Between Exmoor and Dartmoor, serenity is a rolling river viewed from the sun deck at the end of the garden. The Tickled Fish in Tiverton sleeps 29 in 12 bedrooms, except you won’t want to be sleeping. You’ll want to be entertained, indoors and out, from dawn to dusk, and this former 16 th -century pub does that rather well.
Let’s begin in the bar – where else? The refurbished original bar area is yours for the pouring, or sign up for a bar tender, sommelier or mixologist. Sober up in the three-acre riverside garden with croquet and rounders, or just hang your hat on a sun chair and stare at the water. Stay out for the six-seat hot tub with massage jets.
Eat out in the garden by the river, beneath the festoon lights. Keep it going by the firepit. Come indoors to warm your toes by the logburner. Tickle the piano keys, sing along with the Bluetooth, dip into the bookcase. Bathe in freestanding baths and sleep in Egyptian cotton on pocket-sprung mattresses to the soothing simplicity of the river.
An abundance of lush greenery leads you down to the river, where sun loungers sit on the sun deck above the rumbling water. Stay out there for the festoon-lit eating terrace and the six-person hot tub with massage jets and private decked area. Change in the bathing hut into luxury robes and flip flops.
Play rounders or croquet on the lawn. Let the dogs loose in the two acres. Fish for trout. Wild-swim in the river. Live a life of sweet serenity on an English riverbank.
The river garden’s the scene-stealer here, but there are plenty of reasons to head indoors, too. The Tickled Fish has the ambience of your favourite pub refurbished and refocused to delight big groups looking to relax, reunite, recalibrate and celebrate on the tranquil banks of an English river.
There’s a full Sky package on offer, plus Netflix, too, on the 65” smart TV. Watch them in the vintage, red-velvet, 20-seater cinema with its own popcorn machine. Where next This is a former 16 th -century pub, so it’s on to the refurbished original bar area. Add some authenticity by adding a bar tender, sommelier or mixologist.
For the competitive, the games room offers snooker, table tennis and board games. Enjoy a singalong around the piano, escape with a book from the shelf, then post it all to Instagram on the superfast broadband.
Watch the logs burn in the inglenook fireplace, while away the hours on vintage pub games beneath the chambered cross beams, enjoy a sense of rustic timelessness amid the quintessentially English quirk.
You’ve a range of ranges here to help you: an electric Aga, a Smeg and a Brittania. But if you’re not at home on a range, call up someone who is. Book an on-site barbie, hog roast, street food or something more traditional from John and Sally at The Ginger Pig. Wrap up with coffee from the Smeg or the Nespresso.
Keep the two large fridges loaded with delights from the M&S food hall, meat from Stillman’s and wine from The Jolly Vintner. Load your cheeseboard with Devon Smoake and Cornish Yarg from the counter at The Flying Pickle. And get your takeaways from Mumbai Kitchen, Pho Ngam and Ceylon Curry House.
Enjoy lemon and pepper hummus to start, followed by Cornish hake fillet at The Cadeleigh Arms. Pop next door to The Fisherman’s Cot for beer-battered cod or Thai-style vegetable curry. Or enjoy a cosy Dartmoor welcome at Ring of Bells, serving a mean Sunday roast.
Eat breakfast, main meals, light bites, dessert and cake inside or out at Bickleigh Mill. Try The Lamb Inn for open fires, low ceilings, comfy sofas and an award-winning garden on three levels. Or celebrate seasonal, wood-fired food in the feasting barn or out in the terrace garden at The Lost Kitchen.
Sleeping up to 29 in 12 high-end bedrooms, The Tickled Fish is a rural respite from the everyday madness of modern living. Be soothed by bubbly soaks in freestanding baths and lulled by the gentle rush of the river.
Duck Bedroom 1 glisters with fairy lights and offers a double plus a kingsize mattress up a ladder on the mezzanine. It shares a family bathroom and private lounge and kitchen with Duck Bedroom 2, with two triple bunks. Heron Bedroom 1 provides a superking with additional kingsize on the mezzanine plus freestanding bathtub.
Heron Bedroom 2 comes with a superking antique bed, freestanding bathtub, luxury ensuite and river view, while Kingfisher Bedroom 1 has a superking antique bed, freestanding bath, shared luxury bathroom, and river views. Kingfisher Bedroom 2 provides a kingsize antique bed, freestanding bath, luxury en-suite, and river views.
Kingfisher Bedroom 3 is a double with Jack and Jill en-suite, while Minnow Bedroom 1 offers a kingsize antique luxury en-suite with vaulted ceilings and kitchenette. It adjoins Minnow Bedroom 2, complete with antique kingsize, luxury en-suite, and private spiral staircase.
Otter Bedroom 1 has a vaulted ceiling, kingsize bed, private spiral staircase, freestanding bathtub and shared luxury en-suite, while Otter Bedroom 2 provides a kingsize, private spiral staircase and shared luxury en-suite. The final bedroom is great for those with restricted mobility, offering twin beds and accessible wet room.
The long and winding roads, skirted by high hedges and tricky passing places, only add to the fun. When you arrive, there’s an instant sense of wonder at the sheer size of The Tickled Fish. So for any child who misses home, simply bring home with you: 29 berths equates to a lot of grannies, grandads and cousins – plus six dogs.
The fun begins in the two-acre garden. There’s rounders and croquet to play on the lawn and the river frontage is a fascinating diversion. Older children can steep themselves in the six-person hot tub with massage jets and stay out late around the firepit. And everyone can eat out in the festoon-lit garden dining area.
Inside, grown-ups can chill in the restored bar, while kids tackle the vintage pub games. The games room’s good for snooker, table tennis and late-night board games. And Sky and Netflix take on a whole new dimension when viewed in the 20-seat vintage cinema with red-velvet seating. Pour yourself some popcorn from the machine.
The cinema comes with a 65” smart TV and you’ll find another 40” elsewhere for alternative viewing. The Wi-Fi’s superfast for uploading to Insta. Spend evenings playing cards by the log fire, sing along with the piano or the Bluetooth, or bag a book from the bookcase. Sleep in bunks or atop the mezzanine up a ladder.