Tarka Views

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'Over the hill and far away' is a pretty good phrase to use for the setting for Tarka Views. A magical lane takes you on a mystery tour deep in the north Devon countryside, yet Oldiscleave Farm is just 15 minutes from the fabulous sandy beach at Instow and 5 minutes from the outskirts of the market town of Bideford. Staying here gives you a perfect balance of being away from it all and yet not isolated. As you get to the end of the lane at the entrance to the farm, the hillside just falls away in front of you to give a jaw-dropping panoramic view down over farmland and forest to the River Torridge, over the countryside miles beyond and as far as Lundy Island just off the coast. Sitting in a fully enclosed and private space - excellent if you bring your four-legged family friend - this ultimate escape from it all shepherd's hut has its own garden and, tucked around the side, the jewel in the crown is a raised deck with a hot tub. Nothing could be more therapeutic or romantic than an evening under the night stars with lights twinkling in the sky and mirrored far across the valley from farmstead to farmstead. Inside is just as much of a treat. The bed is fitted into a Scandinavian style alcove at one end of the perfectly designed space. There is even a TV if you want to snuggle up with a film once you have torn yourself away from the natural cinema outside. There is a wood-burning stove and an endless supply of logs from the 40-acre woodland a stroll away down the hill. The kitchen has a deep Belfast sink, microwave, hot plate and mini fridge. True to Glamping there is a lovely hot shower and proper flushing WC as well. 160 acres of farmland wraps around the hut. Guests are welcome to explore wherever they like, though there will be livestock in some of the fields and so dogs do need to be kept on a lead. There is a wonderful circular walk which takes in the woodland with a stream running through it, and you can go all the way down to the river for some wild swimming! Bring your mountain bikes as the Tarka Trail cycle track is just at the bottom of the hill. What a great way to get to the coast for a day on the beach - the trail runs alongside the estuary to Instow and beyond. Speaking of beaches, Westward Ho! is just a 15-minute drive away and great for surfing. Another great adventure is to hop on the boat at Bideford Quay and take time out on Lundy Island, which is a special wild bird sanctuary, a place of peace and calm with the Atlantic Ocean touching its shores.