Looking for the perfect staycation in Somerset? Then check out my review of Meadowbank, a stunning house in charming village of Porlock!
I hate January. It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s depressing. I think that’s the point of it, a month that everyone collectively hates to bring us all together and get through winter. Just count down the days till the month is done, right? WRONG!
For the last few years I’ve been booking getaways in January, and it’s actually a great month to travel. It’s always positive to have something to look forward to in the new year, and it really does beat those January Blues. Also, dare I say the best bit – holidays are a fraction of the cost of what they during peak summer months. You really can save a fortune travelling in at the start of the year, and you can have the most beautiful places all to yourself.
Instead of being home in our tiny flat in London, we booked this stunning property on Classic Cottages in Porlock, Somerset. This is definitely how to kick start your January.
Last year we went to Ilfracombe in North Devon and we absolutely loved it, so we were really keen to visit this part of England again.
This time we booked a house in Porlock, a charming village located in the north of Somerset. Surrounding the village you’ve got wooded hills, dense moorland and the deep blue water of the coast nearby – it really is so beautiful here.
Porlock is a part of Exmoor National Park, so we were really excited to explore the moors and go hiking while we were here. Also, there are some really quaint pubs in this part of the world, so naturally we planned to pop into a few ourselves (all in the name of research of course).
So, if you’re looking for an amazing holiday home, a place to get away from it all while exploring an incredible part of the world, then keep on reading my review of Meadowbank. I have a feeling you’re going to really love it here as much as I did!
Kitchen and living room at Meadowbank
The two things that really sell a property to me are a large kitchen with lots of cooking space, and a cosy living room to snuggle up with a glass of red at the end of a night.
Well, the kitchen at Meadowbank is massive. There’s a big table in the middle of the room which you could easily fit 8 people around. I even loved how all the chairs were different. Very quirky.
It was also great having a wide range of kitchen equipment and appliances. There were lots of pots and pans to choose from, so cooking for a big family or friends shouldn’t be a problem at all.
I know properties struggle keeping a kitchen topped up, but I wish there were a few simple herbs and spices for cooking. That’s one of the things that always makes a holiday home feel more like a home.
The living room is really quirky too with lots of different portraits hanging on the wall. It almost felt like a little speak easy bar in Bristol.
If you prefer to hunker down with a good book as opposed to going out, the views of the valley and the sea from the living room are the best in the house.
Our evenings at Meadowbank were delightful though. One of us would cook a delicious dinner, then we’d sit around the table sharing a bottle of wine talking about all the places we’d been to that day. We’d then slink over to the living room, light the fire, then curl up in front of the tv. It was pure bliss. For me, this is exactly why I wanted to get away in January.
Bedrooms at Meadowbank
There are four very good-sized bedrooms at Meadowbank. A decent king-size room, a double, a twin, and then a small double upstairs in the converted attic with an en suite. I think this would be the perfect place for a teenager who likes to hide away and have their own space.
We were in the king-size room, and we put Cooper (our 10-month-old son) in a cot next door in the double room. It was so nice for him to have his own room – he really enjoyed it in there!
The king-size room came with a dresser to unpack your clothes, but there wasn’t a wardrobe, so if you’re planning on packing lots and lots of clothes for a week then you might have to live out of your suitcase a little bit. The other rooms did have wardrobes though, so it all depends on what room you’re in.
Again, I really loved the décor of Meadowbank. On all the bedroom walls there are cool film posters or detailed maps of the area. It definitely gave me a few ideas of how to decorate our next house that’s for sure!
Bathrooms at Meadowbank
There are two bathrooms at Meadowbank, one downstairs (where you’ll also find the washer and dryer), and one on the first floor upstairs. This one has a bath too for those of you looking for a long soak.
I know one thing people always comment on when booking a holiday home is hot water and pressure. No hot water and rubbish pressure can wreck a holiday. Well, I can assure you that there’s plenty of hot water here, and the pressure’s great too.
Patio and garden
Another area that is a must for me, especially during summer, is a good garden and patio. I want sunshine, the bbq fired up and a few cold beers with my friends.
Well, the patio and garden at Meadowbank are lovely. There’s a outside table, and I even spotted a bbq so that’s taken care of. The garden slopes down to Porlock Recreation Ground where you can walk into the village. There’s also a great play area here for your little ones to burn off some energy. As for the adults, there are a couple of tennis courts that are free to use, and a few football pitches.
Outside, the garden is split level. From the patio there are two sets of steep steps down to the lawn. It goes without saying, but please be careful when using the steps, and watch out for the kids!
Photos of Meadowbank, Porlock
Things to do in Porlock and the surrounding area
Porlock is picture postcard cute, so I’d really recommend walking around the village and popping into a few places. There are also so many walks you can do from the house. Thankfully, the owners have laminated a few of the best walks do in the area if you’re looking for a little inspiration.
Porklock to Porlock Weir walk
Just further along the coast is the tiny fishing hamlet of Porlock Weir. Here you’ll find an old-fashioned pub, a fancy hotel, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and gorgeous views over to Wales. From Porlock, it takes about 45 minutes to walk through the woods to Porlock Weir. This really is one of the top things to do in the area. If you fancy doing this walk, make sure you read my guide of the Porlock Weir circular walk with lots of detailed directions on where to go.
Pubs: The Ship Inn or The Royal Oak
There are three pubs in Porlock, but the two best ones to visit are the Ship Inn (otherwise known as the Top Ship) and the Royal Oak. Both of these are good ol’ boozers with a hodge podge of trinkets and photos hanging on the walls. Both have a very healthy supply of local Somerset cider too.
The Big Cheese
If you’re looking for a bite to eat in the afternoon, The Big Cheese is a great place for things like sausage rolls and pasties. They also have a cheese counter selling local cheeses if you’d like to take any back to the house with you.
Dunster Castle is a historic fortress atop a wooded hill overlooking the village of Dunster. Dating back to Norman times, the castle features medieval and Victorian architecture, beautiful gardens, and offers panoramic views of Exmoor National Park. Tickets are quite pricey at £18 for adults, but it is a National Trust site, so free if you have membership.
Exmoor National Park
One of the reasons we were so keen on visiting Porlock was so we could explore Exmoor National Park in Somerset. At 692 km², it’s rather big, so you can imagine there are some epic hikes here. One of the best that’s nearby to Porlock is to the top of Dunkery Beacon. This is the highest point in Exmoor National Park and the views from the top are just stunning. Exmoor National Park is also famous for being one of the best places to go wild camping in the UK too.
This post was in association with Classic Cottages showcasing some of their top properties in the UK. As always, all views are entirely my own and without bias.
Are you planning a staycation in Somerset? What are some of the things you’re doing when you’re here? You can let me know what you’re up to in the comments below!
If you’re looking for something a little different, then check out my guide to the most unusual places to stay in the UK. Some of these are pretty wild!