Brownscombe Tabernacle

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Glamping may be the new buzzword of the moment, but still for some the thought of flapping canvas and cold wind does not appeal. So here’s the ideal solution, Brownscombe Tabernacle. This lovely and quite unique little building has been made to an old design by a Cornish company and then uprooted to a gorgeous south Devon hillside. Based on the historical 'tin tabernacles' used by Methodist preachers throughout the South West, it has been created from salvaged materials complete with a stained glass window in the bedroom and its own bell tower atop the roof. Inside, this is like a grown-up’s Wendy House. To guarantee comfort whatever the weather brings, a rocking chair sits in front of a little wood-burning stove, there is a deep luxurious comfy king-size bed, as well as a kitchen with a small hob and fridge and a well fitted shower-room. The Owner has furnished and decorated this wonderful property to a very high standard. Gorgeous woodland wallpaper – we told you this isn’t camping – sumptuous bed linens and towels, it’s all here. And then just when you thought it couldn’t get any better than this – outside in a sheltered spot, is a lovely hot tub heated by a wood-burning stove. It might take a while to get it up to temperature but oh boy, when you do, what better than sinking into the hot water, maybe with a glass of bubbles in hand, and looking up the gorgeous Brownscombe Hill. The location is quite frankly idyllic, with open clear skies at night with absolutely no light pollution, and home to an abundance of wildlife, deer in the early morning mist in the valley, rabbits, foxes, badgers and many species of wild birds, including the rare cirl bunting and even rarer greater horseshoe bats – although they are pretty difficult to spot. Lovely long walks on National Trust land, opposite Compton Castle (where they filmed part of Sense and Sensibility), this is relaxation at its best and if you can actually bear to tear yourself away, the beauty of the South Hams is close by. Fantastic beaches, pretty villages filled with thatched cottages, welcoming pubs and restaurants, are all within easy reach. Totnes and Dartmouth are close by and both offer a wealth of shops, restaurants and the combined river boat and steam railway trip between the two towns is well worth it. Agatha Christie’s former home at Greenway is worth a visit and for a day out even closer, Compton Castle run by the National Trust is actually found in the village a short walk away. However, the joy of this wonderful setting is the peace and quiet, the time to sit back, relax and unwind. The Owner does have three glamping safari tents in the field you pass on the way up to the Tabernacle however you are tucked into a natural little dip in the field way above and will be quite private. As you come past the Owner’s home she has a little shop (Brownscombe Larder) where you can order breakfast and barbecue hampers and buy basics like bread, eggs, ice cream etc. If you wish, she can also provide one pot meals to order (24 hours’ notice) so you could even arrive to find something hot and delicious bubbling away on top of the wood-burner. There is also a games-room with table-tennis and table-football (shared with the guests of the safari tents) and complimentary WiFi is available in this area as well as the car parking-area should you need it. The Owner herself will deliver your luggage to your tent, which is located past the glamping tents, and then up the slope to your own private field. You really must come and see for yourselves, it is a really special place.