Welcome to the Woodland Spa

Welcome Guide

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

The Woodland Spa is home to some rather unique facilities and appliances that require an understanding of operation before use. Please take the time to read this guide before using the facilities and call us anytime on 07950 994 729 if you have any questions. 

1. A Warm Welcome

Thank you for choosing to stay at the Ravendere Woodland Spa 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 Woodland Spa, if you need any assistance please just ask!

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2. About the Woodland Spa

The Woodland Spa was born through our vision to create a calm and tranquil space, offering a 'back to nature' escape within luxurious surroundings. 

The architectural design features two cuboid living spaces: the lounge and kitchen, and bedroom and bathroom which surround the infinity pool. Vertical louvres add to the aesthetic appeal whilst providing shade and privacy. We've used a combination of natural materials such as timber and stone, with a dry stone wall featuring as the backdrop to the retreat. We have treated the timber cladding using the ancient Japanese method of fire (Shou-Sugi-Ban). Corten steel borders the living roofs, with its burnt orange glow framing the lush green foliage.
 
The minimalistic, Nordic inspired interior combines modern, simplistic decor with natural elements to create calm and serene surroundings. Polished concrete floors with underfloor heating feature throughout the retreat as do an abundance of plants and foliage. The living sedum roof and surrounding earth envelop the build on the outside in contrast to the spacious interior.
 
The building has been substantially insulated to retain thermal mass and minimise the need for heating. The infinity pool also features an insulating roller cover to retain heat and ensure it remains warm and ready to enjoy! We chose to install an air source heat pump to heat the building and provide hot water to minimise environmental impact. 

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3. Woodland Spa Amenities

Our vision for the Woodland Spa was to provide a calm and relaxing space for you to unwind and reset, surrounded by nature. We aim to provide everything you need for your stay to ensure it is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. 

The kitchen is home to a cooker, induction hob, fridge-freezer and toaster so if you're planning to arrive and not leave, you'll have all the cooking facilities required to cook up a feast! Complimentary condiments include a fresh pint of milk, tea, coffee, sugar, salt, pepper and cooking oil. Being coffee lovers, we couldn't help but provide a Nespresso coffee machine and a supply of pods for you to enjoy. (If you need to reach the higher shelves above the oven, there is a step if needed in the cupboard underneath the oven).

Kick back and relax in the lounge, 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 (you'll find these under the coat rack unit by the front door). 

In the bedroom you'll find bathrobes, slippers and Egyptian cotton towels, and there is a hairdryer in the bathroom vanity unit. (The bathroom mirror has a hidden on/off button for the light - to illuminate the mirror gently tap the bottom of the mirror underneath.)

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 by the front door for your use, please return these before you leave. There is also a first aid and burns kit in the right hand drawer of the coat rack unit if needed. We do check the contents regularly, but we'd be grateful if you could let us know if it's been used. 

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4. Heating & Cooking Guide

Biofuel Fireplace (Lounge)

Lighting the fire:

  1. Slide the stainless snuffer cover backwards with the stainless handle to open the chamber
  2. Slowly fill the burner with the supplied bio-ethanol fuel (stored under the kitchen sink) until it is no more than 2/3 full.
  3. Use the long lighter to light the fuel (stored in the second kitchen drawer). Make sure to keep an arm’s length away when lighting.
  4. Keep furnishings and the fuel a safe distance away from the fireplace. Ideally replace the lid and return the fuel bottle to under the sink before lighting the fire. 
  5. The fuel will burn low and blue at first. Within 10-15 minutes, the flames will reach optimum height.
  6. When the bio-ethanol fire is lit, please keep one or both of the doors open to ensure air flow into the room.

Extinguishing the fire:

  1. If possible, let the fuel burn out completely to prevent any fuel being left in the burner.
  2. If necessary, using the tool slide the stainless cover closed to completely cover the burner opening until it has burned out.
  3. Do not touch the fireplace until it has cooled (for at least 15 minutes after the fire has been completely extinguished).
  4. If you find you need to refill the burner, ensure it has been completely extinguished and cooling for at least 15 minutes prior to refilling.
  5. Do not pour fuel into a burner that is already lit or still warm.

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
Safety Notice: An induction hob generates magnetic fields in its immediate vicinity. If you are fitted with a pacemaker or an active implant please speak to your doctor about the compliance or any incompatibilities of your pacemaker before using this appliance. 

  • To operate the touch display simply touch the buttons using the flat of your finger, not the tip,
  • The controls respond to touch, so you don’t need to apply any pressure.
  • Once you have selected the cook zone or the timer, you have 10 seconds to set it (while the red LED at the bottom right of the display is on). If the red LED goes out before you have made and adjustment, simply re-select the cook zone or timer by touching the display again.
  • Only suitable (induction compatible) cookware can be used on the hob - the two pans and frying pan we provide are compatible with the induction hob. No other pots, pans or baking dishes are to be used on the hob. 
  • Always ensure the control area is clean, dry and free from of any objects (e.g. utensils, tea towels and cloths), spillages and water may make the controls difficult to operate.

Turn on the hob, using the on/off button. Note:
1) CL (cleared) in the timer display means the timer is not set.
2) If you do not select a cooking zone within 20 seconds, the hob will automati- cally switch off.

Selecting and activating a cook zone:
1) Select the required cook zone.
2) Select the required power setting (0-9).

Note:
Setting U (between setting 0 and 1) provides a gentle low temp power setting.

Modifying the power setting whilst cooking:
1) Select the required cook zone.
2) Adjust the power setting

Turning off individual cooking zones:
1) Select the required cook zone that you want to turn off.
2) Decrease the power setting until the display shows 0. If the cook zone surface is hot to touch, H will replace 0 in the display.

Oven
Please refer to the following guide for selecting the correct oven function:

MORSØ Barbecue
The gas will be switched off at the gas bottle regulator, so please start with turning this on. (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. We'd be grateful if you could clean the grill whilst it's still hot, using the wire brush.

Open Log Fireplace (Top Deck)
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 log grate. 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. 

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.

Please note the open log fire is not for cooking! 

Central Heating and Hot Water
The underfloor heating, towel radiator and hot water are powered by an eco friendly air source heat pump, with an oil boiler acting as backup. 

The heating is controlled by a Nest smart thermostat on the bedroom dressing table, which acts just like a standard thermostat and controls the temperature in both the bedroom and lounge/kitchen. It shows the current temperature and the desired temperature - simply 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. Using the Pool

Our Woodland Spa infinity pool is heated to a warm 380C and the temperature maintained by an insulated roller cover (please close the cover when the pool is not in use!)

Pool Safety - Please observe the following before using the heated infinity pool.

  • There is no lifeguard on duty and on entering the pool you do so at your own risk.
  • There are 4 steps down into the pool. There are two hydrotherapy loungers on the left hand side, at a depth of 0.7m. The deepest part of the pool is on the right hand side at 1.2m.
  • Please take care when moving around in the water, due to the changing levels.
  • Please only use the pool if you are fit and well. If you are suffering from an illness, particularly diarrhea or vomiting, please refrain from entering into the pool.
  • If you have any medical conditions, including heart or blood pressure problems, are taking medication or are pregnant please speak to your doctor for advice before using the pool.
  • Do not use the pool if intoxicated, or drink alcohol whilst in or near the pool.
  • Do not take glasses or glass bottles near or into the pool. Plastic cups are provided for drinking soft drinks whilst at the poolside.
  • Do not sit on the infinity edge of the pool. 
  • Electrical appliances are not permitted in the pool area.
  • Diving, running or jumping is NOT permitted for safety reasons.

It is advisable to only using the pool if there is someone else staying at the retreat with you. Let them know you are using the pool so if problems do occur, they are able to assist you. In a medical emergency dial 999.

Using the Heated Infinity Pool

  • Please shower before entering the pool. (The outdoor shower is perfect for this!)
  • The control panel for the pool controls is to the left of the bedroom pod door. The buttons control the automated pool cover (open and close), the lights (on and off) and air blower (on).
  • The air blowers for the hydrotherapy loungers are timed to come on for 10 minutes after the button is pressed. After 10 minutes the blowers will stop, and to start them again simply press the button once more.
  • Please close the cover and turn the lights off when the pool is not in use, to save energy (and to prevent woodland inhabitants from being attracted to the water).
  • When using the pool, please ensure the doors to the pods are closed to prevent humid air from entering the building.
  • The pool is professionally cleaned and serviced prior to every booking. If required, there is a pool net in the storage cupboard under the stairs to the upper deck.
  • The plant room for the pool is under the bedroom pod, and is strictly no guest access.

If you have any questions about the pool or its use please contact us on 07950 994729.

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6. Using the Sauna

Saunas are a great way to unwind, relax, and warm up during cold weather. Among many reputed health benefits, saunas are thought to be able to relieve pain, improve performance in sports and reduce stress. Like many good things, however, it's important to use a sauna with care and in moderation.

Please observe the following guidelines before using the sauna.

1. Consider your health

  • Only use the sauna if you are fit and well.
  • If you have any medical conditions, including heart or blood pressure problems, are taking medication or are pregnant please speak to your doctor for advice before using the sauna.
  • Don't drink alcohol before, during, or after sauna use. Never use the sauna after eating a large meal or undertaking strenuous exercise.

 It is advisable to only using the sauna if there is someone else staying at the retreat with you. Let them know you are using the sauna so if problems do occur, they are able to assist you.

2. Consider your clothing
Loose-fitting swimsuits made of natural fibres are best. Avoid wearing swimsuits containing PVC fabric, slimming panels or metal parts (the high temperature of the sauna will heat the metal which could burn skin). For this reason, please also remove all jewellery before using the sauna. Please do not wear shoes in the sauna.


3. Pre-heat the sauna
Our Cedar sauna is fitted with a timer switch, meaning you press it once to turn it on, and it will turn off automatically after 30 minutes (although it will retain the heat for some time afterwards).

  1. Push the blue illuminated button on the exterior right hand side of the sauna.
  2. Set the desired temperature using the dial on the inner left wall. The recommended temperature is between 650C -800C.

The sauna usually takes 15 minutes to reach the set temperature, however it may take longer in very cold weather conditions. 

4. Shower before use
Whilst the sauna is warming up, please take a shower (even if entering the sauna after using the pool). This is to remove any lotions or creams that may prevent skin from breathing in the sauna (as well as for hygiene reasons).


5. Enjoy the sauna
Enter the pre-heated sauna, taking a clean towel to sit on. Relax and allow your body to perspire in the soft dry heat.


After 5 minutes, sprinkle half a ladle of water over the rocks and repeat every 5 minutes thereafter. (Adding too much water will cool the rocks and will result in less steam). Take care to keep a safe distance when adding the water as it may splash off the hot rocks and burn skin.

If more water is needed there is an outside tap behind the bedroom pod (next to the outdoor shower).

If you have not used a sauna before, start off with a short session at a lower temperature. The length of time the body can tolerate will vary from person to person. 15 to 20 minutes at a time is generally considered the maximum.

6. Monitor your body
If you start to feel dizzy, nauseous, develop a headache or your skin begins to sting, leave immediately and seek medical assistance.


7. Cool down slowly
There is a long Finnish tradition of going straight from the sauna into the snow (or taking an ice cold shower) but a gradual cool down is best. Relax in the fresh air first, then take a tepid shower (this also removes any impurities that your body has eliminated and prevents their reabsorption).


8. Rehydrate and rest
Saunas cause the body to sweat, and therefore lose water. Because of this, is vital that you stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before and after, and relax for at least ten minutes after using the sauna. Let your body recuperate before doing the hot, cold, relaxation circuit again. Many bathhouses and Nordic spas advise limiting the circuit to three times over a couple of hours.


9. Re-entering the sauna
If re-entering the sauna, sprinkle water on the rocks again to increase humidity and assist in perspiration.


10. After use
After you have finished using the sauna, please leave the door open fully for a few hours if possible so the wood can dry out.

Note: Please never hang clothes/wetsuits to dry in the sauna as this may cause a risk of fire.

If you have any questions about the sauna or its use please contact us on 07950 994729.

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7. Operating the Blinds

The blinds are automatic and operated by controllers. Please do not pull the blinds down manually!
Each pod has its own controller, mounted to the wall by the door out to the decking area. 

Each controller is programmed to its pod so please don't take the controller out of its pod!
Channel 1 - Operates both front blinds 
Channel 2 - Operates both side blinds (windows to the pool)
Channel 3 - Operates the door blind
Channel Al - Operates all blinds within the pod

Controller Buttons:
The LEFT and RIGHT arrow buttons at the bottom of the controller change the channels.

Once you have selected the channel:
The UP arrow draws the blinds up
The SQUARE button in the middle stops the blinds moving
The DOWN arrow draws the blinds down

The blinds and controllers are battery operated and we always try to ensure they are fully charged.
If you have any problems with the blinds this may be the reason, but please call us on 07950 994729 rather than trying to fix them - thank you.

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8. Projector, Speakers & WiFi

Projector (Bedroom)
The Woodland Spa is equipped with a bedroom cinema, consisting of a 3,700 lumen projector, an Amazon Firestick (with full streaming and Netflix type apps), a 70” pull down screen and 2 ceiling speakers.

Please pull the screen down fully and lock it into position with a slight jolting motion (like a pull down blind). Please ensure it is ‘locked’ down before you let go as if it zips back up it will break the screen and damage the ceiling.

Turn the projector on with the grey remote (using green power button). It may take up to 15 seconds to turn on and warm up. To turn the Firestick on please push the power button on the black remote. Both remotes may need pointing at the projector area in the alcove above the bed.

Once on and warmed up it should be pre programmed to the Firestick HDMI input and the speakers should work automatically, there is no need to turn them on.

You may log into your Netflix/Disney plus/BBC iplayer accounts but please do remember to log out afterwards.

The volume is controlled on the grey projector remote.

To turn the projector off, push the red button on the grey remote twice, and the power button on the black remote once.

To return the projector screen back up into the ceiling, gently jolt and guide it up slowly - please do not just let go.

Built in Speakers (Bedroom ceiling)
As well as providing the sound for the cinema, these speakers will also connect to your phone via Bluetooth. Please search for LitheaudioBT2, you should then be able to listen to your own playlists. If after doing this you have any issues with the projector sound working, please turn your Bluetooth off and restart the projector.

Portable Speaker (Lounge/Kitchen)
This speaker is an Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker, with the addition of a built in battery pack. This means so as long as it is within WiFi range, you're able to take it outside.

You're welcome to use it by the pool, but please ensure it remains behind the glass panel at all times so as not to get splashed. If using it on the top deck, the best place to rest it within WiFi reach is on the cedar handrail of the staircase.

The speaker is not waterproof so please don't take it outside if it's raining.

This speaker can be controlled via the Alexa app, or by saying things like “Alexa, play some relaxing music”, “Alexa, play some Ed Sheeran” or “Alexa, play Radio 2”. It can also do things like tell you the weather forecast, or answer questions etc.

If you don’t like the idea of a smart speaker you are more than welcome to either turn the microphone off (by pushing the microphone off button on the top, which will illuminate red), or just unplug it.

WiFi
The network is named 'The Woodland Spa' (no password required). The router is located in the lounge/kitchen pod and you may find that the WiFi coverage is a little weaker in the bedroom and on the top deck.

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9. 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 left of the parking area (towards the Woodland Spa), follow the main path past the Woodland Spa and into the woodland. 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 left is our boundary, and in the winter months you may spot their tracks on the bank as they visit the stream to drink.

When you reach a clearing (soon to be our wood processing area!) the path bends back on itself and continues up into the woodland. As you continue along the path you'll discover a staircase that leads to the 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!

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.  

Continue along the path which will start to slope down, and you'll pass the Treehouse on your left. Shortly after the Treehouse you'll reach another 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. Follow the main path down and past the parking area to return to the Woodland Spa.

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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10. 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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11. 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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12. 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
Visit website →

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
Visit website →

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
Visit website →

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
Visit website →

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
Visit website →

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13. 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
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Horse Riding & Riding Lessons
Woolacombe Riding Stables (3.5 miles | 10 mins by car)
Address: Beach Rd, Woolacombe EX34 7AE
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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)
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Kayaking
The Woolacombe Surf Centre (4.2 miles | 15 mins by car)
Address: Shop 5 Barton Court, Barton Road, Woolacombe, North Devon EX34 7BA
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Clay Pigeon Shooting
North Devon Shooting Ground (3 miles | 8 mins by car)
Address: Bickenbridge Farm, Ilfracombe, Devon EX34 8NZ
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Reef & Deep Sea Fishing
Ilfracombe Sea Safari (3.2 miles | 12 mins by car)
Address: 11 The Quay, Ilfracombe EX34 9EQ
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Honey Farm
Quince Honey Farm (23.2 miles | 40 mins by car)
Address: Aller Cross, South Molton EX36 3RD
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National Trust Gardens
Arlington Court (13.9 miles | 28 mins by car)
Address: Arlington, near Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4LP
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Sculpture Gardens
Broomhill Estate (10.8 miles | 22 mins by car)
Address: Muddiford, Barnstaple EX31 4EX
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14. 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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15. 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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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16. 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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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17. Polite Requests

We would be grateful if you would observe the following:

  • Please close the pool cover when it's not in use. 
  • When dusk arrives and you turn the lights on, please keep all doors shut to prevent the woodland’s inhabitants from coming to join you!
  • 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 bins provided for household waste and recycling. Please ensure all recycling has been washed and dried before disposing of it. The bins are under the kitchen sink, and there is a larger container for glass (or additional recycling) in the kitchen cupboard under the oven. 
  • Due to the high fire risk please do not smoke inside the Woodland Spa or on the decking areas.
  • Due to the high fire risk, the use of candles or tea lights is not permitted in the Woodland Spa, on the decking or anywhere on the Ravendere Retreats site.
  • The Woodland Spa 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.
  • 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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18. Fire Safety

On Arrival
Upon arrival, please familiarise yourself with the building and exits so if you need to, you can exit safely and swiftly. Each living space (pod) has two fire exits - the lounge/kitchen pod can be exited via the main front door and the door to the decking. The bedroom pod can be exited from the door to the decking, and also via the bathroom and out onto the decking through the outside shower space. Once on the deck, either exit away from the building across the pool and down the stepped overflow pool troughs, or up and over the waist-height wall behind the lounge/kitchen pod. If on the upper deck, the safest way to exit away from the building is to climb over the handrail in the undercover area and carefully move down the bank keeping low to the ground. 

Fire Detection Equipment
The Woodland Spa is fitted with a sprinkler system. There are sensors in both the lounge/kitchen pod and the bedroom pod. There is also a heat alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm in the lounge/kitchen pod, a smoke alarm in the bedroom, and a heat alarm in the pool plant room (not accessible to guests).

Fire Safety Equipment
Lounge/kitchen pod - 1x powder fire extinguisher in the cupboard under the kitchen sink.
Lounge/kitchen pod - 1x fire blanket inside the cupboard door above the oven.
Bedroom - 1x powder fire extinguisher under the dressing table.

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.

Heating & Cooking Equipment
Please take care when using the heating and cooking equipment and read the operating guides within this Welcome Guide before use. If you have any questions about how to use any of the equipment we'll be more than happy to help.

Biofuel Fire Safety (lounge)
Always use the stainless tool to open and close the chamber. Keep furnishings and the fuel a safe distance away from the fireplace at all times. When the bio-ethanol fire is lit, please keep one or both of the doors open to ensure air flow into the room. If possible, let the fuel burn out completely to prevent any fuel being left in the burner. If you find you need to refill the burner, ensure it has been completely extinguished and cooling for at least 15 minutes prior to refilling. Do not pour fuel into a burner that is already lit or still warm.

Gas BBQ Safety (top deck)
Always open the lid before turning the burners on. Once finished with the BBQ please turn both burners off, and turn the gas off at the regulator. 

Open Log Fireplace (top deck)
When creating fires please only use the dry firewood provided and do not use any other solid fuel. Please do not overfill the fireplace with fuel and continue to supervise the fire until it has died down and is safe to leave. Tongs have been provided for ease of adding and moving the logs safely. 

Smoking & e-cigarettes
Smoking (or the use of e-cigarettes) is not permitted inside the building or outside on any 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.

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/fire 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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19. 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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20. 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 also a first aid and burns kit in the right hand drawer of the coat rack unit of the lounge/kitchen pod. 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

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

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