Tried and Tested: Ben's Burrow at Winchcombe Farm, Warwickshire
A relaxing rural lodge retreat with a serious upgrade, and lots of trademark quirkiness...
When we were invited by Jo and Steve, owners of Winchcombe
Farm, 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 nights
the previous year in the gorgeous Will's Treehouse, we knew that we were in for
something truly special. This being their fifth lodge on site, Jo and Steve
have the unique accommodation lark down to a fine art, and we were expecting to
We didn't know much at all about the lodge before our arrival - we hadn't even seen any photographs as the photographer had been in the day before us! - so it was even more exciting to once again be turning into the long track through the surrounding farmland, eagerly awaiting a glimpse of this new addition.
Set in the scenic, gently rolling hills of Warwickshire's
Cotswolds, Winchcombe Farm's four other lodges are all extremely popular. Each
boasts its own quirks and charms, but each is distinctively part of the whole
collection, with a running theme of luxurious yet super comfortable and
wonderfully family-friendly accommodation.
We were lucky enough to arrive on a warm and sunny September
afternoon, meaning the lodge and its surrounds were gleaming in all their brand
new glory. We parked up in the dedicated parking spaces, and after a quick
hello to the resident alpacas, Barry, Charlie and Geoff, and a promise to stop
by again later on, we made our way down the steps to explore.
Ben's Burrow sleeps up to 9 guests (our visit was during the government's ‘rule of six' restrictions, but this meant that our group of five had even more room to spread out!), and occupies a prime position by the shimmering pond, with an abundance of outside space solely for the use of occupants of this 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 the raised decking to check out my personal favourite feature, the hot tub! Looking out across the gardens and pond to the rolling hills beyond, there was also a lovely outside dining area here, plus an al fresco shower to use before getting in the tub. I couldn't resist taking the cover off of the tub just to have a little look. Behold, the Rolls Royce of hot tubs! A bubbling seven-seater with Bluetooth speakers, party lights, toasty warm water and even an impressive fountain feature which induced oooohs and ahhhhs a-plenty.
I would have got straight in, but there was plenty more to
explore. We made our way into the gated garden area (which is lockable to keep
wandering small ones safe) and past an enormous firepit all stacked up and
ready to burn, encircled by tree stump seats.
If you like a choice of places to lounge outside, Ben's Burrow is most definitely for you. A hanging chair, hammocks swaying in the breeze, 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 stargazing
geodome gently suspended on decking over the water, kitted out with an
enormous, comfy daybed, table and chairs, heater and its own telescope - all
guarded by a regal looking pink flamingo, of course!
Back up by the lodge, the large al fresco dining area was complete with a gas barbecue and charcoal pizza oven for sociable meals in the fresh countryside air.
Inside, the Burrow had a tardis-like capacity! So much so
that we almost missed the self contained flat, tucked away above the lounge and
accessed via an external staircase, sleeping two guests and with its own
bathroom and fully equipped kitchen area. Perfect for teenagers who want a bit
of independence, but also equally useful for families who take grandparents, nannies
or carers away with them, to afford a little more privacy.
The large open-plan lounge and kitchen diner had plenty of space to socialise, whip up impressive meals and eat as a group. The kitchen was full of top quality appliances and every single utensil, pot or pan you could possibly desire. The long dining table, enormous television and comfy sofas made it the perfect place to laze about and chat, with the floor-to-ceiling doors allowing the light to flood in.
To the side of the kitchen area there was a shower room with toilet, behind which was a cupboard with another quirky surprise (we'll let you find out for yourself when you visit!), and further down the rabbit-warren style corridor were two lovely bedrooms, one with ensuite bathroom and one with 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, with a double and single bed, its own freestanding bath, power shower and a separate toilet. This was the room we chose with our toddler, who was suitably contained by the handy retractable stair gate when required!
The rest of the afternoon and the whole of the following day were spent simply lounging and chatting. We had intended to pop out for a meal or a walk, but to be perfectly honest, once we'd all arrived and got settled the last thing any of us felt like doing was missing a minute of time away from the Burrow and its many charms.
We enjoyed morning and evening hot tub sessions putting the world to rights, and we took turns to read or nap in pretty much every seating option on offer (the hammocks being a particular favourite in the sunshine with a gentle breeze). Meals were mostly taken outside, and we spent hours in the stargazing dome watching the sun set and the reflections on the water. Our toddler loved exploring the garden and cuddling up in the hammocks, picking up leaves, looking for bugs and popping up the steps with us to say hi to the ponies and alpacas.
Seeing as the firepit was all stacked up ready to burn, our last night involved drinks and snacks watching the flames flicker and the stars come out in the clear night sky, and working out when we could all get together for a return to Ben's Burrow!
It would be impossible to be anything but delighted with each and every lodge at Winchcombe Farm, but we have to say they have excelled themselves this time. Everything has been considered in the creation of Ben's Burrow, resulting in a truly magical experience for families or group stays.
If you'd like to have a little look around inside the
accommodation with us, below is our walkthrough - and if you'd like to
experience the magic for yourself, you can find out more about Ben's Burrow