Two stunning barn conversions (sleeping 4 and 9) and a charming farmhouse (sleeping 9); perfect for free-range kids, beach lovers and walkers”
Conrad and Karen Allen moved down from London to live the Cornish country dream, and now combine freelance fashion careers with raising a family and running this 7-acre smallholding near Bude, with its three guest hideaways. They began by renovating the 16th-century 4-bedroom Farmhouse, where they lived for 15 years, creating a wonderful light-filled space, before restoring the bijou 2-bedroom Small Barn moving on to the dramatic conversion of the enormous 4-bedroom Big Barn next door. They now live nearby and are warmth itself; there if you want tips on the area; totally discreet if you prefer to be anonymous. Many guests are young families, and this is an enormous safe haven for kids, with large lawns to kick a ball around, free-range chickens strutting around, even a woodland den. Which leaves parents free to read books, relax in the Big Barn's hot tub, admire the wildflower meadow or do nothing at all. You can book all three together if you're a larger party too. Guests here are perfectly placed for the South West Coastal path and Bude’s beaches and restaurants.
- Sandy beaches and the dramatic cliffs and surf of the north Cornish coast are an easy drive away
- Stylish open-plan living spaces accentuate the carefully-chosen décor; bright, fresh interiors with modern zings of colour and lovely details (fresh flowers; great books; tiny plants; quirky art)
- Extremely well-equipped for self-catering; both the Farmhouse and the Big Barn have sociable kitchen-diners opening to private terraces
- The farmstead is deep in the countryside, miles from traffic and crowds; the peace is incredible
- Shared facilities include a trampoline and goal posts, the lovely gardens, lawns and wooded area; if taking all three hideaways there's a hot tub, pizza oven and table tennis too
- The farmstead is a bit out of the way – no pubs or shops within walking distance – and you will need a car to get to supermarkets
- The Small Barn’s bedrooms are a little compact
- Note that the three hideaways are adjacent to each other, all have their own private exterior space however
- We have yet to see The Farmhouse in person
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Rentals
- 2 barns (for 2-9), 1 cottage (for 2-4)
- Self-catering only
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
The Farmstead sleeps up to 22 in two barns – Small Barn (sleeping 4) and Big Barn (sleeping 9) – and the Farmhouse (also sleeping 9).
Nestled within 7 acres of rural farmland, the two stylish barns sit side by side, but are cleverly angled to feel private. The Small Barn is arranged upside down, with bedrooms at the bottom and a loft-style, upper-floor living space, accessed via an enormous lawned garden. A staircase drops to the ground floor where there are 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. The pretty double has an antique chest of drawers. Dual-aspect bedroom 2 is designed for children, with a navy-and-white seaside theme. The contemporary bathroom (brick tiles, tongue and groove) has a shower over a panelled tub.
The Big Barn has seriously great credentials: designed by award-winning architects, cool, elegant styling and views to open countryside. The timber exterior and angular windows hint at the modern makeover inside, where features include bi-fold doors and underfloor heating. There are 4 bedrooms. Downstairs is a large double with tongue and groove panels and an ensuite shower room. Upstairs, a blue-hued double has wide views across open fields, and the third can convert into a twin room. The kids’ room has bunk-beds, teddies and a playful bright-red ladder. There's also a gleaming shared bathroom and a hot tub in the garden.
The Farmhouse is set behind the barns, and sleeps up to 9 in four bedrooms – including a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom, another kingsize bedroom, a twin room, and a double with a pull-out truckle bed. Original 16th-century features include a inglenook fireplace. There are three reception rooms, plenty of space for all.
All hideaways have Haekels toiletries provided, underfloor heating and private terraces and gardens.
You can book all three together for a big gathering; larger parties like having their private space within a large group. Shared facilities at the Farmstead include a large trampoline, table tennis table and the extensive grounds which have lawns for roaming, woods for exploring and a more formal garden for admiring.
- Central heating
- Ipod dock
- Satellite TV
- Smart TV
- Underfloor heating
- Washing machine
The Farmhouse has a fabulous kitchen-diner glass rear extension designed to make the most of the evening sunshine; bi-fold doors open to the terrace with pizza oven and garden beyond.
The Big Barn has a dramatic double-height living space, where white walls and a sleek kitchen emphasis stand-out pieces like the iconic, rainbow-hued Eames chairs and industrial metal light shades.
The kitchen for the Small Barn is at one end of the open-plan upper floor, with 2 comfy sofas and a wood-burning stove at the other. In the middle, there’s a dining table and 4 chairs.
The kitchens are astonishingly well equipped. Besides the things you'd expect (hob, oven, requisite crockery and utensils) we found things like a Bialetti coffee pot and a cake whisk, plus loads of useful extras – baking trays, lasagna dishes, napkins and candles. There's a washer/dryer and a a supply of cleaning products.
The nearest supermarkets are in Bude or Holsworthy. You might also like to take a special trip to Launceston (20-25 minutes’ drive) where you can combine a castle visit with a meat shop at Warrens – one of the best butchers in Cornwall.
For an evening out, there are plenty of good restaurants within driving distance. Check out The Electric Bakery in Bude which serves excellent bread, pastries, sandwiches and Saturday lunches. The Rocket Store in Boscastle and The Preston Gate in Poughill also come recommended. For ace Sunday roasts, try the The Smithy Pub at Welcombe or the Farmers Arms. Further afield, we had a fantastic lunch in the lovely garden at the St Kew Inn at St Kew (30 miles), near Trebarwith Strand.
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Dinner by arrangement
- Family friendly
- Food blender
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Welcome hamper
- We loved Bude's beaches. Summerleaze is a wide sandy stretch with Bude Sea Pool, which is sheltered pool ideal for young ones to have a salt water dip. Widemouth is vast and golden, a great place to bodyboard/learn to surf. Crooklets (the so-called 'Bondi of Britain') is also a surfers' favourite, and has great rock pooling. Northcott Mouth is especially lovely;
- Go walking – the north Cornish stretch of the South West Coast path is spectacular, tough in parts but rewarded by sensational views from high cliffs and dramatic geology (particular highlights are the zig-zag folds at Millook)
- Go surfing – Cornwall is surfing central and Bude’s beaches offer some of the county’s best waves
- Visit the bays, beaches and villages along this dramatic coastline; within 40 minutes you can be in the harbour village of Boscastle, King Arthur’s Tintagel or Port Isaac (home of beach-shanty singers, The Fisherman’s Friends).
- Just across the Devon border, Hartland Point and the quaint pedestrian village at Clovelly are within a half-hour drive
- We spent a rainy day at Lanhydrock, a magnificent Victorian country house and estate, owned by the National Trust. Pure Downton Abbey
- Learn something new – take a course at one of Bude’s surf schools or sailing lessons on the nearby Tamar lakes
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Plantlife / flora
- Wine tasting
Many of guests who stay here are families. With two children of their own (now grown-up), Conrad and Karen designed this as a child-friendly retreat and they are very well equipped.
The beaches around Bude are great for splashing, swimming, throwing a frisbee, learning to surf etc. There's Pirate Ship at Crooklets beach, and kids can ‘walk on water', in giant plastic globes. In Bude itself, there is a lovely seawater pool overlooking the beach (free); and a 'Splash' pool with flumes and a beach-style shallow end (small charge).
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Small Barn has 1 double and 1 twin bedroom. The Big Barn is larger: 4 bedrooms, one of which is a dedicated kids’ room with bunk-beds and space for an additional rollaway bed, while 1 of the others can be set up as a twin. The Farmhouse also has 4 bedrooms, including a twin room, and a double room with a truckle bed. All 3 properties can accommodate an additional baby cot.
You can book a babysitter at extra cost (the Allens use qualified child-minders from a local nursery)
- Cots (2 available, request when booking)
- High chair
- Bottle steriliser
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids Activities on site:
- Outdoor games and a trampoline
- Chicken to feed and chase!
- Large gardens
- Mini football pitch
- Games, toys, books and colouring pens
Kids Activities nearby:
- Gorgeous beaches and a seawater pool at Bude
- Good walks with a baby backpack; we loved going up to Baggy Point
- Walk along the Bude valley towpath to Marhamchurch; good bird-spotting and it's pushchair-friendly
- Further afield are Tintagel castle and Launceston Steam Train
- Airport: 1 hour
- Hospital: 20 minutes
- Shops: 10 minutes
For more family-friendly places, see our Kids Collection
The farmstead is midway between Holsworthy and Bude, on the Devon-Cornwall borders. It's down a narrow country lane just off the A3072.
The nearest airports, Newquay and Exeter, are about an hour's drive away. Bristol is 2.5 hours, London Heathrow 4.5 hours. The Allens can arrange a taxi, but you'll want a car for local exploration. See our car rental recommendations.
Trains from Paddington to Exeter take around 2-3 hours. See Seat 61 for more details. Taxis from there take about an hour.
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Newquay 73.0 km NQY
- Exeter 95.0 km EXT
- Beach 11.0 km
- Shops 7.0 km
- Restaurant 7.0 km