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Hotel Highlights

  • Impeccably restored fishing lodge styled by Tresanton's Olga Polizzi
  • Dartmoor and Tamar River location; perfect for walking, riding, fishing
  • Delicious English dining using local and regional produce


Guests at the Hotel Endsleigh are, while style-conscious, more Boden than Balenciaga, as you would expect of a clientele who choose to weekend in this remote and beautiful valley between Devon's Dartmoor and Cornwall's Bodmin Moor. The house, a grade I-listed shooting-and-fishing lodge, is insanely pretty, and the setting is magical: it is easy to see why the Bedford family, who at the time owned a third of Devon, decided in 1812 that this was the prettiest spot in the county on which to build their house.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Hotel Endsleigh with us:

Afternoon tea for two, with freshly cut sandwiches, various cakes, scones served with clotted cream and jam, and a pot of tea


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Hotel Endsleigh – Devon – United Kingdom

Need To Know


16, including two suites and a gatekeeper’s lodge.


11am. Check-in, 2pm, but if you arrive earlier the porter can take care of your luggage while you explore.


Double rooms from $303.41 (£200), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include a full English breakfast.


Two-night minimum stay at weekends.

Hotel closed

The hotel closes for two weeks every January.

At the hotel

The lodge is set in 108 acres of soul-enriching woodland and gardens, including a stretch of the Tamar river and a croquet lawn. Massages can be booked with 24 hours’ notice. Library, free WiFi, badminton, table tennis, games. Rooms have flatscreen TVs, DVD players, and CD players on request.

Our favourite rooms

Room 8 has a marvellous garden view, as does Room 5, which also overlooks the river. You can see the river and the garden from the bathroom of Room 3. Suite 1 on the ground floor has direct access to the gardens through French doors. The Gatekeeper’s Lodge has private, enclosed gardens, and a fridge for keeping that champagne ice-cold.

Packing tips

Outdoorsy gear.


Massages can be booked with 24 hours’ notice. Picnics, horse riding, archery, clay-pigeon shooting, falconry, fishing, private guides, Pilates/yoga instruction and bicycle hire can all be arranged (some activities require advance notice).


Many rooms at this family-friendly hotel have space for an extra child’s bed (£30) or cot (free). Three of the suites have sofa-beds, suitable for teenagers or extra adults (£30). Babysitting and listening can be arranged.

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Food & Drink

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Hotel Endsleigh – Devon – United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

There are two dining rooms serving Modern European cuisine, using organic and locally sourced ingredients. The menu changes regularly to reflect the seasons.

Hotel Bar

There is a 24-hour honesty bar, which includes a great selection of wines.

Last orders

Lunch, 2.30pm; afternoon tea, 5.30pm; dinner, 10pm.

Room service

Drinks and tea available 24 hours a day. Light snacks (fruit platters, smoked salmon) available, 7am–11pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Groomed, but relaxed.

Top table

In the larger dining room, ask for a table overlooking the croquet lawn. For an intimate dinner, the Quiet Room seats up to four and looks onto the pretty parterre. Outside, there’s a nice sheltered nook on the Long Border Terrace.

Local Guide

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Hotel Endsleigh – Devon – United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Walks through the grounds and, nearby, falconry courses, bike rental, archery and clay-pigeon shooting. Hotel Endsleigh’s spectacular location in the Tamar Valley on Dartmoor’s western edge makes enjoying the great outdoors as easy as falling off a picturesque, ivy-clad log. A particularly peaceful way to get an eyeful of all that outstanding natural beauty is from the water: Canoe Tamar (+44 (0)845 430 1208) organises outings upriver from Morwellham Quay to Weir Head – you’ve a good chance of spotting kingfishers, otters, falcons and even the occasional seal. Yacht rental is also available locally from April to September.

Local restaurants

Mix a passionate chef with local produce, an organic kitchen garden and breathtaking valley views, and you’ve got The Horn of Plenty in Gulworthy (+44 (0)1822 832528) has its own organic kitchen garden, and a national reputation for its delicious food. The Harris Arms in Portgate (+44 (0)1566 783331) is another award-winning gastropub option for locally sourced, home-made food. An hour’s walk along the River Tamar gets you to Horsebridge, where you can rest your legs and wet your whistles at The Royal Inn (+44 (0)1822 870214).

Local bars

At the Dartmoor Inn in Lydford (+44 (0)1822 820221), a series of small, airy and very chic dining rooms provide the setting for food cooked with love and imagination. The small bar does its own version of pub classics with a twist.  There’s a wine bar and brasserie at Browns Hotel (+44 (0)1822 618686), where Modern British dishes are given a Gallic touch.

Local cafés

In Tavistock, Donella’s (+44 (0)1822 612888) is a stylish café housed in a former dairy.

+ Enlarge
Unspoilt Devonshire woodland

Hotel Endsleigh

Hotel Endsleigh, Milton Abbot, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 0PQ, United Kingdom


The nearest airport is Exeter, just over an hour away.


Trains from London Paddington run to Exeter, an hour's drive from the hotel, and Plymouth, 45 minutes away.


The drive west from London and the Midlands will take at least three and a half hours, using the M5 and the A30.


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Hotel Endsleigh – Devon – United Kingdom
Hotel Endsleigh
Hotel Endsleigh Hotel Endsleigh Milton Abbot Tavistock Devon PL19 0PQ Devon United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by , Front-row fashionista

Rating: 10/10 stars
This review of Hotel Endsleigh in Devon is taken from our latest guidebook, Mr & Mrs Smith: Hotel Collection – UK/Ireland Volume 2. You don't know what people-watching is until you've taken pre-dinner drinks in the bar of a smart weekenders' hotel. Forget catwalk shows, forget singles' nights – nowhere do guests check each other out with quite the same fervour witnessed over gin a…
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Hotel Endsleigh

Anonymous review by Jess Cartner-Morley, Front-row fashionista

This review of Hotel Endsleigh in Devon is taken from our latest guidebook, Mr & Mrs Smith: Hotel Collection – UK/Ireland Volume 2.

You don't know what people-watching is until you've taken pre-dinner drinks in the bar of a smart weekenders' hotel. Forget catwalk shows, forget singles' nights – nowhere do guests check each other out with quite the same fervour witnessed over gin and tonics and olives around 8pm every Friday at stylish boutique boltholes all over the country. There is a very good reason for this, of course. Your choice of venue for an indulgent weekend reveals a great deal about you. Not only your budget, but your taste, not just your interests, but your aspirations. In theory, at least, you have a great deal in common with your fellow weekenders. These, my friends, are your people.

Guests at the Hotel Endsleigh are, while style-conscious, more Boden than Balenciaga, as you would expect of a clientele who choose to weekend in this remote and beautiful valley between Devon's Dartmoor and Cornwall's Bodmin Moor. They are moneyed, but of the old-school that prefers rolltop baths to Jacuzzis. (I distinctly heard the gentleman savouring a brandy digestif in the library describe it as ‘scrumptious’.) And they have one further thing in common: they look extremely happy to be where they are. And so they should, for Hotel Endsleigh is a class act. The house, a Grade-I listed fishing lodge, is insanely pretty, and the setting magical: it is easy to see why the Bedford family, who at the time owned a third of Devon, decided in 1812 that this was the prettiest spot in the county on which to build their house.

From the lawned terrace outside the drawing room, the view sweeps down to the rapid waters of the River Tamar, which divides Devon from Cornwall, and up densely wooded banks on the other side. Arriving on a dark, snowy November night, we hurried from car to hotel in search of hot baths and long drinks. Our room, no 7, was one of the less grand rooms, with one small window in the bedroom and none in the bathroom; nonetheless, it combined the assets of a chic private house (interesting art, a good selection of bedside reading) with those of a good hotel (huge, comfortable bed, plasma-screen TV), and boasted walls of a delicious duck-egg blue that has had me poring over Farrow & Ball charts since our return.

Hunger and curiosity soon coaxed us downstairs for drinks, snacks and, of course, people-watching. The ground floor of the hotel is a jigsaw of cosy, characterful rooms: a drawing room with a huge log fire; a pretty sitting room with hand-painted Thirties wallpaper; an impressively well-stocked library boasting everything from Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking to the Koran, and from The Jewel in the Crown to The Shadow of the Wind. Making a wrong turn while searching for a loo, I chanced upon a corridor stocked with Hunter wellies in every size, for ill-prepared townie guests. Dinner, served in the wood-panelled dining room, ranged from perfectly nice (a main course of roast monkfish, a fruit pancake dessert) to excellent (a starter of sea bream in watercress soup, a main of sliced seared beef).

The only low point of the weekend came the following morning. On the long drive down, we had compiled a wish-list for the perfect hotel weekend. Having parked our two-year-old son with Grandma for the weekend, top of the list was, of course, the chance to lie in. This was closely followed by being able to walk more than half a mile without the promise of a playground, and being able to browse the papers in a country pub instead of reading Thomas the Tank Engine stories out loud. (Naturally, there were a couple more elements, not suitable for publication.) And one more wish: breakfast in bed.

So imagine our disappointment on Saturday morning when, looking for the room-service menu, we found instead a note informing us that the Endsleigh ‘discourages’ in-room breakfasting, ‘because our layout is not ideal.’ In the light of this schoolmarmish diktat, we were a bit worried that Alex, the hotel's impressive but rather formidable owner, was about to burst into the room, throw open the shutters and chide us for wasting such a glorious day, so we hurriedly dressed and made our way down for breakfast. (Good strong coffee, creamy scrambled eggs and crunchy brown toast with delicious marmalade: perfect, although it would have tasted even better in bed.)

But any grumpiness just could not last. From the moment we pulled on our wellies and stepped outside the hotel, resistance was futile: we were in love with Endsleigh. By the time we had explored the garden and grounds – a satisfying two-hour walk – we were decided that it was one the most beautiful places we had ever seen. A freak snowfall had transformed this very English scene into Narnia. A ping-pong table looked fabulously eccentric under a five-inch covering of snow; croquet hoops were half buried under the white-out, while the forest of evergreens on the far side of the river bowed under a frosting of snow, gently melting in the morning sun.

We made our way down to the icy, tumbling waters of the Tamar and back, discovering waterfalls and a picturesque shell grotto along the way. As we climbed back to the hotel, Alex's pet Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, a handsome little thing with black spots on a sugar-pink coat (very Agent Provocateur) trotted through the snow to greet us. Truly, we thought, we have stumbled into another world, four and a half hours from London.

Having thus rediscovered our love of the countryside, we boldly ventured further afield for lunch at a local pub recommended by the hotel. This turned out to be a mistake: the food was good, but the service surly to the point of obnoxious, so after another quick walk (Kit Hill, nearby: good views, but nothing like as pretty as the hotel garden), we retreated to Endsleigh.

Picture the scene that greeted us in the library: a proper cream tea laid out for guests, complete with fruit scones and Devon cream and home-made jam; cake stands piled with tempting slices. All around, happy guests sat contentedly in armchairs, working their way through the weekend papers with pots of Earl Grey at their elbows. There was a delicious sensuousness to Endsleigh in this incarnation as a winter wonderland.

The sound of our boots crunching on virgin snow as we stepped out to explore the garden, the fragrant crackle of log fires in the lobby, drawing room and library, and the glow of candlelight on a dark afternoon. But then, summer must be magical too: the sloping terrace is perfect for an early evening Pimm’s; the river full of salmon (the hotel has a gamekeeper, and fishing expeditions are encouraged); the long croquet lawn marvellously Gatsby-esque. With a swimming pool planned for next year, we will be back long before the next snowfall.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members have to say about Hotel Endsleigh in the Guestbook below…


Stayed on

We loved

The roaring fires in all the reception rooms, the food (whether breakfast, afternoon tea or dinner!), the candlelit atmosphere in the evenings and staff that look after you with a great blend of formality and friendliness. Gardens were lovely even in February and very comfortable rooms.

Don’t expect

Shower in every room, some have only handheld shower in the bath.

Rating: 10/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

Our arrival at Endsleigh was welcoming and warm for Valentine's weekend. Staff were attentive and happy, and our room was perfect. The menus over the weekend were delicious with good choices, and we really enjoyed our whole stay.

Don’t expect

Another small armchair would fit in nicely by the fireplace in our room, instead of a dining room chair. Some shelving space in the bathroom near the sink for toiletries instead of the small table next to the bath. But neither are necessities, they just would be nice to have.

Rating: 9/10 stars


Stayed on n/a

We loved

Peace, tranquility, pampering.

Don’t expect


Rating: 8/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

This was our fourth visit. Everyone is outstanding. Staff are so attentive without being intrusive: nothing is too much trouble. We were upgraded without asking. We expected to have some problems dining as we had our new puppy with us, but there was no trouble at all. We were allowed to use private dining facilities which were superb. I always think the Endsleigh sets the standard for hotels and we have stayed at some grand places all over the world. I can't wait for the spa and pool!


Rating: 10/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

I liked the rooms (spacious and well appointed), superb environs (enchanting) and invigorating breakfast – the food quality and choice were outstanding. But above all else, what made the stay so memorable was the world-class service. They pulled off the trick of providing old-fashioned standards of service delivered with an understated contemporary vibe – remembering the names of hotel reidents throughout the stay and using them whenever they met is so impressive! Everything was tip-top from start to finish.


Don’t expect

The tiniest bit of advice I could give would be that the service might be erring slightly towards too old-fashioned – hushed tones, almost dutiful bows, etc.


Rating: 10/10 stars