There are plenty of postcard worth thatched cottages in the south west of England, but is this the prettiest holiday cottage in Devon?
As you drive towards Philham Water Cottage you know it’s going to be good. It was golden hour as I was weaving through the narrow roads of North Devon, with the sun shining bright through the gaps in the hedgerows and the seagulls swooping down in front of me.
The roads are quiet, with fields for miles around, but as I came around the corner I locked my eyes on one of the most beautiful English cottages I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe this was to be my home for three days. The drive from Cambridgeshire was a long one so I let my dog Baxter out the car and took him straight through the picket gate that indicated I was at the right place. He ran round the little garden, over the stepping stones and then up to the front door with his tail wagging, eager to explore inside.
Entry was easy, there was a key safe at the door so no fumbling round trying to work out how to get in. The details had been emailed ahead of time, including detailed instructions on how to reach the cottage. As we entered, the sun was flooding through the front windows, lighting up the cosy living room, giving us the perfect welcome.
Philham Water Cottage is believed to be one of the oldest and prettiest cottages in Devon. It is a one up one down, once labourers home, that is now a cosy holiday cottage with a fairytale thatch roof and a gentle stream running past. There is a fully equipped garden, a bathroom with an all-in-one bath and shower, and upstairs there is a good sized bedroom overlooking the garden.
The cottage is fairly isolated but despite this, I felt safe there being on my own with Baxter. This also means you benefit from a good night’s sleep as there is minimal outside disturbances that could wake you up.
You are around 10 minutes in the car from the coast. Hartland Quay is well-known for its breathtaking coastal walks and that is exactly where I started. After unpacking at the cottage and admiring the garden, I packed Baxter up into the car and parked at Hartland Quay Hotel ready for a beautiful sunset walk. The south west coast path routes right past the car park making it a fairly simple walk and easy to find. There are steps and small hills involved so I would not recommend it to those with mobility difficulties.
After an hour spent wandering up and down the coastline, watching the birds dip in and out of the water and admiring the pink and purple hues that spread across the sky, I stopped off at the hotel for a portion of chips and a quick drink.
As darkness fell, Baxter and I made our way back to the car and drove back to our little cottage for the night. We were both surprisingly exhausted considering we spent around 6 hours driving that day so got straight into bed and snuggled up, sleeping until the birds woke us the next morning.
We spent the next few days pottering about the cottage, finding amazing walks and heading out to dog friendly beaches dotted around the coastline. We visited a few pretty towns such as Lynmouth and Lynton, we had a picnic and ate fish and chips (okay, just chips, I don’t actually eat fish!).
We had a brilliant time, it was just what we needed, Baxter truly enjoyed himself and I took on so much joy knowing he was having the best time!
One of the biggest perks of the location of the cottage was the proximity to Closely, one of Devon’s most well-loved villages and tourist attractions. Baxter and I set off early and arrived at 9am ready for it to open.
For the first 30 minutes we pretty much had the place to ourselves and wondered down the cobbled streets towards the sea and down to the pub. We spent some time admiring the harbour and relaxing before heading back up the hill and having breakfast in the visitor centre. If you want to learn more about Closely you can check out my post here!
All in all, we had a brilliant time, and I have fallen head over heels in love with Devon, it’s safe to say that Philham Water Cottage absolutely IS the prettiest holiday cottage in Devon. We so often want to travel all around the world but the real beauty is right on our doorsteps!