We spent a week at Moorhead Country Holidays – a holiday complex in North Devon near Bideford. It’s a collection of 16 self-catered apartments set within farmland and with on-site facilities including a restaurant, a pitch-and-putt golf course and an indoor swimming pool.
The location is beautiful – classic Devon countryside surrounded by fields and farms. Peaceful, tranquil and with great views over the surrounding countryside.
Unfortunately in our opinion the actual accommodation and facilities left a lot to be desired and it’s not somewhere we’d be particularly keen on returning to.
I hate being the only negative reviewer of a place with loads of overwhelmingly positive reviews – usually I think it’s the reviewer who’s got the problem in those cases and I don’t want to be that person! There’s no doubt there were plenty of very positive reviews and comments on Tripadvisor, but we just couldn’t see how it lived up to them.
It’s certainly not terrible, but to me the entire place feels dated and dilapidated and not somewhere that it’s really enjoyable staying.
The whole place – the public areas and the accommodation – had a feeling about it that reminded us a lot of visiting a Grandma’s house in the mid 1980s, which isn’t really the kind of feeling you want to have about somewhere you’re going on holiday to. The decor, the furniture, the equipment – it all felt old, tired and in a lot of need of modernisation.
It wasn’t horrendous – and for certain purposes it’s a perfectly adequate holiday venue as long as you know what to expect and are happy with that.
But we found the dated surroundings took the edge off the enjoyment of being here a bit, which is a shame because we can see the owners work hard to run it. It just feels like it’s somewhere that was built perhaps in the 70s or 80s and hasn’t had much, if any, modernisation work done to it since then.
Our children did love going in the indoor pool, which is a decent size and nice and warm, and the hot tub. Though I felt the edge was taken off the enjoyment for me because I noticed the hot tub had a fair amount of grit and grime in the bottom of it.
Also, after spending a lot of time swimming around at the bottom of the pool (looking for an earring my daughter lost) I couldn’t help noticing the bottom of the pool was very dirty, which put me off a bit too. Not horrendously so, but just a bit off-putting and something which to me added to the feel of lack of quality to the venue.
However, there are plus points: The surroundings are beautiful – right in the middle of glorious Devon countryside – yet within easy driving distance of local amenities (in the nearby village of Woolsery and towns and resorts of Devon and Cornwall).
It’s a good location to explore further afield around Cornwall and Devon. It’s a great place to wake up, look out the window and find yourself in the middle of the peace and quiet of the countryside.
The staff and owners seemed friendly and were eager to assist and help us. Even though we arrived ridiculously early (i.e. 6 hours before our check-in time!) the owner Karen was helpful and got our apartment ready early and let us use the facilities.
I don’t know what the costs of this place are at other times of the year and for longer stays, but if you are looking for a budget place to stay and get a cheap deal here, then you can probably tolerate the dated surroundings in the knowledge that you get what you pay for and, for a cheap holiday, you can’t expect ultra-modern luxury.
But we found it difficult to relax and fully enjoy the surroundings because of the run-down and out of date feel to the place, so wouldn’t return here.
But then there are many more reviewers who it seems have spent more time – weeks and fortnights here – who are extremely delighted with it and we appear to be very much in the minority, so perhaps it’s just us with the problem after all!