Home Hotel reviewsCountry house hotels At home at Devon country house hotel Lewtrenchard Manor

At home at Devon country house hotel Lewtrenchard Manor

by Sarah Bridge

A stay at Lewtrenchard Manor

Lewtrenchard Manor is one of those classic country house hotels which feels like someone’s home rather than a hotel. It’s a rather grand home, admittedly, but one where you instantly feel as if you don’t need to lock your bedroom door and where you can roam around as you please.

[Note: Sadly Lewtrenchard Manor decided to close its door permanently in 2024 but I’ve left this review up as it was a lovely stay]

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Tucked away in the Dartmoor hills between Tavistock and Okehampton, Lewtrenchard Manor is a grand, historic building and has grand, historic rooms to match. There’s a sweeping staircase, wood panelling, stained glass windows, open fireplaces, tapestries and even a vast upstairs gallery full of books, antique furniture and a piano, but which is long enough to serve as an indoor bowling alley.

the front of Lewtrenchard Manor in the sunshine

Lewtrenchard Manor is a Jacobean manor house dating from the 1600s but the site was first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086

Arriving at Lewtrenchard Manor

We arrived in style, in an Aston Martin DB11, and the ultra-modern car looked rather good at the gates to the Manor and outside the building itself, a Jacobean manor which dates back to the 1600s.

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luxury hotel devon Lewtrenchard Manor

The Aston Martin DB11 at the gates of Lewtrenchard Manor

The reception desk is hidden out of sight when you first arrive at Lewtrenchard (there’s a lounge instead), making you feel as if you’ve just arrived at a friend’s house for the weekend. There is no bustle of staff here, no official notices, none of the paraphernelia of hotel admin which means once you have checked in, you are left completely to your own devices.

Aston Martin outside Lewtrenchard Manor hotel in Devon

When classic British design meets… well, more classic British design. The Aston Martin DB11 outside Lewtrenchard Manor

Book Lewtrenchard Manor on Booking.com 

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open fire at Lewtrenchard Manor hotel in Devon

There is a welcoming lounge with a log fire to greet you when you arrive

If you fancy a drink then wander into the empty bar and someone will soon arrive to take your order before leaving you to it – and if you think there’s something familiar about a room featured in one of the magazines left lying around you’ll soon see it’s because you are sitting in that very room.

Bedrooms at Lewtrenchard Manor

Having taken several hundred pictures we finally checked in and found our bedroom, which was on the first floor just off the upstairs gallery. It was a good size, with a separate lounge/study, and was furnished in a classic if not overly luxurious style. The window seat was a great perch to admire the gardens and the bathroom was on the moderate size but still managed to fit in a jacuzzi-style corner bath and separate shower.

double bedroom at Lewtrenchard Manor

Our room was on the first floor off the central gallery and was decorated in a classic country house style

bathroom at Lewtrenchard Manor hotel in Devon

The bathroom was small but packed a lot in

Exploring Lewtrenchard Manor

There seemed to be no-one else about so we had the run of the place and enjoyed examining the various antique pictures, books and ornaments dotted around the place. There is a piano in the gallery which we, probably wisely, refrained from playing, and in the summertime weddings are held in the pretty courtyard between the buildings.

We were shown around the other rooms which were all different – some had four-poster beds and some has their own balconies – but all done in a similar classic country house style.

bedroom at Lewtrenchard Manor

Each bedroom was decorated in a unique style

the vast hall on the first floor of Lewtrenchard Manor

Many of the bedrooms were off the vast hall on the first floor

Lewtrenchard Manor history

Having been a manor house belonging to several notable local families for several hundred years, Lewtrenchard Manor become a hotel in 1949 and was bought in 1988 by Sue and James Murray.

Having sold it to the ill-fated von Essen hotel chain, after nine years the family managed to buy it back and our pre-dinner drinks were made by their son Duncan Murray, who now runs the hotel in which he grew up.

The hymn Onward Christian Soldiers was written here by the Rev Sabine Baring-Gould who lived here in the 19th century and there are little notices dotted around the rooms with information of other hymns he composed.

Notice about the Rev Sabine Baring-Gould at Lewtrenchard Manor

Our room was named after one of the many hymns written by former resident, the Rev Sabine Baring-Gould

Dinner at Lewtrenchard Manor

After appetisers of cheese straws, olives and mushroom arancini in the hotel’s lounge, Duncan led us across the hall to the dining room and served us a very good meal of dover sole in a shellfish bisque to start, followed by glazed short rib of beef with pressed potato and oyster mushrooms and citrus-roasted fillet of brill.

The restaurant also offers a seven-course ‘surprise’ tasting menu which uses locally-sourced ingredients and there are also plans for a chef’s table concept, although with TV screens showing the food being prepared rather than guests experiencing the kitchen atmosphere which is an interesting idea.

Dover sole in a shellfish bisque at Lewtrenchard Manor

Dover sole in a shellfish bisque to start

Citrus-roasted fillet of brill with roasted cauliflower at Lewtrenchard Manor

Citrus-roasted fillet of brill with roasted cauliflower

A highlight of our meal was the excellent cheese selection which included the brilliantly-named Sharpham Elmhurst – a gorgeous  creamy and buttery cheese with lingered on the taste buds – alongside Cornish Garlic Yarg, Cornish Brie and Devon Blue. Petit fours were served with coffee and we retired to our bedroom very replete.

Lewtrenchard Manor breakfast

Thankfully our sleep was undisturbed by the hotel’s resident friendly ghost (a former lady of the house who is supposed to haunt the room next door – Duncan has yet to see her) and we woke to a discreet knock on our door which signalled our morning tea and coffee had just arrived, a lovely start to the day.

We then enjoyed a hearty cooked breakfast in a room at the front of the hotel which was decorated with portraits of previous inhabitants of Lewtrenchard Manor before heading outside to explore the grounds.

Ladies Walk at Lewtrenchard Manor

It was time for a walk in the countryside and this pleasant tree-lined walk is just next to the hotel and used to be a favourite with the ladies of the house

There is plenty of choice of places to walk from the hotel rather than having to drive anywhere, from pretty forest walks to ambling around the lake in the grounds and from there a visit to the pretty local church next door.

St Peter's church at Lewtrenchard Manor

The church of St Peter’s is just next door to Lewtrenchard Manor and is full of the estate’s rich history

St Peter's church at Lewtrenchard Manor interior

Inside the church of St Peter’s at Lewtrenchard Manor

Losing track of time we ended up checking out later than expected but it didn’t seem to be a problem and indeed nothing would disturb the relaxed charm of this very laid-back, family-owned manor house hotel.

steps leading up to Lewtrenchard Manor

Steps leading up from the garden to Lewtrenchard Manor

Hotel information and to book Lewtrenchard Manor

Lewtrenchard Manor, Lewdown, Okehampton EX20 4PN
Tel: 01566 783222

Lewtrenchard Manor is a member of the PoB Hotels collection.

The hotel runs events throughout the year including history and garden tours, jazz lunches, wine-tastings and murder mystery nights.

Book Lewtrenchard Manor on Booking.com 

Visit Lewtrenchard Manor on TripAdvisor

If you like this review then check out other PoB Hotels reviewed by ALadyofLeisure.com including: Medieval magic with a modern twist at The Swan hotel, Lavenham; Head to the heart of Cornwall with a stay at the impressive Headland hotel, Newquay; Talbooth House: an almost-perfect stay at a lovely luxury hotel in Essex 

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