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  • Writer's pictureGreen Traveller

Where to stay in East Devon

As we launch our Green Traveller's Guide to East Devon, Jackie King picks out a selection of characterful places to stay in this glorious Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in southwest England.

East Devon is blessed with a beautiful, World Heritage coastline, stunning undulating countryside, and lots of pretty towns and villages. It's no surprise to discover, therefore, that there are some fantastic places to stay scattered throughout the AONB. Whether it’s splendid self-catering accommodation, such as an Arts & Crafts mansion restored to its one hundred-year old grandeur, standing atop a cliff, a wisteria-clad B&B in a genteel town, a grande dame of a hotel or a campsite full of activities and fun deep in the rolling hills, there are places to stay in East Devon to suit every budget and style. We have chosen some of the greenest places to stay: there's a B&B with solar-powered electricity, a luxury hideaway that gives guests a discount if they arrive on public transport, and plenty of wood-burning stoves and locally-sourced breakfasts, too!

Google map: shows the location and details of all the places to stay, local food and drink, nearby visitor attractions and activities in our Green Travel Guide to East Devon:

Green = Places to stay Blue = Local food & drink Yellow = Attractions Purple = Activities

Places to stay in East Devon

Hedgehog Corner, Devon, England

Adult-only B&B and (separate) child friendly holiday cottage that sleep 6 very close to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's River Cottage HQ. Just 3 minutes drive to Lyme Regis on the Jurassic Coast. Hedgehog Corner has been awarded Silver from the GTBS for their sustainability efforts. The B&B is fully insulated and all appliances are A rated. All waste is recycled as much as possible. The toilets are all dual flush. Cleaning products and toiletries are all eco friendly. Food and complimentary products are locally sourced as much as possible. Guests are encouraged to arrive by public transport or on foot by the coastal footpath. The owners support local photographers and artists by purchasing and displaying their artwork on the walls throughout the B&B.

Larkbeare Grange

With lovely antiques, finest Egyptian cotton sheets, open-fires and expensive toiletries, this splendid wisteria-clad four-bedroom B&B offers a touch of class. Surrounded by eight acres of land, including picturesque orchards, Larkbeare Grange is green in more ways than one: some of your electricity comes from solar power and there are bicycles to borrow.

The Salty Monk

This restaurant-with-rooms has six individually decorated bedrooms. King-size beds, freestanding baths and power showers, private courtyards and garden views are just some of the features you can choose. All rooms have wi-fi, tea- and coffee-making with homemade biscuits, chilled bottled water and, erm, a teddy-bear on the bed. Take him down to breakfast and you might be able to blag extra portions.

The Nest

A genuine tree house set 30 feet up an English oak tree, within an ancient broadleaved wood. Situated on a small family run farm in the Blackdown Hills, Devon, close to the Jurassic Coast, Taunton, Exeter and Dartmoor. Ideal for couples looking to escape from everyday life. Complete with fully equipped kitchen, dining, living area, bedroom, bathroom and balcony. Heated by wood burning stove. We have recently planted over 700 trees which will more than replace those taken for firewood.

Mazzard Farm cottages

Situated just 15 minutes from the Jurassic Coast at Sidmouth, half way up East Hill, are 17 acres of old apple farm, now home to six contemporary cottages, gardens, an orchard, private woods, play areas and a large courtyard with picnic tables and BBQ. It is heaven for children and relaxing for grown-ups, what with pampering treatments from Jacqueline (Indian head massages, Japanese facials) and heaps to do. Our reviewed Holly Gee said: "Ruud and Jacqueline have done their best to ensure that there is never a dull moment at Mazzard Farm. Any child would probably be happy enough to go no further than the farm for a whole week."

Upcott, the Gallery and Gospel Hall

Close to the fishing village of Beer, wonderfully luxurious self-catering houses with sea views of Lyme Bay. Beautiful & peaceful setting on a quiet coastal road with no light pollution, perfect for star-gazing! Five-star luxury & green credentials. Our reviewer Paul Miles says: "Upcott is a dream holiday home combining the comfort and style of a boutique hotel with the freedom and fun of self-catering. From bedrooms or terrace, you could be lost in the view for a lifetime. Inside, Liz and Mal’s eco-friendly renovation of the property has been done with such love and care that, whether the sun is sparkling off the ocean or the wind roaring through the trees, the house resonates a peaceful contentedness."

Coombe Farm & Woodlands Trust

Nestled in organic farmland and mixed woodland in the heart of the beautiful Devon countryside, Coombe is a charming, grade 2* listed, 16-17th century cob and thatch farmhouse in a sheltered valley offering a unique, wonderful holiday environment.

Cranberries Luxury Hideaway

With air-source and ground-source heat pumps, wood-burning stoves using logs from their own woodland, a large area of solar PV panels, a 5% discount for those arriving by public transport, bikes for hire (arrange in advance), Cranberries stresses its green credentials. The five properties, Grade II listed stone farm buildings dating from the 18th century, have been sensitively restored with local labour and sleep from 2 to 16. There are 100 acres of private land to explore and views over the Axe valley towards the sea from the postcard perfect hilltop village of Kilmington. Cranberries sets a new trend in self-catering in that they offer stays of just one night and rates are the same all year.

Lea Hill

Mossy thatched roofs, wisteria-clad walls, views of rolling countryside and dinky rooms with beams and low ceilings: the six properties of Lea Hill are chocolate box sweet. Whether it’s the upstairs, one-bedroom Kingfisher apartment or two-bedroom Nuthatch, these cottages, each with their own enclosed garden, offer you a taste of remote, bucolic bliss. When you know that about 50% of the electricity comes from renewables – solar PV panels – it’s like gorging on strawberry creams with half the calories.

Holyford Yurt

Nestled in the beautiful Axe Valley in Devon, this family-friendly, lone yurt pitched in a smallholding offers homegrown fruit and veg, earth oven, solar showers and is close to beaches and nature reserves. Grab your backpack and jump on a train to Axminster where you can transfer to one of the regular buses from Axminster to Colyford (AVMT's 885 route). The bus stop is about a 10 minute walk from Holyford Yurt. All on its own, it stands on a family smallholding with views over the beautiful Axe valley, next to ancient woodland and close to Jurassic coast beaches. The owners grow (organically) as much as possible and operate a small local vegetable box scheme – all produce is available for free for guests during their stay. They offer home-cooked meals using their own produce and other local produce (for an additional charge), and sell homemade preserves, pickles and apple juice. They fish locally and can provide fish when they have a good catch! Holyford is the perfect base for days spent walking, cycling, fishing, kayaking and swimming. The owners can provide OS maps and information on local walking and bike routes.

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