The World is Quiet Here
Unplug and unwind away from it all at the Little Otterling & Little Gillyflower cottages. Walks and a cosy local are the order of the day
Review by Andy Barnham
I’m not sure when I started waking up and instantly checking my emails on my phone. I remember I used to enjoy seeing what had been sent and looking forward to the coming day. However at some stage that initial enjoyment soon turned into a feeling of dread. The never ending flow of emails, many of which would never benefit my life in any way, coming in at all hours from people believing they needed to send the correspondence immediately and expected a reply equally promptly. Whilst I now try and take some time to formulate a considered reply and not answer instantly, there are also occasions when I actually turn my mobile off and I’ve now started to switch off my electronics at least an hour before going to bed; checking my emails right up until lights out was affecting my sleep. It was in the middle of one of these, seemingly, never ending emails threads that my wife and I decided we needed to escape. An escape somewhere surrounded by peace and quiet and away from being instantly reachable 24/7.
It was my wife that found the Little Otterling & Little Gillyflower Cottages, close to the ancient (according to Wikipedia) town of Tavistock, in the Tamar Valley in Cornwall. There aren’t many luxury cottages that are dog friendly that look quite as attractive as Otterling & Gillyflower, so a few clicks of the mouse later, we were all set for a week in the Little Gillyflower cottage.
Ottering and Gillyflower are mirror images of each other and are lovely one up, one down cottages that have been furnished to a very high standard. Guests walk into their self-catering cottage past a small, but fully equipped and modern kitchen (including dishwasher and microwave in addition to the usual mod cons of a hob and fridge/ freezer) with a comfortable sofa in the adjoining living area. Underfloor heating ensures that even in cold weather, the flagstones stay warm and for the inner pyromaniac in all of us, there’s a wood burner for even more heat as well as an outside fire pit if you fancy sitting under the stars roasting marshmallows. Upstairs there’s a king sized bed, along with a large Velux window for natural light, and en-suite bathroom (due to the dimensions of the cottage, tall guests may have to shower slightly hunched over). Dogs are welcome at the cottage, but asked not to be allowed upstairs or onto the furniture and seeing the quality of the furnishings, it’s easy to understand why; indeed to ensure this house rule wasn’t broken, my wife and I specifically took our dog’s cage and crated her every night.
The cottage is situated next to the River Tamar and is close to duchy land including paths through nearby woods. For those who want to explore the local area, Gunnislake is a 20 minute up and then downhill walk, with a convenience store in case emergency supplies are needed. For those after a local pub the Rising Sun is a 10 minute walk from the town centre and is an excellent and very friendly little boozer with hearty comfort food on offer as well as local ales (the nearest pub to Quiet, the White Hart Inn, apparently offers a good Sunday roast, but is closed most afternoons). Tavistock is approximately 20 minutes away by car and is worth a morning, or afternoon, stroll; the main reason for our visits being the regular trips to the Morrison’s and Tesco’s to resupply on prosecco.
While local attractions, such as the South Ham beaches and Dartmoor, are a car hop away, walking was the preferred mode of transport for my wife and I. Whilst the small print notes the cottage is at the end of a narrow and long lane, the reality of the lane ensured the car stayed parked as much as possible. Barely wider than the car with stone walls on either side, various scratches and scars down the half mile show evidence of vehicular victims that have been distracted as they drove down it. Definitely not a lane for the faint hearted or claustrophobic and not to be tackled lightly at night.
While the path through the duchy land is green and scenic, be careful of letting any dogs run free; the banks to the River Tamar by the cottages are too high for a dog to climb back up if they fancy a swim and the duchy land is inhabited by stags and deer. My wife stumbled upon a deer and her little bambi while walking and while our dog may have just wanted to play had she been off the lead, I doubt Mummy Deer would have seen it that way.
With bookings starting on a Friday and lasting a minimum of a week, the guest book at Little Gillyflower is full of testimonials of people in praise of the luxury cottage. With no phone reception, it is up to you whether you log into the cottage’s wifi network and want to connect to the outer world, or take the chance to breath in the Cornish air and reset the batteries. Either way, Little Gillyflower does exactly what it says on the tin.
Enquiries: Little Otterling & Little Gillyflower, Gunnislake, Tamar Valley, Cornwall, UK/ +44 (0) 1637 881183/