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Exploring Bovey Castle, A Unique Devon Hotel

Our Tour of Bovey Castle - A Stunning Hotel
Posted in: Lifestyle
LeeB
by
A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to a very magical hotel situated on Dartmoor National Park. I would have a guided tour around Bovey Castle, followed by their famous afternoon tea. I could not refuse such an invitation, especially as I would be passing en route to London from a weekend in Cornwall.

The history of the hotel is such an important part of Bovey Castle’s character that it would be unfair of me not to talk you through some of the key chapters. The 400 acres that Bovey Castle sits on was originally bought (along with another 4,600 acres) by William Henry Smith in 1880, when he anticipated the rise in land prices that the arrival of the Great Western Railway would create.

Perhaps better known as W H Smith (of bookshop fame), William had not managed to build anything on the land when he died in 1981. It was William’s son Frederick (2nd Viscount Hambleden) who decided to build the Manor House in 1907 in the style of a Tudor castle. Unfortunately, in 1928 and at sixty years old, Lord Hambleden died and it was decided that the whole estate be put up for auction, in none other than 132 lots.

Bovey Castle in SpringThe Great Western Railway bought the Manor House along with sections of the estate. They funded the redevelopment and extension of the property and constructed the 18-hole J F Abercromby golf course that is still in use today. In 2003, the Manor House became Bovey Castle and since then expansion has continued to occur with the addition of 22 lodges, a spa, an indoor pool and second restaurant.

After leaving Exeter station (only a 2 hour 20 minute train ride from London Paddington) I was driven into the national park to Bovey Castle. The estate is surrounded by breathtaking views, mix this with peacefulness and only the birds singing, and you have such a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of London.

There are so many activities put on at Bovey Castle that I learnt about on my trip that it seems like the perfect getaway for all the family. Falconry, fishing, clay pigeon shooting and golf are some of the activities that make Bovey Castle more than just a hotel. The offering of a SUNDARI spa, wedding services and excellent restaurants gives guests the chance to relax and enjoy all that is on offer.

Bovey CastleMy tour of the hotel, which was refurbished by Annabel Elliot, took me through some of the spectacular 64 bedrooms and into the private dining rooms and Oak Bar. The tour finished in the spectacular Cathedral Room, where champagne and a delicious afternoon tea were served next to a roaring log fire.

Whether it’s the hotel concierge dressed in tweed plus twos, the incredibly beautiful Grand State rooms, or simply a round of golf before dinner that you are after, Bovey Castle lets you escape to another world of beautiful surroundings and fabulous service – making it impossible to stay away.

Rebecca Trant - Farlows Clothing Buyer

Introducing Bovey Castle, a very magical hotel situated on Dartmoor National Park. 

Whether it’s the concierge dressed in tweed plus fours, tea and cake in the incredibly beautiful Cathedral room, a team building away day, or simply a round of golf before dinner that you are after, the Bovey Castle Hotel lets you escape to another world of beautiful surroundings and fabulous service – making it impossible to stay away.

Hotel History

The hotel itself has a rich history, the land was bought by William Henry Smith in 1880, (perhaps better known as W H Smith of bookshop fame), when he anticipated the rise in land prices that the arrival of the Great Western Railway would create. But alas, he had not managed to build anything on the land when he died in 1881. It was William’s son Frederick (2nd Viscount Hambleden) who built the Tudor castle-style Manor House in 1907, which became private residence. 

WIN A 2-NIGHT LODGE STAY WITH SHOOTING AT BOVEY CASTLE

We've teamed up with Bovey Castle Hotel located on Dartmoor National Park to give one lucky person the chance to WIN a two-night stay in a lodge for up to six people complete with a clay pigeon shooting experience and a welcome hamper, in a free-to-enter draw! Entries close at midnight on Sunday 17th September 2023.

When Lord Hambleden died, it was decided that the whole estate be put up for auction, in none other than 132 lots. The Great Western Railway bought the Manor House along with a portion of the estate and funded the redevelopment and extension of the property. They constructed the 18-hole J F Abercromby golf course that is still in use today. 

In 2003, the Manor House became Bovey Castle as it is known and admired today, and development has continued. The resort now boasts 22 self-catering lodges in addition to its 60 spectacular hotel rooms, a PlayZone, TechZone, several corporate meeting rooms, the ELAN spa and studio, plus an indoor swimming pool, sauna, and steam room.

Activities at Bovey Castle

There are many activities on offer at Bovey Castle too. With something for all ages it’s the perfect family getaway. Falconry, fly fishing, clay pigeon shooting, an air rifle range, archery, and golfing are just some of the many pursuits available, and what makes Bovey Castle more than just your average hotel.

Situated in 275 acres of striking landscape and steeped in traditional elegance, it’s a destination for both the ‘adventurer at heart’ and lovers of luxury. Explore the grounds and surrounding moorlands, admire the lakes and rivers, experience the wildlife, then retire to a roaring fire and fine dining in castle grandeur.

Shooting Lodges

Each of their three-bedroom properties are uniquely designed with comfort, simplicity, and relaxation in mind. A fully equipped kitchen gives the foodies the opportunity to get creative with a dinner party or two. If a romantic break is what you are after, curl up in front of a roaring fire with a film and a bottle of wine or enjoy stunning views of the surrounding grounds. When the day is done, retire to one of three luxurious, en-suite double bedrooms, for a restful night’s sleep.

Perfect for families and groups, their lodges are beautifully designed across three floors, with three private double bedrooms and en-suites, providing privacy and peace and quiet. Enjoy summertime BBQs, beautiful winter wonderland views, stunning springtime lakeside walks, and autumnal woodland adventures with self-catering holidays that delight all year around. Your luxury home from home is fully equipped with everything you need for a relaxing staycation in the Devon countryside.

Shooting LodgesShooting Lodges
Shooting LodgesShooting Lodges
Clay Pigeon ShootingClay Pigeon Shooting

Delicious Food and Drink

If you have a passion for great cuisine, the castle can also oblige. Visit for decadent Champagne afternoon tea, dine in one of two splendid restaurants; Smith’s Brasserie or the Great Western, or book a table in our exclusive Tasting Room and sample exceptional local delicacies. What’s more, you don’t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy great food and drink at Bovey Castle, simply book a table and head on down for an afternoon or evening of culinary delights.

Whether you’re looking for school holiday fun, an action-packed adult escape, your dream wedding venue, a romantic getaway, or all of the above, Bovey Castle hotel truly has something for everyone. Take a look their teaser video for a little taste of what awaits!

2023-08-22 16:55:00
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Comments
Alex Fairbairn
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Looks beautiful, what a lovely prize to win, hears hoping.
Walter Sherriff
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I’ve stayed in some beautiful places I’ve fished some wonderful places, but Bovey Castle would trump all of them. It looks absolutely beautiful.
walker Andrew
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Looks amazing
David Kesson
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Looks fantastic, my ideal getaway.
David Robinson
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Looks like a nice quality tranquil place
Linda Goldman
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Thank you for sharing
Jana Kunze-Zwingmann
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I was there 10 years ago with my host family. It was so nice to be able to show this to my kids
Stephen Finlay
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Imagine fly-fishing with the castle in the background........amazing!
Kathy Jeffrey
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I have often visited Devon and I had heard of Bovey Castlee, known to be a high class establishment , I wasn't aware of the history. A must place to visit
Vincent Bates
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Looks amazing great opportunity for all thank you sportsfish as I fish your lakes at theale twice a week great fishing the guys are very knowledgeable in the shop !
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