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Easter in South Devon

On Easter Sunday morning join us on the farm to see what the Easter Bunny has been up too- we can guarantee that there will be plenty of chocolate easter eggs hiding around the farm, cottages and courtyard for our youngest guests!

Head over to the annual South Pool Easter Fun Day on April 20th (Approx 10 mins from Beeson Farm) The fun takes place alongside the estuary in the pretty village of South Pool, home to the fabulous Millbrook Inn. Turn up with your Easter Bonnet for the childrens egg hunt and bonnet competition from 12:15pm and then marvel at the South Pool duck race from 2pm, chose your rubber duck and cheer it on as it floats to victory down the estuary! There will be a BBQ and live music at the pub throughout the afternoon.

East Soar Outdoor Experience is situated on a National Trust farm in one of the the most breathtaking parts of South Devon on the headland, just above the picturesque town of Salcombe (approx 15 mins drive from Beeson Farm). Their yearly Easter family fun days are hugely popular with locals and guests alike and will runs over the Easter holidays. 11am daily, £3 per child.

The Tower Inn in Slapton are hosting their own mini Easter fair on the 20th April, with plenty of entertainment for the children and wonderful food and drink for the adults to get Easter off to a great start!

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.

Pancake Day

Pancake day is a firm favourite with all the family at Beeson Farm holiday cottages- especially the dog who waits expectantly for any failed flips and pancakes falling from the heavens! Although we love a good fluffy American style pancake for breakfast we think for pancake day you’ve got to go traditional. Guests are very welcome to go down to the chicken coop and collect fresh eggs for the recipe!

Here is our foolproof Beeson Farm Pancake Recipe (just make sure you have a really good flat bottomed pancake pan)

Ingredients

  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying
  • lemon wedges, to serve (optional)
  • caster sugar, to serve (optional)
  • Put the flour, eggs, milk, 1 tbsp oil and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter. Set aside for 30 mins to rest if you have time, or start cooking straight away.Set a medium frying/crepe pan over a medium heat and lightly wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper. When hot, cook your pancakes for 1 min on each side until golden, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go.Serve with lemon wedges and sugar, or your favourite filling.

For all your pancake day ingredients (including delicious fillings) head down to Stokeley Farm Shop (between Stokenham and Torcross).

For a savoury twist check out the recipes on the Riverford Organic website here https://www.riverford.co.uk/blog/2018/02/09/live-life-veg-pancake-day/

If you prefer to go out for pancakes we can recommend The Seabreeze Cafe at Torcross for big American fluffy style pancakes or head to the Cricket Inn at Beesands for their hugely popular seafood pancake!

Year of the Pig. Gung Hay Fat Choi!

Year of the Pig

Chinese New Year is the year of the pig (the 12th animal on the Chinese calendar) so we felt it was only right that we rounded up a few porcine places for you to get snout and about during your holiday!

The South Hams, (as our corner of South Devon is known) is an area of outstanding natural beauty encompassing large swathes of Dartmoor and stretching down to the coast. Home to vibrant and historic towns, quaint villages, hidden valleys and picturesque countryside, intersected with scenic rivers, the South Hams are a little corner of paradise

Pennywell Farm is home to the work famous Pennywell Miniature pigs, specially bred to be small friendly and exceedingly cute! Pennywell farm is a fantastic day out for families (especially young children), and visitors are welcome to cuddle the pigs and experience the thrill of pig racing every day at 2:30pm!

The Pigs Nose Inn for a totally different way to spend Chinese New Year, head over to the Pigs Nose Inn in the village of East Prawle- the most southerly point of Devon. This traditional 16th-century inn serves classic pub grub and real ales amid snug, quirky interiors. Sit by the fire and try your hand at some knitting from the knitting basket, play board games or pool- dogs and children are very welcome. There is regular live music in the adjacent hall which has seen everything from the Wurzels to Atomic Kitten!

The Pigs Nose and Gammon Head are also points on the south west coastpath, follow this circular walk (stopping at the interesting visitor centre at the coastwatch) before heading to the pub for a drink!

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/east-portlemouth-to-prawle-point/trails/prawle-point-walk

For a delicious Chinese meal (either takeaway or sit down meal), we highly recommend the food at Café Asia, in Kingsbridge. Lovely friendly staff and a delicious menu of South East Asian cuisine.

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.

Veganuary

Veganuary

With over half a million people in the UK eating a plant based diet, veganuary has become a New Years Resolution for many wanting to try a healthier start to the year. South Devon has many brilliant vegetarian and vegan friendly places to visit and many menus in our local restaurants and pubs will cater for vegans.

Harbour house Café, Kingsbridge

Our favourite eatery in Kingsbridge, this is a hidden gem in the town. Serving the most delicious homemade vegetarian and vegan breakfast ad lunches in a relaxed atmosphere. Both the food and the setting is feast for the senses! Expect friendly service, indulgent salads and delicious cakes!

Willow Vegetarian Restaurant, Totnes

Possibly Devons oldest veggie restaurant, this restaurant has been tucked away in Totnes for over 30 years now. Willow serves up delicious and imaginative vegan and vegetarian dishes from locally sourced producers.

Riverford Farm Café, Buckfastleigh

Famous for its huge selection of organic veg which are the star of every plate (and the deserts are delicious too!!) Experience flavoursome feasting on fresh seasonal produce from the Riverford Farm.

Seeds II, Totnes

This vegetarian café has a lovely variety of healthy and hearty food, in an “all you can eat” service, grab a plate and fill up from the buffet style selection.

The family here at Beeson Farm holiday cottages wish you a healthy and happy New Year!

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!

Simple Pleasures and Adventures to Treasure

Regardless of whether you want a romantic couples break, a special celebration with friends, or family holiday adventures, South Devon is place to make special memories and to experience lifes simple pleasures.

There are a few things we think all our guests should enjoy including:

A walk to the beach at Beesands (dogs welcome), a sweep of coastline which is watched over by the Lighthouse at Start Point. Choose to set off on a walk along the South West Coastpath or relax at our local friendly pub, The Cricket Inn, which serves the freshest seafood caught in the bay outside.

Enjoy the peace, tranquillity and calm of our local beaches. With stretches of sand or shingle shores South Devons coastline is dramatic and awe inspiring, perfect for the dogs and children to burn off their energy! Get out and about on the coastpath and you may even spot seals or dolphins. The local beaches are ideal for paddling, body boarding or swimming or book in to one of our local surf or watersports schools and learn a new skill!

Try wild swimming in the sea, with proven health benefits make sure you take the plunge this year! We never regret a swim in the sea and have a small selection of childrens wetsuits available to borrow.

Crabbing and rockpooling are childhood pastimes that everyone should experience! There are numerous locations for crabbing but we especially recommend the quayside in Kingsbridge, the harbour in Salcombe or New Bridge on the way to Kingsbridge. Perfect rock pools at low tide can be found at Lannacombe, Mattiscombe and Bantham. We have nets available for guests to borrow.

Discover the fascinating local WW2 history of Torcross and Slapton Sands, find out where Agatha Christie lived and visit Burgh Island (the setting of And Then There Were None) or head up to Dartmoor in search of the Hound of the Baskervilles! There are numerous National Trust properties in South Devon to discover.

What would a visit to South devon be without a cream tea?! Just remember its cream first, not jam!  We recommend the Walkers Hut at East Soar Farm, Stokeley Farm Shop, South Allington House or the Seabreeze Café at Torcross.

Watch the sunset- sit on the beach with a bbq (don’t forget the marshmallows!) and watch the sun go down- or drive up to Start Point Lighthouse with its sweeping views over Start Bay.

Come and stay at Beeson Farm holiday cottages, we hope that you make some special memories on your holiday this year, and maybe add some more to this list… we would love to see your photos, feel free to share them 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.