Devon self catering cottage, England

“Get away from it all in 21 acres of Devon farmland as you book into a stone-built self-catering cottage and relax into rural life without a care in the world.”

Highlights

Charming country cottage | kids free to roam in 21 acres of farmland | star-gazing, bat, owl and badger spotting | excellent local pubs | free bike borrowing or e-bike rental | guided nature trails or self-guided walking maps | lots of ideas for things to do by bike or car |

Description of Devon self catering cottage, England

Otter Cottage is a cosy two bedroom stone-built farm cottage in the heart of Devon. It is set in 21 acres of land, all of which are managed for wildlife and your relaxation. This is where you get to hear the hoot of owls and watch kestrels scanning fields for prey, directly from your bedroom window.

The owners are always delighted to take you on a guided nature walk and have an extensive list of ideas for local days out ranging from RHS Rosemoor to coastal hikes and biking trails. Opportunities to unwind in the evening next to a wood burning stove or in one of our excellent local pubs are always something to savour.

Otter cottage is open all year round and ideal for guests wanting to re-connect with the countryside. The farm won England’s top award for sustainable tourism in 2012 and again in 2015 and has previously held Gold level awards from the Green Tourism Business Scheme and from the Devon Wildlife Trust.

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
Protecting and enhancing Devon's wildlife is the core mission at Otter Cottage, and you'll see the evidence of this from your windows. Since your stay is what finances our conservation work, we offer guests a free guided nature walk that explains how we manage the farm.

Suppliers
From the cleaning materials to the butter in your welcome scones and even the bank we use, we take great care that your holiday is green to the core. Every business decision takes account of sustainability, considering the impacts here in Devon but also 'up and down stream': impacts on the climate, on pollution and waste, and on sustainable communities.

Energy
Otter cottage gets all its power from renewable sources - mostly from the farm's grid-connected wind turbine and solar panels and from a green grid provider as back up. The cottage itself uses about 50% of the average UK household per night power consumption thanks to solar hot water (and immersion back up!), good insulation and the woodburner (buring our own local firewood). You can even recharge your electric car here.

Transport
We will collect and return you to the bus or train station if you arrive at our Devon self catering accommodation without a car. We cycle ourselves, and have a fleet of reclaimed ‘farm bikes’ for you to borrow free of charge. (or we'll help you hire electric bikes). We encourage car-free, walking and cycling holidays by offering itinerary suggestions, time tables and our local knowledge.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Friends and Neighbours
We know that Devon is about more than just beautiful countryside to visit. It's about community too, and we always look for ways to boost local involvement. For example, when we gave our largest pond over to wildlife we gave the fish away to a local community angling club (with help from the Environment Agency). Fishing is now in the small pond!
We promote other local businesses, and local things to do. When you shop in the village, eat at the pub, or order food from Fiona’s farm shop up the road, you’re helping the local economy. The cottage was built as holiday lets and there's no planning permission for year-round occupation. So staying at our farm boosts North Devon's economy without taking accommodation away from local people.And if we don’t have availability for you we’ll try to recommend someone near Winkleigh who does.

Campaigning for Change
Maggie was been an elected Parish Councillor for Winkleigh and takes a strong interest in community sustainability issues. She is a member of the Devon Countryside Access Forum (2017-2020). Ian has 25 years experience in sustainable tourism and did a stint as a director of the the Devon Environmental Business Initiative. He currently volunteers for the Crediton Repair Café, and is active in local 'greening networks'.

Climate

8 Reviews of Devon self catering cottage, England

4 out of 5 stars
SHOW
2
5
1
0
0

Reviewed on 29 Oct 2019 by

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


Being shown the stars and milky way on a crystal clear night!

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


It's a wonderful place to relax and get away from it all. Lots of things for kids to do and a lovely "home away from home" setting.

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


Yes absolutely. Everything has a homemade element to it and makes it feel very special. You're encouraged to reduce your waste and even go car free by borrowing bikes etc.

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


Absolutely perfect! Yes

Reviewed on 22 Mar 2019 by

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


Hearing about the owner's attempts to live life more sustainably

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


There will be a teapot in the lodges!

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


definitely reduced environmental impacts and also supported conversation about how to live more sustainably

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


Very good. given the time of year and consequent weather, we had a relaxing time, and will look forward to having the chance to go again later in the
spring/summer

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for your review - and thanks for choosing to stay with us - every visitor here contributes to the project we are undertaking to improve the habitat on the farm for local wildlife and flora. It was a bit damp - May and June are wonderful here with the wildflowers out and birdlife in full chorus. Thanks again, and we hope to see you again someday.

Reviewed on 09 Apr 2016 by

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


Stargazing with my son and spotting returning swallows for the first time
this year.

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


Worth taking own provisions or shopping on the way as supermarkets not close - it wasn't a problem for us and we visited Fiona's farm shop just up the road for
milk & veg'.

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


Ian & Maggie are achieving all three. The wildlife is rich and the area beautiful.
We were very happy to support their endeavours.

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


We had a great week. Truly relaxing, very peaceful - we haven't slept so well in a
very long time - great to slow down and soak up the beautiful countryside. Ian
made us feel very welcome and the homemade cake was delicious - thanks Ian.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Sue - thanks for the great review and delighted that you had a good unwind here. And
a really big thanks for spotting the first swallows of the season, always a good moment.
Our big project is the work on the land to make the whole farm as nature friendly and
diverse as the nature reserve, and it is you and all our visitors who make that
possible. Thanks for coming and we hope to welcome you again sometime. Ian & Maggie

Reviewed on 12 Sep 2015 by

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


Spending time here is a great opportunity to reconnect with nature and discover this beautiful part of Devon. The farm is located in a peaceful, rural setting yet has plenty of scope for activities nearby (or indeed on its own 21 acres). It offers a precious chance to relax and unwind - with no noise or light pollution, you will sleep like a baby! - and is the perfect antidote to city living.

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


I stayed in Otter Cottage, which was clean, warm, and well-equipped. You might wish to bring a few basics to get you started, but otherwise there are many opportunities to support the excellent local food shops, and good farm shop just minutes away (best eggs ever!). The view from the cottage's main bedroom out over the pond, with Dartmoor in the distance, is stunning.

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


Maggie and Ian are genuinely committed to minimal environmental impact tourism, and it shows everywhere you look - from the reconditioned bikes for free local use, the extensive recycling facilities, the farm's energy policy and use of sustainable building materials, to the judicious management of their Popehouse Moor nature reserve and the clutch of awards they consistently bring home. They are welcoming, enthusiastic, and full of ideas for great days out and activities in the local area. I travelled to Devon without a car, and had a great time exploring 'Tarka the Otter' country by bike, bus and on foot - perfectly do-able.

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


The highlight for me was several sightings of a beautiful kingfisher by the river (plus the stargazing, the owls, the fresh air...)

Reviewed on 14 Apr 2014 by

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


It was all lovely and relaxing. Borrowing the bikes and cycling around the countryside was great fun!

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


One evening we had dinner at a wonderful local pub called the Duke of York - highly recommended.

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


Yes definitely. They made it really easy to recycle most waste and they have wind and solar generated energy. It's a very rural area so most of the eating, shopping and sightseeing we did supported small local businesses.

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


Very good. Great for families and for getting away from it all.

Read the operator's response here:

Hello Bronwen
Delighted you had a great time here. It was lovely to meet you and I love it when
guests make use of the bikes and 'keep it local'. What better destination than
the Duke of York! Sorry to have missed you when you left - I was in last minute
panics getting the new Balebarn Lodge ready for it's very first arrivals. Hope to
see you again.
Ian

Reviewed on 26 Mar 2014 by

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


Relaxing in a peaceful setting with buckets of very fresh air.

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


Walking shoes and map to explore lots of good walks. Plenty of hills and views and if the weather is wet and windy the Tarka trail is good and mainly sheltered.

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


Yes, we hope so.

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


Very good.

Read the operator's response here:

Hello Wendy & Bob

It was lovely to have you back here again and great to read that you had a great holiday. We had the first swallows back yesterday, so it really does feel like we are getting into summer again. We do keep a stock of local OS maps here for anyone wishing to explore, and have even created some interesting art from local OS maps for the new Balebarn eco-lodge which is now open.

We really do appreciate your staying with us as it is the income from guests that allows us to maintain the land here for wildlife and preserve this little corner of Devon as best we can.
We look forward to seeing you here again one day.
Ian

Reviewed on 30 Sep 2013 by

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


The peaceful comfortable cottage and surrounding green and fertile countryside.
with a good variety of walks and small market towns nearby.
Our first holiday with the dog who soon felt very much at home.

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


Wear good waterproof shoes.Go to Hatherleigh market on Tuesdays for good local produce.

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


Yes. We were able to use local shops and producers almost all of the time.

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


Excellent.

Reviewed on 23 Oct 2013 by

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


Bike riding part of the Tarka trail and the Granite way, great fun!

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


Consider going slightly out of season, it was nice a quiet and not crowded everywhere. Don't leave it to the last minute to find somewhere to eat / get petrol though!

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


Yes, there is a wildlife reserve where we stayed.

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


Nice and relaxing.

Popular similar holidays

Devon eco lodge accommodation, England

Devon eco lodge accommodation, England

Quirky eco lodges, 1 with Hot Tub, on a Devon nature reserve

From £205 - £810 per accommodation per week

Fowey accommodation in Cornwall, sleeps 2, England

Fowey accommodation in Cornwall, sleeps 2, England

Cottages looking down the valley towards Fowey and the sea

From £125 - £145 per cottage per night

Peak District self catering cottages, England

Peak District self catering cottages, England

Two organic hideaways for 2, wheelchair access cottage for 6

From £360 - £950 per cottage per week (sleeps 2-6)

Seven Sisters bed and breakfast, South Downs

Seven Sisters bed and breakfast, South Downs

16th century farmhouse set in the Seven Sisters Country Park

From £120 - £350 per room per night

Convert currencies