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Large Period House set in Ancient Woodland in Exmoor National Park near Lynmouth

Bedrooms 8
Separate WC's1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


About the property

House on Exmoor, nr. Lynmouth, Devon, England - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Direct access to Moor. Stables 5 mins.

Oaklands is an impressive, 8-bedroom, traditional stone-built detached house sleeping 14 in comfort, situated in the heart of the Exmoor National Park between the open moor and the spectacular north Devon coast. It is located outside the rural hamlet of Rockford with its well-regarded inn, and has magical views across the East Lyn River, which falls dramatically to the sea at the village resort of Lynmouth just 4 miles away. Set in 1.5 acres of grounds with lawns, mature trees, a cascading stream and disused waterwheel from its early Victorian past, Oaklands is surrounded by one of the few remaining areas of ancient oak woodlands in England and has abundant wildlife (designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Site of Special Scientific Interest).

Newly renovated to modern standards with contemporary furnishings throughout, but keeping its original character, Oaklands has a large living room with aspect over the river and oak-beamed snug with Inglenook fireplace, 8 bedrooms, many with river and valley views, and four bathrooms laid out over two upper floors. Oaklands is large and roomy for one family, or provides flexible accommodation for family gatherings or groups of friends and is a wonderful rural retreat no matter what the time of the year. Parking for 4 to 5 cars. Games Barn with table tennis, darts and secure storage for bikes etc. Fenced garden area for younger children. Pets are welcome.

Oaklands is at the apex of Exmoor’s footpaths, cycle routes and bridle ways, Oaklands makes the ideal base for walking and horse riding (stables 5 minutes away), mountain biking and road cycling, kayaking and angling on the East Lyn, country sports, and surfing (both locally at Lynmouth and within 1 hour’s drive at Croyde). Traditional Exmoor pubs and restaurants with fine dining are within easy reach. Local beauty spots such as Doone Valley, Watersmeet and Valley of the Rocks, and tourists attractions for all ages, including a beach, at the twin seaside villages of Lynton & Lynmouth, are all within short scenic drives. Oaklands and Exmoor offers something for everyone all year round.

More Details

Peter Sammonds
Member since: 2014
Speaks English
Calendar last updated:
20 June, 2017

About Peter Sammonds

We are a professional couple with two grown children. We travel extensively, but our favourite place in the world is Exmoor. We had been visiting for many years before we bought Oaklands and particularly loved the “Doone Valley”, the location of R.D. Blackmore’s Victorian romantic classic Lorna Doone. The Oare Church where Lorna marries is nearby Oaklands!

Peter Sammonds purchased this house in 2012

Why Peter Sammonds chose North Devon

Oaklands is in a spectacular location, set in one of the few remaining areas of ancient woodlands in England, in the heart of Exmoor National Park, with magical views overlooking the East Lyn River. It is fairly isolated, but a 5 minutes walk from a traditional inn. Exmoor is an International Dark Skies Reserve, meaning the nights seem really dark but with amazing views of the night sky stars. Walking, horse riding, bike trails, kayaking and fishing are all on our doorstep. And it is such a friendly and welcoming area.

What makes this house unique

Oaklands is a large spacious period house with its own stream and waterwheel in the grounds, dating from its early Victorian heritage as the house for the wood mill which built Lynmouth. The steep terracing, tumbling stream and the feeling of a house deep in the woods, gives Oaklands its magical feel. But it is newly renovated, with contemporary furnishing and modern electronic entertainment too, making it perfect for large gatherings of family or groups of friends at any time of the year.

Guestbook comments from the owner

"The house was lovely, there was plenty of room for 14 people. It was very well equipped, the kitchen and bathrooms were all near new, yet there was still an old fashioned charm about it. We were there for new year and the dining room was perfect for us to have a great meal. The house was in a beautiful location with friendly local pubs. I would highly recommend this property."

Midwinter family, Swindon. New Year 2016.

"We have had an amazing holiday here at Oaklands. The house is amazing with the Wii and Games Barn. We will definitely be back for more soon! Thank you very much for a great holiday!" The Baird, Burgoine and Davis families. Bristol. February 2015. "p.s. Great walks with pubs."

"We had Christmas early as the children are travelling to all corners of the globe in Dec..10 adults, 2 children and dogs..was great fun in this fantastic house. The setting, the wild countryside and this lovely house made this a fantastic break for all of us. Thank you." Harding family. Gloucestershire. November 2014.

"We had a great week and this is a really cool place with lots to explore and see". Sarah and family. October 2014.
Dec 2015
  • 1 of 1


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house in Lynton in Devon

Property Type:
  • house
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 14
  • pets considered ...
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • near the sea
  • rural
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 14 people
  • 4 Bathrooms
  • 1 Separate WC
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure
    Toilet 1 - Toilet
    Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
    Shower room 2 - Shower Enclosure
  • Bathroom 1 with double-ended bath, wc, basin, separate shower cubicle. Bathroom 2 with Victorian claw-foot bath, wc, basin, separate shower cubicle. Shower room 1 en-suite to bedroom 3 with wc, basin, shower. Shower room 2 with wc, basin, shower. All bathrooms are newly renovated.
  • 8 Bedrooms, Sleeps 14
  • Bedroom 1 (Master - Superking / Twins) - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , 1 Cot , Can split Superking into twin zip'n'link singles. TV/DVD
    Bedroom 3 (Double en suite) - 1 Double Bed , with en suite shower room, wc and basin
    Bedroom 4 (King) - 1 Large Double Bed
    Bedroom 5 (Double) - 1 Double Bed
    Bedroom 6 (Single) - 1 Single Bed , 4ft (small double)
    Bedroom 7 (Bunk beds) - 2 Single Bed , (bunks).
    Bedroom 8 (Single) - 1 Single Bed
    Bedroom 2 (King / Twins) - 1 Large Double Bed , Can split King into twin zip'n'link singles
  • Sleeps 14 in 8 bedrooms. All bedrooms have wardrobes and chest of drawers. 5 bedrooms have river/valley views. A cot is available (please enquire). Single bean-bag bed can be made up in Study (please enquire). A single bed may be moved into the Master Bedroom to make a family room (please enquire).
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Table Football
  • Game Room ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Games ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
  • autumn foliage
  • bay
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • bay fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing
* For that weekend celebration event, please enquire about a fully catered lunch or dinner, pamper parties at Oaklands, organised activities (guided Exmoor deer walks and guided fishing on the Lyn) and local activities such as horse riding, shooting and falconry. * Oaklands' ancient oak woodland is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Site of Special Scientific Interest. * Direct access to Exmoor’s footpaths from grounds through gate. * Barn tap and hose for washing down dogs etc. * Secure store for bikes etc. * Utility Room has rear door access and ample room for boots, coats etc.


Excellent! 4.6/5 -
(21 traveller reviews)


Exmoor - beautiful as always, disappointing treatment by property owner.

  • 3 of 5

The house is impressive from the outside. Entry was by a keysafe. There was no one to greet us, to show us round, or to discuss the condition of the property. This would prove to be significant. Inside the place looked a little tired, however, given it slept 14 we assumed it to be a ‘high traffic’ house and that it would therefore become shabby pretty quickly, so were not too discomfited by this. The carpets were clearly not new, for example there were threads loosening on the top floor carpet which could soon be a hazard.

We soon discovered we could not operate the central heating and that the dishwasher had a damaged bottom tray, both of which issues were reported to the owner by telephone the next morning.

At dinner on the first evening, one of the dining chairs completely collapsed. Fortunately nobody was hurt, otherwise I think we might well have considered making a personal injury claim. During the week I went to sit down in another chair, resting my weight on the arms, when the right arm snapped clean off; again fortunately no injury. There was a small table in the same room which was wobbly, on the verge of collapsing. One of our party had a go at mending it, most unwise! We broke one soup bowl. We reported all these breakages on leaving.

Before leaving we cleaned the house from top to bottom. One of our party forgot to leave money for telephone calls in the honesty box provided. We contacted the caretaker within a day and asked that the costs of the calls be advised to us so that we could pay immediately.

Later in an email the owner claimed that our dogs had defecated on a carpet and that we had used bathrooms to bathe our dogs. He intended to make a charge for the broken dishwasher along with one broken chair, and stain damage to a couch; that he would be withholding, in lieu of recompense, a large proportion of our security deposit. When we questioned this he said we had done thousands of pounds worth of damage.

None of these allegations was true, but the owner sent us photographs of the ‘evidence’ and we had no way of proving otherwise. Frankly the stains on the carpets and sofa look old but given that we did not have an opportunity on arrival to question the condition of the place, we feel we have been stuffed by the owner. Given also that Owners Direct offer zero support in contesting withheld deposit claims, we suggest anyone thinking of booking this property do so with the utmost caution. We shall avoid Oaklands in future

  • Review Submitted: Jun 7, 2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: The guests said in the Oaklands guest book how much they enjoyed their week stay with four dogs. Unfortunately the cleaners, who are long-standing, reputable and clean Oaklands every changeover reported the guests left significant damage to Oaklands. This was beyond what the cleaners with intensive cleaning, and our maintenance man, who came in the next day, could put right. So we did need to retain part of the security deposit as just a contribution to specialist cleaning, replacement furniture/appliance and a hefty phone bill. This is a very rare occurrence and only once before in over 100 lets have we partly retained the security deposit (for cleaning off graffiti). A list itemising the damage, the actual repair costs and the contribution we were asking the guests was sent to Owners Direct. We are surprised that the guests feel unfairly treated as they agreed to the reduced deposit refund and we dealt with them reasonably and professionally throughout. On the comments about Oaklands these guests make, Oaklands is a fairly isolated moorland holiday house and used heavily by groups and families, but we have repaired and replaced damaged items quickly, including replacing major appliances, furniture, beds, mattresses, bedding, rugs etc. and regular repainting since the start of letting three years ago. The Caretaker went out straight away to help the guests with the boiler. We do not accept the landing carpet or the furniture are hazards in normal use. We replaced the broken dining room chair and other items (at no charge to the guests) and the living room chair has been removed for repair. The dishwasher has been replaced. Staining to a sofa, rug and landing carpet has been removed by a specialist industrial cleaner. So following the state the guests left Oaklands in, we are pleased to say that we have brought Oaklands back into good working order and to be highly presentable for future guests.
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Beautiful house, beautiful setting.

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at Oaklands for a family celebration, 9 adults and 5 kids. The layout of rooms was perfect, with the right mix of bunks, singles and doubles to fit everyone in. The house itself is a lovely old house - a comfortable sitting room, a snug with wood burner, a big enough dining table to fit everyone round and a really well equipped kitchen - more plates, cups and glasses than you could ever need (although we tried).

The beds are incredibly comfortable and the soothing sound of the nearby river makes for a great night's sleep.

The games room is great for keeping kids entertained too.

This house is a great house for a gathering as there is enough space for everyone to be together, but also enough to detach yourself if you wish. I'm sure we'll all be back sometime in the future.

  • Review Submitted: May 16, 2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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A very comfortable house for the weekend in a lovely location.

  • 4 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed our weekend for my Mums 75th Birthday. The house is spacious and well stocked. Lovely bedrooms and bathrooms. The kitchen and all its amenities are particularly good. We had an issue with the heating but as soon as we rang the caretaker he came and sorted it. Also the owner checked we were OK with a follow up phone call the next day.

If there was one small niggle perhaps a little more wood for the Woodburner. Expected to supply your own after using the initial amount left. Also we forgot salt and pepper and perhaps this could be provided as a standard. Otherwise would thoroughly recommend.

  • Review Submitted: Mar 6, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are delighted the guests enjoyed their weekend. The Caretaker came out on Saturday evening to re-set the boiler and we are pleased that this was appreciated by the guests that he responded so quickly. He left some more logs as a goodwill gesture. Our "welcome pack" for guests includes all the necessary ecological cleaning products (dishwasher fluid, washing liquid, washing-up liquid, shower spray, surface and toilet cleaners), cleaning sponges, tea towels etc., cling film, foil, baking paper and one roll of paper towels, and ecological hand wash, shower gel and one loo roll for each lavatory/bathroom. We provide tea, coffee, milk. juice and biscuits so guests can have refreshment before their shopping arrives. We do not provide pantry items. We provide a starter box of logs and kindling. We do keep this under review to be responsive to guests comments.
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Fantastic, idyllic location, perfect local, comfortable spacious house!

  • 5 of 5

Loved our stay here, felt totally at home but more relaxed!!! Great kitchen, reception rooms, games rooms and the best Stargazing ever. Thank you Peter, you've been brilliant from booking right through to leaving. Want to return!

  • Review Submitted: Feb 19, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Feb 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Excellent house

  • 5 of 5

The house is absolutely great - everything you'd want and lovely scenery and place to stay.

  • Review Submitted: Feb 2, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jan 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Oaklands is perfect place to enjoy the beauty of an enchanting valley on the lyn river.

  • 5 of 5

Our party of 14 spent a fantastic weekend at Oaklands at the end of October. The house is a marvellous place to enjoy the company of others because it has all the necessary resources to meet your needs. You get a fabulous sense of tranquillity and the noise of the Lyn river is extremely relaxing. The house is so spacious that all us were able to enjoy a celebration meal around the large dining room table in comfort and the bedrooms and receptions rooms were all large enough to provide all of us with a very comfortable stay.The house was clean tidy and well maintained.

The Brendon valley that Oaklands sits in is so beautiful and the walk down the Lyn river to Watersmeet and then to Lynmouth is just breathtaking. We ate out locally at the Rockford Inn (2 minute walk) which was really very good and also at the Beggars Roost a few miles away which was also excellent.

  • Review Submitted: Nov 23, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Prices & Availability

Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Summer 2017-2
23 Jun 2017 - 13 Jul 2017
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
Summer 2017-3
21 Jul 2017 - 31 Aug 2017
Changeover Day: Friday
6 night minimum stay
for 6 nights
Summer 2017-4
1 Sep 2017 - 7 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Autumn 2017
8 Sep 2017 - 19 Oct 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Autumn Half Term 2017
20 Oct 2017 - 26 Oct 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Winter 2017
27 Oct 2017 - 18 Dec 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Xmas/New Year 17/18
20 Dec 2017 - 2 Jan 2018
6 night minimum stay
for 6 nights

Additional pricing information

Pet Fee £20
Refundable Damage Deposit £250

Please enquire for cot etc. and other special requests.

Changeover Day:
During the summer Friday is changeover day. Other times of the year this is more flexible. We politely ask that you arrive not earlier than 4.00pm and depart by 10.00am.

Short breaks of 3, 4 and 5 days available. Please enquire.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
Enquire Now

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