Welcome to the Treehouse

Welcome Guide

There is a printed copy of this Welcome Guide in the Treehouse, but we have also created an online version for you to browse before your visit to enable you to plan your stay. 

1. A Warm Welcome

Thank you for choosing to stay at the Ravendere Treehouse in the beautiful village of Lee, North Devon. Kieran and Helen warmly welcome you to your retreat and are on hand to ensure you have a comfortable and relaxing stay.

Ravendere Retreats is located upon the wooded northeast-facing slope of a valley called Crowness Cleave, which runs along the southern extent of the village of Lee. Surrounded by 12 acres of ancient woodland, you'll find a crystal clear stream winding through the base of the valley and beautiful views as you climb higher. Feel free to explore the woodland and surrounding nature trails at your leisure.

Ravendere Retreats was born through our desire to stay in unique and quirky accommodation. Our goal was to create a space that combined outdoor living within luxury surroundings.

We hope you enjoy your stay at the Treehouse, if you need any assistance please just ask!

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2. About the Treehouse

The Treehouse is situated between 4 mature beech trees at the top of the woodland facing north east across the valley. With views across the valley and sea glimpses through the trees, its sheltered position and vantage point is ideal for enjoying the woodland vista.

Built with local timber (including some from our very own woodland) the Treehouse has been lovingly crafted by skilled local builders and carpenters. With our vision to create a modern, eclectic interior, we partnered with homeware destination Wayfair.co.uk, who fully furnished every room of the Treehouse with an array of unique pieces and thoughtful details.

We're rather chuffed with some of the elements we've introduced to the Treehouse to make it that little bit different. We hand-treated the upstairs cedar cladding with a Japanese treatment called Shou-Sugi-Ban, which involved using a propane torch to char the outside. This enhances the grain and also protects from the elements.

The bookcase and windowsills are reclaimed flooring from a brick factory in Kentucky, USA, and the kitchen unit was a hand-selected 1800's oak sideboard that we have lovingly restored and adapted into the piece you see today.

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3. Treehouse Amenities

In the essence of our 'back to nature' retreat, the Treehouse offers modest cooking facilities such as the barbecue and wood fired pizza oven on the deck, and top oven in the log burning stove. There is also an electric induction hob on the kitchen counter top (and a toaster in the right hand cupboard).

The Treehouse has full central heating with (we think rather lovely) cast iron radiators. Combined with the log burning stove it's cosy all year round.

Being coffee lovers, we couldn't help but provide a Nespresso coffee machine and a supply of pods for you to enjoy.

Kick back and relax in our reading corner, there are a selection of books for you to browse. If you're feeling competitive and fancy a good old-fashioned board game, we have a few for you to choose from (stored in the Fortnum & Mason hamper!). There are also a range of DVDs in the wooden crate under the nest of tables. If you venture out feel free to take the picnic basket and rug which is stored to the right of the kitchen unit. 

In the bathroom and bedroom you'll find bathrobes and Egyptian cotton towels, along with a hairdryer, iron and ironing board in the bedroom. We offer a full range of Bramley toiletries for use during your stay including shampoo, conditioner and body wash, bubble bath, body lotion, hand wash and hand cream. 

(We're rather in love with our Bramley range... they are vegan friendly, approved under the Cruelty-Free International Leaping Bunny programme, and the internationally recognisable gold standard for cruelty-free products. All of their products are free from harmful and unethical ingredients, their ingredients are bio-degradable (marine life friendly) and all of their essential oils are fair trade. Their plastic is 100% recyclable and 'biopolymer' meaning sugarcane is used in the manufacturing process rather than fossil fuels. For more information check out bramleyproducts.co.uk)

There are two torches and two umbrellas in the hallway for your use, please return these before you leave. There is also a first aid kit under the bench seat if needed. We do check the contents regularly, but we'd be grateful if you could let us know if it's been used. 

For your canine companions, a doggy towel, spare bowl and poop bags are under the bench seat in the hallway.

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4. Heating & Cooking Guide

Log Burning Stove & Oven

To start the perfect fire, you want to create a small pyramid of materials increasing in size. Begin with the firelighters and place 2 - 3 in the middle of the stove. Then add some small kindling above, followed by medium kindling and some small logs, arranged in a pyramid. Once the fire is established, you can add larger logs increasing in size to keep it going. When starting the fire, the top and bottom vent should be fully open to allow airflow. Once it's going these should be either fully or partially closed to control the rate of burn. This is especially relevant when using the top the oven to regulate the temperature for cooking.

The oven will take a while to come up to temperature, there is a gauge however this may not be accurate so please take care with cooking times to ensure your food has been thoroughly heated.

If you require more logs, please let us know. We have a number of log stores throughout the woodland, however they are in various stages of seasoning and therefore may not be suitable for burning yet.

Nespresso Coffee Machine

Our Nespresso machine is designed for smaller espresso style drinks. If you'd prefer a larger standard coffee, please use the kettle and coffee supplied in sachets.

This is nice and straightforward to use. Fill the back reservoir with cold tap water, and then turn the machine on at the plug. Press any button to allow the water to warm up (when the lights flash it’s warming, a constant light means it’s ready). Lift the top flap and insert a coffee pod, then close the flap and place a cup under the nozzle. Press the left button for a small/strong, or the right for a large/weaker espresso. The used pod will automatically drop to the tray below when the next pod is loaded.

Induction Hob

There are a number of modes such as boil, milk, stir-fry etc, however it is best to use the manual settings and regulate the temperature yourself.

  • When you press the start button, a beep sounds and the display shows 00. Then you can choose the desired mode.
  • When you press manual mode, the light above the button is switched on and a beep sounds confirmation.
  • The default power setting is level 3 and the LCD shows “P3”.
  • If you want to change the setting, you have to press the + or – button and the display shows the corresponding setting with power. P1 is the lowest power (450W) and P9 highest power (2100W).
  • If you want to turn the hob off you have to press the on/off button.

MORSØ Barbecue

The gas will be switched off at the gas bottle regulator, so please start with turning this on. To access the gas remove the wooden case under the BBQ (use two hands to pull it towards you, it's heavy! There are arrows on the round valve, you may need a torch to see these.) Next, open the lid and push in and turn the left knob anticlockwise on the front panel of the BBQ to spark and ignite. Once the first burner has been burning for about 10 seconds you can let go and turn the other knob on.

We suggest allowing the BBQ to burn on full power for a couple of minutes with the lid down to burn off any residue and allow the BBQ to come up to temperature. After this please turn the burners down to minimum heat before starting to cook food. Once you have finished cooking, please repeat the high temperature (lid down and burn to again remove any baked on residue). Once finished please turn both knobs off, and turn the gas off at the regulator.

*Please replace the MORSØ cover once the barbecue has cooled down*

MORSØ Pizza Oven

Here are our tips to make the perfect pizza and garlic breads in the MORSØ pizza oven.

  1. Plan ahead! The pizza oven will take approximately 2 hours to reach the right temperature.
  2. Create a fire in the centre of the pizza oven (use 2 firelighters, build a pyramid of kindling and then place 2 - 3 small logs over the kindling).
  3. Once the fire is established, keep adding logs and allow it to burn for at least an hour to bring the oven up to temperature.
  4. Create your pizza! Channel your inner artisan flair by stretching and tossing the dough ball until it resembles a pizza base. Or use the rolling pin. Either way, use plenty of semolina flour!

Tip #1: Create your pizza directly on the metal pizza peel using semolina flour to ensure it doesn't stick.

  1. When the pizza oven is piping hot, use the ash scraper to push the embers to the back of the pizza oven.
  2. Transfer your pizza directly onto the stone base of the pizza oven, using the metal pizza peel. Regularly turn the pizza using the pizza peel (or ash scraper) to ensure it doesn't burn.

Tip #2:  Pizzas should only take 2 - 3 minutes to cook in a piping hot pizza oven. Therefore it's best to watch the pizza cook so you don't miss the perfect moment to take it out. Enjoy!

*Please replace the MORSØ cover once the pizza oven has cooled down*

Central Heating and Hot Water

The heating and hot water are both powered by a gas fed combi-boiler fuelled by two 47kg canisters. When the first one runs out it should automatically change to the second canister, so you should never be without heating or hot water.

The heating is controlled by a Nest smart thermostat in the hallway, this acts just like a standard thermostat - it shows the current temperature and the desired temperature. Spin the outer casing clockwise, or anti clockwise to adjust.

As we try to be as eco as possible we do ask that you make an effort to turn the thermostat down when you are out or it is not required. Hot water should be automatic and no intervention needed. If you have any issues with the heating or hot water please contact us on 01271 866011 or 07950 994729.

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5. Explore the Woodland

You're welcome to explore the woodland, and there are many beautiful sights to see. The woodland has a meandering footpath that forms a loop taking approximately 20 minutes to walk.

Taking the path to the right of the parking area (towards the Treehouse) you'll first reach a natural clearing home to the ruins of an old cottage. We believe this to have last been inhabited in the early 1900's, and has since been reclaimed by the woodland - a rather magical sight. 

Continue on the path past the Treehouse and you'll reach our woodland fire pit and seating area. Being the highest accessible point of the woodland this is the perfect sunny spot for a picnic in the day, or stargazing at night!

To assist your descent you'll discover a staircase leading down into the woodland. Follow the path as far as it goes, and when you reach a clearing (soon to be our wood processing area!) turn left to continue following the path. There are a number of deer herds that inhabit the woodland and you may catch a glimpse of them in this area. The stream on your right is our boundary, and in the winter months you may spot their tracks on the bank as they visit the stream to drink.

A truly beautiful walk in all seasons, in winter months the woodland paths are lined with an abundance of snowdrops. In late spring the woodland floor becomes covered by a carpet of native bluebells - as these fade the air becomes infused with a sweet scent similar to that of candy floss. In summer months the tree canopy casts dappled sunlight onto the path as bees and butterflies buzz between the wild flowers, and in Autumn the woodland floor is hidden by crisp leaves with red, yellow and orange hues. 

A note on safety: Ravendere Retreats is situated in a wooded valley, which means there are steep slopes in some parts of the woodland! The landscaping has been left deliberately wild to protect the habitats of the plants and wildlife so the pathway, pond and stream are unfenced. If you explore the woodland please stick to the main pathway, and ensure you are wearing suitable clothing and footwear. If you explore after dusk please take torches with you and be mindful of the varying levels of terrain. 

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6. Woodland Fire Pit

At the top of the woodland you'll find a clearing with lounge chairs, a fire pit and log store. Enjoy sunny picnics in the day with valley views and marvel at the stars at night! We ask that you observe the following guidelines if you use the fire pit area:

  • Take a torch! The woodland becomes very dark after nightfall and you'll need a torch to find your way back. 
  • The chairs and fire pit have been positioned with fire safety in mind, and we therefore ask that you do not move them.
  • The fire pit can only be used in calm, dry weather and a fire must not be lit in windy conditions.
  • We provide firewood, kindling, firelighters and matches, please only use one packet of firelighters and one bundle of kindling per fire pit session (we do check regularly, but please let us know if anything is low!).
  • We also provide cushions and blankets for use in dry weather, please put them back in the waterproof tub after use.
  • Please take any rubbish back to your accommodation (there are no bins at the site).

Please note: The fire pit area is for the enjoyment of guests staying at both retreats and we therefore cannot guarantee its availability. Use of the fire pit is dangerous, and is to be used at your own risk. We provide a burns first aid kit and a water fire extinguisher for use in an emergency.

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7. Local Amenities

Butchers - Mike Turton
Address: 146-147 High St, Ilfracombe EX34 9EZ
Telephone: 01271 863643

Butchers - Lloyd Maunder
Address: 50 High St, Ilfracombe EX34 9QB
Telephone: 01271 862023

Bakery - The Pantry
Address: 105 High St, Ilfracombe EX34 9NH
Telephone: 01271 862031

Greengrocer - Normans Fruit & Veg
Address: 40 High St, Ilfracombe EX34 9DA
Telephone: 01271 863105

Fishmonger - S & P Fish Shop
Address: 1 The Cove, Ilfracombe EX34 9FA
Telephone: 07533 168343

Supermarket - The Co-operative Food
Address: 69 High St, Ilfracombe EX34 9QE

Supermarket - Tesco Superstore
Address: Old Barnstaple Rd, Killicleave Farm, Ilfracombe EX34 8PF

Post Office - SPAR Petrol Station
Address: Station Rd, Woolacombe EX34 7AN

Post Office - Woolacombe Post Office
Address: 2 West Rd, Woolacombe EX34 7BW

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8. Food & Drink

Here are some of our favourite restaurants and eateries.
Please check out their website / Facebook pages for Covid-19 information.
Please book / order in advance to avoid disappointment!

Lee

The Grampus – Our Local Pub
Locally sourced and homegrown produce. Good selection of local beers (and home made gin!).
Address: The Grampus Inn, Ilfracombe EX34 8LR
Tel: 01271 862906
Visit Facebook page →

Lee Meadow - Farm Shop & Café
Fantastic breakfasts and light lunches. Also a great place to stock up on locally sourced meat, grown veg, cheese and chutneys. Please note - opening times are seasonal so please check their website.
Address: 
Shaftsbborough Lane, Woolacombe, Lee EX34 8FF
Tel: 
01271 879825 & 07773 426609
Visit website →

Ilfracombe

Settantanove Italian Restaurant
Small and cosy restaurant serving authentic pizzas, pastas and seafood.
Address: 79 High St, Ilfracombe EX34 9NQ
Tel: 01271 865982
Visit website →

The Terrace Tappas & Wine Bar - Spanish Restaurant
Authentic Spanish tapas, freshly prepared using the finest ingredients.
Address: 62 Fore St, Ilfracombe, EX34 9ED
Tel: 01271 863482
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Thomas Carr 1873 - Fine Dining Restaurant
Situated in Ilfracombe’s former Victorian police station and located a stones throw from Ilfracombe’s beautiful working harbour, you can expect to see local quality fish as a core ingredient on 1873’s ever-changing 6 Course Taster Menus. Thomas Carr was awarded a Michelin star for the 2017/18 Michelin Guide.
Address: 63 Fore Street, Ilfracombe EX34 9ED
Tel: 
01271 867831
Visit website →

Lynbay Fish & Chips - Takeaway
Proud to be serving locally sourced award winning fish and chips.
Address: 6 The Quay, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9EQ
Tel: 01271 866850
Visit website →

Giovanni & Luca – Italian Restaurant
Traditional Italian food cooked in the old fashioned way using recipes handed down over the generations.
Address: Searock Apartments, Wilder Rd, Ilfracombe EX34 9AR
Tel: 01271 879394
Visit website →

Slice of DevonGourmet Pizza Takeaway
A unique, authentic Pizza takeaway selling classic and gourmet pizza.
Address: 3 The Quay, Ilfracombe EX34 9EQ
Tel: 
01271 862348
Visit Facebook page →

Sawmills – Waterside Restaurant & Bar
Serving quality craft Beers and Ales and a fine array of Westcountry Ciders alongside wholesome pub food.
Address: Watermouth Valley, A399, Ilfracombe EX34 9SJ
Tel: 01271 883388
Visit website →

Woolacombe

Brundle's - Bar & Restaurant
Set in the heart of Woolacombe and with stunning views over the beach and bay, Brundle's restaurant serves delicious coffees, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Address: Beach Rd, Woolacombe EX34 7BP
Tel: 01271 316 208
Visit website →

The Tides Inn - Beer Bar & Restaurant
Laidback venue serving classic dishes made from local produce.
Address: Beach Rd, Woolacombe EX34 7BP
Tel: 01271 871420
Visit website →

The Beach House - Bistro
Serving local seafood, tapas and other mouth-watering dishes, as well as a good selection of wines and local ales. Watch the sunset over Lundy island with a drink at the bar.
Address: Granville Terrace, 3 West Road, Woolacombe EX34 7BW
Tel: 01271 871 727
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The Bay Brasserie - Restaurant
Serving morning coffee & cream teas, light bites, lunch & dinner.
Address: Woolacombe Bay Hotel, South St, Woolacombe EX34 7BN
Tel: 01271 870388
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Woolacombe Bay Pizza Co. - Takeaway pizza
Address: South Street, Woolacombe EX34 7BB
Tel: 01271 871222
Visit website →

Barricane Beach Cafe - Takeaway to eat on the beach
Cafe on the beach serving light bites during the day, and authentic Sri Lankan curries in the evening. Opening times are weather dependent so please check their Facebook page in advance!
Address: Barricane Beach, Woolacombe
Tel: 
No phone number but you can send a message via Facebook if required
Visit Facebook page →

Braunton

Squires - Fish Restaurant (Dine in or takeaway)
Considered by many to be the No 1 premier fish restaurant in North Devon, Squires have received many accolades, awards and reviews not to mention the odd visit from Rick Stein and Damien Hirst.
Address: 1 Exeter Road, Braunton, Devon EX33 2JL
Tel: 01271 815533
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The Siam Bistro - Thai Restaurant
A small bistro serving Authentic Asian food.
Address: Cross Tree Centre, Caen St, Braunton Devon EX33 1AA
Tel: 01271 816567
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The Riverside - Restaurant
Lovingly created, fresh dishes, at affordable prices, in a welcoming family atmosphere.
Address: 30 Caen St, Braunton EX33 1AA
Tel: 01271 813633
Visit website →

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9. Activities & Attractions

Please check availability in advance. 
Pre-booking is essential!

Surfing & Surf Lessons
The Woolacombe Surf Centre (4.2 miles | 15 mins by car)
Address: Shop 5 Barton Court, Barton Road, Woolacombe, North Devon EX34 7BA
Visit website →

Sea & Wildlife Cruises
Ilfracombe Sea Safari (3.2 miles | 12 mins by car)
Address: 11 The Quay, Ilfracombe EX34 9EQ
Visit website →

Yoga with Jess
At your Retreat, the Woodland or Beach
Jessica Wright is a qualified Yoga instructor who offers private yoga tuition in North Devon. 
Visit website →

Breathing Yoga & Meditation
The Yoga Barn (0.4 miles | 10 mins walk)
Alexandra Giffoni is a Yoga teacher and Yoga therapist, the founder of Breathing Yoga and The Yoga Barn. Alexandra offers yoga and meditation sessions for all abilities. 
Visit website →

Quad Biking and Off Roading
Keypitts Off Road Adventures (6.2 miles | 15 mins by car)
Address: Keypitts Farm, Ilfracombe, Devon EX34 9RW
Visit website →

Horse Riding & Riding Lessons
Woolacombe Riding Stables (3.5 miles | 10 mins by car)
Address: Beach Rd, Woolacombe EX34 7AE
Visit website →

Gong/Sound Therapy 
Ravendere Retreats Woodland
Relax your mind body and soul in the powerful sound waves of the gong. "Take your own personal dreamy journey into the deepest conscious relaxation possible." Karen Vögelin (MFHT)
Visit Facebook page →

Kayaking
The Woolacombe Surf Centre (4.2 miles | 15 mins by car)
Address: Shop 5 Barton Court, Barton Road, Woolacombe, North Devon EX34 7BA
Visit website →

Clay Pigeon Shooting
North Devon Shooting Ground (3 miles | 8 mins by car)
Address: Bickenbridge Farm, Ilfracombe, Devon EX34 8NZ
Visit website →

Reef & Deep Sea Fishing
Ilfracombe Sea Safari (3.2 miles | 12 mins by car)
Address: 11 The Quay, Ilfracombe EX34 9EQ
Visit website →

Honey Farm
Quince Honey Farm (23.2 miles | 40 mins by car)
Address: Aller Cross, South Molton EX36 3RD
Visit website →

National Trust Gardens
Arlington Court (13.9 miles | 28 mins by car)
Address: Arlington, near Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4LP
Visit website →

Sculpture Gardens
Broomhill Estate (10.8 miles | 22 mins by car)
Address: Muddiford, Barnstaple EX31 4EX
Visit website →

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10. Treatments

If you're visiting to reset and unwind why not indulge in a treatment at your retreat? Sessions are booked directly with your therapist enabling you to discuss your requirements.

Oceanic Organic Therapies 
Lynette Lee offers wonderfully relaxing facial treatments using exclusively organic Neal's Yard Remedies products. Creating an element of the spa experience from the comfort of your retreat, breathe in the aromas of natural essential oils and enjoy a moment of calm.

♦ The Ultimate Facial | £55 | Time approx 1 hour and 15 mins
If you are in need of a truly indulgent pamper this luxurious treatment is for you. Your sensory journey will start with a grounding foot cleanse, followed by a relaxing facial tailored to your skin type using Neal's Yard Remedies organic products. Whilst your skin is being nourished you'll receive a soothing shoulder and hand massage to ease tension. Then to finish off your treatment drift away with a mini Indian head massage.

♦ The Signature Facial | £45 | Time approx 55 mins
A deeply relaxing treatment beginning with a grounding foot cleanse, followed by a facial tailored to your skin type using Neal's Yard Remedies organic products. Restore balance with a soothing hand massage and then to finish off your treatment drift away with a mini Indian head massage.

♦ The Express Facial | £35 | Time approx 45 mins
Refresh and renew your skin with a restorative facial tailored to your skin type using Neal's Yard Remedies organic products. Whilst the products are revitalising your complexion choose from either a mini scalp massage or hand treatment to finish.

Contact Lynette to book:
Call: 07792 360 561 | Email: lynettenyrorganic@yahoo.co.uk | Visit: oceanictherapies.co.uk


Sheila Shepherd - Reflexology & Aromatherapy
Sheila Shepherd has been practicing as a fully qualified Reflexologist for over 20 years. Offering reflexology, aromatherapy massage and Indian head massage to help relieve stress, tension and aid relaxation. Enjoy a complementary therapy in the comfort of your retreat, tailored to your needs to optimise mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

♦ Reflexology | £45.00 | Time approx 1 hour
Having been a holistic therapist for 23 years, it still does not cease to amaze me to how clients react to each reflexology session. The reflexes on your feet correspond to your body, working on ailments and conditions that you may have. A full treatment consists of a short foot massage to get used to the feel, thumb walking to actually receive the treatment and then finishing on a longer relaxing foot massage with lotion, cream or oil, beneficial physically, mentally and emotionally.

♦ Aromatherapy Full Body Massage | £60.00 | Time approx 1.5 hours
♦ Aromatherapy Back & Neck Massage | £40.00 | Time approx 45 mins
As a qualified Aromatherapist, I can make you a personal blend ‘especially made for you’ depending on how you feel or what you need on the day of the massage. Tired? IBS? Headaches? Achey joints and muscles? Stress and tension? Hormonal problems? Digestive problems? All of these are examples of how Aromatherapy oils can help, whilst having a relaxing massage either a full body or neck, back and shoulders. 

♦ Indian Head Massage | £40.00 | Time approx 45 mins
Using authentic Indian Oils, such as jasmine, mustard, sesame seed and coconut, all of which have different properties. Indian Head massage is a neck, shoulder, head and face massage whilst sitting in a chair. This unique treatment has been practiced for generations, and can assist in alleviating stress, anxiety and depression. Helpful for tinnitus, jaw ache, congestion and insomnia. 

All treatments leave a feeling of peace and calm. The essential oils I use are 100% pure, natural and undiluted. The carrier oils I use are 100% pure (usually, grapeseed, sweet almond oil or jojoba). The Indian Oils are pure and authentic.

Contact Sheila to book:
Call: 07876 524 754 | Email: sheilashepherdreflexologist@outlook.com | Visit: sheilashepherdreflexologist.com

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11. Local Walks

If you fancy exploring, here are some recommendations of some of the best and most scenic walks in the area. 

South West Coast Path 
Access: 1.5 miles | 25 mins walk | 5 mins by car
The South West Coast Path is England’s longest waymarked footpath running for 630 miles, with beautiful wild flowers and stunning coastal views. You can access the Coast Path from Lee Bay Beach, continue to follow the road past the beach to reach Morthoe then Woolacombe. Or for Ilfracombe, venture up Home Lane (the small steep track beside the old hotel). Both walks require good walking shoes/boots and are rated as moderate.
Visit website →

The Tarka Trail 
Access: 2.1 miles | 7 mins by car
The Northern loop of the Tarka Trail follows the South West Coastal path into the picturesque fishing town of Ilfracombe, then exits via Slade Valley. The area around the reservoirs and nature reserve is very picturesque and teeming with birds and wildlife. If you continue along the old railway line it will take you to Woolacombe. The nearest car park is known as 'Lee Bridge' car park, EX34 7HE (a 7 minute drive from Ravendere Retreats).
Visit website →

Baggy Point 
8.8 miles | 30 mins by car
Baggy Point is an impressive rugged headland overlooking Croyde beach. With stunning coastal views out to Lundy Island and across to Woolacombe there is an abundance of wildlife to admire. In the summer months, grey seals swim and play in the waters and there are many seabirds to spot. Keep an eye out for the impressive cormorants and ‘globally threatened’ red status birds like the Shag that breed locally on Lundy Island.
Visit website →

Wistlandpound Reservoir
13.7 miles | 25 mins by car
Wistlandpound Reservoir is located on the edge of Exmoor National Park. It's a beautiful and tranquil setting and the main path that takes you around the perimeter of the lake is an easy, flat and very accessible route. The upper path is slightly less even underfoot as it winds through the surrounding deep alpine green spruce plantations. There are no facilities so bring a picnic! There is a small car park fee that helps maintain the lake.
Visit website →

Braunton Burrows 
12.6 miles | 32 mins by car
Braunton Burrows is one of the largest sand dune systems in the British Isles (approximately 1000 hectares in size!) and flanks the 3.5 mile long sandy beach of Saunton. Home to a rich diversity of plant and animal life, it boasts 470 species of flowering plants, a variety of insects (including 33 species of butterfly), many nesting birds and 5 of the 6 reptile species found in the UK. A carpet of wild flowers cover The Burrows during summer months.
Visit website →

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12. Beach Guide

We're incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such stunning beaches - award winning, hidden gems, and many are dog friendly. (Note: Not all beaches have Lifeguard cover so please plan your visit accordingly.)

Lee Bay
Distance: 0.8 miles (20 minute walk)
Dog Friendly: Yes

Regarded by some as 'the jewel in the crown of Lee' this wonderfully secluded and sheltered rocky cove is a short stroll from your retreat. Surrounded by rolling Devonshire countryside the bay is dotted with rock pools and low tide reveals a sandy beach.

To get to the bay, turn left at the main road and follow this down into the village. During the flowering season many of the village hedgerows are ablaze with scarlet flowers causing Lee to be locally referred to as "Fuchsia Valley". You will pass St Matthews Church on your right, and the adjoining ‘Old Schoolroom’ which is now a craft gallery selling local arts and crafts, honey & jams, beach goods, ice creams and cold drinks.

Opposite the church are the Village Hall and Pixie Meadow, where many a Village Fete has been held over the years. When you reach the Grampus pub, you will find a footpath that will take you past the pub, over a stream, through a meadow and down to the bay.

Please note, there are no lifeguards and the area is known for its strong currents.

Woolacombe Beach
Distance: 5.0 miles (15 minute drive)
Dog Friendly: Yes (zones apply May - October)

This award-winning three-mile long stretch of golden sand lies between Morte Point and Baggy Point. Renowned for its cleanliness, water quality and facilities, it's a great place to spend the day either relaxing or taking part in watersports. There are a variety of pubs and restaurants and a great laid back, friendly atmosphere.

Lifeguards ensure safe family swimming during the summer months.

Barricane Beach
Distance: 5.0 miles (15 minute drive)
Dog Friendly: Yes (zones apply)

Barricane is a secluded sandy bay located at the far northern-end of Woolacombe. Often referred to as Combesgate Beach, Barricane gets its name from the range of exotic shells such as cowries often found on its sands.

Barricane Beach is a good stop-off point if you are walking along the coastline towards Mortehoe. It is also famous for Barricane Beach Cafe, a seasonal pop up hut that cooks and serves fresh Sri Lankan stir-fries and curries. Opening just before Easter until the end of September, bring a bottle of wine and enjoy a delicious sunset meal on the beach.

A few things to note include the lack of lifeguards here at any time throughout the year, and the beach can't be reached at high tide when the whole area becomes a large natural pool.

Hele Bay
Distance: 0.8 miles (20 minute drive)
Dog Friendly: Yes

Hele Bay is a short drive from Ilfracombe and has a pub & a cafe on the seafront. This part sand, part shingle beach is ideal for a quiet walk or seaside day out. The beach is popular with canoeists and there are facilities nearby.

Coombe Martin Beach
Distance: 7.3 miles (19 minute drive)
Dog Friendly: Yes (zones apply May - October)

Coombe Martin Beach is recognised as one of the cleanest, safest beaches in the South West. With parking directly behind the beach (with toilets) and shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants close by it's a perfect location to spend the day. There are an abundance of rock pools on this sandy beach and there is plenty to watch such as the fisherman on the rocks or hire a kayak and explore the bay. It's also one of the best beaches in North Devon for breathtaking sunsets!

Croyde Beach
Distance: 8.0 miles (22 minute drive)
Dog Friendly: Yes (from October to April)

A popular beach for swimmers and more experienced surfers - in fact it's rated as one of the best surfing beaches in the world!

There are a number of public footpaths around including the walk to Baggy Point, which offers spectacular views. With a range of activities such as swimming, surfing, fishing and surfboard/canoe hire it's the perfect beach for those who are after an adrenaline rush.

There is an RNLI Lifeguard service available from May to September throughout Easter weekend all October weekends and October Half Term.

Saunton Sands Beach
Distance: 9.6 miles (26 minute drive)
Dog Friendly: Yes

Situated between the villages of Braunton and Croyde, this idyllic stretch of golden sand is backed by Braunton Burrows (a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) and reaches just over 3 miles. The beach is popular with surfers and is better suited to beginners and intermediate surfers than the northern Croyde Bay. There are a range of food outlets, toilets and beach shops and if you're after amazing views across the coastline take a stroll to Crow Point.

Random fact - Robbie Williams used Saunton Sands as the set for his 'Angels' video!

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13. Canine Guests

We warmly welcome dogs to the Treehouse but ask that you observe the following rules:

  • We ask that dogs are not, at any time, to be left alone in the Treehouse.
  • Please do not invite dogs upstairs to the bedroom. We provide white Egyptian cotton bed linen, which is easily stained by paws prints and can become unusable if stained (or hairy!). We provide a standing stair gate to help you enforce this rule.
  • Please dry wet fur and wipe dog paws before entering the Treehouse, using a dog towel. Please do not use the white Egyptian cotton towels provided for humans.
  • Please do not allow dogs on the sofa, chairs or soft furnishings.
  • We supply a water bowl and silicone mat, along with poop bags. Please bring anything else you may need, such as a dog bed and dog towels for muddy paws.
  • Please use your judgement before allowing dogs onto the Treehouse deck. If your dog has a tendency to jump or is very small (i.e. could fit through the natural wood balustrades) then the decking may not be suitable for them.
  • Dogs must be kept on leads at all times whilst walking around the Ravendere Retreats woodland. This is to ensure they do not spook the wildlife and local livestock, and for their own safety. There is a dog friendly beach a short walk away (Lee Bay).
  • Please pick up after your dog and check the dog garden before you leave - you’ll find spare poop bags under the bench seat in the hallway. There is a dog bin in the garden area behind the Treehouse.
As mentioned in our Terms and Conditions, we reserve the right to charge for any damage caused by canine guests or any additional cleaning, laundering or replacement linen required as a result of pet hair on soft furnishings, or muddy paws on towels or bed linen.

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14. TV & WiFi

Due to the tree canopy there is no TV signal in the Treehouse, so we have supplied an Apple TV with the latest films, catch up TV and Netflix. Access the Apple TV via the HDMI 3 Channel (paid for purchases are protected by a password) but you are welcome to watch any of the programmes or Amazon Prime films, which are free.

The Apple TV controller has a touch pad above the buttons for navigation. 
(If you log in to an account please log out before you switch off!)

The TV also has a built in DVD player, and there are a selection of DVDs in the wooden crate next to the sofa, in the lounge.

We have full fibre optic WiFi in the Treehouse – our network is called ‘Treehouse’ and your device should connect automatically (there is no password).

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15. Polite Requests

We would be grateful if you would observe the following:

  • Please keep the oak kitchen and bathroom worktops dry.
  • Due to the high fire risk please do not smoke inside the Treehouse or on the decking area.
  • Due to the high fire risk, the use of candles or tea lights is not permitted in the Treehouse, on the decking or anywhere on the Ravendere Retreats site.
  • The Treehouse is serviced by a septic tank, so please do not flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet. Likewise please do not dispose of any chemicals (i.e. cleaning products or alcohol) down the sink or toilet.
  • When dusk arrives and you turn the lights on, please keep windows and doors shut to prevent the woodland’s inhabitants from coming to join you! If you do find a bug please do not squash it, as it will stain the wall/ceiling.
  • To preserve the natural woodland surroundings and protect the wildlife (i.e. so as not to confuse the bats) please close the blinds when the lights are turned on.
  • We would be grateful if you could use the bin provided for household waste and recycling. Please ensure all recycling has been washed and dried before disposing of it in the lower half of the bin.
  • Please keep noise levels to a minimum when on the premises and be considerate of neighbouring properties when entering and leaving your accommodation.

Thank you!

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16. Fire Safety

Upon arrival, please familiarise yourself with the building and exits so if you need to, you can exit safely and swiftly. These are the main door to the Treehouse, and (should you need to evacuate the Treehouse from the bedroom) the window above the radiator next to the bed is a fire safety window - the left side opens fully.

There are three smoke alarms located in the bedroom, hallway and lounge, and a carbon monoxide detector in the lounge.

Heating & cooking equipment
Please take care when using the heating and cooking equipment. Please read the operating guides within this Welcome Guide before using the BBQ, pizza oven, log burning stove and oven. If you have any questions about how to use these or any other equipment we'll be more than happy to help.

Gas BBQ safety
Once finished with the BBQ please turn both burners off, and turn the gas off at the regulator. Only replace the cover once the BBQ has cooled down.

Pizza oven & log burning stove safety
When creating fires for the pizza oven and log burning stove, please only use the dry firewood provided and do not use any other solid fuel. Please do not overfill either with fuel and continue to supervise the fire until it has died down and is safe to leave.

Smoking & e-cigarettes
Smoking (or the use of e-cigarettes) is not permitted inside the building or outside on any wooden decked areas. Smoking is permitted outside of the building off decked areas but please extinguish cigarettes fully and dispose of them responsibly.

Candles & tea lights
Due to the high fire risk, the use of candles or tea lights is not permitted anywhere in your accommodation, on the surrounding decked areas or in the Ravendere Retreats woodland. 

Charging of electrical equipment
The use of personal electrical appliances is permitted on the understanding that they are turned off when the building is unoccupied and that the utmost care is taken to ensure they are used responsibly and in good condition. This includes phones, tablets, laptops, hair straighteners, e-cigarette chargers etc.

Fire safety equipment
There is powder fire extinguisher in the Treehouse bedroom (located in the walk in storage area) and a powder fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen (next to the hob). Please familiarise yourself with the location of the fire extinguishers and fire blanket (including their operating instructions) on arrival and do not remove them from the property.

In the event of a fire
If you hear a fire/smoke detector sounding in the premises, identify if there is a fire (can you see or smell smoke of see flames?). If a fire has broken out, alert all others within the property to make their way out of the building. (Only attempt to tackle the fire if you feel confident in your ability to use the fire extinguisher/blanket safely and it is not a danger to yourself or any other person).

Ensure that all guests are safely outside the property. Call the Fire Service on 999 – informing them of your location and contact number. Advise if everyone is out of the building and the location of the fire (if known). Ensure that everyone is a safe distance away from the building, and wait for the attendance of the Fire Service, do not re-enter until it is safe to do so.

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17. Covid-19 Information

We have put together some guidance relating to Covid-19 to explain what we're doing to ensure the most effective precautions are being taken. It also details the steps you will need to take should you develop symptoms during your stay. You can find out more here: Ravendere Retreats Covid-19 Information

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18. Emergency Contacts

Owners
Kieran Mobile – 07950 994729
Home Phone – 01271 866011

Minor Injuries Unit (walk in clinic)
Ilfracombe & District Tyrrell Hospital
Address: St Brannock's Park Rd, Ilfracombe EX34 8JF
Telephone: 01271 863448

There is a first aid kit under the bench seat in the hallway. We do check the contents regularly, but we'd be grateful if you could let us know if it's been used. We also ask that you let us know of any accidents that happen, so we can evaluate our health and safety practices. 

Hospital
North Devon District Hospital
Address: Raleigh Park, Barnstaple EX31 4JB
Telephone: 01271 322577

Please note – the Landlord of the pub (The Grampus) also has a defibrillator:
Address: The Grampus Inn, Ilfracombe EX34 8LR
Telephone: 01271 862906

Doctors Surgery
Combe Coastal Practice
Address: 18 St. Brannock's Rd, Ilfracombe EX34 8EG
Telephone: 01271 863119

Vets (24 Hours)
Mullacott Veterinary Hospital
Address: Bickenbridge Farm, Ilfracombe EX34 8NZ
Telephone: 01271 866770

We hope you have a wonderful stay, and would be so grateful if you could leave us a Facebook or TripAdvisor Review! Thank you, Kieran & Helen.

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