North Devon ecolodge, England

“Self-catering ecolodge (sleeps 8) set within a 21 acre biosphere reserve in North Devon. Perfect for families and friends looking to escape to the countryside.”


Low carbon eco lodge (sleeps 8) | set in 21 acres of managed wildlife reserve | local pubs, tea shops and traffic free walking/cycling tracks | Winkleigh, Torrington and Tarka Trail | free push bike hire and e-bike rental |


Accessible tourism overview:
Our North Devon Eco Lodge is especially suited to groups and families having one or more people with access needs. You’ll find a warm welcome, level access, some equipment to borrow, and plenty of facilities onsite to please the whole party. A detailed access statement is available from us which includes detailed heights and widths inside the barn, information on the most accessible outdoor etc.  - please get in touch for more details.  
Limited mobility:
The lodge is on one level, with a ramp to the front door and parking right outside. There are fold-back doors onto a ramped veranda with fabulous views, bringing wildlife to the doorstep. One bathroom has a wetroom shower. We can usually lend a perching stool, walking frame, shower stool and toilet raiser/support (please inquire).
All doors are wide enough for wheelchairs, and the entrances have gentle ramps. A wetroom shower is available. We’ll be delighted to share local knowledge on good places to eat, and accessible places to visit. There is ample parking right at the door.
Blind or limited vision:
We welcome everyone, and are keen to adjust what we provide to suit your individual needs wherever possible. We’d be happy to provide our welcome information in spoken format, and can adjust the wildlife walk we offer to all guests to emphasis non-visual aspects. Assistance dogs are also welcome and there is plenty of room in which to exercise them.
Deaf or limited hearing:
We welcome everyone, and are keen to adjust what we provide to suit your individual requirements wherever possible - please tell us what your requirements are and we will do our best to assist.
Cognitive conditions:
The lodge is in quiet surroundings and the owners, who live onsite, ensure it is a relaxing place to be. Maggie and Ian have both had dementia awareness training. Children with additional needs are also warmly welcomed.
'Free from' food:
Don’t eat dairy or gluten? Let us know, and we’ll adjust our ‘welcome scones’ to something more appropriate!
Everyone is welcome. Absolutely.
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).

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Balebarn Lodge is set in 21 acres of farmland managed for wildlife. Popehouse Moor, the farm's nationally recognised Site of Special Scientific Interest, is designated for its sheer diversity, including over 200 species of flowering plants. In early summer you'll find two types of native orchids along with countless meadow flowers. Barn owls hunt here at dusk, and dormice live in the farm's many hedgerows. The four ponds buzz with dragonflies and if you love wild swimming there's nothing like seeing the wildlife at eye level. Bats skim for moths at dusk, and by day the farm's rough grassland is a haven for butterflies. And it's your stay that helps keep it this way. Our paying guests are what make managing the land for wildlife viable - so you're part of the story and can be sure this part of Devon will stay the beautiful place you chose to visit.

Who was it who said 'he who knows he has enough is rich'? That's our ethos - comfort and quality but not throw away consumerism. So everything about the lodge has been done to minimise waste, from using the rubble from demolished walls in the landscaping to insulating the walls with straw bales and the roof with newspaper and recycled bottle products. Even the bathroom tiles were chosen because the British manufacturer recycled 25% of its ceramic waste back into its products. Every room has a story, every item has been chosen with care and to ensure a sense of place. This is the sort of luxury that's worth treasuring, not throwing away for a newer model. And of course you can recycle when you're here. From plastics to paper, tins to tomatos we'll help you make sure what you don't need doesn't become waste.

Balebarn Lodge is an energy efficient building, with 100% renewable electricity, much from Wheatland Farm's wind turbine and solar panels (and green grid back up). You can cut your transport emissions by using our bikes, arriving by public transport (we'll collect you), or just enjoying the farm. Local food producers deliver, and you can even have wine delivered by our independent wine merchant.

The Impacts of this Trip

Friends and Neighbours
We want you to enjoy all that this corner of Devon offers. We have extensive information in the lodge and online about local attractions and things to do - all within a 30 miles radius, whether it's a trip to the local pub two miles away (borrow a free bike!) or a 40 mile round trip adventure involving trains and the North Devon off-road Tarka Trail. However you get about, be it bike bus car or train, we'll point you to pubs, tea rooms, museums, farm shops and local events that will value your support.

Volunteering and Charity
We take our commitment to our community seriously. Maggie volunteers for the Devon Countryside Access Forum. Ian volunteers for the Crediton Repair Café, and they are both part of Winkleigh's green action group, working to tackle the climate emergency. We support the Devon Wildlife Trust with regular donations, for example we donate £5 to the Trust for everyone paying their booking balance by BACS.


1 Reviews of North Devon ecolodge, England

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 31 Oct 2016 by

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

The large pond/small lake was perfect. Our children spent most of their waking time in the water, on the paddle board, in the boat or on the island. Some of
us adults joined them ... but at the end of October, with no wetsuits, we mainly left it to them! It was heaven. We were able to sit nearby and talk, clutch hot
drinks and laugh and take photos, without spoiling their fun. And all the while knowing there was a cosy house with woodburner lit, just a minute away.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Book it! The Balebarn Lodge that we stayed in was lovely. Beautifully built and furnished and decorated, simple but comfortable. Possibly take wetsuits for
your children in the autumn, but ours managed without. Can't think of anything else you need to take, everything is there, a lovely place to stay.

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

Our vacation definitely supported conservation. The owners manage their land primarily for wildlife and it is all, including the SSSI, really well cared for. The
vacation lets are their income to allow them to do all the wildlife work. Everything is set up in the house for recycling and using less energy, in a way that
makes it easy to do, not preachy, and still luxurious. LOcal businesses are promoted really well by the owners - local shops, food, activities. They offer to pick you up from the local station .... but we all came by car (car shares!).

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

It was a really really lovely place to go on vacation. If I had been there longer, I may have given it 5 stars ..... as we were only there for a weekend, I am not quite reborn as you suggest! All of us, adults and children, loved it. Very very comfortable, feel good factor of it being sustainable and environmentally friendly. Really welcoming hosts, but not in any way intrusive. Beautiful views and wildlife, would very happily go there again.

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