Locality

Lea Hill cottages are remote, hidden away among narrow lanes, yet within easy reach of the Devon market town of Axminster, with its many hidden gems such as the River Cottage shop and canteen. We are happy to make a booking for you at River Cottage canteen.
Lose yourself in the maze of footpaths and deep Devon lanes which suuround us. Perfect for dogs.

Deep in the countryside as we are, dark sky enthusiasts can view the milky way with the naked eye.

There is evidence that people have lived in this beautiful corner of the Blackdown Hills since prehistoric times. The first record of a dwelling here at Lea Hill is in what is called the Lay Subsidy of 1352, when an Edith de Legh was the owner.

The oldest part is the thatched, flagstoned and low-beamed farmhouse, which dates from the 14th Century, when people were a lot shorter than they are today! In those days both the animals and the humans lived under one roof separated by thin walls and screens.

For most of its life Lea Hill has been a working farm with far more than the 8 acres which remain today. John Smith, the leading local Quaker once lived here and was sentenced to death in 1685 for supporting the Duke of Monmouth's attempts to seize the English Crown, when he landed at The Cobb Harbour in nearby Lyme Regis, Dorset.

Vignette of Lea Hill courtyard

Ties with the Quakers continued for many years and today there is still a converted meeting House down the hill below the house and a Quaker burial ground on the hill above us. An annual pilgrimage is made to this site.

Today Lea Hill is a characterful country house with its historic barns converted into pretty cottages. It is owned and personally run by the Avis family. Lea Hill offers not only a respite from stressful times; it's a gateway to the beautiful and stunning South West of England.

Your cottage is a short stroll from the friendly, pretty village of Membury (one of a handful of English parishes still celebrating the tradition of Oak Apple Day in May). Visit Membury Castle, one of several impressive iron age hill forts in this historically rich area. History and nature abound; the Hawkswood and Thurlbear Wood nature reserves are nearby. Borrow our binoculars to view the abundant birdlife or encounter shy deer in our copse.

Lea Hill Cottages are set among a network of bridleways and footpaths wandering through some of the most attractive country in the whole of England. A perfect place for off-road walking and riding with livery available locally by arrangement. Easily reached starting points give access to the famous South West Coast Path walk along the coastline of Dorset and Devon with public transport pick ups to return you to your starting point.

Take a trip to Axminster, with its historic carpet making tradition and heritage centre. Enjoy a range of shops, eating places and visit the historic Minster church with its summertime season of concerts.

Venture further afield and we are an ideal centre for discovering a delightful, unexplored corner of Devon bordering both Somerset and Dorset. To the North the quiet roads and charming villages of the Blackdown Hills, the Somerset levels and Vale of Taunton. Or go South to enjoy the World Heritage Jurassic Coast—from Seaton's tramway along the wildlife-rich Axe estuary to Charmouth's visitor centre and fossil hunting.