The Location

 When this Georgian mansion was originally constructed and subsequently rebuilt by the Barings in the 1760s, it was without doubt the jewel in the crown for the landed gentry in East Devon due to its commanding position overlooking the Exe estuary. And so it remains today. Lympstone Manor stands in splendid isolation amidst its 28 acres of parkland, a haven for wildlife and surrounded by unspoiled countryside. Yet with its proximity to Exeter on one hand, the sea on the other, and with excellent transportation links (road, rail and air), Lympstone Manor remains an easily accessible and perfect rural retreat.

Devon

Devon, glorious Devon: this is the home county of Michael Caines and a place that we all deeply love. Bound to the south by the English Channel and to the north by the Bristol Channel, there is so much to see, do and discover. Away from urban areas, this is rich agricultural country, the source of so many good things that find their way onto the menus of Lympstone Manor.

With no less than five official Areas of Outstanding Beauty, the county has much to offer. East Devon has the nearby beaches and seaside towns of Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth, as well as historic towns such as Ottery St Mary and Honiton. Explore the South Hams where you will find beautiful maritime towns such as Dartmouth and Salcombe. Dartmoor lies in the heart of the county, a mainly uncultivated upland landscape with heather and gorse meadows topped by rugged granite tors, beautiful, wild, and full of incredible places to discover (there are over 5000 bronze age hut circles). North Devon, meanwhile, is another world: up to Barnstaple, the popular surfers’ beaches of Croyde and Woolacombe, and Ilfracombe, and across majestic Exmoor to Lynmouth, Lynton and the stunning Valley of the Rocks.

For more information see www.visitdevon.co.uk

Exe estuary

In summer, the Exe estuary is populated by leisure boats on moorings and from the viewpoint of our terrace or from your luxurious bedroom you can watch dinghy regattas, or perhaps kitesurfers skimming over the water’s surface. But come the winter, the boats and toys are put away and the estuary belongs once again to one of the richest and most varied populations of birds found anywhere in the country.

As a designated SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), the Exe estuary extends 10km south from Exeter to the open sea at Dawlish Warren. This unique habitat is made up of river and tidal estuary waters, foreshore, low-lying land, saltmarshes, mudflats, the rare and unusual double spit across the mouth of the estuary (visible at low tide), and the sand dunes of Dawlish Warren. This complex of coastal habitats supports internationally important numbers of wintering and migratory waterbirds.

Yet the estuary remains a working habitat, too. Exe mussels are cultivated in the estuary, just in front of Lympstone Manor; scallops are picked by hand from the Lyme Bay sea bed by scuba divers; the Compass Rose, a day-fishing boat, works out of Lympstone village; and commercial trawlers still land a varied catch at Exmouth docks throughout the year.

Exeter

Exeter, Devon’s capital, lies 7 miles north of Lympstone Manor on the Exe river. It is a vibrant and lively cathedral city that is attractive and steeped ing history, pre-dating the arrival of the Romans in AD 50. The imposing Roman and medieval city wall is still intact in many places and archaeologists have uncovered much of interest from the distant past. The gothic cathedral dates from the 11th century, while there are still lovely, half-timbered Tudor buildings that somehow survived the bombings of World War II. Above all, Exeter is a city for today, with a varied cultural scene, good places to eat and drink, independent shops (explore Fore Street), and a lively quayside area. It is also the home of the Exeter Chiefs who play their matches at Sandy Park. For more information see www.visitexeter.com

Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast begins in nearby Exmouth and extends some 95 miles to the east along the Devon and Dorset coast as far Studland Bay. Here the story of our Earth is revealed across 185 million years, as the geology of the cliffs records the Triassic, Jurassic and Creteaceous periods, a journey that recalls a time of deserts, tropical seas, ancient forests, and lush swamps, all recorded in the rocks. The Jurassic Coast is unique in being the only place on our planet that so reveals the ancient past in this manner and it is considered a site of outstanding scientific interest. It is also one of the most beautiful places simply to explore and discover on foot, walking along any stretch of the South West Coast Path.

For further information visit www.jurassiccoast.org and www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk

‘Devon and the South West has the best larder not just in the UK but in all of Europe’ Michael Caines MBE.