Weeke Barton

Dartmoor, Devon, United Kingdom Book from Book from £125 per night

A great-value small hotel (or 5-room house rental) on the edge of Dartmoor with gorgeous rooms and walks from the front door
When Jo and Sam swapped their hectic London life for the wilds of Dartmoor, they set about opening the hip yet homely rural retreat they’d always dreamt of - the kind of place where guests can kick off their shoes and unwind. You’d expect a former Conran restaurant manager and a graphic designer from Hackney to know about hospitality and cool, and they’ve certainly created a winning formula: stylish interiors, total tranquility and a refreshingly laid-back vibe.

The building - almost 500 years old and rumoured by locals to be the longest longhouse in Devon - is delightfully quirky, with ancient nooks and spiral staircases offset by sleek urban furniture and contemporary art. The 5 bedrooms have beamed ceilings, deliciously comfy beds and sheepskin-covered window seats; one has a dreamy double-ended bathtub. Downstairs, Jo’s excellent home cooking is just the ticket after a day's walking, and there's a proper bar with an honesty system. Perfect for stressed-out city folk who need a countryside fix; you can even bring your dog.

Highs

  • Easy to get here by train (2 hrs from London to Exeter, then a 20min taxi) so you can leave the car at home
  • Delicious food, with lots of organic and local treats: Devon sausages at breakfast, wild venison for dinner, and bio-dynamic wines and local ales
  • Glorious landscapes and views, and plenty to do nearby: moorland walks or bike rides, horse riding, historic houses
  • Plus an enormous garden with hammocks and a cosy lounge with DVDs, for those who want to do nothing at all
  • Perfect for groups in the summer or Christmas holidays; larger parties can also spread out at Jo and Sam's nearby self-catering cottage for 6-10

Lows

  • The communal meals won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it's very relaxed; a Wagamama feel. Or drive/taxi to pubs for dinner (5-15 mins)
  • No lunch served
  • Note, the property is only available as a weekly whole house rental during the summer and Christmas holidays

Best time to go

Any time of year - Weeke Barton is lovely whatever the weather. Spring and summer bring the best chance of sunshine for walking, riding and cycling (or lazy days in the garden), and autumn is ideal if you want to try your hand at shooting or foraging. But in our view you can't beat a warming winter break snuggled up in front of the fire.

Our top tips

If you can brave the chilly water, take a dip in one of Dartmoor’s beautiful wild-swimming spots. Jo and Sam recommend Spitchwick Common and Newbridge on the River Dart. Dawlish Warren beach is also 12 miles away.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Eco
Great Outdoors
Family
Foodie
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 5
  • Breakfast (+ dinner on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • 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
  • Local maps and guide books
  • Boules pitch
Room: Alfie\\\'s Room

Rooms

The 5 rooms are accessed via a pair of staircases twisting up from the dining room. All are stylish with pared-down décor, views over hills and valleys, and an eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary furniture. Throws and artwork provide pops of colour, and little details - an embroidered footstool, an owl-shaped lamp - are dotted here and there. We particularly loved the sheepskin-covered window seats in every room; perfect spots for curling up with a book.

On our first visit we were treated to Orla’s Room, a vast space with a double-ended in-room tub and a TV which swivels so you can watch DVDs (there’s no signal) as you snooze or soak. On our return we stayed in Henry’s Room, which has an ancient hearth and double sinks beneath soaring rafters. Almost as large is Avalon’s Room, which has a bath and shower; Otis’ Room and Alfie’s Room are smaller but no less lovely, with ensuite rain showers.

Beds throughout are super-kingsize or kingsize; you also get toiletries and hanging space, plus tea- and coffee-making stations either in the room or on the landing outside. Best of all, though, is the near-total silence, with nothing but the gentle braying of distant cattle to wake you from your slumber.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Jo’s penchant for local, seasonal and organic fare, combined with her deft hand in the kitchen, produces brilliant results. If it’s not homemade then it’s sourced nearby, and she’s even creating a biodynamic vegetable garden.

Dinner, available on request, is a real treat. It kicks off with drinks from the honesty bar, before everyone moves to the vast communal dining table, lit by flickering candles, with music playing softly in the background. In summer, you eat outside, at small tables. The food is delicious: we tucked into Dexter beef pie and a fennel salad, followed by damson crumble - perfect comfort food after a day roaming the moor. If renting the house as a whole, choose to dine in the cosy Kota Barn, which seats 16 and is lit by fairy lights and candles.

Breakfast is similarly hearty. Laid out on the table are jars of homemade granola, baskets of home-baked bread, local jams and preserves, steaming pots of tea, and cafetières of coffee. Hot dishes are cooked to order - succulent sausages and bacon, eggs from a neighbouring farm, and juicy slow-baked tomatoes. In summer, you can eat outside on the terrace.

For lunch and evenings out, there are plenty of good pubs a 5-15 min drive/taxi away. Our favourite was The Horse in Moretonhampstead, which serves up Mediterranean-inspired grub. Jo also recommends The Ruggle Stone in Widecombe, where outdoor tables line the banks of a burbling stream.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Communal dining
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Organic produce
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Go walking among Dartmoor’s craggy granite tors and tumbling rivers. Jo and Sam have put together a booklet of tried and tested routes of varying lengths
  • Bike hire and horse-riding can be arranged if you’d prefer to explore on 2 wheels or 4 legs. Shooting and fishing, too
  • Dartmoor is dotted with Bronze Age sites, including menhirs, stone circles, cairns and huts. Some of the most impressive are Upper Erme, Challacombe, Drizzlecombe, Grimspound and Merrivale, all within an hour's drive
  • Or fast-forward a few millennia and explore remnants of the area's fascinating industrial heritage, including the Wheal Betsy engine house, the ruined gunpowder factory at Powdermills, and the ghostly outline of the Haytor granite tramway
  • Visit Castle Drogo, 20 minutes away. Designed by Sir Edward Lutyens, it’s perched above the Teign gorge and was the last castle to be built in England
  • Wander along Lydford Gorge (40 minutes away), with its gushing whirlpools and the 30m-high White Lady Waterfall. Lydford village is also worth a stop for its ancient castle and thatched cottages
  • Spend a day on the beach. Dawlish Warren (25 minutes away) has sand dunes, safe swimming and traditional seaside cafés, while Exmouth (40 minutes away) is great for rock-pooling and kite-surfing. Bigbury (45 minutes away) is particularly pretty, with a 13th-century pub and sea tractors out to Burgh Island
  • In season, Jo and Sam can arrange shooting, fishing and foraging

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Climbing
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Foraging
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kitesurfing
  • Mountain biking
  • Shooting
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming

Kids

Weeke Barton's laid-back ambiance makes it ideal for families seeking a stylish country base. Children of all ages are welcome; baby cots and extra beds can be added to rooms for a small supplement, though the steep staircases mean you’ll want to keep an eye on roving toddlers.

There are plenty of attractions nearby to keep little ones amused, and they may even spot a Dartmoor pony on the moors. Some of Devon’s best beaches are within striking distance, too.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms can accommodate a baby cot, and the larger ones (Henry's Room, Avalon's Room and Orla's Room) have space for 1 or 2 rollaway beds. Avalon's Room and Orla's Room are the only rooms with bathtubs.

Babysitting:

Jo and Sam can recommend tried and tested babysitters.

Baby listening:

Baby monitors work between the bedrooms and the lounge, bar and dining room – you'll need to bring your own.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • Highchair
  • Changing mats
  • Booster seat

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

Children's meals:

Jo can tailor dishes to young tastebuds by prior arrangement, and will happily prepare simple meals like pasta with tomato sauce. Children's supper is served at 5.30pm, and kids are welcome in the dining room until 7pm.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Boules pitch
  • Children’s DVDs
  • Garden
  • Craft materials, crayons and pens
  • Books

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Miniature Pony Centre (15 minutes away)
  • Castle Drogo (20 minutes away)
  • Bellever Woods (20 minutes away) - perfect for picnics and paddling in the river
  • Becky Falls (25 minutes away) - woodland park with waterfalls, a picnic area, bouldering and animals
  • Dawlish Warren beach (25 minutes away)
  • Woodlands (50 minutes away) - a family theme park and indoor playground suitable for all ages, including toddlers

Families Should Know:

All rooms are on the first floor, accessed via steep spiral staircases.

Distances:

  • Airport: 30 minutes (Exeter)
  • Hospital: 20 minutes (Exeter)
  • Shop: 15 minutes (Moretonhampstead)
Kid Friendly:

Location

Weeke Barton is located 1.5 miles from the village of Dunsford and 7 miles from Moretonhampstead, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, southwest England. It’s a 20-minute drive from Exeter and the M5.

By Air:
Exeter (17 miles / 27km away) is the nearest airport; you can also fly into Bristol (77 miles / 125km away). Both are served by flights from elsewhere in the UK and Europe. If you’re arriving from outside Europe you’ll probably fly into London Heathrow (171 miles / 276km away).

By Train:
There are frequent trains from Bristol, Birmingham, London Paddington and other towns and cities in the UK to Exeter St David’s, which is a 20-minute drive from Weeke Barton.

By Car:
The remote setting means you'll need a car to explore. For car hire, see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be provided when you confirm a booking through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Exeter 27.0 km EXT
  • Bristol 125.0 km BRS

Other:

  • Beach 15.0 km
  • Shops 11.0 km
  • Restaurant 4.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Perfect place for a restful weekend. This is a wonderful location with lots of walks right on the doorstep. The house itself is beautiful and Jo and Sam are on hand with recommendations for walks and local pubs. I look forward to going back!

10/10,

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