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Live like The Famous Five

As a child, I grew up reading Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton books. I’d imagine that I were a member of The Famous Five group as they went off on all sorts of adventures in the countryside. While the books were very different, they did have one thing in common and that was the fact that most of them had a countryside setting. One of my favourites was ‘Five Go To Smuggler’s Top’ and I can still picture the marshes surrounding Castaway Hill now.

In the 90’s, a new TV series based around the books was aired and while I never watched it, I’m told that one of the most famous settings was a Devonshire farm. You can imagine my excitement when I learned that the original Widmouth Farm was up for sale, although brace yourself, it’s up for a cool £2.75 million.

Like me, you’ve probably noticed that many homes with a connection to fame come with a high price tag – often without many unique selling points to justify their price. Leona Lewis’ LA home is a good example. The good thing about Widmouth Farm is that there’s so much on offer and it isn’t just the main house that you would inherit.

35 acres of farmland and gardens come with a private beach known to have shipwrecks in the water. There are 11 holiday cottages to let and the previous owners have regular customers who return year after year, to bring in an extra income. Just like the visitors, you can benefit from exploring the nearby coves and caves, only all year round.

But it’s the main living quarters that you’d be most interested in. The house is sectioned off from the 11 cottages by a stone curved wall and the interior embraces traditional hand-carved panelled doors with Japanese oak. The main hall has a deep recessed brick fireplace across from a timber staircase leading to a galleried landing on the first floor. It’s a design that’s rich in history and character.

I find that while individual rooms can look impressive, the house can suffer if it’s too much of a contrast moving from one room to another. This isn’t a problem here as the lounge continues the oak panelling while also extending it to the floor. As you’d expect though, it’s still the view that makes the room – looking out onto Widmouth Bay and a large field.

If you spend a lot of the time in the kitchen, you’ll love the chestnut timber cabinets together with granite countertops and you’ll probably also love the hazelnut nuttery and garden vegetable patch that come as part of the package. I like the idea of relaxing in the garden hot tub after a hard day’s work or just spending time on the flagstone patio.

Keen gardeners can appreciate the camellia garden and if you’re not so green-fingered but like wandering amongst trees, you’ll love the three orchards – and the fact that the camellia plant doesn’t need much sunlight to grow, only acidic soil.

Of course, if the house wasn’t enticing enough, there’s always the chance to uncover buried gold and jewellery along the coast. If you believe the rumours that is!

All credit for images goes to Zoopla. To view more photos of the property and find out more information, visit the property’s page listing

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