British Isles Slow Travel

The best B&Bs in North and Mid Devon

From working farms to coaching inns.

Brambles Bed and Breakfast

Whitnage, EX16 7DS

An unassuming, friendly and comfortable three-room B&B in a Grade-ll listed cottage in a small village. An ideal base for exploring the many attractions of the area. 

Forda Farm

Thornbury, EX22 7BS

A small two-bedroom B&B that, being on a working sheep and beef farm, is a farm stay too. Guests are free to join in day-to-day life on the farm, to meet the animals and enjoy the wildlife – there were house martins flying to and from the barns when we visited. Val will meet you with a cream tea on arrival and husband Roddy or their son will be pleased to take you around the farm.

Highcliffe House

Linton, EX35 6AR

Highcliffe House is wonderful, and it’s wonderful because of Robert and Richard, both travel buffs who know how to look after guests. No evening meals (but there are lots of restaurants in Linton and Lynmouth), no dogs, no children. The house dates from the 1870s, originally as a private residence and then a Christian retreat after the war before becoming a hotel in the 1990s. The location is jaw-dropping: Highcliffe, as its name suggests, is perched on a steep hillside with exceptional views from some of the bedrooms and the breakfast room over Lynmouth Bay, towards Foreland Point.

Hollamoor Farm

Tawstock, EX31 3NY

Seven beautiful bedrooms mix classic and contemporary decoration and furniture. Sir Bourchier and Lady Caroline Wrey are very warm hosts and have awards to prove it. The 300-year-old farmhouse came into their family in 1640 when Sir Bourchier’s ancestor married the Earl of Bath’s only daughter, who brought with her a beautiful mansion and its very large estate. Today, dogs, horses and children are welcome at Hollamoor and you can amble over their valleys, open fields, prolific hedgerows, ancient farm tracks, pretty woodlands, peaceful lakes and easy hills. The breakfasts are substantial and include homemade granola and farm eggs.

Shoulsbarrow Farmhouse

Challacombe, EX31 4TS

Amanda and Gary Taylor will give you a warm welcome at Shoulsbarrow Farmhouse. Two-hundred-years old, it is at the heart of their working farm. They keep only rare and traditional breeds of livestock: Golden Guernsey and English goats; Llanwenog, Shetland and Exmoor horn sheep; Aberdeen Angus cross cattle; Gloucestershire Old Spot and Saddleback pigs; and a selection of geese, turkeys, ducks, chickens, cats and dogs. Just two double rooms.

The Devil’s Stone Inn

Shebbear, EX21 5RU

A 400-year-old traditional Devon coaching inn set on the edge of the village square, welcoming locals and travellers alike. The cosy bar has low wooden beams, flagstone floors and open fires and serves local beer and food. Legend says that the inn is haunted by three different ghosts; it is also said that a secret tunnel links the inn to the church. Five characterful en-suite bedrooms and a large garden at the rear.

The Hunter’s Inn

Heddon Valley, EX31 4PY

The most famous inn on Exmoor, owned by the National Trust, is set deep in the steep-sided Heddon Valley. Bursting with heritage and character, The Hunter’s Inn has ten en-suite rooms plus a self-catering apartment that sleeps four. There are four acres of gardens and good paths lead you to Heddon’s Mouth, a spectacular rocky cove that was once used by smugglers. Keep your eyes open for otters, though you are more likely to see dippers and herons. 

The Rockford Inn

Brendon Valley, EX35 6PT

Hidden in the remote Brendon Valley on Exmoor, the 17th-century Rockford Inn has just seven rooms and is a perfect retreat. The dramatic East Lyn River, one of the UK’s best salmon- and trout-fishing rivers, flows by the front door – permits to fish are available at the bar. Well-maintained National Trust paths in the valley make walking a delight. Downstream is Watersmeet and Lynmouth; upstream is Malmesbury. 

The Smugglers Rest

Mortehoe, EX34 7DR

Will is from Britain, Stacey from South Africa, and between them they know how to make a guest feel special. The B&B and associated café, Miss Fea’s Bistro, where you will be served one of Devon’s best breakfasts, have both been lovingly decorated and some rooms even have a balcony. Grunta, Barricane and Woolacombe beaches are all less than a mile away or, for a more dramatic walk, there is stunning Morte Point. The Smugglers Rest has eight en-suite rooms, all different, all beautifully decorated; some have a bath as well as a shower, so perfect for tired walkers. 

Warrens Farm B&B

Yeoford, EX17 5JD

A working Devon farm that dates back to the 16th century, with lovely gardens and surrounded by stunning views. Three beautifully decorated en-suite rooms, one on the ground floor for easier access. The owner, Winnie, cooks a wonderful breakfast. The farm is within walking distance of The Duck, for great food, and Yeoford railway station on the Tarka Line.

More information

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