26 independent reviews for Devon eco lodge accommodation, England

These full and frank independent reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.


review 24 Apr 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The farm was fantastic for the kids, we have made lots of memories that we will treasure.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Everything you need is there, just remember to pack your wellies.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All of the above. We all learnt so much while we were there.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic holiday and would definitely highly recommend.

review 20 Aug 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The coastal walk from Horns Cross to Westward Ho! Using the farm bikes to cycle - to Winkleigh, to the Lymington Arms etc, hiring bikes at Torrington Puffing Billy.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

It really isn't that hard to get the train there. Honest. The year before we drove to Devon and it took 12 hours to return to Leeds which is just super stressful. This year the train took 6 hours. No problem, apart from that 'aah which platform are we on?' figuring things out /sort of fun stress. The couple who run the lodges picked us up /drop us off. Perfect. And the farm bikes are great for a quick ride up hill down dale to the pubs for lunch, or to the trusty 5B bus stop (we just locked them to a tree together and picked them up after a day out). There's a farm shop within bike/walk distance from the lodges which is lovely for a tasty pie or coffee. Ah. there seems to be a cheeky mobile fish and chip van on a Thursday tea time near the local supermarket too. Sorely needed after the coastal walk believe you me. Anyway, Just do it. Buses, bikes and feet are the way forward on this holiday. (And, judging by recent news, it seems for all of us, if were don't take a bit more care with the car fumes...) Devon is very green, warm and beautiful by the way.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes i think it did. We reduced the amount of cars on the road (ours), got a bit more fresh air and fun on the double decker buses/bikes/trains, did our best to recycle as we went along (not too different from how we all do it at home nowadays), and our tourism helped the guys who run the place to keep it going for wildlife too, so that's pretty cool for all of us :)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great. Created some fun memories and yes I would recommend it to a friend. It was actually pretty cheap for a holiday in Devon during the kids hols and we were out and about so much we ended up just picking up a few bits and bobs from the local supermarket more often than not at the end of the day so it was easy on the purse as well. I know as I went to Jersey the week before (which is also very beautiful) but spent an arm and a leg, and this was just good fun but with a little peace thrown in at the beginning and end of a day. I'd rate it a 4.5 for definite. It'd be a 5/5 if I could just overcome the need for someone to provide a cooked breakfast every morning, but I am a little lazy. And perhaps too greedy.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Kath. Thanks for the great review, and thank you for choosing to stay here. It's only the income from guests that allows us to manage the land for wildlife. You did well getting out and about and it's so good to see people use bikes and public transport rather than default to the car. I'll have to see about the cooked breakfast..... All the best, Ian & Maggie

review 15 Aug 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Landscape in Devon/Cornwall. A fine and clean Lodge on the farm close to Winkleigh. Owners are very friendly.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Visit the beautiful coastline on the south (Exeter) - west (Bude) and north side (Appledore, Lynmouth). All sites for example.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, the farm can only manage this land for the wildlife and biodiversity with the lodges with guests paying for this. Otherwise this farm would have to be run in "modern" form as usual.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We had a great time in Devon and will come back one day hopefully. Greetings to Rosy and Saul from Responsable Travel.

review 12 Jun 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Taking our son on a back carrier around Lydford Gorge. Such a lot of fun! The incredible sounds of the birds surrounding the lodge.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be aware that the local farm shop closes at 1pm on Saturday, doesn't open on a Sunday and only accepts cash! So if arriving Saturday afternoon, it's worth getting a food delivery.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely. Staying at the eco lodge enables the nature reserve to be sustained and there are plenty of local farm shops, a fantastic local butchers (with lovely cheeses as well as very good meat and chutneys) and pubs close by to enjoy!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was a very enjoyable holiday for a family with a young baby and we hope to come back when he is older because it's a lovely space for children to roam. The owners are lovely and passionate about conservation. The eco lodge had an excellent verandah overlooking wide open space so we could enjoy our evenings whilst baby slept. There was so much to go and see in the local area with Dartmoor a short drive and an excellent Cream Tea picnic at RHS Rosemoor 20 minutes away.

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks so much for taking the time to submit a review. We're delighted you enjoyed your holiday - and so pleased to read your comments as that's exactly what we aim for! Maggie (ps We love Lydford Gorge too!)

review 22 Sep 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Maggie, joint owner with Ian, took us on a walk through the wet grassland area of special scientific interest. Not only was it interesting from an ecological point of view it was such fun. It was so wet and swampy that 'stuck in the mud' doesn't begin to describe it. We were in stitches - haven't laughed so much in ages!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take wellies, though they have plenty you can borrow if you haven't got any, and take Ian and Maggie up on their offers of pond dipping, walks etc.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely. The greenest week of our lives. The farm is incredibly self sufficient, particularly in regards to energy, and they support local produce, and recycle or reuse everything possible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fab! Made me realise how 'city' our kids are so it was great to be able to let them off the leash, let them run wild, get muddy and involved with nature. Cabins were cosy and comfortable. Ian and Maggie were lovely. Would absolutely do it again and would recommend to anyone who wants to get away for some really very fresh air and countryside!

Read the operator's response here:

That one was quite a walk wasn't it! You were all very game, especially the kids! That's the wettest I've ever seen the nature reserve in summer and if I'd realised I might have tried to dissuade you. Glad I didn't! And 'the greenest week of our lives' is really rewarding compliment. Thanks, and thanks for choosing to stay here, it was lovely meeting you all.

review 16 Sep 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We weren't looking for excitement, more relaxation. We'll remember the brightness of the stars on clear nights with no light pollution, watching bats flying around our lodge at sunset, waking late because it was so quiet and comfortable and the blackout blinds were so good, the ruby red cows really glowing like rubies at sunset, being content to just potter around the farm in the sunshine without getting bored.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't rely on the directions for finding the farm (we got very lost), use a map to work out your own route and then just follow the last bit from Winkleigh which is easy. Don't come with preconceptions, let the peacefulness of the place slow you down. Bring wellies and a torch. The local dog walks are great. RHS Rosemoor nearby is well worth a visit, as is Great Torrington nearby. Eat at the Tally ho in Hatherleigh. You can get to lovely beaches at Bude in 40mins and the sea is 17deg (warm!).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Maggie and Ian recommended local businesses like the local Farm Shop and the pub in Winkleigh. The farm uses alternative energy in almost every way possible, encourages recycling, encourages car-free days out, has its own nature reserve, has inspired me to consider solar water-heating for my own house.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I loved it.

Read the operator's response here:

Glad you had a relaxing break and saw the stars. We're in one of the last remaining dark spots in England and on a clear night the heavens are fabulous. And thanks for your review. I'm proud of it because it seems to say 'we thought it might be too hippy for us, but actually it was pretty normal'. That's absolutely what we're about - genuine demonstrable sustainability without the whacky stuff! Finally, to anyone who gets lost finding us please don't hesitate to ring. We'll do our best to guide you through the Devon lanes! Thanks, Maggie

review 8 Apr 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Most memorable part... Scones on arrival (they were the best I have ever tasted!), walking around the beautiful country side and the farm. It was very relaxing and there are lots of great walks/bike rides, talking to Ian (the owner) about the farm, sustainability and what their future plans are.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring wellies & take a day back pack. I would recommend at least 3 nights (we only stayed for 2 and 3 would have been ideal.)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Absolutely!

review 10 Sep 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

This is a very beautiful part of the country, and the place where we stayed was quiet and very private. The lodge was well equipped and incredibly warm and cosy even when the weather was wet and windy. We walked, read, cycled played badminton and had a barbeque. All in all completely relaxing. The wooden floor in the lodge was particularly good for dancing!!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Book quickly if you like it quiet and rural and you like to protect the environment.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Ian and Maggie made every effort to protect the environment with recycling and solar water heating. They helped us shop locally and have a car free time. Maggie gave us a tour round their nature reserve and shared her enthusiasm while Ian could discus energy conservation and ecological building options.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

For us this was the perfect break to give us peace, space and fun! So we will be going again I think.

review 22 Aug 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Giving our children freedom to run around the farm - having lots of space to explore and us time to relax. We also loved the Eden Project. We enjoyed star gazing at night - seeing the Milky Way and lots of comets. Ian & Maggie were great and made us feel very welcome - really enjoyed the nature walk and pond dipping with Maggie.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Lots of old clothes for the children; it takes time to get places by car as the roads are smaller; the train service from Eggsford is great - we used it to get to the coast and we loved Dawlish Warren - lovely beach and a nature reserve (really reasonable with a family railcard); Eden Project has reduced entry Tues, Wed & Thurs after 3.30 pm & children free over school summer hols and is open until 8 pm. Take a torch for walking back from the pub at night and star watching.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Ian & Maggie left lots of information about local shops / pubs / public transport which we used. They also encouraged recycling and made this very easy. We used the trains a lot and found this an easy way to travel to the south coast especially.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We all really enjoyed it - our children loved the freedom and we loved the peace and quiet.

review 7 Aug 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

My four children had the freedom to run around and make as much noise as they wanted. They used their imagination in the trees and the lovely tree house that the owner had made for his children, and allowed ours to use. The children also went on the nature/conservation walk with us and the owners and were really interested in all the animals and plants and the 'secret pond'!!! It was quiet and we had no worries about where the children were, if they would get run over etc etc. They got wet and filthy and loved the outdoors with no constraints put on them. The owners were very friendly and helpful and the accommodation was spacious and clean with most things provided for especially for our 19 month old. We also played lots of indoor and outdoor games much more and the children hardly watched TV - about an hour a day!!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Just be aware that you may have to travel to the beach and tourist attractions but the accommodation, tranquillity and freedom of the site are well worth it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Very much so as everything was recycled and there was solar powered energy etc. We bought local stuff as much as we could although it is slightly more expensive. There are no cars and the conservation site is beautiful. We recycled as much as we could and the owners, even if the council did not take the items, took it to the dump themselves.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent for everyone as we could relax without worry whilst the children ran off their steam. It would have been five (below) if we did not have the children with us as we could have relaxed more and just worried about us.

review 13 Jul 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

My 3 year old daughter enjoyed collecting some newly laid eggs from the chickens on the farm. We also enjoyed a nice cooked breakfast from the nearby farmshop.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Really nice place to cycle around. Research bike routes before you go (or take a computer to look this up as the accommodation has wi-fi), and ask if you can borrow OS maps. Although the Tarka Trail was nice, we found it more interesting just cycling around, passing through lovely villages as there is lots to see.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very enjoyable, nice simple accommodation. We had great weather too. Great beaches but a bit of a drive to them (we went to the north and south coasts).

review 30 Jun 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Just loved being away from it all!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take own towels and take your wellies if you want to explore the nature reserve. nearest supermarket is in Okehampton and although there is a lovely local farm shop it's best to stock up before you arrive.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

Read the operator's response here:

Glad you had a good time - and thanks for staying with us. I've noticed several of these reviews mention wellies. They certainly make exploring the nature reserve much easier. There are marshy bits all year and of course the long grass can be wet whether with dew or rain. So I just wanted to add (for other readers) that if visitors don't have their own wellies we have a growing collection from freecycle, ranging from toddler to adult size 10, and can usually lend something suitable. Hope we'll see you again sometime Julie!

review 14 Jun 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Being able to feel relaxed, have places that the children can play, feel that you are adding to a natural environment and enjoy the company of other like minded visitors and those who were running the holiday.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

None.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

5 out of 5.

review 7 Jan 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Apart from staying in such a quiet, beautiful scenic area we were so lucky to watch a barn owl and sparrow hawk hunting at dawn and dusk outside our lodge. It became part of our days schedule to be around to hopefully see these wonderful birds in action, so close to our home. Unfortunately we didn’t think to bring our binoculars!!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Obviously holidaying in the winter with its shorter days and other people fairly scarce it was ideal for spotting the active wildlife and the holiday site was well off the beaten track, so recommended for getting away from the rat-race. Saying that, on the last day we easily travelled to the coast within an hour, to see the sea, so during the high season beaching is still a possibility from this wonderful site.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I felt really privileged to have stayed at the eco lodge, a fairly new venture especially for us, but I felt I was putting something back to the environment and supporting the local area by visiting towns and using the shops and restaurants.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Our year (2009) hadn’t been so good, and I definitely needed a change of scenery. Having this short break at the lodge has revitalized the whole family and we came away feeling refreshed and ready to take on 2010. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this break to my friends, just remember, wellies are an essential!!

review 15 Feb 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The tranquility.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Excellent for dogs (we've 2 goldies). If you are VERY tall, check the bed to see if they have foot steads. I'm only 5ft 10 and my husband is 6ft 1, so not excessively tall but we did have to curl up. The beds were fine but with having foot steads, I've ended out with a couple of bruised toes. Better not to have them really then feet can just hang out! Lovely lodges (we stayed in Beech lodge). It was actually only us and our daughter, if you were of greater number I wouldn't recommend above 4 adults and 4 smallish children, 8 adult sizes would be a bit of a squash!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Absolutely.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A wonderful short break and we did have good weather for the time of year and enjoyed some beautiful walks. Great for the dogs. Lovely people in the community and village, we were made to feel very welcome indeed throughout the area.

Read the operator's response here:

Glad you enjoyed it Ruth, and that you felt welcome in the village – it’s a friendly part of Devon isn’t it. And thanks for your stay – which lets us manage the place for wildlife as well as feeding into that wider community. PS, if you come again we’ll have to put you in Otter Cottage – which has no footsteads on the beds!

review 31 Mar 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

A lovely peaceful retreat from the crazy world.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take your wellies for the nature reserve!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Having a selection of bikes at the farm is brilliant for getting around. We used the local village shop. It was great to be able to recycle, compost and know the energy we were using was coming from renewable sources.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This holiday was just perfect for us. The owners were friendly and helpful but we felt like we had our own space. There's a lovely dog that lives there too. I would happily return and recommend this place to family and friends.

review 22 Mar 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

For me I enjoyed our adventure into the nature reserve which was very wet underfoot and we would never have explored it with the children without the assistance of Ian and his wheelbarrow! For the kids I imagine the experience of feeding three very boisterous lambs at a neighbouring farm will be remembered for a long time.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We shopped locally and made full use of the recycling facilities set up by our hosts.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Highly recommended if you are looking for a low-key, family-friendly farm stay in the south-west of England.

review 21 Feb 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We found it all memorable this was the first time we had booked an eco-lodge so that was a really positive experience set in beautiful woodlands. We were met by Ian and some 'yummy' homemade scones made by his lovely wife Maggie, which went down very well after our long journey. It was really relaxing (especially as we both have very pressured jobs) we were able to unwind and our children really enjoyed it (great to get them away from the Nintendo WII). Lots of fresh air, beautiful walks, child attractions if you like our children really enjoyed the combat lazer adventure at the Big Sheep which was approx 20 mins drive.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Ring ahead of main attractions as we went in half term time (out of season) some places were closed. It can be miles between places with the children in tow so a quick phone call is advisable! Take wellies if you visit nature reserve at accommodation etc although Ian has a supply if you forget. There are bikes on hand for the children to ride around the farm they had great fun at no extra charge. No need to over pack as the lodges are exceptionally warm. A laundry on site at really good rates. TV/DVD player in lodge so take a couple of DVD's in case it rains!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Oh yes absolutely eco-lodge brilliant we recycled everything. Lodges are equipped with solar panels, provided with eco friendly washing up liquid/cleaning liquids, all low energy light bulbs etc We bought some lovely dairy produce form the farm shop across the road and she makes lovely scones too.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Thoroughly enjoyable for all age ranges, gave us time to spend as a family enjoying each others company. Amusements/attractions/beaches a driveable distance for the children. Beautiful scenic views/walks. Log cabin very comfortable, clean and relaxing. Ian and Maggie very relaxed and friendly.

review 24 Feb 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Freedom for the children to roam/play safely. Also owner gave us v informative guided tour of their SSSI.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Hopefully. Lots of recycling done and we bought/ate out locally.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very good.

review 23 Jun 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Escaping from London to a wonderful, relaxing, green part of Devon. Ian and Maggie were hugely hospitable, helping with laundry when the washing machine broke, showing us round their nature reserve, letting our 2-year old play with all their children's toys, letting us help with feeding the fish and cows, letting us collect chicken eggs with them, cooking us lovely scones - the list goes on.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring wellies for a walk in the nature reserve.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Definitely.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We had a really lovely time.

review 3 Jun 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The log cabin was very cosy with plenty of hot water and spotlessly clean when we arrived. The children loved being in such a rural environment with the opportunity to roam freely and explore the surroundings. It was lovely to feel so 'away from it all'! The best day out was cycling 'The Granite Way' which was an easy ride for the children and with wonderful scenery. You can hire bikes at the YHA which is right at the start.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

You are a long way from any 'big' towns so be prepared to spend time in the car - it was a good 20 minute drive to the nearest supermarket. There isn't an awful lot to do when it's pouring with rain (although Ian was happy to make suggestions, he recommended a nearby indoor play centre which saved us one rainy day) and it gets very muddy - you definitely need your wellies!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Well we were regulars at the local farm shop which was excellent (highly recommend the pasties) but we did end up driving around in the car a fair bit.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We had a wonderful time and I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys the countryside and fresh air. Ian and Maggie were very helpful (as was their 5 year old son!) and the log cabin was perfect for us. Only one very small negative and that was the amount of stinging nettles around the play area - the kids got stung quite a lot!

Read the operator's response here:

Glad you enjoyed it - it was lovely having you here. We've been out with the scythe to tackle the nettles - and will keep a closer eye on them over the coming months.

review 17 Apr 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Peaceful, rural, relaxing, away from it all.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Good for revision opportunity for teenagers facing exams.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. Owner very environmentally centred.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Just what we wanted.

review 26 Aug 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Horse riding as a family across the countryside.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

A great holiday for a two families holidaying together - I would recommend booking two of the lodges on the farm. The accommodation is particularly suitable for young children - has a fabulous tree house! The re-claimed bikes that you can borrow are a great idea.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, although Ian and Maggie (who run the farm) have plans for to build more eco-friendly lodges which I hope come to fruition.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was very relaxed, a beautiful located cottage - with enough activities to keep our children happy (even in the rain!)

review 10 Apr 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The most memorable part for us was seeing an owl at dusk fly along the margin of the meadow whilst we stood on our veranda. We also enjoyed exploring the SSSI ankle-deep in mud. It is quite a magical place.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Check with the owners that you will have all the equipment and facilities that you expect when self catering. For myself, I found it a bit too basic in Nuthatch Lodge. The shower was very poor and the kitchen was missing several vital pieces of equipment. Parts of the fabric of the building were in need of maintenance. The furniture was extremely uncomfortable. However, the setting was lovely and the lodge warm and well insulated. My son loved it and wants to go back. The owners were friendly and helpful but I think need to look at the standard of their accommodation from the point of view of someone staying there and trying to cook or relax in the evening. It was not cheap! Most importantly, if you want people to be green and come by train then they must have a supply of basics (teabags, sugar, oil etc) to start them off in the accommodation.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We made use of the farm shop - friendly and very helpful- also the local shops and post office at Winkleigh. We saw a very good band at the village hall.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was an enjoyable holiday as we had hired a car and were able to drive to the moor etc Devon is a wonderful place to walk and just absorb the natural world. The accommodation was ideal for children with lots of possibilities for play.

Read the operator's response here:

We're very glad Philippa and her son enjoyed their stay with us enough for Ben to ask to come back - they would be most welcome. We do have a rolling programme of renewals and upgrades and the shower in nuthatch lodge will be replaced soon as we move to solar hot water. Philippa did say she was more used to a power shower at home, but we won't be putting those in as water conservation is part of our environmental policy. The kitchen was re-equipped to the list provided by Visit Britain this spring, but we're happy to answer questions if anyone has specific needs, and to try to meet them where possible. We're sorry if Philippa didn't find the furniture comfortable. These things are often personal judgements, and we're had plenty of very positive comments. Our prices vary through the year, and we regularly check them against similar providers so as to remain competitive. The previous week we were told by one family that we were under charging! We encourage people to order ahead from the neighbouring farm shop and buy local produce. Everyone gets salt, pepper, washing up liquid and 2 rolls loo paper in the accommodation; and we can do towels where people find it difficult to bring their own. But last year when we stocked tea, coffee and milk we ended up throwing a lot of stale stuff away, which is not very sustainable - and it is self catering accommodation that we provide.

review 18 Sep 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The delicious scones on arrival.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Enjoy it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, we used the local pub, the owners recycled almost everything.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent - we may be back. This was the first time we used responsible travel, but we will definitely do so again and recommend you highly. We have had a few very bad experiences at B&Bs and farm stays especially as far as cleanliness was concerned. We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of our accommodations.

review 28 May 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We have just enjoyed a memorable, happy week staying in Honeysuckle Lodge at a farm in Devon. We live in the caribbean but our roots are in the UK, so each year we select a UK country cottage holiday to "brush up" on UK culture and to teach our young boys aged 2 and 3 about the pleasures of the UK countryside. Since we wished to stay somewhere with an ethical approach to tourism and the environs, we were delighted to find the farm listed on Responsible Travel and to read about how it makes a difference. Initial enquiries were dealt with smoothly and efficiently by owners Ian and Maggie. The comprehensive post-booking email welcome pack was an unexpected bonus, although we subsequently struggled a little with the directions. Check in was delightful, since the farm grounds and timber lodge were prettier than the web pictures, situated well away from the nearest (quiet) village road and surrounded by other sleepy farms. Ian and Maggie were also parents of 2 young boys and could not offer us enough assistance and advice with our stay, to the extent that on occasion they left their front door open for me to pop in for anything we needed (it seems crime is most definitely not an issue in this part of rural Devon!). We enjoyed use of the guest washing machine in the laundry barn with complementary eco-powder for a small fee, which we used to the full since our boys literally immersed themselves in country life as much as possible. We were offered use of fun-kayaks on the attractive ponds, played with the delightful family-friendly dog Muttley and enjoyed tours of the grounds including the wonderful tree-house den with swings by Devon's youngest tour guide, Ian and Maggie's 4 year old son George. The 20+ acre grounds are full of surprises, for example a babbling brook, ancient woodlands and the protected meadow full of wildflowers and animal life (although we missed seeing the local deer). But our boys especially enjoyed simple old-world treats such as feeding grass to the tame cows in the larger field. The 3 wooden lodges are well spaced from each other with trees growing in between for privacy. They are superbly equipped with every convenience - from egg-cup to DVD player - we did not want for a thing. The living/kitchen area of Honeysuckle is spacious, the lodges offer indoor and outdoor dining tables, the 2 bedrooms cosy and comfortable and the bathroom a pleasure with hot shower for us and bath for the kids. Of note is the insulation - these lodges originated in Norway, hence the double glazing and insulated walls. In my opinion the energy-efficient small heaters would be more than adequate to heat them for winter visitors. The location in the heart of quiet rural Devon, 10 minutes from the Dartmoor National Park, was both convenient for all the local sights/walking and modest farming or nature family theme parks - which the boys adored - or shopping for supplies and local produce either at the neighbouring farm shop or in the nearby market town of Okehampton. To sum up I would say that both the farm and Devon far exceeded our expectations. We had a wonderful family holiday, enjoyed genuine hospitality from Ian, Maggie and family and would not hesitate to return or recommend the farm to other visitors.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

A rental car is ideally required to make the most of the local countryside sights, nearest large supermarket is 20 minutes drive away in Okehampton (but the Waitrose does have a good range of organics and local produce) but the farm shop 10 mins walk away is nice and the food all locally grown

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, we bought locally farmed produce, spent our tourist pounds in locally staffed attractions and we did not build any nuclear power stations or hunt whales during our week's holiday!

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
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