A 200-year-old coaching inn, on a site that dates back to Saxon times, which is famous – indeed an institution – for fishing and for food. Traditional country pursuits are taken seriously here: the Arundell Arms has been one of England’s premier fishing hotels for more than half a century. Anglers have 20 miles of private fishing and a 90-feet-deep lake at their disposal (containing some very large, wily trout). When autumn comes, the fisherman go, shooting parties arrive with spaniels and labradors, and talk at the bar is of high birds and driven snipe. Lifton is surrounded by some of the loveliest countryside in England. Fishing arrangements are flexible ­– don’t be shy of visiting if you’re a beginner.
    Then there’s the food. Head Chef Steven Pidgeon has the accolade of being a Master Chef of Great Britain – one of only 80. His food is meticulously prepared and beautifully presented, complemented by good wines and attentive, friendly service.
    From the sitting room you can see the garden and the 250-year-old former cockpit, now a tackle room. There are two rather grand interconnecting dining rooms and a friendly bar. Bedrooms are homely, pretty and fresh. Home-made chocolates are placed in the sitting room for guests after dinner and there are vases of fresh flowers. A unique place.