Going Nuts About Trimstone!

Dear Trimstone Manor Friend

I hope that you are having a lovely autumn!  It is a super day as I write this and what a lovely half-term week as well to enjoy all that North Devon still has to offer!  Yes, we’re open and have some guests. The Pool is beautiful and warm as ever and enjoyed by everyone who uses it.  If you fancy a last minute break, remember us – bring your wellies if you want to explore too of course but if it’s like today, bring your sun cream too!


This year is a super year for Hazel nuts, Conkers, Hawthorne berries, Blackberries and a few other things.    I was interested to pick-up a nutshell this week and here is a picture of it and it looks like a Wood Mouse (Long-tailed Field Mouse) has been enjoying the spoils!  When I saw it initially, I was hopeful it may point to a Dormouse but I’ll have to keep looking for that one!  Occasionally these will come inside but they look so cute with their large bulbous eyes but do be careful if you pick-one-up as their teeth are like scalpels…  Felix took some pictures of a baby one which he found enjoying the Emu food too!


You’ll remember my note about our guests being bemused to see a naked cyclist on Bank Holiday Sunday at 9am.  Well, one of our readers recounted the following.  Thank you to N for that update!:-

Your guests were not imagining a naked cyclist. He was extremely tanned with no bikini line (but he was wearing a cyclist helmet and wearing glasses).  He cycled along the public footpath across two of my fields and then past my cottage going towards the B3343.

I reported it on 101 (the non-emergency number).  The call operator was not sure if this was legal and was going to consult her supervisor. She asked me what type of bike he was riding!!!!  Neighbours told me later that he was seen walking along the farm road in the vicinity of my cottage on the same day.  On the assumption that he did not cycle up the hill from Ilfracombe, we concluded that he must have been staying at Mullacott Park. Maybe naturist holidays are a new departure for this holiday destination!

I have asked the Ramblers Society what my legal position is. I object to naked cyclists (and walkers) going across my land.


You have probably not seen this anywhere else yet but I predict that the South West enjoyed the most people here ever this last bank Holiday weekend.

Why do I say that?  Well, over the last few years we have had the Airbnb phenomenon.  Yes, we are on the site for cottages and Hotel and yes, I suspect most have used it in one way or another but what it has done is bring with it millions of new accommodation offerings with a similar number of amateur holiday landlords joining the fray.

This has the effect of increasing the opportunity for a stay and has also had the effect of cutting prices as these landlords can choose what to offer and when so they can cherry pick the peak periods to easily undercut established and larger businesses which have big overheads.  Of course, you could be staying on someone’s couch or out in the conservatory let alone the spare attic room but so far, it seems no-one minds. Airbnb is being challenged at the moment in that despite its protests, it doesn’t regulate its lettings properly.  It may be great when it works according to plan but the raft of obligations placed upon established businesses falls on deaf ears with the majority of these new letters who can ‘disrupt’ the market and undercut it because it doesn’t have to satisfy the heavily regulated environment imposed upon formal businesses – which also have to pay lots of taxes too whereas many of these letting entities can avoid tax altogether and legitimately under the present daft regime.

All that said, for the purpose of this article, almost all accommodation of any and every form was taken over the August Bank Holiday weekend and as there was this explosion in available rooms, amateur or otherwise and that was taken too, then the conclusion is that it was the most ever people on the South West Peninsular since time began.  Indeed, with new regulatory catch-up being enforced upon Airbnb inevitably (hopefully not after a disaster somewhere), it may prove to be the most ever even when thinking about the future as well.  In some areas where the local authorities have enforced such simple things as fire risk assessments, electrical certification and appropriate protection for guests, commercial insurance and checks for other hazards, the numbers of people offering their properties has dropped by as much as 80%.  Whilst that might mean visitors have to pay a more suitable sum to stay, better to know that you or your family are less likely to die or be maimed in a fire or if you or your loved ones have an accident you have an insurance protection over you rather than finding-out after it is too late that there wasn’t because your host had not disclosed they were letting rooms for money.  The bigger hotels and leisure complexes too provide facilities which we all want to enjoy from time to time and they provide employment too and if they don’t enjoy the revenues and some return for their investment, they won’t be able to continue surviving forever in the face of uneconomic competition.

And think about it – our insurance company has this year demanded a comprehensive electrical check and certification so that is costing £2,750 alone and that is before the inevitable tweaks and upgrading to meet the latest regulations since the last works were done.  This is likely to be a five-year event.  Then, when a power surge blew the fire alarm panel, well that was another £2,000 or so… and that is before the staff costs chaperoning the electrician and so on….  Welcome to the regulated environment provided for your protection and comfort!  Then, we love having lovely guests coming here to share our home and staying with us too and so do the Emus, Turkeys, Ducks, Chickens, Guinea fowl…


We have the fastest holiday accommodation WiFi in the North Devon and Exmoor area!   At considerable cost we upgraded to go fully fibre-optic for better business effectiveness, staff efficiency and responsiveness.   No, this is not ‘just’ a wired connection to the nearest roadside box but a super, unique fibre optic link direct to the local Exchange with Ubiquity ‘Enterprise Grade’ equipment.

The Hotel and cottages had slower speeds than two-thirds of the Country but now faster speeds than 99%!  We have always believed in free WiFi for guests – whether residents or the cream tea or coffee visitor.  In fact, it makes me angry when we travel to find complicated access processes or extra fees.

People on holiday need reliable and speedy internet.  When I am away, I need to work and many others do too.  For entertainment – or for their children, it is important and so there are no access restrictions on broadband width for guests either as they will experience everywhere else!

This is not only for tourists but we are seeing more business guests too.  The WiFi and mobile signals nearby are pretty poor and not reliable so the frustration some face when they do their work won’t be experienced here.  We are also open for conference facilities too so imagine streaming presentations – no interruptions or slow speeds – plus reliability and all of your delegates having great, free WiFi.   The facility is encouraging more guests (even out of season for those escaping for work projects to enjoy the surroundings too) but more morning coffees and afternoon teas as these guests have direct free access too.

So, come and stay a night and see what it is about.  Average Broadband download speeds in the UK are 46.2mbps and upload speeds of 6.2mbps. Trimstone’s speed is 300Mbps download and 30mbps upload.  Our internet means you can download an Ultra HD film (70gb) in 31 minutes compared to 3.24 hours on the average speed.