The Heart of Devon

A look at Devon Property with Nigel Bishop

The Heart of Devon


Devon is dominated by its coastlines -north and south -dramatic in the north and balmy in the south. Water is the common theme throughout the county with long winding rivers heading out to sea. The Rivers Exe, Taw, Torridge, Teign and Dart are just a few to mention that all attract buyers. Flowing through moorland and countryside they define the character of the region and frequently dictate the lifestyle and areas of search for property.

Whilst sailing, surfing and sandy beaches provide a true escape the river valleys are the backbone and vertebrae of the county. Historic trading routes traversed the rivers at given points and we mustn’t forget the canals built to ease transport before rail and road were efficient .The Grand Western Canal joined Taunton to Tiverton and the Exe Canal eased the transport from the mouth of the Exe into Exeter city when it was a thriving port.

The grand Georgian houses in the St. Leonards area of Exeter were built on the back of the growth of business from the port and later in Victorian in times the railway influenced the expansion of the city. But rurally, the classic farmhouses, often stone, cob and thatch still served the population well. Nowadays the old and new intertwine and modern designs merge into the landscape.  Accessibility and internet speed seem more important than local community as the pace of life has quickened. But escaping the hustle and bustle if city life is always a great attraction.

To keep to the water theme there are always great properties to buy. David Rhys (01395 444011) in Budleigh Salterton are selling a classic three storey property on Marine Parade, looking directly on to the beach. Currently divided laterally into a ground floor apartment with gardens and upper maisonette it is crying out to be reinstated as an elegant family home.

Going south to Dittisham on the River Dart Savills (01548 800462) are selling Little Coombe Farm. As the name suggests a tucked away Grade 11 listed farmhouse looking down a delightful valley with stream fed ponds, and wooded grounds of eleven acres. Modernised and sympathetically extended in a contemporary style gives this delightful house an interesting twist. A converted stone barn, further cottage provide a useful income add to the extensive garaging and further buildings. A true lifestyle purchase.

If income is required Rose Cottage, Cockington, Torquay offered by Jackson Stops (01392 214222) could be the answer.  A quintessential three bedroom home with established tea rooms and restaurant in stunning gardens set around a stream fed lake. Another idyllic lifestyle purchase.

 England is an island nation where the sea has historically been a key element -the British Empire was built by sailing the oceans – so no matter what the seas and rivers are in our hearts -they define England and where we live -  “it’s all about coming home”.

James Nightingall