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Madam Butterfly | Luxury Self-Catering | Billingshurst, W Sussex

Madam Butterfly

Billingshurst, West Sussex, UK

This magical dwelling tucked deep into West Sussex woodland near Billingshurst is surrounded by carpets of bluebells and snowdrops; craggy trees cradling the red tiled roof and the treasures that lie within. A self-catering cottage with rustic appeal, Madam Butterfly is like something straight out of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Throw in a plunge pool, pretty pond and four bedrooms dripping in Bohemian eclecticism and guests can live out their fairytale holiday dreams.


There's an unusual fusion within this unique lodge, hidden down a private drive near Billingshurst, in deep countryside. At first glance Madam Butterfly is a storybook cottage, but take a closer look and discover contemporary features dovetailed into the original design, cleverly expanding the space and light, to create a luxury self-catering homestay that's bespoke down to the last detail. Traditional vintage charm combines with boutique flair inside, with many secret spots to sit and absorb the tranquil grounds. Halfway between London and the coast, this hideaway is ideal for anyone wanting a touch of class with their mythical hunter's cottage escape.


With its dual-style storyline, Madam Butterfly will appeal to many tastes. Persian rugs cloak stone floors in the two reception areas, with painted timber ceilings and furnishings upholstered in rich colours; all of this in fascinating contrast to the Scandic-style glass-walled kitchen extension with its bleached wood floors. Four bedrooms make slumberous havens. Picture leaded windows, ornate fireplaces and a master suite taking up the whole of the lower ground floor. On the uppermost floor are two further double bedrooms, one of them en suite. Two rooms have desks for dreamers, while the lower ground master features a fire and bathtub for lovers.


From above, Madam Butterfly is a red-roofed dot amidst dense woodland, with private access through folds of greenery. External features echo the eclectic interior: there's a walled garden with exotic Indian doors and a rose garden with a pagoda, while a smart wooden deck is uplit for night-time dining. Relax in the plunge pool, or pick out a quiet terraced spot for al fresco dining, enjoying the wild location. Venturing back up the drive takes guests into the big wide world once more, where nearby towns yield a scattering of shops selling local produce, and the twinkly blue coast is under an hour by car.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 6 guests
    From £1,450 per week, £1,050 per short break
  • Alternative group optionUp to 2 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThere are three double bedrooms, one with a super king-size bed, one zip-and-link super king-size bed and one king-size bed. One bedroom has an en suite, and the master has a bath in the room itself with a separate WC and shower across the hallway. An additional single bedroom is available on request at a cost of £150 per week or part thereof, sharing a family bathroom with bedroom three.
    View bedrooms
  • FeaturesPlunge pool set to 25 degrees (available between Easter and September)
  • PetsSorry, no pets
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Day: Friday or MondayArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10amTimes may vary due to Covid-19 requirements, please refer to your booking.
  • FamilyYes, children over 12 are very welcome.
  • PracticalitiesMadam Butterfly´s drive is communal and shared with the neighbours on the estate, there is a residence close by and the occupants can be contacted in an emergency. There is parking for up to four cars. The modern kitchen has a large fridge, Aga (unavailable June-Oct), electric oven and hob, microwave, dishwasher and island and the dining table seats up to eight. A separate utility room offers washer, dryer, drying rack and second sink. The house is a 25-minute drive away from Gatwick airport therefore there may be some disturbance, but guests will still enjoy the natural beauty of the house and its surrounds. There is a plunge pool and pond in the garden, so children must be supervised. Due to the characterful nature of the property, there are steps and steep stairs in places which may be unsuitable for those with limited mobility. The gardener tends to the grounds on Mondays and Fridays, weather permitting. No caterers or external suppliers are permitted, and neither are candles. Please note that WiFi can be slow due to the location of the property.
  • Homestay includesLuxury welcome hamper, 42-inch television, WiFi internet, linens and towels, logs and kindling to get you started...House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more little luxuries
  • RestrictionsParties considered on prior permission from the owner
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsCheck mobile signalRecommend to a friend

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A glimpse of the TV room with its majestic blue three-seater sofa
Botanical features and fittings bring the garden from the outside in
Unique artwork on the walls of the living room, with its cosy sofa seating

Prices & Availability

Please note, availability for this property is to be confirmed by Unique Homestays on receipt of your enquiry


Equidistant between Guildford and Brighton, Billingshurst lies in the heart of rural West Sussex. This charming village sits within close reach of the South Downs National Park and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

View on maps


Getting there

  • On the Map Madam Butterfly is in West Sussex, not far from Billingshurst and Horsham, encircled by the Surrey Hills and South Downs.
  • By Car Under two hours drive from central London, and about an hour from several south coastal towns such as Worthing, Brighton and Bognor Regis.
  • By Train The journey time to nearby Billingshurst from London Victoria is just over an hour, with trains running approximately every 30 minutes, followed by a ten-minute cab ride to the house.
  • By Air Gatwick Airport is approximately 30 minutes by car, while Heathrow Airport is around an hour away.

From the owner

“We are so happy with the careful restoration of this old woodland lodge, and we hope the colourful design gives as much visual pleasure as the contemporary details provide comfort. It´s all about comfort and relaxation in style.”

From the owner

When I bought this gamekeeper's cottage about 20 years ago it was in a sorry state. There was no roof, water and no drive. It was quite a tour de force to actually get to the building! Madam Butterfly had been uninhabited and abandoned for 50 years, quite astonishing for a property so close to London.

The majority of fabrics in the house have been picked up from around the world, with the rug in the sitting room incorporating all the colours of the house. The dining room sofa is an essential feature as we like to have comfortable seating when eating, so one can chat and relax. The kitchen is where we spend most of our time, watching the birds and the deer as they amble past.

You may encounter Sidney the Carpathian sheepdog, Didge and Duster the terriers on your walks in the woods. We also have chickens in the orchard one of whom is a cockerel who may well decide to sweetly serenade you in the morning!

I think that good atmosphere and a comfortable, welcoming place to be is what we all yearn for, and that is what I believe Madam Butterfly is.

Pom and The Woodland Skills Team

Owner recommendations

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

Cruise the Causeway, Horsham
To See

Cruise the Causeway, Horsham

Horsham’s legendary picturesque street is charm personified, with a mix of Georgian and Victorian buildings, ancient trees lining the route, and its very own ghost, so they say. Wander the route then pop to Carfax central square for the twice-weekly market.

Watch the barges, Billingshurst
To Do

Watch the barges, Billingshurst

A short drive west is the scenic Wey and Arun Canal, where barges line up for photo opportunities and boat trips are available for those who fancy a day out on the river. Choose from an electric or conventional narrowboat, then sit back and enjoy the ride.

The Blue Ship, Billingshurst
To Eat

The Blue Ship, Billingshurst

For traditional pub grub in a family-run venue, this red-brick inn provides a well-stocked menu for slap-up Sunday roasts or burgers to fuel those country walks. Book in advance as this is a popular spot that fills up fast, with dishes freshly cooked to order.

Fishers Farm Park, Wisborough Green
To Do

Fishers Farm Park, Wisborough Green

Don’t tell the children about this fun theme park unless you can promise to fit in a visit to its tractor rides, mini-golf zone and play parks. There’s more than enough to wear out the most energetic visitor (and parent), and plenty of options for buying food or having family picnics.

Guest Testimonials

What a beautiful week we have had at Madam Butterfly, we´re desperate to stay longer! This trip has truly opened our eyes to the stunning staycations to be had in the UK! We thoroughly enjoyed all the walks around the cottage. A visit to Arundel castle and gardens is an absolute must! Thanks for letting us stay in such a beautiful house, it has been a fabulous week.

A stunning week of sunshine! What a great holiday relaxing in this idyllic spot. The local flora and fauna are stunning, and the peace and quiet most welcome. Do explore the local woods, lots of interesting finds including the Temple of Tranquility, and local deer families! Thank you for a wonderful time.

We spent a magical week at Madam Butterfly celebrating our joint engagements. The cottage is so cosy and the gardens full of wonderful plants and wildlife. The tranquillity was a joy and a welcome rest from London. It is a great place to unwind, cook some great food and enjoy delicious wine with friends and family. Thank you for welcoming us into your home and making it such an enjoyable and memorable stay.


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.

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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.

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