A GUEST house in Chard has new owners after the couple who had run it for 26 years retired.

Watermead Guest House, in a secluded spot off High Street, is a Victorian villa with nine bedrooms, a guest lounge with original open fireplaces and a dining room conservatory overlooking the gardens.

The business was put on the market by David and Trudy Cole, who had operated it since 1997.

The new owners are Gary Birch and Jamie Tillotson.

In a joint statement they said: "We are excited to continue the long tradition of great customer service at Watermead House with exciting plans for redevelopment to further enhance its existing reputation – 2024 will be an exciting year for us.”

Stephen Champion, director at Christie & Co, who handled the sale, said: "Watermead proved to be an excellent family home and business to David and Trudy, and we have no doubt it will continue to do the same for new owners Gary and Jamie.

"We wish them every success with their new business venture.”