How could a dark-water swim in a spring-fed lake be improved? Or paddleboarding, canoeing or rowing? Maybe when it’s in the grounds of your own Devon country house for up to 18 plus dogs within 38 acres of private gardens, parkland and woods. A place where wild red deer roam free and the soundtrack comes from the soaring songbirds.
So you’ll love the lake and parkland, but what of the interiors? Lake View Hall is beautiful inside and out. It’s an aristocratic dream highlighted by a sweeping staircase straight out of Gone With the Wind, an 18-seat regency dining table, four grand reception rooms and a games room with snooker and pool.
Cook on the AGA and Rangemaster, play Beethoven’s Ninth on the drawing-room baby grand in front of the licking flames. Stock up the larder fridge with goodies from the Rackenford community shop. Pick some fizz from the wine chiller. Convene around the smart TVs for Netflix nights oiled with Prosecco or coffee from the Bosch.
Explore the grounds, hike the Exmoor hills and come home to a barbecue on the terrace under the vine and a house marinating in history. Tuck into a three-course dinner and Devon cream tea through our in-house chefs, chitter-chat around the firepit, sink into rolltop baths, stare at the scenery from the West Wing balcony. Pinch yourself.
Let your mind run as free as the deer that graze the gardens, and your imagination soar with the songbirds in the ancient woodlands. Stroll the ten acres of parkland through the bluebell dell, explore 3000 trees in 25 acres of woodland, discover picnic areas, and swim, canoe or paddleboard in the spring-fed lake.
Fire up the barbecue and eat out on the terrace beneath the vine. Pick up the provided duck food to treat your feathered friends. Follow the stream through the grounds. Find the wooded copse with picnic area and firepit. Watch out for wildlife. Play rounders and boules. Sit out at night among the illuminated borders. Discover the soul-soothing tranquillity that comes from living within nature.
It all begins in the grand Gothic reception hall with sweeping staircase straight out of the movies. If you’re coming in off the hills, drop your dirties in the boot room. Then choose from four sumptuous reception rooms and settle back amid vaulted Gothic ceilings, chandeliers, polished floorboards and ornate cornicing.
Chill in small clusters or get heavy with large groups over Netflix nights on the smart TV. Play pool and quarter-size snooker in the games room. Keep up with the world on the BT Wi-Fi. Sing along with the Sonos on the ground floor, beat the homies on the board games and recharge your battery in the eclectic library.
Love cooking? You’ll feel right at home concocting magic in the family kitchen on the Rangemaster in front of the smart TV or on the AGA in the catering kitchen with utility. Love not cooking? Consider a local recommended chef, the restaurant-at-home service that gets its whites on while you put your feet up.
Stock up the fridge, upright freezer, larder, pantry and wine chiller with deliveries from Waitrose, Sainsburys, Tesco and Majestic Wines, or take a trip to the M&S food hall in Tiverton. Consider deliveries from Dart Fresh, the local farm shop with a bakery catering for allergies. Or raid the kitchen garden in summer.
Gearing up for a stiff morning stroll? Or on your way back? Find your way to The Lost Kitchen for brunches, light lunches and wood-fired pizza. Enjoy amazing food, service and ambience at Woods, for traditional English fare paired with a continental twist next to roaring fires.
Up on the north coast? Consider the Beach Bar and Grill for a coffee, beer or an all-day dining menu that includes seafood risotto, mac and cheese and buttermilk chicken burger. The Pyne Arms is great for gastro, The Mason’s Arms comes with a Michelin star and The Stag at Rackenford is rumoured to be Devon’s oldest pub.
With nine bedrooms and eight bathrooms, you won’t want for luxury here, nor for tranquillity, among 38 acres of parkland and woodland. Lake View Hall sleeps 12 plus six more in the East Wing.
Who’s up for the master bedroom suite with its luxury en-suite, smart TV, slipper bath and south-facing balcony? Bedroom two is also a kingsize with smart TV plus south-facing balcony overlooking the lake. Bedroom three is a bunk room with en-suite bathroom and the Monkey Room offers a double bed, smart TV and en-suite shower.
The Hummingbird Room provides a double bed, en-suite shower and slipper bath and The Lake Room is a kingsize with en-suite shower and slipper bath. In the East Wing, the master comes as a double, bedroom eight is a twin with shared family bathroom, and bedroom nine is another double with shared bathroom.