Cowichan Bay’s Old Farm Bed and Breakfast combines old world charm and grace with a lovely setting

The view from the window of the Koksilah room

There are many stunning newer and more modern accommodation options on Vancouver Island, but Cowichan Bay’s Old Farm Bed and Breakfast has captured a chunk of my heart. The 104-year-old three-storey home was designed by self-taught architect Samuel Maclure, a leading creator of high-end homes for Victoria’s elite during the early part of the 20thCentury.

Generous sized rooms harken back to the aristocratic beginnings of this B&B

            The Old Farm is located just off Cowichan Bay Road, overlooking two immaculately groomed acres of lawns and gardens and the confluence of the Koksilah and Cowichan Rivers. The peaceful sweeping views combine with the generous-sized rooms, heritage architectural details and a number of original fixtures to offer a peaceful respite from the modern world. The estuary serves as a bird sanctuary, and our visit yielded up a sighting of three playful otters scampering across the sand at low tide, headed who-knows-where.           

Original architectural details like this doorknob from a century ago add interest and charm

While the Old Farm radiates all the charm and grace of a well-built home from a century ago, it has undergone some upgrades to ensure the comfort of guests.  The rooms are decorated in Laura Ashley motif and offer small comforts such as wicker chairs and very large closets, part of the original design. We enjoyed a dazzling view from our bedroom, which was very quiet despite the bed and breakfast being located so near the road.

            Breakfasts at the Old Farm are traditional and hearty – no high-end cuisine here, but more what you might have expected at a farmhouse table. In addition to a huge slab of cheese, several different breads, coffee and juice there was a large platter filled to overflowing with sausages, bacon, fried mushrooms, pan fries, fried tomatoes and onions and omelet. It was enough to feed an army, and certainly kept us going well into late afternoon. Our friendly hosts ViviAnne and Laurids joined us for conversation as we were tucking in to our generous meal.

A hearty breakfast is enough to keep guests going well into the afternoon

            A wander on the property brings still more delights.  There is a spacious gazebo with yet another lovely view, perfect for a quiet cup of coffee, reading or just hanging out. There is a hot tub on the grounds, and a stroll along the sloping path along the back lawn takes visitors right down to the estuary flats and the old dock. There is so much old-world charm at the Old Farm – for those who enjoy taking a step back in time to a slower, gentler era this is a good fit.

            The Old Farm Bed and Breakfast is located at 2075 Cowichan Bay Road, about a mile from the village of Cowichan Bay.  Information on room availability and rates can be obtained by visiting their website at:


Sunset over the estuary

 GPS co-ordinates are:

            Lat. 48.7453001 

            Long. -123.643132

            N 48 44.718  W 123 38.588



About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers.
In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.

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