Old Coastguards Cottage

Newton Ferrers, Devon

A beautiful, romantic riverside spot for families or groups in a pretty yachting village - reach by rowboat or the coastal path


5 beds


3 bedrooms


Sleeps 6


It’s an adventure getting here. Row across the river or take the boatman’s ferry for a few coins – charming Diana, who spends happy summers boating here, will show you. Find a whitewashed terraced cottage in a dramatic and privileged spot, near a beach of rock pools and foamy surf.

You’re a five-minute walk to where the Yealm spills out to sea, sliced into a wooded hill opposite a pair of villages with shops and good pubs.

The cottage once guarded deep water moorings from smugglers, and now gets filled with people of all ages trailing wetsuits, shrimping nets and damp walking boots.

Inside, all is fresh, simple and stylish, with quirky coastal artwork, a window seat and wooden floors. There’s a choice of wood-burners to dry off by and a stable door leads to a front terrace with the most glorious view of the water; it’s the perfect spot for a sundowner or long lazy lunch. It’s not about luxury here, but being close to the water – and having adventures.

Patio with seating area overlooking the water at the Old Coastguards Cottage in Devon

We think you'll love

  • Bringing paddle boards and kayaks and messing about on the water
  • The three good pubs and the yacht club a row away
  • Being in this unique spot – pure Swallows and Amazons
Cosy dining room with log burner

Home truths

  • The ferry only runs April to September so you have to row yourself in other months
  • Other families may be staying in nearby cottages


  • Hot tub
  • WiFi
  • Swimming pool
  • Mobile reception
  • Oven
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Hob
  • Parking on premises
  • Barbecue
  • Free parking nearby
  • Meals available
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Breakfast available
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Central heating
  • Wheelchair access
  • Limited mobility
  • Air conditioning
  • Washing machine
  • Garden
  • Television
  • Tennis court
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Children welcome
  • Books and toys
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair


  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles


  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming

& pricing

Booking information

Check in
4pm, please get in touch for early check in
Check out
10am, please get in touch for late check out
Booking restrictions
Minimum stay: 3 nights. 7 nights in high season. Children over 5 welcome. Short breaks available.
No smoking
Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.


Nightly price
from £150
Weekly price
from £615
Damage deposit
1 Cottage for 6
From £1505 beds3 bedrooms


As soon as we saw that access was by rowing boat, we knew that we’d be in for a special treat during our fabulous one week September stay. However, it was exceptionally windy so even the tourist boats around Plymouth harbour were cancelled and we’re experienced rowers. That was no problem though, as the local ferryman provided an excellent alternative to self-rowing. The peaceful cottage location as at a superb meeting of waters in an idyllic, picture book perfect setting and couldn't be better. The owners, Diana and Keith were very welcoming, enthusiastic, and helpful with recommendations

Malcolm, Woking

No.2 Old Coastguards redefines the concept of escape. As soon as you step into the rowing boat (after a lesson given by the owner) an adventure begins, one which allows you to explore the waters, beaches and coastline around the cottage without coming across a single car. The cottage is immaculately clean and tastefully decorated, with a home from home feel (we were greeted with a pile of freshly baked scones and a bottle of wine). The kitchen is well equipped and there was plenty of hot water and logs to burn - very organised and friendly hosts! Simply breathtaking. Thank you Diana and Keith.

Nick, Exeter

I first visited The Coastguards Cottages in the mid 70s as a child and finally got around to bringing my own family to this very special place 40 yeas later. We had a wonderful time messing about in boats, walking, fishing, eating, relaxing and recuperating. I would recommend it to anyone.


A wonderful week in Old Coastguards,first visited the other cottage 18 years ago,and it is still a magical place. Our family came for the weekend and our 10 yr old grandson was entranced by it all,especially the approach across the estuary. The comfort and decor is second to none .

Dorothy, Chester

Gorgeous cottage! We stayed towards the end of May 2017 and were blessed with good weather. The cottage itself is lovely and is in such a beautiful setting, completely idyllic and relaxing. We loved messing around on the rowing boat. Diana is a super host. Thank you, hope we'll be back again soon!

Louise, London

Lovely cottage in a unique position. Well modernised without losing its charm, front terrace, plus a rowing boat, and access to good walking behind

Peter, Perpignan

We took three kayaks and explored the whole area. The cottage was well fitted out and being at mast height we had wonderful views up and down stream. Second night had dinner in the Ship Inn which was spot on. We also paid three visits to the Dolphin which also serves excellent food with side steps down to the water allowing us to come and go by kayak. I have been a yachtsman all of my life and suggest that only those who are very competent rowers should attempt the crossing on the third and fourth hour after high water springs. Estimate the current to be 2.5 knots at theses times. Wear boots.

Graham, Midhurst, west sussex

A really fantastic stay at no.2 this Easter! We were a family of 6 including 3 kids (6-11) and a grandpa and everyone enjoyed rowing the boat, walking to beautiful beaches, eating well at a local pub and especially lazing around the terrace watching the boats on the river. Thank you Diana for taking the time to explain everything on our arrival, with important tips and a lesson in rowing (we are complete novices). The cottage is very comfortable, especially like the modernised kitchen and the log fires!

Tamar, Marlow

What a fantastic place! Diana was very welcoming, making sure we were comfortable with rowing and familiar with the cottage - she also provided a lovely Devon cream tea and bottle of wine. We made full use of the riverside terrace (with stunning views) for breakfast, lunch and pre-dinner drinks. We recommend the walks from the cottage - we walked along the coast path to Wembury and took in the beach café. We also took the seasonal ferry to Noss Mayo, walking to The Ship for lunch (excellent food and service). In all we had a wonderful break, it was over too soon - we will return!

Karen, Ely

An amazing place to stay - beautiful cottage in lovely surroundings. Particularly enjoyed the boat and lovely fires! We had a great time albeit very short - and would love to go back again for longer.


We stayed for four nights in this peaceful cottage. It is unique and an antidote to city life. The cottage had everything you need and the views are amazing. Diana is charming and enjoys telling you about the cottage and local area. Some lovely walks and helpful, if you can row!

Emma, Birmingham

Our family of 5 stayed at Old Coastguards for a week in August. I wasn't sure how it would work out with rowing across the river, but it was one of the highlights of our trip, especially rowing across to get our croissants in the morning and going to the pub in the evening. The cottage itself is comfortable and beautifully decorated, we were lucky with fabulous weather so spent most of our time on the terrace, glass of wine and bbq watching the amazing view of the estuary. The owners, Diana and Keith are particularly helpful and welcoming, with loads of local information.

Jane, Hertford

The most serene peaceful place to wile away the hours ! Plenty of beautiful walks with nearby beach & not a car in sound! The cottage is cosy with two woodburners & plenty of logs. Diane & keith are lovey people but also give wonderful local information & help. The rowing was fun. It really is an outstanding location. We were blessed with good weather too !

Wendy, Brockenhurst

A very special place to stay. Highly recommended.


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The neighbourhood

Most guests stay close to home here, rowing to delightful Newton Ferrers for fresh bread from the community shop and meat and vegetables from the butcher. The cottage has its own jetty, but kids will also like hanging out on the main village pontoon, where they can spend hours crabbing and making new friends. Noss Mayo has two tennis courts, with the Ship Inn on your way back for refreshments, and an equestrian centre is within walking distance. Several stunning beaches are a pebble’s throw away – Mothcombe is especially beautiful at low tide with miles of sand to play in, and The Schoolhouse, a quirky restaurant serving delicious food.

Local points of interest from Diana Greene

  • We provide you with a rowing boat all within the cost of the holiday. Moorings are available for your own boats after contacting the Harbour Master. A perfect holiday for those of you who like messing about on boats. Bring your own paddle boards/kayaks.
  • There is direct access onto the River Yealm from the cottage. You have your own quay where you can sit and while away the time, spend hours crabbing from or just sit in the sun and watch the world go by on various boats - it is huge fun.
  • Not only has the cottage got direct access onto the water - it has direct access to the South West Coast Path. You never need get into your car. Just walk along the terrace and in minutes you are on the beautiful cliffs with breathtaking views.
  • You can walk easily to Wembury beach which boasts marvellous rock pools and sometimes good surf. There is a lovely cafe there with great scones and delicious ice-creams too. The walk along the cliffs from the cottage is fabulous - almost heaven!
  • The twin villages of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo boast three good pubs and a yacht club and the best thing is that you can row to all of them when the tide is in - so no worries about driving home. When the tide is out, you can row across and then walk.
  • Everyone who comes to the cottage adores the location. It is unique. The row across makes it extra special. Quite simply the views are magical. I can say no more. Come and see for yourselves.....Sumer 2018 is booking fast, only a few weeks remain.


Diana Greene

Keith, a retired surgeon, and Diana, a magistrate, have owned Old Coastguards for a couple of decades now – Diana and her family moved to Noss Mayo when she was ten, and she would admire the cottages from her bedroom window. Although the couple’s main home is in Cornwall, their hearts are always here, where starting with a leaky shell they renovated every inch of the house, transporting everything by boat. They love sharing the magic of the Yealm with guests, and believe that once smitten, the place will be with you always.