The Buckland Farmhouse

near Yelverton, Devon, United Kingdom
Book from GBP Book from £500 per night

The Buckland Farmhouse

near Yelverton, Devon, United Kingdom

An elegant, timeless 4-bedroom house in the grounds of historic Buckland Abbey, on the edge of Dartmoor (sleeps 4-8)

An elegant, timeless 4-bedroom house in the grounds of historic Buckland Abbey, on the edge of Dartmoor (sleeps 4-8)

Bearing down on a sweeping Devonshire valley speckled with longhorn cows and bleating sheep, it’s easy to see why Cistercian monks made this their home many centuries ago. Sir Francis Drake lived here during the 16th century, and when the Abbey and its 700-acre estate were later bequeathed to the National Trust, the opportunity arose for someone to transform Drake's old farm- and cider house.

Bertie and Bryony Hancock leapt at this once-in-a-lifetime chance, and relocated to Devon to turn the ancient stone building into a relaxed and spoiling retreat. Thankfully, they did away with any semblance of monastic asceticism in favour of luxury, and today the 4 bedrooms feature vast Egyptian-cottoned beds, chandeliers and fresh flowers, decadent bathrooms with clawfoot tubs and soft robes. At certain times, you can book individual rooms on a B&B basis; the rest of the year it's a blissful self-catering house rental for families or small groups. Either way, it's a true jewel: surrounded by flowering gardens and Dartmoor views, you feel miles away from the rest of the world, and a step closer to heaven.


  • Welcoming hosts and a serene, relaxed atmosphere
  • Neighbours don’t come much more illustrious than Buckland Abbey; there's even a Rembrandt to admire
  • A stunning garden maintained by The National Trust, plus free access to the Abbey, estate and its formal gardens
  • B&B guests get delicious breakfasts: honey from the estate's bees, eggs from their rare-breed hens, bacon from free-range pigs
  • Great walks from the front door and up on Dartmoor; the unspoilt area is a haven for deer, owls, badgers and otters


  • The estate grounds can be busy during the day, but everyone disappears by late afternoon
  • You'll need a car for exploring and pub visits (the nearest is just about walkable: 15 mins)
  • The estate is closed for 10 weeks a year. The upside is the grounds are peaceful and deer roam close

Best time to go

Dartmoor’s beauty is resplendent at any time of year. The gardens are most beautiful in the spring and summer, but in winter (when the neighbouring National Trust building is closed), the area takes on an utterly tranquil atmosphere. We love the idea of returning at the end of a year, when the lounge's fire is roaring and the friendly nearby pubs are steamed up with mulled wine and festivities.

Our top tips

If you’re looking for a truly spoiling meal, try the thriving Cornish Arms in Tavistock, which has gained a Michelin Bib Gourmand and serves hearty, unpretentious meals.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • House Rental
  • 4 bedrooms
  • Breakfast (restaurants a drive/good walk away)
  • Children over 12 welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Honesty bar


The 4 spotlessly clean bedrooms - 3 kingsize doubles and 1 twin-bedded - are decorated in a country style, with elegant and carefully chosen furnishings. Each features a statement wall of ornate paper, and huge beds with Hypnos mattresses are wrapped in crisp Egyptian cotton sheets.

The attention to detailed luxury extends to decadent bathrooms which, with the exception of Langworthy, have double-ended rolltop baths. You can also expect Ren toiletries, cosy robes and excellent showers - I really struggled to leave my heavenly pin-you-to-the-floor drench).

If you're booking a B&B room, we thought Woodbine the pick of the bunch with its super-kingsize four-poster bed. We also loved Pippin for its large bathtub that looks out over the gardens. Smaller Langworthy shares the same tremendous view but only has a shower. Northwood - the one twinnable rooms - looks out over the estate and the neighbouring cottage with its charming tower.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Hairdryer
  • WiFi


Self-catering guests get free use of the lovely big kitchen, with its royal blue Aga, separate induction hob, huge fridge-freezer and ample preparation space. It's very well equipped - super sharp knives, Le Creuset pans, Dualit toaster, aprons to borrow - as you'd expect from a kitchen that does periodic duty in B&B production.

Talking of which, B&B guests are in for a treat. A regimentally planted kitchen garden, pretty beehives, free-range pigs and a cluck of hens provide ingredients for Bryony's excellent country breakfasts. We gorged on her homemade bread and fruit jams, fresh apple juice from the orchard, and creamy West Country yoghurts. Our cooked options included home-reared bacon and sausages and Groats pudding (a traditional Devon recipe), as well as smoked salmon.

The surrounding countryside is dotted with characterful pubs. Many of them require a drive, but the welcoming Who’d Have Thought It? (The Who’d’y, to locals), is a 15-minute stroll away in Milton Combe. We enjoyed a dinner of belly pork in the ribald and jovial bar (there’s a separate restaurant area, too), along with live music. The Drake Manor Inn at Buckland Monachorum is also walkable (20 mins), with simple, tasty food.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurants nearby


  • Visit Buckland Abbey's ancient chapel and high altar, and admire Sir Francis Drake's snare drum, which he took with him on all explorations. There's also a newly discovered Rembrandt on display
  • Outside, stroll around the estate's beautiful gardens, visit the cathedral-like Great Barn, or walk countryside trails (the bluebell trail in spring is incredible). All of this, including Abbey entry, is free to guests
  • Falconry experiences can be held in the garden!
  • Neighbouring village Buckland Monachorum is home to the wonderful Garden House, regarded as one of the best gardens in the country
  • Stunning Dartmoor with its excellent walking and quaint villages is on the doorstep. There are great opportunities for mountain biking and horse riding, or get back to basics and try wild swimming or hiking around highlights such as Lydford Gorge
  • Tavistock, an ancient stannary town with independent shops and a pannier market, is a 20-minute drive away
  • Plymouth and its spectacular aquarium (the largest in the UK) is just a bit further

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Falconry
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife


This is not a family-focused property although older children are welcome, however there are no additional beds available.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Children 12 and over will need their own room

Kid Friendly:


The Buckland Farmhouse is part of the Buckland Abbey Estate, near Yelverton in Devon. It's approximately 7 miles south of Tavistock and 10 miles north of Plymouth, in the southwest of England.

By Air:
Fly into Exeter airport; click on the links below for a list of airlines.

By Car:
If you want to hire a car, see our car rental recommendations. The B&B has 1 parking space per room.

By Train:
If you'd prefer to travel by train, head to Plymouth (around 4 hours from London Paddington), then take a taxi to the house.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to the UK and getting around


  • Exeter 85.0 km EXE


  • Beach 38.0 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 3.0 km

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