Cadhay - a mile from Ottery St Mary - is one of Simon Jenkins' 'England's Thousand Best Houses', shortlisted by Country Life for the 'finest manor house' award. It is mostly Tudor, built c1550, with a long gallery added in Elizabeth I's reign. The lovely sheltered central courtyard, the 'Court of the Sovereigns', which is enclosed by the house and overlooked by most rooms, was a Jacobean addition. Full of character but with modern comfort, Cadhay is beautiful and welcoming. It is Grade I listed and you can marry here – please ask us for details. Approached along a shady avenue of limes, the whole house is yours, peacefully alone apart from a quiet 'home' farm beyond. The magnificent 3 acre garden fades via a ha-ha into countryside and has fine trees, fountains and walkways, herbaceous borders, yew hedges, a ½ acre lake (once medieval fishponds, unfenced - children beware) and huge lawns (croquet available). There is also a walled garden with well-tended allotments and 50 acres of farmland around.Inside, wonderful rooms, fine fireplaces, leaded windows, granite mullions, stucco ceilings, designer curtains, beautiful furniture, paintings.Georgian porch into entrance hall, off which a study (TV/DVD) with comfy seating for 4, and dining room with fireplace (woodburner) and mahogany table/chairs seating 14 (extension to 20). From the dining room, three interconnecting rooms for sitting in (totalling 70'): living hall with 18th cent. furniture, oak floor (rugs), woodburner, TV and seats for 8, the main curving stairs; library with woodburner and seats for 8; and drawing room with Georgian panelling and seats for 8. Another small study leads to the flower room and garden beyond. Doors from the main rooms into the Court of the Sovereigns with huge table/benches for alfresco eating and summer evenings (additional seating and barbecue by west entrance). Large farmhouse-style kitchen with 4-door Aga, electric range/induction hob, microwave, table/chairs seating 8; steps down to pantry (freezer, larder fridge); scullery with sink and dishwashers; utility room (washing machine, tumble drier). Back stairs beside the kitchen. Downstairs twin bedroom (zip-linkable to 6' double), Haydon, with en suite shower-room (suite). Two loos.
Upstairs, seven more very good-sized bedrooms, most with lovely garden views:
Whetham – a corner double (handcrafted 5'6" half-tester) with garden view and en suite bathroom (bath plus hand-shower, washbasin)
The 'Dressing Room' – a smallish single (optional interconnecting door to Whetham)
The Nursery – a twin with panelling, double aspect windows and window seat
Sugar Plum – a corner double (5' four-poster) with Georgian panelling, window seat and double aspect windows, accessed via The Nursery or the Long Gallery
Barton – a lovely double-aspect corner room with fine 5' four-poster double
Reibey – a double with view to front of the house
Paulet – the master corner bedroom with four-poster double (5'), double aspect windows and en suite bathroom (suite with roll-top bath plus hand-shower, optional door to landing)
Two more bathrooms (suites, one plus hand-shower) and loo.
On the same floor are the Long Gallery, with a fascinating display of historical items, and the quite magnificent Roof Chamber (one of the marriage rooms) with the arch-braced roof from the original Great Hall and fine oak furniture. On the top floor are two separate attics, with five smaller bedrooms (sloping ceilings) which are comfy and smart:
The East Attic: two twin bedrooms, Peveril and Newton, with bathroom (suite plus hand-shower and separate shower) and large anteroom (table tennis)
The West Attic: Peere Williams – a double (6' zip-linked bed or twin) with sitting room (TV) and en suite bathroom (suite, shower over bath plus hand-shower); McClintock – a twin with bathroom (suite with roll-top bath plus hand-shower) next door; Phyllis – a single with shower-room (suite)So that's thirteen bedrooms (6 double, 5 twin, 2 single), seven bathrooms, two shower-rooms, plus three separate loos. Professional catering available. Spring water. Wedding licence. Arrival after 6pm from May to September; after 3pm from October to April. Damages Deposit £750. This is a fascinating and friendly home.
|Size||Sleeps up to 22, 12 bedrooms|
|Rooms||12 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms of which 9 Family bathrooms|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest railway: Property is within 5 miles of a railway station|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, Telephone|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Furniture||Double beds (6), Single beds (12), Cots (1)|
|Other||Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Private garden, Shared garden|
|Access||Secure parking, Suitable for people with restricted mobility, Not suitable for wheelchair users|
|Further details indoors|
Please bring your own beach towels.
The agent has its own star rating system to quantify interior quality, comfort and ambience. This property has been rated 5 star.
East Devon: that is Devon east of the river Exe and Exeter - Devon's capital with superb cathedral and much else attractive. Here is the most smiling of lush farmland and most dramatically hilly, the easiest to see from a car because the lanes are less narrow, the hedges less high. Domed hills rise abruptly and steeply, baize-green fields to crowns of woods or sentinel beech trees, half-way up farmsteads like a children's-book idyll. Woodbury Common is a small high moor with heather and Scots pine trees and fine newish golf course.
Exmouth is a resort with lots of sandy beach and boats. The Exe estuary is full of yachts and has one of Devon's prettiest villages, Lympstone, beside it. A shore of mainly pebbles keeps the area comparatively quiet, though the coast is attractive with white and red cliffs, pleasant, civilised towns like Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton and villages like Beer and Branscombe. Its inland villages tend to be pretty: Broadhembury is special - and the view from Hembury Hill (fort) is sensational. Hardly anyone seems to visit the lovely Blackdown Hills - big beech woods, smart fields with thoroughbred horses - on its northern border. You can have flying lessons at Dunkeswell aerodrome and there is an excellent (flat) cycle track, punctuated by pubs, from Exeter beside the Exe estuary to the sea. The whole east Devon coast is called a 'World Heritage Coastline'.
Ottery St Mary: small market town (sports centre, tennis, pubs, restaurants, church), amid rolling farmland and beautiful woods beside the River Otter, where Coleridge was born and wrote a sonnet to the river. Honiton (sports centre/indoor swimming pool), 5 miles. Exeter, 12 miles; the Coast Path and sea (and golf) at Sidmouth, 5.