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National Cream Tea Week

Its practically an unspoken rule that on a holiday to Devon you should indulge in a traditional Cream Tea!

Of course, there is great debate about what should go first….the jam or the cream?!

In Devon there is only one way to enjoy your cream tea, and that- of course, is cream first, jam on top!

We have a wonderful selection of tea rooms, farm shops and cafes for you to choose from when going for a cream tea, here are some of our favourites:

  1. The Seabreeze Cafe, Torcross. A delightful cafe on the seafront at Torcross, we love the coastal themed interior and their generous sized scones! Enjoy your cream tea whilst listening to the sea lapping at the shore!
  2. Stokely Farm Shop Cafe. An excellent farmshop where you could buy all the ingredients to make your own – or simply enjoy sitting outside amongst the greenery and sample one of their homemade cream teas!
  3. Avon Mill Garden Centre. A lovely garden centre with excellent cafe, why not build up an appetite walking along the banks of the River Avon before filling up on a cream tea!
  4. South Allington House. A privately owned country house and campsite, enjoy a cream tea on the lawn.

Wherever you decide to have your cream tea, we hope that you savour every mouthful….and please remember the cream first!

 

A weekend in South Devon

We thought we would put together a couple of itineraries based on things our guests have told us they love to do!

A relaxed weekend away

After you have arrived at Beeson Farm and made yourselves at home why not wander down to the Cricket Inn at Beesands for a delicious seafood supper whilst overlooking beautiful Start Bay, waiting for the light of the lighthouse to come on.

Day 1: Head over to Torcross (either walk along the coastpath from Beesands or take the car). The village has an interesting hist0ry- stop at the tank to learn more about Operation Tiger, the D Day landing practice that ended in tragedy. Spend some time on the beach, feed the ducks or take a stroll around Slapton Ley nature reserve.

Stop for lunch at Stokelely Farm Shop and have a browse of the garden centre and craft/interiors shops before stocking up for a BBQ from the butcher.

Day 2:Drive to Start Point lighthouse and take the circular walk to Mattiscombe beach, stopping for a tour of the lighthouse on the way. Keep you eyes peeled for seals.

Day 3: Visit Kingsbridge, Dartmouth or Salcombe. Each town is on the waterfront and has a lovely mix of independent shops, galleries and cafes

A weekend with the kids

Day 1: Arrive at Beeson Farm and let the children run off steam in our playground, cider orchard or with a game of table tennis or badminton. Head down to Beesands for fish and chips from Britannia Takeaway and sit on the beach whilst the children have a paddle.

Day 2: Have breakfast at Stokeley Farm Shop and buy supplies for a picnic before heading to Mill Bay. The children will enjoy the golden sands, digging dams and rockpooling. Take the passenger ferry over to Salcombe and explore the town if you go drag them away from the beach

Day 3: Head to Kingsbridge with the crab lines and try crabbing from the harbour wall. Ride the miniature train from the tourist informaiton centre to the recreation ground and then head to the Crabshell Inn for lunch or to book a paddleboarding lesson.

A foodie weekend

Day 1: After you have arrived pop down to either the award winning Cricket Inn at Beesands or the award winning Bear and Blacksmith in Chillington for dinner.

Day 2: Have a morning coffee at Fika in Kingsbridge before driving on to Bantham for a walk on the beach (or book into surf school if you are feeling adventurous!) Have a late lunch at the Oyster Shack and stop at Avon Mill Garden Centre for a cream tea on the way home. If you have room enjoy takeaway fish and chips from Britannia at Beesands!

Day 3: Have breakfast at Springfield Farmshop before heading to Gara Rock. Park at Gara and walk the circular route to Mill Bay and back before enjoying lunch with an awesome view!

 

 

A day in Kingsbridge

Our local town of Kingsbridge, just over 6 miles from Beeson Farm, is a wonderful local hub that sits at the head of the Salcombe Estuary.

In summer children love to sit on the embankment with their crabbing lines and watch the boats come and go. The estuary is well used by boats, kayakers and paddleboarders as well as the Kingsbridge-Salcombe ferry.

Kingsbridge town is a lovely mix of independent shops, galleries, antique/vintage shops, places of worship and cafes.

Start off your day at the very top of town at the Cookworthy Museum where you can discover the history of the local area. After your visit pop across the road to the worlds smallest nightclub, housed in a telephone box!

Head down fore street stopping at the community garden on the way.  Walk under the Shambles (an old market hall on raised granite pillars dating from Elizabethan times) and you will come across the old town hall, now the towns cinema. The cinema is one of the most recognisable buildings in the town, with its distinctive clock face which has only three faces- the fourth faced the old workhouse and so wasn’t added to prevent the inmates from clock watching!

Discover the eclectic mix of shops and galleries that line Fore Street. With something for all ages from toy shops (The Trading Post and Non Such) to independent clothes shops (Posh Totti, Cocoa, Spotted, Mint Dress Agency), galleries (the Mayne Gallery, Tidal Gallery and The Art Cafe where you can paint your own pottery) and the wonderful Harbour bookshop.

Coming off the highstreet you can find many little alleyways lined with cottages – often with fascinating names such as Squeezebelly Alley. As the name suggests it is too narrow for more than one person to pass through at a time!

Pass the entrance to the estuary and hop on the miniature railway to the end of the line where you can disembark for the recreation ground (with excellent childrens playgroud) or walk on down for a drink at the Crabhsell Inn overlooking the water.

Kingsbridge has a thriving antiques scene with the Antiques and Craft Centre on Ebrington Street and the eclectic Two Rooms on Lower Union Road (a bazaar of the bizarre, full floor to ceiling with treasures and well worth a rummage!), as well as numerous charity shops.

Kingsbridge Information Centre sits on the town square and the staff are very  happy to help  with recommendations for places to eat and things to do.

No matter what the time of year there are plenty of local events in the town to choose from, incluing the regular farmers market, Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival (June), Kingsbridge Fair Week (July) Kingsbridge Show (September) and Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas (December)

Kingsbridge also has an indoor pool and sports centre.

Eating Out

Kingsbridge has something to suit all tastes and also numerous takeaways. For families we recommend eating the Art Café, the Crabshell Inn, Cool Beans Coffee shop, La Ranchera (amazing Mexican food) or the Fat Monkey.

For light lunches we can recommend Harbour House Café at the Arts and Yoga centre which has a delicious menu of vegetarian and vegan food, new arrival Fika, a Scandinavian inspired coffee house, and the Old Bakery which has a beautiful courtyard.

For a special meal head to Wild Artichokes (run by chef Jane Baxter) or Twenty Seven run by Jamie Rogers

Whatever you get up to on a day out in Kingsbridge we hope you enjoy it!

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!

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.