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Blue Monday

January 21st is dubbed blue monday….apparently the gloomiest, most depressing day of the year!

We awoke to try and glimpse the total eclipse of the Super Blood Wolf Moon, followed by the sun rising over the Devon hills, illuminating the grazing sheep and sparkling off the calm seas.

We certainly do have blue days in devon… blue skies, blue sea and wide horizons where the two meet. Living by the coast engages all your senses and we constantly appreciate each daily gift and ever changing view and are looking forward to  sharing it all with our guests in the year ahead.

So, if you need something to look forward to in 2019 book yourself some time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Our cottages are an ideal retreat and somewhere to spend  time with family, friends, loved ones – or even just with the dog!

Our special offers are available until the end of March with short breaks from just £210. Contact us for details.

Dog friendly Devon

There is no greater pleasure than running around on the beach- whether you are on 2 legs of 4!

South Devon is a dog lovers paradise, dogs are welcome in nearly all shops, pubs and cafes (some even have their own dog menus!) and the beaches are a dog walkers dream!

Here is our guide to the best dog friendly beaches in South Devon.

Beesands

Less than a mile from Beeson Farm, the traditional fishing village at Beesands is home to a mile long shingle beach from which you can take the coastpath towards Hallsands or Torcoss (both of which are also dog friendly).  Both the pub (The Cricket Inn) and the seafood café (Britannia at the Beach) offer the most amazing food, serving fish and shellfish caught in Start Bay. There is no lovelier spot to sit and eat whilst looking over Start Bay under the watchful gaze of the lighthouse. Beesands is dog friendly all year round.

Lannacombe Beach/Mattiscombe Sands

Start Point one of the most explosed penisulas on the coast and one of the best coastal walks in South Devon. The dramatic cliffs and coastal path forms a mile long headland running for almost a mile until you reach Start Point Lighthouse which has guided vessels along the channel for over 150 years.  To the west of Start Point you will find Mattiscombe Sands and Lannacombe Beach (the latter of which has a small carpark with parking for approx. 10 cars). Dogs are welcome on these beaches are you are likely to be rewarded with spotting seals basking on the rocky outcrops along the coastpath.

Torcross and Slapton Sands

Slapton Sands is a three mile long stretch of shingle beach which runs from Torcross heading towards Dartmouth. Completely level with easy parking (or walk from Beesands over the coastpath), dogs are welcome all year round. There are some great eateries where your dog will be made very welcome. Discover the fascinating WW2 history where the beach was used to practice for D Day or head into Slapton Ley nature reserve for a stroll in the shade of the woods alongside the Ley, the largest freshwater lake in the south west. Slapton Ley is a site of special scientific interest. The nature reserve covers 490 acres of woodland, marsh and reedbed habitats making it a wildlife haven for all types of birds and wildlife.

Mill Bay

Sitting opposite the waterfront town of Salcombe which lies across the water of the estuary, the beach at East Portlemouth is dog friendly all year round. A beautiful stretch of golden sandy beach (with a National Trust car park) it is easy to see why this is a favourite with locals and holiday makers alike.. The shallow and sheltered turquoise waters of the estuary are a great spot for paddling or a swim for you and your pooch. A favourite pastime with all children is to try and dam the stream which runs along the beach and into the Estuary. After a day on the beach hop on the passenger ferry and head over to Salcombe, one of the prettiest towns in the area and a water sports ad sailing hotspot.

Gara Rock/Rickham Sands

Park at Gara Rock itself or choose to leave the car at Mill Bay and take the scenic coastal path or the pleasant woodland walk up to the top of Gara where you will find the fabulous Gara Rock hotel (open to non residents) with its spectacular panoramic clifftop setting and delicious menu, its an ideal spot for a bite to eat. Head down to Rickham Sands, a beautiful secluded cove and a staggeringly beautiful coastline, dogs welcome all year round.

Bantham and Bigbury

Some of the most expansive sandy beaches in our area, both beaches are sandy with shallow waters but both are renowned surfing spots (both have excellent surf schools should you wish to learn!).

Bigbury (seasonally dog friendly) is home to the famous Burgh Island, which is accessible on foot at low tide or by the sea tractor when the tide is in.

Dogs are not allowed on Bantham beach from May-September but are allowed on the estuary at the southern end of the beach all year round which you can get to at low tide. As the tide rolls out at Bantham you will discover plentiful shallow rock pools perfect for adventures with little ones. Don’t forget your bucket and spade! Lifeguards are on duty from May to September.

After a day on the beach you can buy refreshments at the Gastrobus or head to one of the local pubs. Bantham has excellent facilities including a large carpark and public toilets.

 

Choose to stay at Beeson Farm in either the Trap House, which has a private garden , or one of our other dog friendly cottages and you will have the ideal base for exploring these beaches with your pooch. We would love to see photos of your dogs enjoying South Devon- feel free to share your photos to our Facebook page!

South Devon Diary 2019

2018 was quite a year in South Devon! From playing in the snow (a real rarity here- the South Devon rolling hills took on a new thrill!) to endless days basking on the beach in the summer heatwave, there was something new to do in every season.

Below is a taster of whats on offer through 2019, but please check our facebook page for more! In addition we run our own activities on the farm throughout the year (including a childrens Easter Egg hunt and supervised pond dipping sessions in the summer holidays)

Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series (2nd February)

The original coastal trail series race, choose a 10K, half, full or ultra marathon along the the coastpath and countryside of our local area of outstanding natural beauty.

Big Day out on the Farm (28th April)

Head over to East Soar Outdoor Experience with the (National Trust) and meet the animals, explore the farm trail and join in with the family friendly activities on offer.

Blackawton Worcharming Festival (5th May)

The quirkiest of all our local festivals! Use any tactics you can to charm as many worms from your designated plot of earth as you can! Register at the event. Also includes dog show, music and beer festival and events for all the family.

Dart Music Festival (10th – 12th May)

This family friendly event is free to attend with over 100 live acts performing at various venues around the town.

Prawle Village Fete (26th May)

Devons most southerly village is full of quirky charm. The fete on the village green is one of the highlights of our year. Traditional family fun with everything from Maypole dancing to knobbly knees contests, skittles, swingboats and our favourite- the slippery pole! Refreshments available from the Pigs Nose Inn, a wonderfully unique village pub.

Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival (31st May – 2nd June)

The best of local food and drink combined with live music on the Quayisde. Free to attend

Kingsbridge Fair Week (20th – 27th July)

Kingsbridge Fair gets the holidays off to a great start! Events including the hilarious raft race, carnival procession and lantern parade, teddy bears picnic and 10K run there is something for everyone during the week.

Dartmouth Shakespeare Week (23rd – 27th July)

The Inn Theatre Compant bring Shakesepare to the open air in the stunning surroundings of Dartmouth Castle.

Salcombe Town Regatta (3rd – 10th August)

Salcombe Town Regatta is the biggest event in the town, with lots to do for all ages on an off the water, finishing off with a spectacular fireworks display.

Frogmore Regatta (11th August)

Held by the waterside in the local village of Frogmore there is lots of fun to be had for all the family (including events on the water!)

Dartmouth Royal Regatta (29th August – 31st August)

A popular and busy Regatta with rowing races, street food, childrens activities, fireworks and more.

Kingsbridge Show (7th September)

A wonderful event in our calendar, celebrating all that is great about South Devon life! A great for a day out for all the family with a full programme of activities, attractions, local crafts, agricultural equipment and animals on show. Our children absolutely love a day out at the show!

Dartmouth Food Festival (18th – 20th October)

The best of the South West is on offer during this weekend in the heart of the town. One of the UKs top food festivals you can attend cookery workshops, demonstrations and talks or just wander the town and sample the food and drink that is on offer.

Candlelit Dartmouth (29th November – 30th November)

Father Christmas arrives in South Devon (by boat of course!). Start your Christmas shopping in the market and watch the atmospheric lantern parade.
Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas (7th December)

A one day Christmas celebration with shopping, craft market, street food and farmers market, rounding up with the lantern parade down the high street.

Festive Fun on the Farm (15th December)

Join in the festive fun at East Soar Outdoor experience (National Trust) and make your own natural decorations  and help the wildlife through the winter by making simple feeders.

A romantic retreat for Valentines Day

We love Devon and with Valentines Day approaching we thought we’d share our top romantic ideas with you!
1. Beach strolls
There are plenty of beaches, sheltered coves or romantic clifftop walks to choose from. Walk along the sandy shore of Bigbury on Sea and head over to Burgh Island at low tide. Follow the coast path from Mill Bay to Gara Rock, where you can settle down in the relaxed ambience of Gara Rock, kick back and enjoy a drink or bite to eat while soaking up the panoramic views across the sea. Try a bit of beachcombing at Lannacombe (great for sea glass) or Blackpool Sandsspring-2009-290
2. Natural Beauty
South Devon is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Get out and explore the coast, Dartmoor, strolls along the Dart or the River Avon
3. Time to Feast
There is so much choice when it comes to dining out in South Devon. Book a table at Wild Artichokes in Kingsbridge where chef Jane Baxter and her team will cook up a generous feast of flavours and dishes for you (please note this is served at sharing tables with fellow diners). We would also recommend The Beachhouse at South Milton, The Laughing Monk in Strete, The Milbrook Inn at South Pool, Rockfish in Dartmouth or The Cricket Inn at Beesands.
4. Take the train
Step back in time and hop on the steam railway from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. The seven mile route runs along the stunning valley of the River Dart to the historic town of Totnes.
5. Visit Greenway House
Take the little ferry from Dittisham or travel up the river from Dartmouth to Greenway House, home of author Agatha Christie. A fascinating family home with extensive woodland walks in the grounds and along the river.
6. Explore the towns
Wander around the towns of Salcombe or Dartmouth. Both have a mix of unique shops, boutiques and cafes, and offer lovely views across the water. Head to Kingsbridge to explore the mix of antique and shops selling quirky vintage bits and bobs.
7. Sunset at Start Point
We cant think of anywhere more romantic to watch the sunset go down than over Start Point lighthouse as it beams out over Start Bay. (photo below courtesy of Timmy Vowles Photography http://www.timmyvowles.com/)

start-point-at-night

The Trap House and Linhay at Beeson Farm both have log burners for you to snuggle up in front of. The Linhay also has a four poster bed and whirlpool bath.
Check out our special offers or get in touch- we would love to welcome you to Beeson Farm.

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Why was the sand wet? Because the Seaweed!

My children are always wandering off into rockpools in search of marine life. Many of our local beaches have excellent rockpools including Lannacombe, Bantham, Bigbury and Hope Cove.

Crabs, limpets, anenomes, shrimps, blenny and occasionally a starfish can all be found lurking in the shallow waters.

You can find a useful guide to what you might find rockpooling at Hope Cove here

http://www.hopecove.com/out-and-about/animals/rock-pooling

and a guide on How to Rockpool here

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/rockpooling-guide-for-familieshermit crab

Today at Hallsands the children found the remains of a Hermit Crab hiding inside a shell.
Hermit crabs live inside the empty shells of snail-like animals, particularly whelks and periwinkles. They live on sandy and rocky shores, where they scavenge on plant and animal remains. They have hard pincers, but a soft body which is hidden inside the shell.

Seaweed is often overlooked as the children slip and slide their way over the rocks in search of more dazzling finds. However, my children enjoyed throwing seaweed at each other using the long strands to restyle their hair!

Seaweeds are at the base of the marine food chain  Many animals rely on seaweeds for food and shelter. Changing sea conditions, climate change and the arrival of invasive species may be having an impact on the ecology of UK seaweeds and many other marine organisms.

Today we found lots of wobbly edged Sugar Kelp sugar kelp, sea lettuce and thong weed- all of which are edible if it takes your fancy- Take a look at this recipe if you are! http://cornishseaweed.co.uk/cook-with-sea-spaghetti/

seaweed spaghettiFor an in depth guide to seaweeds and to take part in the Natural History Museum Big Seaweed Survey download this link

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/content/dam/nhmwww/take-part/Citizenscience/seaweed-survey/big-seaweed-search-guide.pdf

 

The children then helpfully reminded me of the old joke “Why is the sand wet? Because the Seaweed”!