The first thing to note is as utterly stunning as this place is, due to the nature of the holiday, it’s not suitable for young children. Even the owners recommend no children under the age of two.
We left Austyn at home with Nanny for this one.
This place is just something else, both for you as parents and for the kids. Remarkably, it’s surprising how quickly you get used to no electricity or “standard heating”. Yes, that’s right, the Engine House is off-grid living. Instead of all the mod-cons you are accustomed too, you can enjoy Candlelit evenings, board games, books, the great outdoors and some peace and quiet. Sounds idyllic? It really is.
Think Little Red Riding Hoods Grandmothers cottage with 30 acres of woodland estate and lakes to play in. Hammocks, ping pong, fishing and den building.
– Dan (owner)
The kids had the most fantastic time collecting the wood for the fire each morning. They would rush back and then run off again exploring the surrounding woods; finding dens, seating area’s, tree swings and a whole bunch of things that ‘boys will be boys’ will delve into. We loved getting home after a day out and lighting all the candles, settling down for the evening with a family board game. The owners supply a vast range of board games and books, so I was in my element!
Although there isn’t any electricity, after just a few hours we got used to it and actually enjoyed going around lighting the candles and stoking the fire ready for the sun setting and the night sky to envelope us in our cosy retreat. Despite this, for the faint-hearted, there is a real gas cooker and a small gas cartridge fridge which kept all of our produce perfectly chilled and fresh. Don’t worry about having warm Sauvignon, I can confirm it was chilled to perfection!
Wellies or walking boots are a must if you plan to escape into the greenery for a trek in the woods, as we did every day. Coming back to a mid-morning swing in the hammocks, followed by a ping pong dual in the sheltered area of our private little woodland.
Although we came in August, it wasn’t hot and sunny all the time, but even on the chilly nights the Woodburner powered all of our hot water and radiators in the bedrooms. For those who do get unusually cold, there is also a gas valour heater and plenty of extra bedding.
The beds are fabulous – far better than mine at home! I felt so much more rested and content after our time here. In fact, we loved it so much we stayed an extra night and even then wished we had booked the whole week!
Life while here was simple and refreshing. Collecting eggs from one of the local neighbours and purchasing steak from a friend of Dan’s who let us stay for an hour or so playing with his gorgeous puppies. The local area is beautiful and everyone is so amiable. It has that vibe of leaving your front door open…
As lovers of the riverbank, Beard liking to get a fishing trip in every now and again and the kids eager to explore, the two lakes within the grounds were much appreciated. We packed up our fishing gear (rods are provided) and off we went on an adventure. It was lovely having the lake to ourselves and the kids had loads of fun catching some decent sized Tench for the afternoon. We even spotted a cheeky badger or two while there.
Angie and Dan are fabulous hosts who go above and beyond to ensure your stay here is perfect. From getting lost and trying to find the place, recommending things to do, helping us with our Autistic son and even dropping us a text to let us know of a meteor shower one night… Lovely people with a unique place. Why not try something a little bit different – you won’t be disappointed with this off-grid property.