Old Coastguards Cottage

Newton Ferrers, Devon
+44 (0)1579 351631

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

Children welcome

The Experience

It’s an adventure getting here. Row across the river – 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 original 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.

Exterior of 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
Old Coastguards Cottage - Gallery

You should know

  • The ferry only runs April to September so you have to row yourself in other months
  • Expect to be river-based during your stay with little or no time spent on exploring the SW
  • Think twice before bringing very young children here because the cottage is directly on the water


  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Oven
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Barbecue
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Electricity included
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

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


  • 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-4pm Friday
Check out
10am, please get in touch for late check out
Booking restrictions
Minimum stay: 3 nights. 3 nights on weekdays. 3 nights at weekends. 7 nights in high season. Short breaks available.
No smoking
Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.


Nightly price
from £150
Weekly price
from £630
Damage deposit
1 Cottage for 6
From £1505 beds3 bedrooms


This was our second time staying in one of coastguards cottages and hopefully it won't be the last. We arrived in rain but it didn't dampen our spirits. We had a fantastic, relaxed family holiday. Cottage is large enough to not feel on top of one another and is clean and has plenty of utensils. Diana's introduction to rowing across the river was invaluable and also the information provided in the cottage regarding maps and tide times came in handy. Her knowledge and love of the area is apparent. Plenty of places to eat locally, favourites were The Dolphin and The Odd Wheel

Jo, Nottingham

Once again we had the most amazing and dreamlike fortnight at the cottage. It really is the most magical location. One can spend all day sitting in the garden watching the activity on the sun-kissed transparent water and listening to birds of prey hovering above. We can't image a nicer location for that peace of mind and privacy. We highly recommend this holiday resort as a winner.

Lazer, London

This was our 3rd year returning to No.2 and it never fails to dissapoint! Incredible location which far exceeds any photograph or description. Diana's obvious passion for both the area and hospitality towards her guests never ceases to amaze me. It feels like a home from home and we cant wait till next year. Huge thank you from all of us to Diana and family!

James, Stratford-upon-avon

This cottage looked so beautiful that I hardly dared believe it wouldn't disappoint. It actually exceeded all expectation and we just loved it. Its much bigger than we expected, both the downstairs space and the bedrooms and beautifully equipped and furnished (note no washing machine tho). And the views are simply unbelievable both from the terrace and on the nearby walks. Diana is a superb host and gives you all the information you need (and you will need it if you are newish to rowing) so that you can have a wonderful waterside holiday. What an incredible place!

Carolyn, Putney

How exciting! How peaceful... Row across to your riverside haven, then rest, look and listen. Wake up in the clean and cosy cottage, take an unhurried breakfast before that beautiful view and while away your time right here. Life simply has to slow down so stop, breathe and just enjoy the sights and sounds of the river. Cruise about in your own kayak, maybe. Good pubs are just a splash away.

Melissa, Sawday's inspector

Beautiful cottage in a brilliant location. Will definitely come again.

Jerome, London

Fantastic holiday in a beautiful location, a real "Swallows and Amazons" adventure! Met by Diana who gave us lots of very useful and essential information about the cottage and use of the rowing boat. Really unique experience - great to get away from it all. Ideal for kayaking and coast walking - fully recommend.

Dave, Gloucester

The cottage, the views and the lovely villages of Newton and Noss all lived up to and went beyond our expectations. The cottage is a lovely size with beautiful furnishings and lovely homely touches. We had a fabulous week boating and walking and relaxing watching the world go by. Diana was a great host with a wealth of local knowledge, happy to help with any questions we had, showing us around the cottage and leaving us with a delightful cream tea on the day of our arrival. We will definitely holiday again at this beautiful place.

Beth, Worthing

We had a fabulous week at this lovely cottage. The setting is very romantic, overlooking the Yealm and all the boats moored up, and the cottage is very pretty, spacious and well equipped (although no washing machine). Rowing to the cottage was an exciting adventure that our five year old daughter loved and we visited some stunning beaches in the area. Diana couldn’t have been more helpful and we completely loved sitting outside on the terrace of an evening making the most of the peace and tranquility of this cottage.

Lisa and werner, Oxfordshire

Our 2 week stay at the cottage was absolutely the best summer holiday experience ever! What a magical place to be at, away from the crowds and cars. You can spend all day lounging on the patio watching all the action on the water. Pure bliss! Keith & Diana make you feel so welcome and are always available for help and advice with the utmost care and love. A highly recommended spot!

Lazer & perla, London

The whole family loved this fabulous cottage 6 of us plus our toddler grandson - we all want to come back. The adventure starts by rowing across to reach this lovely so beautifully presented cottage. Diana is a wonderful host and couldn't have been more welcoming and helpful. The area is of outstanding beauty another hidden but now discovered english gem. We loved using the boat & kayak to get around the fabulous weather helped too. Lovely beaches nearby in walking distance too Can't wait to go back!

Jane & nigel, Oxford

Wow what a fabulous week we had in June. The weather was perfect as was the cottage. The views from the land and water were stunning. We definitely recommend watching the sun set from Cellar Beach - we will be back!

Jonathan and katherine, Lewes

As grandad parents, we have taken the whole family on two occasions. The grandchildren, parents and ourselves love the place. We take kayaks and also use the rowing boat to go out on adventures using the tide to give us a free ride. We picnic as the tide changes and get a free ride home. The water is crystal clear, your can see the small fish, mullet and crabs and the flowing weed makes a perfect underwater garden. Row to the pub and back. Perfect week. Try it.

Graham, Midhurst

A truly idyllic retreat in a beautiful part of Devon. The cottage which could only be accessed by boat was set high up on the banks of the peaceful, tidal River Yealm. The cottage was comfortably appointed to a high specification with everything needed for a comfortable self catering holiday. It was tastefully decorated with pretty wild flowers picked from the surrounding Devon hedgerow and fields. Our hostess made us very welcome on arrival. An excellent holiday retreat.

E ann, Nottingham

Picture perfect cottage in an idyllic location. We were blessed to have reasonably nice weather for our long weekend stay and therefore we could explore the area and walk around the cliffs to Wembury. Just like a childhood holiday with a little added adventure with the rowing boat as transport to and from the pub! Diana is a super host and a pleasure to communicate with. We hope we'll be back again soon! :-)

Lisa, Sherfield on loddon

Out of all the Sawday''s Special Places we've stayed at, this is definitely our favourite! This was our 2nd stay and our grown-up children travelled miles to join us there, having kept such happy memories from our 1st visit. The little stretch of water means that you leave the noise and the rush behind and you can relax like nowhere else. Being on the water was so much fun for everyone again! No need for a car to get to the beach, the pubs or fabulous coastal scenery. The cottage is delightful and homely, with the terrace a perfect spot to enjoy the beautiful ever-changing view of the estuary.

Sandrine, Paris

Fantastic place away from it all and spotlessly clean - we visited in an unusually cold April and enjoyed log fires and sunny days, rowed to the pub and walked over the back with the kids to Wembury Beach. We also got to Mothecombe beach which was amazing with really good food at the Schoolhouse cafe. A great base for sailing our boat and kayaking up the creek with a number of paddles. Storage for the trailer up on the hill and excellent training for rowing in a straight line whatever the tide was up to. 50 crabs caught which was definitely the highlight for the kids.

Conrad, London

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.


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

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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!
  • Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo boast three good pubs, a butcher's, a farm shop and a yacht club and the best thing is that you can row to and fro 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.....Summer holidays 2020 have all but gone - sorry.


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.