The Pond Cottage in Witherby, Devon, was the first week of our two week holiday. Upon arrival we could really see that this was a beautiful farm with a large property for the owners and a converted barn as Pond Cottage. We were greeted by five ducks who knew that we had arrived (wanting food!) and really friendly. Over the week, we learned that all the geese that are put away overnight were controlled by the group... funny to watch the ducks telling the geese off!
We let ourselves in as the cottage was ready. Our first impression was that it was refurbished with a very high standard finish, beautiful flooring and wooden beams that John explained to us came from trees on his own land. The work that's gone into the property is excellent and clearly a heartfelt project.
With two bedrooms, each with an en-suite shower room, and a lovely landing area with a chair, a cosy lounge with TV and DVD's/magazines and a farmhouse kitchen, we loved it. I even managed to make an apple pie while I was there and enjoyed the jam and chutney, and fresh flowers plus eggs, that were left for us.
When we met the owners we were explained how to work the heating and the log fire if we needed it and that we could use the swimming pool at any time. It wasn't heated and the weather was chilly but we still managed to use it a few times and had a great laugh. The children even rescued baby frogs that had got themselves stuck in there. Apparently Woolly the sheep was marked and in a field on a walk to other fields although we never made that walk - the house was too cosy after a day out!
The roads surrounding Pond Cottage are mainly one lane farm roads. We did see a bird of prey on one of our journeys, a magnificent bird. We visited the local village market (and was lucky enough to buy some jewellery there) which was full of antiques, crafts and pet products. Even saw the man with the duck on his passenger seat which was in the paper the next day!
The nearest town has a small Sainsbury's and plenty of little shops and coffee places.
We ate at pubs nearby, always a drive out. The Mitre Inn we tried first (Witheridge where there is also a small convenience store and post office store). The Mount Pleasant Inn was where we ate most ( a really pleasant garden, pub dogs - there were puppies there at the time - and a gorgeous old dog owned by the family chef). We ate once at the Fishermans Cot who were hosting a wedding at the time, right by the river and purely stunning location wise. I'll review those seperately.
All in all we slept well, had extras that we weren't expecting, and the hosts were amazing and welcoming.
We also enjoyed visiting the arboretum and the allotment which is next to the cottage. I did my running through the arboretum and we had walks through the surrounding fields when we weren't out in the car for the day.
I recommend wellies and walking shoes if you plan to stay at the cottage and visit surrounding areas. And a sat-nav if you plan to wander out in the car.
Loved this cottage, the owners were wonderful and we will return as a couple next time for a romantic getaway in winter perhaps.
What a lovely 4 night break. Yes Storm Brian tried to blow us back home but we weren’t having any of it!
Renate and John are great hosts and the Cottage is lovely. Very clean and with everything you could need from a basket of wood for the fire ( already lit for our arrival) to the pit of home made jam!!
We didn’t have the best weather but we walked every day and enjoyed every minute of it.
The farm is a credit to them both with friendly sheep and geese to Johns arboretum that he has planted ( so many beautiful trees )
Thanks again for the relaxing break
The Collett family.
Well where do I start!!!
Cottage itself absolutely outstanding. Kitchen a real joy to cook in excellently equipped.. living area very cosy. Bedrooms amazing really comfortable beds. And great ensuite.
Surrounding beauty fandabidosis.. I found new friends with wings.they absolutely charmed me..the fields that you are allowed to roam are so peaceful. Sheep friendly.
The gardens are pretty and allotment amazing. We were given fresh eggs corgette and tomatoes..plus home made jam.
Swimming pool fab. Even had random frogs to visit but we lifted these out...
Plus for my morning run I just had fields to pass with sheep's and cows.a very rare car may have passed....
If you want peace with really friendly owners this is the place to be..
Thank you Renate and John for sharing this haven with us.
Spent a week at pond cottage and I couldn't have asked for anything more (maybe better weather but that's England for you). The ground are beautiful and you can see country side for mile around you. The owners were very lovely and let us wonder round the farm and fields at our pleasure, even pointing out where woolly the sheep was so we could go and find her (she's an incedably friendly sheep who likes to be fed and fussed...however he warned if you take food into the field you do get all the sheep coming towards you!)
The house is lovely, everything is clean and tidy and the log fire is amazing at night! It had everything you could possibly want or need and the pool is beautiful, it's just a shame it wasn't warm enough for us to try it out!
Even though the cottage and farm is quite far off the main road (but with our satnav we found it easily) there are so many places to visit around you and we were forever exploring different towns and cities because it was to central to many different places.
I can't wait to come back again soon!!!!!
Thank you for making us feel at home :) xxx
It is difficult to put into words all the wonderful things about John, Renate, and Pond Cottage. John and Renate treat you like welcome neighbors and not people just letting their cottage. The cottage is well provisioned and very comfortable. The farm is a joy. My children fell in love with Wooly the sheep, the ducks, and getting eggs out of the chicken coop in the morning. A wonderful family beach of Saunton Sands is nearby (1 hour drive) on the hot days and the pool awaits each day for a dip. The landscape is wonderful and the produce enlivens your body and soul. We are definitely going to come back!