Country house with cottage on the Jurassic Coast

Entire residential home hosted by Jason

  1. 16 guests
  2. 9 bedrooms
  3. 14 beds
  4. 5 bathrooms
Entire home
You’ll have the house to yourself.
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Self check-in
Check yourself in with the lockbox.
Great location
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A big 6 bedroom Edwardian country house with a 3 bed cottage set in acres of gardens and paddocks, and countryside beyond. Walk down to Charmouth beach, to swim or hunt for fossils, or explore ancient woodland and small fields to discover hilltop forts. The lively towns of Bridport and Lyme Regis are close by. You have the kitchen with an Aga and 5 double bedrooms, plus an attic bedroom for four children. The cottage has 2 doubles and a twin, with a bathroom, kitchen and sitting room.

The space
Rushay is a beautiful Arts and Crafts house, built for the agent of the estate in 1906, with a converted stable cottage across the yard. Every facade of the house is different, but united under huge swooping tiled roofs, with the principal rooms facing south and west. Their bay windows overlook the garden to the unspoilt countryside beyond, and fill with light: the ceilings are high, the floors are waxed.
Drop your wellies, beach bags, snorkels and coats in the boot room, and circulate through the house (children seem to love a circuit - they can race round the ground floor and use both sets of stairs, like electrons spinning around a nucleus). From the boots, a study/play room, then a big sober hall, and off it the drawing room with a log fire, and dining room. The dining room was opened into the kitchen in the 1960s, and we have updated the kitchen with plenty of prep space on the island and the counter-tops, made of mahogany, all kept cosy by the traditional two-oven Aga that never goes out. There's an electric hob and oven, too.
At the north end of the kitchen, a door opens into the laundry and another into the pantry, which has a monstrous American fridge freezer that makes ice cubes on demand.
At the top of the oak stairs, you'll find the first floor landing and the five bedrooms with white painted floors and clean white walls that redouble the sense of air and space. From the top of the back stairs, a broad and winding flight of stairs takes you to the attic dorm.
This is a traditional English country house. Kate and Jason have lived in the country for thirty years; her houses have appeared in World of Interiors magazine, the Bible of British Taste and Ben Pentreath's book English Decoration. Jason has a column in Country Life.
Across the yard, the stables were converted years ago, with three bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and sitting room, perfectly self-contained. It comes with the house, and means that families can holiday together without breaking any covid rules or taking risks. Otherwise, it's a snug retreat and ideal for multi-generation holidays.
The surrounding garden stretches to lawn and trees - we have beech, oak and ash, cherry, walnut and hazel, as well as an apple orchard, paddocks and a stone terrace to the west, perfect for warm evenings. The sunken croquet lawn is a riot of wildflowers in Spring, and is mown in late June/early July after the orchids have flowered. You can walk right out of the garden to the sea in about twenty minutes.
Charmouth's beaches are great for families and for fossil hunters on the Jurassic coast. Three miles away is Lyme Regis, with the famous Cobb where Jane Austen's Louisa slipped and fell, and Meryl Streep stared out to sea in the French Lieutenant's Woman. Bridport, with its lively shops and market, is ten minutes in the other direction. Axminster is a sleepy town ten minutes over the Devon border, with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Kitchen and a mainline railway station.
The area is full of fabulous restaurants to suit everyone, with chefs like Mark Hix in Lyme and Cass Titcombe at Brassica, and there are wonderful places to buy local produce, meat and seafood. In the village a tiny hut with an honesty box is kept supplied with seasonal organic vegetables (and a healing herbal salve to be recommended). Just up the road Felicity's Farm Shop sells wonderful local rare breed pork, raised by her brother, as well as really good meat, cheese, and everything else - vegetables, bread, tea, milk, beer, dried beans... Mark Hix has a fish van in the car park, and the organic Baboo ice cream truck and a pizza van roll up daily.
For all West Dorset's sophisticated food scene, you can leave it all behind in a moment by walking up into the hills around you. Not just ordinary hills: at least two are crowned by Iron Age earthworks, part of a chain of hill forts across the Marshwood Vale, itself still dominated by small fields and ancient woodland. You get serious views to the sea, and into two counties. There's much to explore.

Where you'll sleep

Bedroom 1
1 double bed
Bedroom 2
1 double bed
Bedroom 3
1 double bed

What this place offers

Valley view
Beach access
Free parking on premises
Pets allowed
Washing machine
Indoor fireplace

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5.0 out of 5 stars from 6 reviews


Where you’ll be

Bridport, Dorset, United Kingdom

Wootton Fitzpaine is a small estate village a mile from the Jurassic coast and the delightful fossil beaches at Charmouth, but quietly retired up the valley from the beach-side razzmatazz (such as it is in West Dorset!).
Dorset is Hardy country, mostly grazing land, rolling hills, tucked-away villages and old churches, with the best fossil beaches in England, at Charmouth and next door Chideock. It's the only county in England without a motorway, which is one reason it's so charming and quiet!
We are on the edge of the Marshwood Vale, dominated by ancient hillforts at Coney's Castle and Lambert's Castle, close to the ancient healing shrine at Whitchurch Canonicorum.
Felicity's Farm Shop nearby sells seasonal local vegetables, local cheese, great meat, butter and eggs, as well as groceries and household goods. The well-known chef Mark Hix currently runs a fresh fish truck in the car park.
Bridport is ten minutes away, a beautiful Georgian market town with wide streets and a Saturday and Wednesday market with local produce. Google Bridport and you'll find it described as Notting Hill-on-Sea. The Saturday market has lots of clothes and bric-a-brac, too. There's Lidl, Waitrose and lots of real shops, including bookshops and Malabar and bakeries. The local butcher, RJ Balson & Son, is Britain's oldest family butcher, with records dating back to 1535! Everyone loves Soulshine for coffee or brunch.
For eating out we suggest Hive Cafe in Burton Bradstock, with the Seaside Boarding House on the cliff above, especially for a drink; the Riverside Restaurant at West Bay is always delicious, there's art + good food at Slader's Yard. The Anchor at Seatown, by Chideock, is really good - and Cinnamons in Axminster will deliver excellent Indian meals, with an authentic East End feel. We're excited about the forthcoming Robin Wylde in Lyme Regis, which has a focus on local wild food.
Walks are tremendous - hill forts, hidden chapels, the National Trust-owned land along the coast, Bulbarrow and Golden Cap, the hollow ways around Chideock... and old footpaths that lead you down to the sea.
Charmouth is a pretty seaside village with a newsagent, a general store, and a deservedly popular fish and chip shop.

Hosted by Jason

  1. Joined in May 2015
  • 54 Reviews
  • Identity verified
Jason's a writer, historian and novelist, whose award winning books have been translated into more than 40 languages. He writes a column for Country Life magazine. His partner Kate has made beautiful houses, featured in books and magazines including World of Interiors and The Bible of British Taste. They have four children, a lurcher and a small poodle.
Jason's a writer, historian and novelist, whose award winning books have been translated into more than 40 languages. He writes a column for Country Life magazine. His partner Kate…

During your stay

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Things to know

House rules

Check-in: 16:00 - 22:00
Check out: 10:00
Self check-in with lockbox
No smoking
No parties or events
Pets are allowed

Health & safety

Committed to Airbnb's enhanced cleaning process. Show more
Airbnb's social distancing and other COVID-19-related guidelines apply
Carbon monoxide alarm
Smoke alarm
Security Deposit – if you damage the home, you may be charged up to £350

Cancellation policy