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February Half Term

Family days out that are tried and tested by us!

This half term even though the weather may require you to do a bit of forward planning there is plenty to do out and about in South Devon.

Pennywell Farm: Always a favourite with families, the gates open for the 2020 season on Saturday 15th Feb and with your admission ticket you get a return ticket valid until 23 Feb to visit as many times as you like! There have been lots of new arrivals joining the world famous miniature pigs over the winter, including heavy horses, miniature ponies and donkeys. There are lots of animals to meet, feed and cuddle as well as rides and performances throughout the day. There is lots of indoor space for picnics ad play undercover, just in case there is the odd Spring shower when you are there!
Woodlands Family Theme Park: With the UKs largest indoor play centre, exciting rides indoors and out as well as a zoo and falconry centre, families can easily spend a day exploring Woodlands. Catering for all ages (from babies to adults) there is also live entertainment throughout half term. Dress up as a princess or a superhero and children get a free return ticket making a day at Woodlands amazing value for money (tickets just £7.50 pp)
Greenway House (National Trust): Join the countryside ranger for a walk through the beautiful gardens at Greenway, once the holiday home of famous crime writer, Agatha Christie. This is a free event included with normal admission ticket, selected dates available. Wear weather appropriate clothing and sturdy walking shoes to explore the grounds. Dogs on leads are permitted.
Forest and Beach Activity Days: Drop the kids off at Forest and Beach activity centre (on the hillside behind Beeson Farm!) for a day playing in the woods, lighting fires, shelter building and cooking outdoors. The ethos of Forest School encourages children to explore the natural world through practical, hands-on experience, learning new skills through play.
There are also the same year round activities that families can also enjoy over half term including the South Devon Steam Railway, a River Dart cruise, surf school or paddleboard lessons, the Art Cafe in Kingsbridge, crabbing off the Quay, the local cinema, Dartington country estate, the tour of Start Point Lighthouse and of course all our lovely local beaches!

South Devon Beach Guide

South Devon is unique as it combines expanses of rolling green countryside, quaint villages, waterfront towns and picturesque beaches offering visitors a taste of the best the UK has to offer!

Taking your dog on holiday with you is one of the benefits of holidaying in the UK and relaxing on the beach is a perfect day out for all the family!   Here is our showcase of the best beaches in South Devon where your dog is welcome too…

Beesands: Our local mile long shingle beach with award winning pub and seafood cafe, watch the fishing boats come and go in the shelter of Start Bay, and its lighthouse. Everything you need for a day out! 2 mins drive from Beeson, 0.7 miles

Slapton Sands: A golden arch of shingle beach that stretches 3 miles along the coastline and is bordered by a National Nature Reserve. Pubs and eateries at Torcross plus good parking.  8 mins drive from Beeson, 3 miles

Mattiscombe: More challenging to access (walking only) but serene, unspoilt and with a good chance of seal spotting. 11 mins drive from Beeson 3.4 miles

Gara Rock beach: Seacombe sands is an unspoilt sandy cove nestled under the Gara Rock hotel, which is perfect for a lunch stop with the most spectacular views, 14 mins drive from Beeson, 5.8 miles

Mill Bay East Portlemouth: A privately owned beach open to the public with National Trust Car Park. Beautiful sandy beach with stream, woodland and clifftop walks opposite Salcombe. 14 mins drive from Beeson, 5.9 miles

 

Blackpool Sands: One of South DEvons most popular beaches, with cafe, watersports hire and sheltered swimming. Dog friendly throughout the winter. 18 mins from Beeson, 7.8 miles

South Milton: A National Trust sandy beach looking over the iconic Thurlestone Rock that all the family will love- even the dog! Food available at the beachhouse. 25 mins from Beeson 9.6 miles

Bantham: Golden sands, rolling dunes, surf school and a great selection of food from the gastrobus in the carpark. 30 mins from Beeson, 11.9 miles

North and South Sands Salcombe: Only a few minutes from Salcombe town centre, sandy beaches that are perfect for traditional family fun  and with places to eat. 25 mins drive from Beeson, 12.7 miles

Bigbury on Sea: A family friendly beach with surf school and vast expanses of golden sand. Walk over to Burgh Island at low tide for a drink at the Pilchard Inn (or use the sea tractor if the tide is in!) 41 mins from Beeson, 15 miles (dog restrictions apply)

 

Welcome 2020

Well 2019 was quite a year, we completed the conversion on our 6th cottage, The Stables (sleeping 4), and it has had wonderful reviews so far, many saying that the photos dont do the cottage justice…though we arent quite sure why as we think the photos are a accurate representation of the interior space! Maybe what we cant capture in a photo is the lovely relaxed atmosphere that The Stables has!

We are looking forward to welcoming returning guests and new guests in 2020.

South Devon is a really lovely place for a relaxing holiday, whether its as a couple, group of friends or as a family.
We are kicking off the year with the usual Endurance Life trail running event at Beesands and so are fully booked for that weekend.

The Easter holidays are starting to fill up with mainly returning guests but we still have good availability for the rest of the year so do get in touch and see what we can offer!

We look forward to meeting you in 2020!

The Cross Family

Open plan living and dining area

End of Summer Escapes

The end of August and beginning of September are a perfect time of year to visit South Devon! Mild temperatures, quiet beaches, stunning clifftop walks, seal spotting and beautiful waterfront towns to explore….

An ideal time of year for couples who want to explore the local area, or families with young children who arent tied down to term time holidays.

With prices from just £320 a week (special offer) you can embrace all that South Devon has to offer!

A warm welcome awaits you…

Group bookings

Beeson Farm makes the ideal getaway for a weekend or longer with a group of friends, family or for a special reunion and in 2019 this seems to be a particularly popular option.

Our cottages are all centered around the old farm courtyard, which is ideal for gathering outside in the summer months and lighting up the BBQs whilst enjoying a cold glass of homemade Beeson Farm Cider from our orchard.

Children will love to play in the table tennis room, have a game of badminton or enjoy the freedom of running around the field and playarea.

Sleeping 22 guests (plus babies in cots) throughout the five cottages there is enough accommodation for everyone. The Linhay and Dairy have downstairs bedrooms and accessible bathrooms making our cottages perfect for a multigenerational holiday.

The courtyard catches the sun all day long and the beach is a short drive or a mile long walk through the village down to Beesands. The pub has an extensive dining area and also benches overlooking the sea with views towards Start Point Lighthouse.

The local area offers plenty of ideas to entertain all ages, from adventure theme parks to National Trust properties as well as the picturesque waterfront towns of Salcombe, Kingsbridge and Dartmouth.

Book your group holiday and reconnect with those friends and family youve been meaning to hang out with!

Start Point Lighthouse

Trinity House has completed the modernisation of Start Point Lighthouse in Devon, upgrading the site’s aids to navigation and control systems to provide simplified maintenance and reliable performance that will extend the life of the station for a further 20 years.
Start Point Lighthouse—located on the most southerly tip of Devon—was built by Trinity House in 1836 and automated in 1993.  The peninsula runs for almost a mile out to sea on the south side of Start Bay. The walk up to Start Point Lighthouse is breathtaking – dramatic cliffs and landscape, and the South West Coast Path runs along this stretch of coastline. There are great walks towards Beesands and Torcross, or East Prawle and Salcombe. You may even see seals or dolphins out at sea – and a host of sea birds and birds of prey.

The lighthouse provides a navigational light comprised of three white flashes every ten seconds that can be seen from Prawle Point to the west and across Start Bay to the east, as well as a red sector light that marks the Skerries Bank, a shallow area to the east of the lighthouse. A hazard warning signal sounds during low visibility conditions that blasts once every 30 seconds when visibility drops below one nautical mile.

Start Point Lighthouse was modernised in 2019, upgrading the site’s aids to navigation and control systems to provide simplified maintenance and reliable performance, including the installation of new LED lamps for the main navigation light and a new hazard warning signal.

The lighthouse is now monitored and controlled from Trinity House’s Planning Centre in Harwich, Essex.

Give up plastic this Lent

We recently read this article about giving up plastic for Lent https://metro.co.uk/2018/02/14/best-thing-give-lent-plastic-not-chocolate-7312789/?ito=social&fbclid=IwAR0ICRmiGWBp4LXCmfDn6oXwvpTdBTwcl585sEfociUxgmJcNBH8-gzy4oU

We all agree that single use plastic is absurd and the effects of plastic pollution in our oceans are starting to be seen everywhere. We will certainly be considering how we shop and the products we choose to try and go plastic free for Lent and hope that our self catering guests do too…

Stokeley farm shop has everything you could need from a high quality butcher, cheese counter, fresh baked goods, local vegetables, locally produced beer, wine and gin and all other manner of groceries and essentials. The shop is very happy for you to take your own containers for your meat etc. You can also take home your produce from the butchery and deli counters in your own reusable containers to help reduce single use plastic.

Pretty local is on online marketplace offering a fantastic array of high quality food and drink. Each of their sellers is located in south devon within a 20 mile radius of Kingsbridge, keeping food miles to a minimum and supporting local farmers and producers. Order online by midnight on Wednesday to have your food delivered to your cottage on a Friday so it is in the kitchen for you when you arrive (they will even unpack everything and put items that need it into the fridge). We are pleased to see that most items come in a paper bag or without uneccessary plastic packaging.

Milk – we supply our cottages with milk from Dartmouth Dairy, making sure there is a pint in the fridge for you when you arrive. Their delicious locally produced milk is delivered to our doorstep in glass bottles, which we then return to them for reuse and we are delighted that as the tide turns against plastic waste the old fashioned milkman is making a comeback!

Cleaning products we use biodegradable, eco friendly cleaning products on our changeovers and try to ensure that our cottages are equipped with the same. We use Bio D products which are approved by Cruelty Free International and the Vegan Society, which are also hypoallergenic. we buy in bulk and refill our own containers. We also use Ecover cleaning products, which are mostly renewable, biodegradable plant based ingredients.

Our handwash and washing up liquid is also supplied in bulk and we refill plastic bottles ensuring that we aren’t contributing to the plastic waste problem.

We encourage all our guests to recycle via the recycling bins in the shed. We thoroughly clean and reuse empty plastic bottles for our homemade farmhouse cider and apple juice each year. We encourage guests to compost their food scraps which we use on the garden- or where applicable feed to our guinea pigs and chickens (they both love a broccoli stalk!)

Lets take just 6 weeks to try and make a change.

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.

National Fish and Chip Day

Friday June 2nd saw National Fish and Chip Day – as if we needed an excuse!! It is estimated that 333.6m portions of fish and chips are consumed in the UK each year, and we know that now guests holiday is complete without trying their own portion! We have some excellent establishments locally offering the best (and freshest) fish and chips caught on Britains seafood coast.

Here are our top recommendations!

  1. Britannia at the Beach, Beesands.  http://www.britanniaatthebeach.co.uk/This little seafood cafe (know by many locally as “the shack”) is meters away from the beach in one of Devons traditional fishing villages. Local fishermen provide the fish- much of which is caught in the bay outside. They cook delicious fish and chips to take away (sit on the beach or the picnic tables outside) but also have inside seating and an extensive menu showcasing the best of the local fish and shellfish.
  2. The Cricket Inn, Beesands http://www.thecricketinn.com/ is well known for its seafood, and the freshest fish, lobster and hand dived Scallops are caught straight from the Bay in front of the inn by the village fishermen. Eat inside or head outside to sit in the sunshine by the beach with views over towards the lighthouse.
  3.  The Start Bay Inn, http://www.startbayinn.co.uk/Torcross dates back to the 14th century when it was known as The Fisherman’s Arms and was used by the local fishermen who worked their fishing boats from the village beach infront of the pub. The Start Bay Inn is popular with locals and visitors alike, offering a huge selection of fish and shellfish (again much of which is caught directly in front of the pub). They have a sit down restaurant as well as offering take away.
  4. Rockfish Dartmouth. http://www.therockfish.co.uk/restaurants/dartmouth/Head over to Dartmouth to Rockfish, owned by Chef Mitch Tonks. They source much of their fish from the fish market at Brixham, where buyers from all over the world are eac day looking to secure some of the catch. They have a great restaurant which is amazingly child friendly (each child gets a goody bag of activities) and also have a popular takeaway, sit on the benches along the harbour and watch the boats come in.

Family fun in the winter

Thinking of booking a holiday but worried what to do if the weather isnt too good? Dont fear, South Devon has plenty to offer the whole family off season!

One of our favourite adventures is to Woodlands Family Theme Park,http://www.woodlandspark.com/ near Dartmouth. A short drive slidealong the beautiful coast road, Woodlands boasts one of the UKs largest indoor play areas and has enough variety to entertain all ages for a whole day. The are big family rides, an awesome indoor play centre (with slides, ball pools, mazes, climbing nets, rides and adventure play).

 Outside you will find a zoo-farm housing everything from Meerkats to cuddly rabbits, snakes to shire horses.

Kingsbridge and Dartmouth both have indoor swimming pools and cinmeerkatsemas and the towns offer everything from toy shops to art galleries, soft play to boutique and antique shopping.

The National Marine Aquarium at Plymouthhttp://www.national-aquarium.co.uk/ is just under an hour away and is the UKs biggest aquarium. Our children were equally as enthralled by the seahorses and lobsters as they were by the huge sharks!jellyfish

The Art Cafe in Kingsbridge http://theartcafekingsbridge.co.uk/ is always a popular choice for pottery painting- the perfect souvenir of your stay in South Devon!

artcafeIn your cottage you will find a comprehensive guide of whats on offer locally, as well as a selection of books, dvds and toys should you wish to stay in and relax! We even provide childrens wellies should you wish to get out and do some exploring along the beach – winter is the perfect time for beachcombing, you never know what treasure you might find!

So, book a stay this Winter- we would love to share all this and more with you!