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Read for yourself what other's think of the Parnacott Eperience 

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5th/7th May

Such a beautiful house! Thanks for having us X

Murder, murder, murder! Great weekend - very well organised and a great house.

A fantastic place full of history. Wonderful place to spend it with friends. Thank you for sharing the house & grounds. 1920's murder mystery in a house steeped in history. Interesting read of the families history and understanding the paintings and how you ended up being passed on the house.

What a wonderful home and fantastic setting for a 1020's murder, mystery and intrigue! Thanks for making us so welcome!

We don't want to leave. Thank  you for sharing your home. We love the house and gardens, and perfect choice for 1920's murder mystery evening. xo

7th/ 9th May

Such a lovely home and gardens - Thank you for making us so welcome with all the personal touches. Thank you Sue Chris & Emily for a great family time together! - Libby & Malcom xx Keep Walking!!

A 'WOW' house, really beautiful. 

Enjoyed hearing about the history from Rondi very enjoyable stay except for the weather! + a lighting strike. Still smiling.

A perfect house of the composition of our family, comfortable bedrooms, wonderfully elegant dining room and delightful drawing room. All comforts seen to perfectly!

Parnacott House is a great place to stay.

An idyllic location for our holiday.

Rondi and John make for hosts supreme.

No detail omitted, they're a wonderful team.

A gathering of family & friends brought us here.

Crossing oceans & borders so we could be near.

Our first day was Bude with the sea & the sun.

The evening was catered by Sargie, such fun!

The rest of the week was taken with these:

Holiday croquet & walks in the breeze,

Otters, and archery, churches, and inns

Unwinding together, & games no-one wins.

So let us convey our sincere thanks in rhyme.

Everyone here had a fabulous time!

Lovely location, 

Thank you so much for the wonderful week we spent in your beautiful home.

We will be back!

Rondi & John

Thank you ever so much for your hospitality. Great tips for excursions. The house, of course was perfect. I will spread the word about Parnacott back in Switzerland.

(Cucina con amore, pasta frecca ion tuttu sensi. Graziemille) 

Cook with love, frecca pasta in all senses. A thousand thanks) and thanks for all. It was fantastic.

(Wonderschones haus und der garten lad zum verweilen ein. War elne schone woche mit herzlichen gastgebern.)

beautiful house and garden invite you to linger. Was a nice week with warm hosts.

Dear John and Rondi

We had a lovely stay and wished to be hear just a bit more, but time goes on. You have lovely furniture and your books are amazing.

We had a lot of fun playing pool and ping pong. Thank you for making it beautiful for when we came. 

You are such kind people with = great ancestors. 

Have a nice day. Hope to see you soon! bye!!!

October, half term.

We absolutely loved our stay at Parnacott! A much needed bit of countryside in these strange times.

Thanks so much John and Rondi, We hope to return with friends next time.

John & Rondi

On behalf of all the family, thank you for your warm welcome.

Parnacott had been the perfect place to celebrate and spend time together as a family.

The house and grounds are amazing and we have enjoyed relaxing and playing games in equal measure.

A truly memorable weekend which we would like to think can be repeated in the future.

All the best.

A truly fabulous weekend, in a wonderful house and part of the world. Thank you so much.

We had a wonderful Christmas at Parnacott - complete with murder mysteries, two engagements and many, many games nights.

Thanks you for hosting us & allowing us to share in just a little of the fantastic & nice history of the house.  It's a very special and beautiful place and we'll miss the beautiful features and warm fires.


I had a lovely Christmas at Parnacott this year. It is the perfect home to gather with family and friends and celebrate love and life. I got engaged on the 22nd of December in the enchanted lost garden of Hiligan... and my British sister, Amber, got engaed on Christmas morning! Such a magical place, I will never forget!

Love USA

A 60th birthday celebration

WOW! The first impression of Parnacott House as we approached through the grounds on a glorious sunny evening was how beautiful & stately it looked. It was a complete surprise to the "birthday boy" who couldn't believe he'd be living here for a week as "lord of the manor". 

We received a very warm welcome from John & Rondi to their magnificent house. There were also fresh flowers, cake, chocolates & wine for us on our arrival which was a wonderful unexpected treat. Three generations of our family ranging from 11 months to 60 years of age felt welcomed & very comfortable in this beautiful home.

The little 'ins immediately clawed into the dressing up box & toys in the family room. The older ones enjoyed cricket, croquet on the lawn, table tennis in the barn or quietly reading about the family history & relaxing in the drawing room.

The 60th birthday celebration meal, prepared by chef Mathew Hallet and his assistant -marc Davis, was served in the magnificent dining room. This was the highlight of the birthday festivities. The elegance of our surroundings felt so special and extraordinary - just perfect for the occasion. It is a memory the Taylor family will always treasure!


We feel so blessed to have been able to enjoy this experience, and thank John & Rondi for lending their beautiful home to us for an unforgettable week, enhanced by the lovely weather. We hope to return one day, With many thanks.

A truly outstanding Easter weekend with our family at this most beautiful and lovely house called Parnacott. Thanks to John and Rondi for making us feel most welcome- and all the special touches around the place.

We were celebrating Rhona's 60th birthday and I can't think of a better place to bring family together.

The weather was outstanding - plans for visits, days out were overtaken by just playing in the gardens. The ideal gardens for three young children to go on an Easter egg hunt, playing games outside, BBQ enjoying our selves doing nothing.

Thank you so much -

What a wonderful house in suburb surroundings. We have all enjoyed our stay here which sadly was much too short. 

I won't hesitate to recommend your lovely house to my friends. Especially if they are coming up to anniversaries &/ or birthdays.

We have had a wonderful time in your lovely house.

Many thanks

So relaxing -thank you


Once again, we have had such a special family Christmas at Parnacott - or 'the Christmas House' as all the children call it!

It has been chaotic, but lots of fun - walks in the rain on the beach at Bude, games by the fire, delicious meals in the splendid dining room, and of course the grand present opening in the beautiful drawing room under the spectacular tree!

We are so grateful to John and Rondi for sharing this unique home, and for all they do to make our stay so memorable.

We remember our beloved Gradie (Grandma Sadie) who was with us last time, but didn't quite make it to her 100th birthday earlier this month.

And we rejoice in the arrival of 2 new members of the family since our last visit. (Lola and Lucas).


Happy times to all who enjoy this amazing place. 

What a wonderful week we've had!

The house is lovely, the garden spectacular and the weather has been amazing - for England!

We've all enjoyed a relaxing stay and apart from the odd trip out to the beach at Bude and the game reserve (which the children loved) we have just made the most of the space, in and out, at Parnacott.

Lara (aged 4) loved it all so much she declared that she wanted to live here forever. The dressing up box was definitely the highlight of her hols.

Thank you so much for your warm welcome and for letting us enjoy your fabulous home.

What a wonderful weekend spent catching up with friends. 

John and Rondi gave us a fantastic and informative tour of the house which is steeped in history.

The Kitchen was especially well equipped - you have thought of everything - and the kids loved the toys, dressing up and games. Thank you for making us feel welcomed!



Thank you John, Rondi and Wilf for welcoming us into your beatiful Home.

Parnacott House was the perfect setting for my 60th birthday house party. We welcomed family and for our friends to share our delight to be revisiting Devon once more. 

Your recommendation of Sargies ensued that from the formal dinner on Saturday to the BBQ on Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed excellent and unobtrusive catering -leaving us only to explore what the house and gardens had to offer. 

From drinks and relaxing in the drawing room, croquet on the lawn, walking and running in the grounds and the space for our adorable grandson to take his first steps.

Nearby Bude offered it's own attractions and the cosy sitting room was perfect for us all to gather each evening to exchange talk of the day's activities. 

I have very happy memories of the weekend, again thank you both X

John & Rondi

Thank you so much for the wonderful welcome and for such a fabulous holiday.

You have a wonderful home and a great time was had by us all.

lots of love.

Lovely stay in your gorgeous family home.

Very comfortable - plenty of equipment, games etc.

An excellent base & visit our favourite beaches - banks river , Welcombe and discover new ones, Northcott Mouth and Duckpool.

Weather kind most of the time. We celebrated 3 birthdays -this was the ideal place!

We hope to be back sometime in the future

Thank you.


I have had a truly lovely time in lovely surroundings & fantastic company. Thank you I............

Very comfy sleep!!

Turning 30 at Parnacott

At thirty, life is going to be an adventure,

Parnacott is where it begun.

I gathered some friends to have a party

where we truly had lots of fun!

It was then the turn of the family,

with the weather we could even had breaks of sun 

such a shame our time has a deadline

The celebrating isn't quite done.

What an I say other than it has been a blast

One thing I know Parnacott is memories can't be undone

So it leaves me to say goodbye for now

And thank you a tonne!!

Thank you for a lovely stay in a beautiful location, we hope to be back soon!




This is the most delightful huge family home that has a lovely atmosphere - we've had a brilliant time and will definitely come back. Thank you so much

Thanks for a great time - see you all soon

A very pleasant stay in a beautiful area. I enjoyed visiting Cotehele nearby and the beach at Bude to walk the do at! Thanks for providing a lovely place to stay.

Thank you for making us welcome in this beautiful house very comfortable & cosy. Everything we needed especially the lovely grounds wonderful house full of history. We all had a lovely week loads to do and places to visit round this lovely part of Devon & Cornwall.

Hope to see you again soon! Regards 

A most enjoyable week despite mix of good and not so good weather (no doubt budget cuts at met office) 

A first visit but defiantly not the last!

Many Thanks John & Rondi for the lovely welcome (decorations - warm fires)

Our families have had such a super week in your wonderful home.

To John And Rondi

Thank you so much for our lovely stay. Me and Mae stayed downstairs and had a lovely stay. Thanks again X

To John and Rondi

We had a warm room and blankets incase we were cold.

We also had lovely local beaches to walk the dogs at and local shops to get supplies that we had run out of. Also we enjoyed the puzzles so don't stop your collection. We loved the view aswell. Happy new year.

Love xx

Perfectly fits 12


A fabulous holiday spent with family at the beautiful Parnacott House. The house is superbly equipped and was great for children. The dressing up box and table tennis were a big hit. We even managed a couple of days on the beach despite the best efforts of the weather! Thank you for a wonderful, memorable holiday.

A perfect time capsule - for a week this house transported us to a different time - a simpler happier place of shared smiles and infectious laughter. Superb in every aspect! 

Respect and admiration,


Thanks for flowers, food, great welcome and a library to be enjoyed. We loved it all.


2nd August

As always we have enjoyed our week here enormously. This time we had great days out at Clovelly and at hidden valley, where we completed the vault challenge with 11 seconds to spare.     Thanks so much   



10th August

What a wonderful place you have here. Your hospitality was the best. It was lovely also to walk into an immaculate house.


Thank you, I hope to return some day.                                                              

I can imagine Parnacott in earlier years welcoming people into their fine mansion and today Rondi & John continue that tradition. On arrival we were given a welcome gift, good advice on the daily running of the house and helpful information on local activities.


We were lucky to coincide with the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth 2 jubilee.

We jointed with the nation watching the flotilla on the Themes, the concert in front of the Palace and the church service... but also created our own party with the holiday family.


We have spent a great week in Parnacott and thank you both.

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Family Break in big house that's a home from home.

Close to home, yet a very different Landscape

The coast and countryside near Parnacott are perfect for dog-walking with fabulous costal views, north to Lundy Island. Above, the magnificent front door and porch at Parnacott House

Self-Catering holiday accommodation should either be more comfortable than home or in such a lovely spot that you can put up with a few discomforts. Parnacott scores on both Fronts.


The North coast of our peninsula turns sharply south in two big steps, roughly at Ilfracombe, where the Bristol Channel joins into the Atlantic and again at Hartland  Point, where Devon slides down into Cornwall crossing the boarder, just north of Bude.

The second of these corners is actually more acute than a right angle and the triangular area south and east, with the market town of Holsworthy at it's base, could easily be described as the Horn of Devon! You heard it here first.

It's a fascinating slice of the Westcountry. Passionate Cornish-men and deeply devoted Devonians might not agree , but the difference between our region's neighboring counties is less sharply defined here and the infant Tamar, that marks the boundary, far less of a dividing line than it becomes further south.

For those of us from the "soft" south of Devon, making up the trip to the wide open spaces and dramatic clay-covered county in the north can be as big an adventure as crossing the channel to Britany from Plymouth or flying out of Exeter airport for a Mediterranean resort.

At least that is what I told my wife and daughters and the girls' four grandparents, who joined us for a weekend away at Parnacott House, just west of Holsworthy, in what can often be a "dead" period of the year in mid-January.

Parnacott dates back to at least the reign of Elizabeth 1 and owners John and Rondi Vowler believe its situation on the upper reaches of a low hill, the fact that it is well-served by springs that break through the clay cap and is well-wooded all suggest it may well have been occupied long before that, perhaps as early as Roman times.

It expanded over the years from a small farm to a more substantial Devon longhouse and - thanks to shrewder marriages - eventually grew a grand Georgian frontage in 1820.

With a couple of breaks, during the First World War when it was a temporarily a nursing home and in the Second World War when it was taken over as a gun battery. temporarily Vowlers have been in residence for some 400 years, many of them called John. The current John, who lives in the cottage with his wife Rondi and lets the main house to holidaymakers, is unlikely to be the last. His Daughter and son-in-law and son John Richard, are waiting in the wings.

There was time for only a late dinner and bed. We rose early to a howling gale and pourng rain - typical winter weather for 2013/14 and apart from a dash to the car to Holsworthy for newspapers and supplies, a day inside looked like the best bet.

But dogs need walking, rain or shine, so a slosh around the lanes was in order. The fields were sodden and put up a couple of snipe as we splashed through the shallows. From a gateway, through the sheets of rain, we spied a wind turbine, hard to avoid in this part of the Westcountry now, its blades turning at a decent clip.

As the rain briefly abated and the sky lightened, views of the cliffs overlooking Widemouth Bay well to the west appeared through the gloom - tempting a trip when the weather improved. Back at the house, dogs dried off and settled in their baskets next to a radiator, lunch beckoned.

The key to self-catering holiday accommodation, in my views, is that it should either be better equipped and at least as comfortable, if not more comfortable than home, or it should be in such a lovely spot you can put up with a few discomforts.

Parnacott luckily scores on both fronts. Great location, set in its own 12-acres with coast and country on the doorstep, and fabulously equipped to enable the cooks in the party to rustle up delicious meals, plus two huge TV's, WiFi - restricted only by the poor broadband service that affects much of the Westcountry

- and superb comfort.

It is nice to have access to the to the internet, TV and the rest of the 21st century on tap. But Parnacott also offers more than just a taste of an earlier age. The magnificent dining room, with seating for 14 around a candle-lit table and family portraits glowering down, encourages good table manners and fine food and wine.


The drawing room, across the hall at the front of the house, has an open fire and sofas placed around it in a U-shape but, mercifully, no TV. As a result, after Saturday night's dinner we repaired to the drawing room to do what families probably used to do - talk.

The debate may not have been very high-brow, despite the best efforts of some. But it ranged around the politics of the day, international relations and the state of the economy until we pretty much put the world to rights, a few more glasses of wine had been consumed and it was bed-time.

Sunday dawned bright and cold and after another dog walk down the sodden lane behind the house that leads to the village. of Chilsworthy, we set off for Bude. This Cornish resort was once a bit of a backwater but in recent years it has attracted a whole new crowd and work to repair the lock gates and the canal have created an interesting place to visit. 

Just out of town, heading west, is the magnificent sweep of Widemouth Bay. Stand on the northern headland and look north and Lundy Island is clearly visible up the coast while southwards high cliffs and headland after headland drop away in to the distance. Magnificent.


Back at what I now was happily calling "home" it time for a late lunch and a long afternoon browsing the incredible collection of books that John, a former English teacher and Rondi, a talented seamstress and interior designer, have accumulated over the years.

We lit the stove, poured another glass of wine and I lost myself in Ted Hughes' collected poems. Though Yorkshire born, Hughes was captivated by the Westcountry and captured the spirt of this landscape, not far from his last home at North Tawton, brilliantly. Pretty much a perfect end to the weekend.


Close to Holsworthy and Bude. Parnacott House is a beautifully mainly Georgian house, Grade 11 listed, in the same family since 1580. Set in 12 acres of grounds surrounded by fields, rich in lawns. Victorian rhododendrons, an old pond, flowers, shrubs, lots of mature trees and plentiful wildlife.  Parnacott is approached down quarter mile of private, tree lined lane.

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