Cool stay of the week: a storybook cottage on the Devon coast

Laura Hampson

Walking along the winding path towards the sixteenth century Philham Water Cottage, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale.

This week’s Cool Stay of the Week is located on the Hartland Peninsula, just two miles off the Devon coast and in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Here, guests can curl up beside a roaring fire or picnic in the grassy, open meadows, discovering the alluring coastal villages that inhabit the rugged Hartland Peninsula. Stroll through the overgrown forest trails and along craggy cliff faces, hunkering down in the old smugglers' inns and paddling on deserted, sandy beaches.

This bijou, two-storey cottage is, according to local legend, the oldest of its kind in Devon. Hand-built from local cob and stone and with an iconic thatched rooftop, it is a picture-perfect haven hidden in a blissful country garden.

The interiors have a refreshing rustic simplicity and manage to blend modern comforts with Elizabethan history. Walls are uneven and thick; doorways are low with latching doors; there are flagstone floors and a massive fireplace containing a wood-burning stove.

Mismatched furnishings give it a warm and homely vibe and are joined by handpicked antiques that tell a story of simpler times. The family kitchen is traditional while well-equipped, and is ideal for rustling up some hearty, home-cooked dishes.

When you’re ready for bed, disappear to your tranquil double room, furnished with a sumptuous queen-size bed and thick, fluffy duvet. With views over the garden and stream and meadow beyond, it is a sublime hideout for those long morning lie-ins.


Spend your days exploring the garden dotted with foxgloves and roses. Pluck apples from the trees and pick blackberries in the lane, watching while horses gallop and cattle graze. Walk along the Hartland Peninsula or the South West Coast Path, stopping off at chocolate-box Clovelly or Bude’s balmy, golden sands. Nearby Hartland village is less than two miles away and has a boutique collection of local potteries, three pubs and a charming tea room.

Where? Hartland, North Devon.

Sleeps: two.

Price: £455 to £770 per week.

To book:

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