Welcome to the silence and serenity of Dartmoor, home to the lonely call of snipes and skylarks, to mixed woodland, open moor and rugged tors, and to Moorend Manor. Sleeping up to 19 plus dogs, this is a Victorian Arts and Crafts masterpiece as handsome on the outside as it is playful on the inside.
Beyond the electric gates, a US-style wraparound veranda invites you to gaze at the garden wildlife from the hanging chair. Stay out for giant chess or Jenga on the lawn, then slide into the hot tub and extend your evenings with a barbecue beneath the patio heaters or around the firepit.
Cook on the range, eat together around the dining table with its arched picture window, drift from the sunroom out to the terrace, tickle the baby grand, and bag a four-poster as the fire’s embers start to fade. Wake to Dartmoor views through sash windows, and terrace breakfasts, hearty walks and great company.
Slip out from the sunroom and kick back on the Southern American-style wraparound veranda, watching the wildlife in the one-acre garden from the hanging chair. Play giant chess and Jenga on the lawn, then slip into the hot tub at night and stare at the stars.
Fire up the charcoal barbecue and eat around the al-fresco dining table. Picnic by the pond. Put the world to rights over firepit drinks or under the veranda heaters. Beyond the electric gates, a larger garden beckons. Dartmoor’s wild world of high tors, open moors and mixed woodland is yours to explore.
With up to 16 guests, you’re sure to have a mix of folk – some who thrive on the extrovert energy of big groups; others happy just to turn the pages of a book; others who can’t live without the rush of competitive adrenaline. Moorend Manor caters perfectly for all, with a plethora of receptions and a well-stocked games room.
That games room comes with its own bespoke LED-lit bar and an entrance straight out of Agatha Christie. From the library, pull back the big blue book on the middle shelf to reveal a hidden handle that opens the secret door. Once in, pool, table tennis and air hockey beckon, or just a movie night in front of the 65” voice-operated Sky Glass TV.
Make a night of it in the games room with a bottle from the rack in the wine room. Head back into the library for reading matter, or to the drawing room for serenity, silence, pre-dinner drinks and the post-dessert sounds of the baby grand. The sitting room offers velvet-covered luxury and an open fire, and the sunroom’s the gateway to the garden.
You’ve no excuses for not eating like kings and queens here, in the well-equipped country kitchen, with second-floor spare. Sing along with Alexa as you work around the range, dishwasher, integrated fridge, American fridge/freezer with ice dispenser, and microwave. Wrap up your meals with your pick of Nespresso Vertuo pods.
Stock up from all the usual supermarkets, the Game Larder for takeaway snacks, sweet treats and gin, Bidder’s the butchers and Dartmoor Bakery. Or hand it all over to our local pro chef and sit in the sunroom with a bottle from your very own wine room or Sovereign Wines in Tavistock.
Eat around the 12-guest dining table with moorland views or out in the wild blue yonder on the ten-seater table on the terrace. Eating out? Go gastro at the quintessentially English Who’d Have Thought It Inn or dine handsomely on teriyaki salmon or pan-fried chicken katsu at the Rock Inn in the village.
Tuck in to lamb rump or pollock at the Leaping Salmon in Horrabridge or treat yourself at the Cornish Arms, one of the UK’s top 50 gastro pubs, offering boat hake, bay mussels or roasted lamb belly, plus a great children’s menu. Try The Annex or Salumi for tapas, Fletcher’s for fine dining and Quay 33 for seafood.
Sleep to the fluted sound of the twilight nightjar and the deafening night-time silence of the open moorland. Moorend Manor sleeps up to 16 in animal-themed rooms as happy to multitask as they are to bewitch with classic luxury.
The Ostrich doubles as the library/study when not used as a bedroom. Sleep on the double sofa bed and sneak into the games room through the secret door whenever the urge strikes.
The Zebra is the master with Dartmoor views, superking bed, en-suite, TV and walk-in wardrobe, while the giant Gorilla provides a choice of two single or one superking, sofa and coffee table.
Four-poster fans should bag the Flamingo, with its superking bed, elegant drape and silver Versailles-style furniture. The Leopard is another superking with zip-and-link singles option, while the balconied Giraffe can sleep up to four in a double and double sofa bed.
The Elephant provides a choice of singles or superking and the Lion offers a large sofa bed and doubles as a lounge complete with TV and dining table. Finally, the Rhino is another family-flexible superking zip-and-link.
Three sofa beds for children and a cot are also available.
Few things are as exciting to children as a country-house holiday with all the folks and maybe some of their mates. Especially one with a secret door. In the well-stocked library, pull back the big blue book on the middle shelf, then use the handle directly under the shelf to slowly pull open the door.
Even more exciting than the Agatha Christie-style entry is the world beyond. Grown-ups will love the bespoke oak bar, but youngsters’ attention will be drawn to the cinema area with its 65” voice-operated Sky Glass TV, and the table tennis, air hockey and pool tables.
Could life get any better? Maybe. Head outdoors for one acre of fresh air and fun that includes giant chess and Jenga on the lawn, and a heated terrace with charcoal barbecue and firepit for extending your nights. Older kids will happily stare at the stars from the hot tub. Keep friends posted with Instagram snaps on the free Wi-Fi.