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Watermark | Luxury Waters’-Edge Home | Stoke Gabriel, Devon

Watermark

Stoke Gabriel, Totnes, Devon, UK

Many tides ago, a boat repair workshop stood on this spot by the River Dart. One by one, the long-petioled willows, sessile oaks, and ancient yews of the woodland grew up, and Watermark became part of the forest. More than 200 years later, it’s been reimagined as a luxury waters’-edge home by a Sydney girl and Surrey boy, with big windows and a hot tub terrace that lend themselves to sipping good wine, living on tidal time, and waiting for the splash of seals.

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Introduction

For the owners of Watermark, there was nothing to lose when this peaceful riverfront home came on the market while they just so happened to be in Devon, daydreaming of living on the water. What followed was a major renovation that involved installing the finest “disappearing” windows in Europe, and sagely retaining the quirks of an 1800s boathouse. Between microcement and one-of-a-kind balustrades made in the city, there’s an urban lilt to the project. But, bringing Australian influence to the utterly English creek, the red stone home is very much in cahoots with the great outdoors; expect canoes instead of cars, children crabbing on the causeway, and chic shacks serving St. Ewe eggs and lemon-thyme wine.

Inside

In the middle of a South Hams AONB, just paces from one of the prettiest villages in Devon, there are very few references that point to Watermark being on the edge of Stoke Gabriel. Almost everything is worldly, modern, and made-to-order; a work desk crafted in Poland, bark paper artwork made in the mountains of Mexico, and a self-designed kitchen from across the way in Newton Ferrers. The luxury waters’-edge home is filled with light and clean lines, with little to distract. It's as if a therapist found a citadel and decided to stay. With breakaway spaces and a balcony that appears to float over the River Dart at high tide, staying here feels a bit like being out to sea without a paddle (nor want of one).

Outside

Like a scene from an Enid Blyton story, it’s not uncommon to see rewilded children bounding along the pontoon in single file, claiming colourful skiffs as their ships, and making expeditionary lunches of bakewell flapjacks and fresh brioche from The River Shack. Adults, too. After all, it’s the kind of place you come to be young and free. The experience of living in the "Jewel of the River Dart" is enhanced by all sorts of gentle hobbies, which take the form of paddle board yoga, twitching for osprey, and taking to the water in tandem kayaks. You needn’t be in a luxury resort in the Maldives to experience swanky swim-up living: it’s all here in Stoke Gabriel. Why walk when you can paddle for your Pinot Noir?

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 4 guests
    From £1,995 per week, £1,495 per short break
  • Alternative group optionUp to 2 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThere are two bedrooms, both on the second floor, and both with en suites. There is a ground floor WC.
    View bedrooms
  • FeaturesHot tub
  • PetsSorry, no pets
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyBabies and children are very welcome. One cot and one highchair are available.
  • PracticalitiesParking for one car is available opposite The River Shack café, less than 50 metres from the property. There is additional parking in the adjacent café car park, which is free from October to April and £6 a day during peak seasons. The kitchen has an oven, induction hob, dishwasher, two under-counter fridges (one with small freezer), microwave, washing machine, and tumble dryer. There is underfloor heating throughout the ground floor and en suites. Please note that the property’s waterfront aspect and authentic architectural features require guests to exercise due diligence if travelling with children.
  • Homestay includesA luxury welcome hamper, iPad, Wi-Fi internet, 65” Smart TV with Sky Q (all Sky channels and apps including Netflix and Amazon Prime), Nespresso Magimix, coal barbecue, books and board games, luxury bed linens, towels and bathrobes, and fuel for the bio ethanol log burner 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.
  • Eco-friendlyBioethanol wood burner and underfloor heating
  • RestrictionsParties considered on prior permission from the owner.
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questions

Get in touch

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Despite its modernity, the interiors have retained a tactile, soft quality
Come rain or shine, the window seats offer the best view in the house
Watermark presents little focus spaces for reading and writing

Prices & Availability

Stoke Gabriel

Within touching distance of the English Riviera and across the pond from award-winning vineyard Sandridge Barton, Stoke Gabriel is a pretty town on the River Dart; think water sports, seafood, and Champagne every lunch.

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Stoke Gabriel
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Getting there

  • On the Map This luxury waters'-edge home is located on the River Dart in Devon's Stoke Gabriel, ideally located for visiting the South Hams and English Riviera.
  • By Car Watermark is 15 minutes from Totnes, one hour from Exeter and Plymouth, two hours from Bristol, and four hours from London by car.
  • By Train Totnes and Paignton are 15 minutes away by car. There are regular trains from London Paddington to Paignton via Newton Abbot with a journey time of three-and-a-half hours on Great Western Railways.
  • By Air Exeter Airport is 40 minutes away, and Cornwall and Bristol Airports are two hours away by car.

 

From the owner

“The sheer joy of this house is its openness to the river, and the opportunity it presents to be a part of the movement of an ever-changing landscape. We are so lucky to have five unique outdoor areas from which to watch it unfold.”

From the owner

Our home reflects a unique blend of influences. One of us grew up in the vibrant beauty of Sydney, the product of a creative New Zealand-Italian mother, and a perfectionist Canadian-Polish father. The other is born in Leicestershire and raised in Surrey, and learned to balance British reserve with Australian exuberance!

We particularly love the five outdoor areas of Watermark: the garden with a bench to watch the water activities, the ground floor balcony, the main bedroom balcony with its stunning Dart River views, the side terrace, and the rear garden with a bench offering views over the Mill Pool. Even on rainy days, you can watch from the living room or the bay window in the main bedroom.

The property overhangs the water, with kayak, canoe, and paddleboard hire just 20 meters from our gate. The River Shack café, named one of the "21 Best Places to Eat in Devon" by The Times, is just a stone’s throw away and serves excellent food.

We love sitting on the balcony with a glass of wine or a book, expecting our reading to be interrupted by all sorts of human and animal play on the river. We hope you feel at home here, and embrace all of the restorative qualities of riverside living.

Nigel and Karen

Owner recommendations

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

The River Shack, The Quay

To Eat

The River Shack, The Quay

Full of delicious plates and interesting wines, The River Shack sits on the quay in Stoke Gabriel and serves food for the entire group; woodfired pizzas, salads, burgers, brioche, and pancake stacks. The ideal spot to sit, sip, and watch the swimmers.

Water sports, Stoke Gabriel

To Do

Water sports, Stoke Gabriel

You can hire kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes right outside Watermark. This part of the River Dart is so peaceful, but also so joyful; children crabbing, people doing yoga on their boards, and everyone making the most of waterfront living.

Circa, Sandridge Barton

To Eat

Circa, Sandridge Barton

Located inside an old stone milking parlour, a legacy of the dairy farm that it once was, Circa is all about showcasing the best produce from the estate and the local area. Think wonderful food and lovely wine grown only a stone’s throw away.

Swimming in the River Dart

To Do

Swimming in the River Dart

Stoke Gabriel and several other areas on the River Dart have been designated as bathing water sites. The most energetic swimmers dive off the pontoon, and the lucky are occasionally joined by the seals which sometimes frequent the area.

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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