you have not had the pleasure and are planning your dog-friendly stay in the UK check out them out on our Dog Directory or visit Kerswell Farms website you will not be disappointed - https://kerswellfarm.uk/
Love from the Aurora Pets Team x