A night under the stars at Southcombe Barn

We skive over the moors as night falls, darkness fast encroaching as we steer downhill on the country lanes Widcombe-in-the-Moor; a quaint village tucked away on the fringe of Dartmoor National Park. Having crossed the rugged, rural landscape that surrounds we eventually turn into Southcombe Barn. Guided by our humble host, we wander down through the farm and wildflower meadow to find our bed for the night.

The Midsummer Meadow Bed a handcrafted structure of elegant woodland beauty, carved and reclaimed from a fallen tree it resembles an image from an enchanted fairy-tale. Next to our bed a fire is burning, a welcoming gesture of warmth art our welcome as the bewitching hour rings. Our host bids us goodnight, letting our heavy shoulders drop as we settle down in our new found surroundings. Sat down in our camp we take heed by the roaring flames, smoke billowing into the gentle night, running water in a neighbouring stream off-setting the scene in our private outdoor amphitheatre, where the birds and the bees call their home.

Soon the heavens open, rain spitting at the fire, the embers hissing in resistance to the elements at play. Our taupaulin offers shelter from the on-going storm and I lie awake entranced by nature’s wrath in the eeire darkness somehow comforted by the echoing drum of the rain bouncing off the plastic, a playful breeze toying with the cotton curtain. In time my eyes prise shut as my weary head gives in to sleep and I wake with delight at the morning chorus of wildlife on the moors, a stillness hanging in the air, as dew slowly lifts from the surrounding meadow.

I stir early, unable to distinguish the difference between dream world and reality, I think I hear a distant voice calling from the meadow and as the voice calls again my suspicions are confirmed, our breakfast has arrived. We enjoy tea and toast tucked up in the cosy bell tent, listening to the birdsong alongside the trickle of the neighbouring stream. I take an impromptu wander though the adjoining wildflower meadows as the showers clear and take stock, trying to submerge myself in the raw beauty of our natural surroundings stealing a glimpse of the moorland beyond our hidden valley camp.

It is a short but steep path through the effervescent wildflowers to reach our private bathroom next to the events barn, where one can join in a variety of meditation workshops or simply chill if the weather runs wild. There is a rustic and organic charm to our compact but cosy bathroom, complete with natural planet-friendly accompaniments for use and welcoming shower space.

Southcombe Barn is idyllically located on the edge of Dartmoor National Park and owners Tom and Vashti are the loveliest hosts you’ll meet. Keen to experience a rural escape from the bustling confides of the city I booked the Midsummer Meadow Bed via Canopy and Stars.

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