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The Devon treehouse retreat that actively encourages dogs to…
Sleepy Owl is a 20-acre estate tucked into a beautiful valley below the Hartland Peninsula in North Devon. Owners Jay and Mike fell in love with the area and, in 2019, embarked on their dream to create boutique wilderness retreats. What they have achieved is stunning: two hand-crafted treehouses (which opened last autumn) and a converted cowshed that are as homely as they are luxurious. Unusually, dogs are actively encouraged to stay.
Set within the Unesco North Devon Biosphere Reserve, the estate feels delightfully cut off from the world, yet remains in walking distance of local pubs. Beaches are within a 20-minute drive. The closest train station is Barnstaple.
A pure, unadulterated catch-your-breath experience. A secluded sanctuary to recoup and relax, to look at the stars or listen to the birds. And to enjoy some good old-fashioned fun, too – think homemade pizza in your garden or movie nights in bed.
The Nest treehouse is one of three properties on site (there is another treehouse, Hideout, plus the Cosy Cowshed). Each property is unique, all created using local craftsmanship, resources and design.
Nest is accessed via a large enclosed private courtyard with a wood-fired hot tub and pizza oven, seating area and hammock. Dogs get their own outside bath.
The treehouse sleeps two adults in a large bedroom with a super king-sized bed complete with cinema projector and drop-down screen, plus a gold roll-top bath with exquisite views. Children have their own treehouse-within-the-treehouse, with bunk beds and a telescope. Dogs are welcomed by a bed, bowls, treats, toys and blankets.
A cleverly designed open-plan living space includes a kitchen, dining area and vast sofa along with a wood-burning stove; drinks can be enjoyed on the terrace.
The kitchen is superbly set up for self-catering and quite the pleasure to cook in. To make the most of your experience, pre-order the pizza package (£30 for two people) and cook your dinner outside one night.
For those celebrating, renowned local company Coastal Cooks offers a bespoke dining experience with a private chef in your treehouse or you can order ready-to-go roasts.
Pattard’s Restaurant is a five-minute walk and the village pub is just 10 minutes away.
With 20 acres to roam on your doorstep, you do not need to go far. Stroll through the wildflower meadow, follow the river and enjoy the woods. It’s doggy heaven.
The surrounding area offers the best of coast and countryside. Nearby Hartland Quay is on the edge of the Atlantic and offers dramatic scenery and good clifftop walks.
The picturesque fishing village of Clovelly is a 15-minute drive. Follow the cobbled high street down the hillside past 16th-century whitewashed cottages, dropping 400ft in the half mile down to the small harbour.
There is a fine selection of beaches within the area, including Sandy-mouth, Crooklet or Saunton Sands.
The experience of being in a treehouse. Nest has been designed with pleasure in mind. Inside it is big enough to relax yet comfy enough to want to stay in. Which means you can do as much or as little as you want – guilt-free – and enjoy your stay no matter the weather.
Nest Treehouse at Sleepy Owl sleeps up to four humans and two dogs, from £351 per night, through pawsandstay.co.uk.
Kalmynsi, which means “calm” in Cornish, really lives up to its name. There’s something instantly soothing about this curved treehouse. Spend a wonderfully relaxing day just sipping tea and reading, and let your four-legged friend warm up by the woodburner.
If all that lounging around gets the dog a bit bored, then take off for lunch or dinner at the dog-friendly Black Swan, five minutes’ walk away, hikes and wild swimming along the Helford, or a visit to Dollar Cove at Gunwalloe, which is dog-friendly all year round. Treehouse for two people and two dogs from £260 per night.
In the Devonshire countryside near Dartmouth, Pheasant Treehouse overlooks a stunning wooded valley. Inside you’ll find all the best parts of luxury living meeting a stripped back and stylish interior. Cosy up in the living room with a book by a crackling log burner or head to the private terrace to find a hammock, wood fired hot tub, selection of outdoor games and even a barbecue. Should you manage to leave the estate, there’s endless fun to be found for adventurous dogs nearby. Treehouse for five people and two dogs from £263 per night.
Being hidden away in 70 acres of woods, with endless snuffling and stick finding possibilities, makes Oriana dog heaven. Oriana is simply styled to let you connect with nature, but touches of luxury mean it’s less frontier cabin and more beautiful country cottage. Your dog might not be too interested in the roll-top bath, but there’s a four-mile hike to the local pub and an outdoor cinema to enjoy. Definitely one to bag a rare summer weekend for. Cabin for two people and four dogs from £170 per night.
Meadow Cabin is the place to stay with your dog in Sussex. Surrounded by miles of countryside to amble, hike and explore, you’ve plenty of walks straight from the doorstep to explore with your four-legged friend. Start the day with the French doors open, padding indoor and out with your tiny pal, letting them out into the acre of enclosed field to themselves to stretch their legs as you sip a cup of coffee and plan your day. Head on an adventure to the coast nearby and head back to luxury downtime, either bathing outdoors under a blanket of stars, or indoors, in the clawfoot bath. Cabin for two people and two dogs from £200 per night.
If your dog doesn’t drag you out, you could end up sitting all day on the Boathouse balcony, just watching the water. Sunsets are spectacular, seals and seabirds are worth keeping an eye out for and, if the night gets chilly, you can retreat into the lounge and the corner sofa by the wood burner. When the dog does demand a walk, you have plenty of scope, from the loch’s shoreline to the deep woodlands of Puck’s Glen or the paths around Castle Lachlan. Boathouse for four people and two dogs from £135 per night.
For more, see pawsandstay.co.uk.
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