In the verdant expanses of the Exe Valley, bordering the majestic Exmoor National Park, a pioneering initiative is taking root. Cove Valley, a 300-acre rewilding project, is the brainchild of Ben and Yolanda Horne, who are dedicated to revitalizing the natural landscape and its inhabitants. This ambitious project is not only about ecological restoration but also offers an exclusive retreat with three bespoke luxury cabins, meticulously designed to harmonize with the tranquil surroundings.
The cabins, each bearing a name that reflects Old American culture, provide guests with an unparalleled connection to nature. ‘Hopi’ offers sweeping views of the valley, ‘Ukai’ is nestled among dense forests, and ‘Chatan’ delivers a unique treehouse experience perched above the woodland floor. These dwellings are the creative vision of HÁM Interiors, a UK-based studio known for its sensitive approach to design that complements natural beauty.
Each cabin is a sanctuary of comfort and style, with open-plan kitchens, spacious bedrooms, and custom-designed bathrooms. The outdoor living experience is enriched with wood-fired bathtubs and cooking facilities, inviting guests to immerse themselves fully in the serene environment. The valley itself is a treasure trove of natural wonders, with trails leading to a stone circle, streams, and lakes, all teeming with wildlife.
Cove Valley’s commitment to sustainability extends to the dining experience. Guests can savor locally sourced produce through BBQ and breakfast boxes, aligning with the site’s ethos of supporting the local economy and minimizing environmental impact. The cabins are built with sustainability in mind, featuring insulation that keeps them cozy throughout the year and wood-fired stoves for heating, thus avoiding the use of central heating systems.
The rewilding effort at Cove Valley is a testament to the power of letting nature reclaim its space. By stepping back, the Hornes have allowed the land to undergo a natural regeneration process, reviving wetlands, woodlands, and grasslands. This has created a haven for indigenous wildlife, including various species of deer, foxes, badgers, owls, and over 50 species of birds. The introduction of domesticated breeds of ancient animals has further enriched the valley’s biodiversity, painting a living picture of the land’s historical ecosystem.
The interior design of each cabin is a reflection of the natural world, with Tom Cox of HÁM Interiors at the helm. The cabins exude rustic charm, featuring timber cladding, cross motifs, and bespoke joinery that includes Navajo-inspired reliefs. Each cabin has its own distinct personality, achieved through the careful selection of antiques, weathered patinas, and commissioned artwork from Studio HÁM‘s in-house artists.
For those seeking a deeper sense of retreat, Cove Valley offers the perfect setting for group wellness experiences. The site is equipped with compost toilets, showers, and outdoor spaces suitable for classes, along with a six-meter yurt that serves as a communal space for yoga and other ceremonies.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted by the estate keeper and presented with a complimentary selection of local produce, setting the tone for a stay that is both luxurious and grounded in the principles of sustainable living. It is important to note that the retreat is currently not suitable for children under twelve, and pets are not allowed, to maintain the delicate balance of the rewilding efforts.
For those interested in experiencing this unique blend of luxury and nature, prices for a stay at Cove Valley start from £250 to £280 per night, depending on the season. A 50% deposit secures reservations for stays more than eight weeks away. Further information and booking details can be found on the Cove Valley website, a portal to one of the UK’s most exciting rewilding projects nestled in the heart of Devon.
Visit Cove Valley for a retreat that promises not just a getaway but a return to the essence of the wild, where luxury meets the untamed beauty of Devon’s landscapes.