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Family glamping in Devon's Culm Valley that offers an inspiring and safe space for children to play

It was a whirlwind start for Leafy Fields Glamping on the western edge of the Blackdown Hills in Devon. Owners Andrew and Dannie bought the two-acre paddock in the spring of 2016 and by that summer they were already welcoming their first few guests. The success of it – open for just 28 days with a couple of bell tents – confirmed for them just how special their location was and before long they’d re-planted hedgerows, refurbished old stable blocks and transformed the place into the fully-fledged glamping site it is today.

Set next door to a working dairy farm down the small, country lanes of rural Devon, Leafy Fields Glamping is hidden without being isolated. It’s just a few hundred yards to the nearest pub – a proper, low-beamed local built in 1835 – and an onsite shop sells breakfast essentials and West Country ice-cream. It’s a 5-minute drive or pleasant 30-minute walk to the riverside town of Uffculme, too, home to a couple of excellent pubs, a fish and chippie and a supermarket, plus a wonderfully restored woollen mill that opens regularly to the public.

The glamping site itself has been a real labour of love for the family. Formerly grazed by horses, they have transformed the space into a colourful, natural scene. Buttercups grow in abundance, a vegetable garden flourishes and hedges break-up the different pitches that line a central pathway – four spots populated by bell tents and two spaces at the top of the meadow occupied by family-sized safari tents.

Inside, the bell tents have a comfortable double bed for couples and two fold out singles for children, while the safari tents feature several different rooms, a quirky cupboard bed for kids and a spacious living area with sofas, dining furniture and a well-equipped kitchen. And, while the safari tents are fully en suite, every bell tent has its own shower room down in the main stable building area, where there is also a rainy day room with books and board games.

The opening of the glamping site hasn’t meant the demise of all things equine, though. There are still three miniature Shetland ponies that are exceptionally friendly and will nuzzle children’s palms as they spend hours watching them over the wooden fences. It’s one of a number of sensory experiences that Leafy Fields offers that has helped it win the National Autistic Society's “Autism Friendly Award” – the first glamping site to achieve such an accolade. A special sensory room in the stable building and clever touches like lights that change colour in the showerheads all show how they have gone the extra mile. It also shows their shear passion for running a glamping site that’s quite unlike anywhere else you would have stayed before.

The Owner Says

We are a small family run glamping site. The 2017 season will see us offer luxury and deluxe furnished bells tents and 2 spacious safari tents, nestled on the gentle slope of our two-acre field full of buttercups and wildlife, our luxury canvas bell tents are perfect for families and friends and each sleep up to two adults and two children. The Safari tents are located at the top of our field with their own kitchen, toilet and shower facilities within the tent, these large tents can sleep up to 6 people. The tents are each pitched to make the most of the awesome countryside location.

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