About Anstey Mills Thatched Holiday Cottages in North Devon

Experience Devon at East Liscombe Farm in Our Sympathetically Renovated Holiday Cottages

The traditional farmstead dates back in parts to the 15th century or earlier but all accommodation has been beautifully renovated and equipped to a high standard of convenience and comfort. A 500 or more year old grade II listed traditional stone, cob and thatch barn, a stone and slate Devon Longhouse and adjacent Threshing barn and court yard are set in 180 acres acres of beautiful countryside with each private gardens and outdoor sitting areas, making it an ideal location for a holiday with family or friends. As it is a non-working farm, it is an ideal place for families with children as they have ample space to run about and they are easily able to entertain themselves outside, unrestricted by traffic. Our visitors appreciate the calm and quietness at East Liscombe.

On arrival at East Liscombe Farm you will be welcomed by the owner, Doris, with a tour of the house. Then relax after your journey with a local cream tea or cake in your cottage or garden.

Exmoor Magazin (June/July 2014)

“If you spot a German tourist on Exmoor there’s a good chance they’re here because of one woman, ninety year-old Rosamunde Pilcher. She’s a romantic novelist, with a stack of Mills and Boon books under her belt, who has taken Germany by storm after her books were serialised on national television.

The films are set in the West Country and have had such a positive impact on tourism that Rosamunde received a British Tourism Award in 2002. One German who can certainly testify to the ‘Pilcher effect’ is Doris Braukmann-Pugsley, owner of Anstey Mills Cottages. As a German running two holiday cottages which nestle in a valley just outside Dulverton, she’s in a particularly good position to take advantage of German interest in the area.

“Rosamunde is huge in Germany and they come here looking for the big, unspoilt landscapes they see in her films,” she explains,   <...>

Doris herself came to live on Exmoor twenty five years ago. She met her husband Tim Pugsley in a youth hostel in SanDiego in her early twenties. He was there running his first marathon and she was holidaying with a friend. Little did she think that four years later she would be lured to deepest Exmoor where Tim grew up in a farming family.

Doris remembers her family’s anxiety about her living in such a remote area but says she was quickly absorbed into the community, helped by her popular, extrovert husband. Tragically Tim died of a brain tumour in 2005, leaving Doris and two young sons Max and Leo, as well as a growing holiday rental business.

Tim had just finished transforming a semi-derelict thatched cottage into a luxury rental property for two. The ancient beams and exposed woodwork remain but the cottage boasts a galleried bedroom, whirlpool bath, heated tiles and oak floors. Doris was left in charge of this property as well as Anstey Mill Cottage which sleeps up to seven and adjoins her own home, a Devon long-house dating back to the fifteenth century.

Fast forward nine years and Doris has much to be proud of. She has renovated and refurbished Anstey Mills Cottage, coped with power cuts and a succession of winters when they were snowed in – not to mention picking up a Quality in Tourism Gold Award last year from the English Tourist Board for the fourth year running.

It’s easy to see why this thriving business enjoys so much repeat custom. Guests are greeted on arrival with a cream tea and Doris is warm, knowledgeable and justifiably proud of what she has achieved. And then there’s the location. With uninterrupted views of rolling hills from both cottages, you don’t need to be from Germany to appreciate this idyllic corner of Exmoor.

Doris

“It is  a pleasure to meet new and old customers and I feel that we are still attracting just the finest people. Having  both cottages has given us a bit of an edge over competition in the area, as we can cater for bigger groups, which the big cottage’s large kitchen can easily accommodate. As well the Thatched Cottage has proven to be a great gem, as the added luxury of heated floors, whirlpool bath and spacious decking area at the back are all perfectly spoiling our guests. Out of season there are still the low price offers and our flexible approach to arrivals in the off-season has proven to be very much appreciated.

No need to say more - the pictures are speaking for themselves.

Max and Leo have been wonderful in helping me at times with changeovers and backup is there for that as well as for jobs around the buildings, so that we have had few tricky situations. Having to install a new hot water tank between 11 and 4 on a Saturday has been a particular challenge, and it was done! So looking back I am confident that we are doing just fine.

PS:  And more GOOD NEWS for our repeat customers!   We have repaired the lane - putting in proper drainage covered with metal grids - so you won't have to worry about your car's suspension any more! Come and check it!