Enjoy a stay on the farm
A NEW opportunity for Huntingdonshire visitors seeking reasonably-priced accommodation has opened up near Grafham Water. Farmer Stephen Ellerbeck, who is no stranger to diversification , has just opened three self-catering lodges at Highfield Farm, off t
A NEW opportunity for Huntingdonshire visitors seeking reasonably-priced accommodation has opened up near Grafham Water.
Farmer Stephen Ellerbeck, who is no stranger to "diversification", has just opened three self-catering lodges at Highfield Farm, off the B661 at Perry, overlooking the reservoir.
At £22 per person per night for self-catering accommodation, it is aimed primarily at leisure users of the reservoir, particularly anglers and yachtsmen. But, even with a £10 single-room supplement and a further £10 for breakfast in the farmhouse dining room, it will offer an affordable inclusive £42-a-night rate for business visitors who value a touch of rural solitude.
The three new buildings can house up to 12 guests, and each purpose-built lodge costs for £450 for a week's use for up to four people.
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The Ellerbeck family has been farming in Perry for half-a-century, now producing cereals, pulses and oilseed rape on 700 acres of south-west Huntingdonshire arable land.
The farm started to diversify its activities in the mid-1990s when Mr Ellerbeck's wife, Lynne, opened a children's nursery on the farm - an activity that moved off-site in the late 1990s.
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About three years ago, the family converted a derelict stable and barn into an office for an accountant. The latest venture provided an alternative use for part of the farm that had been occupied by other buildings that were ripe for re-development, Mr Ellerbeck told The Hunts Post.
The lodges are set in serene countryside just five minutes walk from the eastern edge of the reservoir and provide en suite rooms, shared facilities with washing machine, freezer and sink, he added.
"We wanted to breathe life into an unused part of the farm, replace some unsightly buildings and provide a much-needed amenity for the local area. Grafham Water sport and tourism are an essential part of our local economy and everyone benefits from it."
Last weekend, the first since the lodges opened, saw a dozen fisherfolk filling the new facility, and bookings are already looking healthy from the end of August, Mr Ellerbeck said.