The Old Stable is home to two stylish self-catering apartments (and Zingaro Wagon for a more 'unique' offering) located within the grounds of The Old Vicarage in the hamlet of Dowland, amidst the beautiful rolling countryside of mid Devon. The Hayloft, sleeping two, and The Shippon sleeping two to three guests have been beautifully renovated and presented in a striking modern style. Children over the age of 10 years are welcome in The Hayloft and The Shippon. Zingaro Wagon sleeps two, ideally, but can accommodate two children (not really suitable for infants). With the use of a fabulous cedar hot tub and sauna, The Old Stable is ideal for couples looking for a taste of rural life in a relaxing setting, as well as friends and families who want to get together whilst enjoying a good degree of personal space.
The Hayloft is located on the first floor of The Old Stable, and The Shippon provides ground floor accommodation. Both can be rented on a self-catering basis or breakfast can be provided in the apartment if preferred (delivered the night before so you can wake up and enjoy it at a time that suits you).
The small hamlet of Dowland is well placed in the very heart of Devon for exploring the areas many attractions. Both Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park are within easy reach providing vast outdoor playgrounds for a host of activities, adventures, wildlife and attractions. The glorious golden surfing beaches of North Devon and Cornwall are a short car ride away. Exeter's vibrant city centre is under an hour by car, and there are plenty of National Trust properties to visit including Castle Drogo close to Chagford, the family home of Hartland Abbey with its beautiful gardens near Bideford and Arlington Court, home to an impressive carriage museum. Dartington Crystal is another popular attraction, as is award winning RHS Rosemoor which is just fifteen minutes from The Old Stable.
For those who like to keep active, The Old Stable sits right on the Tarka Trail (the southern loop section). One of the country's longest traffic free cycling and walking routes, there are a magnificent one hundred and eighty miles of tracks and trails to explore straight from the front door. A cyclists and walker's paradise, the quiet surrounding country lanes are a joy to amble along, particularly when the hedgerows are in full bloom, and there are wonderful riverside and meadow walks as well as three nature reserves for wildlife enthusiasts (the closest being just a mile away).
Offering a more relaxed pace of life that busier tourist areas can scarcely remember, mid Devon is an excellent choice for a weekend away or longer holiday. Simply relax and unwind in the beauty that surrounds, or enjoy day trips out to the areas major attractions, safe in the knowledge that peace and tranquility awaits when you return 'home' at the end of the day.
Jill Nielson joined Independent Cottages in January 2017
The Hayloft sleeps two and sits on the first floor of The Old Stable. Accessed via an external metal staircase, the apartment allows couples to be nicely tucked away but is not well suited for those with limited mobility and toddlers.
The Greenhouse Spa: Set within the grounds is The Greenhouse Spa, providing the ultimate in relaxation with a fabulous two person cedar hot tub and sauna. All guests have a daily session booked for private use (between 20-21:00 for the Hayloft) but the spa may also be used at other times when available. It is also possible to book beauty treatments from a visiting therapist.
Outside: At the same first floor level is a patio accessed via the front door with outdoor furniture where you can sit and relax during the warmer months. Shared gardens are also available for guests enjoyment and there is off-road parking opposite.
Additional information: Central heating keeps the apartment warm all year round. The owners live in The Old Vicarage so are close at hand to provide as much or as little assistance as required. Free WiFi. Unfortunately, no pets and no smoking. For parties booking both apartments together, internal (lockable) access is available. Bed linen, towels, heating and electricity are included in the price. A welcome tray is provided so that you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee when you arrive.
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Fully flexible start days and short breaks available throughout the year, from £80 per night. 2 night minimum stay. Relax in our cedar hot tub and sauna. Visiting beautician can also be arranged.