Shirwell Park

Life's better with a butler 

Once owned by a son-in-law of Henry I, this gorgeous property has evolved over 900 years to become one of England's finest country-house bed and breakfasts. This is far more than just a place to sleep: the warm welcome, attentive service, glorious architecture and elegant interiors set it apart. It has a beautifully tranquil setting in its own 160 acres, including a duck flighting lake, a walled vegetable garden, a cut flower garden and countless woodland walks. From the moment of arrival you're welcomed by Gary, a professional butler, who will introduce you to a gilded way of life that takes place amongst the imposing entrance hall, panelled dining room and the stately morning room. Think Jeeves without Wooster and his dramas.

There are just four guest bedrooms here, all elegantly decorated with antique furniture, rugs and pictures but with more contemporary beds with cotton sheets, en-suite bath or shower rooms with quality toiletries and fluffy bathrobes for every guest. The rooms are quite different in style and size so it's worth looking at Shirwell Park's own website to make your choice: some of the bathrooms are huge.

Guest rooms all have complimentary wifi and their own bluetooth speakers but not their own televisions. There's a large flat-screen tv in the morning room to cater for those rare occasions when there's something worth watching. For similar reasons there are tea and coffee stations dotted around the house - which guests are welcome to use - rather than the standard tottering trays piled with kettles and sachets of long-life milk. These little touches combine to give a genuinely country-house atmosphere: simply elegant, practical and easy.

Guests here have free use of all the public rooms, with their antique furnishings and original works of art. Breakfast is served en famille in the wood-panelled dining room: fine china and cut glass set the tone. When it comes to evening meals there are good local pubs and restaurants nearby but you'd need to drive. Guests are welcome to dine at Shirwell Park (with notice); just bring your own wine for us to chill or decant.

Make some time to explore the grounds. You' can trace parts of your breakfast to the walled vegetable garden, and the flowers in your room to the stunning cut flower garden. In spring meadows blaze with rhododendron and azalea: it's a perfect place to bring dogs and well-behaved pets are permitted in some rooms. 

Your B&B Hosts

Debbie is a trained cook who delights in sourcing the finest local ingredients and produce from the gardens at Shirwell Park to conjure delicious meals. She is also an accomplished horsewoman and competes regularly on her horse "Mouse" and she also has two labradors. 

Gary has worked as a butler in some of England's most beautiful country houses and for the last nine years has been the resident butler at Shirwell Park. It will be Gary who greets you on arrival and show you to your room, and who serves you breakfast and dinner. Helped by the housekeeper Gary encourages guests to relax and enjoy this historic house with its beautiful grounds. When not buttling, Gary is a keen antique hunter, and adept cook and an aficionado of vintage films.  


There's lots to see and do in this part of North Devon. The market town of Barnstaple is five minutes by car, and the beaches at Croyde, Woolacombe, Putsborough and Lee are all within 20 minutes drive, giving you a huge choice of beaches for swimming, bodyboarding or surfing. Five minutes in the other direction and you're in Exmoor National Park, a unique landscape of moorland, woodland, valleys and farmlands. There are superb routes for cyclists and countless picturesque villages and charming rural pubs.

Shirwell Park is clearly marked on the WL map but drivers using satnavs will find the postcode EX31 4LE will bring you to the back drive. Coming from Barnstaple on the A39 even when most of the traffic turns left towards Ilfracombe. Continue through Shirwell Village and the entrance to Shirwell Park is on your left, with two metal gates between two matching Georgian gate lodges. Follow the 'private' signs to take the left fork in the drive which will bring you to the front of the house. If you get to a sign to 'Marwood' pointing left from the A39 you have gone too far!

01271 850 698


Open year-round

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Facilities & Services

Contact Information

Debbie Cole
Shirwell Park
Shirwell, Barnstable, Devon, EX31 4LE, Devon

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Tel: 01271 850 698
Mob: 0746 400 2020


Prices per room per night B&B based on two sharing

The Rose Room - £180

The Pine Room - £160

Hummingbird Room - £150

The Blue Room - £145

Cream Teas - £4.50pp

Dining: 2 courses £25pp; 3 courses £30

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