[Skip to Navigation] | [Skip to Content]

The Riddle | Luxury Self-Catering Cottage | North Bovey, Dartmoor

The Riddle

North Bovey, Dartmoor, Devon, UK

Plot your country escape to this luxury self-catering holiday cottage in North Bovey, set within the rugged beauty of Dartmoor National Park. A roll top bathtub, twinkling chandeliers and a pillar box red Aga wrapped up beneath a treacle-tinted thatched roof, all make The Riddle the type of luxury cottage you will be lusting about long after you leave. Dog-friendly Devon holidays have never been so dreamy.


The Riddle sits just off the village green in Dartmoor's beautiful North Bovey amongst an assembly of immaculate thatched cottages and a sweet 14th century church. Once home to wool farmers and later a post office as part of WH Smith’s family estate, you cannot help but fall in love with the owners' quirky touches in their stylish yet sympathetic renovation. Local antiques, vintage trunks and even a secret floorboard compartment (accessed only by those clever enough to solve the riddle on the original Dartmoor prison lock) make this luxury holiday cottage all very Sherlock!


Wake up to dulcet countryside melodies and sip coffee in the comforting cradle of the sofa. After long walks in the fresh air with your dogs in tow and an Aga-cooked supper, those who want to watch a film can retreat to the snug. A blissful no-television zone, the sitting room features a deep fur rug and squishy sofas - a sanctuary for old-fashioned socialisation. Providing sheer bliss at the end of the day, three divinely designed bedrooms boast king-size beds and pure French linens. As well as a family shower room, two bedrooms enjoy Jack-and-Jill access to a bathroom with roll top bathtub.


North Bovey grips the south-east side of Dartmoor within a compelling landscape of wooded glades, butterscotch-coloured moorland and rolling green pastures peppered with fluffy white sheep. Look forward to moorland horse riding, rustic pub lunches and afternoons spent lazing in the glorious English country garden to the back of the cottage, where there is a patio area and enclosed lawn. With herbs in the garden and local produce such as Devon honey, eggs and lamb available in the village, country living never came so easy. For extra indulgence, spend a day being pampered in the spa at nearby Bovey Castle.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 4 guests
    From £1,495 per week, £1,095 per short break
    Day hire options are available
  • Alternative group optionUp to 2 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsOn the first floor you will find two double bedrooms with king-size beds, and a further double bedroom with king-size bed which is available for an additional £150. There is a ground floor WC, first floor family shower room with WC, and first floor Jack-and-Jill bathroom with WC and roll-top bath with handheld shower attachment
    View bedrooms
  • PetsTwo well-behaved dogs are welcome, or three on prior request.
    Each pet is charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Day: Friday or MondayArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10amTimes may vary due to Covid-19 requirements, please refer to your booking.
  • FamilyBabes-in-arms up to six months and children over six years are very welcome. One travel cot and one highchair are available. Please note that families with children should take care around the steep drop in the garden.
  • PracticalitiesThere is driveway parking for one car with overspill for additional cars around the green. The country kitchen has an Aga, Miele coffee machine, fridge-freezer, dishwasher and washing machine. The dryer is in the outbuilding and there is an outside tap for muddy dogs. The cottage accommodates a maximum of four guests, but these guests can use the third bedroom for an additional £150. As well as the electric fire there is underfloor heating in the bathrooms and kitchen
  • Homestay includesA challenging Sherlock Holmes inspired riddle to play, luxury welcome hamper, dog-friendly goodies, 50" Smart TV, Blu-ray DVD player, Sonos sound system, Netflix, iPad, WiFi internet, gas barbecue, luxury linen and towels, bath salts.House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more little luxuries
  • Additional extrasA handpicked selection of unique experiences are available at this property.
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsCheck mobile signalRecommend to a friend

Get in touch

Enquire Book

Cook up a storm in the Aga
This charming country cottage oozes character in one of Devon´s idyllic villages
The dreamy bedroom with king-size bed and easy access to the family bathroom

Prices & Availability

North Bovey

Tucked deep into Dartmoor National Park, North Bovey is a walker´s haven, with rolling green pastures, wooded glades and miles of heathery moorland to orienteer through, plus dozens of chocolate-box towns to explore.

View on maps

North Bovey

Getting there

  • On the Map The Riddle is located in the pretty Devon village of North Bovey, Dartmoor, Devon.
  • By Car From London, take the M4 toward Bath, take M5 South and follow the directions provided to the property.
  • By Train Newton Abbot train station is 30 minutes away and Exeter St David's Station around 40 minutes away, both with regular services to London Paddington.
  • By Air The property is around a 30 minute drive from Exeter Airport.

From the owner

“We will never forget the first time we arrived in North Bovey; walking up from the riverbanks to find this wonderful 13th century village - it was love at first sight! We can´t wait to share it with you.”

From the owner

Our cottage is part of an original Dartmoor Longhouse and some structures date back to medieval times. Believed to have been built by wool farmers, the animals would have walked through a passage which is now the kitchen galley, into stables at the rear of the garden.

The cottage has been one of the most photographed houses in Dartmoor and we have found many photographs and postcards featuring The Riddle. 

Inspired by the surrounding natural beauty, we've tried wherever possible to use original Dartmoor materials inside the cottage. Dartmoor National Park is one of the UK's largest remaining wildernesses and there are many paths and trails from the village. The sandy coves of South Devon and North Cornwall are also not far.

Hound Tor, which is very close by, near the village in Manaton, is rumoured to have inspired Conan Doyle in the writing of "The Hound of the Baskervilles". In honour of his famous detective we have created our own small mystery in the cottage to be solved.

Iris & Chris

Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in North Bovey with an insider’s perspective.

Ring of Bells, North Bovey
To Eat

Ring of Bells, North Bovey

One of the owners´ favourites, the Ring of Bells is a traditional pub serving good west country real ales, a specially selected wine list and a menu that changes daily. A popular watering hole for locals and visitors alike, and dog-friendly too.

Ancient Towns and Villages
To Do

Ancient Towns and Villages

Nearby Moretonhampstead´s history goes back to Saxon times, while the ancient stannary and former mining town of Chagford oozes olde-worlde charm. For foodies and shopaholics, the cathedral city of Exeter is the place to be.

Bovey Castle Golf Course
To Do

Bovey Castle Golf Course

The golf course at Bovey Castle is a challenging 18-hole championship course, designed in 1926 by J F Abercromby, one of the finest British golf course designers of the last century. Polish your swing and enjoy the views!

To See


Dartmoor National Park has towns and villages a-plenty to explore; from brooding Princetown and picturesque Widecombe-in-the-Moor to tiny Postbridge and genteel Chagford. In between lies a natural playground full of possibilities.

Guest Testimonials

A perfect week! We do not think we have ever had such a relaxing holiday as this one. There are many beautiful walks to explore and the local town provided us with everything we needed. The local pub has been frequently visited during our time here! The cottage has been perfect and blissful. Thank you for everything!

A wonderful cottage in a fabulous location. The facilities in the cottage are amazing with lovely, friendly neighbours, village residents and pub. The garden is beautiful and ideal for dogs! Well-equipped kitchen and diner for cooking, but the pub food was so good. Some lovely touches in the cottage, and Betty loved the dog treats too, thank you for this. The snug is so cosy in the evenings, we spent most nights watching Netflix. Thank you, we will be back!

After threading our way through the narrow lanes in the dark of December, what a welcome it was to see the soft lights glowing from the cottage windows and to come in to the cosy warmth of this beautiful home. It has been a fantastic week of tramping the moors, climbing the tors, exploring Teign Gorge, and trying to find Bovey Castle in the fog. We enjoyed solving The Riddle, cooking on an Aga, and evenings lounging by the fire. A very peaceful and relaxing week in perfect surroundings. Thank you, we had everything we could possibly need and more!

Thank you for having us to stay in your beautiful home. We love the cosy white on white interior, and such fun to find out about the cottage´s history. We simply fell in love with this village and its friendly residents. We had some lovely walks up the Tors despite the rain! Our little pup looked hilarious in the giant dog bed; he loved it!

It´s been a wonderful week! The cottage is an absolute pleasure and North Bovey is definitely the quiet oasis I was hoping for. It’s easy to lose hours sitting at the kitchen table or in the garden watching the birds. On a clear night, the stars are abundant, best viewed by taking a stroll around the village green, cuppa in hand. The walk along the river to Bovey Castle quickly became a daily ritual. I had so many places I wanted to explore but the cottage has a way of drawing you back to enjoy sitting beside the fire with a book or a long soak in the bath.

Many thanks for letting us stay in your beautiful cottage. The first word when we opened the door was wow, and the surprises just kept on coming! We didn´t explore due to the weather but we really didn´t mind as it was lovely just staying in and being able to relax. We loved cooking with the Aga, I now want one! We would love to visit again, thank you so much for the goodies too.

We’ve had the most enjoyable holiday in your beautiful property, which is truly a home-from-home. The Riddle is such a delightful place to stay, with everything you could possibly need for a wonderful break. We thoroughly enjoyed cooking on the Aga! Our dogs have loved it too, thank you for all the thoughtful treats, toys and beds for them. They’ve loved the cool stone floor in the hot weather! The village is so peaceful and the pub very hospitable! Dartmoor is absolutely stunning! Many thanks again, and wishing you all the best.

How wonderful and idyllic The Riddle and the village of North Bovey are. We have loved every moment of our four weeks here, the peace, the walks, the lovely pub! The Riddle is a truly enchanting cottage both old and rustic and luxurious and quirky. We have fallen under its spell and hope to be back.

Thank you for the use of your cottage for a very enjoyable holiday. We cottage has been beautifully restored to the highest of standards and the facilities are second to none! We have never used an Aga but now we are converts. We cracked the riddle and opened the safe, the contents of which will remain a secret.

What a beautiful cottage in a wonderful village - a really relaxing getaway. The first half of the week was beautiful blue skies and sunshine, and then came the snow! The walk along to Bovey Castle is a delight. We spent the week walking on the moors and cosying up in front of the log burner in the evenings after a drink at the Ring o´ Bells pub on most evenings. We will be back!

Our London based ´rat race´ pace of life needs places like this for some relaxation. I am now retiring very early to a cottage, a cottage just like this. I´m already using the Wi-Fi to search for similar properties. I´m so in love with this lifestyle. Thank you for giving us a life changing experience.

I wonder if you might consider selling your lovely cottage to us!? I spent far too long pretending this was really our home! We had the most wonderful stay, the cottage is just beautiful and so perfectly presented. The Riddle is a fantastic feature. Thank you once again and congratulations on such a wonderful and inviting home.

A very pleasant time was had by all - lots of walking and plenty to find in the local area. The Riddle has been a welcome break from the stresses and strains of everyday life. The cottage is warm and welcoming with excellent facilities.

This beautiful chocolate box thatched roof home is a credit to the owners. We have been travelling around Ireland, Cornwall and Devon for the past month so arriving in this Tranquil part of Dartmoor was a real break for us. Cooking a roast on the Aga was a real thrill as it brought back so many memories from my childhood. We just loved everything about your beautiful home from home, from the gorgeous interior to the peaceful location.

I spent far too long pretending this was really our home! Would you consider selling your lovely cottage to us!? We had the most wonderful stay - the cottage is just beautiful and so perfectly presented. It took us four days and few bottles of red, but we did finally solve the riddle! Thank you and congratulations on such a wonderful home.

What a beautiful cottage. We all loved it, especially Felix our dog, who enjoyed splashing in the water and chasing squirrels on his morning walk along the river behind the church. Our grandsons enjoyed trying to solve the riddle (still trying). Wish we could stay long, its been wonderful.

Thank you so much for letting us stay in your wonderful cottage. Despite the weather we had a brilliant time, did not venture too far as we loved it here. My husband loved using the aga, my daughters favourite was the coffee machine and mine was the bath and log fire. My other daughter had to be pried from the snug. The dogs were really happy here and enjoyed the walks by the river. We are really sorry to leave after a restful days and hope to come again one day. We solved the riddle but I think it was more luck than judgement.

Thank you for a wonderful stay in your home. We enjoyed some wonderful walks with our dogs, long soaks in the bath, watching the birds in the garden and snuggling up by the fire. Thank you.

We all loved the cottage, the attention to detail that has gone into the decor. We all enjoyed trying to solve the "riddle", my grandsons loved the tv room and it was so nice to be able to take our big German Shepherd into a lovely house and not feel we had to be on tenterhooks. Thank you for the dog treats and special canine touches. We will definitely book with you again.

An incredible property in a gorgeous location. The interior exceeded our expectations and the arrival of a hamper to help us settle in was fantastic. We would definitely stay again and would recommend the cottage to anyone looking for a romantic and uniquely stylish home from home

A lovely stay in a beautiful cottage, real home from home. This was Murphy´s first holiday, seven month old retriever pup! Had a fabulous time on the moors, rivers and the sea and we enjoyed it too!

Thank you for having us in your beautiful cottage. It makes us appreciate the British countryside. We have seen quite a bit of the UK, but the narrow roads of Dartmoor are a new experience for us..We are proud to say we managed to solve the intricate riddle, though it took us a few days all together.It has been wonderful. Thank you.

We wish we had stayed longer than a week as we discovered so many places.The dogs had the best time on their walkies! We just loved the kitchen and the cottage is just so welcoming. We had a truly great stay.

Thank you so much for the lovely stay in your wonderful cottage - such a peaceful and heart opening place! Everything was perfect during our stay which was far too short. We will be back!

We came all the way from Los Angeles to stay in this beautiful old cottage. We enjoyed the house and watching movies in the lovely TV room, reading in the living room and relaxing with a cream tea in the kitchen. We thank you all for this lovely place!

We have had the most wonderful Easter weekend in your beautiful home. The house, the area, everything was like a slice of paradise. We couldn´t have been in a more picturesque place if we tried, a perfect place to escape the city.

Thank you so much for a wonderful stay at The Riddle. The peace and tranquility is just what we needed. The little walk down to the river set on the stepping stones is an absolute must, especially when the sun is at Castle Bovery - a little treat. Castle Drogo - great for walks and some history.The housekeeper was also brilliant!

We have had a wonderful stay at The Riddle. Everything has been thought of so all you have to do is relax and enjoy this beautiful cottage. Just wish we could have stayed longer. Thank you!

We have very much enjoyed our week in your lovely cottage. It has been so relaxing and what a view to wake up to each morning! We enjoyed the local walks from the red book on sunny autumnal days and log fires relaxing and reading in the evenings. Perfect break which was much needed. Thanks again!

We have had such a good time at The Riddle. Beautiful cottage! Dartmoor is a great area for long walks and the dogs loved it (and they loved the sheep!). The Warren Inn is a perfect pit stop and we also really liked The Rugglestone Inn in Widecombe and Peter Tavy Inn, all of them dog-friendly.

We have had a delightful stay in this wonderful house. We enjoyed solving the riddle - great fun! Our favourite day was a trip to Dittisham where we enjoyed stand up paddle boarding on the dart followed by a seafood treat at Rockfish in Dartmouth. Thank you for a lovely week.

We have had a wonderfully relaxing stay at The Riddle. The cottage is fantastic and it is so welcoming. The area is brilliant for exploring with the dog, we loved Chagford, Castle Drogo plus many more. There is still so much to see we hope to be back! Thank you

We have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our stay in your truly wonderful home. Great location, great home and a wonderful welcome hamper on arrival. We will definitely be coming back!

We´ve really enjoyed staying in North Bovey and your lovely cottage. The decor is beautiful and you really have thought of everything! As we had the dog with us we have explored the area and dog-friendly places to eat- there are lots to choose from! Thanks for a great base to explore this beautiful part of the country!

Thank you for sharing your perfect cottage with us. We have enjoyed every moment of our stay and would have loved to stay for longer. The interiors are beautiful and we could tell how much thought had been put in to creating such a wonderful home. The kitchen was fabulous, we even used an Aga for the first time. In the evening there was nothing better to do than snuggle up in the fantastic cinema room to watch a film. Thank you so much!

The Riddle was a lovely place to stay. We had a very relaxing weekend, the property had a high standard throughout and was very well equipped compared to other holiday homes we´ve stayed at. The snug with the sofa and TV was a lovely addition to the lounge.

Unique extras

Enhance your stay with a unique experience from one of our preferred suppliers. From professional in-house chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and wine delivered to the door, see what’s on offer for your bespoke escape.


Below are a selection of features in which Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

Not quite what you're looking for?

Find properties:

All Properties > UK > Devon > North Bovey > The Riddle

Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

Follow us @uniquehomestays


[Top of Page]

We use a small number of cookies on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to their use. More information