Bovey Castle: A majestic retreat amidst Devon’s beauty nestled on the edge of Dartmoor National Park

ByAndrea Thompson

April 3, 2024

Built in 1906, Bovey Castle is a baronial granite country house built by architect Detmar Blow. Originally built for Frederick Smith, the heir to the stationery magnate William Henry Smith (WH Smith). The house was known as North Bovey Manor House.  In 1930 it became a hotel, extensions were added to enhance it grandeur and operated by Great Western Railways.

In 2003, the estate was sold to the notorious entrepreneur Peter de Savary, who refurbished and renamed it Bovey Castle. Currently under the ownership of The Eden Hotel Collection, the Estate has undergone a £3.5 million refit yet has preserved its period features, such as the grand stone fireplaces, majestic mahogany staircases, decorative plaster ceilings, wood panelling, and mullioned windows.

Bovey Castle redefines luxury with an open-door policy for muddy dogs, children, and hikers. The staff, often clad in tweed plus-fours, are conversational, amiable, and knowledgeable about the vicinity. Should there be anything they don’t know, they will readily research it for you, as they believe no request is too troublesome.

With 60 individually designed rooms within the castle, the rooms are decorated in delicate taupe’s greys, sage greens and pinks, with elaborate fabrics and metallic wallpapers. Amenities include large TV, mini fridge, kettle, complimentary bottled water, decanter of estate-made sloe gin, safe, slippers and robes. Bathrooms are immaculate with walk-in showers and roll-top baths, all stocked with ESPA toiletries.  There are also 22 three storey country lodges within the grounds.

Facilities include a heated swimming pool and whirlpool with deckchairs overlooking the grounds, steam room, sauna and gym, while the ESPA Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. There is an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a croquet pitch, archery and rifle range, putting green, helipad and beautiful lakeside walks to be had. Every morning there’s a free falconry display and other activities include fishing, horse riding and sloe gin making.

Named after their former owners, The Great Western Grill specializes in local produce, offering aged Dartmoor beef and fresh coastal fish, while Smith’s Brasserie presents a selection of delectable Mediterranean-inspired dishes and pub classics, complemented by a well-stocked bar.

Right on the doorstep lies 368 square miles of wilderness, sprinkled with Stone Age stone-hut circles, ancient clearings, moorlands blanketed in heather and roamed by wild horses, and timeless villages. A 20-minute stroll along a forested river leads to North Bovey, a picturesque 13th-century thatched village, or a 15-minute drive takes you to Chagford, a town renowned for its culinary delights.

Bovey Castle stands as a testament to timeless elegance and captivating history where nature and beauty converge.