Swiss Cottage

Endsleigh, near Tavistock, Devon

Overview

A wonderfully eccentric chalet designed by Jeffrey Wyatville in a setting that compares with Switzerland. This Landmark at Endsleigh is one of the best surviving examples of the Picturesque.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • Outside Dining FurnitureOutside Dining Furniture
  • MicrowaveMicrowave

Beds 1 Double, 1 Bunk

Sleeps
2 +2
4 nights from
£267 equivalent to £16.69 per person, per night

A breathtakingly beautiful natural setting on the Tamar

It's hard to anticipate the scene that awaits as you descend the steep path through the woods to the cottage. This breathtakingly beautiful stretch of the River Tamar was chosen by Georgina, Duchess of Bedford, as the setting for a new retreat, Endsleigh House, where she and the 6th Duke played at a bucolic existence. In 1810-12 Humphry Repton brought its surroundings to perfection and they remain a complete example of that most imaginative and English taste in garden design, the Picturesque.

The 19th-century love of the Alps lives on

This natural landscape was further embellished with buildings by Jeffrey Wyatville, two of which we have made into Landmarks, both looking out over very different stretches of water. In 1977 we acquired Swiss Cottage, an early and wonderfully well-made example of the 19th-century passion for the Alps, designed in about 1815 by Wyatville, complete with an Alpine garden, Swiss furniture and crockery. We repaired it and reversed some later alterations. In 2007 a chance find in an auction room enabled us to reinstate the original corner cupboard in the main room. Opening on to a verandah, this room was used by the Duke and Duchess for picnics and shooting lunches and there, perched high above the steep drop to the river in a clearing in the woods, you have the heady feeling of perhaps surveying another country. If you do feel like leaving the Endsleigh estate during your stay, Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Cotehele are close by.

See all our Landmarks at Endsleigh

What a fantastic place. So quiet, so peaceful and utterly breathtaking.’

'We have had a wonderful time watching birds and deer from the veranda.’

From the logbook

Floor Plan

Map & local info

Swiss Cottage, set in the beautiful Endsleigh ornamental gardens designed by Humphry Repton, offers sweeping views across the gardens towards the River Tamar. Take a leisurely walk around this picturesque setting to admire the dramatic views it offers along the Tamar Valley and out towards Bodmin Moor. Wander through the stunning woodlands at Lydford Gorge, the deepest gorge in the South West, with its spectacular 30m waterfall.

Discover the wide range of goods offered by traders, artists and crafts people in the historic Pannier Market, set in the heart of the nearby, market town of Tavistock. The annual Michaelmas Fair, the Goose Fair held in October in Tavistock, is one of the best known fairs in the West Country.

Visit the award-winning museum attraction at Morwelham Quay, just 4 miles west of Tavistock, with its historic port, village, copper mine and railway. Explore the historic treasures, gardens and estate of Buckland Abbey, a former home of Sir Francis Drake.

Take a look at our Pinterest map for more ideas of things to do and see during your stay at Swiss Cottage.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

See all our Landmarks at Endsleigh

Swiss Cottage
Endsleigh, near Tavistock, Devon
Clear directions
FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    Via an estate track from the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Gunnislake – 7 miles. 
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There is one parking space adjacent to the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There are electric night storage heaters.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is also an electric cooker and a microwave.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom with a bath.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    There are steep stairs.
  • Does this Landmark have low headroom?

    Yes, the double bedroom has a slopping ceiling.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    The garden is very steep and there are areas of open water on the estate. The estate is privately owned and there are footpaths which run close to Swiss Cottage.

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact webmaster@landmarktrust.org.uk.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there toilet rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

First services held here in 1860

Endsleigh can rightfully claim to be one of the most completely realised examples of that peculiarly English taste, the Picturesque, described by the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture as 'an aesthetic quality between the sublime and the beautiful, characterised in the landscape garden by wild ruggedness, and in architecture by interesting asymmetrical dispositions of forms and variety of texture'. The style flourished roughly between 1790 and 1840.

The Picturesque had been born on the Welsh borders on the estates of Sir Uvedale Price and Richard Payne Knight, but it was Lady Georgina Gordon, the young second wife of the 6th Duke of Bedford, who saw that the Tamar valley had equal possibilities. Lady Georgina was the daughter of the Duke of Gordon, a family regarded by contemporaries as wild Scots. She was described by the Duchess of Devonshire (who disapproved of her) as "very pretty, very bewitching, and clever certainly". She loved children and had twelve of her own, nursing them herself which was unusual and regarded as slightly improper in her day.

Lady Georgina chose the site and may well have worked with the other three members of the quartet to whom we owe the creation of Endsleigh. They were her husband, a sensitive and scholarly man with a great interest in trees and botany; Humphry Repton, who around 1800 had encouraged the taste for "natural landscape" in contrast to the more formal perfections of ‘Capability’ Brown; and finally Jeffry Wyatt, or Wyatville as he became, who actually designed the buildings that Repton had proposed. Although the planting at Endsleigh has greatly outgrown his plans for it, the landscape remains very close to Repton’s vision - a work of maturity illustrating the fullest development of his ideas.

Repton visited Endsleigh in 1809 and made recommendations for landscaping and designs for a house. He eventually put these together into one of his famous ‘Red Books’ (so called because of their red morocco leather bindings) with watercolours cunningly fitted with flaps to show the same view "before" and "after". It is now at Woburn Abbey, the principal residence of the Dukes of Bedford.

In the event it was Wyatville’s designs for the main Cottage that were chosen and it was finished in 1815. Endsleigh was never intended as a full time residence. It was in effect a very grand holiday cottage and the Duke and his family would stay here for about two months in the summer, with other visits early each year for the shooting. But it was always meant to be visited by others and it soon appeared in guidebooks of the area.

In the 20th century Endsleigh was visited less often by the Dukes of Bedford, but the whole estate was immaculately maintained and the house and garden kept in readiness for their possible arrival. The estate was finally put up for sale in 1956 and the house and parktogether with the fishing was purchased by a syndicate of friends and neighbours, founding the Endsleigh Fishing Club Ltd. The main Cottage became a hotel, then still keeping much of the original furnishing and retaining the atmosphere of a privately-run house. In 2004 the Fishing Club found it could no longer afford the estate which was sold with the Cottage to a branch of the Trusthouse Forte Group. The main house became a hotel and most of the furniture was sold.

THE SWISS COTTAGE

Jeffry Wyatville designed the Swiss Cottage around 1815. Originally surrounded by an Alpine garden, it is a particularly good instance of the taste for placing Rustic buildings in such a landscape. The ground and attic floors were designed to be lived in by a labourer and continued to be so until 1962. The Duke of Bedford had separate access to the verandah and the rooms on the main floor, all furnished "a la Suisse with wooden chairs and platters, hornspoons etc."

It was used for picnics and shooting lunches, but like the rest of the grounds it could be visited when not in use by the family. Emma Prior, the daughter of Sir William, a frequent shooting visitor, wrote in her diary on August 8th 1847: 'Lovely views from the windows and delicious walks in all directions. Dark wooded banks and the Tamar winding below. The view from the Swiss Cottage pleased me best. The Dairy was exquisite and quite the best I have ever seen, and the various little cottages about the place are so pretty. We had a lovely day'.

Restoration

Empty for 15 years

When the Landmark Trust bought the Cottage in 1977, it had not been lived in for 15 years. The shingled roof was in poor condition and the front of the building was sagging. New oak beams had to be inserted on the front and south side. Several of the posts supporting the verandah and attic had also to be renewed, together with areas of the cladding, left with its bark on. The roof was re-thatched with Austrian reed as it had been originally.

Round the outside the ground was dug away to reveal pebble cobbling in perfect condition. The interior was as little altered as possible; paint was stripped off some of the woodwork, and the doors, floors, windows and stairs were simply waxed. It is now furnished once again in the Swiss style.

Availability & booking

Bookings for this property will open on 3 March

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.