Responsible tourism: Devon self catering cottage in England
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. In fact, the farm produces more power overall than it consumes. 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. There are also a couple of modern electric bikes for hire (these come with route notes for full days out in Devon). We encourage car-free, walking and cycling vacations by offering itinerary suggestions, time tables and our local knowledge.
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 vacation 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. Ian has 25 years experience in sustainable tourism and is active in local 'greening networks' for tourism in Devon. Since 2012 he has been a director of the the Devon Environmental Business Initiative.
Reviews of Devon self catering cottage in England
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 09 Apr 2016 by Sue Cross-Bourton
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.Read full review
Reviewed on 12 Sep 2015 by Julia Key
Maggie and Ian are genuinely committed to minimal environmental impact tourism, and it shows everywhere you look .... They are welcoming, enthusiastic, and full of ideas for great days out and activities in the local area. Read full review
Reviewed on 14 Apr 2014 by bronwen burgess
Very good. Great for families and for getting away from it all. It was all lovely and relaxing. Borrowing the bikes and cycling around the countryside was great fun!Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Mar 2014 by Bob Simmonds
The most memorable part of the vacation was relaxing in a peaceful setting with buckets of very fresh air...Very good.Read full review
Reviewed on 30 Sep 2013 by Bob Simmonds
Excellent....The peaceful comfortable cottage and surrounding green and fertile countryside, with a good variety of walks and small market towns nearby.
Our first vacation with the dog who soon felt very much at home.Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Oct 2013 by Naomi Simcox
Nice and relaxing..the best part was bike riding part of the Tarka trail and the Granite way, great fun! Read full review
Reviewed on 27 Sep 2012 by Sophie Woollen
The most memorable part of the vacation was lovely long walks & yummy homemade scones on arrival.Read full review
Reviewed on 27 Feb 2012 by Ghislaine Davis
The most memorable parts of this vacation were ...meeting Ian and appreciating his eco development and ideas. Watching the sun come up over the nature reserve! Maggie's wonderful homemade scones.
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Reviewed on 18 Feb 2012 by Allison King
The lovely setting, sun rising over the lakes....Very enjoyable.Read full review
Reviewed on 16 May 2011 by Emma Francis
It was lovely to be greeted with a fresh plate of scones and vase of fresh flowers in the property...Very good vacation in a beautiful place. The accommodation is centrally situated for many convenient day trips, even into Somerset and Cornwall. Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Jun 2010 by Debbie Chadwick-Edgar
A warm welcome and warm scones with blackberry jam was provided by Maggie, the cottage is nice and cool and a great place to get away and do nothing.Read full review
Reviewed on 31 Oct 2009 by Sibyl Ruth
It was a very relaxing week away from city life, in a beautiful part of the countryside. It's a place that I'd like to return to...
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Reviewed on 07 Feb 2009 by Tara Mascarenhas
It was exactly what we needed coming from overseas at this time. I think to rent out the lodges in the summer with a larger group of family / friends would be the perfect vacation and we hope to manage this in the future.Read full review
Reviewed on 02 Jun 2008 by Bozena Mackenzie
The 'otter cottage' was the most memorable part of our vacation and a day trip to the Lundy Island was the most exciting trip that we did. Read full review
Reviewed on 20 May 2008 by Juliette Cox
Most memorable was living in the countryside, far from hectic lifestyle that has become the norm. No human-related sounds interfering with those of nature/farm at Otter cottage - bliss.Read full review
Reviewed on 20 Feb 2008 by Elissa Gault
Our 20-month old son loved all the farm animals and being able to run around freely. We loved the traffic-free open spaces, the beautiful view from our living room, and the enclosed verandah which meant we could sit inside drinking tea while our son played outside safely.
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