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Commercial Property for sale

Devon/Cornwall Border, Holsworthy, Devon, EX22


Property Description

Key features

  • Owners 6 bedroom house
  • 17 fishing lakes
  • 8 en suite B&B rooms
  • 6 2-bed S/C apartments
  • 18 1-bed S/C apartments
  • Visitor Centre & restaurant
  • Bar and lounge
  • 78 acres

Full description

One of the top fisheries in the country set in a beautiful 78 acre estate with superior self-catering and bed-and-breakfast accommodation and purpose-built visitor centre - enormous potential for further expansion into a major tourist destination.

Situation & Amenities:

Clawford Holidays is situated in a beautiful unspoilt stretch of countryside close to the Devon/Cornwall border with the accommodation having magnificent panoramic southerly views over the estate and lakes, whilst to the north there are far- reaching views over the Claw Valley to Holsworthy Woods. On a clear day Bodmin Moor can be seen in the far distance. There is a thriving local community at nearby Ashwater which has a well-respected pub and there is a primary school at Clawton. More extensive facilities are provided in the market town of Holsworthy (4 miles) including a Waitrose supermarket and at Launceston (11.5 miles). Clawford is centrally located, equidistant from Exeter, Plymouth and Barnstaple. The north Cornwall coast with its famous surfing beaches and the seaside resort of Bude lie about 13 miles to the west. It is about 10 miles to the A30 which provides dual-carriageway access direct to the M5 at Exeter and also into Cornwall with its many tourist attractions.


The development of Clawford Holidays over the past 24 years has been a remarkable achievement by the present owners and it only comes to the market as a result of their impending retirement. Originally a small farm typical of the area, it now comprises one of the most important fisheries in the country with a total of 17 lakes stocked with over 34 species and sub-species of freshwater fish. In creating the lakes, landscaping the surrounding area and establishing cider apple orchards and a small vineyard, a superb natural wildlife environment has been established regularly attracting deer and a wide variety of birds, duck, flowers, butterflies and insects.

The standard of accommodation is exceptionally high and evidence of the owners emphasis on a quality holiday experience for guests. There are eight bed-and-breakfast en suite bedrooms on the first floor of the Visitor Centre and a total of 24 self-catering apartments, all enjoying superb views over the lakes. The standard of furnishings and fittings is compatible with a high-class hotel, with many apartments having beautiful reproduction antique furniture and 4 poster beds.

The purpose-built Visitor Centre has been operational since 2001 and provides first-class facilities for guests with lounge, restaurant, bar, games room and commercial kitchen and, outside, a terrace and beer garden all benefiting from the superb view over the lakes. There is a full alcohol licence.

The original farmhouse has been totally refurbished and provides spacious owners or managers accommodation with six bedrooms including a ground floor self-contained annexe. There is scope to offer further bed-and-breakfast accommodation within the house. There are a number of general-purpose outbuildings for the management of the estate, a tackle and bait shop, car parking and pasture land for anyone keeping horses or livestock.

One of the attractions of Clawford Holidays is its under-commercialisation with the present owners enjoying it as a lifestyle business and operating it in a way that has suited their needs. However, it is this same lack of commercialisation that provides a huge opportunity for future owners wishing to develop the business further and establish Clawford as one of the South Wests principal tourist destinations.

Clawford House:

A former farmhouse dating from the mid 19th century, this provides spacious, comfortable accommodation for an owner or manager of the site. Occupying a slightly elevated position it enjoys superb south-facing views over the lakes and countryside. It has been re-roofed and modernised throughout with oil-fired central heating, hardwood doors, skirting boards and window frame with double-glazing. On the ground floor is a hall with shower room off, sitting room, fitted kitchen/dining room, conservatory and self-contained annexe with bedroom/sitting room, kitchen/dining room and shower room; on the first floor are five bedrooms, two en suite shower rooms, a family bathroom and dressing room.

The Visitor Centre:

This excellent facility was purpose-built in 2001 and offers a high level of comfort for guests. Extending to about 2,314 sq ft it provides a large lounge with wood-burning stove, separate bar with wood-burning stove, fully equipped bar area and large cellar, fisherman's snug, games room with pool table, breakfast room (seats 30), split level restaurant/function room (seats 80) with superb outlook over the lakes, commercial kitchen, boiler/utility room and toilets. Further tables can be laid out on the terrace and there is a beer garden running down to an ornamental koi pond.

Bed And Breakfast (Sleeps 20)

There are eight spacious, centrally heated and well-appointed rooms, all with en suite shower rooms, situated on the first floor of the Visitor Centre. Most face either south or west and benefit from the views. Rooms can sleep either 2 or 3 guests and have 28 or 30 wide screen digital televisions. In a survey the bed and breakfast accommodation was ranked in the UK's Top 20 by The Observer.

Fletchers Self-Catering Apartments (Sleep 4/5)

Six 2 bedroom apartments in three buildings set back from each other to ensure privacy and a view to the lakes. Each apartment has a good-size sitting room with French windows opening either onto a patio or balcony, well-equipped kitchen/dining room with fridge/freezer and dishwasher, two bedrooms each with en suite shower room and a third shower room off the sitting room. Three of the sitting rooms have an additional pull-down single bed. Lakeside, situated on the ground floor nearest Fletchers Lake, has been designed with improved access for the disabled.

Wandas Luxury Self-Catering Apartments (Sleep 2)

Eight 1 bedroom apartments in two buildings constructed in 2006/2007delightfully situated with the vineyard on one side and apple orchards on the other, with panoramic southerly views of the lakes to the front. To the rear are far reaching views over the Claw Valley to Holsworthy Woods. The apartments offer extremely comfortable, well-furnished accommodation either with patios or balconies from which the views can be fully appreciated. They each comprise spacious bedroom/sitting room with 32 wide screen digital television, well-equipped kitchen/dining room and floor to ceiling tiled shower room. The four first floor apartments have king-size double beds with the three honeymoon suites having hand-made four-poster beds. Those on the ground floor have twin beds. The apartments have parking and tackle stores.

Writers Block Luxury Self-Catering Apartments (Sleep 2)

Named after famous writers and poets, these ten 1 bedroom apartments are contained in a single building completed in 2010 and enjoy the same stunning views over the lakes, apple orchards and countryside. Each unit is individual in character and luxuriously appointed with reproduction antique furniture and beautifully carved king-size or super king-size four-poster bed. 42- 46 wide screen digital televisions are provided. The kitchens are well equipped with painted finish in the first floor apartments and solid oak on the ground floor. Shower rooms have floor to ceiling tiling. All apartments have either patios or balconies from which to appreciate the views. There is car parking, wet rooms and tackle storage facilities.

The Fishery:

The property has been developed by the present owners into one of the most highly respected fisheries in the country, featured in a number of angling publications. A total of 17 lakes have been created extending to about 50 acres of water. They are heavily stocked with over 34 species and sub-species of coarse fish with many of specimen size bred from the fishery's own stock. See Table of Lakes under Floor Plans .

Catch Records:

Wandas Lake: 12.5lb Green Tench, 4.75lb Perch, 12lb Bream and 8lb Barbel.
JRs Lake: 68lb Wels Cat Fish, (325lbs Silver Fish in 3 hours), 5.25lb Perch.
Fletcher's Lake: +33lb Ghost Carp and 3.25lb Roach.
Tanners Lake: 45lb Common Carp.
Major Johns Lake: 43lb 12oz Mirror Carp and 35lb Grass Carp.
Clawford Lake: 660lbs of Carp in a day.
Gregory's Lake: 22lb Golden Carp, 25lb Koi Carp and 6.25lb Golden Tench.

The Grounds:

Immediately adjacent to the house and Visitor Centre is the main car park with nearby greenhouse, wood shed and re-cycling store. There is further car parking alongside the self-catering units. A former farmyard provides overspill car parking and has a large implement shed. At the top of the yard is a storage shed, workshop and tackle/bait shop. There are extensive communal grassed areas running down to the lakes and many walks to be enjoyed around the estate. To the west of the house and Visitor Centre is a small vineyard of Triumph d Alsace vines. Further west, beyond the self-catering apartments, are 3 acres of cider apple orchards with such traditional varieties as Michelin, Dabinett and Browns Apple. Beyond the lakes are further orchards and 5 acres of broadleaf woodland with a magnificent display of bluebells and primroses in the spring. About 10 acres of pasture land provides grazing for livestock or horses. There are many mature trees within the hedgerows and the diverse nature of the estate provides a wonderful environment for wildlife of all descriptions.

The Business:

The owners have been constantly developing and upgrading Clawford Holidays since they began the project 24 years ago resulting in the present well-established business with an excellent reputation. The most recent addition was Writers Block apartments which only began to receive visitors in mid 2010. The husband and wife team of John and Wanda Ray have concentrated their efforts on offering visitors high-quality accommodation, food and fishing but in a manner that has suited their way of life. The site, for instance, is only open to adults and the fishing is largely reserved for residents, with three lakes set aside for day tickets and matches. Similarly, the bar and restaurant are only available to residents and not to the general public. Income has been generated through the owners own website and through advertising in angling publications. Extremely successful in selling fishing holidays, Clawford provides an excellent income but has huge potential for future growth (see Potential Vision for the Future on the following page). Details of the accounts can be made available to bona fide purchasers who have viewed the property.


The property has a Premises Licence.

Local Authority:

Torridge District Council, Riverbank House, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2QG Tel: 01237 428700.

Potential Vision For The Future:

It is considered that Clawford Holidays has enormous potential to capitalise further on the existing accommodation and hospitality facilities. Clearly identifiable strategies to increase turnover include:

Extending day tickets - holding weekly matches - holding a monthly fishing festival - syndicating lakes - expanding the tackle/bait shop - taking wedding bookings - welcoming children and families - opening the restaurant and bar to non-residents - providing lunches - encouraging corporate events.

Clawford Holidays is already a well-established tourism development which makes a significant contribution both to the local economy and to the North Devon tourism industry. It is considered that existing policies and strategies would support a significant further expansion of tourism facilities at Clawford, to the extent of securing additional units of self-catering holiday accommodation in association with the established fishery. In the past there have been discussions with Torridge District Council relating to creating a further 101 units on site but no formal application was made and it is incumbent on any interested party to make their own planning enquiries of the local authority.


Just wanted to say thanks again for a fabulous week. We have been to a few fisheries in Devon over the last few years and in comparison your fishery puts all the others to shame. You can really tell how well it is looked after and we will be recommending it to everyone. Finally we have found our perfect holiday and no longer need to try different places!!

I'm well and truly hooked on Clawford, the fishing and its fabulous facilities. I just keep coming back. After 18 consecutive years fishing there I can't congratulate you both enough on the ongoing improvements to this exclusive venue. I don't need to find anywhere else. Clawford has it all.

Best place in the UK, the fishing is amazing.


Council Tax band E. 1,846.99 payable 2010/11. Business Rates: Rateable Value 45,750 - 14,788.84 payable 2010/11.


Mains electricity and water supplies. Secondary well water supply. Private sewage treatment plant with Consent to Discharge. Oil-fired central heating in main house and Visitor Centre. Thermostatically-controlled electric heating in self-catering apartments.

Rights Of Way:

The private drive is owned by Clawford Holidays but is subject to rights of way in favour of neighbouring properties.

Fixtures, Fittings & Stock:

The sale includes all fish stocks and trade fixtures and fittings. Stags is not to be held liable for the quality or quantity of the fish stocks, nor any death or disease that may affect such stocks. Purchasers must satisfy themselves as to the quality and quantity of the fish stocks prior to purchase.


Please take care when viewing and walking close to lakes and waterways; ensure that children are supervised at all times.




These particulars are a guide only and should not be relied upon for any purpose. All information relating to the fishery is provided by the vendors and cannot be verified by the agents.

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