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Orford Mill - Skirr

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Great Torrington, Devon
Grade 4 Star rating
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  • Book 2015 for £25 Low deposit
  • Recognised grading standards
  • Exclusive ferry travel offers
  • Over 30 years experience
  • 98% of guests would book again

This property is part of our English Country Cottages collection

English Country Cottages

An inspiring collection of properties chosen for their character, luxury and heritage, all graded 4 star and above.


A fabulous choice for your holiday, whatever the weather, with many onsite faciltiies to keep you entertained.

"Deep in Tarka the Otter country where the river glides beneath the trees and time stands still..."

Orford Mill lies alongside the River Torridge in a beautiful wooded valley, nestled below the historic town of Torrington. With its air of peace and tranquillity, abundant wildflowers and river life, it became the setting for Henry Williamson’s magical story of Tarka the Otter. Indeed, the mill wheel in which Tarka hid from the hound Deadlock was at Orford Mill. This superb location makes a wonderful holiday base, especially for families, with sandy beaches on the North Devon coast only 10 miles away.
The complex consists of a Grade II listed water mill and manor house, now converted into nine delightful cottages, all equipped to Visit Britain ‘4 Star’ standard. Most overlook the charming ornamental courtyard with its ponds and flowerbeds. Riverside is detached and overlooks the river. All cottages retain character features such as exposed beams and stonework, and each is furnished in an individual style to a very high standard. Guests can enjoy an indoor heated swimming pool, with lovely river views, as well as a spa room and all-weather tennis court, games room and fenced outdoor children’s play area. There is an on-site cafe with wi-fi (open 9am-9pm). In addition, fishing rights are available on 200 yards of river (bring own licence, or avail locally at cost). All the waterways are safely fenced.
The countryside around Orford Mill is dotted with sleepy villages nestled among the hills, while extensive woodlands, traversed by many footpaths, offer the chance to experience the area’s natural beauty at close quarters. Adjacent to the grounds are the renowned RHS gardens at Rosemoor, and other local attractions include Dartington Crystal, offering a factory tour and visitor centre. Great Torrington is only a mile away with good shopping and amenities, and there is golf at nearby Hartland. Orford Mill adjoins Torrington Common which extends to 365 acres, incorporating 20 miles of footpaths. The common is a haven for wildlife. The ‘Big Sheep’ and ‘Milky Way’ theme parks are each less than 10 miles away.
The River Torridge runs downstream to the ancient port of Bideford, still with a working quay offering boat trips out to Lundy Island. Just around the corner is the attractive little town of Appledore with its colourful houses and narrow streets. To either side lies Devon’s most spectacular stretch of coastal scenery – a chain of magnificent cliffs and rocky promontories, interspersed here and there by long flat sandy beaches, where the Atlantic breakers roll in to create ideal surfing conditions. There are splendid beaches at Instow and Westward Ho!, the latter bordered by the Royal North Devon Golf Club, and the Northam Nature Reserve. Further west is the supremely picturesque Clovelly, whose narrow, cobbled main street descends at a dizzying gradient to the little harbour below. To the south, the cathedral city of Exeter can be reached via a delightful drive through lush river valleys.
Orford Mill offers very attractive accommodation set in 3 acres of beautiful gardens with streams, waterfalls and the water wheel which is still operational. Excellent as a touring base, it makes a good choice for a holiday whatever the weather. Shop ½ mile.

A comfortable ground floor property. Open plan living/dining room with inglenook fireplace with Ben Franklin wood burner. Well-equipped, modern fitted kitchen. Double bedroom. Twin bedroom. Bathroom with whirlpool bath, over-bath shower and toilet.

  • Wood burner
  • Widescreen TV
  • DVD
  • Sitting-out area and furniture

  • Electricity, full oil central heating (controlled by owner), bed linen and towels included
  • Cot, travel cot and high chair by arrangement
  • TV with digital terrestrial channels
  • Stereo/CD
  • Microwave
  • Washer/dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Wi-fi (in on-site café, open 9am - 9pm)
  • Shared grounds with sitting-out area and furniture
  • Gas barbecues for hire by arrangement
  • Ample parking
  • Shared games room with pool table, games machines
  • Shared outside area with table tennis
  • Shared indoor heated swimming pool (12ft x 33ft) with changing and shower facilities
  • Shared spa room with hot tub, wet and dry saunas
  • Massage and beauty treatments by arrangement
  • Shared hard all weather tennis court (bring own equipment, and tennis shoes – no trainers)
  • On-site river fishing (bring own licence, or available locally at cost)
  • Children’s play area with swings and playhouse
  • Heidi’s Hideaway (playroom for toddlers and young children)
  • Adventure fort
  • No smoking
  • NB: Securely fenced river on-site
  • Main TV in each cottage is linked (via colour camera) to its own individual bird box, providing live images on TV

Read more 


  • Barbecue
  • Dishwasher
  • Games Room
    Games Room
  • Highchair
  • Pub within 1 mile
    Pub within 1 mile
  • Romantic Collection
    Romantic Collection
  • Rural Location
    Rural Location
  • Woodburning Stove
    Woodburning Stove
  • Decorated at Christmas
    Decorated at Christmas
  • Cot Available
    Cot Available
  • Swimming Pool
    Swimming Pool
  • Washing Machine
    Washing Machine
  • Fishing Nearby
    Fishing Nearby
  • Pets – not allowed
    Pets – not allowed
  • Heritage Collection
    Heritage Collection
  • Shared Hot Tub
    Shared Hot Tub
  • Parking - On Site
    Parking - On Site
  • Children's Play Area
    Children's Play Area

Customer Comments

  • 3

    Confirmed guest, 21/07/2017
    Unfriendly towards the children. First impression from the owner was rude and didn't alter during the stay. The cottage was damp and unclean. The pool time use was very restricted due to swimming lessons which included rude instructors and patrons. Cafe had very little. Hot tub wasn't free to use and you had to be over 18 for use which didn't please our 16 and 17 year old. Felt like always being watched by owner. Got told off for being in the park with our 10 month old and told it was for children only, yet he is too young to be unattended. Instructed to clean before leaving which is fine but cottage was in a bad state when we arrived. All in all somewhere we would never stay again and sadly wouldn't recommend to others with families.

    Response from:

    Response on behalf of the Owner; We find it odd that you found everyone to be rude, owners, swimming instructors and patrons. Perhaps this was due to the unacceptable behaviour of your teenagers who damaged items belonging to the swim school, trashed the children’s’ playhouse, damaged equipment in the play area and had a popcorn fight in the games room. It was they who were told the play area is for children only, not your baby. Our swimming pool is available for 80 hours throughout the week. The swim school, outside of school holidays, use it for 20 hours, leaving 60 hours for use by our clients. Our tea room serves cream teas and ice creams only, so we don’t know why you expected more. The cottage was cleaned by me personally before you arrived and was spotless. At no time did we instruct you to clean before leaving.

  • 5

    Confirmed guest, 20/08/2016
    Beautiful cottage in a lovely location, however it was let down by the mould on the bedroom walls, filth on skirting boards and dust everywhere. The pool was lovely, but the hot tub, sauna and steam room, you had to pay extra for after your first use and let them know an hour before hand if you wanted to use it, it wasn't worth the haste so we didn't bother! Forget the fishing too, we love to fish however it was impossible to get down to the edge and cast a rod! The website seems to be deceiving! Owners didnt seem bothered with us, there was no warm welcome and would bearly say hello! We were not the only occupiers who felt disappointed with our holiday! Not worth the price! However wildlife was lovely to see

    Response from:

    Response on behalf of the owner; We were astounded to read your comments about mould, filth and dust – all our cottages are thoroughly cleaned between occupants by a team of cleaners, closely supervised by me personally. We show everybody around their cottages, and there was certainly no mould, filth or dust in this or any cottage on your arrival. We would have expected you to draw it to our attention at the time, or to contact’s Customer Services, neither of which you did. If you read the “Important Holiday Information” on the website, you will appreciate that having a hot tub entails very strict cleaning protocols between users. Because of this, we are not able to allow guests to have freedom of use of it as we have to monitor cleaning, and thereby operate an appointment system. We don’t consider one hour’s notice to be unreasonable as we need time to prepare it. After guests' first use of the spa room, which is free, we charge a nominal £5 for up to 4 people for subsequent uses, which covers cleaning the hot tub, chemicals, and laundering the bath mats and towels which are provided. The river has to be fenced for safety purposes which you must understand is necessary. There are two clear gates to access the river for fishing. All information on the website is correct and there is nothing deceiving. We are sorry you felt we weren’t bothered with you. We strive to make all our guests welcome. We live on site and everyone is shown where to find us. A previous reviewer complained that we are always on site and they felt they were being watched – it seems we cannot please everybody.

View All Guest Reviews

4.0 out of 10 – based on 2 reviews collected by Reevoo
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