East Devon is an easy to reach area of many surprises, an ideal location for a mini-holiday where you can break away from life's hectic pace without the journey snatching too much of your precious time.
Crannaford Shepherd's Hut offers a fresh take on what a real escape means. It is all about downtime together, simplicity yet comfort, rural but not isolated, your own space at your own pace.
This bespoke and beautifully crafted shepherd's hut is made locally by a skilled artisan carpenter. Inside, the living space is warm, welcoming and practical. There is a king-sized bed, a wood-burning stove, an en suite shower-room with endless hot water and an exceptionally cleverly fitted kitchen.
Outside, there is the therapeutic treat of hot tub, a fire-pit and a wide open meadow all to yourselves stretching out to the field boundary and the view beyond. Woodbury Common, an area of unspoilt heathland criss-crossed with walks, defines the horizon and the other side of it is the stunning Jurassic Coast that stretches through east Devon and along the Dorset coast. This whole coastline is dotted with delightful seaside towns and fishing villages with iconic pebbled beaches and long stretches of sand at low tide.
This setting is particularly good because of the range of experiences that are literally on the doorstep; countryside, coast and cathedral city. Head towards the National Trust village of Broadclyst - a comfortable walk along a country lane - for the New Inn or the Red Lion, which is more of a restaurant, and the local shop. Beyond the village, the Ashclyst Forest spreads over 800 acres and you can explore the network of paths through it.
In the opposite direction, in the valley, the growing town of Cranbrook provides a sparkly night sky of little lights for any times when the clouds are hiding the real thing. Cranbrook is being built along inspiring environmental lines and the solar park (which you may hear the occasional buzz from) providing its electricity, is behind the high border of trees that edge the land at Crannaford. Cranbrook has a pub with a great atmosphere, Cranberry Farm, also within easy walking distance and with a thriving atmosphere - lazy Sunday lunches are highly recommended! From there you can catch the local train into the cathedral city of Exeter for history, culture and shopping - an often overlooked opportunity to leave the car behind.
For a blast of clear sea air, drive out across Woodbury Common and you will see the sea sparkling ahead of you. Budleigh Salterton has one of the best fish and chip shops in the area and to sit on the beach, watching the setting sun and the evening mackerel fishermen, is such a good feeling. Sidmouth is a Regency seaside town with a long promenade to stroll along and views along this dramatic coast into Dorset. There are some classic coastal villages too - Beer and Branscombe are well worth a visit, and just on the border of east Devon and Dorset, Lyme Regis is always a highlight.
If you live in the north of the UK and don't like the thought of a long drive to try the South West - why not take an internal flight into Exeter Airport! It is on the far side of Cranbrook so the shepherd's hut is away from the flight path but exceptionally convenient if you wanted to beat the motorway traffic. Depending on the wind direction, you will sometimes hear the planes coming and going and the engines being tested. The greatest excitement from the airport is when the Red Arrows are based at Exeter for their summer display schedule - they always do a mini show for local people when they come back to base in the evening, with their characteristic plumes of coloured smoke making patterns in the sky.
Open plan living-room with kitchen, dining and bedroom areas. TV, wood-burner, 2 ring hob, fridge, toaster, kettle and king-size double bed (5')
Shower-room with shower, WC and wash-basin
*A cot is not provided, bring your own travel cot.
- Regret no pets
- Arrive/Depart Friday
- Short breaks available
- Hot tub
- Wood-burner/Open fire
- Private parking for 1 car
- No smoking
- Pub 1 mile
- Patio furniture and fire-pit barbecue
- Under-floor heating and heated towel rail
- Logs for wood-burner
Escape the every-day at Crannaford Shepherd's Hut.
The wide open meadow in front of the hut is all yours, stretching out to the field boundary and the view beyond.
This idyllic retreat is beautifully hand-crafted and is gorgeous both inside and out.
The living-area is open plan and has all you could need for a comfortable stay.
The super-comfy king-size bed......
...complete with lovely linens, a true home-from-home.
A perfect space for resting your head after a day out and about exploring the joys of east Devon.
The kitchen is compact but well-equipped, featuring a two-ring hob, fridge, kettle and toaster.
There are lovely touches throughout.
The warming wood-burner means out-of-season breaks are a must (there's under-floor heating too).
Crannaford is beautifully styled inside.
Looking in through the double doors - perfect for throwing open on a sunny day.
The handy dining-table folds down with ease, and can be popped away when not needed.
The chairs also fold up and can be stored away to create more space.
Surprise! There is a TV hidden away in front of the bed - perfect for lazy mornings.
The en suite shower-room includes a wash-basin and WC.
And, of course, on tap hot water too.
A handy shelf for popping your bits and bobs on.
Let the outside in and take in the fresh air - bliss!
The raised deck overlooks the pretty patio-area and the huge meadow beyond.
Treat yourself to breakfast al fresco.
Or perhaps a glass of wine or two.
Before a dip in the bubbling hot tub.
This is such a wonderful setting.
What a super place for a getaway.
Fire up the barbecue and cook up a yummy supper.
The solar park, just behind the high border of trees, provides electricity to the nearby town of Cranbrook, which is being built along inspiring environmental lines.
A modern shepherd's hut with traditional features.
Offering a fresh take on what a real escape means.
The countryside stretches out in front of the meadow.
You even have your very own pitch and putt course here!
Clubs and plenty of balls are provided - such fun!
All in all, Crannaford Shepherd's Hut is in an ideal location of a mini-holiday where you can break away from life's hectic pace.
Nearby Woodbury Common, an area of unspoilt heathland, criss-crossed with miles of walks with the sea sparkling in the distance.
This is Sidmouth. A wonderful Regency seaside town.
This is the sheltered harbour at Lyme Regis on the east Devon/Dorset border.
Another view along the beach at Lyme Regis - this is a great place for a day out.
The far end of the beach at Budleigh Salterton, where the River Otter joins the sea. The river, banks and reed beds are wonderful places for nesting birds.
Another view of the beach at Budleigh Salterton - you can follow the South West Coast Path from here.
Take it easy and enjoy the beach at Budleigh Salterton!