Ilfracombe in Bloom

Dear Trimstone Manor Friend

Well.  What an awful time to be writing.  However, I am going to start with two positive points.  The first is that it seems spring has arrived.  Nature is in action and it is lovely to see life ‘beginning’ again here at Trimstone, totally unaffected by the turbulence affecting us all.  Here are three little pictures of Trimstone in the sun this afternoon (you can see we had to take down one of our giant trees too!) The days are lengthening and even the sun has been shining.  The ‘normality’ of life as ‘it’ perceives it to be is there for us all to see and hopefully appreciate, in the face of the maelstrom we are facing now.

So what about life here at Trimstone?  It is quiet and we are being careful about what we do and for whom, both to protect visitors and of course to protect ourselves and the people with whom we then come into contact.  We have the good fortune of having lots of ensuite rooms and cottages so that visitors and even our own returning family members, believe it or not, can quarantine themselves without a great deal of difficulty.  We are still open and can offer contactless check-in and out of a cottage or room to minimalise the opportunity for infection.  It is suggested that a room/cottage which has not been used for a period of days in advance is sterile and we can adopt the same treatment at the end of a guest’s stay too but in the meantime, whilst we do not encourage the use of communal facilities to mitigate chance of contamination, you can come and stay and have a lovely time walking, visiting the beach and so on and without interference.  Perhaps this is one of the benefits of being so small and in a lovely rural location and not as busy as that would be impossible in a larger hotel, etc.  We can tell you places to go and explore where you are unlikely to see anyone at all so the safety is 100% and probably safer than when you are at home in most cases!

We can also offer low-season rates for home-working for the accommodation and the cottages especially, with our super-speed wifi of course – that may be helpful if you too need to consider a quarantine period for any visitors or friends – or if you have been in touch with prospective carriers and need to be separate for a period to avoid contamination of vulnerable loved ones.

What can we wish for you?  Please stay healthy and please do all you can to stay sane.  Remember you have the telephone and you can speak to people, friends, family – be ‘religious’ about this – it is very important if you are in the vulnerable groups needing to self-isolate for so long.  Eat well and regularly and keep exercising too to sustain yourself.  Your health and mental well-being are very important and your continuing to be here is far more crucial than any aspects affecting anything else, from your job to your investments and we must all not forget that – and the interactions with our friends and families which hopefully we shall all better appreciate and cherish when the other side arrives again, as it will.


Thank you judges for awarding us a Third Prize for our gardens last year!  We are moving-up the rankings and are trying very hard to have a great show for residents as well as casual visitors.  When you come this year you will see yet more changes and improvements.


Thank you TripAdvisor for yet another four star ‘certificate of excellence’.  The award goes on to say ‘the recognition distinguishes your business from your competitors and gives customers even more reason to choose you.’

Yes, it doesn’t mean that the Review site has tidied-up its image unfortunately but that’s another thing altogether!  Thank you for the award which we shall exhibit in a frame!

What our guest have said:

Lovely, peaceful, quiet location close to the coast. Has everything you need and plenty to do if the weather’s not so great – we had the swimming pool to ourselves most days, games room, trampoline and the lovely rare breed birds. Friendly owners and a cracking breakfast!”   Sept 2019                                                                                                                                                                           

Lovely characterful hotel in beautiful setting, the grounds and buildings were amazing. Friendly staff who were very helpful, and we really appreciate you going out of your way to post our jacket back to us!    Definitely go outside to see all the birds and wildlife – the emus and peacocks are amazing! Game room is fun if you have rainy weather, and the swimming pool is also great and a nice addition.”    Oct 2019


Our regular guests will realise that the Pool is lighter and airier this year.  We had a problematic roof leak in one of the adjoining areas and of course a small leak actually was evidence of a much bigger problem covering a larger area.  So we bit the bullet and dealt with all of that with superior, white lining, etc and have installed some new roof lights and what a difference they make!  I hope that you’ll enjoy the new look!


Yes, we have taken the opportunity this winter to reconfigure several of the rooms.  ‘Georgeham’ which was ‘shabby chic’ is no longer that style but has a lovely wooden flavour with a four poster bed instead.  Come and see what you think – we have left its tariff as ‘Classic’ rather than ‘Prestige’ but you tell us your thoughts!  It will be one of the more popular of our rooms I am sure as it looks down over the gardens and the valley.  Thank you Hazel for your work on that!


Well yes, we have decided it was time to upgrade the Cottage signs so we have invested in slate!  They look very good – we hope you will enjoy them!  Our main road sign has also succumbed to the storms so any day now a new and more hard-wearing sign will be installed!


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 for 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.  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.

Looking forward to seeing you sometime!

Our very best wishes,

Philip & Helen Milton