"Mum and dad decided that Tiverton was the place to settle post-retirement, partly due to proximity to family but, in the main, it was a wonderful place to embark on the next chapter of their lives. And it still has that quality.”
It's easy to see the attraction. Just a few minutes spent in the serene, established gardens that surround this former worker’s cottage on the outskirts of town and you're captivated. The mum and dad in question made this their very comfortable home in the early 1980s after working through London and the South East. Once they got to Devon, they immersed themselves in the social scene and took up purist countryside pastimes, with the favourite being an announcer at the regional sheep dog trials. A far cry from life as a postmaster in Kent!
Soon after they moved in, the house was brought to life with a new kitchen, bathroom and a thorough decorative overhaul plus a comprehensive redevelopment that gave way to additional accommodation downstairs. It hasn’t changed to this day and, while the interior is now ready for its next revamping instalment, the house remains a perfectly comfortable home and is the consummate multi-tasker: a permanent residence, a second-home, or a holiday rental investment. It's worth noting that both the main and flat roof we're replaced in the summer of 2019.
There isn’t a single room in the house that doesn't have a tranquil view and the quirky arrangement of accommodation is surprisingly practical. From the upstairs bedroom in the eaves you can absorb that unblemished outlook over the countryside across the road, making it one of the owner’s two favourite places in the house. The other is the spacious living room on the downstairs that opens out to the private courtyard and it’s here on the ground floor that you'll find the second double bedroom, kitchen, guest loo and bathroom.
The history of the house is just as unique as its character, from serving as a gardeners cottage for a much of its working life, to serving the Heathcoat-Amory Estate and the manor house that sits behind it. Idyllic is the word that springs to mind.
The historic market town of Tiverton is close by, you can reach in just a few mins by car, and has been welcoming visitors for decades, not least because of its impressive connections to London. With an average of 46 trains a day and a journey time around 2hours, Tiverton Parkway station makes getting to-and-from the big smoke a breeze.
The road network is also good. Take the scenic route via the A303 and stop in at Yeovil, Salisbury and Winchester, or blast it up the M5 to Bristol (about an hour and 20 when observing the speed limit) for a connection to the M4.
Hensleigh Lodge, Bakers Hill, Tiverton, Devon EX16