Farmer Oak's Hut

UK England South West England Devon Okehampton

  • Laundry
  • Campfires allowed
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Laundry
  • Good walks nearby
  • Walking
A thoughtfully crafted shepherd's hut in West Devon with enough details to deserve its own novel

Animal prints on the blinds, a shepherd’s hut painted on the tea tray, bird books, binoculars, maps, magazines and guidebooks. It’s all about the details for Manya Johnson, the mastermind behind Farmer Oak’s Hut in West Devon. From the homemade preserves and freshly baked scones she puts together in her kitchen, to the history book of shepherd’s huts that sits on the mantelpiece, everything here is considered. A Penguin Classics copy of Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd even awaits would-be readers; it’s thanks to the novel’s central character, the shepherd Gabriel Oak, that this glampsite got its name.

Set in the quietest corner of the field behind Manya’s home, through a young apple orchard and up a stepping-stone pathway to the top of the garden, Farmer Oak’s Hut is country life encapsulated. Sheep graze the neighbouring meadow, fledglings tweet an early chorus as they flitter between Manya’s bird boxes and a small, slate sign points the way into the nearby woods – “over the bridge and up the wooden steps, turn left at the gate”. For a timeless slice of Devon it seems the perfect spot. There’s even a vintage apple cart to wheel your luggage from the car.

Inside, the hut itself is a far cry from Gabriel Oak’s own “hard couch, formed of a few corn sacks” – though it retains the all-important wood-fired stove, glowing warmth across the space. Instead, expect more 21st-century features: a compact kitchen with a sink, fridge and hobs, a built in double bed and a plush, en-suite shower room. There’s no WiFi or television though; this is about getting back to nature after all.

While Farmer Oak’s Hut sleeps two, Manya still considers this a family space. Those with children are welcome to pitch a small tent alongside and there’s a host of good family attractions nearby, from the beaches around Boscastle and Bude, 40 minutes north, to National Trust estates like Cothele and Lanhydrock, 35 minutes away. Not that you need travel that far. Nearby Launceston has a magnificent 13th-century castle to explore (and is also home to the nearest tourist office where you can really get your barings), while the walkers delights of Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and the Tamar Valley are also within easy reach. Manya has provided waterproof OS maps for you to borrow, so you can make a plan beside the campfire. Marshmallows are provided too. Naturally.

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Details

Facilities

This fully en-suite hut has a built in double bed for 2 people (bedding and throws provided), a fold-away table and comfy Lloyd Loom chairs, a wood-burning stove (complimentary kindling and logs provided for the first night) and a compact kitchen space with a fridge, sink, 2 hobs, toaster, microwave, kettle, pots, pans, Orla Kiely enamel crockery and cutlery.There are various essentials in the kitchen such as West Country tea, fresh ground coffee and sugar, salt and pepper, olive oil ,foil, tea towels,dishcloth and washing up liquid and of course, marshmallows and skewers.  The bathroom features a shower, sink and flushing loo with hand wash, shower gel and toilet rolls. An on-site store provides essentials – homemade jams, chutneys, marmalade, honey and fresh eggs – and scones and bread can be made to order. Guests can also help themselves to produce from the kitchen garden. Campfire pit provided for al fresco cooking and marshmallow melting. A treat awaits you upon your arrival of freshly baked scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream and milk in the fridge to add to your tea for the perfect Devon Cream Tea.

Suitable For

Glamping only. No dogs.

Nearby

Town or country? Take your pick. It’s a 15-minute drive west to busy Launceston, where the 13th-century round tower of Launceston Castle (0370 333 1181) overlooks the town, and 15 minutes east to the edge of Dartmoor National Park, where you can ramble in the wilds and plunge into summer pools .The ancient colourful market towns of Okehampton and Tavistock are close by- check out the popular Pannier Market in Tavistock, while the Tamar Valley AONB is a 15-minute drive, Bodmin Moor 20 minutes and the North Devon coast is around 40 minutes away (think beaches such as Bude and Widemouth Bay). For heritage enthusiasts, there are 4 fantastically preserved old railway lines nearby – the Bodmin and Wenford Railway, the South Devon Railway (01364 644370), Dartmouth Steam Railway and the Launceston Narrow Gauge Line – and 700-year-old Buckland Abbey (01822 853607), now owned by the National Trust, is half an hour in the car. Families will also enjoy a trip to Roadford Lake (01409 211507), one of the biggest and busiest inland waters in the southwest. Hire bikes to cycle the waterside trail or try water sports including sailing, windsurfing and canoeing.

Food & Drink

There’s an on-site store for purchasing preserves and homemade produce and you can help yourself to vegetables  from the kitchen garden. Manya also makes scones and bread to order. Lifton Farm Shop (01566 784605) is a delight to visit – their fresh local produce includes a good range of meat and cheeses – and has a decent café, while, for something more substantial, Lifton Hall Hotel (01566 784863) has won awards for it’s Sunday lunches. The Arundell Arms (01566 784666), also in Lifton village, is another award winner – largely for it’s ‘casual dining’ – and has real ales on tap.

Opening Times

All year (except January and February).

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
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The Owner Says

We would be delighted to welcome you to rural Devon at it's best; and so to Farmer Oak's Hut. It is tucked away in the corner of our field, a lovely romantic space. You will replace your car with an vintage apple cart to help with your luggage, passing our young apple orchard and winding your way up the wildlife garden into Farmer Oak's special, enclosed garden.

Who is Farmer Oak? The name is inspired by the novel by Thomas Hardy. Our cottage guests remark upon the peace and tranquility of the surroundings and so we thought the farmer- Gabriel Oak in 'Far from The Madding Crowd' was appropriate, not only for the setting but as sheep used to graze in our top field and it was a shepherd hut that Gabriel used to live in, so the name just seemed so right.

The hut contains all the things you would need for a comfortable stay including a wood burner for those chillier visits, a toaster, a fridge, microwave and a two ring electric hob. There are outdoor kitchen facilities with enamel cups and plates and tins with Serbian cooking pots to use on the fire pit. The hut has an en suite shower room and your own fluffy towels and a comfy double bed with fairy lights and lanterns for you to create a romantic atmosphere.

There is a little store in the field where you can purchase homemade jams, chutneys and marmalade, fresh farm eggs etc I also bake bread to order and scones for a must have Devon cream tea. There is a basket of logs in the hut for you to use in the wood burner or Kotlich outside and more logs and kindling can then be purchased from the store. There is always a supply of fruit and vegetables, depending upon the season to help yourself to from the kitchen garden in the store too.

In the hut's garden there is a large wooden table and benches to sit around and traditional deckchairs for relaxing in.There is a canopied area which gives shade from the sun to eat, read, write or draw or even continue to be outside when it is raining. The benches can be moved to place around the fire pit should you wish to enjoy an evening toasting marshmallows as the sun goes down ( marshmallows and skewers always provided of course!) To add to the sound of the hooting owls, there are fairy lights in the trees and blankets and lanterns to complete the magic.

We have deliberately not installed a TV or WiFi as this is the place where we want yo to switch off-the moment you grab that apple cart is the moment you start to relax and enjoy nature and all it's beauty.

Accommodation

1 shepherds hut (sleeping 2) but you can pitch your own tent alongside if you have children. Check Availability

Location

Contact Farmer Oak's Hut, Drowsy Duck, Dippertown, Lewdown, Devon EX20 4PT

Getting There

At the end of the M5, take A30. From A30, heading west, turn off at Sourton Cross and take a right turn for Bridestowe, Lewdown and Lifton. Continue along this road for 7 miles until you reach Portgate. A few metres on, turn left at the side of the gold-coloured house (used to be a pub). Continue down this windy country lane for 2 miles. Turn left at the sign for Dippertown. Drive through the hamlet until you come to farm gates with Drowsy Duck written on them. These farm gates are on a bend, set back slightly from the lane on the right hand side in between a large cream house and an old barn. Note that Sat Navs often take a different route that approaches Drowsy Duck from the opposite direction down the lane, in which case the the farm gates would be on the left. Plymouth is the nearest train station, from there catch the A1 bus at the Royal Parade to Tavistock. There are no further buses to Dippertown from there, but Manya will be happy to pick you up from Tavistock if arranged with enough notice.

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Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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