Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Season's Greetings!

We've had a lovely Christmas and are looking forward to New Year now. The weather's typically mild and rather unseasonal, so we thought you might enjoy seeing the crisp beauty of last year's -20 degree frosts.

Happy New Year to all our guests!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Our very first Christmas tree!

It's up! Luggs Barn's very first Christmas tree is looking beautiful, we've also hung mistletoe and fairy lights in the kitchen and the whole building feels wonderfully festive. Today's arrivals were delighted and we're thrilled to be ready for our first Christmas as a holiday let.

Bookings for 2012 are already healthy but as Christmas and New Year booked up back in January this year (prior to the NY cancellation during autumn which we quickly filled), now's the time to secure Christmas or New Year 2012/3. It may feel a long way off but we've disappointed literally dozens of interested parties during 2011 who've missed out on their Christmas dream so to make sure it's you here next year, call us soon!

We hope you enjoy these photos of our handiwork and wish all our guests the very best for a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Christmas is coming...

...and our geese are certainly getting fat, but we've decided to spare them and have ordered a turkey this year (as well as all our other Christmas meat) from our friends at Kittow Cattle!

As you can see, we've made a small start on decorating Luggs Barn for its first festive season! We've tried to balance the restrained preferences of the winter wedding party currently in residence with the more glitzy requests of young visitors! The kitchen will hopefully have fairy lights on the main beam next week, but for now a sparkly mini tree is a tasteful counterpoint to the overload of (pink) tinsel planned by our girls for the farmhouse!

The double height hall in Luggs Barn is particularly beautiful; the oak banisters are now adorned with frosted garlands and a wreath welcomes guests in from the cold. (The latter is hung inside the door to avoid Monty's attentions - last year's glorious berry heart met a sorry end five minutes after its debut!)

Plans are afoot to buy both trees this weekend - this year's Christmas guests have requested a real tree and nothing else will do for the main house either. Photos will follow shortly once they're suitably splendid!

Outside, the ducks are settling in well and have laid two eggs so far. The long awaited cake making with these began and ended this afternoon when we discovered the yolks were a nasty brown colour! Despite advice from expert duck keepers that they've probably just been eating too many acorns, we were rather put off by this, so have made the latest offering (Victoria sponge with chocolate orange buttercream filling) using the reliably fabulous hens' eggs! Hopefully it won't be long before the ducks start earning their keep...

The pigs are growing well and permanently hungry, so fit in well here! They're doing a great job of turning over the veg patch, so we're hoping for a productive spring and summer next year.

In the main house, the final push is underway and we're clinging to the hope that all the really messy internal work will be done by Christmas. Flagstones are finally laid in the last 3 small rooms and these are now being (lime) plastered. We've also found an interesting cubbyhole in one very thick wall which we're going to leave open - more photos will follow in due course but for now the whirl of changeovers and nativity plays is keeping us busy!

When we finally sit down in a couple of weeks' time we'll be looking forward to our second holiday season - bookings for 2012 are already encouraging. We wish all our guests past, present and future a very Happy Christmas!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Early morning Autumn scene

Thought our regular readers would like to see the view here at 8am, as the sun was burning off the mist in the valley. Beautiful sight, especially after yesterday's rain!

The final picture shows the hens and geese getting up for their breakfast - the geese are huge now! Still no eggs from them, although the hens are keeping us well supplied and the cakes continue to be well received!

Most of December is now booked but we have a few days free mid-month if you're considering a pre-Christmas break.

We still have a special offer for all 7 night stays in November - save £200 on mention of this blog! Please call for up to date availability. See you next month as the Christmas preparations begin in earnest!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Garden planning: the final piece of the jigsaw

We're very excited to be finally getting to grips with the gardens at Luggs!

Undertaking two huge renovation projects back to back (just 10 days off between them last Christmas!) has meant we've had no funds, time or imagination for the gardens until now. There's a lot of scope for improvement in the planting as many beautiful plants were lost in bringing both buildings to their potential - unavoidable in a project of this scale, but nonetheless a terrible shame and something we look forward to rectifying!

With autumn upon us and the first frost promised for this week, we're looking ahead to next season. We've had a visit from an experienced plantsman and designer whose depth of knowledge is incredible - he's going to help us bring all our ideas together. As ever, we'll be doing a lot of the work ourselves but we're really excited to have some expert guidance - the last 15 years have largely been about buildings rather than gardens so we have a lot to learn!

Keep an eye out for progress reports this season and over the winter, as we'll be preparing soil, agreeing planting plans and raising seedlings (a polytunnel is much coveted but there's no obvious home for one at the moment so we may have to improvise!). By the time next holiday season is upon us, the gardens at Luggs should be better than ever.

Bonfire Night
We're also making plans for our now-annual bonfire party! Lots of local friends arrive every year armed with piles of homemade brownies, slow roast Kittow Cattle beef and pumpkin soup. Everyone brings a bottle and a few fireworks and it's become a greatly anticipated evening, usually rounded off with an impromptu live music session as all the musicians among us take turns to entertain! If you'd like to join us, Luggs Barn is currently free for Bonfire Night - call now for special last minute rates and ensure an extra special stay!

Don't forget to join us on Facebook or Twitter, where we post regular updates on life at Luggs as well as special offers and late availability deals. See you next month!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sausage and Crackling have arrived!

We collected our long-awaited piglets last night! Named Sausage and Crackling by the girls, they'll be with us till early spring and are going to clear the wildly overgrown veg patch for us. They have a new home made entirely of pallets and wood already on site and a deep bed of straw - they've already dug themselves a nice muddy hole and are sunbathing! They'll be well fed with plenty of windfall apples from the orchard, as well as pig nuts and of course all the non-meat scraps from the kitchen.

Our pig gurus have given us a crash course and the gist seems to be: feed them plenty (but throw it on the ground, as they can't distinguish between a carrot and the hand that's offering it!); let no tiny gap in the fence go unnoticed as they'll wriggle through and be off across the fields in seconds; otherwise, leave them to it and they should be happy and contented animals.

They're extremely characterful, have already had a good look round their patch and had a good scratch on a handy wall! The girls are delighted with them and were most upset to have to go to school rather than spend all day watching (and feeding!) them. The dogs are fascinated and can't keep away at the moment. Hopefully our autumn and winter visitors will enjoy meeting these new arrivals, as well as the dogs, sheep, hens and geese already in residence!

We're offering £200 off 7 night stays at Luggs Barn in October and November (excluding half term) - come and enjoy Devon's autumn colours at a great price! Please call for availability.

Monday, 26 September 2011

New Year cancellation

Our New Year guests have sadly had to cancel their booking. We have turned away dozens of enquiries this year as this booking had been made almost a year in advance. I'll be contacting as many people as I can but if you're interested, the New Year period is reavailable at the time of writing! Contact us asap please, it will be allocated on a first come, first served basis...

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Last minute Autumn deals on a slice of Devon Life!

Autumn seems to have suddenly arrived along with the school bus this year! There's a definite yellow glow to quite a few trees around Luggs Barn, and our thoughts are already turning to our annual firework party!

We've got some great deals on last minute breaks this autumn - 9-16 September is currently free and now available for just £650 - for 8 or 9 people, that's a superb deal and a great opportunity to explore the Devon countryside before the weather turns chilly.

We were delighted to see the excellent coverage in September's issue of Devon Life. They've devoted a whole Holiday Lettings page to the virtues of Luggs Barn! Hopefully this informative piece and the beautiful photos they've used will help reach even more prospective guests - Devon Life has a large and loyal readership all over the UK as well as at home.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Fame at last - and day tripping in Devon!

We're delighted to report a small mention in the current (Sept '11) issue of Country Homes & Interiors Magazine - check out page 123! Perhaps helped by this small fame, enquiry levels continue to grow and we're delighted with bookings for autumn/winter already. If you're thinking of visiting in 2012, especially in peak season, please get in touch soon to avoid disappointment.

Out of the office, we've managed to dodge the drizzle and have had several wonderful days out lately, making the most of our beautiful location. Earlier this week, we joined a large group of friends for a day at Beer; some hardy souls enjoyed boat trips for mackerel fishing and regaled us all with tales of the one that got away!

The rest of the day passed in swimming in the sea, eating chips on the shingle beach, and watching the other sailors come and go with their catches. The Devon ice cream was another important mainstay that no afternoon should be without, and we even saw some sunshine to give us our excuse! The children had great fun exploring the rockpools and managed to find plenty of crabs, winkles and other curiosities.

We brought our mackerel catch home for a barbeque in the evening and augmented it with some fresh sardines from the renowned fish shop on the seafront at Beer. Everyone from 3 to 73 pronounced the day, and the meal, a great success!

We're planning another beach day with visiting friends from Hampshire next week, this time at Saunton Sands in north Devon. Slightly further afield, this 5 mile stretch of glorious sand is renowned for its surf. Daisy, newly 7 and with a brand new body board to try out, has already packed her wetsuit and is crossing off the days on the calendar!

Another firm favourite is Escot near Honiton, and we have season tickets which we'll definitely use several times this summer. Willow adores seeing the peacocks and watching the otter feeding times, and Daisy enjoys getting us all lost in the maze and trying to persuade the adults to brave the vertical drop-slide in the woods...

Back home, we've now fenced our garden so that Monty and Ted are less likely to explore too far afield. Our beach day this week was the first test of the fencing. When we returned to find them on the drive, wagging delightedly, our hearts sank - but it turns out the fencing is fine. They'd just discovered the old mounting block in the front yard which enabled them to scale the stone wall and make a bid for freedom! The trouble is, they couldn't then get back into the garden, so our next project is to somehow increase the height of the wall by the mounting block to ensure that they stay put!

We have lots more plans for the second half of the summer holidays and continue to welcome a steady stream of guests to Luggs Barn, all of whom are enjoying their family breaks and most of whom have had great weather too. Check back soon to read more about the holiday season and if you're planning an autumn or winter break, or looking ahead to next summer, please book early!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Upcycling for geese, and ex-battery newcomers

Lots happening here this week! Bill has made a glamorous new house for the geese from an old crate and a few pallets - it's superb and they're very comfortable in their spacious new home! As they're now towering over their poor mother, it's not before time...and he's delighted with the fact that every single part of it has been liberated from the junk pile in the top barn. So for the cost of two boxes of screws, we have a whole new and extremely sturdy goose house - the ultimate in upcycling!

This new pad has freed up the nursery ark for our new arrivals. This afternoon we had a very scenic hour's drive over to Chulmleigh to collect our ex-battery hens. We'd booked 3 but in the event they persuaded us to take an extra, very raggedy looking hen, so the four of them travelled very calmly back to their new Blackdown Hills home and immediately started exploring. Given that it was only this morning they were released from their cages and this was their very first time on grass or moving about freely, it was amazing to see how quickly instinct kicked in - they were scratching and pecking within minutes.

They've got to stay apart from our resident hens until they're a bit stronger and look less ragged or they'll be bullied, so the new girls are making the sheeps' acquaintance in a new enclosure in the top field. Daisy and Willow have taken great pains to settle them in and plan to have them eating out of their hands within days...they're also trying to think of names! We're not holding our breath on this one as the only one of our existing hens to have a name that's stuck is known as...Little Red Hen.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Discount offer for autumn breaks in Devon!

10% discount on all term time bookings in autumn or winter on mention of this blog or our Facebook/Twitter pages!

Avoid the school holiday crowds and make the most of what's usually beautiful Autumn weather here in Devon. Luggs Barn's stylish and spacious self catering accommodation features full central heating as well as a wood burning stove and balcony from which to soak up the views. A cosy retreat and something to look forward to once the nights draw in - and at a great price when you book outside peak times!

Luggs Barn is the perfect base for small groups of like-minded friends or family members to enjoy peace and seclusion in glorious Devon countryside. Walkers, cyclists, artists, photographers...lose yourself in the scenery and wildlife of the Blackdown Hills AONB and enjoy a well earned break far from the madding crowds!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Can social networking boost holiday bookings? Plus kitchen news

Having attended Cosmic's Introduction to Social Networking course arranged by the Blackdown Hills Business Association today, I'm inspired to make even better use of our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Along with this blog, they're an integral part of our efforts to ensure that Luggs Barn is reaching the widest possible audience.

One of the most interesting points covered was the importance of video clips in marketing - as musicians, we've looked up bands or pieces of music on YouTube - check out Bill's session with The Atlantics on there! But we hadn't realised the importance of video tours of our accommodation, setting and surroundings. Keep an eye on this blog, plus our Facebook and Twitter pages, as adding videos to our profiles is probably the most important development we'll be making this year.

Other news - we've finally moved into the new kitchen extension! We're no longer gazing enviously at Luggs Barn's beautiful kitchen as the main farmhouse has one of its own. There's still some finshing off to be done - a sink is top of the list! - but once it's looking its best, I'll post some photos. Reclaiming the living rooms from temporary kitchen and piles of boxes has been another bonus, especially being able to use the inglenook fireplaces again. We're also delighted to have central heating, and heated towel rails are the best prize of all! Although Willow (aged nearly 3) woke up on the first morning after plumber Darren Kirk of DK Plumbing had left, hit the radiator in her room and declared: 'I not like this. It make me too hot.' The adults in the house, however, have had the heating on for the past week in glorious sunshine as a matter of principle after months of cold and damp after the extensive lime plastering!

Now that the main farmhouse is almost finished, we'll be celebrating by publishing exclusive discount offers for Luggs Barn on all our social networking profiles over the next few weeks. If you're considering a Devon holiday and have an eye for a bargain, keep in touch!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Summer plans

Lots going on in the Blackdown Hills this summer! The Honiton Show this year is on 4th August; this hugely popular country show is a wonderful day out - www.honitonshow.co.uk

The week of July 29-August 5 is Sidmouth Folk Week, with lots going on to interest musicians, families and visitors alike. Have a look at www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk

Check out www.blackdownbeerfestival.com if you're in the area on 12-13 August.

Further ahead, from 24 September - 2 October the Appledore Book Festival in North Devon www.appledorebookfestival.co.uk will be a magnet for literary enthusiasts of all ages, with a family day, poetry trail and authors speaking about their work.

Check back for other ideas throughout the summer months!

Back here at Luggs, the goslings are growing well and are now enjoying the freedom of the garden with their Mum. They've been getting braver by the day, roaming further and further afield and were spotted on the front lawn of the farmhouse this morning! The buzzards appear to be leaving them alone so hopefully they're large enough now not to be worth a challenge...

Monday, 4 July 2011

Top class publicity!

We were delighted to hear recently that Luggs Barn is set to be featured in Country Homes & Interiors Magazine's September issue. Only a small mention and photo as they were short on space but they've kindly agreed to try to make room for a larger feature in future!

We also have Period Ideas and Devon Life magazines interested, so keep an eye out for us! Readers of these publications and any others we manage to appear in can claim a 10% discount on all bookings on production of the relevant page, so start thinking about autumn/winter breaks and book early to make sure your preferred week's available. The sunshine at the moment is beautiful but once September arrives we'll all need something to look forward to!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Summer days

The roses around the yard are flourishing - these photos were taken this morning in hot sunshine. Sadly, the grass and weeds are also growing at high speed. Time for a quick tidy up before our next guests - the first of many back to back summer bookings - arrive. The gardener (Bill!) has been somewhat preoccupied with the new kitchen building but has been told he'll be on duty next week to ensure everything's looking its best!

Our goslings are still thriving!

Growing fast and could do with more space - trouble is, we let them out the other day for some supervised exploration, and within minutes the pair of buzzards we're normally so pleased to see, were hovering with intent. The goslings were shepherded back into the nursery and will have to grow a bit bigger before we risk them being out in the open with the other hens!

Other news: the farmhouse garden, building site for so long, has today been graded with the digger and the first stages of preparation for turfing begun. Our girls will be ecstatic to have a garden to play in again in time for the summer holidays! Inside, the new kitchen is decorated now and glazing goes in on Friday. The floor's been sealed and waxed and looks as though it's been in situ since the house was built in the 15thC! Best of all, our prized dresser is now in place and it's wonderful to see it at full height again (having been cut down long ago, we've never before had the ceiling height to reinstate it). Photos will follow as the hated temporary kitchen is transferred to the new space over the next week or so. Grand plans are being hatched for a suitably celebratory kitchen-warming party!

We're looking forward to welcoming some diverse groups this summer, from extended family breaks to hen parties and walking holidays. Anyone thinking of an autumn holiday, now's the time to book - more choice of dates, and more time to look forward to it! Check back soon for more updates and photos on summer at Luggs.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Twin babies - and Luggs lamb

Our little gosling now has a sibling! Both are gorgeous, thriving and cheeping constantly! They seem to be enjoying their nursery with Mum but despite their tiny feet it's amazing the mess they're making of the little patch of grass, we keep having to move their house. The third egg was thrown out of the house by Mum this morning - never a good sign to see she'd given up on it - and when we cracked it open (with some apprehension as to what we'd find) we discovered that it hadn't been fertile, it was just a normal egg. Clearly she knew to concentrate on the two babies and it's lovely that they have each other for company.

We had the very first roast this evening of Luggs lamb and it exceeded our admittedly high expectations! Made some mint sauce with fresh mint from the garden and it was the best meal of the month. Absolutely beautiful lamb, clearly the pasture and lifestyle here are as good for livestock as they are for people!

We do plan to send a couple more lambs away in the next few weeks and it will be available from Kittow Cattle in their award winning meat boxes, so if you're a fan of lamb make sure you get in touch well in advance!

We're off to the Salvo Fair at Knebworth this weekend to browse the numerous architectural salvage stands - so visitors this summer should look out for a few more quirky additions to the grounds. Check back soon to see what we find, and for more news on life here at Luggs.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Life cycle

The first of (hopefully) 3 goslings has just hatched! Went out to collect the eggs for a cake earlier this evening and there was a little bundle of yellow fluff being fiercely guarded by its Mum.

One of the other hens tried to help by sitting on the remaining two eggs as this one was getting upset at having to choose - really sweet! Mum and baby will have a nice new and ultra safe little home in the morning - this one's a few days early so the nursery wasn't quite ready!

Other news: our first two lambs have come back from the butcher with excellent grades - we knew the Luggs pasture produced the finest meat! Great news and already almost all the cuts are spoken for - we'll keep some back for a big family get together this summer though, hopefully to celebrate finishing the new kitchen extension on the main farmhouse.

Check back for further updates on our first baby's progress - and any suggestions for names will be considered! Not sure yet whether this one is a boy or girl - if the former, Christmas Dinner springs to mind...

Saturday, 21 May 2011


Despite having had beautiful warm weather for quite a while, it's now officially Spring - the first cuckoo of the year has been heard! Also this week, the early roses began to bloom and they're now looking and smelling beautiful. Roll on summer!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Having already mastered Facebook - join us at Luggs Barn, Devon - we're branching out to Twitter! Very new to this site but if you're a regular tweeter please follow us @LuggsBarn

Don't forget the special offers on all bookings in June - call now to save £200 and enjoy a relaxing early summer break in Devon!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Exterior photos

Here are a few of the latest exterior photos of Luggs Barn and its garden and surroundings. Let us know what you think!

Most exciting recent news is that we have 3 magazines interested in using Luggs Barn in their editorial pages which will be great publicity for us. We'll keep you posted as to when they're available in the shops!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Professional photos - and a celebratory offer!

Here's what a wide angle lens, lots of clever technology and many years' professional experience does for Luggs Barn's image! We think the professional photographs from last week's shoot look fantastic - let us know your thoughts!

We're in such a good mood this month that we're offering a huge £200 discount on all 7 night bookings in June. The discounted rate of £950 will apply to all June bookings while dates are available. There's never been a better time to enjoy an early summer holiday in glorious Devon countryside! Call us now on 01823 681605 or email to reserve your preferred dates.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Camera ready...

...Luggs Barn is now ready for its closeup! We have interior photographer Chris Wright coming tomorrow to ensure that all our marketing efforts reflect the true impact of this beautiful building.

Trouble is, the cake I've just made and the wine he suggested as a prop look extremely attractive...check back to see if they get left alone long enough to get some good shots! His professional images will be added to the website and all our online directory listings in due course - see if you can spot the difference to my snaps!

Lots of short break enquiries coming in - and a few summer weeks left, so anyone thinking of escaping to the countryside this year, now's the time to get in touch! Christmas and New Year have been booked since the beginning of January, I'm afraid, but anyone interested please consider booking Christmas 2012 well in advance - the amount of people wanting this year has been incredible.

The lambs in front of Luggs Barn have grown a tremendous amount in just a few weeks but are still adding to the scenery beautifully. Our sheep are delighted with their new field next door so have stopped their escape attempts for now, and the chickens spend most of their time following us around hoping we'll drop some food. They have to be shooed out of the farmhouse several times a day! Clearly their corn and pellets are less impressive than the crumbs which the children seem to dispense everywhere they go...

Monday, 25 April 2011

Easter in paradise!

The Easter weekend has brought glorious sunshine; with such a late Easter, we've also had lots of time to enjoy the lilac, wisteria and bluebells which are normally at their best well after the bank holiday.

Here are a few photos of Luggs Barn and its beautiful surroundings over the Easter weekend. If you're planning a family get together or need a break to recharge your batteries, there are still some summer weeks available - contact us now for late availability deals!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

At last - finished pics!

Well after a mere 20 hour day yesterday - on top of 2 weeks of 18 hour days! - here are a few photos of the finished article! First guests settling in nicely. More to see on Luggs Barn, Devon on Facebook and new photos will appear on our main website in due course.

More exterior photos will follow. The cobbled courtyard is looking superb and all around Luggs the smell of the lilac and wisteria follows you.

Let us know what you think of the photos and we look forward to welcoming all our guests this year.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


We're pleased to confirm that Luggs Barn is now rebooked for the Easter break. Thankyou all for your interest. If you're considering a spring or summer holiday in Devon, please get in touch soon - we have a few weeks still available but dates are filling up fast!

Artists Tim Martin and Liz Gregory have now hung works by themselves, Sally Clark, Sally Hebeler and Trudy Crook. We are privileged to be able to enjoy a variety of local artwork which has brought the already beautiful spaces to life and provided the perfect finishing touch to a year's hard work! Photos will follow over the bank holiday.

Happy Easter to all our guests!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Easter is available

Sadly our Easter guests have had to cancel due to personal circumstances. If anyone's interested we now have availability, please contact Sarah on 01823 681605 or 07521 363081. Thankyou.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Artistic touches

One of the most exciting parts of Luggs Barn being almost finished is the chance to have local artwork on the walls which guests will be able to purchase if they wish. We met with artist and curator Tim Martin today who showed us just a couple of his works which will be among those hung next week. They're absolutely beautiful - I just wish we could have them in the main house as well!

Outside, the cobbled yard has been unearthed from piles of concrete and mud and is looking beautiful. The original edging stones have been exposed and the curve continued, and the tarmac which had previously covered them will be bevelled up to them later in the week. There are still some repairs to do to one area where drainage ditches had to be dug, but even before the planned jetwash it's a stunning feature.

Having spent months sourcing and buying furnishings and equipment for Luggs Barn, it's a joy to be able to start unwrapping and positioning everything! Almost all of the kitchen equipment is now in place and the beds are awaiting their linen. The curtains are almost all up, and the blinds will hopefully be up this time tomorrow. The final flourish next week will be the hanging of all the artwork which will enhance the wonderful spaces even further.

Check back next week for photos of the finished article!

Telephone message!

A lady left a message earlier today wanting a weekend break in September for her sister's wedding. Trouble is, she only left half her telephone number - there's no area code so I have no idea how to contact her! The number she gave begins with 6594 which apparently is an Edinburgh prefix but I've tried dialling with 0131 in front and no joy. Just in case you're reading this, please get in touch!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Spring has sprung!

Spring is finally here - this morning the field in front of Luggs Barn was full of sheep and their tiny lambs. Our own sheep are much happier now their field is growing but still glare at the new additions in their lush pasture occasionally! The two rams who had been due to move on last month aren't fat enough, so are going to enjoy a few more months on fresh new grass. We don't have any lambs of our own this year but are planning to adopt a couple of orphans later in the season as the children enjoyed bottle feeding Lily and Lucy so much.

The wisteria and lilac are just coming into flower and the bluebells in the wood are beginning to grow in earnest. The orchard's covered in primroses and is a spectacular sight and the warm weather combined with the odd spring shower has made everything grow almost overnight. The new turf has taken well and is ready for its first haircut already. One of the hens is broody and rarely seen outside her nest box, but the others are becoming increasingly tame - they have to be shooed out of the barn on a regular basis and are frequently found perched in unlikely places. When one of us is outside, they follow us like little dogs but have plenty of food and water so are obviously just being affectionate! Following intensive chicken training, Ted the terrier is practising lofty disregard - we'll see how long it lasts! Monty the golden retriever is oblivious to anything that doesn't roll over and play as soon as he looks at it, so the hens are safe from him - they're so confident of this that their new favourite perch is his back; they're often found pecking his fur and he seems to enjoy it too!

We're receiving lots of enquiries every week from all over the country and even a few international calls. A few weeks in June and July are still available at the time of writing, though. The largest furniture order is due to arrive this week so photos will follow later in the week! The countdown to our first guests arriving has begun!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Little Bo Peep...

...has found her sheep!

A farmer from several miles away has just roared down the drive on his quad to ask if his visitors came from here! So they're being collected this afternoon and brought back to the substandard grass here. We have loads of hay and grass nuts, though, so they'll be spoilt for a while until the fields start growing properly.

So hopefully we can still go ahead with D-day for two of them tomorrow...feeling a bit guilty for bringing them back now, but if they'd stayed with the other flock their days would have been numbered anyway!

Looks like lamb's back on the menu for Easter!

Saturday, 19 March 2011


The grounds of Luggs Barn are looking beautiful as the daffodils are now in full bloom, with primroses and bluebells already starting to show as well. We've had some glorious spring days recently with a real warmth to the air, so everything's starting to grow - the hedges and trees are now sporting that wonderful green haze!

This morning we spotted a stag in one of the neighbouring fields and are hoping that one of the many photos we took will show him clearly. We'll upload the pictures very soon; keep checking back! There are also more prosaic signs of spring, with birdsong getting earlier and louder by the day, and baby rabbits abounding in the garden. These are proving a great irritation to the hens, who guard their food jealously!

The garden will be treated to new turf this week; all the building work has taken its toll on the grass and despite the beautiful sunshine, we're still seeing frosty mornings so seeding may not have time to work before guests start arriving.

Furniture for every room is constantly arriving and in a couple of weeks time we'll have more photos as the various rooms become finished. We've also taken lots more bookings this month which is very exciting - there are still some summer holiday weeks left, though! Short breaks are also proving very popular; these are available October-Spring excluding school holidays and offer a cost-effective chance to experience all Luggs Barn has to offer for a short getaway from the working week.

As well as all this positive news, there's been an upsetting development too. This morning we noticed that there were no sheep in the field. Somehow they must have escaped and, we presume, gone in search of greener grass. However, having spent all morning driving round the lanes and shaking buckets of grass nuts, we've had no luck. We can't believe they can have gone far; they're all pretty tame and will do anything for food, so we're at a loss to know where they could be. There's no sign of any vehicle movement and we didn't hear anything so we're as certain as we can be that there's no foul play, but it's still a worry. We'll keep up the search and have told all the neighbouring farms, so fingers crossed they come home once they realise the grass isn't always greener!

We'll post a sheep update when there's any news but for now we'll continue with the fun part - furnishing and finishing off Luggs Barn ready for its very first guests! The countdown is on...

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Early spring

Spring is finally in the air and we now have a few brave crocuses joining the drifts of snowdrops to cheer us all up! The days are lengthening, the lilac hedges are beginning to bud and the Luggs chickens are looking much happier now the sunshine brings a little more warmth to their lives! They're celebrating by increasing their laying and most are becoming very fond of being hand fed thanks to the attentions of our girls! Daisy and Willow are looking forward to showing visiting children around this summer and sharing the enjoyment of looking after the animals.

Luggs' fields are beginning to look more lush as spring approaches, but for now our sheep remain unimpressed with the length of the grass in their fields. Led by ringleader Lily - who can be seen looking innocent as a young lamb on the main website - they're becoming ever more inventive in finding ways to escape the fields and wander around the gardens nibbling expensive roses...even the expensive provision of grass nuts isn't deterring this small but intrepid flock!

The level of enquiries we're receiving even at this early stage in the year is very exciting. Bookings are now coming in throughout 2011 and Luggs Barn's very first holiday season looks set to be a great success. If you haven't yet booked, call or email now to check availability for your preferred dates - by booking early you can ensure you and your family are able to enjoy the anticipation of a much needed holiday as well as the week itself!

Check back next month for more news as we approach our official opening and the last of the furniture and equipment arrives. We're also looking forward to the hanging of all the local artwork by curator Tim Martin of BHAAM; this will give an extra dimension to the rooms and provide a wonderful opportunity for guests to enjoy the diverse work produced in the Blackdown Hills. See you in March!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Interior photos

A few more interior photographs which hopefully show the standard to which Luggs Barn has been converted. Let us know what you think...