Ashcombe is a 2,500 acre estate – loved by villagers and visitors alike for its beautiful scenery and friendly atmosphere. Lose yourself walking in the ancient Tower Plantation and miles of country lanes to amble down.
The Rayner Family have been the custodians of the Ashcombe Estate since 1932. The original owner was Brigadier Sir Ralph Rayner who served in both wars and was also the MP for Totnes. His wife, Lady Elizabeth Rayner, spent much of her time organising village life and being involved with great charitable events.
Primarily a farming estate with cereals, sheep and cattle, the estate has also diversified into a number of different areas including holiday cottages and out-door activities. Since the mechanisation of farming, the population of the village have needed to find alternative employment elsewhere, but more recently the holiday cottages and other Ashcombe Estate enterprises have reversed the decline in local employment and once again Ashcombe is a thriving local economy.
Within the estate you will find the 12th Century St Nectan’s Church, an iron-age fort called Castle Dyke (a Site of Special Scientific Interest), woodland walks, rambling footpaths and pretty moorland all with expansive views of Dartmoor to the west or the Devon coast to the east.
The estate works with Natural England and The RSPB on a number of projects such as promoting rare Cirl Bunting habitats found within the valley. The estate and village raise thousands of pounds for various charities with special events held throughout the year, check the “Our News” section to see what’s going on when you stay as there is often something fun to see.
Ashcombe is only 4 miles from the South Devon coast, 10 miles from Exeter and 15 miles from Dartmoor National Park so it is perfectly located for many activities. The unique location also creates its own micro-climate which generally means more sun and less rain. For example it is the perfect place for bee hives say the local bee-keepers.