This stunning contemporary yet family-friendly conversion of a former barn is picture-perfect both inside and out. Its setting is idyllic, being on seven acre small holding just a few miles from the the coast at Bude and nestled between two nature reserves with abundant wildlife - Bambi spotting anyone? Its interior could grace the pages of a glossy magazine with charming features such as oak frame ceilings and romantic log burner, mixed with funky prints and colourful accent walls, along with vintage and contemporary furnishings. Best of all, being under an hour from the Exeter turn-off of the M5, its far more accessible that the average Cornish getaway.
Owners Conrad and Karen Allen, live just across the courtyard, although not overlooking, so they and their two young sons are always on hand for tips and advice, or as playmates for younger guests. Their experience with their own brood has encouraged them to equip the barn with families in mind and it boasts a useful list of baby gear and toys (see grey box left). Best of all, they keep a large organic vegetable garden and chickens, and often invite guests to help themselves to fresh produce and eggs to get the most from this country idyll, complete with private woodland.
The 2-bedroom barn has an 30ft open plan yet cosy living area opening out onto a large decked area and its own private garden, which is perfect for football, al fresco breakfasts (with eggs from the free range organic hens of course!) or evening sundowners.
Back inside, the open plan lounge, kitchen, diner is loved by new toddlers and crawlers as they can roam freely (a stairgate blocks the stairs) whilst always being in sight of parents. the kitchen is equipped with all mod cons including family life savers such as a dishwasher, microwave and washing machine. There's two highchairs to go with the four-seater dining table and two comfy sofas in front of the log burner and flat screen TV with DVD player.
Downstairs, the barn has both a twin and a double bedroom, both decked out with Egyptian cotton bedding and ample storage. The large bathroom has a bath, shower, a heated towel rail and lots of shelving for storage.
Inspired to protect the environment by the barn's beautiful surrounding, there's underfloor heating throughout powered by renewable energy from a Ground Source Heat Pump. This also provides all of the hot water supply... green and stylish! There is also the wood burning stove with complimentary basket of logs is supplied from the estate's own woodlands.
PLEASE NOTE: If Red Barn is booked on your dates, try sister property 'The Cob'
Just a short drive away is Bude- a reasonably quaint Cornish seaside town with a few half decent restaurants, some good local produce suppliers (inc organic) and three well stocked major supermarkets. The ‘Life’s a Beach’ Café bar overlooking Summerleaze beach in Bude comes highly recommended for its beach-side location, stunning views and rare combination of good food, a drinks licence and a kids menu – even if it is fish fingers and chips etc.! The lido beneath it is ideal for safe splashing around and is patrolled by life guards in the main season.
If less than perfect weather forces you indoors, the nearby Trethorne leisure park, Milky Way and Big Sheep are good distractions. Each of them has special zones for babies and toddlers with ball pools, soft play and ride on tractors