“Two stunning barn conversions (sleeping 2-9), and a charming village cottage (for 2-4); 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 2 guest hideaways. They began by restoring the bijou 2-bedroom Red Barn, then did a dramatic conversion of the enormous 4-bedroom Cob next door. They also live on-site and are warmth itself; there if you want tips on the area; totally discreet if you prefer to be anonymous. Most 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, admire the wildflower meadow or do nothing at all. The final hideaway is Escallonia, a beautifully restored cottage for 2-4, in the quaint village of Poughill, 7 miles away. 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
- Extremely well-equipped for self-catering, plus you get a cream tea if staying at Escallonia
- Lovely details: fresh flowers in vases; great books to read; tiny plants; a piece of driftwood fashioned into a table; quirky art
- The barns are deep in the countryside, miles from traffic and crowds; the peace is incredible. Escallonia is in a sleepy, pretty village just a mile from Bude and steps from a traditional pub
- The barns are a bit out of the way - no pubs or shops within walking distance - and you will need a car to get to supermarkets
- The Red Barn’s bedrooms are a little compact
Best time to go
Our top tips
In Bude, North Coast Wines doubles up as a bar; simply choose a bottle, pay a minimal corkage charge, and enjoy something special without an enormous mark-up.
Beautiful and the Feast create handpicked holiday hampers filled with delicious organic food. They're also available as a catering service for parties of up to 20 people. Perfect if you celebrating an occasion but don't fancy cooking.”
- 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
There are 2 barns - Red (sleeping 2-4) and Cob (sleeping 6-9) - plus a cottage for 2-4 (Escallonia) in the village of Poughill, 7 miles from the farm.
Nestled within 7 acres of rural farmland, the 2 stylish barns sit side by side, but are cleverly angled to feel private. Red Barn is arranged upside down, with bedrooms at the bottom and a loft-style, upper-floor living space, accessed via an enormous lawned garden. The kitchen is at one end; 2 comfy sofas and a wood-burning stove at the other. In the middle, there’s a dining table and 4 chairs, a line of neat shelving, stocked with books, games, DVDs, a picnic set and blanket. Thoughtful extras include an iPod dock, barbecue, hot tub, boules and garden furniture.
A staircase drops to the ground floor where there are 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. The pretty double has an antique chest of drawers and a wall of printed wallpaper. 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, and REN toiletries are provided.
The Cob 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. The main living space is 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.
Beyond the living space 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. It's latest addition is a hot tub.
Escallonia is the newest kid on the block; a beautifully restored cottage in the quaint village of Poughill. It has a kingsize double bedroom (with a beautiful metro-tiled ensuite), a sunny yellow twin bedroom and a snug bathroom with a tub, so it's perfect for a family, 2 couples or friends. Downstairs, a light lounge has designer sofas, there's a surprisingly big kitchen/diner and a small garden out front has bold green dining furniture. Perfect for a couple, 2 couples, friends or a family with a baby or older kids. Toddlers are of course welcome, but the barns are better suited to little'uns.
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Food blender
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Ipod dock
- Satellite TV
- Washing machine
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 Ecover cleaning products.
If you're staying at Escallonia, you'll get a voucher for a cream tea at Northcott Mouth beach. 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 (Bude's are within walking distance if you're staying in Escallonia). For ace Sunday roasts, try the The Smithy Pub at Welcombe; for casual summery dining, try Life’s a Beach at Summerleaze or the Bayview at Widemouth. 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
- Food blender
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Welcome hamper
- We loved Bude's beaches. Summerleaze is a wide sandy stretch with a sheltered sea pool that's ideal for young ones to have a salt water dip. (Note, the Allens have a beach hut on Summerleaze that you can hire by the day, which includes 2 deckchairs and 2 body boards.) 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; a pebbled secret cove, again with rock pools
- 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
99% of guests who stay in the barns are young families. With 2 children of their own, Conrad and Karen designed the barns as a child-friendly retreat and they are very well equipped. Escallonia is best for older kids.
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 Red Barn and Escallonia each have 1 double and 1 twin bedroom. The Cob 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. 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
- Children's DVDs
- 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
The barns are on a farm on the Devon-Cornwall border, tucked down a narrow country lane just off the A3072, midway between Holsworthy to the east and Bude to the west. The cottage is 7 miles west, in the village of Poughill (pronounced Puffle!). Note that the map pin here shows the farm's location.
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 Barnstaple take around 4 hours, changing at Exeter. 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