It's always inspiring when people bring magnificent old buildings back to life; even better when you get stay in one. And that's exactly what you can do at this beautiful Grade-II-listed Georgian mansion close to the north Devon coast. A former boarding school, the house had fallen into some considerable disrepair until Harvey and Helen Phillips came along in 2015 with a view to rescuing it from ruin, and it now feels like a very special place to stay, not just for the elegant house itself but also for the expansive grounds that surround it.
It's very much a family venture: the owners live on site and are great hosts, with a passion for the local area and lots of tips on what to do. They are still in the process of restoring the house to its former glory, converting both the Georgian heart of the building and its newer Victorian wing to a series of luxury apartments that when finished will be one of the most comfortable and best equipped self-catering alternatives from which to explore this part of Devon.
The Victorian-era service wing currently has two two-bedroom apartments available (and will also have a studio by late May). The two-bed apartments have well-equipped kitchens, a master bedroom with a king-sized bed and en-suite bathroom with roll-top bath and separate walk-in shower, plus a second bedroom with a double and a single bed and its own bathroom; the studio has a large wet room with walk-in shower (no bath). All of the apartments have smart TVs, wifi, DAB radios and a CD/DVD/BluRay player, and a couple have a wood-burning stove for cosy evenings in; ground floor apartments are also have their own private outdoor seating area with a BBQ for when the weather plays ball. Pets are welcome, and they can provide toddler beds or cots and baby chairs, and it's also eminently suitable for those with limited mobility, with level access, no steps and a big walk-in shower. Not only that, more demanding guests can avail themselves of plenty of other services, produce hampers and suchlike, and they are creating function rooms and private dining facilities in the main house, so this could be a perfect place for that long-awaited party or family celebration.
Moreton House is a lovely place to stay by any measure but is especially suitable for families, who can frolic in the five acres of gardens and grounds, which has lots of spots for picnics and BBQs; there’s a gazebo, fire pit and camp-fire circle, play areas and swings, along with croquet and other garden games. They have bikes/golf clubs/beach kits to borrow and there's a great family beach a mile away at Westward Ho!, plus they are also very near to the Tarka Trail long-distance footpath, which leads up to the beaches at Instow and beyond. Lundy Island is also just a ferry ride away from Bideford.
All in all we can't think of a much better or more comfortable place from which to explore this terrific part of North Devon and its coast.
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