Hotel History

The original Edwardian was built in 1900 as the home of Harrietta Briscoe, daughter of the rector of Hawkchurch. She bought the land from the Lord Bridport estate and designed her new home on the highest point to capture the magnificent views and wonderful sunsets.  She named her new home “Fairwater Head”, the gathering ground for the Fairwater stream.

In February 1970 an engineer from Scotland and his wife, Peter and Margaret Fairfield, bought the house. At this point the Fairwater Head consisted of only 9 bedrooms. In 1972 they opened the house as a hotel and built the East Wing extension (adding 8 more bedrooms) and then the bar extension (this was to enable Margaret to have a living room in their private flat above).  In 1976 they had the restaurant extension built.  In 1984 the Fairfields sold the hotel to the Austin Family who subsequently build the Garden Wing bringing the hotel to 20 en suite bedrooms.

In August 2007 the current owners Adam and Carrie Southwell bought the hotel having previously owned a hotel on Dartmoor for 10 years.   They currently run the hotel with 16 bedrooms and live onsite with their two boys Tom and Oscar, and their three dogs Mocca, Lolly and Barnie.

The Hotel

Set in the unspoilt Devonshire countryside, the Edwardian country house hotel offers panoramic views, free Wi-Fi in public areas, free parking and an award winning-restaurant.  Situated in peaceful Hawkchurch, the “Village of Roses”, the Fairwater Head Hotel is just 4 miles from Axminster and 5 miles from Lyme Regis and the Jurassic Coast.

The hotel has three distinct and different room types to suit all requirements, all of which have views over the hotel’s extensive gardens and some with views of the spectacular Axe Valley.

There are fabulous walks close by as well as stunning coastal walks a little further afield, so how could we not welcome dogs.  There will even be a welcome treat waiting for them in their room and we can provide lots of information on dog friendly places to visit.

The Restaurant

Using local produce and the finest ingredients is very important to Tony, our head chef and his award winning team.  We are all about relaxed dining in beautiful surroundings.