Red Lion House is a large, warm and quirky house, surrounded by nature, which I enjoy sharing with guests. Built as an Inn around 1830, it is situated in a secluded village in the heart of the Blackdown Hills. The jurassic coast, centred on Lyme Regis, is only 7 miles away and walkers can enjoy exploring the surrounding woods and hills. With a large lawned garden, a traditional cider orchard and small wooded area filled with wildlife, this is the perfect place for nature lovers.
Red Lion House is an unusual house, which was built as an inn around 1830 and operated as a pub until the 1960's. In the recent renovation we have tried to focus on using local materials and skills, as well as protecting the natural world. The interior spaces have high ceilings and have been brought to life with natural materials, and touches of colour, creating a rustic, warm, calm and welcoming home for visitors. You won't find anything fancy here, but my hope is that guests will feel comfortable and relaxed, particularly those who have children and/or dogs.
Guests have access to three light and spacious double bedrooms, one of which has an en-suite shower room. Bedroom 1 has a double bed, bedroom 2 can be made up as a double bed or two singles, and bedroom 3 has a double bed. There is also a camp-bed and two travel cots with mattresses, which can be put in any of the rooms, on request. Guests also have use of the large garden room which has a kitchen, dining and sitting areas. There is a large wood burner to sit by on cooler evenings. And families will find board games, and children's toys available on request.
Outside, guests are free to roam nearly 2 acres of grounds, consisting of a large lawned garden, cider orchard and woodland area which provides a home for wildlife. My vegetable garden with pond is fenced, and only accessible to children if they are accompanied by an adult. A small caravan in the orchard provides additional accommodation or a playhouse for children, and a perfect space to sit by a fire, watch the stars and listen to the night.
Red Lion House is my home, which i share with my very friendly dog Luna. But it is so big that I have my own areas and there is plenty of space for visitors to enjoy full use of the facilities and privacy. As well as the bedrooms and bathrooms, guests have use of the large garden room, which has a sitting area with two big sofas, a wood burrner and a large television, plus the kitchen and dining area. French doors open onto the garden, where on sunny days guests can eat outside.
I have my own sitting room and my bedroom is upstairs next to the others. I share the main bathroom with guests, and may need access to the kitchen occasionally.
I am happy to chat with guests and will usually be around if you need anything during your stay. But the house is big and I have my own spaces, so you will have as much privacy as you like.
The house is near the end of a 4 year renovation. So there are a few bits of tidying up still to do. Guest areas are all finished, though.
I don't cook breakfast for guests, but I will provide basic breakfast supplies for the first couple of days (milk, bread, cereal, eggs and fruit), so that guests can help themselves. With some notice I can allow for varying dietary needs and preferences, and will include locally produced food as much as possible. Please let me know about any allergies.
For families I have the following available on request: two travel cots and mattresses, stair gates, children's plates, cups and cutlery, board games, children's toys, dvd's. I can also give you access to the washing machine and tumble dryer if you need them.
I do have a very friendly dog who is used to children and other dogs. And various dogs visit often, so the house may not be suitable for those with a dog allergy.
- Well behaved dogs are free to roam the gardens, as long as they don't chase the birds and you pick up their poo. Please keep dogs on a lead in the village at all times, even if they are under control. They must also be kept on a lead if you are walking on farmland near livestock.
- Membury is a very quiet residential village, so please keep consider the neighbours when you are outside in the evenings. The garden room is quite sound proof, so you don't need to worry about disturbing others when you're in there.
- Please drive very slowly through the village (under 15mph), as there is no pavement, and children enjoy walking and cycling on the street. Also, please drive slowly though the surrounding lanes, as they are single track and you will need to stop regularly to let others pass.
I moved to Devon in 2013 from London where I worked as a Sustainability Consultant and Lecturer. I am really enjoying living closer to the natural world and exploring, but I do miss the diversity of city life. So for me, hosting guests is an opportunity to meet a range of people from different backgrounds and share this quiet retreat surrounded by nature.