Between Exmoor and Dartmoor, serenity from the sun deck next to the river in the nearby river garden. The Tickled Fish near Tiverton sleeps 32 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 large riverside garden, or just hang your hat on a sun chair and stare at the water. Try out the lovely garden with large lawn and shrubs next where you will find another deck with six-seater hot tub with powerful massage jets.
Eat out in the garden by the river or beneath the festoon lights in the courtyard. Come indoors to warm your toes by the inglenook fire places with log burners. Sing along with the Bluetooth, or relax with a book. Bathe in freestanding baths and sleep in Egyptian cotton on pocket-sprung mattresses in beautiful beamed rooms most with ensuite showers.
Dine in the festoon-lit courtyard, or relax in the six-person hot tub with massage jets in the private decked area. Play rounders or croquet on the lawn. Let the dogs loose in the large garden areas.
By the river, you will find sun loungers to sit on the sun deck above the rumbling water or dine on the table with umbrella and teak chairs. Kids can run around and play football or Badminton. 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 Netflix on offer 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 16th-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. Escape with a book relaxing by the Inglenook fireplaces, 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 two Smeg filter coffee makers.
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 32 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 has a vaulted beamed ceiling, 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 “sleigh” bed with additional kingsize on the mezzanine plus freestanding bathtub. It also offers a luxury en-suite shower room.
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 adjoined with Minnow 2 offer a kingsize antique bed and luxury en-suite and shares a 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 on the ground floor.
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: 32 berths equates to a lot of grannies, grandads and cousins – plus dogs.
The fun begins in the large gardens. You can play games 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 courtyard dining area.
Inside, grown-ups can chill in the restored bar, while kids tackle the vintage pub games. The lounge areas are good for snooker, table tennis and late-night board games. And Netflix takes 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” in the private Duck lounge for alternative viewing. The Wi-Fi’s superfast for uploading to Insta. Spend evenings playing cards by the log fire, sing along with the Bluetooth, or relax reading a book. Kids have fun sleeping in bunks or atop the mezzanine up a ladder.