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The Devon holiday lodges for dream get-aways, making sound business sense for their owners

Holiday Cabins

Want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life by spending a relaxing break in the beautiful Devon countryside, in luxury accommodation with a Scandi contemporary vibe?

Binneford Holiday Lodges are definitely the answer to your staycation dreams; a trio of stylishly furnished three bedroom Norwegian Log cabins, sited in 40 secluded acres overlooking Dartmoor, and yet only a 10 minute drive from the A30.

The brainchild of businessman Gary Bulley, the recently-opened holiday lodge development is already proving extremely popular with guests, with five star Trip Advisor reviews and a packed advance bookings schedule.

Born and bred in Devon, Gary had moved back to the county after running businesses in the Midlands. He settled on a 83 acre farm nestled between the north Devon coast and Dartmoor. When a further 40 acre plot of land came up for sale just down the lane, he decided to invest thinking he could use the plot, predominantly woodland, for his off-road driving hobby. He quickly realised what a beautiful, secluded spot he had bagged, and, ever the entrepreneur, began to explore options for high-end tourism use.

Teaming up with his daughter Gemma, who now has a stake in the business, he started to research local companies who could provide lodges. “I found a nearby business that sold wooden chalets on a caravan chassis, but the prices shot up whilst I was thinking about it and I wasn’t convinced by the quality,” he explains. “So I then found Norwegian Log on the internet, went to Reading to tour the show homes and met Ed. For not a huge amount more than what I had been considering, I could buy a genuine log cabin, as opposed to a prefab with wooden boarding on the outside, which is obviously far better quality, and really fits into the environment. ”

Once he’d made his decision, he created a business plan with a £500,000 budget for the accommodation, groundworks and services. He employed a specialist to assist with planning, which was approved in 12 weeks. After two pre-site visits by the Norwegian Log team, construction started and in just four months the cabins were ready for furnishings and final fittings. “We thought three lodges seemed to make sense, making the site really manageable as a family business,” Gary says.

“As the lodges are high-end, and set in such a stunning location, I’m able to charge a decent weekly tariff and my plan is to pay everything off in around five years. I used my own money, which was tax free, and I was able to offset the cabins against corporation tax, so they made sound financial sense,” he explains. “I also wanted to provide a future for my daughter and grandchildren, as her ultimate goal is to be here full-time.”

Gary has an advisory role on carbon reduction in the logistics sector and is passionate about minimising carbon footprints. “Our Norwegian Log cabins are made from timber that is responsibly sourced from managed slow-grown forests. And the whole Binneford Holiday Lodge site is based along similar principles. All the tracks are made from stone quarried here, and the logs for the log burners come from the nearby woodland and airdried on my farm using a renewable energy woodchip system,” Gary points out. “And if there’s lots of trees on site, which there are, then you really should have log cabins!”

“Then you have the ambience and lovely pine smell inside the wooden lodges, which visitors just love, and they are so well insulated and warm. Guests also adore the look of them, I’ve had so many positive comments about how nice they are and also how much room there is in each cabin. It’s not like being in a hotel where you are confined to one room,” he adds.

Other benefits include there being no need to decorate and “the wall surfaces are so resilient, I don’t have to worry about hand marks or knocks. And you don’t have to use rawlplugs when fitting anything like mirrors onto the walls. It’s so quick and straightforward”.

Each cabin has an on-trend furnished open plan living area and sleek kitchen, with bifold glazed doors onto a deck with a luxury hot tub. Catering for families of six, there are twin bedrooms in each, along with a double bedroom and a spacious master bedroom with en suite shower room, plus a family shower room and separate toilet.

“I was able to design the layout exactly as I wanted and was quite particular about the master bedroom having an en suite. I’m a firm believer the person paying the holiday bill should definitely have the best room by far,” he laughs.

It's warm and it's cosy; it's solid and it's quiet. The fragrance of pine reminds you of Scandinavian forests and summer evenings. Your imagination starts to take you places. You imagine a wood burner, perhaps a desk or why not just some space to think?

Our show home is 35 years old, yet customers still say it looks and feels brand new. That's the quality of our workmanship and the materials. When you step into a Norwegian Log building you're stepping into a feeling and just like our buildings it's one that will last.

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