Family-friendly self catering accommodation in Devon
Families of all ages and blends are especially welcome at our self catering eco lodges and cottage in the heart of Devon. Young kids love rattling down the drive on go-carts, older ones enjoy the fishing, boats and bikes. There are BBQs, a campfire site and badminton lawn too, plus lots to do nearby. More senior family members will find plenty of creature comforts, and accessible accommodation. And when everyone is happy, you the holiday organiser can relax too!
Devon holidays with pre school children
Are you holidaying with pre-school children? Let us help make it easier – we can provide travel cots, high chairs, socket covers, hand-held blenders, and waterproof mattress covers etc – just ask. There’s no stairs for under fives to fall down in the wooden lodges – and we can fit a stair gate to the cottage and Balebarn Lodge’s loft stairs stairs to keep very young children safe. The Nuthatch and Honeysuckle Lodges are also great for families with young children. They sleep 4 in a double room and fun ‘cross over bunks’ (we can supply bed bars). Nuthatch Lodge has a short bath – good for kids who don’t like showers yet. Beech Lodge will give you a bit more space to spread out, or if you want something more traditional try Otter Cottage with its wood burner, patio and enclosed garden – but note the stairs and a nearby pond (gated from the cottage, of course).
There are swings and a mini slide on the far side of the lodge field and some much-loved tractor ride-on / go cart type toys that get a lot of use on the slope down to the farmyard. We have bikes to borrow – some with child seats. There are ‘learner bikes’ for short legs and even one without pedals to push along. We can also lend you a back pack to carry young children over the fields. Should their clothes get grubby, there’s a shared washing machine (£2 per load, includes soap) and a washing line on your veranda – or we can tumble dry a load for you at the farmhouse (£3 per load). Talking of the veranda, it’s a great place to unwind with a glass of something refreshing when the kids are in bed. You won’t need a baby-listener unless you’ve come as a group and have booked two or more lodges together.
Are grandparents in charge of your Devon holiday?
Wheatland Farm is wonderful for spending time with the grandchildren – there’s loads for them to do right here, so you can do as much or as little as you like and still enjoy their company. Our 21 acres means you can give the kids the freedom childhood is supposed to be about.
Children under 12 don’t need an environment agency rod licence and you’re most welcome help them fish the top pond by Otter Cottage (free). It’s well stocked and even beginners are pretty much guaranteed a catch (and immediate release please). We have a rod we lend if you don’t have your own, and Ian is often around to show children what’s what. But please remember, you’re in charge of your children’s safety!
We have a few hens, and families often like to collect an egg or two. There’s lots of wildlife about, from butterflies to owls, and we’d be delighted to take you and your family on a guided nature walk while you’re staying at the lodges or cottage. We can almost always arrange this at a mutually convenient time, and there’s no charge.
If anyone in the party has restricted mobility, Balebarn Lodge is easy access throughout, with no steps up, and a walk in wetroom. But we strive to make our other lodges accessible too. Honeysuckle Lodge has a shower with a sturdy hand grip and Nuthatch Lodge has a short bath and over-bath shower (not much good for a soak, but perfect for children who don’t like to shower yet). Both smaller lodges are on a single internal level (with steps up to the main entrance). Beech Lodge has one internal change in level, whereas Otter Cottage has stairs.
Holidays with older children
Older children get to fish, borrow bikes or use the paddle board too – or make them feel useful and send your teenagers into the village to get you a paper! Beyond the farm, our own kids have gained real independence and a sense of achievement by cycling the nearby Tarka Trail – set a distance of anything from a gentle 5 mile stretch to a 40 mile bike adventure with you. You can book surf lessons on North Devon’s beaches or try kayaking on the River Torridge. Other popular family days out are horse riding at nearby Bold Try stables (4 miles from the eco lodges). The beach at Westward Ho! is about 40 mins drive away. Near Bideford (20 miles) you’ll find The Ultimate High adventure park, and in Barnstaple (25 miles) there’s an Air Extreme trampoline centre. Or heading in the other direction, Clip’nClimb and the Exeter Quay Climbing Centre (25 miles) make an active wet day option. We make a great base for families with kids in the Ten Tors Dartmoor challenge each May – maybe they’ll challenge you to an overnight Dartmoor bivvy adventure. Or closer to home maybe you could challenge them to a badminton tournament or game of outdoor chess and draughts. In the summer holiday weeks we usually offer a free family activity. And although this is tailored to suit all ages it may be best fun for older children. Anyone over about 8 can use a pole lathe safely, and it can be a real experience to make something from wood with your hands, whether you’re 8 or 80.
There are no public paths crossing our land, so families often feel able to give their children quite a bit of freedom. You’re welcome to explore the farm, but please leave gates as you find them. Most mobile phones get a signal here, and we do have WiFi in the lodges, which helps older children stay in touch with their mates. But please note our ‘rural’ connection speed! Children will struggle to live stream games or movies, especially in the summer holidays when our accommodation is busy. (Maybe that’s a good thing though?) Of course as a last resort there’s always the DVD/CD player, and a telly!