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Baby Blue Chip Collection: Review of Chisel Barn

When you travel with young kids in tow, you want things to be made easy for you.  If you’re hiring a self-catering property, it is just wonderful to have all baby mod cons provided and not have to haul your entire house with you. This is where the Baby Blue Chip collection is perfect.  Jetlag & Mayhem recently tested out one of their Dorset properties, Chisel Barn.

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Who Went

Charlotte with daughter Molly, 5 months and Justine with son Albie, 10 months.

Where did you go?

Fox Ditch, Chisel Barn, Hanford, Dorset, part of the Blue Chip Baby Collection 

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There are two barns that can be rented at Chisel Barn – Fox Ditch (2 bedrooms) and White Ground (3 bedrooms). The barn is next door to a working farm and is set in 65 acres. The owners also provide horse stables should you wish to bring your horse!   Dogs are also welcome at the accommodation.

Hanford is in the north of Dorset about 5 miles from Blandford Forum.

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When did you go?

October, outside of school half term holidays.

How was the weather?

1 day glorious sunshine, 1 day pouring with rain

How did you travel there?

By car, approx. 2hr 20 mins from South Oxfordshire.

What did you think of the accommodation?

Very spacious contemporary luxury barn conversion, converted in 2013.  Two large double ensuite bedrooms, both with plenty of space for a cot.

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Power showers, heated towel rails, underfloor heating.

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Well equipped kitchen with dishwasher, microwave and large fridge freezer. Separate utility/ boot room with washing machine and tumbledryer.

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Third bathroom, which we actually used as a bedroom for one of the kids.

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A lovely light and airy open plan kitchen/ diner/ lounge leading onto a patio with table and chairs and a small private enclosed garden with cherry trees.

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There is also a BBQ provided.  The woodburner in the lounge was helpfully on a raised platform out of children’s reach. There was a TV and DVD player in lounge and TVs in both bedrooms. Overall the barn was very well maintained with plenty of space for children to play.

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There is parking right outside the barn for two cars.

A lovely welcome hamper with local treats (biscuits, chutney, jam, fudge) was kindly provided by Blue Chip Holidays and the very welcoming owner Lucinda, kindly left fresh bread, eggs, milk, tea & coffee ready for our arrival.

What baby/ children amenities had been provided?

As one of the Baby Blue Chip Collection properties it came with all baby equipment we could need. There were 3 large storage boxes containing a steriliser, a baby monitor, feeding equipment, blender, toys, children’s DVDs, books, bath toys, night lights. The barn had 2 cots (1 a standard cot, 1 a travel cot) and 2 high chairs all in very good condition. There were also changing mats, potties and toilet steps.   The washing machine and tumble dryer would’ve of course been useful for a longer stay.

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A bonus was we didn’t’ have to clear away lots of ornaments and fragile objects within children’s reach! There was also plenty of floor space to play.

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Did you do any trips and excursions?

You can walk from the barn to the local village of Child Okeford, along a pram friendly bridleway – about a 20 minute walk. In the village there is a children’s playground, 2 pubs and a village shop with post office. There is also an organic farm shop called Gold Hill which was recommended to us but is only open Thurs to Sun so we didn’t get a chance to visit.

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We went to Shaftesbury, (about 25 minute drive north). An attractive small town with terrific views over the surrounding countryside. We ate lunch in Turnbulls which was very baby friendly with high chairs and welcoming staff  . Shaftesbury has a selection of gift shops, antique shops, charity shops (good for toys!) and two museums (not so child friendly!).

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We went to Poole on the rainy day (about 45min drive south).

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We then walked through the Old Town, via Dolphine Shopping Centre to the Quay side. If the weather was better we might have considered one of the many boat trips, to Swanage or around Brownsea Island. Instead we enjoyed a very pleasant lunch at the Quay Café where we had excellent service from a couple of young waiters who couldn’t do enough to entertain the babies and be helpful.

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The quay side has a number of restaurants and cafes. Poole has plenty of activities for older children in all types of weathers including the Lifeboat Museum, Poole Pottery (where children can paint their own pots) and Poole Park which has a large childrens’ playground, small ice rink and mini train.   And of course in the summer there are plenty of beaches and the 2nd largest natural harbour in the world!

For a longer stay and weekly provisions, there is a Tesco, Morrisons and Boots in Blandford, about 5 miles away.

 

2 comments

  1. Luke Mitchell

    This is quite amazing, and I have to admit my naivete in not knowing what a blue chip property even was! I wish I’d known about places like this when my children were still small enough to have benefitted the most, but it still seems like the kind of place toddlers will enjoy right? Will have to hope the weather cooperates when we decide to go up there, it’s definitely made our “must see” list. I love places like this that are so different from the ordinary, it’s what getting away really is all about.

  2. Becky

    Hi, I have just booked this place for a weekend trip with two other families to celebrate my 40th birthday, so we have got both barns. Is there internal access between the barns or is it just by going outside. We’ll have children in both properties at night but of course in the evening, we will want all be together in the one property. Do you think this will be ok? I’m very excited about my trip away!!! Thanks.

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