The Agent's House and Cottage, Rushay

An Edwardian Country house and cottage on the Jurassic Coast

Two huge king-size bedrooms * Three further double bedrooms, en suite attic ‘dorm’ with four single beds, three bathrooms * In the cottage 3 double bedrooms, including ground floor bedroom en suite * Drawing room with open fire * Study with widescreen tv * Dining room seats 18/20 * Kitchen with traditional tiled floor, Aga, electric oven, induction hob, island * Pantry with full-sized American-style fridge freezer * Separate utility room with washing machine * Downstairs lavatory * Cottage with second kitchen and its own sitting room * Exclusive tennis court * Set in huge private gardens with croquet lawn, west-facing terrace, barbecue, dining table * 20 minute walk to the beach (5 mins by car)

‘The perfect place’ for walking holidays, as described in the July 2023 issue of Travel+Leisure magazine, Rushay is a beautiful 9 bedroom Edwardian country house and cottage, with a tennis court and huge gardens, which sleeps 20 and stands just a mile from the beach at Charmouth. 

With four reception rooms, open fires, two fully equipped kitchens, and excellent shopping in the lively market towns of Bridport and Lyme Regis, there’s so much for family groups and holiday makers to enjoy, from the sea itself to a terrace BBQ to table football and tennis.

Built for the agent of this Dorset estate in 1906, with a converted stable cottage across the yard, Rushay has huge swooping tiled roofs, principal rooms facing south and west, high ceilings and waxed wooden floors. Their bay windows overlook the garden to the unspoilt countryside beyond, and fill with light. At the top of the oak stairs, five bedrooms off the landing have white floors and walls that redouble the sense of air and space. At the top of the back stairs, a broad winding flight takes you to the attic dorm.

Drop your wellies, beach bags, snorkels and coats in the boot room, and circulate through the house. From the boots, step through a study/play room into a big sober hall. Off it lies the drawing room with a log fire, and the dining room. The dining room was opened into the kitchen in the 1960s, and we have updated the kitchen with plenty of prep space on the mahogany island and counters, kept cosy by the traditional two-oven Aga that never goes out. There’s an electric hob and oven, too, and doors leading into the laundry and the pantry. It’s a great house for cooking (but ask about hiring a private chef for an evening, too!)

"We had the most fantastic stay here! The pictures don’t quite capture how beautiful the house is. Everything was spotless and Jason was an absolutely fabulous host."

This remains a traditional English country house. Kate and Jason have lived in the country for over thirty years, and her houses have appeared in World of Interiors, The Bible of British Taste and Ben Pentreath’s book English Decoration. Jason is a novelist and historian who writes a column for Country Life.
Across the yard, the cottage is newly renovated to match the house, with one en suite ground floor bedroom for easy access, two upstairs bedrooms, a further bathroom, kitchen and sitting room: a snug retreat that comes with the house. 

Between the house and the cottage we have two king-size bedrooms, six double bedrooms, and the attic dorm with four singles.

The garden around the two houses is down to lawn, with beech, oak and ash, cherry, walnut and hazel, as well as an apple orchard, paddocks and a stone terrace to the west, perfect for a bbq on warm evenings. In Spring the sunken croquet lawn is awash with wild orchids. You can walk right out of the garden to the sea in about twenty minutes.

"Fantastic house and garden; large rooms, clean and well kept. Fantastic location. Fantastic host."

Charmouth has two beaches, one perfect for families and the other the jewel in the Jurassic coast’s fossil crown. Lyme Regis – with the Cobb, and dinosaur museums – is three miles away and Bridport, with its lively shops and market, ten minutes in the other direction. Axminster is a sleepy town also ten minutes over the Devon border, with a mainline railway station (Waterloo in 2 3/4 hours). See the Around Rushay section for ideas, outings, shopping and great walks.

West Dorset is home to great chefs like Mark Hix in Lyme and Cass Titcombe at Brassica, and there are wonderful places to buy local produce, meat and seafood. Or you can leave it all behind in a moment by walking up into the hills for uplifting views to the sea, and into two counties. At least two nearby hills are crowned by Iron Age earthworks, part of a chain of hill forts across the Marshwood Vale, itself still dominated by small fields and ancient woodland. 

Over the past three years, Rushay has garnered an unbroken string of enthusiastic reviews, not least for the warm welcome that awaits you when you come to stay. Whether it’s walking or swimming, cooking or exploring, or just relaxing with family and friends, Rushay makes the perfect base.

"A perfect spot for our four generation family holiday."