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2020 Archive

28th December 2020

Belated Merry Christmas and wishing you a very Happy and healthy New Year!

We hope that you are staying safe and well.

We have been open at various times of the year,  following Government guidelines and always offering full flexibility. Unfortunately in some cases, this has meant that we were not able to fulfil our promise to our customers, and had – reluctantly – to cancel bookings. This was particularly hard at Christmas where I have had decorations up and the heating on full and still was not able to accommodate our guests, as the Government made significant announcements on 19th December in response to the worsening situation with COVID-19, with particular concern about the rapid spread of the ‘new variant’ of COVID-19. To disappoint those who most likely would have been in dire need of the open spaces here and just generally a change of scenery did not make it easy.  

sunset from our top field
Anstey Mills Cottage decorated for Christmas
Evening view from the main bedroom in Anstey Mills Cottage

However, the recommendation is in all tiers “you should stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area, meaning your village or town, or part of a city, where possible.” While this is in place, we have concluded with regret that we cannot continue to keep Anstey Mills Cottages open for holiday lets.

While the Government have indicated they intend to review the position every two weeks, it is clear that there is limited expectation that these restrictions will be relaxed in the short term. To give certainty to our guests and our team, we have decided that we will remain closed until 29th January, with a wider review in January in the light of the latest information.

We understand that this will be very disappointing. We have not made this decision lightly, but we must put the safety of our guests and team first in the light of significant concern around the new variant being moved around the country.

All bookings made directly with Anstey Mills Cottages after that date are covered by our COVID-19 Flexibility Guarantee

Thank you for your continued support throughout this difficult period. And why don’t you follow us on Facebook or Instagram to have a virtual tour and enjoy the various landscapes etc. and especially the amazing night sky?!

The milkyway as you might see it from Exmoor(imgage thanks to: )

29th June 2020

After thorough planning and study of Government guidelines, we have put together a risk assessment, a cleaning checklist and new protocols to make your stay as safe as possible for all concerned. Following this Visit Britain and the AA have awarded us the following accreditations and thus given us the go-ahead.

We are working hard to make a safe environment for your holiday here at Anstey Mills Cottages. Therefore there are a few changes that we have had to put in place to allow us more time to clean and sanitise the properties for your stay to ensure the health and safety of us all.

Day of arrival

Your holiday accommodation will be cleaned, sanitised and disinfected ready for your arrival and you will notice the hand sanitiser at the front entrance, this is for you and all your party to use each time you enter your property. Please can you arrive not before 5 pm unless you have been told otherwise.

You will also be advised of your parking space. 

Day of departure

The departure time for all our properties is now 9.30 am prompt.

On the morning of your departure can you please put all your bedding and towels in the linen bags provided and leave inside the entrance door and please leave a window open in every room, weather permitting.

During your stay

We ask that you please respect other guests by keeping your party to your designated areas. The bike storage and dryer room is not available, except by prior consent. The field footpaths are all open to enjoy. If possible touch gates only with gloves.

If any of your party show any symptoms of Covid-19 during your stay

Guests showing signs of C-19 whilst staying Anstey Mills Cottages are required to inform us immediately and to go for a test at the nearest test centre (Exeter probably). The result of this test must be shown to Doris. If positive then the guest must immediately leave if this is reasonably possible. If for any reason that it is not, and self-isolation is required to take place at Anstey Mills Cottages then all fees for all bookings affected by this self-isolation will be borne by the guest.

We hope you will have a pleasant holiday with us but should you have any questions or concerns about a stay, please do not hesitate to contact us. Tel: 01398341329 Doris’ Mob: 07909991735


4th June 2020

Being carefully optimistic we have now accepted the first couple of bookings for July. As stated below, we are flexible regarding the booking conditions and arrival days and thorough and meticulous to avoid any risk. On another positive note, the gardens had a lot of attention from me apart from the glorious sunshine over the last two to three months, so you can look forward to seeing Anstey Mills Cottages at its best. And look forward to the sound of bees, sheep (noisy when first shorn) and birds (especially the dawn chorus).

My Yardley Rose
Poppy Galore
Yellow Mellow
Noisy neighbours

17th April 2020

Dear Guest,

Due to COVID-19, Anstey Mills Cottages are closed until the end of May and possibly for longer- depending on Government advice.

For peace of mind of our guests, all reservations, even non-cancellable stays, in 2020 are eligible for a full refund. This applies as well to those visitors who choose to postpone to a later date.

Going forward we offer flexibility for bookings and cancellations, as well as a price freeze – for a limited period our 2021 prices are being held at 2020 rates to accommodate those that are making early reservations at this time.

We are monitoring and adhering to the guidelines issued by the Public Health regarding coronavirus.

The health of our staff and visitors is our main priority. To help understand our best practices, these are a few of the precautionary measures we are following:

  • Self-service check-in (key safe box with number lock) allows for contactless arrival procedures.
  • In addition to the existing cleaning products available to guests, we are also supplying hand sanitiser, disinfectant cleaning solutions and sanitising wipes.
  • We are introducing a 3-day break between bookings to secure the safety of our staff and guests. This allows for extra hygiene practices and thorough cleaning.

I am writing this while spring is at its best at East Liscombe Farm, with an abundance of blossom and wildlife in bright sunlight – the swallows just started returning a few days ago and lambs are playing in the fields around our farm… So having the cottages empty seems particularly sad, but with your support and co-operation we will keep going and our motto “Away from it all” might just hit the right note to those of you who will long for peace and tranquillity within beautiful countryside. We invite you to come and secure your stay on Exmoor.

cherry blossom
My hanging baskets in purple
Walk in Armer Wood

23rd  March 2020 Sadly – according to government advice – I have to close the business for the moment. I feel as well that it is not fair to the surrounding communities, mostly populated by the elderly, to attract prospective customers from outside the area. Wishing you all the best, hoping to see you well in the near future and stay safe! 

15th March 2020 While the world is increasingly worried about our health, we feel rather fortunate to live in such an isolated place where it is ever so easy not to meet people but at the same time where the community spirit is so strong, that already a telephone tree is in operation to assist neighbours who are self-isolating but may need support. Yesterday I went for a two-hour walk over the moor and did not meet one person. There were a few deer in the distance, a couple of Exmoor ponies grazing close by and about five cars passed by us while we were on the road, but otherwise, it was just Ebony and me. And just the same this morning, when we went for a shorter stroll (couch to 5k!), blissful peace!Still, I have had lots of contact this weekend with family and friends, thanks to phone and internet; we can look after each other this way.In this spirit, I have written to my guests and posted on the website the following letter. Please come and stay with us if you feel this would be the place to get ‘away from it all’, which is our motto after all! But feel reassured that this is our policy for now:  Letter to Guests on 15.03.2020:  Dear Guest, I hope you are all fit and healthy and not too traumatized by the current health threat.  Due to the unprecedented situation as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, I am forfeiting all claims based on our booking terms, meaning you can cancel your vacation at any time or postpone it without penalty and I am ready to repay your deposit. (Please give me your account number and the sort code).  If you have travel insurance that covers the loss, I would, of course,  be grateful if you could claim this, as I don’t think I will have many bookings at all as long as uncertainty rules.  Hoping that this will alleviate at least one concern you may have at this worrying time,  Best Regards, Doris -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.–.-.-.-.-.-   Lieber Gast, Ich hoffe, Sie sind alle fit und gesund und nicht zu traumatisiert von der aktuellen Gesundheitsbedrohung. Aufgrund der beispiellosen Situation infolge des Corona-Virus-Ausbruchs verwirke ich alle Ansprüche aufgrund unserer Buchungsbedingungen, d.h. Sie können Ihren Urlaub jederzeit stornieren oder ohne Vertragsstrafe verschieben, und ich bin bereit, auch Ihre Anzahlung zurückzuzahlen. (Bitte geben Sie mir Ihre IBAN und BIC). Sollten Sie eine Reiseversicherung haben, die den Verlust abdeckt, wäre ich Ihnen natürlich dankbar, wenn Sie dies geltend machen würden, da ich nicht glaube, dass ich viele Buchungen haben werde, solange die Unsicherheit besteht. In der Hoffnung, dass dies zumindest eine Sorge lindert, die Sie in diesem Zusammenhang haben könnten, mit besten Grüßen,Doris