Sleeps: The Little Barn & The Long Barn sleep 4, The Old Barn sleeps 6
Price: From £550 / week
Location: Stone Cum Ebony, Tenterden, Kent
Odiam Barns are a set of three beautifully renovated holiday cottages located on a working farm in the rural village of Stone Cum Ebony near Tenterden in Kent. The barns are part of Oxney Organic Estate which includes an award winning vineyard complete with a pair of pretty shepherd huts also available as holiday accommodation.
The setting of the farm is idyllic, tucked away down winding country lanes where life seems to slow down. Views stretch for miles over rolling farmland with a dose of birdsong and sheep bleats thrown in for good measure. Located just south of Ashford and within a 20 minute drive of the coast the cottages are both easily accessible from the M20 and the perfect base for exploring the Sussex Coast.
Oxney Organic Estate is managed by owners Kristin and Paul who share a passion for creating a sustainable and natural approach to running their business. The estate creates heat from coppiced wood chip, adopts a natural approach to disease control in the vineyard, uses locally sourced food produce…and even sheep power mows the lawn! Every effort is made to run on sustainable and natural resources where possible.
We stayed in Long Barn, a pretty Grade II listed farm building which sleeps up to four people. Inside the barn felt cosy yet modern. Decor has a Scandinavian hygge feel with cushions, log burner and clean white and grey colour scheme. We were greeted by Brownies and apple juice, both homemade and delicious making our arrival all the more welcoming.
The living space is open plan comprising of a kitchen, dining area and lounge. The kitchen is well equipped with all the utensils you might require for a short stay. Essentials such as coffee, tea and cleaning products are also helpfully provided…as well as jar of corn kernels for making popcorn! Cooking was made all the more pleasurable by being able to take in views of the farm whilst concocting the evening meal.
The living area offers the perfect place to unwind after a day exploring. The log burner is stocked with fire lighters and sufficient wood to keep the whole barn toasty warm. The ideal spot to snuggle up with a book or enjoy a movie on the flat screen TV.
There are two bedrooms in Long Barn. The main bedroom is bright and airy with a kingsize bed. Light pours in through the floor to ceiling windows and expose the surrounding views and landscape. Again the decor is clean and modern with rustic touches such as the handmade wooden headboard behind the bed. There is also a smart en suite bathroom with walk in shower.
Equally as stylish the twin bedroom offers a great space for children to sleep and play. A family bathroom is adjacent to the second bedroom with a large bath to soak in after a long day exploring.
A visit to Oxney Organic Vineyard is a must whilst staying on the farm. Just a 15 minute drive from the barns, the estate is proud to be one of only a handful of vineyards in the UK to produce their wine organically.
My daughter and I really enjoyed meeting Ben, the wine maker who walked us through the vineyard explaining parts of the organic processes they use to cultivate the soil. Tours of vineyard are available to book at a cost of £15 / head including a guided tasting of the wines. It’s clear from talking to Ben that the wine produced here is a result of a lot of hard work, passion and dedication. Of course..it would be rude not to have a little taster of the wine after hearing how much effort has gone into creating each and every bottle…and rest assured it did not disappoint!
Sleeps: 2 people
Price: From £75 / night midweek minimum stay 2 nights
Location: Beckley, Rye, East Sussex
An exciting addition to the vineyard for the 2018 Summer season are a pair of pretty Shepherd Huts set right amongst the vines. The beautifully decorated huts sleep two people and include a small kitchen, bathroom and outdoor seating area. Handmade by a local carpenter using a mixture of oak weatherboarding and reclaimed corrugated metal to clad the hut they look just picture perfect. To top things off guests are also treated to a bottle of sparkling English wine made from the very grapes they are surrounded by to enjoy during their stay. Now that’s local produce!
The barns and the shepherd huts are just a short drive from the Sussex coastline meaning the choice for places to explore during your stay are extensive. Here are just a few places we managed to explore during our stay to give you a little inspiration:
Rye Harbour Nature Reserve: Walk, scoot or cycle along the nature trail. A gentle, seaside walk that even little ones can enjoy. You’ll be able to enjoy spotting the bird life in the salt-marsh and watching the fishing boats as they chug out to sea.
Dungeness: Strangely beautiful Dungeness is a joy to explore. As the country’s only desert this part of the coast feels more like the Wild West than the British seaside. You are guaranteed to discover something interesting around every corner whether it be an artists studio, miniature railway or fish smokery Dungeness will not fail to surprise. Make sure you try the fish n chips at the Pilot Inn whilst you’re there!
Camber Sands: Miles of sandy beaches, an expanse of sand dunes for the children to explore and shallow waters when the tide is low. Camber Sands is the perfect beach day, just wrap up warm and prepare for some wind at this time of year!
Dymchurch: A typical British bucket and spade seaside town. More long sandy beaches with the added bonus of a miniature steam train and fair ground!
We received a complementary stay at Oxney Organic Estate in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Kristin and Paul for inviting us to stay and making us feel so welcome.
If this has whetted your appetite for local wine, do check out Wine Cellar Door who have a great directory and interactive map of visitor-friendly vineyards in England and Wales.