Family-friendly self catering accommodation in Devon
Families of all ages and blends love our low carbon eco lodges and cottage in the heart of the Devon countryside. Rattling down the drive on the go-cart is eternally popular, then there’s bikes, boats and fishing. There are BBQs, a campfire site, and outdoor draughts/chess table and a badminton lawn too, plus lots to do nearby. More senior family members will find plenty of creature comforts, and accommodation made as accessible as possible. Oh yes, your dogs are welcome, and there’s WiFi too. So when everyone is happy, you the holiday organiser can relax too!
Devon holidays with young children
Looking for a low carbon holiday that entertains the children and lets you really relax and properly recharge too? Pre school children love the swings and slide, the ride on tractor, the huge selection of books and DVDs to borrow from the farmhouse, and the space to take you exploring around Wheatland Farm. Slightly older children just adore the funky cross over bunk beds in Honeysuckle and Nuthatch Lodges, the bikes for riding about the farm, the ponds and boats, and making new friends. And if your brood is getting bigger and more independent, scroll down for ideas on teen adventures for your Devon holiday.
But back to the holiday practicalities – 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 eco lodges – and we can fit a stair gate to Otter Cottage and to Balebarn Lodge’s loft stairs stairs to keep very young children safe.
Wheatland Farrm’s Nuthatch and Honeysuckle Eco Lodges are also great for families with young children. They sleep 4 in a double room and we can add bed bars to the bunks. Nuthatch Lodge has a short bath – good for kids who don’t like showers yet. Beech Lodge, with optional hot tub, 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).
Want to do without the car? It’s easy to have an eco friendly family holiday at Wheatland Farm. The bikes to borrow aren’t just for kids, and some have child seats so you can take young children with you to the farm shop (half a mile from Wheatland Farm). 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, in which case you’ll be able to ‘go next door’ with full peace of mind.
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.
Balebarn Eco Lodge, with it’s optional hot tub, is the ultimate place for a three generations holiday – it’s largely open plan, has fabulous views out over the field and wildlife pond (helping you keep an eye on things), two bathrooms (one has a wet room type shower), and is the most accessible of our lodges.
Or maybe you’d prefer a little more separation? In which case, try a combination of accommodation! Honeysuckle Eco Lodge works well combined with Nuthatch Eco Lodge. Each sleeps 4 and has a single internal level (but external steps). Both lodges have a porch swing and lovely views. Both have well equipped modern kitchens. The main difference between these two lodges is the bathroom – Honeysuckle Lodge has a good sized shower cubicle in the bathroom, whereas Nuthatch Lodge has a shower over a short bath (perfect for families with children who don’t like to shower yet). Alternatively, if there are up to 6 of you, Beech Eco Lodge could be perfect, with its optional hot tub, larger bedrooms (the main one has a private veranda) and generally more space. (Note Beech Lodge has one internal change in level). Or maybe go for two different styles – mix a lodge with charming and more traditional Otter Cottage, by the fishing pond.
Talking of fishing, children under 12 don’t need an environment agency rod licence and you’re most welcome help them fish (free). Wheatland Farm’s fishing pond is 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 safety!
Elsewhere around the farm there’s lots of wildlife, 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 Wheatland Farm. We can almost always arrange this at a mutually convenient time, and there’s no charge.
Holidays with older children
Older children still enjoy the fishing and the bikes – and will have fun on the paddle board too. But there’s lots to do beyond Wheatland Farm as well. Maybe send your teen to the farmshop on a ‘cake mercy dash’ (half a mile by bike). But if that sounds tame, base a day of adventure around Devon’s largely-off-road Tarka Trail – set a distance of anything from a gentle 5 mile solo 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 if you’re at Wheatland Farm in the summer. Then there’s the fabulous South West coast path – wind them up, set them off on a stretch and retire to a cafe at the other end to await their arrival! Or in July and in early September there are usually a couple of Devon Sportives – 100km or 100 mile bike rides (depending on your level). But if that’s too sporty, a day trip to Lundy Island makes a memorable adventure (the boat sails from either Bideford or Ilfracombe, depending on tide).
All too much? Back on the farm there’s always 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.
And if you really can’t break them of that tech addiction, be reassured that most mobile phones get a signal at Wheatland Farm. We do have WiFi in the lodges, which helps children stay in touch with their mates. But please note our ‘rural’ connection speed! Of course as a last resort there’s always the DVD/CD player, and a telly!