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Philham Water Cottage

About The Cottage

Below you can see:


Equipped to accommodate a couple or two individuals, the bedroom upstairs has a double bed, and the living room downstairs has a sofa that converts into another bed.  The wood-burning stove set into the large open fireplace makes this room snug and cozy. Wifi, TV and DVD player (with a small selection of DVDs) provide options for rainy days.  The kitchen is fully equipped and the bathroom has a bath with an overhead shower.  The cottage has its own water supply and eco septic system.

  • Wifi
  • TV with Humax FreeSat box
  • DVD player
  • SoundTouch bluetooth sound system/Living Room
  • CD player with bluetooth/bedroom
  • games; books; DVDs
  • electric radiators
  • wood-burning stove
  • well-equipped kitchen
  • electric oven & hob
  • microwave
  • fridge
  • freezer
  • dishwasher
  • washing machine
  • stone washed (not-ironed) cotton bedding
  • queen bed in the bedroom
  • double sofa-bed in the Living Room
  • towels
  • bath with overhead shower
  • bathroom towel radiator
  • hairdryer
  • iron & ironing board
  • outdoor rotary dryer
  • eco cleaning products
  • outdoor picnic table and outdoor seating
  • BBQ
  • car parking on premises with gate to the road and path through the garden to the cottage.

Safety Features:  Smoke detector, Carbon monoxide detector, Fire Blanket, Fire Extinguishers, First aid kit.

The queen bed looks out over the garden and stream in front of the cottage.

Stairs leading up to the bedroom.

The bathroom has an electric shower over the bath and a towel radiator.


Looking through the front door into the garden.


At the front of the cottage a path leads through the garden approximately 80 meters to a spacious parking area.   The property behind the cottage extends to include a patio, from which stone steps lead up to a lawn with a bench that overlooks the stream and the meadow beyond.

You can park close to this gate for unloading luggage.

A garden gate leads to the lane, while a path crosses the lawn and follows the course of the stream through an arbour with a pond and apple trees to arrive at the spacious car parking area. The distance from the cottage door to the parking area is approximately 80 meters.

Nature and privacy will be your chief allies here. Bordered on one side by a stream and on the other by a lane, the cottage garden meanders between the two and is inhabited by a variety of wild birds, and beautified – particularly in spring and summer – by many flowers and shrubs. The high hedgerows along the nearby lanes are full of foxgloves, honeysuckle and blackberries.

The garden path follows the stream through the property to the car parking area.

A “Philham Water” sign marks the gate into our off-road parking area, though the posts by the lane have been removed.

First view of the cottage, walking from the car park.

To the rear of the cottage, the property extends for approximately 15 meters and includes a patio with a picnic table and a BBQ. From here stone steps lead up to a small lawn with a bench that overlooks the stream and meadow beyond.

Stone steps leading from the patio to a small lawn with a bench that overlooks the stream and meadow beyond.

This is an active dairy farming community, and sometimes the lanes around the cottage are used by the farmers for herding cattle.

Philham Water Cottage site map


The Hartland Peninsula is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

The cottage is less than 2 miles from the rugged Devon coast with its high cliffs and wooded valleys.  The farms around the cottage are mostly dairy with lush green meadows often inhabited by grazing cows and sheep.

Coastal farmland.


The South West Coast path; popular with hikers.  Lundy Island can be seen on the horizon.

For more info and photos about this area of outstanding natural beauty, you can go to “Guide to Local Attractions

The amazing geology of the Hartland Peninsula.


Driving out of our valley towards the A39 and Cornwall, you will cross Bursdon Moor, where a small parking area offers fabulous views at sunset, as well as good mobile phone reception, if you cannot get it down in the valley. 

The village of Hartland, less than two miles away, has craft and grocery shops plus 3 pubs and a coffee shop.



The cottage is near the border between Devon and Cornwall, with the ruins of mythic Tintagel – supposed birthplace of King Arthur – only 40 minutes to the south.

The History

Built over 500 years ago and rumoured to be the oldest cottage of its kind in Devon, Philham Water Cottage is a listed building, typical of the kind that must have always existed in the Devon countryside. Smallholders’ and labourers’ cottages were built of the local materials most easily available, and developed over the centuries from humble single-storey dwellings into two-storey cottages such as we have here. The materials most readily to hand were rubble stone, cob (mud mixed with straw) and thatch, and it is of these that Philham Water Cottage is built, with brick for the chimneys, made as tall as possible to provide a draft in this sheltered place.

Painting by Michael Lee, at a time when Lord Thurlow, Miranda’s father, would visit to plant roses in the garden.

In the 1930’s Miranda’s mother bought this cottage, sight unseen, from her teacher at Chelsea Art College in London, having fallen in love with a painting of it.  In those days it took a whole day to journey here from London and water had to be drawn from a spring in the hedgerow (still there) and cooking was done on the open hearth.   Although  modern conveniences have been added, the family has resisted the temptation to gentrify it so it still retains the rustic charm of latched doors, low beams and ceilings, flagged floors, plus a large fireplace into which an efficient wood-burning stove has been installed. Roses and honeysuckle grace the exterior wall.

Nature is rampant, and needs to be cut back from time to time.

Since the death of Miranda’s father aged 101, protection of this heritage has been passed to Miranda.  When you come here to share the beauty and the healing qualities of this unique place,  your rental cost will be a vital contribution towards its ongoing upkeep.

Questions?        You may email Miranda at mirvanya@gmail.com