“A fairytale cottage for 2 with a seriously swish interior, hidden on the edge of East Devon’s beautiful Blackdown Hills”
Set in the tiny hamlet of Cotleigh, midway between the pretty market town of Honiton and the stunning Jurassic Coast, this former cowshed was stripped back to its bones and rebuilt with incredible attention to detail. The result is an indulgent hideaway where you can escape modern life without sacrificing any modern comforts. The first thing to greet you as you enter is the bathtub – a decadent zinc affair which takes centre stage in the middle of the cottage. To one side lies a double bedroom with an open-plan rainfall shower; to the other, a large living space with a sink-into sofa and a snazzy kitchen. Throughout, exposed stone walls sit next to Scandi-style cladding, and contemporary lighting hangs from gnarled old beams, while a private patch of lawn with a table, chairs and a barbecue awaits outside. It's utterly enchanting.
- Secluded and extremely romantic – we can’t think of a better place to hole up with someone special
- Ideal for exploring East Devon and neighbouring Dorset, with walks straight from the door and beaches within a 20-minute drive
- Top-of-the-range everything: Bosch touchscreen oven, Nespresso coffee maker, Bluetooth speakers, smart TV with Amazon Firestick, Bamford toiletries, bathrobes...
- We loved the double-ended tub, which gazes out over the hills – bathing here is a real treat!
- Long green views through every window, and total silence at night
- It’s a drive to the nearest restaurant if you fancy an evening out
- There’s a 3-night minimum stay
- Full prepayment is required (with a 2% surcharge for credit cards), and the cancellation policy is fairly strict
- It sits on the first floor, with storage for the neighbouring house below – but with separate entrances on opposite sides of the building, you’re unlikely to see or hear another soul
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Cottage
- 1 bedroom
- Best for babies
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
Arranged on a single level and accessed via an external stone staircase, The Barn is furnished with a stylish mix of old and new. Antique wooden chests and gilded mirrors sit alongside contemporary spotlights, and walls are adorned with photography of the nearby coast. Dotted throughout are patches of exposed stone, plus swathes of wooden cladding which create a cosy, cabin-like feel.
The entrance hall doubles as a bathing space thanks to its huge roll-top tub-for-2. A couple of steps lead up to the open-plan living area, where a deep elephant-print sofa, a TV and a sleek kitchen sit beneath soaring rafters. An opening in the wall connects the 2 rooms, so you can chat to your companion, call for a glass of wine or even give cooking instructions as you soak.
To the other side of the hall is the bedroom, decked out in calming greys and whites. The super-kingsize bed is blissfully comfortable, and we slept solidly beneath a cloud-like duvet and a snuggly knitted throw. At the foot of the bed, behind a half-height wall, lie a walk-in rainfall shower and sink area clad in smart slate tiles (don’t worry, the loo is separate!). Wooden shelving and wall hooks provide plenty of storage space, and there’s another TV in here, too.
- Bluetooth sound system
- Board games
- Central heating
- Coffee maker
- DVD player
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Ipod dock
- Satellite TV
- Tumble dryer
- Washing machine
The kitchen has an industrial feel, with slate-grey walls, low-hanging metal lights and a wooden island unit flanked by stools. Open shelves are stacked with cookbooks and glassware, and gleaming white cupboards house everything you need to cook: touch-screen oven, dishwasher, fridge (no freezer), toaster, crockery, pots and pans, chopping boards, jugs, even a milk frother. You’ll find eggs, milk, butter and a bottle of Cremant wine in the fridge, and a fresh loaf of bread waiting on the counter; there are also jars of tea and sugar, plus pods for the Nespresso machine.
There are supermarkets in Honiton, but we reckon it’s much more fun to potter around the nearby farm shops. The Royal Oak Farm Shop is only a couple of miles up the road, with a wonderful selection of free-range meat, homemade pies and cakes, preserves and home-grown veg, as well as pick-your-own fruit.
Pubs and restaurants abound locally, though none are within walking distance – you’ll find a list of recommendations in a folder. We drove to the renowned Hix Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis (20 minutes away), where we feasted on cuttlefish croquettes, mussels in cider and a steaming fish pie, served up with sweeping views over Lyme Bay.
- Coffee maker
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Welcome hamper
- Go walking through fields and unspoilt woodland, which rise gently towards the Blackdown Hills. Footpaths lead straight out from Cotleigh
- Drive to the pretty seaside village of Branscombe, then follow the coastal path down to Branscombe Mouth and along to the neighbouring village of Beer. There are stunning views along the way, along with pubs and tea rooms for pit stops
- Explore the Jurassic Coast, which stretches across East Devon and Dorset. Its dramatic cliffs, natural arches and fossil-filled rocks have been designated England’s only natural Unesco World Heritage site
- You’ll find sandy beaches at Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth, Charmouth and Sidmouth, all within a 30-minute drive
- Spend a day in Lyme Regis, with its pastel-coloured beach huts, cosy pubs, cobbled streets and medieval harbour (known as The Cobb)
- Potter around Gittisham, home to thatched cottages and ancient burial mounds, and Topsham, which is brimming with independent shops
- Historic Exeter, Dunster Castle (sited on a bluff above the coast) and wild, windswept Dartmoor are all within day-trip distance, too
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
Activities on site or nearby include: