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The Big Sky Retreat, Devon, England
Big Sky Retreat Video
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Big Sky Retreat - Cabin in Devon, United Kingdom

Last cache: 19:12:52, Wednesday 21 February 2018

Hookhill Plantation

Not suitable for children

Not suitable for pets

A secluded, hand-crafted wooden yurt with a deeply relaxing feel and an awe-inspiring view

Big Sky Retreat is a creatively crafted haven of soft wood colours and solitude. Inspired by legendary American yurt builder Bill Coperthwaite, and his iconic 70s book,A Simpler Life, owners Alison and Scott set about building Big Sky Retreat to his wooden yurt plans. Scott and Alison’s passion for sustainability can be seen in everything they do - the yurt is entirely constructed from recycled and natural materials and is completely off grid! The wooden furniture, including the Swedish style enclosed king-sized bed, was all handmade by Scott. The homely interior is filled with colourful cushions and thick rugs and though owners Scott and Alison try to live ‘the good life’ as far as possible, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are some modern touches from the hot shower to the gas hobs.

Situated between Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks, the yurt has spectacular 180 degree views across undulating countryside, and sits next to a pond. In summer there is a large swing.  Perfect for long lazy summer days. 

Hookhill Plantation offers plenty of scope for exploring. Wander the extensive ornamental grass gardens (featured on Gardeners World!), explore the ancient woodland – complete with bluebells in season – or have a picnic by one of the large landscaped ponds.

Our guests say...

A wonderful relaxing two days at such a beautiful location. We loved the yurt with so many creative touches and brilliant use of space. It was so peaceful and the view breathtaking. We were lucky enough to have a clear night sky and were treated to the big sky full of stars.



It was wonderful and I can’t wait to go back. The most beautifully crafted space set in a spectacular landscape. We felt close to nature in a camping kind of way, but so warm and comfy in a luxury hotel kind of way. I love the trampoline swing hanging from the tree, the huge pond, the brass taps, the ‘tree-housey’ shelfs and of course the Scandinavian bed from which you can watch the sun rising.



We had an amazing weekend, what an incredible place in a stunning location. Loved the blissful isolation and beautiful views. We could have stayed for a month or more. Also really enjoyed the recommended walk to Kennerleigh friendliness of our hosts and people we met in the community shop.



The yurt was lovely. Great location and very peaceful. It was nice not to have any distractions that electricity can bring. Alison met is on arrival and was very friendly. The yurt was warm and cosy despite it being a little wet out the first night and a little windy. The shower was fine but the pilot light went out on the boiler a couple of time. The wood burner heated the open space well. Very pleased and would recommend it to friends.



Big Sky Retreat was a perfect retreat for anyone wanting to escape and get lost among the rolling hills and tranquility of the countryside. The yurt was a beautifully constructed home for the weekend and had everything we could need - it was very basic with no electricity and a compost toilet but what else do you expect living in the middle of no where? It only added to the authenticity of our stay. A great adventure for anyone who loves nature and cares for the planet!



Absolutely blown away! So peaceful and quiet. It is so beautiful and romantic. I can't wait to return



What a lovely place it lived up to its name Big Sky retreat. So peaceful with stunning country views!



We came here after celebrating our wedding, it was the perfect get away after being surrounded by 130 people! Quiet and peaceful, just what we wanted to reflect on our wedding day :-)



We visited for two nights in May 2017, and we loved the idyllic location and the remoteness of the cabin. Everything was set up really well, and we found everything we needed and more to enjoy ourselves. In the morning, as you push open the bedroom doors the view is incredible, and it's perfectly framed by the windows and the small hill and trees next to the cabin. Alison & Scott were very helpful and friendly at the start and end of our stay, but left us to ourselves for the rest which was great. Josh & Rosie



We had a wonderful 3 nights in this incredible spot where from your window there is just an incredible view across Devon and an enchanting pond to the left of the building. It was so cosey, comfortable and isolated with great long walks straight from the yurt that we loved staying here and plan to come back soon!



Really lovely place! Outstanding views all around and lovely outside space to relax in. Actual hut was really cosy, clean, nicely kitted out and very comfortable for a glamping holiday. Indoor shower and indoor composting toilet. Decor was a tad OTT for our tastes (lots of love hearts everywhere) but not a problem. Host Alison was really nice and greeted us with their two gorgeous dogs. Great selection of books in the hut, I got started on the transition handbook and am now seriously re-thinking many things in life.



Despite some crazy weather, we had a superb time. Great place, location, views and local walks. The Yurt is really homely and has a special atmosphere - when you stand looking out of the panoramic windows it feels like the whole of Devon is your back garden!



Glorious! Such a special, cosy little place. Very quiet - felt very detached from the real world, in a wonderful way. Nestled in the middle of such beautiful countryside surrounded by nature - it was bliss! Neither of us could believe the view!



Idyllic. V relaxing location, so isolated



Sadly we were only there for 2 nights to celebrate our wedding anniversary, but we couldn't have found a better place. The setting was just beautiful and the yurt was so well done with great attention to all the small details. It was even better in real life than the photos suggested. The yurt is also so well secluded and hidden in its surroundings it was perfect for us to take some time out together and relax.



The Big Sky Retreat was perfect! Everything we needed was provided and the place was very well looked after and spotlessly clean. Various outdoor areas capitalised on the sunny weather and we weren't disturbed once.



Big Sky Retreat was the most perfect place to stay for a few days. We can not fault anything about it, from the moment we arrived it was like a little piece of paradise, totally isolated from the outside world.



A thoroughly relaxing few days surrounded by breathtaking countryside. The retreat is perfect for a get-away, a wind-up/solar radio kept us company if we wanted it and allowed us to listen to the England football match in the Euros. Would definitely recommend.



The hosts were really organised, the hut was clean, well stocked with crockery etc. I liked that there were a few basic dos and donts but we weren't overwhelmed with rules. I felt that everything lived up to the description and photographs online. The stay was relaxing, peaceful, really shut off from the hub bub of the world, which was exactly what we wanted.



We had the most wonderful time possible at Big Sky Retreat. The Yurt was spacious, warm & comfortable and provided us with everything we needed for our stay. The walled quarry garden with pond was beautiful, the view across the valley was breath-taking and the tree swing is without doubt the most enjoyable place I have ever rested in my life. The host Alison gave us a lovely welcome and we would very much like to thank her, we really did have the best holiday of our lives. In our entire time there the only disturbance we had was from the occasional tractor rumbling-by along the lane used to access the Yurt. We also very much enjoyed the wild-life in the area with constant chorus of bird-songs and the occasional visits from Deer, Birds of prey and even Bats collecting flies from the pond at dusk



Idyllic and secluded position in the Devonshire countryside. We had a lovely couple of days staring at the view, the stars and the outdoor fire!



Absolutely fantastic! Never been to such a serene and beautiful place. I felt like I'd stepped into a novel.



Excellent location, a superb place to stay, homely, stylish, back to basics, comfortable, relaxing and fun. Big Sky Retreat is perfect for a relaxing break, you have just got to try it, you wont make a better choice this week.



What a beautiful and magical handcrafted yurt in the most idyllic setting. We both adored the gorgeous panoramic views of the Devon countryside and loved the variety of nature surrounding us - from birds of prey soaring above us to ducks in the pond and from newborn lambs in nearby fields to wandering calves on the country roads. We enjoyed a 15 mile walk around the local area, lovely food and drink in local pubs (The Lamb Inn and The Stag Inn) and, above all, savoured the calming mood and ambience of the yurt. We left reluctantly but feeling refreshed and truly inspired by the beautiful haven Scott and Alison have created. Thank you for a relaxing and memorable retreat! Shaun and Natalie.



We had a very relaxing stay, spending most of our time enjoying the yurt, looking out over the sweeping views. We were plenty warm enough once the fire got going, even though it got down to minus 5 outside. We ventured on one long walk to the lamb Inn, in Sandford and were fortunate that Scott spotted us walking back and offered us a lift. Would definitely recommend!



We planned to pick a place away from the world, where we could simply enjoy our own company, enjoy the views, read some books and while away the hours unwinding. Big Sky Retreat was perfect!! We arrived on the Thursday, left on the Sunday fully relaxed. The cabin is lovingly care for and decorated, and the views over the valley were lovely. Although through most of our stay the rain poured down, we were not in anyway put out. The log burner kept us nicely warm and cosy, while we had enough food, games and books to while away the hours, as we slowly settled into a slow pace of life for the few days of our stay. If you want to go for a walk there are several to go on, you can even walk to the local pub, which we heard was very nice but didn't go ourselves. Totally would recommend this great little place to anyone wanting some time away.



Absolutely amazing!! Loved every Minute of it. I have never been so relaxed in all my life. 100% going to go back in the summer.



Lovely secluded and peaceful spot, so nice to be isolated from the bustle of everyday life and rely on solar power and wood burning stove. Beautiful views, and very very friendly hosts. Really loved the wooden construction and wide windows looking out and down over the valley.



We had a fabulous stay at the Big sky retreat. it was really very special. The hosts were welcoming but they gave us space to enjoy the beautiful cabin. The place is really romantic and is very special and I would recommend anyone to stay here.



My husband and I visited Big Sky Retreat for our first wedding anniversary and it was even more magical than we imagined and hoped for. The setting is beautiful, even when it rains; a cross between a quirky Hobbit home and serene Byron landscape. Everything you could possibly need is catered for (including a bug catcher for those not totally at one with nature!) and our plans to explore barely happened as we just didn't want to leave. Big Sky Retreat is perfect for getting away from the hustle and bustle of normal life; no wifi, no electricity, plenty of calmness and relaxation.



This was our third time staying at the big sky retreat. We loved using the outside fire to cook and had a very relaxing time. We did not want to leave.



WOW WOW WOW! I thought Big Sky Retreat looked special but it far exceeded our expectations despite the fact it rained most of the time we were there. Great to switch off, no WIFI, iPads, Facebook! Or even lights and telly!!! Instead cards and chat by candlelight over a glass of vino or 2. Perfect!



Idyllic stay, only wish it had been for longer because I'd like to have spent more time around the yurt itself - there were several great reading nooks I didn't get chance to enjoy. The location was lovely, on a sun trap of a terrace with a great view and completely secluded. Loved it!



We were greeted by Alison, who was a great host, and walked down to the big sky retreat. As we turned the corner and first caught a glimpse of the beautiful yurt, we knew we were going to have an amazing weekend. The scenery of green luscious fields rolled on for miles. We were lucky enough to have blue skies which we were able to view whilst laying on the suspended trampoline - which was an incredible feature. Our dinners were cooked over a fire pit everyday which added to the experience. Without phones, laptops, computers or any media, it was a great chance for us to shut of from the everyday hustle and bustle of working life. We played board games, made up songs and just laughed the late evenings away - with a few *cough* glasses of wine. The bed was cosy, the yurt was cute and it was sad when we had to leave. We would 100% return one day.



From the time we arrived we were made to feel very welcome, Alison and Scott have obviously put a great deal of time and thought into creating this Eco paradise. We both thoroughly enjoyed our stay and hope to return sometime in the future.



Celebrating golden wedding. Beautiful location and novel but good accommodation.



It was a wonderful first experience. Not to difficult to get to, stayed there as a romantic mini break and couldnt of been happier with my experience.



It was just so wonderful. Peaceful and relaxing. The yurt had everything we needed and having no electricity just made it even more of an escape. Perfect for relaxing in the sunshine on the grass, perfect for looking at the night sky, lots of footpaths to explore the area. Basically just the best place to unwind and get away from the city. We could have stayed forever.



We stayed at the Big Sky Retreat for 2 nights as a babymoon/husbands birthday. We had not used C&S's before and were not 100% sure what to expect but we loved every minute of our stay. The outside area was well kept and the view stunning. The inside of the yurt was spotless, homely and had everything we needed. We arrived and called Alison who came up 5 mins later to bring us ice blocks and show us around quickly. Once this was done she left us to our own devices for the entire stay, we felt so comfortable and safe, we would love to go back.



It was beautiful. Relaxed, private and far from the maddening crowd.



Lovely set up,very remote cosy little yurt with nice log burner. Host very friendly and knowledgeable.



Absolutely loved it. The view, the remoteness, the lack of charging facilities for mobile phones - everything was great.



"Absolutely amazing! The location was par to none and the yurt was fantastic, romantic and cozy! Truly a wonderful stay!"



"As a couple we had an amazing stay, we wanted to escape our everyday busy lives and this was THE PERFECT place. We arrived and were so pleased with our choice. There is a binder with all you need to know in it from places to walk, eat/shop, bike/tandem hire, shooting ranges there's a little bit for everyone. The views are outstanding and as for the yurt it has been cleverly designed and well thought out. The hand made items added a warm and quirky feel to the atmosphere, as for the toilet it provided plenty of laughs on the first night and was some what of a novelty. For a December stay warm cosy nights spent by the wood burner were enhanced by all the games that had been provided but we did learn we are a little to old for twister. We have decided to book again for the summer time as we feel we could get so much more from the big sky retreat. It truly was a great stay."



"Staying at the Big Sky Retreat was by far one of the best breaks away that me and my husband have ever had! From the moment we arrived walking down the hill to found the delight that is the Big Sky Retreat wooden yurt to the moment we left we felt so relaxed and I long for that way of life all the time! The interior is stunning and the finishes are perfect! Shabby Chic heaven!! Lovely and warm with the wood burner that kicks out heat! It comes with everything you need. Little Tip: Bring some torches - it gets very dark at night. But candle light is perfect. The owners are extremely friendly and didn't bother us at all, but it was nice to meet them when we first arrived. They left us alone for the whole break but where still available if you needed anything. Words literally can't describe how amazing this place is, stunning, beautiful and tranquil. Thank you for letting us stay :) x"



"What a beautiful place! Perfectly hidden away in the Devon countryside with inspiring views across rolling hills of farmland. Seclusion, privacy and a true sense of closeness to the environment situated in what appears to be a very small and disused sandstone quarry where a pond has taken root and filled with life. This is genuine relaxation only made better by accommodating and unintrusive hosts with obvious skill and imagination in the way they have created this idyllic retreat."



"Fantastic stay, it was our honeymoon and we couldn't have picked a better place for it the beautiful views, quiet mornings and wonderful accommodation."



"We had a wonderful time at the big sky retreat. The views were stunning and the yurt was beautiful and cosy. It was lovely and peaceful and we will certainly return one day."



"The accommodation was fantastic, but we were completely blown away by the view and the fact we were completely alone to enjoy the scenery and the tranquillity."



"It was everything we could have hoped for and more a perfect romantic getaway. The yurt was just so beautiful and the location outstanding. Can't praise it enough."



"Thank you for such an amazing few days. My girlfriend and I absolutely loved it, favourite feature of the yurt was definitely the bed, so cosy having the bed in the wooden box with the light peering through the cracks in the mornings. Absolutely gorgeous location and would love to come back again."


Reece & Paige

"Beautiful wooden yurt in the middle of nowhere, quiet, private, beautifully made."



"had a brilliant stay at big sky. it was so relaxing and quiet words could not describe. will definitely be making another visit."



"We loved our stay!! It had such a romantic atmosphere, set in an amazing location to make the most of the view!! Highly recommended to all couples!!"



"We had an absolutely wondrous time at the Big Sky Retreat. The views across the valley were magnificant, the yurt very cosy and our hosts were welcoming and kept the place very clean. There were plenty of opportunities for nice walks around the valley to come back to a roaring log fire. Don't try going off piste across the fields, as my girlfriend discovered coming up to her waist in mud."



"We absolutely loved our stay. Alison and Scott were very friendly and helpful. The yurt itself was amazing and the views were spectacular. That place was balsam for the soul."



"Fabulous location, quirky accommodation and loved the supply of pre ordered provisions."



"It was amazing! We had such a relaxing, chilled out time and thoroughly enjoyed the design and decor of the yurt. The views were incredible (despite the rain) and we left feeling re-energised. The best was all the lovely, thoughtful details that Alison had put into creating the yurt i.e. the solar lamp, the spare blankets, the wood burner, the sofa by the window and the awesome Scandinavian-style bed! The only thing missing was the trampoline swing off the website, but totally understand that they had to remove this due to the weather."



"Really excellent - would love to go back... but maybe when its more likely to be warm and sunny as it rained most of the time, but we did still manage to get a walk in. As it was November and got dark early we sat around most of the time in candle light which made our "minimoon" all the more romantic. Alison was really friendly and accommodating to our needs and requests."



"We had a fabulous stay. It was our 5th Civil Partnership Anniversary and being surrounded by all the lovely wooden elements was very fitting."



"we enjoyed our stay very much, the yurt was beautifully constructed and the interior had been given much thought and had been lovingly furnished. The location was perfect with great views across the valley."



"We had a fantastic stay at Big Sky Retreat - wonderful yurt, excellent location, and a great trampoline swing!"



"We absolutely loved our stay"



"The views were amazing. The peace and quiet was heavenly. The yurt its self was lovely so well made and looked after you just sat there thinking I wonder what that was in its former life"



"The yurt is an incredible building in a beautiful, quiet and stunning location. We'd stay for a month if we could. A big thank you to our hosts, we especially appreciated the pre-ordered local shopping and their home grown salad. The best was a whole day reading and soaking up the incredible views. The worst was having to leave."



"We had a warm welcome on arrival. The yurt looks even better up close and there was a real sense of care and attention to detail. The setting is idyllic and we had fine weather to appreciate it. We enjoy walking and there's plenty to choose from either setting off from the yurt or a short drive north or south to the nearby national parks."



Absolutely loved it. Beautiful yurt in an amazing location. Alison was a lovely host who was very helpful and welcoming. We would love to return one day



"We had an amazing weekend. The owners were lovely and every detail was spot on. I would love to go back one day."



"Our stay was very enjoyable and as soon as we arrived we knew we had made the right decision. It was just what we had hoped for and I was very pleased we had booked."






"The location is stunning, the views were beautiful and the photos do not do it justice! The yurt was beautiful; having no electricity was not a problem and we didn't even use the solar lights, choosing to use lots of large candles instead! The log burner was easy to use, keeping it nice and warm inside. The food was lovely. We cooked for ourselves mostly but took the offer of the curry, which was pretty tasty. The owners are lovely and I would return.  It was so nice to be secluded from the world and play games (provided in the Yurt) in the candle light with a bottle of wine."



"We really enjoyed our stay. The owner was lovely and gave us all the info we needed. The Yurt was well looked after and had EVERYTHING we needed there. The views were amazing and it was so peaceful - just what we were looking for."



"We had an amazing time at the yurt! The surrounding area was absolutely beautiful with great views for miles. The yurt itself had clearly been built with love and the attention to detail with the storage spaces and little kitchen was fab. We really enjoyed keeping the fire going (although we clearly need more practice!) and it kept the yurt nice and warm. We had dinner the second night at the pub recommended by Alison and the people and food there were lovely. The only thing that could have made our stay better would have been the sun coming out to make full use of the big swing and fire pit!"



"Big Sky Yurt was truly beautiful; the surrounding countryside and the location the yurt is based within is stunning and utterly peaceful.  The yurt itself is full of personal touches to make the stay unique, and it had everything we need.  We especially loved the romantic feeling from the furnishings and hearts carved into the bedroom doors; arriving after a long drive from London to watch the sunset over the valley whilst laying on their large 'swing' was magical.  I would love to come again for a relaxing weekend to get away from it all."



"We absolutely loved our stay, it was so relaxing and lovely to really get back to basics (luxurious basics admittedly!) The village is within walking distance should you need to pick up extra food and such but we took most with us a good stack of books and a wind up radio and loved bunkering down in the cabin of an evening or enjoying the last of the September sun by day. The cabin is beautifully finished, with gorgeous detailing and is ABSOLUTELY IMMACULATE - for reluctant campers such as ourselves it was perfect! The ideal place to 'relax and reset'  for two busy city folk."



"Brilliant time, amazing place, so much wildlife and quiet...Didn't want to leave, wouldn't change  a thing!"



"We had a WONDERFUL time. This location is utterly brilliant. Quiet and secluded but with lots of scope for exploring. The weather wasn't brilliant but it didn't stop us making full use of the outside seating area, the huge swing - I woke up very early on the Sunday morning and went back to sleep on it under a blanket, heaven!"



"Had an amazing time - totally away from it all and really well kitted out. Loved it so much we have decided to take the whole family away to a similar place. Very friendly owners with right amount of input from them. Gorgeous!"



"We had an absolutely brilliant stay. The location is stunning and the Yurt is better than it seems in the photos. Inside and out was immaculately clean. Very homely and the log burner kept us beautifully warm despite the persistent rain. Bed very comfortable and cozy. Alison's meals that she supplied us with were excellent. A lovely family who were all welcoming and helpful. We knew what to expect as our daughter and partner had already stayed at the yurt last year so had recommended it to us. If you read the description carefully and expect no electricity, a sawdust toilet (amazingly clean, comfortable and odour free) and miles of open countryside around and are happy with these things, you will be delighted with this little gem. We would love to return."



"It was wonderful, the yurt was fantastic and the views were beautiful. The fact that we had so much space all to ourselves, it felt like not only was the yurt and pond ours but all of the surrounding fields too! The yurt has been beautifully kitted out and the details were lovely, like the wooden decorations, tealights and solar powered fairy lights. We appreciated that all of the essentials were provided such as crockery, cooking pans, towels and blankets. "



"We loved it!  We really liked the way that we left the car at the top and couldn't see it from the Yurt so for 2 days we felt cut off from the real world. The yurt is totally secluded and there is a beautiful old fashioned hay meadow sloping down from the Yurt which was filled with flowers. Inside it is really comfortable and has everything you could need (except a tea pot).  We did a couple of walks using footpaths and back roads. The whole area is very much lost in time.  It is difficult to realise that Crediton and Tiverton are so close.  Alison Scott and their son were really welcoming and helpful  with fresh eggs but also left us to ourselves. For potential future vistors I would recommend some insect repellant or citronella candles as the pond next to the Yurt has an explosion of insect life in the evenings which drove us inside. Also there is no fridge so our G and Ts were warm although I'm sure that Alison would have provided ice if I'd asked. i just couldn't face the trek back up the hill!!!!!!  We would love to return."



Kay and I both had a wonderful time - the yurt is fantastic, as is the surrounding area. The only downside was getting chased by a cow while out walking! Some things you just can't plan for!



"Thanks for sharing your little bit of paradise with us! Love Jenny & Paul & Bump xxxx"


Jenny & Paul (and Bump)

"We had a wonderful relaxing week in this beautifully made wooden yurt. From the windows we watched buzzards, falcons, an owl, pheasants, deer; swallows swooping about above the lily pond and listened to the silence - except for birdsong or occasional cow or sheep calling. Even stormy weather was fascinating as we watched it roll over the Devon landscape. It really was a retreat from city life."


Eve & Sarah

"Just a quick note to thank you and say that we had a fantastic time at the Big Sky Retreat! It's a great location and the yurt itself is amazing!"


Magali & Paul

"Just had an amazing stay at the Big Sky Retreat! Would HIGHLY recommend it..... Was soooo wonderful! Pretty sad to be back in London I must say! Thanks Canopy & Stars!"



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The important stuff

  • Check in time is between 4pm-6pm. Please call Alison & Scott in advance if you think you may be arriving outside of these times as Big Sky isn't suitable for arrival in the dark on your first visit. Big Sky Retreat is sited in a quarry - a beautiful old disused quarry but it has high steep sides and a pond.  
  • Check out time is 10.30am
  • Big Sky Retreat is not suitable for children
  • The yurt is heated by a woodburning stove
  • Big Sky Retreat is quite isolated and there is little within walking distance. While this does mean that you’ll have some peace and quiet, we advise you to stock up on provisions and bring a good supply of books
  • Muddy shoes and boots live in the porch, please don’t tread mud inside!
  • Sleeping arrangements
  • 1 double bed


  • LPG 2 ring gas hob
  • Coolbox - ice blocks changed daily
  • Outdoor table and chairs
  • Crockery, glassware and cutlery all provided


  • There is a compost loo in the separate hut next door
  • Gas-powered shower in main cabin
  • Please bring eco-friendly washing products

Heating, lighting & bedding

  • As the yurt is completely off grid there is no electricity, which means no sockets!
  • Solar and wind-up lights are provided
  • You might also need firelighters to give you a helping hand with the stove


  • There is a fire pit and swing outside (in summer only)


Outdoors & Active

The local area is filled with great ways to get out and about and experience the beautiful Devon countryside:

Kayaking and biking with Saddle Paddle in Exeter

Outdoor climbing with Vertical Frontiers

Fly fishing on the River Taw at Eggresford

Carp Fishing on Creedy Lake

Clay pigeon shooting with the Devon Shooting School

Horse riding at Hunterswood Stables, or a little further away, with a great outdoor experience of the moor, at Dartmoor Stables.

Beaches & watersports

Head to North Devon Surf School at Saunton Sands Beach near Bideford for some expert surfing instruction.

Surfing Lessons are also available from Walking on Waves, also based in North Devon near Barnstaple.


All you need is a good pair of boots... walk the Two Moors Way , explore Dartmoor or spend an amazing four hour tour of Exmoor with Jonny Kingdom.

Indoors & Active!

Rain's no excuse - you can still try your hand at indoor climbing at Quay Climbing Centre

Places to visit

The nearest village to Big Sky Retreat is Kennerleigh. The closest town is Crediton, and Exeter is the nearest big city.

National Trust properties nearby:

Castle Drogo - 'the last castle to be built in England,' overlooking Dartmoor

Knightshayes - Victorian gothic mansion with beautifully restored Walled Garden


The gardens of RHS Rosemoor are well worth a visit, as are Devon's many plant nurseries.

Festivals & events

Markets and food festivals

Dartmouth Food Festival - With cooking demonstrations from Michelin starred chefs and wine tastings in the market square, Dartmouth Food Festival is only a short drive from Big Sky Retreat and is fast becoming a staple of the foodie’s calendar. Held in October.

Local farmers' markets 

Crediton Farmers Market - The market takes place on the first Saturday in every month from 10am to 1pm. With 35 stalls this is the largest farmers market in Devon, and has been voted the Best Farmers Market in Devon for two years running in the Devon Life Food & Drink Awards.

Exeter - Thursday every week - 9am- 2pm

Okehampton - 3rd Saturday of every month - 9am - 1pm

Tiverton - 3rd Wednesday of every month

Food & Drink

Eating and drinking at Big Sky Retreat

Big Sky is quite remote, so stock up on provisions before you get there. If you need to replenish supplies, the local shop Kennerleigh Village Stores has everything you need.

lamb inn

Pubs and restaurants

The Black Dog (1.5 miles) Restaurant and bar in a nearby village - walkable.

The Lamb Inn, Sandford (5 miles) - A Sixteenth Century former coach house with open fires, low ceilings, comfy sofas, real ale and very good, affordable food.

Meet your hosts

Alison & Scott purchased their property in 1990 after having travelled and worked all over the world. Looking for somewhere to live The Good Life - inspired by American "back to the land" pioneers rather than Felicity Kendall - they toured in a caravan for thirteen years before pitching up in Devon and setting about building a house.

Environmental policy

Everything at Hookhill Plantation reflect Scott and Alison's passion for sustainability. They were off grid for 5 years, and now


they're connected they barely use electricity. The neighboring Swanney Copse, which is on a rotation coppice programme, supplies the house with wood and garden with beanpoles. Energy efficient, sustainable and rooted in the environment, the plantation uses alternative technologies and recycled materials wherever possible.


The grass gardens attract a huge range of insects and birds, including kingfishers, ducks and geese. Buzzards, sparrow hawks andd peregrines are also frequent visitors to Hookhill Plantation. If you're really lucky you may glimpse the ghostly specter of a barn owl flying past. Deer and foxes are often seen in the woods and in dry summer spells badgers can be seen at dusk digging for worms in the fields. In springtime, bluebells carpet the woodland floor. Make sure you take a basket with you, as in season, the trees and bushes are positively dripping with blackberries, sloes, greengages & elderberries.

Getting there

Hookhill Plantation, Woolfardisworthy East, Crediton, Devon EX17 4RX

BEWARE SATNAV - it will lead you down a very long and rough track and takes you to the house, rather than the yurt, which is about a mile away! So please make sure you use the directions below once you are in Woolfardisworthy.

**Check in is between 4-6pm - Big Sky Retreat is not suitable for arrival in the dark on your first visit, as it is sited in a beautiful old disused quarry with high steep sides and a deep pond**

By train

Take the train to Exeter St David's (35 minutes away by taxi). From here, the easiest way to get to Big Sky is to hop on a train to Crediton, the nearest station, a 15-minute taxi ride away - fare around £13. Trains to Crediton are not frequent so please check before you travel. Tiverton Parkway station is also close by, about 45 minutes by taxi, but this route can be expensive - up to £80 return(!). For taxis, try Arrow Cars on 07764 302301 (not Sundays), or Express Cars on 01363 777177.

By car - beware satnav, see above

From M5 Junction 27

Take the A361 to Tiverton. Do not take the first turning signposted Tiverton but continue to Knightshayes roundabout. Take the left turn to Tiverton. Go over the mini roundabout. At the second roundabout take a right turn past Morrisons. At the mini roundabout turn right (signposted Witheridge – B3221). Take the left hand turn signposted Long Drag Hill –B3127. Follow the road through Withliegh – through Beech wood. Take a left hand turn signposted Puddington and Black Dog. Follow the road through Puddington village taking the sharp right. Continue until you reach a chapel on right. At the crossroads take left turn (signposted Woolfardisworthy). Follow a windy narrow road to all the way to a T-junction. Take right (Woolfardisworthy Cross). Then follow the road up the hill, past a farm on your left, then past Gratton House, 200 yards past this is a sharp right bend corner (best to beep before you enter). Hookhill Quarry is in the middle of the bend on the left hand side. Pull in off the road to open the gate if closed... if not come in and park up! Big Sky Retreat is a short walk following the grass tracks & then path around the open quarry.


From Exeter

Take the A377 to Crediton. At Crediton go past a Shell garage on the left and follow the road until the first turning where you are allowed to take a right. Follow the signs to Sandford. Turn left at the T-junction. Take the first left. At the roundabout take a right towards Sandford. Go through Sandford to Kennerliegh. Go past the village shop on your left – continue up the hill and along the road. Take the second turning right (signposted Woolfard’y) and follow the narrow single track road for about a ½ mile until you go up a slight hill and a sharp bend. Hookhill Quarry is on your right-hand side and is the first lay-by to pull off completely from the road. Park up inside the gate. Looking south Big Sky Retreat is a short walk following the track and then path to your left.

From North Devon

With the Black Dog Inn on your left drive to the crossroads.Take the Crediton/Sandford Road. Go about ½ mile and take the first turning left (signposted Woolfard’y). Follow the narrow single track road (for about a ½ mile) until you go up a slight hill and a sharp bend. Hookhill Quarry is on your right-hand side and is the first lay-by to pull off completely from the road. Park up inside the gate. Looking South, Big Sky Retreat is a short walk following the track and then path to your left.

Booking Terms

Canopy & Stars low price promise
Book with us in confidence knowing you won’t find that place cheaper elsewhere. All of the prices we display are set and matched by our Owners. (In this world of foreign currency, we do have to say 'subject to exchange rates' for some of our European places.)

What does ‘from price’ mean?
Our ‘from price’ is based on a four night stay in low season and designed to help you to compare different prices across our collection. Some of our Owners vary their nightly rates and check in days throughout the year, so it may differ from the rate quoted below the calendar. It is quite common (although by no means universal) for places to charge a little more in peak season or for shorter stays, to cover changeover costs. Consider booking longer stays during the cooler months if you’re looking for the lowest nightly rates.

Agency Terms & Conditions

Except where otherwise specified, we Sawday’s Canopy & Stars Ltd Company No 09088366 of Merchants House, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RW act only as an Agent in respect of all bookings we take and/or make on your behalf. Sawday’s Canopy & Stars is part of the Alastair Sawday’s Group of Companies. We accept no liability in relation to any contract you enter into or for any services or arrangements you purchase (“Booking(s)”) or for the acts or omissions of any supplier(s) or other person(s) or party(ies) connected with any Booking. For all Bookings, your contract will be with the supplier of the Booking in question, and in most cases this will be the owner of the property you’ll be staying at (“Owner(s)”). When making your Booking we will arrange for you to enter into a contract with the Owner of the Booking. Your Booking with us is subject to these Agency Terms & Conditions and any specific booking conditions of the relevant Owner(s) you contract with. The Owner’s booking conditions may limit and/or exclude the Owner’s liability to you.

You may decide to make more than one Booking with us at the same time. The price charged in total for more than one Booking will always equal the prices charged separately for each individual Booking. All Bookings are available to be purchased separately at the same price as they are when more than one Booking is made. This means that any multiple Bookings do not constitute a package as defined in the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.

By making a booking, you agree that:-

  1. you have read these Agency Terms & Conditions and agree to be bound by them;
  2. you consent to our use of your information in accordance with our Privacy Policy;


  1. you are over 18 years of age and where there may be age restrictions in place, you declare that you and all members of your party are of the appropriate age.


The Canopy & Stars online booking system enables Guests to make Bookings 24 hours a day. A Booking is confirmed on receipt of a 25% non-refundable deposit for all Bookings with check in dates of more than 10 weeks away. For all Bookings that have a check in date of less than 10 weeks before check in, payment for the Booking will be required in full and the entire Booking will be non-refundable. The Canopy & Stars telephone booking line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. When using the online enquiry form, for those Properties without online booking, please allow 24 working hours for us to contact you by telephone to confirm the Booking. If we are unable to reach you by phone we will attempt to contact you by email. We will contact you during Canopy & Stars working hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm). Online or email enquiries will be dealt with in the order they are received, but please be aware that we cannot guarantee reservation of your selected dates until the receipt of suitable payment. Therefore, if possible, we do recommend that you book on the Canopy & Stars website using the online booking system.


1. Booking and payments


1.1 In order to confirm your chosen Booking, you must pay a non-refundable deposit as required by the Owner of the Booking in question (or full payment if booking within 10 weeks of the date of your check-in).


1.2 Your Booking is confirmed and a contract between you and the Owner will exist when we receive payment of the deposit and send you a booking confirmation on the Owner’s behalf. This booking confirmation will normally be sent out within 24 hours in the case of email and seven working days in the case of post, and will contain the details of your Booking and of payments made and due. If you have not received your booking confirmation within the specified time, please notify us as soon as possible by email ( Please check your confirmation carefully and report any incorrect or incomplete information to us immediately. As we act only as booking Agent, we have no responsibility for any errors in any documentation except where an error is made by us.


1.3 Where a deposit has been paid, full balance payment will be due 10 weeks in advance of your check in date and a reminder will be sent to you two weeks prior to this date, where applicable, by email. We automatically take the balance payment using the same card as used to make the deposit payment. It is your reponsibility to advise us if we should use a different card and to contact us by telephone (0117 204 7830) to arrange for alternative payment method. If the balance payment does not successfully go through as there is a problem with your card, such as it expiring, then we will contact you to try and take alternative payment. If we have been unable to take payment after two weeks of the balance due date, then with regret, we will notify the Owner who may cancel your Booking.


1.4 Except where otherwise advised or stated in the booking conditions of the Owner concerned, all monies you pay to us for a Booking will be held on behalf of the Owner(s) concerned.


1.5 Credit Card payments are processed via Alastair Sawday’s Publishing Co. Ltd who provide merchants services facilities to Sawday’s Canopy & Stars Ltd.


2. Cancellation and Amendment by You


2.1 Any cancellation or amendment request must be sent to us by email ( and will be considered and responded to within one working day of receipt. You are also advised to confirm all changes to our Customer Services Department by calling 0117 204 7830. Please ensure that you have received written confirmation of any changes to your Booking prior to travel. Whilst we will always try to help, we cannot guarantee that such requests will be met.


2.2 Amendments and cancellations can only be accepted in accordance with the booking conditions of the Owner of your Arrangements. The Owner may charge the cancellation or amendment charges shown in their booking conditions (which may be as much as 100% of the cost of the Arrangements and will normally increase closer to the date of departure). The Owner may charge cancellation or amendment charges in accordance with its own booking conditions, however for the sake of convenience only, we have outlined the Owner’s charges at clause 2.3 and 2.4 below. Please note that these are the Owner’s own cancellation and amendments charges, not Canopy & Stars’, and therefore the Owner may vary their charges as they wish, without notice to us. The correct charges will be notified to you at the time of your cancellation or amendments.  


2.3 Owner’s General Cancellation Charges:

2.3.1 Cancellation by you at any time will result in your deposit being forfeited, as all deposits are non-refundable.


2.3.2 All monies paid for a holiday (deposit and balance) are non-refundable within 10 weeks before check in date.


2.3.3 Cancellation of any holiday after it has been paid in full and at a date 10 weeks or more in advance of your check in date, will result in forfeiture of your deposit (or an amount equivalent where one was not paid as the holiday was paid in full) and the balance being returned to you. 


2.3.4  Cancellation insurance is available but will be a third party arrangement and not involve Canopy & Stars or the Owner in any way.


2.4 Owner’s General Amendment Charges:

2.4.1 Alterations to your Booking can only be made more than 10 weeks prior to the check in date, after which time alterations will be treated as cancellation. All alterations are subject to availability and may incur a £30 adminstration fee.


2.4.2 Differences in the total amount payable resulting from alterations will be refunded to you in the case of a decrease in price and paid by you in the case of increases in price.


Special note: Generally Owners will charge the above cancellation and amendment charges, however we must stress that these are a guide only and charges may differ from those shown here depending on the Owner. The exact charges will be notified to you by the Owner at the time of cancellation and/or can be found in the Owner’s own booking conditions which are available from the Owner on request.


3. Changes and Cancellations by the Owner

We will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if the Owner needs to make a significant change to your confirmed Arrangements or to cancel them. We will also liaise between you and the Owner in relation to any alternative Booking offered by the Owner but we will have no further liability to you.


4. Complaints

Because the contract for your Booking is between you and the Owner, any queries or concerns should be addressed to them. In the event that you have any complaint about your stay, please notify the Owner as soon as possible. If you don’t follow this procedure there will be less opportunity for the Owner to investigate and resolve your complaint and so make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Delays may also mean that amount of compensation you may be entitled to may be reduced. Whether or not your complaint is dealt with satisfactorily, please also contact us as we appreciate all feedback. It’s important to us and the Owner to know that you’ve enjoyed your stay or if anything could have been improved.


5. Pricing

Canopy & Stars reserve the right to amend advertised prices at any time on behalf of the Owner. We also reserve the right to correct errors in both advertised and confirmed prices.Special note: changes and errors sometimes occur.


6. Information & Accuracy

The information and prices shown on this website are varied from time to time and may change between the time you first view a property and make a Booking. You should check that all the details are as you expect prior to making a Booking. It is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some of the properties (including the features and extras available) may be incorrectly described and/or priced. If we discover this is the case after you have made a Booking, we reserve the right to contact you with details of the correct information and/or pricing and will give you the option to:

(1) proceed with the Booking based on the correct information and/or pricing, which may require the payment of an additional amount by you;


(2) subject to availability, change your booking dates to dates when the pricing can be honoured ad so no additional charge to you. In the event that a lower price can be offered for alternative dates then the difference would be refunded;


(3) cancel the Booking. If we do not receive your instructions within 5 days of contacting you, we reserve the right to cancel your Booking without liability to you.


7. Our Responsibility for your Booking

Your contract is with the Owner and its booking conditions apply. As Agent, we accept no responsibility for the actual provision of the Booking. Our responsibilities are limited to making the Booking in accordance with your instructions and acting properly in accordance with our legal duties as an Agent. We accept no responsibility for any information about the Booking that we pass on to you in good faith. However, in the event that we are found liable to you on any basis whatsoever, our maximum liability to you is limited to twice the cost of your Booking (or the appropriate proportion of this if not everyone on the Booking is affected). We do not exclude or limit any liability for death or personal injury that arises as a result of our negligence or that of any of our employees whilst acting in the course of their employment.


8. Pets

Not all properties accept pets. If you wish to take your pet on holiday, please advise us before booking and we can check whether pets are accepted at the property. You must obtain the prior consent of the Owner before taking any pets to the property. A nightly charge may be made by the Owner for each pet and additional terms may apply.


9. VAT

Many of the Owners of properties in the Canopy & Stars portfolio are not registered for VAT in which case no tax is payable. Where VAT is payable, the tax is included in the advertised holiday rental price.


10. Visa, passport and health requirements.

Unless you tell us otherwise, we assume that all members of your party are British citizens who hold or will hold full British passports valid for the entire duration of the Arrangements you chose to purchase. Information on visa, passport and health requirements, where given and applicable, is so given on this basis. Requirements may change and you are therefore strongly recommended to check the up to date position with the Owner of the Booking, Passport Office, appropriate embassy or consulate or your doctor as applicable in good time before the commencement of your holiday.


11. Insurance

You are strongly recommended to take out personal travel insurance for all members of your party. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance you purchase is adequate and appropriate for your particular needs. Please read your policy details and take them with you on holiday.


12. Special requests

If you have any special requests (for example dietary requirements, cots or room location), please let us know at the time of booking. We will pass on all such requests to the Owner, but unfortunately, we can't guarantee that they will be met and we will have no liability to you if they are not.


13. Group Bookings

Not all Owners accept Bookings for a single sex group (for example, a stag or hen party). Guests wanting to make such a Booking should check with us beforehand to enable us to check whether the Owner is prepared to accept the Booking. We will then advise you accordingly. In event that an Owner does not accept this type of Booking then it is with regret, that the Booking may be cancelled and cancellation fees may apply. It is the Guest’s responsibility to enquire with Canopy & Stars and/or check on our website beforehand to make sure that this type of booking is permitted.


14. Maximum Numbers

Please note that except by prior arrangement confirmed in writing, only the number of persons specified on a booking confirmation may occupy  a property. Most owners reserve the right to refuse admittance or revoke a booking if this condition is not observed and you are unlikely to receive any refund.


15. Your Responsibilities

Please note that you have a contract with the Owner of the property. As such you are under a responsibility to behave in a proper, appropriate and legal manner whilst staying at the property with due respect to the Owner, the Property and other guests and their property. You are responsible for informing the Owner of any losses or damage to the property as soon as possible. Please note that you will be liable to pay the Owner for any losses or damage to the property caused by you or a member of your party (except reasonable wear and tear). Some Owners will also require damage deposits. You must also leave the property by the check-out time specified on your booking. If any guest behaves inappropriately or improperly (of which the Owner will be the final judge on their Property), or illegally, the Owner reserves the right to ask the guest and their party (at their discretion) to leave the Property before the end of the holiday period and/or refuse any future bookings from you.  Any refund for so doing will be at the entire discretion of the Owner. In addition, the Owner reserves the right to sue the guest for any loss, damage or injury caused to the Owner, the Property or to other guests and/or their property. As agent, we will have no liability to you in these circumstances. 


16. Governing Law and Jurisdiction

These terms and conditions have been drafted in accordance with and are governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any and all disputes arising out of these Agency Terms & Conditions.


17. Discrepancies

In case of a discrepancy between these Agency Terms & Conditions and any other Canopy & Stars literature, these Agency Terms & Conditions shall prevail.


18. Validity clause

In the event that a court finds that a condition in these Agency Terms & Conditions is illegal or void, the illegal or void provision will be severed from the remainder of the Agency Terms & Conditions, which will continue to be valid and have full force and effect.