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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Dartmoor farmhouse with comfort and tradition for families, groups, workshops

Bedrooms 5
Half Baths1
Space 1,100 sq. ft.
Property type farmhouse
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

South facing 17th century granite longhouse in heart of Dartmoor National Park.

Lower Blackaton, a south-facing 17th century Devon longhouse in the spectacular setting of the Dartmoor National Park, is ideal for gatherings of family and friends, as a base for walkers, riders or kayakers, or with the addition of a beautiful 47ft converted barn for workshops and special occasions. Completely refurbished with all modern conveniences since it was a working farm, it has retained its traditional Dartmoor character and is surrounded by wild open country with superb views. There are beds for 12 in 5 bedrooms. The smaller of two sitting rooms and a landing can also be used as bedrooms, one with a double futon bed, the other with a sofa bed. As well as an Aga in a traditional farmhouse kitchen, 2 wood burning stoves and oil-fired central heating, it has a comprehensive library of books, CDs and games for all ages and a piano. In the informal grounds (approx 1 acre) there are picnic tables, BBQ and childrens' play equipment (including a trampoline), and a walled flower and herb garden in a listed ruin. A 45ft barn, originally an older longhouse, can be rented with the house to provide as a venue for parties, special meals, workshops, conferences or just as a lovely open space. The picturesque village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor and a bronze age settlement are within walking distance. Low, mid and high season rates for smaller groups (up to 6), or for up to 12 (larger groups only by arrangement with the owner). Weekend or mid-week short breaks in mid and low season. B&B is also sometimes available outside the main holiday seasons.

Property Manager
Judy Lomax
Member since: 2009
Speaks: french, german
Response time:
Within 2 days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
June 6, 2017

About Judy Lomax

David and Judy Lomax have owned Lower Blackaton since 2003 and already knew Dartmoor well. They met and at university in Oxford, and in the 1960s, when she was teaching and he was the BBC’s reporter for the south west, lived in a cottage at Clearbrook on the southern edge of the moor. Later while David’s TV reporting work took him all over the world for BBCTV's Panorama and Newsnight programmes, they lived for 36 years in Berkshire but spent many family summer holidays in the West Country.

Apart from their interest in journalism, writing and photography, David and Judy are both keen sailors and members of the Royal Cruising Club. They have cruised extensively in their 35ft yacht Cloud Walker exploring the Atlantic, Baltic, and Caribbean, and visiting, among other places, Spitsbergen, Iceland, Greenland and the Azores. In 1991 they were members of the crew of Gaia, a replica Viking ship, on a voyage from Norway to Washington DC via L'Anse au Meadows, the Vinland where according to the Sagas the first Vikings landed in North America 500 years before Columbus. This six-month expedition was the subject of one of Judy’s five books and of a TV documentary by David. They have also sailed the Norwegian coast from Oslo to Kirkenes and then to Murmansk. Judy’s subsequent pilot book Norway, published for the Royal Cruising Club's Pilotage Foundation by Imray, is now in its second edition.

David and Judy, whose numerous grandchildren stay at Lower Blackaton whenever possible, celebrated their golden wedding in 2012 with a party on midsummer's day. More than 100 friends and family kept dry in the top barn, the newly rebuilt open-fronted barn, a marquee and under tarpaulins rigged up by their Norwegian son-in-law. Food and the marquee were provided by Ullacombe Farm catering, music by Art Deco, a superb jazz band complete with sousaphone, and grandchildren made full use of a bouncy castle in torrential rain.

Judy Lomax purchased this farmhouse in 2003

Why Judy Lomax chose Teignbridge

Way back in the 1960s when David was the local regional reporter for the BBC, we lived for a while on Dartmoor, and always wanted to come back. After 36 years in Berkshire it was time to make this dream come true, and we feel fortunate and privileged to have found Lower Blackaton. For the first few years, we lived in a building site, doing up first the house, then the lower barn (in which we now live while holiday makers are in the house), and finally the beautiful upper barn which is now available with the house for special events, workshops etc. Last of all, we rebuilt the curved partially open fronted barbecue barn. David and I have enjoyed sharing our beautiful home and its wonderful Dartmoor setting with others. After he died (in September 2014) the house was closed for a while for some refurbishment (new windows, decoration, repointing). It is now available again for self catering groups (and B&B guests out of season).

What makes this farmhouse unique

When we decided to move back to the west country from Berkshire, we were looking for somewhere with a wow factor, if possible on or near the high moor. We wanted to be able to walk from the front door without using a car, to have room to gather our large family together, and longed for the sense of freedom of Dartmoor's wide open spaces. From the moment we leant over the gate we knew Lower Blackaton was that place, although at the time much of the house and the listed ruin which is now our flower and herb garden were almost hidden under creeper, the massive fireplaces had only tiny openings, and the barns were in a sorry state. With the help and expertise of a skilled local builder, our dreams for the house and barns have come true. It has been the setting for our own family gatherings (including our golden wedding party in 2012, and oldest grandson's wedding in July 2015), and for many other gatherings of family and friends who seem to enjoy the house and the moor as much as we do.


Widecombe in the Moor Farmhouse Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • farmhouse (detached)
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1100 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 12
  • pets considered
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Rural
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Sofa Bed
  • Telephone
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 12 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , ensuite with Room 1
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 4 - toilet , downstairs
  • There is underfloor heating in the ensuite shower rooms. The other shower room and the bathroom have wall heaters.
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12
  • Bedroom 1 - 2 twin/ single , narrow singles, can be made up as double
    Bedroom 2 - 1 double , 1 twin/ single , double/family room
    Bedroom 4 - 2 twin/ single , narrow singles, can be made up as double
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single , 3ft bunk beds
    Bedroom 5 - 1 double , 1 twin/ single , king size bed
  • The house can sleep 12 in the 5 bedrooms, or spread into 7 rooms using a landing futon and a sofabed in the smaller sitting room. All bedding is supplied, Travel cot also available (no bedding). Room 1 is ensuite, with two 2'6" beds which can be made up either as two singles, or as a large double. Room 4 is small, with a narrow single bed and a pull-out second bed. The room can be made up with narrow single or twin beds, or as a double. It has a dressing table with drawers and a hanging built-in cupboard. Rooms 2 and 5 have large wardrobes. Rooms 1 and 3 have chests of drawers and hangers behind the doors. Rooms 1, 2 and 5 face south over the garden with farm and moorland views. Rooms 3 and 4 have low windows with child locks. There are 2 steps between Rooms 2 and 3, and 2 staircases with handrails on both sides.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Toys ...
  • VCR
  • Child's Swing
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • forests
  • library
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • walking
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • whitewater rafting


5/5 -
(3 traveler reviews)

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Dartmoor farmhouse with comfort and tradition for families, groups, workshops
average rating of 5.0 based on 3 reviews

Fabulous place for a family gathering!

  • 5 of 5

A wonderful large farmhouse, perfect for our family gathering for my husband's 60th birthday. The kitchen was so cosy with the Aga and the living room with its wood burner. Everything there that you could possibly need plus toys, piano, books,games, big trampoline, swing and more. The kitchen was very well equipped. A very spacious longhouse with many rooms.

The garden and views were stunning, lots of room for parking and there is a barn to hire for functions.

A perfect location with many beautiful walks nearby.

Would definitely recommend.

  • Submitted: Apr 13, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

We only had a weekend break, but certainly hope to return !

  • Submitted: Feb 8, 2011
  • Stayed: Jan 2011
  • Source: HomeAway
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2 0

Great family holiday

  • 5 of 5

We were very happy at Lower Blackaton. We have rented (and enjoyed) many places over the years, but this one felt like home, rather than a rental. Plenty of beds, plenty of rooms for our kids to spread out in. The Aga in the kitchen was cosy and warm, the house was comfortable and full of books on all subjects. The wireless internet worked perfectly. The owners could not have been more friendly and helpful. It was a good central location from which to explore Dartmoor and South Devon. We had a very tasty lunch at the Old Inn in Widecombe, and great Indian food at Spice Bazaar in Bovey Tracey. For foodies, we recommend a trip to Ashburton & Rodney Cleave's butcher shop. Great hiking on the moor, beautiful long views on clear days.

  • Submitted: Sep 8, 2009
  • Stayed: Aug 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
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8 1


Nearest Airport
25 Miles
Nearest Barpub
3 Miles
Nearest Ferry
25 Miles
Nearest Golf
10 Miles
Bovey Tracey15
Nearest Train
14 Miles
Newton Abbot
Nearest Motorway
12 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
3 Miles
Car: recommended

Dartmoor National Park is England's largest area of unspoilt wilderness countryside. Ponies roam the open moor, on which there is excellent walking and rock scrambling. Prehistoric sites include Grimspound, a bronze age settlement above which the Two Moors Way runs along the top of Hameldown. Widecombe 3 miles away has a post office, souvenir shops, cafés and two pubs including the renowned Rugglestone Inn. The tower of the 15th century church is visible from surrounding tors, Dartmoor's rugged granite outcrops from which there are spectacular panoramic views. Among the nearby tors are Haytor, Hound Tor, Hookney Tor and Bonehill Rocks. Lower down there are beautiful walks along the Dart valley, popular with kayakers, and Wistman's Wood, an ancient forest of miniature oaks embedded in moss covered granite boulders. The best way of exploring the high moor is on foot or on horseback. Buzzards soar and swoop everywhere in the clean fresh air above Dartmoor's gorse and heather, rocks and rivers.

Other Activities: hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, Pilates, golf, mountain biking


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Additional Guest Fee $12.87 per person per night

The short break rate is for 2 or 3 nights.
Base rates include up to 6 people, with an additional person per night rate up to 12 people.
Pets are allowed by arrangement (well behaved dogs £10 a week, £2 a night).
Add 45ft barn from £50 to £200.

A 20% deposit is required as a booking fee. This is refundable if another booking is secured. The remaining 80% is payable one month before arrival. This is only refundable if another booking is secured.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the manager or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

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