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West Country Wildlife Haven



Updated: 21-Oct-2016
Cottage Nr. Launceston, Cornwall, Your Own Nature Reserve To Explore

The Shippen is a one-bedroom detached property for two people that has been totally renovated to a high standard with under-floor heating throughout. It is close to the River Carey and surrounded by a private nature reserve of 34 acres; a wonderful retreat for those who enjoy wildlife and peace and quiet. It is situated some distance from the main house and has its own parking and entrance. There is a small secluded garden with table and chairs. The property is situated six miles from Launceston,once the ancient capital of Cornwall, and is only four miles from the A30. The house and shippen have an interesting history. Coombe Mill is a former flour mill and for 35 years was the home of the renowned environmental scientist, Professor James Lovelock. REGRETTABLY THE PROPERTY IS UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN AND NO PETS ARE ALLOWED..

  • Sleeps 2
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Washing machine
  • Accept Credit Cards
  • Bookable online

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

We're both passionate about wildlife and we're living the dream as there is so much of it here.

The owner was a TV journalist for 20 years working on current affairs programmes and this included five years working on wildlife programmes.

Call Owner
Speaks English

Guestbook comments from the owner

This has been such a magical peaceful place; we have loved being so close to the wildlife. Thank you so much.
Aug 2015
  • 1 of 3

38 Reviews

based on 38 holidaymaker reviews


Beautiful setting, perfect little pad for a couple

  • 5 of 5

Lovely time had by both of us. We'll certainly be back! The surroundings were beautiful and walking amongst the wildlife was so peaceful.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 13, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Melton Mowbray

Fantastic cottage.

  • 5 of 5

Fantastic cottage in a fantastic setting.

It was a great pleasure to meet John the owner very welcoming indeed.

Will definitely be back next year.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 27, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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A gorgeous countryside hide away!

  • 4 of 5

This property was gorgeous. A quaint and peaceful retreat from the city. A little hard to find and if like me you're not a fan of tiny country roads, a little stressful to reach, however it was completely worth the journey. We were transfixed by the bird feeder for two days watching what came and went in the little garden, just a shame we couldn't stay longer to enjoy more of it.

The cottage has everything you need to enjoy a home away from home experience for a while. It is strangely relaxing not to have any signal or WiFi - until trying to plan a day out or book a table somewhere. Perfect for getting away from it all. We have already recommended this place to family and friends.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 30, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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4 night stay

  • 4 of 5

We had a nice 4 night stay in late August. The Shippen is in beautiful surroundings, you do have to travel down a lot of very narrow country lanes to get to it but my partner didn't find this a problem (I did drive back to The Shippen once but found negotiating the narrow country lanes difficult esp when you meet someone travelling in the opposite direction).

A lovely cream tea was waiting for us on arrival, much appreciated after our journey.

Located outside Launceston it is quite a central location for exploring the south, west & north coasts. It took us approx 1 hour to reach The Eden Project with The Lost Gardens of Heligan close to this. We also visited Port Isaac where they film Doc Martin. It's definitely worth a visit as its one of the most beautiful places I have visited. Polzeath is close to this and is a very popular place for surfers!

Pint & Post is the closest pub which serves food but is closed on Mondays, our mistake! We visited The White Horse Inn in Launceston and the food was nice. Also the famous Jamaica Inn which is approx a 30 min drive away.

I like the fact that The Shippen uses eco friendly and not tested on animals cleaning products, soap, washing up liquid etc. There are bird feeders in the garden which attracted a variety of birds including Blue tits, Great tits, Coal tits, Marsh tits, Chaffinches, Robins, Blackbirds etc.

Unfortunately we didn't see an awful lot around the reserve but I think that's probably due to the time of year. I did see a lovely Spotted Fly Catcher and a male Yellowhammer.

If you like wildlife then this is the place for you, it was actually nice not having any Wi-fi or phone signal (orange) for a change!

Thank you.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 29, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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A precious place to share and a cottage with all you could need in way of home comforts.

  • 5 of 5

From before and after our stay we were made to feel welcome and looked after. The Shippen is ideal for two and equipped to a high standard. Either exploring the nature reserve or surrounding area we found plenty to do. Jon and Janice are the perfect hosts: offering seclusion with the option to ask for anything needed. We went hoping to see wildlife and were lucky enough to do so. Best of all we enjoyed the fantastic privacy of the reserve knowing that whatever surprise was around the corner it would be a wonderful!

We will return...

  • Review Submitted: Aug 13, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

lots of butterflies and dragonflies, many woodland birds many signs of otters no sightings for us sadly Jon however shows us film of sightings

which were brilliant they are definitely around the luck of the draw always optimistic it is such a beautiful peaceful place no hardship

to sit or walk patiently which we did and were rewarded with wonderful kingfisher sightings perching and diving for fish .

Thanks to Jon and Janice for their warm welcome wonderful hospitality and advise whilst always respecting our privacy

The cream tea on arrival was thoroughly enjoyed .Well be back for sure..

Take the tour with Jon really worthwhile and very informative.

Len and Jean July 2016

  • Review Submitted: Aug 7, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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From the Owner

We bought Coombe Mill and The Shippen in 2012 after moving from the New Forest in Hampshire. We fell in love with the place when we realised how much wildlife was here. Several years later and its still surprising us as we discover new species. It is a real privilege living so near to a river as it brings so many scarce species close to us. Most days here it is wonderfully peaceful; our nearest neighbour is quarter of a mile away.

Activity and Interests

Special interest holidays:

The owners are passionate about wildlife. For a small fee the owner will give guests a guided tour of the reserve and give tips on where to see particular species. We may be able to arrange for natural history courses to take place on site e.g. birdwatching or flower identification or for guests to be taken to other wildlife sites or reserves in the area.



The spectacular rugged north coast of Cornwall is a 45-minute drive away with numerous beaches including those at Polzeath, Rock and Widemouth.


The nearest train stations are Plymouth (30 miles) and Exeter (40 miles)

There are airports at Newquay (47 miles) and Exeter (30 miles)

A car is essential for exploring the area. However for an additional payment we may be able to pick you up from Exeter or Plymouth and drop you back at the end of your stay.


St Giles on the Heath - 2 miles

Launceston - 6 miles

Exeter - 40 miles

Plymouth - 30 miles

Tavistock - 24 miles

Bude - 20 miles

Boscastle - 24 miles

Okehampton - 16 miles

Falmouth - 63 miles

Newquay - 47 miles

Further Details:

The nearest village at St Giles on the Heath has a characterful pub and a village store and post office. Launceston has banks and supermarkets and is a 20 minute drive away.

The Shippen is ideally situated for touring Devon and Cornwall. The property is only four miles from the A30 with easy access to Okehampton, Exeter, Tavistock, Bude, Falmouth and the spectacular Cornish coast.

Launceston, Cornwall's ancient capital, is six miles away with its Norman castle and narrow streets.

For walkers and nature lovers Dartmoor National Park and the Bodmin Moor and Tamar Valley Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are within easy reach with Exmoor National Park a little further away.

The rugged north coast of Cornwall lies 45 minutes away with its picturesque fishing ports including Boscastle, Port Isaac and Padstow.

There are numerous historic houses and gardens to visit including Lanhydrock, Cotehele and Pencarrow. Ancient places include Tintagel, regarded as one of Britain's most spectacular historic sites and also well worth a visit is the 16th Century Pendennis Castle at Falmouth.

Two of Cornwall's best known visitor attractions, The Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan are within 45 minutes drive.

A large reservoir, Roadford Lake, is only a few miles away and offers birdwatching, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and trout fishing.


Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
rate 3
1 Oct 2016 - 21 Dec 2016
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
rate 4
22 Dec 2016 - 27 Dec 2016
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
rate 5
28 Dec 2016 - 2 Jan 2017
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
A 20 per cent deposit required to secure booking. Final balance to be paid a month before arrival. Bookings made within one month of arrival require payment at the time of booking by cheque or bank transfer.

Changeover Day:
Our dates are flexible. Arrival after 2.00pm and departure by 11am please

Notes on prices:
A welcome food pack of local produce can be ordered for your arrival if requested.
Minimum stay two nights between Oct 1st and March 31st at £60 a night.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Total amount
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Updated: 21-Oct-2016
Available arrival


From the Owner

The Shippen is situated in the middle of a private nature reserve; the diversity of wildlife is extraordinary and some of it is right on your doorstep! The river is close by and the reserve also has a pond, fields, woodland and a former railway line. Its also a great place for star gazing; there's no light pollution here! Despite its remoteness Launceston is only a 20 minute drive away and there's easy access via the A30 to most places in Devon and Cornwall.

Property Type

  • cottage


  • Heating
  • Iron & Board
  • Parking
  • Washing Machine


  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob


  • Dining Area


  • Television


  • suitable for elderly or infirm

Location Type

  • river
  • rural


  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • library
  • museums
  • pond
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • ruins

Leisure Activities

  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing


  • Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
  • Shower, with basin, WC and under-floor heating


  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • Bedroom 1
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 2 (1 Bedroom) Notes on bedrooms: One bedroom with double bed, wardrobe and chest of drawers.


  • Golf ...
  • Garden
  • Barbecue


  • Self-catering


  • Notes on accommodation: The property has underfloor heating and an oak wooden floor Outside: The Shippen is reached along a private tree lined drive. There is a small secluded garden with table and chairs and barbecue. The river is a stone's throw away and the property is surrounded by trees with fields and a pond close by. There is also a disused railway line. Utility Room: A washing machine is available in an adjoining storeroom Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Bed linen, towels and tea towels are provided

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