Devon eco lodge accommodation, England

“Delicious Devon is a treat for the senses and there's no finer setting for a sustainable self-catering holiday than 21 acres of farmland featuring 3 exceptional eco lodges.”

Highlights

Accommodation set amongst 21 acres of wildlife managed land | nearby pubs and restaurants | local events list| farm shop with local food within walking distance | Tarka Trail | RHS Rosemoor | dogs welcome | visit the hens for egg collecting | mountain and electric bike hire | barbecue, badminton and campfire areas | within North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve | more stars than you'd ever imagine |

Description of Devon eco lodge accommodation, England

We’re proud to be able to offer responsible travellers eco accommodation in our three characterful and comfy eco lodges. Each is surrounded on three sides by trees and faces south onto a Devon meadow.

Nature lovers won’t need to leave the farm, but our eco lodges also offer ideal accommodation that’s within easy access of Dartmoor and the beautiful North Devon countryside.

Our eco lodges in Devon are surrounded by 21 acres of farmland managed as a nature reserve that includes a nationally-recognised ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’. All three of our eco lodges open onto grassland where butterflies flit from April to October, where summer swallows dart above the grass, and where ghostly barn owls often hunt at dusk.

Night times at our eco lodges in Devon are also perfect for wide eyed astronomers. Expect dark skies and no light pollution. The Milky Way bisects the heavens and you’ll be amazed at the constellations on clear nights. We’re open all year round so you can take full advantage of star gazing in autumn’s earlier evenings.

But there’s something special in every season. Spring and early summer are best for wildlife (May and June are spectacular in this part of Devon). We’re perfect for summer family holidays, offering crafts like woodturning, bikes to borrow, boats for the pond, hens to visit, badminton pitch, camp fires, outdoor chess and more. In winter expect peace, quiet and cosy surroundings.

In the past few years our farm has twice won England’s top award for sustainable tourism, achieving Gold at the Visit England awards ceremony in 2012 and 2015. Our Devon eco lodges have also gained gold recognition from both the Devon Wildlife Trust (scheme now discontinued)

We pride ourselves on our genuinely high environmental standards and ensure sustainability is always a core concern. All our energy is 100% renewable (and most is generated onsite). Our subtle upcycled style helps us reuse materials without compromising the quality of your holiday and our recycling and waste management measures also make us recognised leaders in green tourism.

Our eco lodges welcome dogs (maximum of 2 in each lodge). Devon is great for dog friendly holidays, offering plenty of walks and welcoming pubs that serve good food. Just ask for local tips and advice.

Anyone who stays in the lodges is automatically contributing to our conservation work – your stay is what makes it possible to manage the farm for wildlife. Responsible tourism also means contributing to the local economy – and we promote local events and offer lots of ideas for nearby things to do, from exploring on the car free Tarka Trail, to kayaking on the river Taw or learning to surf on North Devon’s beaches.

But more and more we see guests ‘staying in’ and enjoying everything we have to offer on the farm. Many return year on year, often as groups or extended families. We hope you too will become an old friend.

Map

Our top tip:
Plenty of chances to shop locally as an alternative to buying in bulk from the supermarket. Also, wellies and torches are 'must bring' pieces of kit.
Room description:
4 fully-equipped self-catering eco-lodges featuring the award-winning Balebarn (sleeps 8), Beech (sleeps 6), Nuthatch and Honeysuckle (both sleep 4).
Amenities:
All accommodation is fully-equpped with kitchen, bathroom and living amenities including: wood burning stoves, microwave ovens and TV/DVD players.
Meals:
Local produce can be delivered directly to your door and there is an excellent farm shop close by as well as a good choice of pubs.
Low Carbon:
100% renewable energy (on site wind and PV, plus green grid) and accommodation designed for efficiency. Assistance for car free guests. Anyone can borrow bikes. Free charging for electric vehicles. Some lodges have hot tubs (also powered with renewable energy).
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Wildlife
The past 50 years have seen British farmland wildlife in steep decline. We strive to show that rather than competing with farming, wildlife is an asset. Our business has always been subtly different - it's not about making our tourism income green it's about using tourism to make a living from the land while also cherishing (and restoring) its biodiversity. You'll hear the tawny owls call, maybe see a barn owl, find orchids in the meadows in spring, and sleep as snug as our dormice at night.

Energy
But no-one can truly care for wildlife while ignore the climate crisis. So we put sustainability into every aspect of the business and our daily lives, from only using renewable energy to boycotting palm oil and hand-sorting recycling. We always strive to minimise the 'embodied energy' modern consumer lifestyles so easily waste. The farm produces its own clean green energy - and has done for many years now. We generate power with our 11kw wind turbine and solar PV panels. But energy efficiency is equally important. So we analyse our energy consumption and strive to improve efficiency. The lodges use 75% less energy per occupied night than the averge UK home. Yet there's nothing particularly high tech or difficult. Come and see how we've done it - Ian is always ready to chat and you might get ideas and knowledge to use when you get back home.

Lower Carbon Travel
Most people come by car, but you don’t have to, and there are ideas for car free adventure days.
Hassle-free electric vehicle recharging point.
All guests can borrow free push bikes for local trips - or we'll help you hire electric bikes for longer adventures.
Free arrival and departure pick up at Eggesford station (4 miles on the picturesque Tarka Line) or the Exeter-Barnstaple bus stop (1.5 miles, Winkleigh Village).
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Friends and neighbours
We work hard to make sure your holiday also benefits our community - by recommending local pubs, putting you in touch with farm shops, our lovely local wine merchant, and Devon's fantasic produce suppliers. We find you local 'off the beaten track' places to visit and 'days out' ideas from paddling in a stream to taking a 40 mile 'train and bike' adventure (with tea shops along the way!).

Campaigning for change
We also campaign for tourism to 'do more with less', in particular using our green awards and speaking opportunities to challenge the UK tourism industry's obssession with 'luxury'. Of course everyone wants at luxury holiday, but it should come through quality, not disposable consumerism. For us, luxury is a treat to yourself, a fantastic environment, dark skies at night, birdsong in the mornings, a personal welcome and a genuinely rejuvenating holiday.

Climate

10 Reviews of Devon eco lodge accommodation, England

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 28 Mar 2019 by

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


Watching the wildlife in the morning while sitting with a cup of tea.

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


Bring sturdy shoes - it's a wonderful area to walk around.

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


Yes although if I were to do it again I would make efforts to cycle, not drive,
around.

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


Brilliant.

Read the operator's response here:

Really delighted you enjoyed the lodge and the area around here. It is lovely to pedal around, and for those who fear the Devon Hills we can arrange electric bike hire too! Thanks for choosing to stay with us as every visit contributes to our conservation project. We really appreciate it and hope we can welcome you again one day.

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2017 by

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


The setting of our accommodation was amazing

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


Take wellie or walking boots as there is lots of places to explore but the ground can be mist.

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


Yes

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


Absolutely amazing going to go again and will recommend it to lots of friends

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for your kind comments Amanda. We enjoyed having you here and love to see children enjoying the bikes and the space to explore. It is only yours and other guests stays here that allow us to manage the land for wildlife. Otherwise it would all be pasture. Thanks so much for coming and we look forward to seeing you again. Ian & Maggie.

Reviewed on 30 Jul 2017 by

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


Seeing the voles playing in the meadow

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




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


Yes

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


Enjoyable

Read the operator's response here:

Delighted you saw the wildlife in action Linda - it is yours and all our guests stays here that enable us to manage the land for the wildlife, so thank you again for coming and hope we can welcome you again sometime. Ian & Maggie.

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2017 by

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.

Reviewed on 20 Aug 2016 by

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

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2016 by

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.

Reviewed on 12 Jun 2016 by

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!)

Reviewed on 22 Sep 2012 by

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.

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2012 by

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

Reviewed on 08 Apr 2011 by

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!

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