Country houses for sale

A chic hideaway in Devon that is walking distance from one of the county’s best beaches

Proximity to water is the golden ticket for many properties in the South West — and even better if they’re completely private, surrounded by acres of woodland, as is the case at Were Down.

Nestled high on the slopes of a wooded valley overlooking the Avon estuary, Were Down, near Bigbury, is, well, pretty close to paradise.

Originally a worker’s cottage dating from the early 19th century, the property has been extended and renovated over the years to become an exceptional family home of five bedrooms in 15 acres. It arrives onto the market via Marchand Petit with a guide pride of £2.25 million.

It would be remiss not to start with the view, which is uninterrupted for miles and is maximised by the use of floor-to-ceiling windows in the kitchen/dining room, as well as from the balcony of the master suite on the first floor.

The interiors have been finished to a very high standard throughout and feature extensive use of recycled hardwood from Kentucky, US, as well as refurbished railway sleepers.

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Despite having 15 acres of land, the ‘gardens’ are mostly woodland, with the property being more a part of Nature than trying to tame it. They do, however, contain a cabin, which provides a further bedroom, living room and bathroom (and, of course, lots of glass to appreciate the view). Also within the dense woodland you’ll find a Forestry barn with log storage, as well as solar heat panels.

Paths have been cut through the woods and meadows down to the estuary below, which is a wetland at low-tide, and provides kayak/paddleboard access down to the River Avon and Bantham beyond at high tide.

Bantham is home to one of South Devon’s most beloved beaches. With stretches of golden sand and reliable waves, it’s popular with surfers of all abilities. The sandy estuary also provides plenty of quiet spots to swim in more sheltered water or dabble in rock pools.

There are several ‘gastro buses’ before the beach where you can get everything from fresh pizza to hot coffee and treats, and within Bantham village there’s the Sloop Inn, which remains popular year-round, and Bantham village stores, for emergency ice-cream pit stops.

Bigbury beach neighbours Bantham, and from here you can walk over to Burgh Island at low tide (or catch a ride on the sea tractor when the tide is in). Dolphins, porpoises, seals and a variety of sea birds can often be spotted from this higher elevation.

The property is ideally situated close to the market towns of Kingsbridge (just over six miles) and Totnes (approximately 17 miles) — where mainline trains run to London Paddington — as well as the seaside holiday mecca of Salcombe. The Oyster Shack restaurant is just down the road from Were Down and is a firm favourite amongst locals and visitors.

Not enough? The property also already comes with planning permission for a two-storey extension on the east side of the house.

Were Down is currently on the market via Marchand Petit with a guide price of £2.25 million — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for further details.

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