Frequently Asked Questions
Pricing Go To Top
Is there a day rate?
Currently East Down is a residential venue only. If visitors wish to come for a day to join a group that is staying with us then a charge of £11 is made.
Please note that day visitors count towards the maximum group number of 17.
Local area Go To Top
Are there any walks nearby?
East Down is located on the edge of Dartmoor and there are countless beautiful places to walk nearby. Please ask us on arrival if you would like more information.
Are there any shops nearby?
We are situated between two villages, Cheriton Bishop and Dunsford. Both are about a mile away and easy to reach by car. Both have well stocked village shop and post offices.
There is a large Sainsbury's supermarket in Alphington, Exeter, about 20 minutes' drive away. Some groups arrange a grocery delivery while they are here.
Are there any restaurants nearby?
There are pubs in Dunsford and Cheriton Bishop, each less than two miles away. There are also other eating venues further afield. We can provide further information when you arrive.
General questions Go To Top
Can we bring pets?
East Down is home to our therapy horses and alpacas as well as our dog Brian and cat Tommy. Much as we love animals we would be grateful if you didn't bring any more along when you visit.
What time can we arrive?
Arrival time is 5pm.
Some groups need to set up before everyone else arrives in which case the group leaders may negotiate to arrive a bit earlier. Please contact Leah in the office for more information.
Is East Down wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, due to the extreme age and irregular layout of the building, it is not suitable for wheelchair users.
Can I get to East Down by train?
The closest mainline train station is Exeter St Davids, with regular services from all around the country. There is a taxi rank at the station but the fare to East Down is upwards of £35 so it is worth organising to share if possible.
Do you recycle?
We are very keen on encouraging recycling wherever possible. We have supplied a comprehensive system of boxes which you can use to separate your waste when you come to stay.
What time do we need to leave?
Departure time is at 5pm except on Fridays when it is at 10am.
Where is the nearest train station?
Our closest mainline train station is Exeter St Davids. From there you can easily get a taxi to East Down which is about 13 miles away. It can be fairly expensive so we would suggest sharing where possible.
What is a CIC?
CIC stands for Community Interest Company. East Down is registered as a CIC which means it is a not-for-profit organisation.
What is your environmental policy?
We are extremely keen to be as environmentally friendly as possible and we are grateful for the help and support provided by our visitors.
How do I find East Down?
Please see our contact page for details.
Are there any animals at East Down?
We are lucky enough to have two beautiful therapy horses (Celeste and Buena) and three charming therapy alpacas (Remy, Reg and Radley) living here.
You will also meet Brian the dog who is very keen to get to know everyone that arrives. Brian is a free range dog but if he causes a nuisance in any way please just let us know and we will shut him in the house.
In addition to the domesticated pets we also have many wild visitors such as badgers, foxes, deer and countless species of birds.
Who do we contact regarding booking?
The first port of call is to look at our booking page which will show you the current availability of the Centre. You can then use the online form to request a booking.
Once you have done this you will be contact by Leah, our Centre Manager, who arranges all of the comings and goings at East Down.
Facilities Go To Top
Do you have wifi?
We do not offer any wifi access at the centre as we believe that our visitors find a better and more valuable connection without it.
Can I get a mobile phone signal?
Mobile phone signals are notoriously flaky in our area. However, if you walk up past the parking area to the top field you can usually contact the outside world by mobile phone and get some fresh air as a bonus.
Do you provide bedding?
All bedding is included. In order to be more environmentally friendly we only make up the beds that are going to be used so we ask you to let us know your requirements before arrival.
On departure we request that you strip your bed please.
Can we bring a camper van?
Previous visitors have brought a camper van with them but as with camping the available areas in which to park it are limited. Please contact Leah in the office for further details.
Please note that people sleeping in a camper van are counted as part of the maximum group number of 17.
Can we camp?
Being in beautiful, hilly Devon means that we don't have the luxury of many flat places! Past visitors have brought one or two small tents with them but the area is not best suited to comfortable camping.
Please note that people camping are included in the maximum group number of 17.
What do we need to bring with us?
We try to provide everything you might need for your visit to East Down, including sheets and duvets and a kitchen full of crockery, cutlery etc. Please see our INVENTORY LISTING for full details.
However, there are some things that it would be useful for you to bring along:
Walking shoes or wellies if it's wet
Slippers or cosy socks for indoors
We do provide eco-friendly hair/hand wash as it is kinder to the environment and on our septic tank! If you wish to bring your own please make them eco-friendly products too.
If you wish to use the fire pit
Where do we park?
There is a car parking area just up the hill from the accommodation barn. When you arrive you can drive your vehicle to the courtyard to unload then we request that you take it back to the parking area for the remainder of your stay.
Do you provide towels?
In order to keep costs down we request that you bring your own bath towels please. Hand towels are provided in all the bathrooms and toilet areas.
How many people can the dining room accommodate?
The tables and chairs in the dining area can be rearranged to suit your requirements but we don't recommend trying to squeeze more than 17 people in there. That is the reason for our recommended group size of 17.
How many bathrooms are there?
There are four bathrooms, each with a shower and wash basin. One of them has a bath with a shower over it.
How many toilets are there?
The two shower rooms upstairs in the Accommodation Building each have a toilet. In addition there are two separate toilets and additional sinks downstairs and in the Group Space.
Do I have to share a bedroom?
That really depends on the size of your group and the arrangements that they have made. Please contact your group organiser for details.
How many bedrooms are there?
There are seven bedrooms in total. Please see our Welcome Pack for further details.
What about parking?
There is a large parking area a few yards away from the accommodation building. You can bring your car down to the courtyard right outside the building in order to unload but all vehicles need to be parked in the parking area in order to allow for freedom of access for other cars, deliveries etc.
I have an allergy - do you have feather bedding?
All of our bedding is hypoallergenic.
Do you have a hot tub?
We have been asked this question a lot and we have pondered whether we should install one. However, after considering the environmental and cost implications we have made the decision to stay hot tub free.
What are the beds like?
All the beds at East Down are high quality divans with pocket sprung mattresses. We have had many comments regarding how comfy they are 🙂
Catering Go To Top
What do we do about food?
That really depends on you. Some of our groups self-cater, some bring their own caterer with them and others hire a caterer for some or all of their meals.
Sometimes external caterers need to stay over at East Down - if this is the case please negotiate with them directly.
The following are some contact details of caterers who have worked at East Down before:
The Homegrown Catering Co.
Set up in 1997, and still run today by Dora Johnston, the Home Grown Catering Company has it’s origins in Barnstaple’s historic Pannier Market. Specialising in vegetarian and green catering, Dora is an extraordinary and capable chef, able to turn her hand to all manner of delicious menus and culinary creations. Based in North Devon, Dora uses the very best of local produce and seasonal ingredients to create simply stunning food whilst remaining environmentally conscious. With the added bonus of having a two acre market garden Dora is often able to be in the exceptional position to pick and serve from her garden on the same day!
The Peasants Lunch Box
We are a collective of ecologically minded producers and land workers who cater with our own lovingly produced home grown ingredients. We design our menu to the specific requirements of the group we cook for. Our inspiration comes from traditional foods from around the world including, Latin american food, Middle Eastern mezze style salads, Indian, Asian and African, whilst using fresh local and organic ingredients. Choose one or several from the list below and contact us to discuss menu options:
Pasture fed lamb or beef
Home reared pork
Foraged salads and sea buckthorn, elderberry and rosehip drinks
Nourishing traditions style food
Sugar free desserts and snacks
Hand made organic cakes and desserts
Hand made fresh bread
Please note that menu options can vary depending on the time of year as we cook with in season ingredients and therefore final quotes are given several days after initial inquiries.
Customers we cook for include the healing field crew at Glastonbury festival. Crew organizer says "this is the best food I eat all year."
Contact us on 07814742653 or by email at email@example.com
Ginny has been providing delicious meals at East Down for many years. If you have a group of 12 or more give her a call on 07486 362379 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements.
Justine is a raw food chef who prepares inspired and healthy meals. If your group is looking for raw food cuisine call Justine on 01364 652 746 or 07966 414159 or email her at email@example.com.
Can we have supplies delivered?
Yes. Many of our groups make an online order and have the food delivered directly to the centre. The van can stop right outside the kitchen door so supplies can be unloaded easily.