Get ready to be knocked for six down in deepest Wiltshire. Avebury Barns comes with no fewer than half a dozen barnstormingly good holiday lets that allow up to 24 friends and family or hens to congregate, celebrate and separate as the mood takes. Need to dine together? Pick from two further barns or sit under a softly lit pergola.
The six stables cluster around a landscaped courtyard dotted with communal seating and dining spaces. No two stables are identical and each comes choc-full of character. Make yourself at home among oak beams and panelling, open mezzanines accessed up wooden ladders, Artisans of Devizes tiling and bold colours with playful artwork.
Need a family space? Windmill Hill offers a large and bright king-size bedroom on an open mezzanine and a cosy twin below. Looking for something different? Greyweathers provides an open double-bed deck up a climbing wall in the living space. Play tennis at teatime, stream at speed on F1 broadband and bring your passwords for the nine TVs.
Plenty of space out there for leg-stretching, gin-sipping and dinner-munching among 600 acres of working farm and woods inside the Avebury World Heritage Site. Cook on the coal barbecue out on the terrace with joints and sausages from the on-site farm shop.
Dine under the softly lit pergola with seating for 24 around seemingly Europe’s longest dining table. Play tennis between five and eight pm on the all-weather court. Then make an evening of it around the two firepits under deep, dark skies.
Hold onto your hats: this is complicated. Pick from six gloriously restored barns that together accommodate 24 friends, family, children, happy hens, and dogs by request. First and largest is Silbury Hill, complete with oak beams and a rich green colour palette. Silbury Hill can be linked with Long Barrow through a shared boot room.
Long Barrow, sleeping four, is cosy and compact with a vaulted ceiling. Relax amid original artwork and a contemporary, playful colour scheme beneath a vaulted ceiling. Swallowhead Springs and Longstones are cosy couples’ havens, while Windmill Hill comes with a good-sized living area and Greyweathers its own climbing wall.
You’ve nine TVs in a combination of bedrooms and living areas and a 65″ TV in The Barn, a shared dining and entertaining space, to hire. Bring your Netflix and Amazon Prime passwords for the F1 Wi-Fi. After a day up Silbury Hill, drop your mucky boots in the Long Barrow boot room.
Avebury Barns offers self-catering but with a delightful twist. As a working farm, the mooing of cattle and the snorting of pigs are never far away. So order your steak, bacon and sausages from the farm shop and they’ll be delivered direct to your doorstep. Eat all together in The Barn or back at base in small groups.
Between the barns, you’ve got eight electric ovens, seven induction hobs and seven fridge/freezers. Wrap up with a pod in the Nespresso and dump your dirties in one of two dishwashers. Prefer to play tennis or sip Prosecco? Have a word about booking our professional chef for a one-off celebration or fully catered break.
Help yourself to takeaways from Zaika Curry. Or wander just three minutes down the lane to the thatched Waggon and Horses, once an important stagecoach stop, but now offering the best Sunday carvery in town. Or try The Red Lion for gammon with rum and cola glaze or hand-battered halloumi.
Head to The Bell at West Overton for freshly sourced produce and an attractive terrace. Try a taste of Cornwall, with seafood such as crab linguine or whole lemon sole from Rick Stein’s place in Marlborough. Or dine at Dan’s on chilli-glazed tempeh or roast pork tenderloin with sherry-glazed pig cheek.
Are you sitting comfortably? There’s plenty to get through. In Silbury Hill, the largest barn here, bedroom one is a kingsize en-suite mezzanine with cot space accessed up a wooden ladder. Downstairs, bedroom two is a kingsize, while bedroom three is a twin.
Long Barrow comes with a mezzanine kingsize en-suite up a ladder and an en-suite twin downstairs. Long Barrow and Silbury Hill can be linked through a shared boot room. Swallowhead Springs and Longstones will appeal to couples (who enjoy climbing ladders), with a single mezzanine kingsize and separate shower room.
Windmill Hill offers a kingsize with ladder-accessed mezzanine and a twin on the ground floor, while Greyweathers provides three bedrooms: two kingsize en-suites and a cute low-level double suitable for kids that can be accessed up a climbing wall. On the edge of Silbury Hill in a conservation area, a silent night is a dead cert.
Plenty of excitement on the way here as you rumble through the Avebury UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the largest stone circle in the world, Silbury Hill, the largest man-made hill in Europe and England’s answer to the Pyramids. But the thrills just keep on coming once you pull up into the car park and head down into the courtyard.
It soon becomes apparent that Avebury Barns is smack in the middle of a working farm, with moos, bleats and grunts at every turn. Book your meals in the farm shop but tell the kids their breakfast comes from ‘special eating pigs’, not the farmyard pets. Say hi to your favourites as you wander the 600 acres.
With plenty of accommodation here (up to 24), there’s no need to leave anyone behind, so kids will feel right at home from the off, but you might have your work cut out keeping them off the mezzanine ladders. Nevertheless, Greyweathers has a special kids’ room accessed up a climbing wall. We anticipate scuffles.
Entertainment abounds. Bring your rackets and balls for the tennis court, available between five and eight pm, and your Netflix and Amazon Prime passwords for the nine TVs (and 65”-er in the communal Barn) dotted around the six properties. Stream stuff fast on the F1 Wi-Fi.