Tag Archives: big house experience

Big holiday cottages for the best Staycation ever

We’ve always been big fans of UK staycations – seeing a different part of our beautiful country for a weekend or a family holiday. Not being stuck at the airport, waiting in queues, frustrated by flight cancellations and delays – just hit the road, or travel by rail and you leave all those hassles behind.

Staying in the UK also makes it easy to combine your vacation with another family. A large holiday home gives everyone plenty of space to enjoy under one roof. Lots of bedrooms to chose from, plenty of bathrooms and large grounds to roam in. Stay near the coast and enjoy the beach or stay inland and explore rivers and valleys – book a house with a swimming pool, perhaps.

A UK staycation also allows you to stop en-route to your destination too – if you’re heading for Somerset or Devon, we’d always recommend the brilliant Hauser & Wirth at Bruton, enjoy the ever changing contemporary art gallery, the garden designed by Piet Oudorf and feast in the fabulous Roth Bar & Grill.

Whether you’re looking for party houses to celebrate in, or an escape for a large family holiday, have a look at these 4 properties that come highly recommended by our past guests. All of these houses are exclusive hire, you’ll never share with another group – we don’t operate like a holiday cottage complex.

Tone Dale House – brilliant party house in Somerset

This is a big, big house with lots of fun in-house. There’s a party room with wide screen TV, ideal for dancing one day and watching movies the next. Two sitting rooms, 2 dining rooms and 2 areas of kitchen! The Long Room gets its name because at one end there’s table tennis and the other a pool table. It’s next to the large sitting room – so you can mix and match your entertainment, or wander out to the 4 acre garden to enjoy the hot-tub, croquet and badminton – maybe play hide and seek behind the ancient plane tree.

Tone Dale House is a big house to rent in Somerset, available through The Big House Company

There are 10 bedrooms or 15 (depending on whether you want to hire the Stables too), but you’ll never share with another group whatever you choose.

Widcombe Grange – top spot for a big house holiday

This is a lovely house for a summer break in particular. The enormous grounds are stunning and just draw you outdoors to wander around the 2 lakes (the larger of which has a rowing boat), the woodlands and the orchard. There is plenty of space for a game of rounders or football, or if you wanted to have a really big party there are some stunning locations for a marquee, if you’re celebrating something special.

Aerial view of this big house in Somerset with outdoor pool and spacious grounds.

The pool in the walled garden is often the focal point of sunny summer days. Sun loungers and a barbecue for the adults and a large heated pool for everyone. Then there’s the coach house, with large doors to fling open, it’s the place to be for table football, table tennis and a pool table.

The house and cottage combined have 12 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms.

Tatham House – luxury holiday house in Somerset with an indoor pool

When you’re looking for a house that has all you could wish for – this could be the one. Every one of the 10 bedrooms has a luxurious en-suite – the bedrooms themselves, are beautifully furnished with thick curtains and incredibly comfortable beds. Downstairs, your group can spread out in the 2 sitting rooms, cook in the stylish kitchen and dine at the large oak table overlooking the garden.

Tatham House has an indoor pool, tennis court and 10 en-suite bedrooms.

If you don’t want to leave the grounds, Tatham House is ideal – it has an indoor pool with bi-fold doors out to the walled garden and all-weather tennis court beyond. The hot tub sits beside the sun loungers on the terrace and looks towards the pretty orchard. Summer meals outside are at must at this house, the built-in barbecue and outdoor dining furniture all make the most of the distant hills.

For those who want to get out and about, Tatham House is close to the Quantocks, for biking, riding and walking. Or, hop on the steam train from the village and travel back in time, all the way to the beach on the north coast, maybe stop off in Dunster and explore the castle.

Berry House – perfect for North Devon summer surfing fun

The remoteness of Berry House makes a dramatic setting for this big house. Its Wuthering Heights location gives it views over the surrounding countryside to the distant cliffs and coastal path. It has a very homely feel, carefully looked after by its team of housekeepers. The dining room is grand and spacious – it just puts you in the mood for a celebration dinner and the kitchen is an ideal place for preparing it, all the mod cons with a carefully preserved country vibe.

Berry House in North Devon, is in a stunning countryside setting and has 10 bedrooms.

For your entertainment head upstairs to the games area for petit-football, the pool table and a large screen tv. Outside, the large games barn has table tennis, basketball and 5-a-side footie and if you want something more relaxing, head to the walled garden for a soak in the hot tub.

North Devon is famous for its surfing beaches. Some are best left to the experienced surfers, but there are plenty of sandy beaches with surf suitable for all ages and abilities. There are plenty of lessons available and kit to hire.

Read our blog to the best beaches in North Devon here

Berry House has 10 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms and is a rare find, in that during the summer months, it can be booked for a 2 night weekend break or a 7 night summer holiday.

If you’re thinking of staycationing at a big house in the UK and want some help or further information, either email our friendly team at party@thebighouseco.com or click here for our contact form.

The best beaches in North Devon


Summer holiday fun from our large holiday house in Devon

Wonderful beaches to visit when you’re staying at our big holiday house in Devon

Summer’s here and North Devon is one of our favourite places for enjoying time at the beach. Weekends with friends, family holidays, hen and stag parties, – it’s a great part of the UK for so many types of groups and who doesn’t love being at the beach?

If you’ve never been to North Devon then here’s our guide to some of the best beaches and even if you’ve visited before, we’ve added a few suggestions that might be of interest too.


Croyde Bay is a beautiful sandy beach with rolling sand dunes behind it – great for shelter, sunbathing or hide and seek. It’s rated one of the top beaches in the UK for surfing and locals would say, it’s definitely the best. So if you’re an experienced surfer it’s the place for you – for beginners, there are better beaches to learn at, but outside of the summer peaks, it’s ok too.

Croyde is popular with swimmers too and there is an RNLI Lifeguard service available from May to September, during Easter weekend, October weekends and October half term holiday. Children love the rock pools at either end of the beach and there’s loads of space for games of cricket, beach hockey and rounders. There are brilliant walks as well, if you have time, walk out to Baggy Point and enjoy the fabulous views.


3 miles of sandy beach to enjoy; sandcastle heaven!  Or if you’re into water sports this beach has so much to offer – it’s been a firm favourite with visitors for years and is renowned for its high-water quality.  When the North Atlantic waves are rolling in, the surfing and body boarding are excellent and even on calmer days the kayaking and paddle boarding are really fun.  Sign up for surf lessons, or hire equipment at the beach, ice-creams and snacks are available too. The beach has lifeguards on duty to ensure safe family swimming usually from Easter to the end of September.

There’s plenty of car parking (enough for 2000 cars) with easy access and with such a long stretch of beach it’s possible to find a quiet spot, even in the height of summer. It’s a very family-oriented beach and dogs are allowed year-round with some restrictions in the summer. The surrounding countryside is managed by the National Trust, so worth exploring and the nearby village has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with shops, cafes, several pubs and places to buy or hire beach kit, as well as at the beach.

Putsborough Sands

Something of a hidden gem, even though it’s at the southern end of Woolacombe, it’s a quiet oasis. This means it doesn’t have the facilities of it’s busier neighbours, but that means the crowds won’t be there either. There is a carpark nearby, however.

Beautiful golden sand and a large expanse of beach make this an ideal choice, if you already have your picnic and beach equipment with you. Putsborough is on the lee-side of Baggy Point and has the advantage of being sheltered from prevailing south-westerlies – that can sometimes be a blessing for surfers and beach-lovers. The surf is great and the surroundings spectacular, a definite winner in our book.

Barricane beach

Barricane is a charming cove, sitting sheltered between rocks on either side. Quite a sun trap and an escape from the wind on a blustery day. You’ll need to be aware of the tides here and plan your visit accordingly. It’s a popular beach for surfing and the rock pools are wonderful and numerous, but be aware, there is no life guard here. If you have young children in your group, they’ll love the cowrie shells that collect upon this small inlet – allegedly having travelled thousands of miles on the tides,  from a Caribbean island.

The tiny, quirky café has a fine reputation for food and it’s worth staying on at the end of the day and queuing up for the Sri Lankan curry, in the evening. Take a bottle of wine with you and enjoy your supper, while watching sunset over an exquisite ocean view.


A tiny shingle beach, compared to the long sweeping sands of many north Devon beaches, but all the better for it. Broadsands has a south sea island vibe to it and is delightfully secluded and private. You can hire a kayak from Combe Martin and paddle your way round, which is a fun way to arrive, or count the 200 steps down from the road above. Take you bbq and enjoy quiet evenings here.

If you’re looking for a big house experience to enjoy the delights of the North Devon beaches with your friends or family, or both, have a look at our big holiday cottage in Devon.

What’s great about large holiday homes

big holiday house to rent

A big group needs a large house to rent

It might be stating the obvious, but one of the best ways of having a summer holiday with all your family is to be under one roof. Unless you’ve struck lucky, most of us don’t have a relative with a big pad in a convenient location for a summer holiday with the whole family. Or even if you do, perhaps they might not want to host!

A great choice of big houses to rent

These days many big houses aren’t lived in by their owners. We know – we found the heating bills way too high! So, the upside is that there are a fantastic number of properties around the country where you can have a memorable big house experience. Manor houses and castles, barn conversions and farm houses – take your pick. Locations can often be memorable too, but sometimes convenience is the main factor when your group are coming from far flung locations.

Large houses to rent for parties

If you are planning a special celebration, a big holiday house can be the perfect location to base yourselves. With that as your starting point you can plan your guest list, organise your activities and fine tune the itinerary. Having helped many groups with their house parties over the past 22 years we would suggest, it’s never too early to start. Pick our brains, we love it….ask us about local top notch chefs, unusual activities, the best pubs, where to take the dog for a walk – or what kitchen equipment you’ll need to bring – in our houses, the answer to that is usually none. They are very well equipped.

Big house rentals

A large holiday home can be an ideal alternative to hotels or cramming all your guests into your own home; more relaxed, in charge of your own timetable, plenty of space to be together and apart! Often these big group holidays can turn into an annual event that’s looked forward to by all generations with great anticipation.

If we can help at all, with your selection of a large house to rent as the starting point for your big house experience, do get in touch and make the most of our friendly impartial advice.

5 Tips for a Stress Free House Party

A country house party is a great way to get family and friends together, enjoying each others company and having downtime. But, with a large group, the organizer can end up feeling they’ve got a lot on their shoulders.  So, having organized house parties for 20 years, here’s our 5 tips for a relaxing weekend. (more…)