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21/04/2015

Barrow Farm Barns, Somerset Levels

Pear Lodge is one of two timber lodges at Barrow Farm, near North Wooton in the Somerset Levels.

  

The first thing you’ll notice on arrival is the tranquil atmosphere. The cottages are surrounded on all sides by green and glorious Somerset Level scenery. There is no traffic noise, but plenty of birdsong – a great place to hear the dawn chorus in the morning. And at dusk, if you’re lucky, you may spot a barn owl swooping overhead – we did!

  

The lodges have been recently built using sustainable materials, with energy-efficient lighting, under-floor heating and good insulation. Inside, they are finished to a superb standard.

  

The design is contemporary, with two brand new bathrooms and a modern (and very well-equipped) kitchen. The rooms are light, bright and spacious, with bi-fold floor to ceiling doors in both the living room and the master bedroom to take full advantage of the rural views.

  

The doors lead out onto a private decking area with outdoor furniture and barbeque – a perfect spot for summer al fresco dining.

  

The grounds are planted with local varieties of fruit trees, and chickens free-range around the lodges – guests are welcome to help themselves to fresh eggs from the chicken coops each morning. Children will also love making friends with the resident donkeys, Roxy and Ronnie.

Top row: the light and airy master bedroom; rural views from the Lodge

Bottom row: Glastonbury Tor; Avalon Marshes; chickens free-range in the grounds

The quiet, flat lanes surrounding the property are ideal for cycling – and there are plenty of public footpaths for walkers too, with a pub and restaurant reached within an easy mile-long stroll.

  

Despite all this tranquillity, Barrow Farm is by no means isolated. It’s less than 10 minutes drive (or an easy cycle-ride) along quiet roads to Wells, the smallest city in England, with its wonderful cathedral and historic Bishop’s Palace, complete with moat.

  

Some 10 minutes in the opposite direction takes you to Glastonbury. Climb the Tor for stunning views in all directions, then recover in one of the town’s many cafés or restaurants – there’s a unique New Age vibe here that will have you chilled out in no time.

  

Just a little further afield you’ll find the beautiful city of Bath, Cheddar Gorge and the famous caves and other family-friendly attractions at Wookey Hole.

    

A big draw for nature-lovers, though, is Barrow Farm’s proximity to the wildlife of the Somerset Levels.

  

The Avalon Marshes is a large wetland area, consisting of a network of nature reserves, all with way-marked walking routes of varying lengths. You may spot otters and deer, as well as a huge range of birdlife including great crested grebes, kingfishers and herons.    

  

And be sure to visit Ham Wall: a nature reserve owned and managed by the RSPB. In the winter this is one of the best places in the UK to witness a starling murmuration. At dawn and dusk thousands of starlings take to the skies in huge swirling clouds, as they gather to roost in the reed beds – a fantastic natural spectacle that’s not to be missed!


Pear Lodge sleeps four people in two bedrooms. For more information visit www.barrowfarmbarn.co.uk.

Barrow Farm Barns, Somerset Levels