What’s better than a hot tub? Two hot tubs. What’s better than two hot tubs? Two hot tubs right next to a kiddies’ play area. Sizzle, boil and bubble while your kids safely climb, swing and slide. You might not associate schooldays with joy and jollies, but The School of Fun, a former schoolhouse in rural Devon, is here to educate you.
Get up to 24 of your family, friends, wheelchair users, hens or stags plus dogs down to Horrabridge to make memories in a monster house. The School of Fun is bursting with sociable space and packed with playtime fun, yet it’s loaded with luxury, too. Seven and-a-half bathrooms, freestanding baths, two kitchens and a granny annex, anyone?
Pile into the main lounge with the big sofas to binge Netflix and Amazon on the 86” smart TV. Finish the series tucked up in bed on your own 4K TV. Cook on four ovens, or get Wendy the pro to do it. Eat together on the 20-seat long tables, and sleep in modern skylit bedrooms with the breeze from Dartmoor trickling in through the window.
Breathe the Dartmoor air in a fenced half-acre that’s great for dogs and kids. Kick a ball into the football goals, watch the kids play on the wooden treehouse with slide and swings, break out the buttered buns for the gas barbecue.
Is there a hot tub? No. There are two six-seater hot tubs out on the deck within chatting distance and in easy eyeshot of the kids on the play equipment. What could be better?
The main living space here is huge and probably needs its own postcode. At one end of the room, it comes with plush u-shaped seating around the 86” TV. Pick your way through Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. At the other end, sociable seating comes arranged around a logburner. Load another log, top up your glass and shoot the breeze.
In 5000 square feet of living space, you’re sure to find spaces to socialise and nooks and crannies to recharge with a book and a quiet blast of Bluetooth. Document the experience on social media over the BT superfast Wi-Fi. And don’t worry about guests with mobility issues: the wheelchair-friendly ground floor is ideal.
Cook for England on four electric ovens with electric and induction hobs. Or ask our pro chef, Wendy, nicely and put your feet up in front of Netflix with a tipple from the SW Bottle Shop. Fill the three fridge/freezers with goodies from Honey’s Bakery, Palmer’s Butchers and RG Seafood.
Eat around the big dining-room tables with space for 20 beneath the smart TV, or out on the terrace with meat on the gas barbecue and a dip in the hot tub for dessert. Tuck into a Tandoori takeaway from Curry Express in Yelverton, crispy duck from the Bird’s Nest Chinese in Tavistock, and dirty fries and desserts from The Walkhampton Inn.
Potter out to The Leaping Salmon next to the River Walkham for lamb rump or Hassleback butternut squash, or enjoy home-cooked food prepared from scratch in the dog-friendly London Inn. Or try The Walkhampton Inn for hearty pub dishes with a range of quality grill options such as the speciality Wacky Burger.
Head to The Annex for tapas-inspired small plates from pinchos to meatballs, on covered seating out on the terrace with its Tavistock views. Or try The Cornish Arms, consistently voted one of the UK’s top 50 gastro pubs, serving grilled fillet of sea bream, vinaigrette of brown shrimp or roasted lamb belly.
Sleeping 24 guests in seven bedrooms, with a mere seven-and-a-half bathrooms, The School of Fun is the kind of place where it’s easy to relax after a day yomping over Dartmoor. With freestanding baths and 4k TVs in every room, it doesn’t skimp on luxury, either. Most rooms will take a cot.
Bedroom one gives you a superking bed, private en-suite and no fewer than two freestanding baths. Bedroom two is another superking with en-suite and freestanding bath, while bedroom three offers a superking, en-suite and a sofa bed. Bedroom four is a superking with an en-suite outside the room.
En-suite bedroom five sleeps six in two superking beds with two small single beds above on their own mezzanine that kids will love. Bedroom six comes with a double bunk bed and bedroom seven sleeps two with a private en-suite.
At the end of the motorway, the end of the A roads and the end of the single-track B roads, The School of Fun is worth every last mile, with 5000 square feet of frolics close by Dartmoor’s heritage ponies. And, with space for up to 24 family and friends plus pets, kids won’t do too much pining for home.
Undoubtedly, the games room will see the majority of the action. Children will try to wear out the American pool table that converts with a flip into a table-tennis table. If that’s not enough, they’ve got darts and Connect 4 on the wall, a games console and board games. And toddlers? They get their very own soft-play area.
You’ve plenty of TVs to go around. The big sociable one sits in the main living area with the u-shaped sofa. It’s an 86” smart TV equipped with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and powered by BT superfast broadband. You’ve another TV in the dining room and each bedroom offers a 4K smart TV for individual viewing.
Outside in the fenced half-acre, the kids’ play equipment includes a slide, swings and treehouse and it’s well within eyeshot of the two deck hot tubs that older kids might also enjoy. When it comes to bedtime, be prepared for an unseemly squabble to bag the family-friendly bedroom five, with its own mezzanine containing two single beds.