History meets contemporary at this stunning 2-bed conversion, with sea views and extensive gardens
Years ago, this unique plot of land was home to a famed author, who wrote several books in the now-downstairs bedroom. He also built an Author’s Hut in the garden for inspirational interludes, which remains stuck in time, a tiny listed building with his old leather chair, taxidermy and collection of scratched ’78s. Just being in there will stir your soul. By contrast, the main house now appears thoroughly contemporary, with a double-gabled wood-clad exterior and stylish modern interiors. But it was actually all coaxed from the shell of the original house, an exacting architect-led restoration that took its owner 6 years.
With Exmoor to the east and a string of golden beaches to the west (Croyde, Saunton), the location is phenomenal; you can see the sea through the tall Monterrey pines that cradle the property. Two double bedrooms make it ideal for 2 couples or a family who want clean, sea air and glorious peace. Kids will love making dens in the surrounding woodlands and rock-pooling or bodyboarding down at the coast; adults will love lolling in the field-like gardens. Or come for a secluded romantic escape, or even alone, to soak up the extraordinary history and character of this place, where owls nest and and wild hares leap.
The owner’s original dream was to be totally off-grid. Modified for convenience, it has its own water supply from a bore hole, uses an eco electricity supplier, and is built with high-level insulation so heating is rarely required.
- Golden sandy beaches are 4km away. Go surfing (or watch surfers from The Porthole Cafe) at Croyde or head to idyllic Puttsborough and Saunton Sands.
- Sit in the garden on a blanket with the gramaphone playing ’78s, and read one of the books that was written here. Or just mooch in the Author’s Hut and soak up the atmosphere; jackdaws roost in the chimney.
- Spend a day walking on Exmoor or cycling the Tarka Trail, followed by local beers and a great fish stew at The Fox and Goose in Parracombe.
- The owner recommends nearby Lee Bay for quiet swims and crabbing in rock pools. At low tide, you can walk through the rocks to secret Sandycove beach, which is gloriously ancient and unspoilt.
- There are 2 pubs within walking distance, including The Rock, North Devon’s best pub.
- The area’s full of brilliant farm shops and independents. Buy local fish, meat and veg at St Johns Nursery to sling on the BBQ, or pick up wood-fired pizzas from the little shop at Croyde.
- As night falls, stargaze. This is a designated Dark Skies area, so the constellations and Milky Way are dazzling.