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Top places to live in Devon Lympstone

After village life but scared it will be all retirement homes and crusty bridge parties? Lympstone buzzes with family life, gorgeous period properties and plenty of healthy, outdoor activities from cycle paths and walks to the stunning Exe estuary and the city of Exeter with its boutiques and bars just down the road. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

Lympstone, Devon
Pic credit: Gordonofcartoon


Muddy loves this higgledy-piggledy waterside village, just nine miles from Exeter. The houses are a mixture of thatch and period properties, some with direct access onto the Exe estuary and the abundance of young families living here gives the place a lively vibe, especially at the popular annual Furry Dance in August when locals throw caution to the wind and take to the streets in fancy-dress.

Plus, there are amenities aplenty with a GP, post office, and numerous clubs and societies, including sailing, tennis and a film society. Lovers of the outdoors will never get bored with 26 miles of Exe estuary for cycling or walking on your doorstep.


Four pubs to choose from including The Swan with its beer festival, The Globe and The Redwing. And a sign of the village’s excellent cred, Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines’s newest hotel and eatery, Lympstone Manor, is just around the corner.


We recommend Darts Farm, a local store with extended opening hours and award-winning farm shop, which is four miles down the road. It also has a fab florist, and various concessions including a Cotswold Outdoors, an Orange Tree gift shop, Fired Earth and The Treatment Loft for a pamper upstairs. (Darts also host Muddy’s fave pumpkin festival at Halloween.)


Make time to visit Devon’s quirkiest National Trust property, the 16-sided A la Ronde full of shells and bits and bobs collected by two well-traveled Victorian sisters. And, of course, The River Exe Cafe, a summertime restaurant on the water you reach by boat taxi from Exmouth – a total must-do.


Expect to pay £467k, with a five-bedroom cottage in a garden setting you back around £650k. Local estate agents include Links and Wilkinson Grant.



For littlies, there is the outstanding St Peters independent prep school and a bus goes daily to the selective independent Exeter School from Darts Farm, just four miles down the road at Topsham.


Wolf Hall author Dame Hilary Mantel lives down the road at Budleigh Salterton – she’s also the president of the seaside town’s annual autumn literary fest.


For London, the half-hourly Avocet Line takes 20 minutes to Exeter St Davids then it’s 2hrs and 10 to Paddington or Exeter Central with its service to Waterloo. The M5 at Junction 30 is eight miles away.

View the full Top 200 Places to Live

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