Forget Tinder, come to Somerset & find love in a well

pink-wellies-for-smKeen to find a soulmate? Ditch the hi-tech 21st century methods this February (2018) and head to Somerset in favour of something more Medieval.

We’re offering visitors the chance to stayover and explore the powers of a Quantock well said to be able to divine the future.

St Agnes’ Well is a Grade II Well house near Cothelstone in the Quantock Hills*, which aren’t far from us hear on Exmoor. It dates back to the Medieval period and was restored in the 19th century.

It comes with a great deal of folklore attached to it and is well, no pun intended, worth the walk. It is noted as being a healing well and a wishing well of considerable power. It is said to be an aid to fertility and, also, virgins used divinations to ‘discover’ their future husbands. The wife of King Charles I, Henrietta, is rumoured to have wished for a child at the well and soon became pregnant afterwards.

Meanwhile, John Keats’ poem, ‘The Eve of St Agnes’, published in 1820 immortalised Agnes, the patron saint of young girls, and encouraged greater interest in her and her well. It’s a bit tongue in cheek to suggest the method of divining for a partner might work but for anyone interested in coming away for a break in Somerset, it’s a great place to visit. But for those who just enjoy the great outdoors, the Quantocks are an excellent area for walking.

There’s also Agnes’ Fountain (SS 915468) in Selworthy Woods, Allerford, which is very close to us on Exmoor and accessible by footpaths. It is believed to be a holy well dating back to the Medieval period. There is some confusion as to whether it was linked to the saint, as the fountain aspect was constructed in 1820 and named after Agnes, the youngest daughter of the landowner Sir Thomas Acland. The Acland family owned the Holnicote Estate, which includes the woods and was given to the National Trust in 1944.

Also in the woods, there’s the spring at St Catherine’s Well (SS 904474). It may well have been used in ancient times as a holy well and dedicated to both pagan spirits and female saints. People used to make offerings in return for health or happiness. A walking guide to the area can be printed off here

After a day of rambling, guests who stay with us can relax in front of the wood burning stove in our lounge and warm their toes or take a soak in one of our en suite bathrooms in our luxury bedrooms.

We provide traditional country breaks with contemporary facilities. Guests can enjoy delicious food, sourced from suppliers and producers that are located as near to us as possible, and experience a good night’s sleep in one of our cosy beds, swathed with gorgeous linens.

For those who don’t need to ask the well for some help with their love life, we’re offering a two-night post Valentine’s package from £86 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

Guests are invited to arrive on Friday, February 16 for a romantic two-night break on Exmoor, which includes dinner on both days in our award-winning Coleridge Restaurant and handmade chocolates in the bedrooms. Booking must be made through our website for this package.

This special package includes a glass of Bollinger Champagne on arrival, a three-course dinner each evening, breakfast on both mornings of the stay.

Please call us on 01643 841 241 to book your stay or to find out more.

* St. Agnes Well is slightly difficult to find. It is sited on private land, but the land owners permit access to the well. English Heritage describe the well as being 250 metres north-east of Cothelstone Manor Gateway. Access is via a small iron gate on the side of the road. Pass through the gate, cross a stream and turning right you will see the well.