When we (we being the Women UK collective), were asked if we would like to go and review Longlands Devon, there was a slight uproar in the office as EVERYONE wanted to go. And to be honest, who wouldn’t?
To say that Longlands is stunning just doesn’t do it justice. Longlands can be found on the edge of the Exmoor National Park which is in it’s own right an area of outstanding beauty however what a lot of visitors may not also realise before visiting Longlands is that The Exmoor National Park was designated the first International Dark Sky Reserve in Europe confirming Exmoor as one of the best places for star gazing in Europe.
Anyway, back to Longlands and our review! We arrived in Longlands on a Friday late afternoon in May. Longlands is just outside of Coombe Martin and very easily accessible to Woolacombe, Lynton and many other well known Devon resorts. The approach is through winding country lanes with stunning views all around.
Longlands is set up for all weathers and it is easy to see how if it was a wet and windy weekend, the weekend would still be a fantastic experience, however we were extremely lucky with the weather. Upon arrival we were met by Bella and taken to our lodge. Half canvas and half wood, there are a total of five lodges set in the Longlands valley. Each Lodge has been finished with the up-most care and consideration for both comfort and luxury in mind from the John Lewis crockery and linen throughout to the organic hand lotions, shampoos and soaps.
There are three sleeping areas (1 double, 1 twin and 1 ‘queen-size’ cabin room). The lounge/dining and kitchen area have a feeling of time gone by yet with a twist of modern day luxury (although not a screen or electric socket in sight!) and to the back of each lodge is a separate shower room and toilet. The lodges are both spacious and beautifully furnished but it is the attention to detail that really makes a stay at Longlands that extra bit special.
The nearest shop to Longlands is about 2 miles away in Coombe Martin and to be fair, once you’ve settled in Longlands for the evening, it’s not the kind of place that you travel out from. A good bottle of wine, the stars and the sound of the countryside is enough to make the stresses of every day life just fall away. If you are after provisions, the Longlands Larder offers a fabulous range of home prepared dinners (you pre-order and then cook in the lodge), wines, beers, pack-up lunch, breakfast and a selection of toys and games for the younger visitors.
There are two burners in each lodge – one in the main living area for cooking and heating, a second in the shower room for heating the water (it takes about 40 minutes to heat up for a decent shower). There is a good selection of board games, hot drinks and reading material for those ‘not so sunny’ days however as we were blessed with such stunning weather, we found ourselves spending a lot of time by the lake or in the evenings sat outside doing a spot of star gazing!
If you are after lots of lights and ‘kiss me quick’ hats then Longlands isn’t for you, however if you want to get away from it all, switch off and take a break from 2016, then Longlands offers the perfect place to escape and really take a trip back to an era where we were not constantly waiting for the next update on Facebook,checking our emails or having our ear glued to a mobile.
All in all, for us, Longlands scored a whopping ten out of ten. For our three children, they had the freedom to explore the local countryside, as we would have been able to do when we were children and for us, Longlands was a truly amazing retreat ‘just getting away from it all’.
Would we recommend Longlands? Without a doubt. Would we return? Yes definitely!
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