Nadder Valley Barn

Barford St Martin, Wiltshire, United Kingdom Book from Book from £190 per night

Gorgeous rental for a couple, 2 couples or a small family: masses of space and style, perfect for a week(end) in the country
Decades ago, this was a horse barn, home to a pony and trap for the Main House, with a stable lad sleeping in the eaves. It was then used to house livestock, and later filled with junk; when owners Clare and Barnaby bought it - along with their beautiful Georgian house - it was practically derelict. But with admirable vision, they've completely rebuilt the old barn into a timber-clad structure, with a soaring pitched roof above the most amazing open-plan living area, and a contemporary wing of black corrugated steel housing 2 bedrooms.

Stylewise, it's an Instagram heaven of boho-chic fabrics and antique furnishings. The original brick floor (now with underfloor heating) is softened by geometric rugs, while battered leather armchairs are made cosy with Moroccan cushions and Indian throws. Everywhere you look there's something of interest: a floor-to-ceiling dresser of mismatched crockery, vintage signs in the utility room, and a deep-blue hallway with rustic garden furniture and sprawling plants. And then there's the beautiful Nadder Valley itself: quintessentially English, with a patchwork of green and golden fields, foodie pubs, charming villages, and iconic Stonehenge and Salisbury nearby. We'll be back for our own holidays.

Highs

  • The sheer style of the place; we had insane house envy
  • Sweeping views from endless windows, out over thatched rooftops to the green Nadder Valley
  • A suntrap terrace for lazy lunches
  • The incredible master bedroom, with a four-poster bed, palm-papered dressing room and rolltop bath
  • Fantastic value, especially if there are 4 of you, but it's a very affordable treat for 2 (plus a child)

Lows

  • Minimum 2-night stay over a weekend, 3 nights over a Bank Holiday. Note, rates do not include an end-of-stay cleaning fee
  • No restaurant within walking distance but self-catering here is a joy
  • The second bedroom is a small double in the eaves, with a child's bed alongside it. It has its own bathroom, though
  • We found the mattresses rather soft but that's personal preference
  • Be aware that the owners' house is on the road below, and the 2 gardens connect, though you're completely private

Best time to go

The barn is open all year round. We came in winter and found it amazingly cosy - thanks to underfloor heating we didn't even need to light the log burner. Spring would be gorgeous, the garden full of flowers, and you could make the most of the sun-trap dining terrace all summer long.

Our top tips

Arrange a supermarket delivery to chime with your arrival. All the main players are nearby, and it saves you the hassle of having to go and stock up once you arrive. Spend your time mixing welcome cocktails instead - there's a proper shaker, measures, swanky glasses and ice in the utility room.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Family
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Rental
  • 2 bedrooms
  • Self catering; restaurants a drive away
  • Max 2 children (one must be a baby)
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Utility room
Room:

Rooms

The barn is an enormous L-shape. One half is the open-plan living/dining/kitchen area, as well as a pantry and utility. The sleeping areas are the other half of the L, in a double-height space. Downstairs is the master bedroom - utterly stylish and light-filled, with a high four-poster bed swagged with billowy curtains and clad in luxury linens. Our daughter tried to bag this room for herself, but we were having none of it. Ensuite are a dressing room and bathroom, the former wallpapered in a dramatic palm print. The bathroom is a delight, too, Moroccan in influence, with a geometric tiled floor, woven rugs, a weathered silver mirror, and raffia baskets. A rolltop bath stretches under the window and there's a separate walk-in shower.

Up seagrass-covered stairs lies the second bedroom, a small double in the eaves, once the hayloft bedroom of the stable lad. It's nowhere near as luxurious as the master bedroom, but colourful gingham fabrics and a quirky sheepdog cushion catch the eye. There's also a child's bed in this room. Across the corridor is the second bathroom; nautical in theme, with another roll-top bath and views out to the fields.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • CD player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Fireplace
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Iron
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Radio
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

The kitchen is amazing, with a range cooker tucked into a chimney breast, and drawers and shelves stacked with cookery books, colourful crockery and all the utensils you could want. To give an idea, I'd brought my cake-making equipment so my daughter and I could bake; everything was already here - an electric whisk, scales, muffin trays, even flour in the well-stocked pantry. With a sociable island area surrounded by stools, a long table lit by low-hanging wicker shades and an alfresco dining area, the barn is ideal for spending pleasurable time cooking, and for long, lazy meals.

There's a great local butcher (get steaks to BBQ or a lamb joint), and various farm shops a drive away. But if you'd prefer not to lift a finger, book a B&B stay (Clare will deliver homemade bread, creamy yoghurts, fresh fruits, juices and eggs any way), and eat out in the area's foodie pubs and restaurants. An information pack will give you suggestions; we loved the sound of Pythouse Kitchen Garden in nearby Tisbury, which dishes up glorious seasonal produce - a pheasant casserole with root vegetable mash; heritage carrot soup and bonfire toffee pudding.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Unwind from the everyday. In summer, throw open all the windows and laze in the garden; in winter, light the log burner and play board games or watch DVDs (provided) on your laptop. Indulgent long soaks in roll-top baths are a must at any time of year
  • Clare can suggest local walks, bike rides or scenic drives, depending on how active you feel
  • Potter around nearby towns and villages. Tisbury (15 mins) has a 12thC church, the largest tithe barn in England, Messums Art Gallery and the excellent Beckford Arms for a meal.
  • We enjoyed Old Wardour Castle (20 mins), amazingly intact despite being battered in the English Civil War. There's an 18thC banqueting hall, high turrets and a rock grotto in the grounds
  • If you've never been, Stonehenge (20 mins) is a must; we loved its mystical circle of 13-foot-high stones
  • Medieval Salisbury (15 mins) has a stunning Gothic Cathedral, with an original 1215 Magna Carta
  • Spend a day at Stourhead (30 mins); at its best in spring, when the rhododendron bushes are in flower, or autumn, when its trees are ablaze with golden colour

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

This is a great rental for a small family with 1-2 children, a multi-generational group, or 2 couples with a child each. Note there's a maximum of 2 children allowed per booking, one of whom must be a baby. There's masses of space indoor and out to explore, and a sweet little play area nook in the eaves, with toys and books. Our 3-year-old daughter loved feeding the owners' sheep and playing in the garden.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The upstairs bedroom has a double bed and a child's single bed, and its bathroom has a tub with hand-held shower. You could fit the travel cot in this bedroom too, but space would be very tight. Downstairs, the master four-poster bedroom has masses of space for the travel cot, and a tub in its bathroom.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cot
  • High chair
  • Night light

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The kitchen has all you need for self-catering family meals, including a food blender, microwave and plastic crockery

Kids Activities on site:

  • Toys and games in the attic nook
  • A huge garden to play in

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Playgrounds 5km away (Dinton village and Wilton House)
  • Wardour Castle

Families Should Know:

The garden pond is not fenced. Rugs on the kitchen floor can be slippy

Distances:

  • Airport: 1.5 hrs (Bristol or London Heathrow)
  • Hospital: 10km (Salisbury)
  • Shops: 10 minutes' walk (village shop)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Gorgeous barn with the most beautiful surroundings. Amazing hosts who gave us loads of great tips for our stay. We'll definitely return!

10/10,

We very much enjoyed our few days at the Barn. We thought the property was stunning - so much light and space. It was also a great spot for exploring - we particularly liked the old Wardour castle and had a brilliant lunch at the Beckford Arms. Another brilliant i-escape recommendation!

10/10,

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Rates for Nadder Valley Barn