Walk into Balebarn Lodge near Winkleigh, a pretty village in a rural corner of North Devon Luxuriate in the airy comfort and warmth of this large straw bale eco-build, complete with wood burner. Balebarn sleeps 8. Facilities include a hot tub, a lake (paddle boarding) and bikes to borrow.
Once a simple cow shed, Balebarn Lodge, a large holiday home in North Devon is a luxurious Devon eco-lodge. This award-winning eco-lodge at Wheatland Farm was built using local straw bale insulation - you can see the fields where the straw grew from the lodge’s wrap-around veranda. Huge fold–back doors immerse you in the view out over a wildlife pond, complete with boats (or take a swim if you’re hardy). Guests regularly spot barn owls and watch foxes from the comfort of the sofas!
And the comforts and conveniences don’t end there. Balebarn Lodge sleeps 8 (2 doubles, twin, bunk) and has 2 bathrooms (one with wet room shower). These rooms all open off the central spacious living area, complete with a stylish wood burner. The well-equipped kitchen offers induction hob, electric oven, microwave combi oven, a dishwasher, and full-sized fridge freezer, as well as all the usuals.
For larger groups, Balebarn Lodge works well with Otter Cottage, just across the farmyard (sleeps a further 4). If you need space for an even bigger party, add 6 in Beech Lodge or 4 in each of Honeysuckle and Nuthatch Lodges.
Balebarn Eco Lodge helped Wheatland Farm win Gold for sustainability in the Visit England Tourism Awards 2015. The lodge is packed with quirky upcycled style. Look closely and you’ll recognise the frosted porthole windows in the bathroom as microwave turntables! Wooden ladders have become headboards, cushions are stitched from silk ties, and the coffee table is a slab of a local beech tree that came down in a storm. Details like the milk churn standard light give you a wonderful sense of place. Balebarn gives you the ‘back to nature’ experience of glamping but without the canvas, draughts or cramped spaces. And it’s inspiring too. Whether you’re thinking about a few home improvements or a grand design, the owners will happily chat about eco builds and their genuine belief that there’s a better life to be had through sustainability.
Surrounded by idyllic Devon countryside, Winkleigh is within easy reach of days out on Dartmoor or on the glorious sandy beaches along the North Devon coast. It's a short drive to Eggesford Station where you can leave the car and take to the rails for days out in North Devon (for cycle rides on the Tarka Trail (an estuary and riverside cycle path), or to Exeter and the South Devon resorts of Exmouth and Torbay. Closer by is the village of Iddesleigh, where the novel 'Warhorse' was written, for a meal at the Iddesleigh Inn, a glorious thatched 16th-Century country pub.