I get a real buzz about staying somewhere special. Fancy Hotels might offer luxury that the majority of us aren’t used too, but what I really love is something unique and different. That’s what makes a stay special to me.
Let me set the scene. Deep in heart of Devon, near enough to civilisation but far enough away to feel isolated with no preying eyes. A unique cabin made from local natural resources, designed by two creative individuals who definitely left their stamp on the cabin. This my friends, is Candyland Studios.
To celebrate a good friend’s birthday (shout out to Gemma), I planned a surprise getaway for six of us to spend the weekend together. I booked our cabin through one of my favourite websites, Canopy and Stars, who specialise in alternative choices of accommodation.
Whilst the majority of accommodation is UK based, they do also offer a handful of lodges and campsites across Europe too. Not many, but including: Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden!
Have a nosey on their website if you fancy booking something a little different. Ever wanted to stay in a yurt or a treehouse for a few nights? Well these guys can most certainly help you out there!
Our weekend home was the lovely Candyland Studios, owned by Alex and Lydia Duncan. Part of The Woodland Retreat Estate, we stayed in the main house (Candyland Studios), but there was an additional cabin on the same plot of land (The Woodland Retreat) that could also be rented. Smaller, but more quirky – fancy a converted wood panelled bus as your bedroom? This would could have worked well to rent both cabins together if we were two families wanting our own spaces.
The studio had two double bedrooms (both with king size beds), a twin bedroom, and also a bunk bed in the corridor that lead to the three main bedrooms. Despite the bunks being located in a slightly odd corridor space, they did have a separating curtain around them, so although this sounds a bit bizarre, it would be totally fine for kids! Note the recycled trees used to prop up the curtain to separate the space!
Inside the main part of the cabin, there was a large open plan kitchen, dining room and lounge. The huge dining room table, seating up to eight guests, sits in front of the recording studio and sound booth – both which can be rented out by the hour.
The cabin was built with recycled materials, which you can see in the support beams in the main room. Decorated with simple finishes, along with the all-important wood burner, we felt right at home. The corner piano was a nice touch too – just a shame that none of us knew how to play it!
I loved how light played an important factor in building this cabin. The owners clearly thought this through during the build. The main room was flooded with light thanks to all the windows that surrounded the space.
The kitchen may have initially looked a little cramped, but it had everything we needed, as well as plenty of space to unpack our weekend supplies. Again, lots of windows and lots of light!
Outside the property there was a lot of space for kids and dogs to run free. Adults too! On one side of the cabin there was a decked area complete with a hammock, a BBQ, and an outside toilet which was relegated to the boys for their sole use! Us girls were happy to stick with the inside loo thanks.
On the other side of the cabin was a fairy tale like pathway surrounded by shrubbery that lead to another corner of land where a humungous tepee was pitched up! It was super cute, but I’m not actually too sure if we should have been up there or if that belonged to The Woodland Retreat instead?! Either way no-one found us!
A welcome basket containing a traditional Devon cream tea was left out for us upon arrival. The basket included cream, jam, and some yummy scones! The kitchen contained all your cooking basics to help prepare a meal, but as with all self catered accommodation, you’ll need to provide the rest of your food. You’ll find supermarkets in the local town, and a few restaurants too (but I wouldn’t reply on those as there wasn’t a huge choice).
Personally, I’d come loaded with meat and made good use of the open fire for a BBQ on the first night 🙂 Sausage on a stick with a cold cider. Perfect!
Devon is absolutely beautiful, and there’s loads of activities and things to do close by. If you have your own bikes then definitely bring them with so you can visit The Tarka Trail, a 31-mile former railway line that has been converted into a traffic free cycling & walking path between Brauton and Meeth. There are a few bike shops along the route where you can rent bikes should you not have your own. Maps can be downloaded for the route, and there’s several pubs along the way for a spot of lunch.
Water bunnies should head to the beach at Westward Ho! (14 miles away), or Hartland Quay (17 miles away), the nearest beaches where you’ll be able to swim and surf at both. The coast is full of beaches though, so if you have your own set of wheels, go exploring.
If you like the look of this cabin, then check it out here for rental availability. Alternatively, have a look at renting one of the many other amazing spaces through Canopy and Stars. Enjoy!