We are recently back from a wonderful stay at Holwell Farm, located in Dartmoor National Park in Devon. Our week at Holwell Farm more than met our expectations and we hope to someday return for another stay on the farm.
When I started planning our Devon trip, I had a vision of what I wanted it to be like. I think I read somewhere or heard from someone about a farm stay in Devon, then I saw the movie Warhorse, and I decided that we were going to stay on a farm in Devon. I could just picture the kids feeding the animals, learning to ride a pony, milking the cows, and gathering eggs from the chickens, all while we weren’t too far from the coast. That’s what I looked for when I planned our Devon trip. I didn’t have to search for long before I found Holwell Farm in Dartmoor National Park. As soon as I read that they filmed scenes for Warhorse on the farm, I was sold. It also didn’t hurt that the cottages looked really, really nice. Holwell Farm is an organic meat farm, so unfortunately that meant no milking cows like I had envisioned, but that also meant that there would be plenty of animals (and an onsite butcher for some of the freshest meat we’ve tasted!)
We actually wound up spending much more time on the farm and in the cottage (or farmer’s house according to son) than we had expected we would. We had a few nice days in the beginning of the week when we explored the Moor and climbed some of the rocks a bit, watched a foxhunt, traveled down to the coast to go fossil hunting, visited Becky Falls and hiked the nature trails, and went to Woodlands Amusement Park. Then the weather got cold and wet towards the end of the week and all we wanted to do was stay in by the fire.
We got to feed the pigs, which was quite an experience. Walking into a pigpen with two young kids, where there are about 30 hungry pigs trying to get food (though they all were quite young – the oldest being about 6 months), was a little disconcerting at first, but fun once you get used to it. The kids also fed the new Dartmoor ponies, which had just been brought in from the Moor. Dartmoor ponies are born in the Moor and aren’t necessarily wild, but rather untamed until they are handled the right way. They live on open land, but they each have an owner. The ponies on the farm seemed rather tame, but were a little skittish around people. However, once they are handled for a bit, they are sold as a companion for other horses. To round out the animals on the farm, there were two very friendly donkeys, doves, some very angry geese, horses, and some dogs.
The cottage had no phone, wifi, or cell service, which took a little while to get used to at first, but actually it was very nice to be disconnected by the end of the week. The farm is powered by generators which they shutoff between the hours of midnight and 6 am to conserve power, so we learned to sleep with flashlights next to our beds. We watched very little TV and couldn’t get on the internet, but rather sat by the fire, read books, and played games together. I say all this and it sounds like we were roughing it, but we weren’t, the cottage was actually very luxurious and comfortable with some the of most comfortable beds we've encountered on our travels.
I highly recommend this farm for anyone - families, couples, groups of friends, family reunions.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.