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The Brandy Thief | Family Self-Catering Cottage | Lee, Ilfracombe

Settled within a land famed for smugglers and contraband, where Malibu-scented gorse flowers sweep across the moors before meeting the toiling sea, The Brandy Thief offers sweet relief on the edge of Lee Beach near Ilfracombe. Awash with history and swathed in character, this luxury coastal escape is a dreamy retreat for explorers looking to hunker down in North Devon.

Luxury self-catering home near Ilfracombe, North Devon


What once was an aid to prolific bootlegger Hannibal Richards, acting as a warning of law-abiding authorities on the shore, is now a serene family cottage within tip-toeing distance of the sea. From the jute-lined floors to the timber rafters, personality oozes from the exposed 400-year-old stone, reclaimed barrel and low-slung, studded leather armchair. A pirate’s lair to rival them all, survey the torrid waves on stormy days from the comfort of the window seat, spiced rum and ginger beer in hand, as you plan the great escape.

Bedrooms and Bathrooms

Three bedrooms with original floorboards and gorgeous sea views reside up the narrow stairs so often synonymous with curious cottages in seafaring villages. The twin bedroom, perfect for the littles in the party, flaunts soft sheepskins and exposed wood, while the super king-size zip-and-link next door is a serene place to collapse in after days frolicking on the beach. The master bedroom is the crowning jewel in this Devonshire treasure chest, with a super king-size bed, dual aspect horizon-facing windows and an en suite with rainfall shower. There is also a family bathroom on the first floor, with an antique roll top bath, rainfall shower and WC.


A small but perfectly positioned lawn area sits outside the front of the property facing Lee Bay, providing the most wonderful spot imaginable for afternoon picnics and evenings stargazing to the soundtrack of the waves. The South West Coast Path runs right in front of the property, making exploration of secret coves and lofty clifftops accessible for the whole family. Come nightfall, bask in the glow of the festoon lights on the covered patio, enjoying good conversation with those you love into the small hours.

For Relaxation

Rustling up a family breakfast with a fresh sea breeze washing through the house is enough to set anyone up well for the day, but with the ocean just a hop, skip and a jump over the road, miles of coast path to wander and Exmoor National Park just around the corner, relaxation is all but guaranteed at The Brandy Thief. At the end of the day, head out with the children at low tide to peer into rock pools and build castles in the sand, before cosying down under blankets on snug armchairs, immersed in an old favourite movie.

The Practicalities

There is a free public car park available just 50 yards down the road. The kitchen includes a Smeg fridge-freezer, small fridge, oven, ceramic hob, dishwasher and washer-dryer. Due to the nature of the cottage, there are a few low doors and ceilings throughout and open flames are not permitted. The garden is fronted by a quiet road and is not enclosed; guests are asked to supervise both dogs and children at all times. There is an open brick fire located in the living room, however, this is only a decorative piece and cannot be used due to the fireplace being listed.


  • SleepsUp to 6 guests
    From £1,495 per week, £1,195 per short break
  • Alternative Group OptionUp to 2 guests
  • Your Home Stay IncludesLinen and towelsDigital Property GuideDiscover what else you can look forward to...
  • BedroomsDoubles: One double bedroom with super king-size bedTwins: One bedroom with twin bedsZip Link Beds: One bedroom with super king-size zip-and-link bed
  • BathroomsOne family bathroom with roll top bath, rainfall shower and WC and one en suite shower room with WC
  • FamilyChildren: Children are very welcomeCots: One cot is availableHighchairs: One highchair is available
  • PetsOne well-behaved dog is welcome and two on prior arrangement
    Pets are charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Mod Cons42" Smart TV, Bose Bluetooth speaker, Nespresso coffee machineInternet & Communications: Wi-Fi internet is availableMobile Signal: Check reception maps
  • Arrivals & DeparturesArrival Day: Friday or MondayArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • Other InformationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsRecommend to a friend

Style: With a caramel and cream interior and unrivalled views out to the horizon framed by steep, tumbling cliffs from almost every room, The Brandy Thief is an escape-to-the-sea made of dreams.

Historic smugglers cottage in North Devon for luxury breaksHistoric cottage in Devon with sea viewsLuxury self-catering home on the coast near in Lee near IlfracombeLuxury self-catering homestay on the North Devon coast

Our Take

Property Owners Tina and Tim say

We just love spending early mornings and evenings sitting outside, breathing in the sea air and watching the tide, regardless of the weather. The sunsets are amazing but even the rain and storms can be incredibly spectacular!

Luxury self-catering in Lee, Ilfracombe, North DevonUnique self-catering coastal cottage on the North Devon coast

Unique Extras

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.

Explore extras...

Out & About

Discover places to see and things to do whilst in and around Lee, Devon to truly enhance your stay come rain or shine!

Buckets and Spades With Lee Beach just over the road from The Brandy Thief, the young (and young at heart!) will be entertained for hours; building sandcastles, rockpooling for otherworldly crustaceans and splashing about in the fresh sea waters. A little further afield, Ilfracombe, Woolacombe, Hele Bay and Putsbrough offer gorgeous sands and clear seas.

Explore Exmoor Much less crowded than nearby Dartmoor, but no less beautiful, Exmoor National Park has a wealth of world-class views over every hill and around every corner. Soaring cliffs which pierce the sky and plummet to crashing waves, secret wild swimming spots with only the dragonflies for company and hike upon hike through ancient woodlands and along burbling river banks make this one of England's best-kept secrets.

RHS Rosemoor For green-fingered guests, head to RHS Rosemoor in Torrington for a day of wandering between the roses, picnicking under apple trees and taking inspiration from the kitchen garden for that allotment which so oft' gets forgotten back at home. Be sure to check their busy schedule of events for concerts, flower shows and children's craft days.

Lundy Island A world apart from busy city streets, Lundy Island sits a two-hour boat ride off the coast of Ilfracombe and offers wildlife spotting and walking galore. Stop for lunch in the Marisco Tavern, the only pub on the island before wandering to the lofty heights of sea cliffs, looking out across the ocean and onto America.



North Devon is positively bursting with local farm shops and independent delis, artisan bakeries and seafood picked straight from the ocean every morning. Make the most of The Brandy Thief's al fresco dining area with a tapas supper made up of goodies picked up from Beeshill Farm Shop in Combe Martin and snack the night away as the sun gives way to stars.

In-House Cuisine

If you'd rather spend your luxury self-catering break indulging in the little luxuries, let an in-house chef prepare a mouth-watering meal for your party (on prior request and subject to an additional cost).

Eating Out

Just a five minute walk across the village is The Grampus Inn, a friendly pub with an ever-changing seasonal menu where a strong community spirit and friendly atmosphere welcomes all. Further afield is Noel Corston, an award-winning restaurant sat within the heart of the Biosphere Reserve; only eight guests can eat here per night, so be sure to book!

Luxury smugglers cottage by the sea near Ilfracombe, North DevonHistorical luxury self-catering homestay overlooking the sea in DevonLuxury accommodation by the sea in Lee, North Devon


Luxury Self-Catering Cottages » UK » Devon » Ilfracombe » The Brandy Thief » Overview

Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline only. They are intended to give a fair description, but should not be relied upon as being a statement of fact. The photographs appearing on this website show only certain parts and aspects of the property at the time when the photographs were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed in the photographs. If there are any points of particular importance that need clarifying before you confirm your booking please do not hesitate to ask.

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