Tucked away in the Devon countryside, with unspoilt panoramic views of wooded valleys, rolling hills and distant farms, Torridge House is an old rectory with a group of well placed cottages in the grounds. Lots of space for relaxing, playing, lots of animals to help watch or feed.
We have two buildings with small animals. There is space for social distancing in these.
One of the animal houses has little chairs and a large low table where children can hold and watch the animals, older children can sit anywhere with an animal. This house has 8 animal pens. Children are given little beakers with animal food and handfuls of hay to take to their designated pen(s). They can fill jugs to fill water bowls.
The other animal house has a large pen where children who can sit still, can sit on small stools to watch and be with the animals. There is also chairs in the house where children can sit with an animal. Feeding and water also in this room.
The hens lay eggs in three different places, probably more if we could find where in the banks and hedges! Our quails lay eggs in 3 different pens.
We feed the ducks and chickens when we let them out in the mornings. Children are given margarine tubs of corn or pellets. They can either broadcast the feed or hold pots down for the birds to eat out of. This naturally takes place well apart as there are lots of birds.
Hand washing facilities are in the animal rooms & by the chicken houses.
During C-19 when we have more than 4 children and their parents we will introduce rotas as well as splitting feeding between two houses and sharing out other tasks like egg collecting, hosing chicken houses and paths.
Eight of our cottages are set in open park-like gardens and grounds. (the 9th is a short step away through our cobbled yard). They are by and large proper houses, and though Lin and Hay Cottages are on the compact side (42.6sq m) with Barn somewhat bigger, they offer good size attractive accommodation (up to 160 sq m), very well equipped, with many extra touches. They all have central heating or its equivalent and 3 have log stoves. All but Lin and Hay have dishwashers. We offer close animal care and feeding opportunities that extend to cuddles and pen management. Throughout the animal involvement season (Easter to end of October) we breed rabbits, guinea pigs, and mice. Two of the cats usually have a litter of kittens each year, though we can’t ever know when or how many kittens there will be. We hatch chicks and ducks for as long as viable eggs are available.
We collect eggs from our hens each day and are actively involved in letting the birds out and putting them to bed each day. There’s a lot of counting involved. In fact there is much that is built into the daily animal interaction and the garden toys that meets all aspects of EYFS, this is a topic in which we have always had a big interest. We have an Early Years practicing practitioner on our team keeping us up to date. There is so much sharing, caring, personal care, problem solving, remembering, squiggling and activity let alone friendships and meeting the natural world in many of its shapes and forms, that can be and is extended from toddlers to all ages. The opportunities for number work and problem solving are limitless. We have seen amazing responses from children's interaction with animals, as well as children growing in confidence.
We kit the cottages out generously and with great care. Beds are made up with bath and hand towels, supplied along with proper cots, children's loo seats, steps. Plus a wide selection of housekeeping needs – dishwasher tablets, laundry ditto and conditioners, spare loo rolls in each bathroom, cleaning cloths, sponges, washing up needs and so forth. Whenever appropriate the heating is on ready for your arrival, whatever the season. Your enjoyment of your stay is the focus of everything we do.
The walled swimming pool area is an outdoor suntrap, it is available as long as is feasible, this generally means from the May half term week through to towards the middle of September. There is a small simple changing room by the pool.
We have a play room with murals, comfy sofas and chairs. Our games room has pool, table tennis, junior air hockey and table football. The library has books, children’s’ books, dvds, games etc. There is fast wifi in all cottages, in the library and around the gardens. A free laundry room provides extra machines and driers and a plentiful supply of laundry tablets and conditioners of all sorts. A freezer with everyday family type food available at cost, also tins etc.
The gardens and grounds are surrounded by fields. Garden activity includes great hide and seek, football and other ball games, also great for races, egg and spoon races, especially when the white rabbit visits. Lots of places to barbecue, picnic, bird watch, play swing ball and for toddler play. It is also a convivial setting for gathering together for drinks and chats. It is home too to the walled swimming and baby pool. The animal houses are near the field, with amazing views over the wooded Torridge valley and beyond to farmland and views of Exmoor.
There are amazing attractions, pubs, cycling, walking, and sandy beaches. We have a fantastic holistic therapist in the village, Tarka Pottery is close by, as is the Village Hall for skittles, we overlook RHS Rosemoor gardens which is a few minutes drive away, as is Dartington Crystal. Children have fun whatever the weather, puddles are for splashing in and grassy banks are better for rolling down when they are wet!
Whether you are exploring wonderful Mid and North Devon, visiting friends and relations in the area or looking for a venue for family gatherings, Torridge House Cottages has a lot to offer at reasonable prices. We have much to suit wedding parties having hosted them to great acclaim. The setting of the cottages around a large green makes them and our gardens a very special setting for celebrations. In the quiet autumn and winter periods we are also happy to consider month or longer lets.
To find out more about us navigate through the website or read our reviews on Trip Advisor. We are very proud to have won a Trip Advisor 'Certificate of Excellence for 2014' and the prestigious VisitEngland Rose Award 2016 for exceptional service.