STAY RIGHT BESIDE THE ROARING SEA IN THE OLD SMUGGLERS’ INN AT HARTLAND QUAY. ALSO, ENJOY A PRIVATE RECEPTION IN SIR HUGH AND LADY STUCLEY’S PRIVATE HOME, HARTLAND ABBEY
A RELAXING GARDEN BREAK STAYING RIGHT BESIDE THE WILD ATLANTIC
Steeped in history, and located on one of the wildest stretches of coastline in North Devon, an ancient smugglers’ inn awaits. This is the territory of smugglers, false lights and shipwrecks. Nowadays Hartland Quay offers comfortable accommodation in amazing surroundings. Most of the rooms have views of the sea, and each night you are lulled to sleep by the pounding of the waves. And what a sea! Visit the atmospheric bar “Wreckers’ Retreat” and the adjoining museum to appreciate just what a dangerous spot this was – and still is! – for shipping. It is probably the wildest stretch of coast anywhere in Britain, with more than its fair share of shipwrecks and a grim and fascinating past
As part of our holiday we shall be visiting a number of beautiful gardens as well as enjoying some walking along the wild cliffs and through the flower-covered meadows of the Hartland Peninsula. Sometimes we walk to the gardens, on other occasions transport is provided. Thanks to the mild climate of south-western England everything blooms much earlier than it does elsewhere: narcissi, magnolias and camellias can be admired in April if not even earlier. We shall have plenty of time to enjoy short walks along the nearby coast and through the countryside, where primroses, cowslips and bluebells carpet the ground. Or if you prefer, you can stay at the Quay, take it easy and enjoy the sea.
The hotel is not far from Hartland Abbey, the beautiful stately home of Sir Hugh and Lady Stucley, where many well-known films have been made, including “Sense & Sensibility”, “The Shellseekers”, “The Night Manager” and more recently, “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”!. At the end of our stay we shall have the chance to enjoy a private reception in Hartland Abbey, including a guided tour of the house and drinks in the library. Although Hartland Abbey is open to the public, guests are not normally catered for in the house, which remains private. Visitors have to wear plastic slippers and stay behind the barriers. We, however, can relax with a glass of wine or a gin and tonic and really soak up the fabulous atmosphere.
If the Abbey’s stunning interiors were not enough, the beautiful gardens – designed in part by Gertrude Jekyll - are sufficient reason to jump at this opportunity. From its beautiful peaceful location beside the river, a private path leads down from the Abbey half a mile to the coast.
Hartland Abbey was finally dissolved by Henry VIII in the year 1539, the last monastery in England to fall under his axe. He gave it to the sergeant of his wine cellar, the aptly-named William Abbott, and it has remained in the possession of his family and their descendants ever since.
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