British Isles Slow Travel

The best self-catering accommodation in North and Mid Devon

From nature reserves to converted manor houses.

Anderton House

Goodleigh, EX32 7NR

This building is truly an unusual one for the Landmark Trust, acquired because it is an exceptional modern home and retains its original clean architectural lines. The architect, Peter Aldington, said it was ‘perhaps the nearest we came to an integration of inside and outside spaces’ – the ultimate aim of many modern architects. Anderton offers a very rare opportunity to stay in a home designed and furnished by one of the 1960s leading architects. Sleeps five. 

Belvedere Tower


A 1879 folly once used as a lookout and now a tiny one-room romantic holiday home for two with a private decked area on the roof. 

Bridge Cottage

Peppercombe, EX39 5QD

A tiny thatched cottage built of local materials – rubble stone, mud, straw and thatch – that grew over the centuries from a humble single-storey dwelling into a two-storey cottage. Bridge Cottage was the home of the Hockin family, who had nine children; Mrs Packington, one of the original family’s granddaughters, was the last person to have it as her home. Her cottage and its garden were beautifully kept, although of course there was no electricity and minimal plumbing. She moved out the 1970s and lived to 98. It no longer sleeps eleven – just three now – and you do get water and electricity but no TV, internet or mobile phone signal. In a peaceful, isolated location near a secluded beach.

Castle Barton


Part of historic Tiverton Castle, this property was built as a farmhouse in the 1840s and abuts the 15th-century gatehouse. There are three bedrooms, an open fireplace in the sitting room, and some remarkable architecture to admire as you drink your morning coffee. It has its own self-contained garden with a barbecue and guests are entitled to free tours of the castle. No pets.

Downe Cottages


Nine cottages, sleeping two to eight people. Situated on Hartland Peninsula overlooking the Atlantic and Lundy Island. Set in seven acres of grounds and all sharing a lovely spa, for relaxing after a long day’s walking, and a gym, for those who need even more exercise. 

Easter Hall Park

Petrockstowe, EX20 3HP

This friendly equestrian centre has an authentic two-bedroom log cabin made from trees from the 200-acre farm’s own woodlands. There is a fully fitted kitchen, though try the Bull and Dragon in Meeth, just three miles away, if you don’t want to cook. The equestrian centre itself offers a wide range of services, with livery available if you wish to stable your horse. 

Fursdon Cottage

Cadbury, EX5 5JS

Set in the grounds of Fursdon House, this former gardener’s cottage provides peaceful accommodation surrounded by flowers and birdsong. It sleeps six in three bedrooms, has masses of comfy armchairs and sofas and a wood-burning stove. A perfect retreat for lovers of nature and the countryside. Dogs allowed.

Hidden Chapel

Zeal Monachorum, EX17 6DG

A stunning conversion of a 19th-century congregational chapel in the sleepy village of Zeal Monachorum. The main room is open-plan with 20ft-high ceilings and much of the furniture has been reclaimed or upcycled from the original chapel. (Though presumably the pink roll-top bath is new.) There are three ornate double bedrooms, two of which are en suite, while the third opens out onto a terrace that’s perfect for morning coffee. Sleeps six.

Holly Water

East Village, EX17 4DA

Holly Water extends over 35 acres so there is plenty of space to roam. Perched on the hilltop are two shepherd’s huts, each with their own wood-fired hot tub and a fire pit, and with a full shower room, kitchen and a king-size bed as well as a wood burner. Further along the lane, and set high in its own field among the trees, is The Beehive. Hand-built from Devon larch by a local craftsman, this is truly green luxury; a hot tub on the dining terrace has great views across the valley. Sheep, goats, highland cattle and pigs roam in the fields below. The huts sleep two and The Beehive four; no dogs.

Lemon Cottage

Hatherleigh, EX20 3HZ

A late-medieval terraced and thatched two-up two-down cottage on the main street, opposite the school. It is all beams, inglenook fireplace and low ceilings, and the front door opens on to the main street, plunging you straight into the life of this little town. Magical; we loved our stay here. Don’t miss One Market Street Café, just up the road. Sleeps four.

Mary’s Cottage

South of Combe Martin, EX34 0PA

A cottage in a secluded position down its own private country lane. Indicknowle Farm is a working farm with cattle, sheep and pigs as well as chicken, geese and ducks. They butcher and sell their own meat, as well as making cider and preserves. The farm also has 50 acres of woodland for you to explore. Sleeps six in two en-suite bedrooms.

New Mill Farm

Barbrook, EX35 6JR

Four 17th-century holiday cottages (sleeping two to six) on Susan and Jim Bingham’s 100-acre sheep farm, situated in a secluded and sheltered Exmoor valley. There is a brown trout stream running through the farm and free fishing available for guests. Susan and Jim also run Outovercott Riding Stables. 

Rosemoor House

Great Torrington, EX38 8PH

The former home of Lady Anne Berry, situated in the middle of RHS Garden Rosemoor, offers three holiday apartments: Magnolia, Camellia and Azalea, each sleeping two or four people. Magnolia is on the ground floor with its own private terrace. Guests are able to wander around Rosemoor out of hours and you can also add on a private, personalised tour of the gardens. Minimum stay three nights; no children or pets.

Silverton Park Stables

Silverton, EX5 4DE

The huge, Neoclassical manor house at Silverton Park, south of Bickleigh, was demolished in 1901, but the stables remain and have been converted into accommodation for 14 people by the Landmark Trust. This is an extraordinary place with the former stables and coach houses built around a courtyard, and views over the Devon countryside. The facilities are up to the usual Landmark Trust standard and include table tennis. Ideal for a family reunion or a group celebration.

Syncocks Farm

Petrockstowe, EX20 3HE

Dating from the 1350s, this beautifully restored, thatched farmhouse has a large landscaped garden and a pond. The beamed living room is very big and there is also an additional sitting room with a wood-burning stove. The Laurels Inn is a short walk away for beer and meals. Sleeps eight in four bedrooms, one en suite.

The Cow Shed

Exbourne, EX20 3RX

Created from a farm building on an historic farmstead, the Cow Shed is a gorgeous detached two-bedroom cottage that sleeps four. There is a sunny terrace to relax on with an uninterrupted view across the Devon countryside. Exbourne itself is a lovely unspoilt village with a pub, the award-winning Red Lion, an underground community shop and café (The Burrow), and an organic farm shop on the edge of the village. 

The Linhay

Butterhills, EX33 2NJ

An off-grid hideaway for two (plus two on the convertible sofa if you must) in a stone-built former linhay barn. No neighbours and no traffic sounds, just the peace and tranquillity of the beautiful Caen River valley. There is a proper hot shower and flushing loo but lighting is solar, supplemented with wind-up lanterns.


Woody Bay, EX31 4QU

A splendid retreat down a no-through road that leads only to Woody Bay, with its lovely cove and beach. The long wooden building is set, among the treetops and is reached by a staircase; it has a rather Scandinavian feel. It is an ideal place for a romantic break with the one you love. Sleeps two; access is a bit tricky, up those steep steps.

West Challacombe Manor

Combe Martin, EX34 0DS

A chance to stay on a 15th-century manor house, which some say is haunted. Each room unveils remarkable historic features but the pièce de resistance is the oak hammer-beam ceiling in the Great Hall that dates from 1485. There is a rear garden that leads to an orchard and a front garden shared with the cottage next door, another National Trust property. Sleeps five.

Wheatland Farm

EX19 8DJ

A tranquil haven of 21 acres managed as a nature reserve, offering sustainable stays in eco lodges. Ian and Maggie have replanted the old orchard, reinstated the traditional summer grazing moors, reshaped and replanted the ponds and started traditional management of the hedges. Wildlife has moved in: butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies; frogs, toads, voles and water shrews; barn owls, song birds, dormice and bats. The two smaller lodges and Otter Cottage sleep two to four people, while the larger Beech Lodge sleeps six, and our favourite, Balebarn Lodge, sleeps eight. Beech and Balebarn have outdoor hot tubs, and one of the smaller lodges has an outside bath. Bikes, boats and barbecues are available for guests to use for free.

More information

For more information, see our guide: