Country houses for sale

It’s impossible to say that a home is the best house ever…  but this truly incredible place in Devon really made us wonder

The Shotts feels like a celebration of life, where colour, texture and pattern come together to form a breathtaking home that honours the beautiful surrounding landscape of the Dartmoor National Park.

As you might imagine, we see a lot of lovely homes here at Country Life. From irresistible chocolate box cottages to sprawling Scottish estates, and from pretty family homes in the Home Counties to swish London penthouses.

With such a range of sizes, shapes, locations and budgets, it’s self-evidently impossible to start talking about what the best house ever is. And yet when The Shotts came along, that’s the exact conversation that we found ourselves having.

‘Is this the best house ever?’ came the question on the editorial team group chat, along with a link to the listing. ‘YES!’ came the first of several replies, just moments later. And while we still wouldn’t pretend that it is definitely the best house ever, we’d defy anyone not to grin and coo at the combination of an outrageously beautiful location with a magnificently flamboyant interior. It’s the ultimate antidote for every soulless, greige-decorated box you’ve ever come across.

‘The current owners spent three years painstakingly renovating the house into a unique family home in a class of its own, with a magical, fairytale feel,’ say agents of seven-bedroom Shotts Manor — just below Haytor and 17 miles from Exeter — the interiors of which manage to combine Italianate villa with gypsy caravan and everything in between.

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Moroccan tiles feature heavily: the owners commissioned them specially for the house, and it took the tilers nine months to install them. But just as much a part of the house are the breathtaking Dartmoor views, with the house’s entire design centred on the sunrise. There’s also a retro-style oval slate-framed open fire, carved doors from India, handpainted walls in viewing gallery The Nest and, as well as a staircase, a playful slope leading from first to ground floor.

The awe-inspiring home is currently on the market via Strutt & Parker with a guide price of £3.5 million, and its global-inspired interiors are nothing short of breathtaking, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality.

Artistic flair runs throughout, no least in the kitchen, with its green and white tiled flooring, dramatic stand-alone sink and hand-painted touches from a ‘noble Scottish artist.’

Little Shotts is a two-bedroom cottage in the grounds, finished in the same playful style and providing excellent guest accommodation or let out as holiday accommodation.

Also within the grounds is Tiny Shotts, a garden office with adjoining shower room, an outdoor living room and a footpath through woods to the west will lead you to The Rock Inn.

The Shotts is a rare find — a celebration of global style that is somehow right at home in the midst of the Dartmoor National Park.

The Shotts is currently on the market via Strutt & Parker with a guide price of £3.5 million — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for further details. 

Haytor: What you need to know

Location: In the Dartmoor National Park, about 9 miles west of Newton Abbot, just under 5 miles from Bovey Tracey — also known as ‘The Gateway to the Moors’ and approximately 20 miles south of Exeter.

Atmosphere: The pretty village is home to The Rock Inn —  a well-regarded, local pub, as well as gastropub Tinpickle and Rhum.

Things to do: The surrounding National Park provides a wonderful backdrop with plenty of outdoor activities, from walking, riding and cycling. The Cathedral city of Exeter is easily reached and home to a theatre, museum, extensive shopping facilities and restaurants, whilst Bovey Tracey and Ashburton provide a good mix of boutique shops and day-to-day amenities.

Schools: There are plenty of reputable options in the area, including primary schools at Widecombe-in-the-Moor and Bovey Tracey, Stover School, Blundell’s in Tiverton, St. Peter’s in Lympstone, Exeter School and The Maynard School.

See more property for sale in the area.