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Novella | Luxury Self-Catering Cottage | Braunton, North Devon


Braunton, Devon, UK

Looking for all the world like an ancient chapel, this neat cob cottage in Braunton invites imaginations to unfurl; tucked down a country lane and bedecked in botanic prints, vintage embroidery and antique furniture. Novella is a luxury renovation with a hot tub where romancers, writers, or families can enjoy a luxury twist on north Devon's blissful rural surroundings, close to some of the county's best beaches like Saunton and Woolacombe Bay.



Set on a footpath that was once the historic route to nearby Ilfracombe, legend has it that Novella was used as a holding cell during the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685. These days the arched windows and quaint doorways captivate guests who opt to stay within its characterful interior, while on that footpath, ramblers stride out to explore the surrounds. Set in an ancient valley where an orchard produced local cider in a farm press next door; a 400-year-old door leading from the kitchen to the dining area at Novella is a stately historical reminder, and renovations have been sympathetic. This is truly a cottage with a tale to tell (and a hot tub to boot).


There's an eclectic theme to the extraordinary interior of Novella, thanks to the owners' desire to blend country cottage with French chateau style. Layered rugs and unique collectables make a warm and welcoming home with more than a dash of boudoir: drink tea on velvet sofas in the light-filled living room, then play late-night card games in the decadent dining room. With an entire side of the house draped in designer bird-print wallpaper, there's a living wall and fig plants flourishing alongside botanical artwork across four bedrooms, where antique furnishings invite rest and respite.


Enclosed by a walled garden, the verdant setting of Novella is an invitation to immerse yourself in nature, where younger children will enjoy expending excess energy on the trampoline and around the tennis table during summer months. Designed with wild cooking in mind, a covered garden kitchen ensures that you can dine al fresco whatever the weather, with over-flame feasts a year-round indulgence to enjoy. Or simply lace up the walking boots and head to the lush pastures all around. Some of Devon's best beaches are nearby; from Saunton's stretch of golden sand, to Croyde's famed surfing waves, to multi-award-winning Woolacombe

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 6 guests
    From £1,995 per week, £1,450 per short break
  • Alternative group optionUp to 2 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThe house has three bedrooms: a master bedroom with a king-size bed and an en suite bathroom; a double with a super king-size zip-and-link bed and use of the family bathroom; and the third bedroom with a king-size bed and en suite shower room. There is also a small nursery on the upper ground floor.
    View bedrooms
  • FeaturesHot tub, trampoline, table tennis, outdoor kitchen (year-round)
  • PetsTwo well-behaved dogs are welcome
    Each pet is charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyYes, children are very welcome; a highchair and cot are available.
  • PracticalitiesThe kitchen has a fridge-freezer, washing machine, integrated combination microwave oven, Rayburn, induction hob, coffee machine, washing machine, tumble dryer and underfloor heating. Outside, there is a hot tub, big trampoline and a kitchen garden with an integrated gas barbecue, electric lighting and charging points available year-round; the section above this is for the gardener only so does not have guest access. Please note, due to the characterful nature of the property there are sets of stairs that provide access to each bedroom, therefore Novella may not be suitable for the less mobile. The property is accessed via a private, uneven road which is unsuitable for low slung cars.
  • Homestay includesLuxury welcome hamper with Devon cream tea, bottle of fizz, logs and kindling to get you started, linen and towels, Wifi, TV with iPlayer and Amazon Prime, board games, linen bathrobes, land&water toiletries...House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more
  • Private cateringSeeking a celebratory dinner or fully catered escape? Our recommended caterers will work with you to create personalised menus for your stay. Details are shared through our house book on confirming your booking.
  • RetreatsFrom foraging weekenders to crash courses in cold-water therapy, our bespoke retreats bridge the gap between luxury and back-to-nature philosophies. Create a hand-crafted stay that puts connectivity at the fore.
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questions

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The outdoor kitchen is perfect for summer feast nights
The sunken hot tub enjoys garden views
There´s a verdant backdrop to afternoon tea at Novella

Prices & Availability


This pretty north Devon village sits between the market town of Barnstaple and the twinkly blue curve of coast home to Croyde and Woolacombe Bay. Braunton is an ideal location for lazy holidays spent beach-combing and sandcastle-building, while surfers head out to tackle the world-class waves.

View on maps

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Getting there

  • On the Map Novella is located in Braunton, not far from Barnstaple, Croyde beach and Woolacombe Bay.
  • By Car The property is just over four hours from London, an hour and a half from Exeter and two hours from Plymouth.
  • By Train The journey time from London Paddington to Barnstaple via Exeter St David's is approximately three hours, followed by a train to Barnstaple minute bus journey to Novella, from where guests can take a taxi to the house.
  • By Air Exeter Airport is a just over an hour by car, while London's Heathrow Airport is approximately four hours.

From the owner

“The house was originally built somewhere around 1600. Contrary to first impressions, it has never actually been a chapel. It does, however, have a rather charming story.”

From the owner

Novella was owned by the neighbouring manor until around 100 years ago when the deeds of the house were gambled in a game of cards - the house was won by the then tenant. The ancient door in the kitchen that leads to the dining room is said to be over 400 years old and would have originally separated the family from their animals.

We love that the cottage is tucked away yet within walking distance to the centre of Braunton, with its growing range of eateries and easy driving distance to the fabulous beaches.

Whether it´s long walks followed by locally sourced roasts with friends or balmy summer evenings where we sit out and soak up the verdant valley with a cold glass of wine; Novella is filled with happy memories.

We love lighting the fire and curling up in the atrium sitting room, or just watching the clouds through the arched windows and catching a glimpse of the woodpecker who likes to eat from the feeder we hang outside the kitchen window.

The Barry Family

Owner recommendations

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

Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre, Minehead

To See

Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre, Minehead

Not far to the north in Minehead, spend a day encouraging owls and other feathered friends to fly to your gloved hand, or watch a display in action. There’s a café for refreshments and various events happening through the year.

Swim and Surf, Croyde

To Do

Swim and Surf, Croyde

This sparkly strip of sea attracts board-lovers from up and down the country, all hoping to catch that one big roller. Croyde is a beach that’s known for its world-class waves, so beginners might consider having a few lessons to get started.

The Williams Arms, Wrafton

To Eat

The Williams Arms, Wrafton

There´s an olde-world feel to this 16th century free-house with its thatched roof and whitewashed walls. Under the exposed beams, enjoy dishes from the carvery, a burger or sizzling steak, or plate of freshly caught fish.

Museum of British Surfing, Braunton

To Do

Museum of British Surfing, Braunton

If the aqua pull is very strong, this surf-tastic homage to that most fine of sea sports has a good collection of memorabilia, from wet suits to wax. Based in nearby Braunton, the museum has a shop with T-shirts, art and books on the subject.

Guest Testimonials

We had a wonderful stay at Novella, our time was enjoyed by all of the family. It is a beautiful house and a lovely part of the country. I’m sure we will be back one day!

We had the most wonderful time and the property was gorgeous. Communication from Unique Homestays was brilliant. Thank you for making our short break so easy and enjoyable.

The property was fabulous and of a very high specification. We had a lovely welcome with a well-stocked hamper. We will definitely be returning to Novella. Thank you for a lovely stay.

We had a fantastic week at Novella - the property was fantastic and maintained to a high standard. No improvements could be made except that we wished we could have stayed for longer! We may look to book this property again when it is warmer so we can make use of the outdoor area.

Just to say thank you for a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable week. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Novella and we look forward to finding the next fabulous house with Unique Homestays.

Very pretty house in a tranquil location. Novella was a pleasure to stay in. The kitchen is very well equipped. It is very clear that a lot of love has been put into the house’s furnishing.

What a stunning property, we felt so relaxed and at home from the moment we arrived! Everything has been thought of. Thank you for the wonderful hamper, we thoroughly enjoyed it all. We have explored some lovely walks and beaches - Baggy Point to Puttsborough, Heddon Bay, Castle Drogo, Croyde, Saunton and Woolacombe. The Rock Inn is superb and Squires do a fabulous fish and chip supper. We´ve had BBQ´s, cooked in and generally enjoyed every moment of our stay.

Unique extras

From private chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and adrenalin-fuelled retreats, once you’ve booked your stay we’ll introduce you to our owner-recommended suppliers to create a truly bespoke, memorable 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.

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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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