On a rural lane five minutes from Blagdon Lake, a friendly couple has transformed their outhouse into a cozy little abode for travellers. The Nest sits atop a hill overlooking the shimmering lake in the distance, and butterflies hover around the garden outside. We are particularly lucky, of course, it’s a wonderful spring day in the west country, perfect for exploring the quaint British countryside.
Inside the one bed-room apartment visitors will find light tones, chunky wooden furniture, wicker chairs and everything they could possibly need during a stay. Linen is provided as well as a full fridge/freezer and washing machine, plus there are board games, a large TV and handy maps of the local area. Lucky visitors may also get a little welcome hamper with biscuits, chocolates and some local tipple to ease them into the pace of life here in the village (a really nice touch).
The surrounding village has a rich past dating back to Roman times, ancient pottery has been discovered in the area and chocolate box stone houses remain throughout. A short five-minute walk from The Nest is the beautiful and historic St Andrew’s church, one of two churches in the area. A tiny little lane will lead guests to the most wonderful panoramic view of the imposing building, set against rolling Somerset hills. Veer right, instead of taking the little path, and walkers will find the centre of the village.
Complete with Blagdon Stores (the Post Office), a traditional butchers (selling meat from the local area), a heath and beauty centre and a selection of well-stocked pubs, the village has plenty to explore. The Seymour Arms is where those looking for a modern-bistro take on a country pub should head, while those looking for something more traditional should try the New Inn (for Cask Marque Ales) or nearby, in Rickford, the The Plume of Feathers sits opposite a stream at the foot of the Mendip Hills. With flagstone floors, open fire places and a stream at the foot of the Mendip Hills it has a welcoming country atmosphere.
But our favourite thing about Blagdon by far is the local library – it’s housed in a decommissioned red phone box. Open 24 hours a day, people can choose from six shelves of books, borrow them and even swap them. Hours of wholesome entertainment.
Food and drink: The Nest is self-catering, and boasts a well stocked kitchen. Our advice is to get yourself to the local butchers and stores and cook a fresh meal with produce solely from the local area. Alternatively, The Seymour Arms has an excellent menu, with inventive dishes including apricot stuffed pork belly, celeriac gratin and buttered kale, or Harissa spiced chickpea stew with tzatziki and flat bread. Dishes are reasonably priced, and range from £5 to £19.50 (half portions available on request). Meanwhile, the close-by The Plume of Feathers does a mean Sunday roast.
Price: From £32.71 pppn (based on two sharing and a seven night stay). Pets stays free.
Address: Station Road Blagdon, BS40 7TB, www.welcomecottages.com/ or call 0345 268 0816.
Radio Times travel rating: 8/10 A cozy rural hideaway that will blow away the cobwebs of a busy city life.
Radio Times was hosted by Welcome Cottages, all of our contributors maintain editorial independence at all times and conduct first-hand research.