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Acorn Cottage was a milking parlour, part of a larger agricultural barn, now Underhill Barn

Full of character but with every modern convenience for your comfort, Acorn Cottage sits in the heart of Southleigh

We viewed the property in April 2022 and were taken away by the ample space provided in the cottage and the opportunity to turn it into a luxury getaway.  Generous proportions and its own private garden make it a perfect place for a weekend break or longer with a fully fitted kitchen with all the facilities you’d expect.



Southleigh is a working agricultural village with a strong community at its beating heart.  Set within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) we’ve embraced country life to the full and are enjoying the change in life having previously lived and worked in London for over 30 years.

Meet Ants & Lance

Ants’ first job was in Hospitality Management, however his career took a turn and he worked for over 20 years leading digital platforms and teams for many well-known global brands… but his passions lay elsewhere.


Food is and has always been his passion – he loves cooking, finding new produce and interesting ingredients and they are keen hosts, regularly entertaining friends and family.


Lance worked in the Customer Service industry for over 30 years before diverging into the commercial aspect of providing medical services to private practitioners and the NHS.  Monday to Friday he's working but he’s on-hand for weekend guests!


Getting to know Ants:

Coffee or tea?

I have to start the day with a coffee, I drink much less than I used to, but I really need a coffee to get going a feel like myself in the morning, but a good ol cuppa made with proper tea leaves is a must in the afternoon, I have at least two mugs a day and more if I’m stuck at my desk.


What made you move to East Devon?

It had long been a dream of ours to move into a rural location.  My cousin and his family live in the South Hams, he's more like a brother to me, so being closer to them all was very much a deciding factor.  We didn’t know East Devon until we saw the property and we were taken away with its beauty and the ability to be by the sea in minutes.  Whilst I loved my job, my heart has always been in and around food and hosting, so setting up the B&B next-door and opening a holiday business was a natural next step. I love meeting new people and hearing about their stories. 


Why set up a holiday business?


We’ve stayed in many self-catering places over the years both here in abroad, and I really wanted to create a place that we’d like to stay in.  We’ve stayed in beautifully designed places, but there’s little kitchen equipment and I really like to cook.  I really hope that we’ve found the right balance of design and practicality that keeps our guests comfortable and able to relax in our beautiful surroundings. Having worked in the City in senior roles, I know how exhausting modern life can be, and I want to provide a haven of calm and tranquility for our guests to recharge in comfort.

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Getting to know Lance:


Coffee or tea?

I have to have a tea first thing to get me going, without it I’m just not myself, however I drink much less tea than Ants.  A mid morning coffee however does perk me up and get me through to lunchtime.


What made you move to East Devon?

Devon was a bit a change in direction as previously we’d been looking in the Cotswolds, however I’m so glad we’re here!  The community here is wonderful and I love the fact that we’re in a working agricultural village, the agricultural backbone really gives Southleigh its heart and character.  I’m originally from a semi-rural environment so living in the country is a bit like coming home for me.  The ability to be in both stunning countryside and by the sea in minutes was really the clincher for us both.


Why set up a holiday business?

We always wanted to have both a B&B and a holiday business, and as Ants said above, we really wanted to create something for our guests that we’d have loved to have experienced when we were both working in London.  The physical building and layout really lends Acorn Cottage to a holiday let too, with its own private garden, entrance and facilities, we very much look forward to welcoming you soon!

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