If you dream of getting away from it all in quiet tranquillity, then the Eco-Lodges at Fair Oak Farm are just perfect. These two quirky tree houses sit close to the farmhouse, nestled in mature woodland. With uninterrupted views across stunning Sussex countryside the farm is around 12 miles south of Tunbridge Wells.
Accessed by a short set of steps or ramp the lodge is only around 9ft from the ground – so no need to worry if you’re afraid of heights! The sheltered, decked balcony then leads to the entrance of this perfectly circular tree house. Compact but surprisingly luxurious, the lodge has everything you need for a cosy and romantic getaway. The main room has a comfortable queen-size double bed from which you have panoramic views across the valley – perfect for cuddling up to watch the sunset.
A small dining area, two comfy easy chairs and a flat screen TV complete the furnishings. Cleverly tucked away behind one side of the bed is an en-suite wet-room and toilet, while on the other side is a tiny but incredibly well-equipped kitchen – complete with dishwasher, fridge, cooker, microwave (and even a washing machine)!
Creating these eco-lodges the owners, Ian & Penny Ledger, have tried to be as sympathetic to the environment as possible, using sustainable materials and planting an additional 500 trees to create an even better wildlife habitat.
We were really impressed by how utterly peaceful and private the lodge is, while at the same time it doesn’t feel remote or ‘cut off’ from civilisation – the best of both worlds! The cosy cabin is a nice mixture of feeling surrounded by nature but you definitely don't feel like you're roughing it in any way.
After we'd settled in we enjoyed a lovely, early evening stroll through winding country lanes to the nearby village of Mayfield (around 3 miles away). There are a few nice looking pubs in the village but we chose to have dinner at the Rose & Crown a popular and cosy, Grade II listed pub with friendly staff and delicious food. A good torch is a must though, if you’re thinking of making your way back to the farm on foot after dark – there are no streetlights in the country!
Following a wonderfully comfortable night we made a point of waking early to watch the sunrise – which we’d been promised was spectacular and it certainly didn’t disappoint. We were sad to leave this perfectly peaceful retreat but we left feeling incredibly calm and with our batteries well and truly recharged!
- Prices vary depending on length of stay and time of year. 2-night short breaks start from £195, whereas a full week in high season is £520.
- To book or find out more visit Fair Oak Farm
To make the most of our 'green' weekend we drove to Fair Oak Farm in an all-electric Nissan LEAF.
Electric cars are becoming more and more popular – whether it's the ultra-low emissions or tiny fuel costs being the main appeal. However many people assume they're only good for driving around town. We felt like pioneers heading off for such a long journey in a 100% electric car but knowing that our vehicle had good eco-credentials made it worthwhile.
The car was a joy to drive! Surprisingly powerful and ridiculously quiet – in fact you have to keep a close eye on the speed because there's no engine noise to give you a clue how fast you're travelling. For the most part we enjoyed the drive but there were some teething problems at charge points along the way which meant our journey took much longer than planned. My feeling is the electric vehicle charging infrastructure still needs some work to make longer trips more viable.
For advice and information about electric vehicles visit Go Ultra Low
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