We went back, in the same week, to the farm we went to last year when we so desperately needed a holiday. There were two reasons, firstly it was beautiful and lovely and welcoming and perfectly situated for us and secondly I knew that if I didn’t go back soon, then the memories of last year when everything was just so very raw would haunt it and I never would.
Lower Hookner is a farm that Max’s Gran once owned, there are photos of his mum in the garden, he played with the son of the current owners when he was a little boy, it has his old home, his old tor, just across the valley in plain view. This year, as last year, didn’t stay in the beautiful farmhouse (which I have been in and is utterly gorgeous) but in the lovely one bedroom Stable Cottage. Susie and James, who are the most fabulous hosts it is possible to imagine, allow the girls to camp in the paddock and they, of course, completely love that. We quite like tucking them up and then going in to the woodburner and double bed. It is a perfect arrangement. And oh my goodness, I really like laying a fire every night 😀
That is Jake; to say I am not a dog person is the biggest understatement ever, but the 3 dogs who frequent this farm are the most utterly charming, well behaved dogs I have ever met. They are so lovely I adore all of them, happily cuddle them, happily have their faces in my face. I’ve never met dogs like them. And Jake spends all day rounding up ducklings – honestly impossible not to adore him 😆
The girls spent a lot of the week using Spotters Guides; Susie took them on walks up the lane and showed them wild flowers and pointed out trees, she hung a birdfeeder in the garden so Fran saw more birds and took her off to see Nuthatches and showed them the buzzards flying overhead and helped them identify other creatures too. She was like the best sort of Grannie 🙂 They had the run of the dogs to play with, got taken to feed the horses, fed the ducks and learned more about them each day too. It is, truly, blissful and made so by the amazing but perfectly unobtrusive, attentions of Susie and James. They clearly love having children around and the kids, and both of us, just feel so welcome and at home. It’s honestly like going to stay with family we didn’t know we had 🙂
What I wouldn’t give for a view like this.
I so hope we live on Dartmoor one day, but I’m not sure anything will ever be as good as Lower Hookner. I go there and I feel like I have gone home. I can’t recommend it enough.
The girls really enjoyed the company of O and R, two other HE kids who were in the farmhouse and Fran, who was very much one of the adults this time, did loads of cross words, puzzles, chatting to use and reading.
Perhaps the most tear jerking (for me) but best thing about the week was the white duck. last year she had just lost her only chick when we got there and oh how my heart ached for her. This year she hatched 7 the day after we arrived. Sadly, two died during the week, a sad but nonetheless important thing for the girls to see. By the end of the week she had 5 left. 4 yellow ones and one little black one. Of course *wistful smile*
(This is in no way a sponsored post! I would just love to send a few people to sample the joy of Lower Hookner!)