If you are like us, we like to know who we are talking to and emailing when we are organising our holiday. We are Emma & Simon. We have both had significant birthdays 3years ago - mine now starts with a 5 (eek!) and Simons with a 6. Our family consists of 2 German Shepherds and we also have 2 horses. Before stumbling on this most stunning of areas, both Simon and I had done our time in London, we then lived in the Cotswolds for 15 years before deciding we wanted a change in life and life style so we moved to the Quantock's in Somerset.
Why we built our 3 dog friendly cottages as homes with hearts
& not just as soulless holiday homes
Having been the owners of 4 dogs of assorted sizes we know how difficult it is to find any holiday cottage that will allow more than "one small well behaved dog." We sometimes came across properties that would allow more than one, but it was as if the owners were convinced that if their guests had the temerity to own dogs then they must want to go on holiday and stay in a place that for all intents and purposes could be a kennel (actually no I would not put my dogs in there!!) We had a very firm view of what we wanted to achieve from the three cottages that we were going to build on our country estate. We designed the cottages from the discerning dogs point of view, and then thought we better make them super comfortable for humans as well! We wanted our guests both 2 & 4 legged to feel like that they were coming to stay with us here at Beech Hanger, and be a place where they could truly feel at home and be able to enjoy all the comforts of a proper super comfortable home-from-home. We wanted each property to be what we would like go to if we ever get to go on holiday. We want all the toys and luxuries that we don't have at home, we want to be spoilt, we want to be quiet private remote and we want the whole property and the surrounding area to be tranquil (well this bit we do have at home) and we would want somewhere that really welcomes dogs and not just tolerates them, because if our dogs are not relaxed and happy we can't relax. We Built Coleridge and Greenway in 2010, and welcomed our first guests in October that year and then in 2012 we added the Quantock Hide to our collection. Since the beginning we have been very lucky in so much that once guest find us they most often not only come back year on year but often several times of year - their woofers insist on it!
MEET OUR DOGS
We have two GSD's, one of whom is 7. She is an ex police dog who enjoyed a stellar police career and indeed received not 1 but 2 letters of commendation for her work. She has adapted incredibly well to civilian life, so much so we don't get much bed or sofa space! Our other GSD is 8. She came to us 5 years as a failed security dog. The security company said themselves that they pushed her to fast at a too young an age as she was the pick of the litter. As the years have gone on and she has relaxed and grown in confidence she has become the truly awesome "machine" that she was originally bred and trained for - their loss is definitely our gain, not only do we adore her but she too gives us great peace of mind. Before GSD's came in to our lives we always had Staffies. Our first 2 were called Wallace and Grommet and our last 2 were called Slap & Tickle. Since the loss of Slap (who was our last one) we've not felt emotionally ready for another...
MEET OUR HORSES
We have 2 horses. The one pictured here is Murphy and he is 13 and the other is called Mikey and he is 12. Both are big lads and stand over 17hh. We are so incredibly luck not only to have the privallage to ride out on the stunning Quantock Hills which are on our back door step but we also love taking both the horses and the dogs for a ride on the beach.
WHY WE LOVE IT HERE
For us this area is one of the most magical places on earth. No matter the time of year it is always beautiful. To have the freedom to be able to walk out of the back door and be able to go straight on to 9,500 acres of Quantock AONB and SSI open moorland which has stunning views of the coast and surrounding countryside is even 13 years on is spine tingling. If we see another person on our "hill" (this is what the locals call the Quantocks) we are most suprised - the Quantocks really are the hidden secret of the UK. Although we have the rugged coastal and moorland on the door step this area is not far flung or isolated. There is a fast train from Taunton to London (1 hr 45) so Simon can be up and back easily in a day. Being a good two hours closer to London and the Midlands than most of Devon and Cornwall there is no shortage of things to do or places to be and we have pretty fast Internet (don't laugh but alot of Exmoor has no coverage for Internet or mobile phones and a fair few of the properties are on generators as mains electricity has yet to reach them) so when we found Beech Hanger up the road on the stunning Quantocks we were relieved- mobiles, internet and mains electricity!
WHY WE LOVE WHAT WE DO
We are so terribly lucky in so much as we get to live and work in such a stunning location as this and we adore meeting new guests and introducing them to the pleasures and treasures of this special area. We are also terribly lucky once guests find us they often return not only year on year but several times a year (the guests in this photo are on about their 18th visit!) and it is just like having lots and lots of old chums coming back and stay. Both Simon and I are genuinely grateful that our guests have been kind enough to choose our cottages to spend their precious leisure time and money. We are so aware that there are a million holiday cottages out there and thus we constantly strive to not only meet our guests expectations but to surpass them, we love to surprise and delight.