Iconic luxury castle in the heart of Devon's Dartmoor National Park
The 5AA Red Star luxury hotel sits majestically on the edge of the valley overlooking the stunning Edwardian gardens, and the flowing River Bovey. As you enter the hotel you are surrounded by the history and glamour of yesteryear, with some contemporary edges. Enjoy the stunning Spa, indulge in the sumptuous food, or take a relaxing stroll around the grounds and gardens.
OPL Exclusive details
Stay in a Valley Castle room and receive:
- Christmas Eve
- Arrive for lunch and a host of festive activities including a Christmas Country fair, cider & sloe gin making. Bovey Rangers activities and our play room for the little ones.
- Afternoon tea is served in the Cathedral Room, accompanied by carol singing.
- Your evening includes welcome drinks, a candlelit dinner and the opportunity to attend Midnight Mass at the local church
- Christmas Day
- After breakfast the excitement mounts as Father Christmas arrives at Bovey Castle.
- In the morning take part in our exciting scavenger hunt then enjoy fresh air and beautiful scenery with a guided walk.
- The revelry begins with a drinks reception, followed by a fabulous Christmas Day lunch in the Great Western Restaurant. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the Queen's speech, tea and mince pies. A buffet will be served in the Great Western Restaurant that evening.
- Once the children are tucked up in bed, sit with a nightcap and listen to the storyteller weave some tales in front of the fire.
- Boxing Day
- After brunch sign up for the golf tournament or join us for a guided walk after brunch. Our much loved ferret racing is a firm favourite, as is our 'nearest the pin' golf competition, served with hot chocolate and mulled wine on the south terrace. Afternoon tea will also be served in the Cathedral Room.
- Our storyteller will keep the children entertained, followed by high tea and a festive movie. Finish your day with a five course dinner and entertainment in the Great Western Restaurant.
- Bovey Ranger activities and our playroom are available all day for the little ones.
- 27th of December
- Full English breakfast will be served before we bid you a fond farewell.
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- Iconic 5AA red star hotel in the heart of Devon
- Extensive indoor and outdoor activities with luxurious Spa
- 59 individually designed bedroom
- Exceptional restaurant serving traditional cuisine
- 18 hole Golf course on-site
- Located in Dartmoor National Park
- 15mins from A30
- Art deco indoor pool with stunning views
The Great Western restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays except bank and school holidays.
How to find Bovey Castle
Dartmoor National Park
Good to know
Sunday lunch 12pm – 2pm
Dinner 7pm - 10pm
Please note there is no strict dress code for Smith's Brasserie, but smart casual clothing (including smart denim) is requested in The Great Western Restaurant. Sportswear is not permitted.
Parking is complimentary to all residents
Disabled access is available, although rooms are limited so please contact reservations to discuss availability.
There are two lifts within the main hotel providing access to all floors.
0-4 years free of charge (cot or extra bed). 5-14 years, £30 per child for the extra bed all meals charged as taken. 1 extra bed in a Castle room and above. 2 extra beds in a Junior State room and above. Please contact a member of the reservations team on 0845 2871007 for charges of the upgraded rooms.
Bovey Castle has a number of facilities for children making it a great option for families. Younger children (aged up to 7) can use The Playroom which is open during the school holidays and offers a number of activities such as storytime, games and crafts. Local charges apply.
Older children (aged 7-14 years) can participate in a wide range of Bovey Rangers activities which take place during the school holidays. Bovey Rangers activities include; survival skills which may involve camp fire building, building shelters and camouflage face painting, mega ball games, archery, reptile and owl encounters, laser clays, rock climbing pond dipping, dance classes, raft building, canoeing, golf lessons and moorland adventures. Local charges apply.
History of the hotel
In 1890, William Henry Smith (WH Smith, later to become Viscount Hambleden) purchased 5,000 acres of land from the Earl of Devon for £103,000, who had owned the estate for the previous five centuries. The estate consisted of several large ancient manors, including Moretonhampstead and North Bovey; almost thirty farms, extensive woodland and fishing rights on the rivers Bovey and Teign.
It was his son, Frederick, who built North Bovey Manor House in a lavish neo-Elizabethan style as one of the family's numerous country retreats. The interior boasted a Jacobean style staircase, plaster ceilings, an oak panelled dining room, banqueting hall with minstrel's gallery, open fireplace with a carved stone chimney and an Adam drawing room.
Frederick became involved in Devon life and was a subaltern in the Devonshire Yeomanry, serving with them for 30 years and leading the regiment in Gallipoli and Egypt in the First World War. During the First World War, the Manor House became a convalescent home for officers and as a military hospital when war broke out again in 1939.
The Hambleden family rarely visited North Bovey Manor House during the 1920s, but when they did venture down to Devon the villages of Moretonhampstead and North Bovey would turn out to watch the spectacle. The Hambledens had a private coach on the train and a box for their horses, which were transferred at Newton Abbot to the branch line for Moretonhampstead. Here, they were met at the station by their carriages, which were later replaced with cars as motor vehicles became increasingly popular.
Lord Hambleden died in June 1928. His estate, consisting largely of the entire ordinary shareholding of WH Smith and his properties, were valued at £3,500,000 but was liable for death duty of £1,000,000. North Bovey Manor House and its estate were almost immediately put on the market to pay the death duty, which was eventually auctioned to the Great Western Railway for conversion to a golfing hotel for reputedly only £15,000.
The hotel and golf course opened in 1930 and the hotel entertained many celebrities, including Herr von Ribbentrop, Hitler's ambassador, who booked a whole floor for himself, his wife and a large number of servants and guards. He allegedly intended to acquire the manor house after England had been defeated. Following several successful years, another 17 bedrooms, a cocktail bar, dining room and squash and badminton courts were added between 1935-1936.
From 1946 to 1983, it was returned to the Great Western Railway and re-opened as a hotel. It then changed owners again in 1991 when considerable expansion took place and the golf course became a top priority, shortly becoming one of England's finest courses. The Manor House became Bovey Castle in 2003 and since then has continued to expand with the addition of the 22 lodges, spa and pool and underwent further refurbishment in 2008.
Dogs are permitted with prior arrangement but must be well behaved and house trained. They are not permitted in either restaurant, the bar, Adam room and Library public rooms. Cost is £25 per night per dog. Cages, bowls and bedding are available on request. Some Castle Rooms are dog friendly
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