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Botania | Arts and Crafts Manor | Unique Homestays

Botania

Ashburton, Dartmoor, Devon, UK

Hundred-year-old granite façades, original Arts and Crafts interiors, and gardens that grow wild with red bells and buttercup roses; if there was ever a place that the “rule of thirds” would approve of, it would be Botania. All at once wrapped in Dartmoor’s mossy-hued clutches and minutes from the good-living village of Ashburton, this photographer's home is a portrait of minimal maximalism that keeps the River Dart in its backyard.

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Introduction

A house that captures a photographer must have a certain kind of enchantment. Perhaps there was something irresistible about its sense of proportion: rooms big enough to dance in and enormous stone mullion windows through which giants could peer. Or maybe it was the labyrinthian blueprint, soft light, and secret doors concealed within wall panels that won over the mischievous image-maker who calls Botania home. Authentic and imagined, curated and foraged; there’s a folkloric feel to this Dartmoor manor that vibrates through each parquet mosaic, fossilised coral, and strawberry thief textile.

Inside

Botania is the analogue antidote to the digital age. With inglenook fireplaces, deep window seats, and a minstrels' gallery that overlooks a triple-height salon, it has all the hallmarks of Ruskin's pared-back, clean-lined ideology. And yet… among this monasticism, little curiosities hint at 21st-century living. There’s a library made for drinking cocoa by the inch, where books on pond life and portraiture sit alongside a Puglian passata bowl, and a Plain English kitchen in a “mash and kipper” palette. Meanwhile, grayscale prints by Szabo and original Abstract Expressionist studies bring contrast to the manor's wise old soul.

Outside

Welcome to a garden with a life of its own. Coal tits nest among the stonework and lilac wisteria braids the balustrades in this botanical landscape that the moors reclaimed. You'll find cuckoo-pints sprouting through gravel, gladiator alliums swaying on spires, and bumblebees doing waggle dances on hyacinths. It wouldn’t be out of place in a Baz Luhrmann film: think “Secret Garden meets Great Gatsby”. If society calls, go to Ashburton, where bunting hangs like tin can telephones between bakers and antique curators. But, with a toe-dipping pond, walks from the door, and a nearby wild swimming river, you'll rush home.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 10 guests
    From £2,950 per week, £2,250 per short break
  • Alternative group optionsUp to 4 or up to 6 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThere are five bedrooms, two on the first floor and three on the second floor, each with either an en suite or dedicated bathroom. There is a ground floor WC.
    View bedrooms
  • PetsTwo well-behaved dogs are welcome
    Each pet is charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Day: Friday or MondayArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyBabies and children are very welcome. One cot and one highchair are available, but there are no stairgates.
  • PracticalitiesThere is ample off-road parking for eight cars. The Plain English kitchen has a four-door Aga with twin plates, a Miele oven, gas twin hob, Sub Zero fridge-freezer, two Bosch dishwashers, and a Quooker boiling tap. There is a utility room with a Miele washing machine and tumble dryer. The soundproofed manor is semi-detached, and the neighbouring manor has its own private parking and gardens. Please note that the garden is not fully enclosed and there are no railings around the ponds, so please exercise due diligence if you are travelling with children and dogs.
  • Homestay includesA luxury welcome hamper, iPad, Wi-Fi internet, Smart TV, Nespresso Vertuo coffee machine with pods, Weber charcoal barbecue, Kadai fire bowl, books and board games, and logs and kindling to get you started.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 questionsEV charger locationsCheck mobile signalRecommend to a friend

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Take brunch outside after a morning spent exploring the wild woodlands
The Arts and Crafts gardens by Thomas Mawson creep with purple wisteria
Siesta anyone?

Prices & Availability

Ashburton

The kind of English village where the postie still tips their hat to the greengrocer, Ashburton is flanked by pastel houses and bursting with independent delis, wine stores, and galleries. Here, you’ll find eateries serving cheddar gnocchi and cafés pouring frothy coffee by the thimble.

View on maps

Ashburton
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Getting there

  • On the Map This Arts and Crafts manor is located just outside of Poundsgate, near Ashburton, within the Dartmoor National Park, perfectly located for exploring the moorland and even the English Riviera.
  • By Car Botania is around 10 minutes from the village of Ashburton, 30 minutes from Totnes, 45 minutes from Exeter, and 4 hours from London.
  • By Train Newton Abbot and Totnes Railway Stations are both 30 minutes away, and Exeter St. David's Train Station is 40 minutes away by car. There are regular direct trains from London Paddington to these stations with a journey time of 2 to 2.5 hours on Great Western Railways.
  • By Air Exeter Airport is 30 minutes from Botania by car.

From the owner

“I describe the interiors as “quintessentially British meets curiously bohemian”; Botania is a fusion of 80´s textiles, curated photography, silverware, books, original artworks, and furniture gathered over 35 years of international travel.”

From the owner

I am so delighted to welcome you to Botania. The Arts and Crafts manor was built between 1903 and 1911 for Major Bolitho, a wealthy financial trader, and the famous landscape artist Thomas Mawson designed the gardens. They hold a very important place within British gardening history and are written about in many books. Specimen rhododendrons, fragrant camellias, and hydrangeas sit alongside enormous redwood cedars, all overlooking the Buckland Beacon.

Enjoy the gardens and views over the valley during the day, then marvel at the night sky without an inch of light pollution. I encourage everyone who visits to walk down to the River Dart and enjoy its year-round glory; any dogs in your party will be in heaven! The brave will spend hours wild swimming, while the rest sit on the banks with a book. There is so much to see and do in the surrounding area: mind-blowing woodland walks, nearby antique shops, the beaches of the English Riviera, and welcoming pubs. But the best times are always had right here at Botania.

Please enjoy a restful, happy stay and let the house show you it's peaceful charm.

Owner recommendations

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

Greenway House and Gardens, Near Brixham

To See

Greenway House and Gardens, Near Brixham

Step inside Agatha Christie´s holiday home on the English Riviera, bimbling between rooms and perusing the author´s collected treasures, personal collection of books, and first edition novels.

Osteria Emilia, Ashburton

To Eat

Osteria Emilia, Ashburton

Tucked inside a former bank in Ashburton, this place brings back memories of favourite Italian suppers: a tiny kitchen, a large table, a scattering of bar seats, and a Michellin-guide menu.

Shilstone Rocks Horse Riding

To Do

Shilstone Rocks Horse Riding

Saddle up and set off on horseback across Dartmoor, perhaps joining one of its herds of wild horses en route. It´s the most authentic and thrilling way to see the moorland.

Ashburton

To See

Ashburton

This characterful town has no less than ten antiques shops, and is the perfect place to while away rainy days. Visit In A Nutshell and Tom´s (a must see), then stop for coffee at Rafikis.

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.

Press

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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