Head back to 16th century Exeter, to a world of four-poster beds, linenfold panelling, suits of armour and banquet tables. But throw in a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room and snooker table and you’ll find that Manor on the Falls is a little chunk of history wrapped up in a whole houseful of fun for families or hens.
Beyond the granite walls, the views through the stone-mullioned windows across the ten acres of lawn give way to the lightly wooded Teign Valley. You can walk it later, but explore the generously proportioned elegance first, where the best of the Manor’s ancient origins blends seamlessly with modern conveniences.
The billiard table’s for adults only, but kids can find the family room, with board games and multi-game table. Cook up a storm on the Aga, meet and eat around the banquet tables, walk the lines of eucalyptus and sycamore trees, then retire to Tudor-style beds to sleep the sleep of the ages.
The lawns sweep forever towards the Teign Valley and Dartmoor National Park. Inside the ten acres sit eucalyptus, oak, ash and sycamore, and deep shrub borders of magnolia and flowering cherry. Take a walk, but bring your towel, because the side terrace leads you down to the heated pool and Hydro massage hot tub.
Take deep breaths and wander. Deep in the bosom of bucolic beauty, you can potter beneath huge skies on the edge of Dartmoor as the snipes and skylarks swoop above. The parklands arc away towards a switchback horizon on which traces of woodland are gently etched.
Relax in the sun-trap sunken walled garden. Wander the orchard of apple, plum and pear trees. Admire the herbaceous borders. Follow the lawns bordered by variegated maple, cedar and magnolia. Kick a ball around. Find the kids’ swings. Play hide and seek. They’ll never find you here.
You’re off to a fine start in the Great Hall. Hang around here awhile to enjoy the floor-to-ceiling linenfold panelling, stone-mullioned windows with leaded lights, open fireplace with canopy and magnificent oak staircase.
From the living room, with its soaring ceilings, panelling and exposed stone walls, the valley views come rushing through the mullioned granite windows. In the evenings, you can raid the log basket by the open fire and get cosy around the licking flames as you deal the cards or spark up a game of charades.
But if it’s action you’re after, that’s available on site, head for the billiard room with its original wooden flooring, linenfold panelling and canopy fireplace. Get the kindling going and pour a long one as hours gently disappear.
You’ll surprise and surpass yourself in the handmade oak kitchen adorned with carvings. With SubZero refrigerator and deep-freeze, wine chiller, granite surfaces, inset induction hob, twin sinks and two dishwashers built-in, you’re not short of facilities at the Manor.
Ingredients here are fresh and local. Meat comes straight from the rolling, wild moorland landscape, fish from the trout farm at Tavistock, and fruit and veg from the verdant fields around the villages.
Prefer to be pampered? Call us up and our chefs from Dartmoor Kitchen or Posh Nosh will whistle up something wonderful on the four-oven Aga and serve it up in the beautiful breakfast room with its sandstone flagged floor. Help yourself to top-ups from the Miele coffee machine.
Eat in the breakfast kitchen or do it in style in the medieval banqueting hall. Or eat out at The Manor Inn in Lower Ashton for locally caught fish and game, The Cridford Inn (a must-visit in local foodie circles), or The Artichoke Inn at Christow, whose extensive collection of specialist gins demands to be sampled.
Pick the en-suite master bedroom suite with separate dressing room, walk-in shower and double-ended bath. Live like kings and queens amid linenfold panelling, and transom and mullioned windows that suck in the views of the parklands and soaring switchback beyond.
Bedroom two comes with separate lounge area, small lobby and en-suite bathroom with bath and oak vanity unit. Bedroom three offers a large walk-in wardrobe and en-suite with oak floor with oak and marble vanity unit. Bedroom four is a characterful en-suite with stone-mullioned windows and built-in wardrobe.
Bedroom five is an en-suite with walk-in wardrobe. Bedroom six has exposed beams and a walk-in shower also serving bedroom eight. Bedroom seven is a beautifully grand en-suite with high linenfold panelling and woodburning stove to warm the evenings.
This is a delightful nocturnal world of heavy curtains, panelled walls, four-poster beds and mullioned windows. Inch them open at night to stare at the stars and listen to the sound of nothing but the breeze and the badgers.