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Luxury suite at Combe House, a country hotel in Devon Link to image of Combe House Hotel in Devon Link to Ken and Ruth Hunt The Great Hall at Combe Hotel in Gittisham Horse riding in the grounds of Combe House The bell tower at Combe House, near Honiton

"The Country Hotel of the Year"

- 2007 Good Hotel Guide


Places to visit within half an hour

Gittisham Village - Stroll down Combe's mile long winding drive and to back in time to the quaint cob and thatched cottages, Norman Church and babbling brook of Gittisham. Described by Prince Charles as the 'ideal English village' you'll feel as if you've entered a time warp.

Honiton Antique and Bric-a-Brac Trail - Honiton, the antique town of the South West has over 38 shops to visit. Visit the museum and discover its world famous collection of lace. And do drop into the celebrated Pottery, renowned for its pre war Collard period collection.

Hybrid Gallery - art & design for the home and garden, vist their website to find out about their latest exhibition - click here to visit website

Lyme Regis & Charmouth - the Jurassic coast is England's only natural World Heritage Coast. Try fossicking for dinosaus and ammonites for a few hours!

Topsham - river walks; wildlife; a Saturday morning market; many characterful shops, restaurants and inns; and just quiet space to sit and watch the sailing boats go by - click here to learn more

Darts Farm - Farm shop, deli bar, food hall, restaurant, the fish shed, Gerald David butchers, The Orange Tree, Rachel King florist, home & garden gifts, Aga shop, Cotswold Outdoor and so much more - click here to visit website

Otter Nurseries - just five minutes from Combe, this famous West Country Garden Centre is well worth a visit. A huge range of plants, accessories and gifts to take home.

Joshuas Farm Shop (opposite Otter Nurseries) - organic foods and treasures!

Sidmouth - for leisurely walks along the promenade by the sea and shopping with quaint individual shops, tea shops and traditional courtesy.

Beer - a quaint fishing village with wonderful craft, art and pottery galleries.

Powderham Castle - The historic family home of the Earl of Devon - in a tranquil and beautiful setting beside the picturesque estuary of the River Exe. Built c1390, restored in 18thC, Georgian interiors, china, furnishings and paintings. - click here to visit website

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Exeter
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Exeter - the historic city of Exeter is just 20 minutes away. Exeter Cathedral is a perfect example of English Gothic with the longest uninterrupted vault of its kind in the world. For shopping, browse the many colourful market stalls and unique boutiques hidden down Exeter's cobbled alleyways.

Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in the city of Exeter, Devon, in the southwest of England and the seat of the bishop of Exeter. The present building was complete by about 1400, and has the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England, and other notable features.

The founding of the cathedral at Exeter, dedicated to Saint Peter, dates from 1050, when the seat of the bishop of Devon and Cornwall was transferred from Crediton because of a fear of sea-raids. A Saxon minster already existing within the town (and dedicated to Saint Mary and Saint Peter) was used by Bishop Leofric as his seat, but services were often held out of doors, close to the site of the present cathedral building. In 1107, William Warelwast, a nephew of William the Conqueror, was appointed to the see, and this was the catalyst for the building of a new cathedral in the Norman style. Its official foundation was in 1133, after Warelwast's time, but it took many more years to complete. Following the appointment of Walter Bronescombe as bishop in 1258, the building was already recognized as outmoded, and it was rebuilt in the Decorated Gothic style, following the example of nearby Salisbury. However, much of the Norman building was kept, including the two massive square towers and part of the walls. It was constructed entirely of local stone, including Purbeck Marble. The new cathedral was complete by about 1400, apart from the addition of the chapter house and chantry chapels.

Exeter Cathedral

Like most English cathedrals, Exeter suffered during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, but not as much as it would have done had it been a monastic foundation. Further damage was done during the English Civil War, when the cloisters were destroyed. Following the restoration of Charles II, a magnificent new pipe organ was built in the cathedral by John Loosemore. During the Victorian era, some refurbishment was carried out by George Gilbert Scott. The bombing of the city in World War II caused considerable damage to the cathedral, including the loss of most of the stained glass. Subsequent repairs and the clearance of the area around the western end of the building uncovered portions of earlier structures, including remains of the Roman city and of the original Norman cathedral. Notable features of the interior include the great clock, the minstrels' gallery, and the ceiling bosses, one of which depicts the murder of Thomas Becket. Because there is no centre tower, Exeter Cathedral has the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England

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Exeter Underground Passages

The underground passages were built from the 14th Century to house the pipes that were laid to bring fresh drinking water into Exeter from the many natural springs that lie outside the city in the parish of St Sidwell's, and to make repairs to the pipes easier to carry out. However such a mundane use has not prevented stories of buried treasure, ghosts, and secret escape routes.

Exeter's first piped water scheme was organised by the Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral, as early as 1226, to supply the clergy with a ready supply of clean water from a fountain that was situated on the Cathedral Green. A new Cathedral water system was begun in the 1340's to provide the Cathedral, St Nicholas Priory and the City, each to have an one third share of the supply. The passages constructed at this time form some of the passages that can be visited today.

When the Civil War broke out in 1642, Exeter began preparations in case of siege and new defensive ditches

were dug to protect the city from the army of King Charles I, as Exeter backed Cromwell and Parliament. Some of the passages were blocked to prevent an underground invasion and pipework was melted down to make lead shot. No water flowed through the system until 1655.

A new water supply was commissioned for the growing population of Exeter and work began in 1694 to draw water from the River Exe and pump it to a reservoir at the rear of the Guildhall, which continued until 1835. Change was brought about by an outbreak of cholera in 1832, which was spread by polluted drinking water and largely affected the poorer areas of the city. New waterworks were built at Pynes and Danes' Castle.

The underground passages are not suitable for disabled visitors, children under five and anybody who suffers from claustrophobia. The floors are uneven, the ceilings low and the tunnels are narrow.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.

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Places to visit within half an hour, Days you will always remember – staying at Combe House at Gittisham, nr Exeter

somewhere different, somewhere special


nights

Romantic Valentine's Breaks
Special offers and last minute offers at Combe House Hotel in Devon

Romantic Valentine's Breaks 2010
Combe House Devon


Devon provides the perfect setting
for a romantic break - particularly
for a Romantic Valentine's break.
When it comes to romantic getaways for just one special night, or longer romantic short breaks of two nights or more, Combe House is hard to beat. Its very location, hidden in 3,500 acres of lush countryside is romantic in itself.

To Book
Tel: 01404 540400


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Fine food in Combe House's Restaurant, one of Combe's 2 Master Chef's of Great Britain





 

COMBE HOUSE HOTEL & RESTAURANT, GITTISHAM, HONITON, DEVON EX14 3AD - tel: +44 1404 540 400 - e: stay@combehousedevon.com
Registered in England and Wales No. 3558386 - VAT Registration No. 712 1023 05

 
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