A relaxing rural lodge retreat with a serious upgrade, andlots of trademark quirkiness…
When we were invited by Jo and Steve, owners of WinchcombeFarm, to be among the first ever guests in their brand new lodge, Ben’s Burrow,the anticipation was through the roof! Having spent a blissful couple of nightsthe previous year in the gorgeous Will’s Treehouse, we knew that we were in forsomething truly special. This being their fifth lodge on site, Jo and Stevehave the unique accommodation lark down to a fine art, and we were expecting tobe wowed.
We didn’t know much at all about the lodge before ourarrival – we hadn’t even seen any photographs as the photographer had been inthe day before us! – so it was even more exciting to once again be turning intothe long track through the surrounding farmland, eagerly awaiting a glimpse ofthis new addition.
Set in the scenic, gently rolling hills of Warwickshire’sCotswolds, Winchcombe Farm’s four other lodges are all extremely popular. Eachboasts its own quirks and charms, but each is distinctively part of the wholecollection, with a running theme of luxurious yet super comfortable andwonderfully family-friendly accommodation.
We were lucky enough to arrive on a warm and sunny Septemberafternoon, meaning the lodge and its surrounds were gleaming in all their brandnew glory. We parked up in the dedicated parking spaces, and after a quickhello to the resident alpacas, Barry, Charlie and Geoff, and a promise to stopby again later on, we made our way down the steps to explore.
Ben’s Burrow sleeps up to 9 guests (our visit was during thegovernment’s ‘rule of six’ restrictions, but this meant that our group of fivehad even more room to spread out!), and occupies a prime position by the shimmeringpond, with an abundance of outside space solely for the use of occupants ofthis lodge. And if you like to roam about, you won’t be disappointed!
We started off by turning left and making our way up to theraised decking to check out my personal favourite feature, the hot tub! Lookingout across the gardens and pond to the rolling hills beyond, there was also alovely outside dining area here, plus an al fresco shower to use before gettingin the tub. I couldn’t resist taking the cover off of the tub just to have alittle look. Behold, the Rolls Royce of hot tubs! A bubbling seven-seater withBluetooth speakers, party lights, toasty warm water and even an impressivefountain feature which induced oooohs and ahhhhs a-plenty.
I would have got straight in, but there was plenty more toexplore. We made our way into the gated garden area (which is lockable to keepwandering small ones safe) and past an enormous firepit all stacked up andready to burn, encircled by tree stump seats.
If you like a choice of places to lounge outside, Ben’sBurrow is most definitely for you. A hanging chair, hammocks swaying in thebreeze, wooden loungers – and even colourful deckchairs by a quirky ‘beach’area next to the pond. We were spoiled for choice!
The most outstanding feature though was the large stargazinggeodome gently suspended on decking over the water, kitted out with anenormous, comfy daybed, table and chairs, heater and its own telescope – allguarded by a regal looking pink flamingo, of course!
Back up by the lodge, the large al fresco dining area wascomplete with a gas barbecue and charcoal pizza oven for sociable meals in thefresh countryside air.
Inside, the Burrow had a tardis-like capacity! So much sothat we almost missed the self contained flat, tucked away above the lounge andaccessed via an external staircase, sleeping two guests and with its ownbathroom and fully equipped kitchen area. Perfect for teenagers who want a bitof independence, but also equally useful for families who take grandparents, nanniesor carers away with them, to afford a little more privacy.
The large open-plan lounge and kitchen diner had plenty ofspace to socialise, whip up impressive meals and eat as a group. The kitchenwas full of top quality appliances and every single utensil, pot or pan youcould possibly desire. The long dining table, enormous television and comfysofas made it the perfect place to laze about and chat, with the floor-to-ceilingdoors allowing the light to flood in.
To the side of the kitchen area there was a shower room withtoilet, behind which was a cupboard with another quirky surprise (we’ll let youfind out for yourself when you visit!), and further down the rabbit-warrenstyle corridor were two lovely bedrooms, one with ensuite bathroom and onewith plenty of space for a cot, plus a Teasmade(ideal for parents with little ones, and who need late night beverages!).Through another door and up a staircase was the impressive triple room, witha double and single bed, its own freestanding bath, power shower and aseparate toilet. This was the room we chose with our toddler, who was suitablycontained by the handy retractable stair gate when required!
The rest of the afternoon and the whole of the following daywere spent simply lounging and chatting. We had intended to pop out for a mealor a walk, but to be perfectly honest, once we’d all arrived and got settledthe last thing any of us felt like doing was missing a minute of time away fromthe Burrow and its many charms.
We enjoyed morning and evening hot tub sessions putting theworld to rights, and we took turns to read or nap in pretty much every seatingoption on offer (the hammocks being a particular favourite in the sunshine witha gentle breeze). Meals were mostly taken outside, and we spent hours in thestargazing dome watching the sun set and the reflections on the water. Ourtoddler loved exploring the garden and cuddling up in the hammocks, picking upleaves, looking for bugs and popping up the steps with us to say hi to theponies and alpacas.
Seeing as the firepit was all stacked up ready to burn, ourlast night involved drinks and snacks watching the flames flicker and the starscome out in the clear night sky, and working out when we could all get togetherfor a return to Ben’s Burrow!
It would be impossible to be anything but delighted witheach and every lodge at Winchcombe Farm, but we have to say they have excelledthemselves this time. Everything has been considered in the creation of Ben’sBurrow, resulting in a truly magical experience for families or group stays.
If you’d like to have a little look around inside theaccommodation with us, below is our walkthrough – and if you’d like toexperience the magic for yourself, you can find out more about Ben’s Burrowhere.