The Bathing House

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The Bathing House is a simple, romantic retreat where you can leave the frantic pace of the world behind you and unwind.


You’ll hear nothing during your stay here, save the soothing sounds of the river below, along with passing boats and the occasional seal

                          - The Independent in its list of best UK Valentine's Day retreats



Built in the 1770s, at the same time as Sharpham House, this then fashionable Bathing House was created on a bend in the river, below the main House

The building was originally constructed as a small octagonal tower with three windows facing the river. Unlike many bathing houses at the time, the one at Sharpham did not have a stairway down to a plunge pool and people would have entered the river from the bank or beach below.

The building was extended during the first part of the 19th century to create the one that you see here today. It was used from then on as a family home for estate workers. The 1851 census shows that Anthony Newland, the gamekeeper, his wife and three children lived here.

Inside the Bathing House at Sharpham

The Bathing House has one main living room, a beautiful bedroom with balcony overlooking the River Dart, a kitchen, a bathroom, a utility room and a sofa-bed in the lounge.

Outside, a patio running the whole frontage of the Bathing House overlooks the water. Guests have reported seeing amazing wildlife close up - including otters feeding on fish in the River Dart.

The Bathing House virtual reality tour


The river is one of the great joys of staying in the Bathing House: one can spend hours just looking at the water rise and fall with the tides, as it changes colour to reflect the sky, as it ripples in the breeze and sparkles in the sun or turns into a still mirror where the trees are perfectly reflected.  Various birds swim or fly across it, people go past in boats or on paddle boards, birdsong echoes along the shore, light and shadows move around, the wind comes and goes, as does the sun or the moon.  It is a constant delight, and the Bathing House is the perfect place to watch it.

Having one's meals in the kitchen whilst enjoying the views on three sides was a pleasure during the day, and in the evenings, we read or played games in front of the wood fire in the welcoming living room with its extraordinary ceiling and beautiful flagged floor. 

Waking to the gorgeous view from the bedroom was a daily delight, and I loved the specially made quilt on the bed, as well as the paintings of the Bathing House on the walls and the drawing made for Maurice Ash's birthday.  The fresh flowers in the house are a lovely touch, as is the bottle of Sharpham wine on arrival.  All in all, staying at the Bathing House is an utter delight, a blissful interlude cut off from the world, close to nature and all its beauty.  


A perfect Valentine's retreat


Privacy and peace remarkable. A truly special place, house, land and water. We even had sun every what you are doing. PS: Otters seen (over an alfresco breakfast). First time ever for us.


The Bathing House has poor mobile phone coverage and no internet - making it the perfect place for a digital detox.

Holiday lettings at the Bathing House help to support the charitable work of the Sharpham Trust. They are are handled for us by Helpful Holidays.

Click here to book The Bathing House

If you would like to know more about the information on this page, please contact:

Name: Denise Scribbins, House Manager
Tel: 01803 732842
Email: [email protected]
Address: The Sharpham Trust, Ashprington, Totnes, Devon, UK, TQ9 7UT