This South Hams village close to the town of Totnes possesses in excess of 70 listed buildings, including the Church of St David which is thought to date back in parts to the 14th century. Nearby Bow Creek (a tributary of the River Dart) is renowned for its extraordinary natural beauty. Map Places to stay: If it’s a case of location-location-location for somewhere to rest your head and relax, then The Waterman’s Arms (reviews available at TripAdvisor) must surely rank as one of the best. Ashprington and its immediate surrounding area also possesses a number of self-catering cottages. Details are available with Helpful Holidays.
Devon is famed for its villages of thatched and limewashed cob cottages, and Brendon epitomises them on a tiny scale (its population is little more than 150). Close to the border with Somerset, it is also within easy reach of Lynmouth (see below). Map Places to stay: Set above the East Lyn River, The Rockford Inn is a pretty little 17th century inn offering both full and half board. Brendon House, meanwhile, operates as a guest house and offers five en-suite rooms. Other local options include Millslade Country House and the Blue Ball Inn at nearby Countisbury whose origins are reputed to be 13th century. Those seeking holiday cottage accommodation on a self-catering basis around Brendon might find what they’re looking for with Helpful Holidays
This classic North Devon village was once a place of pilgrimage to the holy well of the 7th century Saxon St Hieritha (or St. Urith). Indeed, her burial place is thought to be under the present day church. Chittlehampton is approximately seven miles to the south east of Barnstaple, and within easy reach of South Molton and Umberleigh. Map
Places to stay: Anyone seeking accommodation of heritage around Chittlehampton will find the closest option other than The Bell pub to be the Traveller’s Rest Old Church B&B which is located in the neighbouring village of Cobbaton. However, the Grade-II listed Thatch Cottage offers self-catering accommodation within Chittlehampton itself.
Few realise that this famous fishing village is actually privately owned, having been the estate of the Rous family since the mid 18th century. With the steep and narrow lanes running down to the sea inaccessible to cars and an ethos of maintaining the cottages and houses using traditional skills and materials, Clovelly retains much of its centuries-old charm. Map Places to stay: For those preferring to stay only in Clovelly itself, both the 18th century Red Lion and the New Inn offer accommodation within period surroundings. Details for both can be found at the Clovelly page at Booking.com. Those keen on self-catering accommodation, however, might find what they’re looking for at Helpful Holidays. Also see our specific historic hotels page for the Hoops Inn which is to be found close by.
While one tends to associate Torbay with 20th century development, Cockington is an ancient village boasting numerous thatched cottages and historic buildings. Indeed, its forge is said to date from the 14th century while the Church of St. George and St. Mary has Norman origins. While reluctant to use the term “quaint” it is perhaps the most accurate description in the best sense. Map Places to stay:Lanscombe House Hotel is a former Dowager’s house which offers four-star hospitality, while the Charterhouse Hotel (which only dates from the turn of the century) is worthy of mention on account of its extremely favourable independent reviews.
There’s plenty of bucolic charm to be found in this part of South Devon, and Dittisham pretty much encapsulates why so many people consider it one of the loveliest places in the whole of the UK. Map Places to stay: There are a number of inns and bed & breakfast establishments in and around the village, with most being of a period nature to a greater-or-lesser degree. Details on all can be found via Dittisham’s entry at TripAdvisor. Those preferring self-catering accommodation will find a number of holiday cottages in and around the village at Helpful Holidays.
Situated in the South Hams district of Devon and less than ten miles from the famous port of Plymouth, Holbeton is a sizeable village of some 1500 residents. It has been used as a film location for several productions, including Sense & Sensibility and International Velvet. Map Places to stay: Holbeton itself lacks any inns offering actual accommodation (though we have previously enjoyed a splendid Sunday lunch at The Mildmay Colours Inn), but does feature Ivy Barn B&B. However, there are a few historic and period places to stay within easy reach. Kitley House in Yealmpton is a property of exceptional heritage, while those fond of boutique hotels might be interested in the Plantation House Hotel in Ermington. Also see our page for Langdon Court – a fine Tudor house a short distance to the west of Holbeton.
The land around this Dartmoor village has been inhabited since prehistoric times with evidence of settlements to be found locally. Enthusiasts of the art of thatching will discover a wealth of delightful cottages, while there is no shortage of rural walks for those keen on the great outdoors. Map
Places to stay: Lustleigh boasts a very fine 5-star country house bed & breakfast in the shape of Eastwrey Barton while a few miles to the north lies the beautiful Bovey Castle Hotel which - despite its looks - is only a century old. The village also possesses a number of holiday cottages including the traditional thatched Little Holme, which sleeps 4 and accepts dogs.
Where Exmoor National Park meets the sea, both Lymouth and Lynton are renowned for their olde-worlde charm and natural beauty. Indeed, the 18th century artist Thomas Gainsborough was moved to describe the area as "the most delightful place for a landscape painter this country can boast".
Places to stay: Both Shelley’s and the Rising Sun are inns of great heritage and within Lynmouth itself (see our specific historic hotel pages devoted to Shelley’s and the Rising Sun). Those prepared to cast their net a little wider might also be interested in The Old Rectory at Martinhoe which is a highly acclaimed boutique country house hotel. Lynmouth is also home to a number of period holiday cottages such as Fox Cottage - a fisherman’s house built in 1790.
Noss Mayo, Devon
Situated across from the equally delightful Newton Ferrers on the Yealm Estuary, Noss Mayo is regularly referred to as one of the most picturesque places to be found anywhere in south west England.
Places to stay: Those only interested in hotel accommodation will find little in Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers themselves, but there are several fine period properties offering accommodation within easy reach. Langdon Court close to Plymouth is a country house of extraordinary historic pedigree. However, travellers who favour self-catering will discover a splendid choice of cottages within Noss Mayo such as Tilly Cottage.
The Rockford Inn at Brendon, Devon
Thatch Cottage at Chittlehampton, Devon
Tilly Cottage at Noss Mayo, Devon
Lanscombe House at Cockington, Devon
Shelley’s at Lynmouth, Devon
Cadgwith Cove Inn at Cadgwith, Cornwall
The Ship Inn at Lerryn, Cornwall
The Ship Inn at Mousehole, Cornwall
Rosemullion Cottage at Helford, Cornwall
The Lugger at Portloe,, Cornwall
Although tourism is one of the area’s main industries, Cadgwith continues to be as it has been for centuries: a genuine fishing village sustained primarily by those who harvest the sea for their livings. And long may that continue. Its centre – full of limewashed and thatched cottages – is a true delight at any time of the year. Places to stay: The traditional village pub, the Cadgwith Cove Inn, offers accommodation right at the heart of the village. Also see our specific page for the nearby Housel Bay Hotel which is located between Cadgwith and The Lizard.
On a rising tide on a summer’s evening there are few places as beautiful as Helford. Indeed, the whole river of the same name is magnificent during all seasons and as different to the rugged North Cornwall coast as it is possible to be. Both Port Navas and Durgan (a tiny hamlet within the Parish of Mawnan) on the north bank are also very worthy of note. Map Places to stay: Self-catering accommodation within Helford is available at Rosemullion Cottage - a romantic 17th century thatched property that can accommodate up to 6 people. Moreover, the National Trust operates a number of self-catering properties in and around Durgan village on the opposite bank of the river. For those preferring to stay in hotels or bed and breakfast accommodation, the Budock Vean Hotel is situated across the river from Helford, while the delightful Trerose Manor offers first rate B&B at Mawnan. See Helford Hotels for information on the above and other accommodation options.
The village lies upon the river of the same name (a tributary of the Fowey) and some say that its surroundings were partly the inspiration of the classic children’s book, The Wind in the Willows. Map Places to Stay: The 16th century Ship Inn offers bed & breakfast accommodation and is situated within the village itself. Self catering holiday cottages in Lerryn can be found via Helpful Holidays while Puddleduck Cottage is available to book with LateRooms
Dylan Thomas once described the fishing village of Mousehole as the prettiest in all of England. Of course, there are many other candidates for such a hypothetical honour, but no one will deny the place has a unique charm (and especially out-of-season when its otherwise small population is not artificially inflated). Map Places to stay: Those seeking period hotels or traditional inns might like to consider The Old Coastguard Hotel and the Ship Inn. Slightly further afield, Trereife House offers bed & breakfast accommodation and should certainly interest the heritage-traveller. Details of these and other accommodation around Mousehole can be found at Booking.com and LateRooms.com.
A location favoured by many film-makers and photographers, Portloe is an enchanting fishing village with a cove and harbour. Mind you, the Roseland Peninsula is home to many of Cornwall’s most picturesque places with the tiny rural settlements of Philleigh and St. Just in Roseland (the latter possessing one of the most beautiful churches in the whole of the UK) both worthy of mention. Map Places to stay: Within Portloe itself, The Lugger is a famous 17th century inn which was once a favoured haunt of smugglers (including a former landlord who was executed in the 1890’s). Also worthy of note is the highly-rated Hundred House Hotel at nearby Ruan Highlanes – a splendid country house which was formerly a farm.
Another village within Cornwall’s beautiful Roseland Peninsula, Veryan is most famous for its five unusual thatched round houses. Built during the early 1800’s by the local Reverend, they originally acted as workers’ cottages - although the old tale is that they were made in a circular shape so the devil couldn’t hide in the corners. Map
Places to stay: Those seeking hotel or inn accommodation of period character should see those options for Portloe, above.
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