On our final day at Pond Cottage (1) my friends had arranged a visit to The Swiss Cottage (2), another Landmark Trust property on the Endsleigh estate but a 15 minute walk away. With my love of all things Swiss I have always been intrigued to see the cottage for real and it did not disappoint.
The Swiss Cottage
“A wonderfully eccentric chalet designed by Jeffrey Wyatville in a setting that indeed compares with Switzerland at Endsleigh, one of the best surviving examples of that most imaginative and English landscape aesthetic, the Picturesque.” Wonderfully perched above the Tamar Valley with a steep path to it from the drive and further steep slopes in front, the setting could indeed be in Switzerland. The balcony is a typical feature of the Swiss chalet.
Tea on the Verandah
Through the Trees you can just see the Tamar River
On changeover days, by prior arrangement with head office, it is often possible to see inside Landmarks. This was the case with our three visits on that Friday.
Swiss Cattle Management
The Little Swiss Haymaker
Welcome to the Swiss Cottage
Finally, we had to leave Endsleigh and its cottages behind and make our way across Devon to Peppercombe on its north coast. Our route just happened to take us through the country town of Great Torrington. Just a couple of miles before reaching Torrington, at Stevenstone, is another Landmark of interest to me – The Library (3).
“The Library and its companion, the Orangery, stand in the remains of a formal garden beside the ruins of the main house [Stevenstone]. Having a library in the garden remains a mystery to us, but to stay in these handsome spaces, even without the books, is an enlightening experience. Not only is the building rather charming, it is not far away from Exmoor and the beaches of North Devon. It has an open fire, enclosed garden and nearby parking.”
The Library with Orangery Behind
The Library has one grand sitting room/library on the first floor with an open fire and comfy chairs. In contrast the Orangery is an unheated bedroom which may be cool and refreshing in summer but struck me as rather chilly on that bright October morning. A room for only the hardiest of Landmarkers.
The Library Sitting Room
The Library’s Library
Hot Water Bottles at the ready inside the Orangery
Once known merely as 28 South Street Cawsey House (4) is a lovely big family house on one of the main streets of Torrington. The location means cafes and shops and the lively arts centre are on the doorstep.
“Cawsey House, an elegant late-Stuart townhouse, once belonged to a wealthy merchant who commissioned one of Devon’s most accomplished plasterers to embellish its main rooms. Torrington is a town rich in historic interest, scene of a decisive battle in 1646 during the Civil Wars.”
Cawsey House, Great Torrington
The Cawsey garden
The Cawsey Dining Room
After lunch in Great Torrington we headed off for our destination but to get there you have to drive through Bideford. We weren’t going to stop but then we saw, tied up at the quay, the MS Oldenburg Lundy’s “lifeline”.
MS Oldenburg Fore
MS Oldenburg Aft
“She is a graceful motor vessel, comfortable and built on traditional lines. Below decks she retains her original panelling and brass fittings, but has been skillfully modernised to provide heated saloons, bar, buffet, shop and information centre.”
The Oldenburg was moored up alongside the quay where the rather distinctive Lundy Office operates. It’s there to provide information about the island and its 23 Landmark properties and to sell boat trip tickets. The Oldenburg had just finished its 2014 season criss-crossing the Bristol Channel between Lundy and Bideford and the other port from which it operates – Ilfracombe.
The Lundy Office at Bideford
I’ve made two day trips to Lundy during the season and, luckily, enjoyed perfect sailing weather on both. It’s a bit of a slog up the path from the mooring jetty to the village but then level walking along stony or grassy footpaths for wonderful sea views. There’s a shop, a pub and a church. Read more about my day trips here.
Finally we reached our destination : Peppercombe and I will write more about this delightful valley and my brief stay at Bridge Cottage (5) another time.
Evening Arrival at Bridge Cottage