Fulfil all their childhood dreams (and yours!) with this truly luxury and magical treehouse escape in Devon. Read our Dittisham Hideaway Treehouses review below.
[by Wersha Bharadwa]
Nestled deep inside the rolling hills of the south Devonshire countryside in the middle of the sleepy and historic village of Dittisham, and just one mile from the River Dart, the completely secluded Dittisham Hideaway, which is made up of just 10 luxury self-catering properties including four five-star tree houses, sits inside 12 acres of a private sun-washed wooded valley.
Dartmouth’s scenic port is only 10 minutes away and the famed and family-friendly beach, Blackpool Sands is only 15 minutes away.
The drive down country lanes bordered by patchwork fields is as pretty as it gets and offers views of the beautiful South Devonshire landscape. After weaving your way down an admittedly hairy, single-track lane you’ll arrive at the stunning and secluded estate and it’s wildflower meadows and be met with the sights of steep hills and forest greenery flanking you from every angle.
After extensive renovations in 2021 and reopening last year, hotelier and entrepreneur Peter de Savary and his family set about creating a truly unique experience which mimics that of a five-star hotel but which is in actual fact, a tranquil and exclusive family retreat offering busy families unrivalled privacy and a much needed chance to recharge and realign with wilderness.
Dittisham is made up of four luxury cedar wood treehouses, five brand new luxury Shepherds Huts, and an iconic converted vintage American Airstream from the fifties. The treehouses – Owl, Pheasant, Woodpecker and Buzzard – all sleep five in two bedrooms and five dog-friendly, shepherd’s huts have super-king beds with small living sections with one hut able to accommodate a small family too. Each shepherd’s hut comes with an ensuite bathroom featuring a rain shower.
Book yourselves into one of the smaller ones for a weekend without the kids – Oak and Cedar are arguably the most romantic – where you can soak up the scenery with al fresco G&Ts, twittering birds from treetops and champagne under twinkling stars on balmy summer evenings.
The deceptively roomy and quirky Airstream airbus also sleeps two adults and features a separate double bedroom with a kitchen/ living area and bathroom and makes a cute and quirky romantic bolthole.
Each treehouse is a small slice of your own paradise and luxury rusticity at its finest. Getting to the treehouses involves a little bit of planning as there are stairs to climb but as our little guests happily point out as they skip ahead with gung-ho attitudes, it’s all part of the adventure.
We arrive at twilight so it’s a big tick to the lone owl who hoots loudly at us above our treehouse abode just as soon as we start unlocking the wooden gate. It’s the greatest welcome we’ve ever had on a UK holiday; pure, gimmick-free nature at its wildest.
Entry is via a humungous wrap-around outdoor terrace/ living area which is where you’ll find the kids will spend a good deal of their time too. Our home for the weekend, Owl Treehouse, benefits vastly from the signature Peter de Savary keen eye for interiors and the family’s collection of artefacts and antique furniture and wildlife books on butterflies and bees.
Artworks collected throughout their travels grace the walls – it’s kind of like stepping into a Jules Verne novel. Inside, it’s airy and dramatic – as it should be if you’re staying in a circular shaped dwelling nestled in the sky.
Floor-to-ceiling windows allows an ethereal light to flood the space and you’ll gather in the evenings on the cosy L shaped sofa to reconnect and play. There’s free Netflix on Smart TV’s in living rooms, but our guess is – like all other devices – they’ll stay switched off and unplugged while you’re here.
This is next level digital detoxing and woodland living; a log burner glows in the corner, and a yurt-style ceiling features exposed beams and a round glass roof allows sunbeams to pour in every morning as your wake up call.
Discerning families will welcome all the shiny, regular trappings you’d expect in a five-star stay; (coffee machines, underfloor heating) but with the added bonus of a fully stocked kitchen with thankfully, a washing machine since you’ll be spending plenty of time in the crystal clear waters at nearby beaches.
The impressive attention to detail doesn’t stop indoors either. Outdoors, you’ll find a vast private living space which wraps around the treehouse and blends into nature perfectly with sun loungers, hammocks and a teak dining table.
There’s little else to do here except entertain yourselves and soak up the wilderness. The seclusion is a gift; perfect for stuffing yourselves with posh alfresco barbeques under the open skies and then slinking into the warm waters of the traditional wood-fired cedar hot tub and gazing up in awe at the stars.
Many a late afternoon will likely be spent nosing around the treehouse bookshelves before retreating to a glorious hammock on the deck for a few moments of peace before the kids rope you in for competitive games of table football (there are full-sized versions with every treehouse).
You’ll sink right into the plush white linen clad super king bed in the master suite which lies opposite the main living area. Egyptian cotton sheets adorn the vintage metal-framed five-foot bed alongside a hand-crafted, sheep wool duvet made by Devon Duvets, an award-winning company who make 100% natural, responsibly-sourced duvets from fully traceable British wool (there’s also the option to choose plant-based and alpaca duvets too which are equally divine). A tiled master bathroom is sleek with quality lighting and leafy views out onto the treetops.
It also features an overhead monsoon shower and comes loaded with fluffy white towels and soft, thick gowns. The children’s bedroom, across the hall and living room, comes with its own separate bathroom and shower and is filled with story books, board games and – importantly – three separate, sizeable bunk beds. Make sure to get the binoculars out when night falls; that’s when you’ll be privy to swooping owl displays.
What You and the Kids Will Love
• Alice and the team at Dittisham work effortlessly for your convenience – we arrived a little later than planned so Alice kindly lit the coals and started the wood-fired hot tub for us, knowing we would want to jump into it straight after unpacking.
• A veritable jackpot of local West Country produce and gourmet goodies including a bottle of wine or Champagne, the welcome hamper in the kitchen contains everything you’ll need for a posh English breakfast. Those staying a little longer will find most the big supermarkets offer delivery and there are local food and drinks suppliers Dittisham works with too such as the Luscombe Farm Estate who supply delicious organic orange and apple juices alongside Devon Tonic water and Devon Cider.
• Alongside the table football and woodland walks, guests get to also enjoy a boules pitch, outdoor chess board and there are racquets for late afternoon games of badmintons to burn off any extra energy.
• All the accommodation is dog-friendly and there are thoughtful maps in the accommodation for circular dog walk around the estate too.
• On rainy days, get stuck into the neat games chest and amuse yourselves with hours of chess, cards, backgammon and dominos or browse the mini libraries in treehouses
• Guests have access to electric car charging and electric wheelbarrows to help you transfer luggage from the parking area and are available for use during your stay
• In season, guests are welcome to pick vegetables from Dittisham’s own small on-site complimentary vegetable garden.
How to Book
Visit Dittisham Hideaway Treehouses & Shepherds Huts, Dittisham, Dartmouth, Devon, TQ6 0JB. Treehouses start from £250 per night in low season. To book, visit dittishamhideaway.co.uk, email email@example.com or call +44 1803 925034.