A Jacobean mansion where the full aristocratic Monty is on display, and Onward Christian Soldiers was written in the library. Although grand, with its spectacular hall, cavernous fireplace and dazzling ballroom, it’s not stuffy and the Murray family run their hotel with friendly ease.
Dogs are welcome here and walks shoot off in all directions. You can hire bikes nearby and explore the Camel Trail; the local Arundell Arms has fishing rights on the river Tamar and offers courses. Return for one of the hotel’s relaxation therapies and an elegant afternoon tea.
The silver service dinners come with vegetables from the walled garden. You can walk it off in the gardens: Gertrude Jekyll parterre, fountains, woodland and an avenue of beeches straight out of Thomas Hardy. The Dartmoor National Park can be reached on foot if you’re feeling hearty.