A HISTORIC coaching inn which has occupied a prominent location on the old route from Porlock to Lynmouth since the 18th Century is on the market.

The Blue Ball Inn – believed to be named after the practice of raising a blue ball on a pole for guests to hail passing coaches – attracts large numbers of hikers and history enthusiasts, generating net sales in excess of £720,000 per annum.

The Grade II listed inn, which has undergone a number of major refurbishments, is now on the market with Colliers International for £1,445,000.

Ed Jefferson from Colliers International’s Hotels team said: “The Blue Ball has plenty going for it – it’s on the main road to Lynton and Lynmouth, it’s within walking distance of Exmoor and it’s near Wind Hill – thought to be the location of the Battle of Cynwit – which featured heavily in The Last Kingdom TV series.

“With exposed beams and log burning stoves, the inn is a favourite stopover for people exploring the coastline.”

He added that the Blue Ball Inn has five separate public areas including a 120 cover restaurant which is also used for functions. There are also 16 letting bedrooms and a well-appointed one/two bedroom flat.

“Our clients acquired the property in 2007 when it was known as the Exmoor Sandpiper, before they embarked on an ambitious overhaul which included restoring the inn’s former name,” he said.

“Due to a retirement, this profitable business is now on the market for the first time in a decade.”

The Blue Ball Inn is situated within the Exmoor National Park on the main A39, and is about ten miles from Porlock, 17 from Minehead and 38 from Taunton and the M5 motorway.

It is yards from the South West Coast Path with seven documented walks that begin and end at the property, and as a result is very popular with walkers.

In addition to being conveniently located for Lynton and Lynmouth, the inn is well-placed for attractions such as the Doone Valley and Exmoor.