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DISCOVER Handpicked holiday cottages throughout the West Country

ISSUE 01 | JULY 2014

Inside this issue


Spectac ularly rocky h eadlan ds to w a deep alk, blue se a beyo and ev nd, en play ful dolp hins if you’r e lucky SEE OU WALKS R PAGE – 42 –


ge selection Packed with a lar ttages for the of handpicked co perfect holiday




Hidden treasures set high on a dramatic Devon headland offer views of a spectacular seascape

The Helpful Holidays team reveal their favourite West Country moments and memories


West Country shops are Aladdin’s caves of treasures. We reveal a few of the best for retail therapy


141 venues 213 artists 6-21 September 2014

“Spellbinding, captivating, wonderful!”2013 visitor

See the creative process at first hand For two weeks in September, members of Devon’s vibrant artist community invite you to visit them in their unique studios, many located in some of the most beautiful, unexplored parts of the county. Meet artists and find out what inspires their work, buy art direct from the creator, see demonstrations or even have a go yourself!


A FREE full colour event guide is available from all leading Devon art venues, Tourist Information Centres and libraries. Or call or email us for a copy: 07768 164560 or

What our 2013 visitors said about Devon Open Studios


“I love Devon Open Studios, it’s like unwrapping a lovely present!” “Discover new work, new artists and visit beautiful places that I’ve never been to. It’s like an art treasure hunt!” “Came for a week BUT wish it was a month!” “Everyone was friendly and welcoming – so inspiring!” “Talking to the artists about their work makes this very special.” Helpful Holidays is delighted to support Devon Open Studios 2014

WMN on Sunday


Moray Bowater EDITOR

Jackie Dawes Telephone: 01647 434360 ADVERTISING CONTACTS

Adrian Innocent Media Sales & Client Manager Telephone: 01647 434360 PUBLISHER

Andy Forster Telephone: 01326 574842 Mobile: 07711 160590

CONTRIBUTORS Emma Clegg Ben Pratchett Joanne Stinton Hannah Tapping Charlotte Forster Eleanor Wilkins Mandy Milano Christine Phillips



The Helpful Holidays team

With DISCOVER, our new magazine, we hope to give you an insight into why we love it here, how you can make the most of the area and what it offers whilst you relax at your favourite holiday cottage. In this, our first issue, we point you in the direction of some of the best places in the West Country to discover our growing foodie status, whether that’s the great food provenance (pages 10-15) or the emerging chefs (pages 54-61) set on making the South West the gastronomic capital of the country.

Carla Regler South West Coast Path Matt Austin David Griffin National Trust, Andrew Butler Michael Murray Mick Sandford Robert Sears

Once you’ve had your fill of fine food, you may feel the need for a spot of exercise, nothing too strenuous, maybe a good walk along the South West Coast Path (pages 42-45) or perhaps a hunt to find a few of our favourite places by the sea (pages 16-20), and when you’ve reached your destination, why not settle down with a good book (pages 62-63)?

Rob Kendall David Foker Geoff Bonell Nick Shepherd

DISCOVER is published for Helpful Holidays by: ENGINE HOUSE MEDIA LTD Holbrook, The Moors, Porthleven, Cornwall TR13 9JX Engine House Media Ltd is a new multi-platform media business with a passion for everything South West. Visit to find out more. Our mission is to create media opportunities that marry together consumers with the fabulous businesses across the South West. Our publishing and marketing teams are specialists in creating print and on-line communications, devised to achieve a range of marketing objectives. With over 20 years of marketing, brand management and magazine experience we develop effective communications that deliver your message in a credible and creative way. We operate across all media channels, including: print, online and video. It’s our role to generate response for your business so, for more information please contact Andy Forster on 07711 160590 or email on © All rights reserved. Material may not be re-produced without the permission of Helpful Holidays. While Helpful Holidays will take every care to help readers with reports on properties and features, neither Engine House Media Ltd nor its contributors can accept any liability for reader dissatisfaction arising from editorial features, editorial or advertising featured in these pages. The opinions expressed or advice given in the publication are the views of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of Helpful Holidays or Engine House Media Ltd. It is suggested that further advice is taken over any actions resulting from reading any part of this magazine.

Of course, there are many more wonderful places about the South West than we can squeeze into one magazine, but we hope that the few of our favourites we’ve selected will inspire you to explore some new things, and leave you feeling as enthusiastic as us about the brilliant West Country. Have a fantastic summer, and we look forward to welcoming you to the South West again soon.

ea m t s y a d li o H l fu p l e H e Th



ERS At H we striv elpful Holida y exemp e to make ou s, lary. If r servic y e o u own cottage a holid and are ay thinkin g of joining us TURN


– 66 – Mill Street, Chagford, Devon, TQ13 8AW t: 01647 434360 e: w: Keep in touch with activities by following Helpful Holidays on Twitter (@helpfulholidays) and by joining our Facebook page (/helpfulholidays).







Gara Rock - exclusive

accommodation with spectacular views


The best places across the South West to find local food provenance

Mousehole, once described by Dylan Thomas as “the loveliest village in England”

Riverford Organics - the growth of a family farm



Walks around Tintagel, East Portlemouth, Clovelly & Dartmouth




From Constantine Bay to Bigbury-on-Sea, discover our top 10 coastal spots

From coast to country, the South West is full of memorable gardens




An introduction to the award- winning Venus Beach Cafés




News stories and updates from Helpful Holidays



Meet the exciting newcomers to Devon and Cornwall


A selection of our most popular holiday homes

A selection of some of our favourite holiday reads

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s e g a t t o c y a d i l o Handpicked h t Country es throughout the W




OWNERS Helpful by name and by nature


From traditional crafts to locally grown vegetables, you’re unlikely to leave Chagford empty-handed

Our week at Gara Rock was absolutely wonderful - fantastic accommodation in a stunning location. We loved every minute and will definitely return there.

How easy is it to uproot the family and start a new life at a different pace?


Fowey’s winding streets swarm with retail delights


The world famous open-air theatre, carved into the granite cliff and set in glorious gardens




Two of our team recall their favourite memories from holidaying in the South West


Diary of events across Cornwall


Diary of events across Devon



Diary of events across Dorset & Somerset


A word from our Managing Director, Moray Bowater

70 5


Exclusive accommodation with spectacular views A hidden treasure set high on a dramatic Devon headland with breathtaking views of the epic landscape and glittering sea: another world awaits at Gara Rock. This is an utterly unique development of apartments and cottages, all with fabulous panoramic seaward views towards the wild and rugged headlands of Prawle Point and beyond Salcombe Estuary to Bolt Tail. Once home to a coastguard station, Gara Rock has been transformed into a wonderful escape where you can relax without a care in the world, safe in the knowledge that everything you need is at hand. Gara Rock is perfectly located for exploring the South West Coast Path that runs immediately below, hugging the coastline and passing hidden sandy coves for adventurous holidaymakers to discover.

for e spoilt You’ll b sque re tu ic p ith choice w West th u o ng the S lo a s ck. lk wa Gara Ro ath from Coast P s re walk For mo

R SEE OU E AG P S K L WA – 42 –


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G ara Rock

s& Breathtaking view

a cliff-top location

Gara Rock, once a coastguard station, now a fantastic place to relax and unwind

Within the enclosed gardens, each apartment and cottage has a contemporary feel

The restaurant offers informal dining with a glazed wall for sensational views

REF: L166 to L171


AND IN OTHER NEWS... AND THE WINNER IS... We welcomed 2014 in great style by earning yet another host of accolades from Which? and Feefo, as well as a personal award from The Sunday Times. To identify the best UK self-catering accommodation, members of the Which? panel completed a survey about their experiences of using a UK selfcatering accommodation company with results based on 1,753 customer experiences. We were delighted to be awarded five out of five in almost every category, including a top rating for our properties matching their descriptions. Moray Bowater, General Manager at Helpful Holidays, said: “We’re very happy to receive this valuable award for the third year in succession. Although we get the commendation, most credit must go to the steadfast team of Helpful Holidays owners and caretakers whose dependable efforts deliver the promises we make to holidaymakers." Furthermore, we were thrilled when Stephen Bleach, Travel Editor of The



Over 80 enthusiastic volunteers of all ages cleaned Perranporth beach on Sunday June 29, collecting over quarter of a tonne of rubbish from the beach, river and dunes. The event, organised by Katie Treseder of Helpful Holidays, recorded several unusual items as well as the usual debris of food wrappers, drinks cans and plastic bottles. Katie declared the event a great success. “I hope the beach clean will raise awareness of the Marine


Conservation Society and the dangers of beach litter which is not just unsightly, but can also be very dangerous to both humans and all types of wildlife”. On behalf of the Marine Conservation Society, Helpful Holidays would like to thank all the hard-working volunteers who took part in the beach clean and helped make Cornwall’s beaches and seas a better place for all to enjoy. The beach clean came hot on the heels of a very successful cricket match played the previous week on Sunday June 22 at Chagford Cricket Club. For the third year, Helpful Holidays went head to head against neighbouring Gidleigh Park Hotel and hosted a beautiful summer afternoon with super raffle prizes and Gidleigh Park cream teas. Over £2,000 was raised for Helpful Holidays’ charity of the year, the Marine Conservation Society.

"Renting a property through Helpful is like having it chosen by a like-minded friend. Add in good value and excellent service and you have a simple service done superbly well." Sunday Times, selected Helpful Holidays for his personal award in 2013. Explaining his decision, Stephen Bleach said, “Renting a property through Helpful is like having it chosen by a like-minded friend. Add in good value and excellent service and you have a simple service done superbly well”. And just to prove these impressive awards were no fluke, we've also been Highly Commended by Feefo, having scored an outstanding 99% in the travel category.

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Lonely Planet, the world’s most successful travel publisher, has named the South West one of the top three places to visit in Europe this summer. the rest of the world catches on. Picture-perfect Cornwall and Devon provide key stopping points along the South West Coast Path, a walking trail which wiggles for over 1,100 spectacular, calf-cramping kilometres. This region is producing some of the UK’s most innovative cuisine as well: locally sourced, ethically produced, organic and prepared by fantastic home-

Nurturing Devon Open Studios runs a bursary scheme for emerging artists, now in its fourth year. It aims to nurture and encourage new talent to take the next steps in their career by helping to fund their participation in the prestigious annual open studios event. Helpful Holidays are the key sponsors, and have been since it started. Our support will be helping five emerging artists living and working in Devon. The Devon Open Studios official gallery partner, the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Dowell Street, Honiton, will

grown talent. No wonder it's already blessed with a handful of Michelin stars. Paul Ainsworth, Jude Kereama, Nathan Outlaw and Rick Stein are just a few names to look out for. This ranking places the South West firmly on the radar of millions of travellers and confirms the region’s position among the best of the European dream destinations.

For more th ings to do in the So uth West on holiday



be curating an insightful exhibition highlighting the work of the five bursary winners. The exhibition opens at the launch event for Devon Open Studios on Thursday, September 4 and will run from September 6 to October 25. Why not make a date in your diary? For further information on Devon Open Studios visit; for the Thelma Hulbert Gallery simply go to

© Matt Austin

In their statement they say, 'Imagine yourself motoring through the romantic English countryside, stopping in charming villages, gawping at castles...You’re in Southwest England, where dramatic rural landscapes yield to breathtaking coastal scenery and even reputable surf breaks. Southwest England is a popular holiday getaway for in-the-know Brits so go now before


It’s all about the

food © Rob Whitrow Photography

From farms showcasing organic locally produced food to eating freshly caught crabs on the beach, here’s our selection of foodie places to visit in Devon and Cornwall where local provenance is assured.

INSET IMAGE Sharpham Wine and Cheese use New World and traditional techniques overlooking the River Dart


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ice crea m Fantastic Cornish



In the heart of Otterton, 7 miles from Darts Farm, on a quiet lane between the mill and the church, is this pretty, detached cottage for 6 furnished in chic cottage style. Behind and to one side, an enclosed garden with decked area and steps up to views of the church and over the village. A friendly base from which to explore this very special part of Devon.

CROSSCOMBE BARN: L146 This beautiful house for 5, formerly a barn, set just off a quiet lane near the centre of Loddiswell has an enclosed, gently sloping garden with fruit trees and bench from which to admire the view. A comfortable house in a great spot for exploring both coast and moor.



Ronald Dart sold fruit and vegetables from a hut in a field. The business is still thriving 40 years later, selling food and drink from hundreds of local producers. So widespread is its offering that it feels like a never-ending, organic local department store. There is a farm shop with homegrown fruit and vegetables, a food hall bursting with local produce and pick-your-own fruit and vegetables. Add to this a deli and bakery; a cider works and ale house (you can smell the apples as the cider is made); a restaurant with views across the vegetable fields; superior quality beef, lamb, pork and poultry at the butcher’s; a fish shed selling fish and chips with the freshest local fish, and you realise there’s no base uncovered.


The heat is on at the South Devon Chilli Farm in Loddiswell, where over 10,000

chilli plants are grown each year. These are harvested and sold fresh or used in chilli sauces, preserves and chocolate. Yes, chilli chocolate, available in original, orange, mint, fruit and spice, coffee bean and extreme flavours. An Extreme Sauce range uses the sizzling bhut jolokia chilli, with ‘milder’ versions including Jalapeno Hot Sauce, Hot Habanero Sauce and Ring of Fire. The popular preserves feature chilli jam, chilli chutney and elderflower chilli jelly. Chillies are also available dried (which invests them with a richer, sweeter flavour) and fresh ones are for sale from July to November. You can even get chilli seedlings in spring and plants in the summer.

SHARPHAM WINE AND CHEESE Wine and cheese are a classic pairing. Well, Sharpham Wine and Cheese have not only put them together, but have made them side by side for 25 years at

The Sharpham Estate in Totnes. Sharpham Vineyard’s range of classic English wines use New World and traditional techniques with many of the grapes grown on a vineyard overlooking the River Dart. The distinctive wines, with their intense fruit flavours and aromas, have won international awards. Then there’s the cheese. The unpasteurised cheeses use the rich milk from Sharpham Estate’s Jersey cattle and vegetarian rennet, and the traditional cheesemaking methods include hand cutting, moulding and turning. In the summer they also offer vineyard rambles, allowing you to tour the vineyard and try before you buy.


If you’re a dairy diva with a penchant for ice cream and mad for marinades and mayonnaise then check out Tregallast Barton Farm in St Keverne, which


For a list stivals of food fe ts and even O PAGE TURN T 7 – 6–

houses Roskilly’s Farm and Halzephron Herb Farm. Roskilly’s ice cream, fudge and yogurt are made with organic Jersey milk and cream. The 125 Jersey cows live on the farm, are milked twice daily and graze in naturally farmed pastures. Many of the ice creams, frozen yogurts and sorbets contain sticky, chewy, crunchy and nutty bits and these are also made here. Halzephron Herb Farm specialise in marinades, mayonnaises, dressings, dips, seeds, chutneys, jams and sauces. They‘re produced by mother and daughter team, Val and Donna, in small handmade batches, ensuring absolutely maximum flavour.



Cornish beer, Polgoon wine and cider - it doesn’t get better than this! Red wine, sparkling wine and rosé are produced by this Cornish cider orchard and vineyard, each presented online with an evocative description. Polgoon Rondo, for example, has “cherry notes on the nose and rich, ripe berry fruits on the palate”. Sparkling options include River Cottage Elderflower and the bestselling Sparkling Aval Raspberry, a cider made with a traditional method used by French winemakers. Original, Cornish Pink and Cornish Black are three of the classic cider options along with apple and still pear cider. There are regular tours of the vineyard from May to October along with wine tastings and talks. The shop also stocks a range of jams, chutney and eggs from their own hens.


This private estate, home to the Boscawen family, is a global hotspot. On the banks of the deep-sea creek that is the river Fal, Tregothnan creates a micro-climate that has supported many species of fruit trees and rare plants. The estate has been growing ornamental Camellia outdoors for 200 years and in 2005 Tregothnan began supplying England’s first and only tea from its Camellia sinensis tea bushes, which has been heralded as the ‘new Darjeeling’. The working estate also produces a range of herbal infusions, alongside sustainable coppiced charcoal managed by a father and son woodland team, Cornish Manuka and wildflower honeys, a fine Kea plum jam, buttery biscuits and naturally sweet apple juice. 


Set in 28 acres of Cornish countryside, Trevaskis is an oasis of fruit trees,

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COTTAGES Nearby...

fizz Fabulous Cornish

THE BATHING HOUSE: L270 On the 550 acre, Capability Brown-designed Sharpham Estate is a Grade II Georgian bathing house for 3, secluded in trees. A tranquil situation with views to wooded banks all around, a riverside terrace and steps down to the river with only lapping water and passing canoes, boats and the occasional seal to disturb the peace.


WITHY BARN: T13 Just outside Helston, 7 miles from Roskilly’s, in the tiny hamlet of Coverack Bridges, a lovely ‘upside down’ cottage for 5 cleverly converted from an 1840s barn. Behind is a small sitting-out area. Cross the lane to your own large lawned garden with the river Cober tumbling past on its way down to the sea at Porthleven.



polytunnels and gambolling animals. You can visit at any time and pick your own strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants, plums, apples, loganberries, tayberries and tummelberries (deep breath), as well as peas, beans, sweetcorn, pumpkins, squashes and more. Yes, really. There are over 70 different crops on the farm, but picking them is only part of the story – there is also an organic kitchen garden with everyday and exotic fruit and vegetables, a farm shop, a butchery, fishmonger, deli and restaurant, and educational tours showing children what harvested food looks like and introducing them to the pigs, sheep and cows. Naturally, all produce is organic and produced by local Cornish family businesses.

In Dowran, just 7 miles from Polgoon, is a Grade II listed 17th century cottage for 7. There is an enclosed garden at the back and front, which is perfect for energetic youngsters or for relaxing with a BBQ in the summer sun. A smashing, relaxing family house, best for maximum of 5 adults and 2 children.

NEAR POLGOON VINEYARD MAIN IMAGE Strawberry picking at Trevaskis Farm TOP INSET Many places in the West Country still use traditional methods to create wine and food with traceable provenance BOTTOM INSET Tregothnan supplies England’s first and only tea

TURNPIKE COTTAGE: S53 In the very heart of Gerrans, 9 miles from Tregothnan, is a large house for 6 with 18th century origins. In front, a neatly fenced paved area and just opposite a privately gated lawned and paved garden area with games garage. To one side, the tiny heritage centre and village green. A comfortable home near a pub and 500 yards from the Coast Path.




£25 V ouc

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You can’t have an idyll in the sun without somewhere to get good food. Polkerris provides the beach and Sam’s on the Beach, once an old boathouse and slipway, provides the food. There’s a wood-burning pizza oven producing heavenly stone-baked pizzas, as well as seafood platters, sardines, scallops and clams, and meatier options such as steaks, meatballs and chicken basque. All the produce is sourced locally and has a strong Cornish stamp. The open kitchen means that you can observe the catering action and floorto-ceiling windows allow a constant view of the Polkerris harbour and St Austell Bay when the elements are


raging, with the windows removed during the summer. This is beach style at its best.


This secluded west-facing cove between Woolacombe and Mortehoe, also called Shell Beach, has a shallow sandy beach with rock pools and gullies overflowing with marine life and sea shells. The small beach café is so melded with the elements that it doesn’t have its own website,

but the delicious Sri-Lankan curries are legendary, served with vegetable fried rice. Just take a bottle of wine and a rug, nip in for a swim and enjoy the curry. The café opens in May or June and food is offered most nights (not Mondays) until the end of the summer, unless the weather misbehaves. During the day, there are sandwiches, cakes and cold drinks. Booking? Don’t be silly, just check it’s open on Facebook and then turn up.


“Oh I do like to be beside the seaside” sums up the experience in

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h c a e B e n a c i r r Ba

COTTAGES Nearby...

t A taste of the Eas

THE GABLES: Q27 Two miles from Trevaskis Farm in Gwithian Towans, about 300 yards from the beach and with great sea views towards Godrevy Lighthouse, is this extremely smart, wellequipped and fantastically light beach house for 3 with its own decked verandah to take advantage of the truly fabulous view.

ON THE MENU Contacts for our foodie favourites

Darts Farm, Topsham, Exeter, Devo n EX3 0QH Tel: 01392 878200 www.dartsfarm



South Devon Chilli Farm, Wigford

Cross, Loddiswell, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 4DX Tel: 01548 550782 www.southde Sharpham Wine and Cheese, Shar pham Estate, Totnes, Devon TQ9 7UT Tel: 01803 7322 03 Roskilly’s Farm, Tregellast Barto n Farm, St Keverne, Cornwall TR12 6NX Tel: 01326 2804 79 Halzephron Herb Farm Tel: 01326 281920 www.halzherb .com Polgoon Vineyard, Rosehill Mea dow, Penzance, Cornwall TR20 8TE Tel: 01736 3339 46 Tregothnan, The Woodyard, Tresi llian, Truro, Cornwall TR2 4AJ Tel: 01872 5200 00 www.tregothn Trevaskis Farm, Gwinear, Hayle, Cornwall TR27 5JQ Tel: 01209 713931 www.trevaskis Sam’s on the Beach, 14 Polkerris , Par, Cornwall PL24 2TL Tel: 01726 812255 www.samsfow

In Fowey, 2 miles from Polkerris, with lovely long views over the estuary and village to the wooded hills beyond, a house sleeping 7, on three levels, hugely improved and extended to provide 21st century comfort and style. Both the back and front gardens have decking so that you can take advantage of the sun and the views.



Barricane Beach Café, The Espl

anade, Woolacombe, Devon EX34 7DB

The Crab Shack, 3 Queen Stree t, Back Beach, Teignmouth, South Devon TQ14 8BY Tel: 01626 777956 www.crabshac

The Crab Shack on the Back Beach in Teignmouth. Their crabbing team catch their own crabs and lobsters off the tidal waters in the English channel. The centre of the fishing boats are full of water, ensuring the meal’s freshness when it arrives on your plate, prepared by chef Josh Martin. The shack, with its wooden boards and beams, whitewashed walls and driftwood styling looks like a glossy magazine interior, but this is the real deal, freshly caught shellfish with delicious views of the River Teign and Haytor Rocks. Open seven days a week, the catch of the day menu changes daily and for non seafood lovers there are vegetarian or meat options.

Five miles from Barricane beach, just 500 yards from Croyde’s magnificent sandy beach and an easy stroll from the shops and the pub is a beautifully presented, detached seaside home for 10. Big rooms and gleaming, fresh white decor make this the perfect place for relaxed seaside living and a stunning place to enjoy year-round.


THE SALTINGS: B14 MAIN IMAGE The secluded westfacing beach between Woolacombe and Mortehoe DON’T FORGET Check your Helpful Holidays voucher booklet ‘What Shall We Do Today?’ for lots of savings

InTeignmouth, right on the river beach with tremendous, time-wasting, ever-changing estuary views up the Teign estuary towards Dartmoor, across to pretty Shaldon and to the port, is this end-ofterrace cottage for 4. The location is stunning, making a true toes-in-thewater fisherman’s cottage.



A selection

OF OUR FAVOURITE PLACES BY THE SEA There are so many wonderful seaside destinations in the West Country, our favourites seem to change from day to day, but here are just a few which we hope will give you as much pleasure as they've given us.


Lapped by shallow waters and within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the beach at Bigbury-on-Sea is ideal for family holidays. With a selection of rock pools and wide expanse of soft sand, Bigburyon-Sea offers safe fun for those with children in tow. Cover your feet, grab a net, and venture into the shallows when the tide retreats and you'll find plenty of marine life to keep budding biologists occupied for hours. While the beach is perfect for families, if you're seeking a little more excitement from your holiday, the area offers all sorts of watersports and activities to satisfy the urge for adrenaline-fuelled adventures. Bigbury’s most famous landmark is Burgh Island, overlooking the sandy beach itself. Accessible on foot at low tide, when the waters retreat to reveal


a causeway linking to the beach, Burgh Island can also be travelled to on the unique sea tractor, giving you the opportunity to relive scenes from Agatha Christie's novel ‘Evil Under the Sun’. Located right next to the beach with wonderful views across the bay is the Venus Café (see our feature on page 22). Specialising in organic and local food, its surf ‘n’ turf is one of the best and makes good use of locally sourced ingredients for a platter that everyone will enjoy.


St Mawes in Cornwall is a small fishing village at the end of the Roseland Peninsula, and is now one of the most exclusive waterside villages within the Duchy. Positioned directly within the gulf stream, the climate in St Mawes stays very mild all year round, and during

the summer months temperatures often match those of the Mediterranean, resulting in beautiful local gardens with exquisite fauna and flora. A magnet for the boating and yachting fraternity, St Mawes boasts three boatyards with numerous moorings and anchorages for visiting yachtsmen, with local sailing clubs arranging racing events and evening functions which are enjoyed by locals and holiday visitors alike. As with many of the West Country's seafront villages, St Mawes has become a haven for foodie loving enthusiasts everywhere, with a fine selection of harbour restaurants, pubs and cafés serving some of the best dishes all year round.


Maenporth Beach, with its golden sand,

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St M awes

COTTAGES Nearby...

iterranean The Cornish M ed



In Bigbury-on-Sea, just 200 yards up from the sandy beach, a huge, split-level, detached house for 12, facing south with the most sensational panoramic views over the bay to Burgh Island and the coastline beyond. With a stunning contemporary design, every thought has gone into making this recently built seaside home stylish and superbly comfortable.

SKIPPERS: S224 Close to Summer’s Beach in St Mawes, and only about a minute’s walk from shops, galleries, restaurants and the ferry to Falmouth, is this charming little stone cottage for 5 in a row of similar cottages. St Mawes is a beautiful village for holidaying, with a harbour, two beaches and Henry VIII castle at the end of the lovely Roseland Peninsula.


REF: S23, S40, S46, S54, S56, S58, S59

café and water activities, is ideal for a fun-filled family holiday. Only about 2 miles from the arty town of Falmouth, Maenporth’s sun-soaked shore and relatively calm water are ideal for body boarding, paddling, ocean swimming and relaxing with your favourite book. With idyllic views of rolling hills and across Falmouth Bay towards Pendennis Castle, if you keep your eyes peeled at low tide you may also see the famous wreck of the Ben Asdale.

MAIN IMAGE The wide sandy beach at Bigbury-on-Sea, famous for its links with Agatha Christie's Poirot INSET IMAGE The beautiful harbour at St Mawes, source of some of the finest seafood in Cornwall


In a secluded corner of southeast Cornwall, Kingsand and its neighbouring beach at Cawsand are beaches of sand and shingle with great views of Plymouth Sound. Kingsand makes an excellent starting point

e about th Read all d their an s é af Venus C ecialities organic sp O PAGE TURN T – 22 –

Set on the hillside above the beach, the Maenporth Estate is a welcoming modern development with indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, and two tennis courts in 30 acres of landscaped gardens with woodland walks and children’s play area. We have 7 houses and apartments for 4-6 people, close to the sandy beach. and excellent restaurant.


CAIRN COTTAGE: R105 Only 100 yards from the beach, this large Grade II listed house for 12 is flanked by its neighbours, with thick knobbly walls, exposed beams and inglenook fireplace where the woodburner is housed. On summer days, move to the back where a sheltered suntrap courtyard is on two levels. A big roomy house with plenty of room for everyone, in a stunningly pretty village.



COTTAGES Nearby... LARKSPUR COTTAGE: T12 On the edge of Germoe, only 18 miles from Kynance Cove, is this beautiful, Grade II listed, part-thatched, detached cottage for 5. To the front, a little, well stocked cottage garden; to the rear, an enclosed, level lawned garden with wonderful rural views. A fantastic spot for coastal exploring at any time of year.


SEAGULL'S NEST: R24 About a mile from Millbrook, a detached, cliff-side chalet for 4 with stunning ‘ships ahoy!’ views from Rame Head to Looe. About 100 yards of steep cliff footpath lead to it from the road, while to the side, a grassed area on two levels is perfect for sitting or sunbathing. This is a wonderful place from which to watch the sun rise.




Take the deeply wooded lane down towards Lamorna Cove, 5 miles from Porthcurno, past its pub and 200 yards from the cove, tucked nestling along the banks of the valley stream, is a little detached cottage for 3 built from Lamorna’s fine granite. This idyll was once the studio which inspired the artist ’Lamorna’ Birch. This place is a balm-tothe-soul.

SEADRIFT: Q10 On a quiet, private lane on the northern edge of Mawgan Porth and 3 miles from Whipsiderry, a stunning, large, custombuilt detached house for 8, cleverly designed with the living areas upstairs to take advantage of terrific sea views, and brilliantly positioned for both the beach and bar/restaurant. Everything about this house is excellent.

MAIN IMAGE Kynance Cove beach, regarded as one of the UK's best TOP INSET IMAGE Take a walk on the South West Coast Path to the far west of Cornwall and the paradise of Porthcurno

for a thorough investigation of the rich cultural heritage and abundance of outstanding natural beauty that characterises Devon and Cornwall. The villages used to be divided by a stream and have remained fairly untouched over the years. This means that both Kingsand and Cawsand remain traditional, with narrow streets and picturesque historical buildings.

KYNANCE COVE INSET IMAGE Take in the idyllic views from Maenporth

With its glorious white sand, stunning scenic views and secluded location, Kynance Cove beach is regarded as one of the UK’s best. This child-friendly beach lends itself perfectly to family holidays whilst, at low tide, Kynance Cove offers access to Asparagus Island, an intimate outcrop off the mainland, perfect for a romantic couples' retreat. For those who like to keep a little more active whilst enjoying their beach holiday, Kynance is the starting point of scenic trails, and the extensive rock stacks and caves, with names such as The Parlour and The Drawing Room, are just waiting to be explored.



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Arguably one of the finest stretches of sands in south-east Cornwall, Whitsand Bay beach is actually a sequence of different beaches which, when combined, stretch around four miles from Portwrinkle to Rame Head. The bay itself is overlooked by Rame Head, a conical hill with the ruins of a 14th-century chapel dedicated to St Michael on top, whilst west of Captain Blake’s Point long stretches of sand are interspersed with rocky headlands and small bays, many inaccessible at high tide. For those who like to indulge in a little history, it's recommended you don't miss out on a walk around Fort Tregantle, a 360-foot hexagonal fort bounded by a ditch on three sides, built in 1865.


Described by some as a paradise, Porthcurno, in the far west of Cornwall, has won many awards and it’s easy to see why. With gorgeous fine soft white sand washed by a sea that turns turquoise

in the sun and high cliffs on both sides, it’s an oasis of stunning Cornish natural beauty. The large beach has a stream that flows down one side, which is great for kids to paddle in, and up on the cliffs is the internationally renowned Minack Theatre (see page 72), built by theatrical visionary Rowena Wade. Logan Rock, famous for its 80 tonne granite rocking stone is a 30 minute walk from the bay and the fascinating Porthcurno Telegraph Museum telling the story of Cornwall’s role in the pioneering days of global communications is just around the corner from the car park.


Although there are steep steps to

negotiate, this beach is well worth visiting. There’s lots to explore here, from rock pools to cavernous caves. The finest of these is the Cathedral Cavern with its large pillar, pool of water and several tunnels leading off, where white marble is said to have been quarried in times past. If you truly love to explore, then make sure not to miss out on the fine Banqueting Hall cave or travel a little further to discover the Boulder Cavern and the Fern Cavern. Whipsiderry is essentially a beach to visit at low tide when there's firm sand to walk on, and has recently been voted as one of the top 20 best beaches in Europe.


COTTAGES Nearby... SHORE LODGE: P105 In Padstow, only 350 yards from the pretty harbour, sits a handsome, early Victorian, semi-detached house sleeping 8 on three floors. Lofty ceilings, huge windows and generoussized rooms, this lovely family house is hugely convenient for shops, cafés and restaurants, yet is set away from the hustle and bustle.


THE OLD MILL: F6 In Blakewell hamlet, 11 miles from Saunton Sands, sits a charmingly converted, Grade II listed mill for 11 in an acre of truly stunning gardens with its own indoor heated swimming pool. The owners have created a most magical place to stay. Steps and paths up to beautifully landscaped gardens, and an orchard with old Devonshire apple trees, and a sheltered suntrap patio.



With a reputation as one of the best surfing beaches in Cornwall, Constantine Bay beach is a sweeping arc of gently shelving soft pale sands. This west-facing beach has numerous rock pools to explore and is very popular for swimming and surfing. At low tide, Constantine Bay connects with its sister beach, Booby’s Bay, giving a crescent stretch of more than half a mile of golden sand with plenty of room for picnics and beach games. It's said that in winter the ocean removes vast amounts of sand near Booby’s Bay, exposing the jagged plates of a large ship wrecked in 1917, and that in summer the sand returns as if directed to protect swimmers and

surfers alike. And for trivia buffs, this was a favourite holiday haunt of Margaret Thatcher whilst she was Prime Minister.


Privately owned and managed by Christie Devon Estates, Saunton Sands beach is situated at the heart of the North Devon biosphere reserve, and is truly a sight to behold. As you approach Saunton from the road you're greeted by a three and a half mile stretch of golden sand backed by the rolling expanse of Braunton Burrows. One of the most unique and impressive dune systems in the country, it's marvelled at by all who come to visit and never fails to make

a lasting impression on young and old alike. The beach itself faces due west and is bordered to the south by the estuaries of the rivers Taw and Torridge. There's always plenty of room for everyone, especially at low tide when the sea can retreat for up to 500 metres, revealing a further two and a half million square metres of sand! As well as being a world class family beach, Saunton's also renowned for some of the best surf in the country. Backing on to the Atlantic, when there's a good swell, it can produce line after line of beautiful long slow rollers that prove to be an irresistible draw for longboarders from all over.

For more cottages in and around these areas please go to our website - or call our booking team on 01647 434360


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MAIN IMAGE Take in the picturesque harbour village of Padstow, source of some of the finest seafood

FESTIVAL Powderham Castle Saturday 4th October 2014

Putting the FEAST back into Festival It’s Autumn - fire, succulent barbequed meat, hot chestnuts, slow-cooked pulled pork, and roasted pumpkins - all served up in the beautiful surroundings of Powderham Castle. At this year’s Festival we will be revelling in all things fiery and smoky with over 100 producers exhibiting in the castle and grounds, fascinating demonstrations, talks and tastings.

10:30am – 5pm, £6 entry (children – free), free parking Kindly sponsored by


Michael Smith

owner of The Venus Company


With award-winning beach cafés, takeaways and shops, The Venus Company counts itself extremely lucky to be located at some of Devon and Cornwall’s most stunning and sought after beaches. This popular, award-winning family run business takes pride in sourcing excellent quality, local, healthy and tasty produce, serving a wonderful array of tempting food and drink. Michael Smith and his wife Louisa, co-owners of The Venus Company, endeavour to work with producers who have a similar ethos to them, including Eversfield Organic, Riverford Dairy, Langage Farm, Yeo Valley, Sharpham Vineyard and Luscombe Organic Drinks, to name just a few. “There are so many fantastic benefits associated with sourcing produce locally,” Michael says. “As a family run business we're keen to

support our surrounding economy, its farmers, producers and other related businesses too. This is one of the main factors which drives us to source our products from the region. That and their outstanding taste and freshness, of course.” Michael continues: “As a company situated in some of the South West’s most beautiful locations, we strive to minimise the harmful effects our business and its operations have on the environment.” Michael strongly believes in sourcing products wherever possible locally and organically has enormous benefits on the environment.

The company’s philosophy is best summed up by their strapline ‘Loving the Beach’. Michael and Louisa are keen to support and help develop sustainability in the regional economy through enterprise and innovation. Twice they've won the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development, one of only ten companies throughout the UK to have been awarded a sustainability honour in 2010 and one of only eight in 2005, with the judges describing Venus as ‘a rare example of a sustainable café chain’.

MAIN IMAGE The award-winning Venus Beach Cafés serve a fantastic array of local produce RIGHT IMAGE The beaches of Blackpool Sands (left) and East Portlemouth (right) where two of the cafés can be found


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e f a C Venus Beac h Bigbury-on-Sea


Cafes & Takeaways Blackpool Sands

Whether you’re visiting the region on holiday or live locally, a visit to Devon’s secluded ‘Blue Flag’ awarded Blackpool Sands with its clear turquoise waters is an absolute must. Open daily and during the evenings, The Venus Café and Takeaway serves mouthwatering hot and cold food including seafood specials, organic beef burgers, scrumptious sandwiches and a wide selection of child friendly favourites. There’s also The Venus Beach Shop selling inflatables, buckets and spades, beach games and much more and Venus Riders for watersports hire.

COTTAGES Nearby... Six miles from Blackpool Sands, just 150 yards up from Dittisham's river and quayside, sits this large, Grade II listed, detached house for 12. Sitting alongside sister cottages lining the lane down to the water, this stone-built 18th century cottage has been transformed into a superbly spacious coastal home for sailing, walking, beaches and exploring.


UNDERBECKS: L901 Underbecks is an exceptionally exciting detached house for 12, brilliantly positioned on the hillside just above and overlooking South Sands’ sandy beach and with sensational views upstream to Salcombe, across the estuary from East Portlemouth. Underbecks is very spacious and full of light.

East Portlemouth Only a stone’s throw from popular Salcombe, the beaches at East Portlemouth offer peace and tranquillity. The Venus Beach Shop and Takeaway at East Portlemouth is open daily (March – October). See our feature on pages 6-7.

Bigbury-on-Sea Renowned for its watersports, why not have a go at stand up paddle boarding, surfing or kayaking with Venus Riders in conjunction with Discovery Surf School when visiting Bigburyon-Sea? Perfect for those who have built up an appetite, The Venus Takeaway located next to the beach serves a scrumptious array of hot and cold food.

Tolcarne Nestled in a beautiful bay, Tolcarne beach in Cornwall is perfect for those seeking family fun in a charming setting. With a glassscreened decked area, The Venus Company offers all weather dining every day from March until October.


APARTMENT 16: L548 Just 20 yards from Bigburyon-Sea's splendid sandy beach, and looking at Burgh Island across the low-tide sandy causeway, is this truly excellent development of 29 high quality apartments for 4-7, all part of a private leisure club. The views over the sea, and across a huge expanse of smooth washed yellow sand reaching to Burgh Island, are outstanding.

Watergate Bay Famed for its vast expanse of fine golden sand and loved by surfers, Watergate Bay is one of Cornwall’s must-visit beaches. Situated right on the beach and open daily, The Venus Takeaway offers an enticing menu of local and organic food and drink.

The Shops at Dartington Visit The Venus Company’s only inland café at The Shops at Dartington, near Totnes. After a spot of retail therapy or a visit to the new ‘The Food Shop’, what could be better than sitting back with a steaming organic coffee and one of Venus’s wonderful homemade cakes?



SANDRIDGE BOATHOUSE: C617 Six miles from Dartington and about 1¼ miles from Stoke Gabriel is a boathouse built in 1760 as a bathing house in one of the most secluded, private and romantic settings in south Devon. The boathouse which sleeps 4, has thick woods behind and is on the water's edge, surrounded by a wide covered balcony. The only sounds are lapping water and wind in the trees.






At the western extremity of England lies the peninsula of the West Country, an area that encompasses everything from genteel, ‘time-forgotten’ villages to vast Atlantic-facing beaches of golden sand and wild regions of granite moorland.

Bordered by water on three sides, and bathed by the warm southerly winds that wash in from the 4,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean, this peninsula, a region dominated by its relationship with the sea, has been seducing visitors with its considerable charms for centuries. The winning combination of rural peace and first-class beaches gives the West Country a special appeal to outdoors enthusiasts, while local galleries, museums and first class restaurants provide plenty of diversions for those of a more sedate disposition. But most visitors to the West Country say the strongest first impression they get is of peace, quiet and tranquility, the dark ‘star-watching’ skies, the sounds of birdsong and the easy-going, old fashioned pace of life. They tell us they feel better when they get home from a break in the West.

© Carla Regler Seadrift Images


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We sincerely believe that cottage holidays in the West Country are good for you: an opportunity for the freedom to do your own thing. From a romantic snug for just the two of you, to a great country house for a family party to remember, we’ve selected a few of our wonderful places to stay in this glorious part of the country.

THE BIG ONES - 26-29


WITH POOLS - 32-33




The BIG ones

There are huge houses in beautiful locations all over the West Country. Whether you’re looking for a secluded farmhouse, an historic manor, a vast converted barn or a seaside family house overlooking one of the West Country’s delightful beaches, there’s a place for you. Come and be lord of the manor for a week, treat your friends to a weekend of fun, gather the family for a special reunion or even take the plunge and tie the knot.

SWEETON MANOR It’s not often you find the kind of holiday home that dreams are made of. You could spend time in this manor house pretending you were in a Jane Austen novel or a James Bond film, and nobody would blame you. Ponsworthy is a tiny farming village on Dartmoor in the picturesque valley of the West Webburn River, where you can enjoy woodland walks beside the river and to tors and moorland. Set in this majestic scenery is Sweeton Manor, an historic 16th century granite and thatch manor house, blissfully


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Ponsworthy Sweeton M anor

About Ponsworthy

hidden and surrounded by peaceful, empty countryside. One of our ‘big houses’, Sweeton Manor can comfortably sleep 18 people, more than enough for a family gathering or small wedding party. And there’s more to Sweeton Manor than the house. The grounds include two detached barns, one housing a beautiful indoor swimming pool, opulently tiled with a blue marble and limestone mosaic. The pool itself is strikingly framed with timbers and benefits from both natural and atmospheric lighting,

its own steam room, shower and changing rooms. For the big kid in you, there’s the games barn with its competitionstandard snooker table and chesterfield sofas, perfect for retiring to with a large glass of port. The house still retains its original features and charming traditional details have been superbly adapted to create a modern home with classic comforts. After staying here, you may find that going back to normality doesn’t quite cut the mustard.

Ponsworthy is a tiny far ming village in the valley of the bou ldered, pooled and tree-lined little We st Webburn River on Dartmoor. You’ll find lovely woodl and walks beside the river and to the tors and moorland. Poundsgate, where you ’ll find a good food pub, is 1½ miles, while the beaches are roughly 18 miles away. This is a very special place in a spectacular moorland setting.

SWEETON MANOR. REF A300 01647 434360


Combe Raleigh Abbots M anor


In the Otter Valley, at the foot of the Blackdown Hills, you’ll find Combe Raleigh and Abbots Manor - a large holiday home, which was owned by the Raleigh family in the late 13th century. This Grade II listed Georgian house was once the manor to the 3,000-acre Combe Raleigh estate, which lives up to its ‘Outstanding Natural Beauty’ status. The three-storey house sleeps 16 people in four double and four twin bedrooms and has enough to keep everyone entertained for your stay. It

benefits from both beautiful period features and antique furniture, as well as all modern comforts. The house looks like the perfect setting for a family Christmas, for postcard-perfect memories, and has large enough grounds to make the most of summer fun. With a large enclosed garden and outdoor seating, including a campfire area with rustic log seats to enjoy balmy nights under the stars, this manor house is for making memories with friends and extended family.

This house was the most beautiful home we have ever stayed in. The setting was perfect, the rooms absolutely beautiful and the area stunning.

About Combe Raleigh

Combe Raleigh is a sm all, picturesque village in the Otter Valley at the foot of the Blackd own Hills. Owned by the Raleigh family in the late 13th century, there are many historic houses and gar dens nearby, and only 3½ miles aw ay is the village of Luppitt with an interesting old pub. You’re only 11 miles fro m the World Heritage ‘Jurassic Co ast’ and beaches at Sidmouth, Branscom be, Beer and Seaton.

ABBOTS MANOR. RE F G51 01647 434360

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Noss M ayo Tidal Waters

Tidal Waters

About Noss M ayo Newton Ferrers and No ss Mayo are adjoining small village s beside the lake-like river Yealm est uary. Sheltered by oak-woode d hillsides, they’re popular for sai ling, lovely for walking and perfect for just sitting. There are good food pub s here, and at low tide you can tak e the footpath across the creek, but if you wish to travel a little further, tak e the pedestrian ferry to the coast walk to Wembury and its seclud ed beach.

TIDAL WATERS. REF L75 01647 434360

TIDAL WATERS Noss Mayo is where you’ll find Tidal Waters, at the end of a tidal inlet and just opposite the Ship Inn (a good place to make your local during your stay!). It’s easy to spend your holiday on the river-facing balconies, watching the world go by in front of a backdrop of majestic views. Tidal Waters has enough room to accommodate 15 people, and a creekside garden with direct access to the foreshore for dinghy and canoe launching – you

can bring your own, or to save on the luggage, you can hire them nearby. For those with a sporty inclination, Tidal Waters is only 100 yards from the village tennis courts and playing fields, or if you prefer a country walk, then you’re in luck with close proximity to National Trust woodland. This is an absolutely smashing holiday home with river, boating, pubs and walks all nearby.

The location was brilliant, with a pub only a few steps away which served wonderful food and a fab walk on Sunday morning to work it off!

Holidaymaker - 17th February 2014 29

the area Discover of selection with our e und th walks aro West th u So



Only half a mile from the small village of Dousland on the south-western slopes of Dartmoor, nestled on a quiet lane and surrounded by a working farm, is this contemporary detached cottage for two next to the owners’ farmhouse. Set in the area where the rural scenes of Stephen Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’ were filmed, this carefully renovated and refurbished cottage offers views over the shared garden and across paddocks to the

countryside and moorland beyond. This is a perfect setting for discovering both Devon and Cornwall, and being close to the Plym Valley, a wooded valley leading to the slopes of Dartmoor, with a varied industrious past, there’s plenty to explore either on foot or bike.


Set just 20 yards back from Bigburyon-Sea’s big and splendid sandy beach, looking over the causeway to

A perfect holiday! The most beautiful cottage set in an idyllic location. We also fell in love with the animals.

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O PAGE TURN T – 42 –

Burgh Island, sits this truly excellent development of 29 apartments, of which we let 14, with panoramic views across the sea to the south-west. Each of the apartments sleeping 4 (a couple, including L535, sleep up to 6 or 7) have been individually furnished to create a modern luxury seaside haven. As part of the exclusive Burgh Island Causeway coastal resort, set in an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, you can take full advantage of the gym, indoor pool and sauna, or simply relax with refreshments from the leisure club as you relive the days adventures.

Fort Picklecombe

Built in 1848 to protect Plymouth, Fort Picklecombe has now been converted into light and airy apartments with

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On the slopes of





sensational right-out-to-sea views. We let 3 and R82 (above) sleeps 4. Whatever you do, don’t forget to bring binoculars when staying here, as the shipping activity, let alone the potential for dolphins, seals and cormorants, will keep you fascinated for hours. This is a truly amazing location, described as ‘like being on a cruise without ever having to leave dry land’, but if you do fancy testing your sea legs, simply take a walk to the pretty fishing village of Cawsand where you can take a ferry to Plymouth.


Just 300 yards from a country pub, on a hedgerow-sheltered lane that leads up to the high moors, sits a recently

converted old stone barn close to the spectacular rock tors and beautiful tree filled valleys. Just to one side of this delightful detached cottage for 4 is your very own cobbled courtyard garden, but should you feel like a little more room, then simply take a few strides to the gently sloping grassed gardens, where there’s plenty of space to indulge in ball games, picnics or simple gentle reflection. In all, you have 14 acres of grounds to explore, including Hayne Brook which runs alongside the paddocks - perfect for Pooh Sticks. This is a beautifully adapted cottage, within walking distance of the open moors, so there’s plenty of fine walks just on your doorstep.

Dog Friendly Cottages

Pets are very much par t of the family, and they enjoy being with us on holiday as much as any other family member. There are plenty of hol iday homes all across the South We st where your dog is more than welco me. Relax in a smart apartment or a cosy cottage beside a dog-friendly beach or somewhere to run fre e on moorland. There are mil spectacular es of open space and stunning sce nery in places where the family attitud e and warm welcome extend to you r dog too.

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Bovey Castle A luxury resort



Originally built in 1907 as a country seat for the heir to the WH Smith Empire, Bovey Castle is now a renowned hotel. Carefully hidden in the grounds are 22 private lodges: smart, stylish and comfy, each one overlooking the Edwardian gardens. Ingle Tor, one of the eight of these charming and unique homes we let, is perfectly placed for a fun recreational holiday with activities that the entire

family can enjoy together. All the hotel facilities are yours to enjoy, including indoor heated swimming pool (pictured above), a championship 18 hole golf course, hard and grass tennis courts, croquet lawn, gym, sauna, steam room and restaurant. Here your children can enjoy arts and crafts, egg collecting and even time with ferrets while you try your hand at something a little more adventurous such as archery, rifle shooting, fly fishing or falconry.

Wonderful place. The grounds were lovely to walk round day or late evening when the grounds are floodlit. A most memorable holiday.

Cottages with Pools There’s no better time to enjoy a pool than when you’re on holida especially when that poo y, l is right on your doorstep. So, if you have an affi nity for water, or have children lookin g to enjoy a ‘splish, splash’ on hol iday, don’t forget to pack your sw imming costumes and let our self-catering cottages with pools wa sh your working worries away.

FOR MORE, JUST CA LL US ON 01647 434360

Holidaymaker - 29th September 2013 32

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a e S n o y r u b Big

seas Golden sands, silver





Burgh Island Causeway

Embrace the life of a water baby at this retreat – right beside the beach, you couldn’t get closer to the ocean without staying on a ship. There’s an indoor pool, sauna and spa pool to wash away your stresses, perfect if you want to take a dip and the weather isn’t up to scratch. As for the ocean, that’s right on your doorstep… at low tide, a pathway appears, leading to Burgh Island, a small tidal island just off the south

Devon coast. At high tide the ride across by sea tractor is thrilling. Only 20 yards from Bigbury-on-Sea’s big and splendid sandy beach, this is an excellent development of 29 apartments, of which we let 14, with a very good private Leisure Club. The views over the sea to the south and west, and at low tide of a huge expanse of smooth washed yellow sand reaching to Burgh Island, are outstanding. From your apartment you can while away the hours watching and

Very comfortable property in superb location. Warm, clean and many extras. Happily recommend

Holidaymaker - 27th December 2013

measuring time as the causeway appears and then is enveloped once again by the ocean. No. 29, on the top floor, sleeps 4 and will give you sensational views across the bay so you can assess conditions before you grab your board and go surfing or enjoy the sunset from your west-facing balcony.

To rea d abo Bigbu ut ry-on-S ea and other our favou rite pla ces by the se a


TO P AGE – 16 –




In this delightful little hamlet, once a collection of stone quarrymen’s cottages, lies Figtree Cottage. Tucked away, just a short stroll from the pub at Edmonton and the Camel Trail, the cottage, a cleverly designed, ecofriendly, smart ‘upside down’ cottage for 4, is converted from a barn next to the owner’s property. Just behind the home is a luscious suntrap garden for you to sit and

enjoy convivial company or a good book. If you’re keen to learn a little more about sustainable living, you can explore the owner’s kitchen garden and small wood at your leisure.


‘Upside down’ barn conversions seldom fail to be charming; you get to make the most of characteristic beams and enjoy fabulous bird’s eye views. Blissfully away from main roads

An excellent holiday home with every amenity. Its location near to the Camel Trail for walking or cycling is a big bonus.

Holidaymaker - 9th October 2013 34

and traffic noise, this home for 4 is pleasantly nestled in the shelter of high Dartmoor on a traditional farmstead so you can slip on your wellies and live the ‘good life’. The home really has the best of both worlds. It’s far enough away from it all to forget modern bustle exists, though not completely detached. With a nearby river, great for fishing, and the National Trust property, Castle Drogo, golf, the coast and Exeter just a short distance away, you’re certain to find plenty to do.


This is eco-living at its cosiest. Set along a private drive on an environmentally friendly 135 acre working farm, there are two attached

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siest Eco-living at its co




cottages sleeping 4 close to the owner’s very charming 17th century farmhouse. The land is in a lush and quiet spot just 2 miles from civilisation. Sidmouth and Exeter are just a short drive away, so you can experience the best of both, then indulge in the beautiful quiet after a busy day sightseeing. If you really want to make the most of living on a farm, you can help out if you like. With the horses, chickens, Devon cattle and Gotland sheep, you couldn’t feel more away from it all. The solar panels and distant log boiler, fed by coppiced wood from sustainably managed woodland, will give you eco ideas to take home.


Ringmore is a picture postcard village with an excellent pub, just a short distance away from Ayrmer Cove and the Coast Path. If you want to get close to gorgeous Ayrmer Cove, then this is the place for you. As one of the closest dwellings for 8, you’re treated to uninterrupted views across ancient rolling countryside and the ocean. Don’t forget your binoculars, camera, a bird book and a sturdy pair of boots, and you might want to plan some picnics as well! This area is a natural haven and breeding ground for rare birds and dragonflies, which makes it a great place to explore.

Eco-Friendly Cottages

Eco holidays are the new craze. A wholesome experience , you can live sustainably and make memories and it won’t cost the Earth. Moreover, with the secluded loc ations of these holiday homes, you’ll spot wildlife you may not have see n before, as well as majestic sta rry nights... holiday bliss! Whilst we encourage our owners to think sustainably, we also make sure that these cottages rem ain warm and comfortable. We’re not into the ‘hair-shirt’ approach.

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Teign mouth

ort Small resort & p

The Saltings



TEIGNMOUTH Do you like being close to a boat-filled bay? Well you couldn’t get much closer with this holiday home for 4. Based right on the mouth of the river Teign, this is the perfect time-wasting spot where you can watch the ever-changing views right from your bed. This toes-in-the-water fisherman’s cottage, carefully refurbished and endof-terrace, with views across to pretty Shaldon, will give you a waterside experience you won’t forget. Bring your binoculars, there’s lots to


Two OTTA GE of high ly r our mo S eco mm st and end p ed o p holi day ular hom es

see here, though if you’re one to avoid lying around all day watching the world go by (though who could blame you?) there’s plenty in the surrounding area to keep you entertained. Teignmouth is a small resort and port beneath the Haldon Hills where you can find a sandy beach, Victorian pier, promenade, amusements, play park, skate park, tennis, crazy golf, shops, theatre and a railway. There are also some very nice pubs on the estuary and harbour.

What a property! Everything was first class. A lot of care and attention has been given to make The Saltings a wonderful place to stay.

About Teignmouth Combining all the attr actions of a traditional seaside res ort with a busy port, Teignmouth has something for everyone. After a day paddling in the shallow sea, feeling the soft san d between your toes, what could be better than to replenish your ene rgy with some wonderful food – with fresh, locallycaught fish featuring highly on many award winning menus in the town.

Read about the Crab Shack on page 14

THE SALTINGS. REF B14 01647 434360

Holidaymaker - 12th October 2013 36

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a l u s in n e P d n a Rosel ine Breathtaking coastl


ROSEVINE There are few places in the UK as beautiful as the Roseland Peninsula. Along Carrick Roads and up the nooks and crannies of the River Fal and Mylor Creek, you’ll find plenty of places to stop off and explore, either by boat or kayak. The hamlet itself, Rosevine, is just moments away from Porthcurnick Beach, just along the quiet south coast, which is perfect for bathing and exploring rock pools, and is a short distance from the South West Coast Path. Walking boots are de rigueur, as

from here you can walk the stunning coastline in both directions, stopping off at many beautiful places. This peaceful, detached home for 6 comes with its own quarter acre of garden with a decked terrace and masses of parking, so you can even bring your boat and explore the breathtaking coastline by the sea. It’s a light, stylish, modern seaside home, warm and welcoming at any time of year and in an excellent position for long walks.

The cottage was fantastic, described just as we found it. The perfect break made easy.

Holidaymaker - 9th September 2013

About Rosevine This beautiful part of Cornwall is a popular place for vis itors from across the country, and is dotted with award-winning restau rants and glorious beaches. Howe ver, the Roseland remains a larg ely unspoilt place to explore and wh ile away lazy summer days. A proper peninsula, the Roseland is separated from the remainder of Cornwall by the deligh tful River Fal.

MORVAST. REF S232 01647 434360



“The loveliest village in England” (Dylan Thomas) There are very few places in the United Kingdom which have retained their original character and charm like the tiny fishing village of Mousehole. Mousehole (pronounced “Mowzel”) is one of Cornwall’s most picturesque villages: a stunning collection of yellow-lichened houses, built from the local finely-grained Lamorna granite, huddled together around the inner edge of the harbour and protected from the force of the sea coming across Mount’s Bay by two sturdy breakwaters. Mousehole is a popular tourist destination. A small and very safe beach in a sheltered part of the harbour is popular with families, particularly those with small children. An ideal location for family days out, with safe bathing, quite literally at your feet.

There are mouthwater ing restaura nts in Mouseho le, like muc h of the West Co untry. To re ad more about our gr eat chefs...



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The Queac h

min Comfortable, welco

g & muc h loved

The Queach, a charming traditional cottage with stunning right-out-to-sea views

A much loved cottage from which to enjoy the ever-changing moods of the sea

150 yards from Mousehole’s little centre of shops, pubs, cafÊs and pretty harbour REF: Z45


r o o d d l e fi to

What started as a family farm in Buckfastleigh now delivers organic produce to 47,000 UK households, and their small-scale, organic ethic is as strong as ever. When Guy Watson started farming organic vegetables, he had three acres of land on his family’s Devon farm, a wheelbarrow and a dream to supply fresh fruit and veg at affordable prices. Seven years later he started delivering to local families. Riverford Organic Farms now deliver around 47,000 boxes a week. Small-scale, locally grown, organic vegetables of excellent quality was Riverford’s defining ethos. So the challenge was finding a way of meeting demand without losing their friendly,


personal service. They did this by working in partnership with other farmers and extending products to include organic meatboxes, eggs, milk and bread. The Buckfastleigh farm is now part of a co-op of 12 family farms, allowing them to share tools and equipment and rotate crops to ensure soil fertility. There are three other Riverford farms around the UK which work with local growers and put the same emphasis on delicious, competitively priced

produce. The company’s long list of awards includes Best Organic Retailer at the Soil Association’s Natural and Organic Awards 2013 and Farmer of the Year in 2012. If you need any further persuasion, Riverford produce normally takes no more than two days from field to doorstep, the boxes are around 20% cheaper than supermarket organic vegetables and the products’ distinctive freshness and flavour put most nonorganic options to shame.

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e p i c e R d r o f r e v i R

lidays A treat for the ho

Raspberry Ripple Ice-cream Riverford say you don’t need an ice-cream maker for this and the secret is to use the best quality eggs!

Ingredients: 125g raspberries, mashed lightly with a fork 60g jam sugar 2 tbsp water 4 large egg yolks 125g caster sugar 250ml whole milk 250ml double cream, whipped to soft peaks

Method: 1. Put the raspberries, jam sugar and water in a pan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a rapid boil and cook for 4-5 minutes to thicken. 2. Remove from the heat and sieve with a wooden spoon to remove the pips. Leave to cool. 3. Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a bowl. 4. Bring the milk to the boil, remove from the heat, leave for 1 minute then gradually whisk into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the same pan and cook gently, stirring constantly, until it thickens to a pouring custard consistency. 5. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Leave until cool, then cover with clingfilm. Chill in the fridge. 6. Add the cream to the chilled custard and whisk together before transferring to a large plastic container. Cover and freeze for 2½-3 hours and then whisk until slightly slushy.

INSET IMAGE Guy Watson, founder of Riverford Organics, with his cardoons

7. Return to the container and swirl the jam to make a ripple effect. Freeze until firm and enjoy.


tle King A rthur's TCinastagel


© Michael Murray


King Arthur & the Slate Coast 3.6 miles

A walk around Tintagel, made a romantic destination for Victorian tourists by poets such as Tennyson, whose 'Idyll of the Kings' set the tale of King Arthur in what is still one of Britain's most visited resorts. A brilliant walk for children, who will love the atmospheric ruins of 'King Arthur's castle'. A great walk in springtime, when the sea is blue in the bright sunshine and there are primroses and new scrolls of bracken under the gorse and the blossoming thorn bushes. In autumn it's at its best on a windy day, when flocks of fulmars and kittiwakes stream by on their way south, and gannets can be seen offshore. 1. From Tintagel Visitor Centre walk towards the village centre, past King Arthur’s Great Halls and then the Old Post Office. 2. At the Cornishman Inn turn left and follow Vicarage Hill down to St Materiana Church. 3. From the main entrance to the church walk straight ahead to the gate. Turn right in front of the car park and walk down to the South West Coast Path. Turn right on the Coast Path and walk to Tintagel Castle. From here drop down to the beach at Tintagel Haven, returning afterwards to the Coast Path to carry on around the headland. 4. Follow the Coast Path to the next big


headland at Barras Nose. Detour left to the tip of the headland for fine views out across the Atlantic. 5. Returning to the Coast Path, ignore the small paths heading inland to continue above Smith's Cliff to where the Coast Path turns right and appears to be heading inland. 6. As the Coast Path turns left again in front of the fields, take the path carrying straight on ahead, heading inland towards Bossiney. Follow the green lane and then the tarmac lane to the main Bossiney Road. 7. On the main road turn right and follow Bossiney Road around onto Fore Street and back to the Visitor Centre.

FIND MORE WALKS The South West Coast Path National Trail is rated as one of the top walks to be found anywhere in the world by Lonely Planet and voted Britain’s best walking route by the readers of Walk magazine. Where else can you walk along 630 miles of such superb coastline? The heritage, wildlife, geology and scenery along the way are truly inspirational and every day walking it brings stunning new experiences. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon stroll to take you to a beauty spot, or embark on the challenge of hiking the entire route from Somerset's Minehead on the edge of Exmoor around to the shores of Poole Harbour in Dorset, or something in between, a visit to the South West Coast Path website will point you in the right direction.

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© Mick Sandford

& East PortleGmarouathRock

The view of Salcombe Estuary

from the Coast Path

An open stroll above the shoreline of Salcombe Harbour, passing the romantic ruins of Fort Charles. Throughout the centuries the estuary has been a lively place for trade as well as shipbuilding, and the shipwrecks in its waters include one from the Bronze Age, 4,000 years ago. This walk is particularly good for dogs as it passes beaches where dogs are welcome. You can use the route (or part of it) to visit the quiet beaches of East Portlemouth, too, as well as sheltered beaches at Mill Bay and Rickham Sand. 1. From the car park at the western end of East Portlemouth take the lane down to the ferry, turning left on the road at the bottom to walk above Small's Cove and on to Mill Bay. 2. After the National Trust sign beyond Mill Bay beach bear right along the South West Coast Path, signed to Gara Rock. Ignore the top path to Gara Rock and the path to the beach and carry on to the end of the estuary, following the acorn waymarkers around Rickham Common above Limebury Point. 3. After Limebury Point the coastline turns east towards Gara Rock. Carry on along it below Portlemouth Down to Gara Rock.

4. At the ‘Gara Rock’ waymarker bear left to the small white thatched lookout post, passing in front of it to go through the gate and left along the path signed to Mill Bay. Walk up the lane to the public footpath over a stile to the left. 5. Climb the stile to follow the footpath straight across the field to a track. Cross over and carry on down the bridleway, following the blue waymarkers back to Mill Bay. Turn right onto the Coast Path again and retrace your steps towards Small's Cove. 6. Just before you reach Small's Cove a footpath heads through the edge of the trees on your right and climbs gently up to East Portlemouth, giving


& Gara Rock 3.9 miles

© Mick Sa

East Portlemouth

© Robert Sears


Up to your knees in

bluebells at East Po rtlemouth

you a shortcut back to the car park at the start of the walk. 7. At Mouth Mill, descend to the left by the sea wall, crossing the stream and turning left up the track beyond. After the tumbledown building on the right-hand side, turn sharply right and follow the Coast Path up through the woods. Reaching the stile at the top of the woods, leave the Coast Path and go straight ahead over the brow of the hill to the gate and stile. From here follow the permissive path inland, along a green lane. At the farm buildings bear right, past a large barn, and then bear right again up the road to return to the car park.


Hill Clovelly & Mouth

Š Rob Kendall



Š David Fo


& Mouth Hill 5 miles

Through the woods, passing the Brownsham Moors and the Culm Grasslands. An unusual habitat with a rich diversity of wildlife. A great walk in the autumn, when the trees start to turn and small birds and mammals rummage through the fallen leaves in search of winter stores. 1. Coming out of the car park entrance at Brownsham, turn left, turning right a moment later along the path signed to Mouth Mill to follow the track downhill. At the main fork in the woods take the right-hand path, signed as a bridleway, bearing left shortly afterwards. 2. Turn right off the main track a little way beyond and follow the bridleway up a rocky track. Carry straight on through the gate, bearing left around the edge of the field. Follow the bridleway across the next field, heading past the gate in the middle of the field. 3. Bear left along the track at the top corner of the field, following the bridleway down through Court Farm and on along the drive. 4. Coming to the estate yard and the church, detour to the church or gardens by following the black-andwhite signs, ahead and then to the right


before curving left. Returning to 4 (or continuing the walk without making the detour), bear right up the drive, turning left along the pavement when you reach the road. At the end of the pavement continue ahead along the road, past the 'no through road' signs. 5. At the junction by the small car park, if you are not detouring right to visit Clovelly, turn left onto the South West Coast Path, signed towards Brownsham. Fork left again immediately, through the large black gate, bearing right along the track. Follow the acorn waymarkers along the clifftop, passing first through parkland and then fields and open ground before going into woodland. Bear right at the junction, following the Coast Path to the Angel's Wings shelter. 6. Fork right at the junction beyond the shelter and follow the Coast Path through the open area above the cliffs

Looking out over CLovelly known as Gallantry Bower, before dropping downhill. At the T-junction detour right to the viewpoint, otherwise turn left to follow the Coast Path steeply downhill, turning sharply right soon afterwards to follow the track to the coast at Mouth Mill. 7. At Mouth Mill, descend to the left by the sea wall, crossing the stream and turning left up the track beyond. After the tumbledown building on the right-hand side, turn sharply right and follow the Coast Path up through the woods. Reaching the stile at the top of the woods, leave the Coast Path and go straight ahead over the brow of the hill to the gate and stile. From here follow the permissive path inland, along a green lane. At the farm buildings bear right, past a large barn, and then bear right again up the road to return to the car park.

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© Geoff Bonell

Dartmouth Castle

Dartmouth Castle framed by trees


© Nick Shepherd

Dartmouth Castle on the River Dart 3.4 miles

A stroll along the River Dart from Coronation Park to Dartmouth Castle, just one of many fortifications built over the centuries to defend what has always been one of England's most important waterways. Children will love to climb to the top of the tower, with its breathtaking views over the river, and explore the maze of passages below. This is a brilliant walk in spring, when the woods around the castle are carpeted with wildflowers and ring with birdsong.

1. Start this walk from Coronation Park which can be found near the Dartmouth Higher Ferry on North Embankment. Facing the river, turn right. 2. At the end of Coronation Park follow the North Embankment past the Boat Float. 3. Keep going as the path becomes the South Embankment and continue to the end, turning right here through Cole's Court. 4. Turn left down Lower Street and carry on beside the river for a while until you reach Bayard's Cove Fort. 5. From the old castle climb the steps

and turn left onto Southtown. Follow the path which has now since the Lower Ferry become the South West Coast Path. At Warfleet Road take the path to Gallants Bower, beautiful area with stunning views over the River Dart estuary and Start Bay. 6. From Gallants Bower follow the footpath through the woods until it drops you on Castle Road. Turn left and follow the road to Dartmouth Castle. 7. From the castle carry on alongside the river, past One Gun Point, to Warfleet Cove.

REFRESHMENTS TINTAGEL: Near the start/end of the walk in Tintagel, the Camelot Castle Hotel, The Mill House, and Wooton's Country Hotel are recommended by users of as serving good food and being very dog-friendly. GARA ROCK: The award-winning Venus Café at East Portlemouth serves a range of locally produced, mainly organic fare. Roughly midway through the walk is the superbly-positioned restaurant at Gara Rock. CLOVELLY: No refreshments directly on route, but a selection available in Clovelly village and at the nearby Visitor Centre, a short detour away on foot (but be warned, it's quite a steep climb back out of the village). DARTMOUTH: There are plenty of places in Dartmouth and Dartmouth Castle.


Great gardens

of the West Country

From coast to country, Cornwall, Devon and Somerset are full of memorable gardens where hydrangeas, camellias and rhododendron abound in the mild climate, alongside individual specialities – here are six of the best. TREBAH GARDENS

Bamboozle, Glory of Penjerrick, the Stumpery and plants that grow 30cm in 24 hours… No, not an undiscovered verse of Jabberwocky, but features in the 28 acres of sub-tropical paradise at Trebah Gardens, which shelter in a steep valley in Mawnan Smith, Cornwall. The garden is distinctive for its coastal backdrop with a secluded beach and a view of the Helford River. Bamboozle is a bamboo maze following the path of a stream – specimens include the moso bamboo with canes thicker than a man’s arm, which can grow at the rate mentioned above. The Stumpery, at the western edge of the garden, is a fern-laden shady dell with ancient tree stumps and a cascade of water running over a rock face. Sheltering under a forest of oak and beech trees, ‘Glory of Penjerrick’ with its fiery pink blooms is just one of hundreds of specimens of


rhododendron. There is also a valley of hydrangeas in vibrant blues that are sustained by the garden’s rich, acid soil. Trebah is filled with horticultural drama. The jostling flower perfumes stretch through the year, with witch hazel, daphne and Osmanthus in the first quarter, replaced by rhododendron, lilac and Euphorbia in the second, then Buddleja, Philadelphus and Cordyline, and finally sweet box and honeysuckle. Its champion trees include the 24-metre magnolia, the giant Himalayan ‘Pink Tulip Tree’, and an Australian tree fern with a girth of 1.99 metres. You can also get some welcome shade by following

the Gunnera Passage that is formed from arching flat paddles of giant or elephant’s rhubarb.


Another garden right at the water’s edge, with panoramic views down the Fal Estuary, is Trelissick Gardens, a mile from Feock. You can arrive by ferry and alight at the Trelissick Pontoon. The tranquil, elevated gardens cover more than 30 acres and there is a wider estate of some 300 acres with coastal, country and woodland walks. You’ll be welcomed by the tumbling stems and blooms of chaotic wisteria running along the entrance walk, but

The garden is distinctive for its coastal backdrop with a secluded beach and a view of the Helford River.

Trebah Gardens

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Trebah G ardens

COTTAGES Nearby...

er on the Helford Riv



A mile from Mawnan Smith and Trebah, along a pretty tree-lined lane in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, sits this detached lodge for 4 with fantastic uninterrupted sea views. It is surrounded by 6½ acres of gardens and lawn, and you are welcome to enjoy the grounds, from the ‘secret garden’, to the field leading to the coastal footpath.

© National Trust Images, Andrew Butler


this is a real plantsman’s garden, with exotic plants and tender Asian shrubs that thrive in the mild Cornish climate. You’ll find camellias, rhododendrons, ginger lilies, eucalyptus, Christmas berry (Photinia), Azara, Viburnum and magnolia (there’s even a Magnolia Trelissick), many rare species of hydrangea and a host of woodland plants under the canopies of oak, beech and conifers. One of the woodland walks leads you to a shadowy tropical oasis with palm trees, banana trees, tree ferns and, yes, rhododendrons. You can walk, too, in spacious expanses of sloping lawns surrounded by cedars, cypresses and flowering cherries. Trelissick offers plenty for children – arrive at the pontoon by boat and they can then explore the endless winding paths and luxurious foliage, find the best climbing trees and wear themselves out with the excitement of the landscape, the shores of

Set in unspoilt countryside on the edge of Feock is this magnificent, split-level, 300-year-old, detached house for 8 with views of Restronguet Creek. The suntrap garden with lawn and flower beds and two patios, one with creek view, is perfect for alfresco dining and the beautiful evening sunsets.


SMUGGLERS HOUSE: S27 A pretty, Grade II listed, semi-detached cottage for 6 in the heart of Gorran Haven, 5 miles from Heligan, and just 50 yards from the beach and 100 yards from the pub. Originally it was an inn, reputed to be the hub of smuggler activity, with a secret tunnel for hiding contraband. A gem of a cottage in a pretty village.

MAIN IMAGE Trebah Gardens, sheltered in a steep valley in Mawnan Smith INSET IMAGE Trelissick’s tranquil, elevated gardens cover more than 30 acres


QUEEN BARN: D5 At the end of Combwich village, right next to the Parrett Trail and 15 miles from Hestercombe, an ancient stone barn for 4 beautifully and carefully converted into this pretty cottage. Snug behind the owners’ pretty farmhouse, it has views of an orchard and horse paddock and also a busy wildlife pond. A very peaceful spot.



The Devon Chef

Enhance your holiday with Devon local food

Devon’s rolling pastures, fertile red earth & beautiful coast produce great food. Let me cook for you! Start your holiday by having your first night’s meal (or any night’s meal, or a special celebration) prepared & delivered by me, especially good after a long drive.

Handpicked Properties with Private Pools

Learn to cook with me. I’ll bring along the best local produce & appropriate recipes, & we’ll cook with some of the best Devon has to offer.

A selection of beautiful individual villas & houses in tranquil rural settings & areas of traditional local culture.


I cater for most tastes & allergies, & lessons are tailored to all levels of skills. Check out the website for further information or contact me to discuss details.

Call for brochure or to speak to one of our specialists

Tim Harris 07980 284122 email

01954 261431

or visit our website Devon Chef.indd 1

Now in our 23rd year 2787


23/06/2014 16:03

The award winning holiday company


The Sunday Times Editor's Award

Welcoming cottages throughout the West Country

01647 434360


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s n e d r a G t s o L The

© Heligan Gardens Ltd

of Heligan

MAIN IMAGE The Lost Gardens of Heligan lay neglected through both world wars

Trelissick beach and the fresh, coastal air. There’s also a sensory garden with fragrant and textured plants, four summerhouses, an Iron Age promontory fort and a creek that’s home to birds such as oystercatchers, herons and egrets.


The nation’s favourite gardens were created by the Tremayne family in 1780. The gardens lay neglected throughout the two World Wars, buried under a tangled web of brambles, ivy, laurel and fallen trees, but after a dramatic restoration in 1992, Heligan now offers a delicious 200 acres of garden and ornamental woodland. The Pleasure Grounds are home to an impressive collection of more than 70 camellias and 350 rhododendrons. The earliest camellia plantings include the papery red coral blooms of ‘Althaeiflora’ and the magical white layers of ‘Fimbriata’, right up to the more recent pink varieties, ‘Fleur

Dipater’ and ‘Gloire de Nantes’. Here you’ll also find Maori-carved tree ferns, an Italian garden and an Alpineinspired ravine. Heligan’s award-winning Victorian productive gardens comprise a vegetable garden, walled flower garden and melon yard. Previously supplying seasonal produce for the Tremayne family, nowadays produce using traditional crops and methods goes to the Heligan Tearoom. There’s also a 22-acre jungle garden on a steep-sided valley – this has a raised boardwalk to test your balancing powers, tunnels of bamboo, giant rhubarb, banana plantations and exotic plants brought back by Victorian explorers. Beyond the main gardens lie the Lost Valley and Ancient Woodlands. If you wander along the sheltered woodland walk, probably accompanied by birdsong, a series of sculptures will unravel. Horsemoor Hide at the heart of Heligan allows the opportunity for wildlife observation and provides images, footage and interactive displays

of the wildlife. The two lakes in the lost valley are also home to the Heligan otter, over-wintering kingfishers and numerous species of bat.


On the southern slopes of the Quantocks in Somerset, Hestercombe Gardens have a stunning view over the Vale of Taunton to the Blackdown Hills. There are three historical parts: Coplestone Warre Bampfylde’s Georgian landscape garden, the Victorian terrace and shrubbery with its formal bedding patterns, and the Great Plat, the Edwardian gardens by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll, 40 acres of lakes, temples, combes and woodland. Landowner, garden designer and architect Coplestone Warre Bampfylde planned the 18th-century Rococo garden on a steep, wooded valley. Called the Landscape Garden, it was designed to capture notable views and holds a range of architectural surprises, such as an octagon summerhouse,


an oriental pergola, a Gothic alcove, a Tuscan temple arbour, a Doric temple and a folly. It also features the Great Cascade waterfall, which flows to the lakes at the foot of the valley. As you head towards the Great Plat, you cross the orangery lawns, the Dutch garden – laid out with perennials such as Yucca gloriosa and China rose – and the orangery. A collaboration between Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens, the Great Plat, or Arts and Crafts garden, is an ode to symmetry and balance with its sunken parterre with geometric borders, a water garden and a large pergola. The vibrant colours of Gertrude Jekyll’s hardy herbaceous planting here were linked to her focus on the sensory experience of gardens, with

colours inspired by J.M.W. Turner and Impressionism. The gardens and the various roosting spaces are also adored by vast numbers of lesser horseshoe bats for both breeding and wintering.


In Kingswear, Devon, Coleton Fishacre is another Arts and Crafts haven. The house, with its Art Deco interior, was designed in the 1920s by Oswald Milne for Rupert D’Oyly Carte (son of the Gilbert and Sullivan impresario). Milne was a pupil of Sir Edwin Lutyens, whose design influence can be seen in the stone-edged rill and pond in the upper, gently sloping rill garden. Trees such as Monterey pines, holm oaks and swamp cypress provide

The garden is blessed with an array of rare and exotic plants from the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa and New Zealand.

Coleton Fishacre 50

shelter from the coastal winds, but the 30-acre tropical garden is set in a sheltered valley and benefits from the warmth of the Gulf Stream. This means that the garden is blessed with an array of rare and exotic plants from the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa and New Zealand. Towering examples include the Persian ironwood tree (Parrotia persica), the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) and the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) with its clustered bunches of red seeds. The garden is divided into small raised areas that descend from the house to the sea, with serpentine slate stone walls retaining the raised beds. The garden climbs down the valley, following a stream, with regular small pools housing thirsty perennials, such as the yellow-flowered Crocosmia ‘Coleton Fishacre’, hordes of giant rhubarb and the creamy white flower plumes of Rodgersia. Rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias are abundant and as you wander down you’re likely

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COTTAGES Nearby...

the Quantocks On the slopes of

THE BOAT HOUSE:C8 Right in the heart of Kingswear, 2 miles from Coleton Fishacre, sits an 18th century terraced cottage for 4 with sensational views along the river Dart and across to Dartmouth. In typical 18th century style, you walk along the front of its sister cottages to your front door, with its decked terrace on two levels at the front.

NEAR COLETON FISHACRE Just a mile from the ancient village of Roborough, and 3.5 miles from Rosemoor, is an elegant, detached cottage for 2, converted from the cart shed and cow byre of a 16th century Grade II listed manor house. Surrounded by paddocks and 24 acres of bluebell woods which you are welcome to roam, this cottage is very private, tranquil and relaxing.



MICHAELMAS COTTAGE: A192 to see many varieties of butterfly, especially in the summer months, including the migrant Clouded Yellow and Wall Brown, as well as tempting, luminous views of the blue sea beyond.

INSET RIGHT Coleton Fishacre is blessed with an array of rare and exotic plants from the Mediterranean


Lady Anne Berry inherited Rosemoor House and estate in 1931 – she described the garden then as “typically Victorian, dull and labour intensive”. When she met plantsman Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram in Spain in the 1950s, the fortunes of her garden changed, because he introduced Lady Anne to the Spanish maquis and inspired her with its beauty. She then collected plants on her travels in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Japan, the USA and South America, resulting in a planting paradise of over 4,000 plants in her eight-acre garden in the Torridge Valley. Managed by the RHS, Rosemoor now extends to 65 acres. As well as Lady Anne’s original garden, there is

MAIN IMAGE Hestercombe Gardens were designed to capture notable views and hold a range of architectural surprises

INSET LEFT RHS Rosemoor requires careful horticultural management

Located 1.5 miles from Stone Lane Gardens and on the edge of Drewsteignton, a pretty village on the most spectacular part of the river Teign valley. Hidden from the lane, is this very pretty thatched cottage for 6, one of three in an L-shaped terrace with its own beautiful, high walled, enclosed garden.


For more cottages in and around these areas please go to our website - or call our booking team on 01647 434360


Love the South West coastline? Devon and Cornwall have over 630 miles of coastline with offshore islands, dramatic cliffs, secluded sandy beaches and rock pools. It’s a spectacular backdrop for swimming, walking, watersports and lots of other leisure activities.

Photo: Rachel Wyatt

Play your part in keeping our seas and beaches in pristine condition for future generations – join the Marine Conservation Society today.

South West seas need your support

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Registered charity no (England and Wales): 1004005

52 Registered charity no (Scotland): SC037480


call 0300 3300 704 or visit shores and wildlife

ON THE GARDEN TOUR Contacts for some of our favourite gardens

Trebah Garden, Mawnan Smith, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 5JZ Tel: 01326 252200 www.trebahga Trelissick Garden, Feock, Cornwall TR3 6QL Tel: 01872 862090 www.national The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pent ewan, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 6EN Tel: 01726 845100 m Hestercombe Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8LG Tel: 01823 413923 www.hestercom Coleton Fishacre, Brownstone Road , Kingswear, Devon, TQ6 0EQ Tel: 01803 842382 www.national RHS Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Devon EX38 8PH Tel: 0845 265 8072 /gardens/rosemoor Stone Lane Gardens, Stone Farm , Chagford, Devon TQ13 8JU Tel: 01647 231311 www.stonelane

For great our , check y discounts E DO SHALL W E ‘WHAT ID U ?’ G TODAY MAIN IMAGE Stone Lane Gardens, where a world of trees can be found condensed into one truly exceptional garden

the Queen Mother’s Rose Garden with 100 modern rose cultivars and the Shrub Rose Garden with an impressive 200 cultivars. The double roses, single roses, climbers and ramblers showcased here are assured to drown you in perfume. There is a formal garden with two coloured themed gardens (spiral and square), herbaceous borders, herb and cottage gardens, a potager with decorative vegetable planting, a foliage and plantsman’s garden, and stream and lakeside planting. Most recent of all are the winter garden and Mediterranean garden, the first flowers in the latter appearing this summer. Surrounded by woodland, positioned in a lower valley, with acidic soil and with frosts from

October to May, the gardens require careful horticultural management.


In the north-eastern corner of Dartmoor National Park, a world of trees can be found condensed into one truly exceptional garden. The culmination of one man’s life’s work and passion for trees, Stone Lane Gardens is that rare achievement – a combination of beauty and great botanical interest, as well as a muchloved showcase for West Country art. Stone Lane Gardens is an acclaimed five acre woodland and water garden with National Collections of wild origin Birch and Alder trees (Betula and Alnus). Rank upon rank of trees are grouped into provenances of the various species,

some groups clustered around the landscaped ponds, others marching up the hillside. There are trees from North America; from Asia; from the Himalayan range; from Europe; from the Orient; from the Arctic. The Gardens have been skilfully landscaped to make the most of the natural contours of the land. There are streams and ponds, boggy areas and little secret corners. Gleaming tree bark in a myriad of shades is enhanced and complemented by a varied tapestry of shade-loving plants. Visitors comment that it is a garden that seems to inspire and this is partly because of the slightly ethereal quality of the birch, with their softly coloured trunks, translucent peeling bark and delicate skeletal shape.


The Gree n Room Meet the surfing chef


The growth of

The South West is no stranger to fine food. Here we look at some exciting newcomers to Devon and Cornwall, up-and-coming chefs and restaurants who are making their food reflect the idyllic destination.


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TheMeeFit Chefve, Ian BWebbeller s

COTTAGES Nearby... NOHENS: P51 Tucked away in a quiet street about 500 yards above Padstow harbour sits a neat Victorian townhouse for 6 with enclosed suntrap garden. Made thoroughly comfortable and stylishly furnished throughout in relaxing seaside colours.


© Matt Austin Images

THE HAY LOFT: G40 Just 1½ miles from both Kentisbeare and Cullompton and 9 miles from Clyst Hydon, is this very roomy and comfy house for 12 converted from a barn, just across a courtyard from the owners’ farmhouse on a beautiful 5 acre organic smallholding. You can walk through the farm, to take in lovely views across miles of countryside.

NEAR IAN WEBBER MAIN IMAGE James Nathan, Cornwall’s very own ‘surfing chef’ INSET IMAGE Ian Webber serves up fine dining with a zing


“Cornwall is perfect as it is saturated with farms, fish and freedom”, says 2008 Masterchef winner James Nathan. “There’s loads of great produce, my favourite ingredients, fish and shellfish, and my favourite sport, surfing”. Indeed, the restaurant at Retallack Resort, where James is executive chef, uses The Green Room as its name, a surfing term for riding inside the barrel of a wave. James describes Cornwall as a “superb natural larder” from which

to source meat, shellfish, fish and vegetables. Simple flavours is what James is known for. “Our style is really just ‘elegant bistro’. Flavour is always put before form. I want things to taste great and look good without having to resort to quick fixes, like micro herbs and fancy frills”. The Green Room offers everything from gourmet dinners to Sunday roasts, and a chicken curry to a grilled half lobster. This inclusive approach is required because it’s part of a family

Flavour is always put before form. I want things to taste great and look good without having to resort to quick fixes, like micro herbs and fancy frills.

James Nathan - The Green Room

resort, although it is also a stand-alone restaurant that’s loved by locals and visitors. Main courses range from £14 to £34.


The Five Bells in Clyst Hydon is a thatched farmhouse overlooking the Devon hills. But it’s no ordinary country pub, because the casual dining menu has a fine dining zing. Styled on sibling business Jack in the Green in Rockbeare, it aims to provide sublime food for everyone. “Whether soup, ploughman’s or a full tasting menu, everyone gets the same warm welcome”, says Chris Charles who heads up the team. They value the community so much that there’s a Bavarian-inspired Stammtisch, a table reserved just for the locals. Recent recruit, head chef Ian Webber,


© David Griffen Photography

has previously worked with Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park and is bringing his fine dining flavours into accessible pub food. “The food is all about flavour and cooking from the heart”, says Chris. “All our produce is locally sourced, all from Devon, and all cooked fresh to order.” There is immense pride in the location. “It’s so beautiful down here and we get fish fresh from Brixham or from the north coast of Devon. The food is as good as anywhere in Europe.” Main courses range from £14.50 to £19.50.


“Gastronomy is about reflecting where you are in the fleeting moment”, says Noel Corston, “I want to capture


that and show my customers”. For him, these fleeting moments have happened in London with Michael Caines and in New Mexico with Vicente Etchegaray. Now they happen on his own terms at Noel Corston@ EX34 in Woolacombe. Noel’s original Courtyard Restaurant in Woolacombe has been revamped in tune with its new name, ripped out, whitewashed and styled with scaffolding tables and retro-style chairs, with the toilets decorated with local street art. There are just 16 seats and one fixed tasting menu, which changes every four to six weeks as new ingredients appear. This seasonal approach links to Noel’s experience in

Mexico, “I admire the way they really utilise what they’ve got, from ceviche to chapulines [toasted grasshoppers]”. He continues, “Offering one fixed menu to a limited number means we can get to know our customers and understand how they want to eat. In fact we’ve tapped into a market that I didn’t know existed. It’s been phenomenal.” A five-course menu is £45 and eight courses £70.


If a menu changes regularly, then you can be fairly sure that the ingredients are locally sourced. Ben’s Cornish Kitchen in Marazion does just that. Owner and chef Ben Prior explains,

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Noel Corston

be’s retro chic

m Experience Woolaco

“Sometimes the fish comes in so fresh you can’t use it until the next day. I sometimes use ingredients that I’ve not cooked with before, it just depends what the day’s catch brings. One day you can get a lobster or a garfish and the next a bass or a red mullet”. When asked about the style of food, Ben says, “I’ve never been one for style. I like to be able to do what I like. I do use a lot of spices, but I can go from

a traditional ham roasted dish with asparagus to tandoori monkfish or Moroccan lamb in a heartbeat”. The restaurant itself tunes in with this freeflowing approach, the atmosphere relaxed, restful and untrammelled by a rigid service. “Many people are not after the stiff service that’s typical of London, so we provide a relaxed atmosphere that makes people feel comfortable”. Main courses range from £13 to £16.

Gastronomy is about reflecting where you are in the fleeting moment. I want to capture that and show my customers.

MAIN IMAGE 26 year old Jamie Porter isn’t phased by the open view kitchen at St Moritz TOP INSET IMAGE Flavoursome dishes from James Nathan at The Green Room BOTTOM INSET IMAGE Ben Prior creates an atmosphere that makes people feel relaxed

Noel Corston - Noel Corston @ EX34 57

raphy © David Griffen Photog

NATHAN OUTLAW “The view across the Camel Estuary from my restaurant is amazing”, says Nathan Outlaw. Nathan spent family holidays in Cornwall as a boy and later worked with Rick Stein at The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, “With Rick, my passion for fish was ignited and I realised that there was so much more to fish cookery than fish and chips!” He is no newcomer to the food scene (he has four other restaurants), but this


one is making waves, retaining two Michelin stars since January 2011. Head chef Chris Simpson, who worked with Nathan at Vineyard in Newbury, aims to showcase the finest local and seasonal produce from our artisan producers. The restaurant seats up to 20, which means the atmosphere is really intimate, and offers one set seafood tasting menu (with a vegetarian option), which might see you sampling Port Isaac lobster, cured brill, crab, red mullet

and turbot in the same sitting. A risky move? “The dishes are so precise”, explains Nathan, “That it would be impossible to do more at the standard we set with such a small team of chefs”. The eight-course tasting menu is £99 per person.

MIKE PALMER “You can sit in the Tors Restaurant and view the hills and the moors of Dartmoor”, says Mike Palmer, head chef

I travel all over the country and yet certain eateries in Devon offer the best food I’ve ever come across.

Mike Palmer - Tors Restaurant

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Nathan Outlaw

COTTAGES Nearby...

s Two M ic helin star

PILLARS: K12 In Heanton Punchardon, 7 miles from Woolacombe, sits a handsome, spacious house for 6 with lovely long rural views, quietly tucked away. At the back is about ½ acre of well kept garden approached over a little bridge. An excellent home, well positioned for beach or moor.

ON THE MENU Contacts for our fine dining favourites

The Green Room, Ret allack Resort, Winnards Perch, Nr Padstow, Cornwall TR9 6DE Tel: 01637 882481 ww The Five Bells, Clyst Hyd on, Cullompton, Devon EX15 2NT Tel: 01884 277288 ww Noel Corston@EX34, South Street, Woolacom be, Devon EX34 7BB Tel: 01271 871187 ww Ben’s Cornish Kitchen , West End, Marazion, Cornwall TR17 0EL Tel: 01736 719200 ww w.benscornishkitchen. com Restaurant Nathan Ou tlaw, St Enodoc Hotel, Rock, Cornwall PL27 6LA Tel: 01208 862737 ww The Tors Restaurant, The Two Bridges, Princetow n, Dartmoor, Devon PL20 6SW Tel: 01822 892300 ww St Moritz, Trebetherick, Wadebridge, Cornwall PL27 6SD Tel: 01208 862242 ww

at the Two Bridges. Mike has worked his whole life in the area, so Devon is in his heart and in his cooking. “Food is sourced locally, all our meat is from local farmers and shooters. “We offer fish from Brixham and Plymouth, but people come here for meat”, Mike explains. “We are slap in the middle of the moors, after all”. The bar menu at lunchtime is billed as having the best open sandwiches in Devon. The main restaurant has a country styling, with granite candleholders and bread served on wooden boards on the table. “There is no wi-fi or phone reception, and people seem to like it”, enthuses Mike. Menus change regularly, but dishes such as Creedy carver duck with

MAIN IMAGE The view across the Camel Estuary INSET IMAGE Nathan Outlaw realised with Rick Stein there was more to fish cookery than fish and chips


GLEBE FARMHOUSE: Z24 Snuggling amongst its sister cottages is Glebe Farmhouse, a lovely detached 19th century stone cottage for 6. Brane is a lovely little hamlet, deep in the lanes, 12 miles from Marazion, perfect for getting to some of Cornwall’s most popular beaches, which makes this cottage brilliant for walkers, families and beach lovers.


TRETAWN: P321 Just 2 miles from St Kew and 6 from Rock is Tretawn, a handsome Grade II listed manor house for 14 surrounded by 5 acres of garden and woodland. Doubtless only the Cornish language was heard within its thick, granite walls and probably a few barrels of French brandy were left in its secret places.

NEAR NATHAN OUTLAW Only 2 miles from North Bovey and 11 miles from Princetown, in a lovely setting, is Bovey Castle, built in 1907 as a country seat for the heir to the WH Smith empire and now a renowned hotel. Carefully hidden in the grounds are 22 private, granite-built lodges for 6 overlooking the Edwardian gardens, lake and tennis courts. This is an exceptional place to stay, with a wedding licence.




Holiday Cottage

Meat Box




10% OFF FOR ALL HOLIDAY HOME OWNERS AND HOLIDAY HOME GUESTS! Quote “helpful10” when ordering to receive your irresistible discount


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Just outside the sleepy hamlet of Trelights, 5 miles from St Moritz in Trebetherick, sit four cottages for 4-8, converted from barns. Each delightful home has its own private enclosed garden with far-reaching views across surrounding countryside to the sea. This is a peaceful base with coastal paths and surf-washed beaches just moments away.

For more cottages in and around these areas please go to our website - or call our booking team on 01647 434360

fondant potato and orange, raisins and chorizo set the tastebuds tingling. Mike likes to eat out in his spare time and his food loyalties remain local “I travel all over the country and yet certain eateries in Devon offer the best food I’ve ever come across”. A threecourse restaurant lunch starts from £20 and a three-course evening meal from £35.


St Moritz restaurant has an open kitchen restaurant, with the pass giving straight onto the dining area. “It doesn’t worry me”, laughs Jamie Porter, “You just have to watch your language!” At just 26, this is Jamie’s first role as head chef. Having previously worked with Rick Stein and Alain Roux, he

shares Stein’s passion for fish, “I’d always rather eat a nice bit of turbot than a steak”. The menu changes daily – Jamie speaks to his suppliers in the morning, including fishermen from Port Isaac to Newlyn, finds out what is on offer and plans the menu for the day. There are three eateries, a café, bar and restaurant. For ultimate relaxation, Jamie explains, “You can sit by the pool with fish and chips or have a hot dog and a burger in the bar”. The restaurant is casual and unstuffy, and while fish is the main event, there are always other options. So if you’re feeling more pork tenderloin or asparagus and tomato risotto than Loch Duart salmon or wild black sea bream, you’ll still be smiling when you leave.

You can sit by the pool with fish and chips or have a hot dog and a burger in the bar.

MAIN IMAGE Chef Noel Corston of NC@EX34 in Woolacombe

For our of foodie selection e West visit in th al c places to lo where Country red u ss nce is a provena G PA E

O TURN T – 10 –

Jamie Porter - St Moritz 61

A Good Book

There are few things as relaxing as being absorbed in a good book, especially when there's nothing else you have to be doing. So to help you lose yourself in a different world, here are some of our favourite holiday reads.


The latest witty novel from Britain’s favourite TV presenter, Fern Britton. Set on a Cornish cliff, Atlantic House has been the jewel in the Carew family crown for centuries. Each year, the Carew sisters embark on their yearly summer holiday, but they're as different as vinegar and honey. Prudence, hard-nosed business woman married to the meek and mild Francis, is about to get a shock reminder that you should never take anything for granted. Constance, the loving wife to philandering husband Greg, has always been outwitted by her manipulative sibling. Suspecting


that Pru wants to get her hands on Atlantic House, Connie won’t take things lying down.


A classic from Mary Wesley, adapted for film in 1992. A vivid picture of wartime London and Cornwall through the eyes of five cousins. Behind the old large house, the fragrant camomile lawn stretches down to the Cornish cliffs. Here, in the dizzying heat of August 1939, five cousins have gathered at their aunt's house for their annual ritual of a holiday. For most of them, it's the last summer of their youth, with the heady exhilaration and freedom of lost innocence, as

well as the fear of the coming war. The Camomile Lawn moves from Cornwall to London and back again, over the years, telling the stories of the cousins, their family and their friends, united by shared losses and lovers, by family ties and the absurd conditions imposed by war as their paths cross and recross over the years.


By P. D. James, the thirteenth book in the classic Adam Dalgliesh mystery series. A secure and secluded retreat for the rich and powerful becomes the setting for an unsettling series of murders. Combe Island off the Cornish coast

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Favourite Read Living the dream

is a restful haven for the elite. But when one of its distinguished visitors is found hanging from the island's famous lighthouse in what appears to have been a murder, the peace is shattered. Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called in to handle the sensitive case, but at a difficult time for him and his depleted team. He is uncertain about his future with his girlfriend Emma Lavenham; his principle detective Kate Miskin is going through an emotional crisis; and the ambitious Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith is not happy about having a female boss. After a second brutal killing, the whole investigation is jeopardised, and Dalgliesh is faced with a danger even more insidious than murder.


By Agatha Christie, and adapted for film with locations at Burgh Island by Bigbury-on-Sea (see page 16). Set at The Jolly Roger, a posh vacation resort for the rich and famous on the southern coast of England, Evil Under the Sun is one of Agatha Christie's most intriguing mysteries. When a gorgeous young bride is brutally strangled to death on the beach, only Hercule Poirot can sift through the secrets that shroud each of the guests and unravel the macabre mystery at this playground by the sea.

GUIDE Books... The Rough Guide to Devon & Cornwall

The ultimate handbook for discovering the region, from the wilds of Dartmoor to the rocky Atlantic coast, and from Lundy Island to the 'English Riviera' of Torbay. For outdoor activities enthusiasts or beach lovers, The Rough Guide to Devon & Cornwall tells you everything you need to know for a weekend away or an extended break. Discover the best walks, rides, dives and surf breaks in Devon and Cornwall, together with biking and hiking trails. Foodies are directed to the region's best restaurants and most authentic pubs serving the region's phenomenal food and drink.

Discovery Walks in Cornwall

A graduate of the University of Sussex, Alexandra Pratt has travelled and worked throughout the world, from cutting trails in the cloud forests of Central America, to meeting the last surviving Yaghan canoe nomad in Patagonia. Now a freelance journalist and author, Alexandra specialises in writing about travel, adventure and history and she is the author of several nonfiction books. With this guide, visit Cornwall's secret places and forgotten landscape and explore some of the country's best walking opportunities with the help of detailed walking instructions and an informative commentary on local and natural history.

Off the Map

An antidote to the traditional type of travel guide, Off the Map focuses on local events, people, wildlife, food and drink, snippets of history and routes to follow. It offers an insight into the real character of the South Hams and gives readers an understanding of the area, from the perspective of those living and working in the district. Designed around footpaths, bus routes and water transport, Off the Map aims to encourage people to leave their cars behind, to enjoy experiencing the countryside at a slower pace. The book explores the Dart, Avon and Salcombe-Kingsbridge estuaries: places for picnics, kite-flying, bat-watching, plant buying, taking tea and eating.


Aged just 32, Simon Dawson took a risk. He sold his London flat and moved his wife and Great Dane to a cottage in Devon. Scraping together every penny they could, they bought 20 acres of scruffy but beautiful land and established a self sufficient smallholding. Follow Simon's journey from urbanite to farmer in this heartwarming and laugh-out-loud true story. It will have you yearning to find your own piece of the good life.

Cornwall with Kids

Jam-packed with information on exploring the county, the specialist family-travel author Will Gray and his family have left no pebble unturned in their search for the very best adventures and attractions for families heading to Cornwall. The guide is brim-full of advice for fun activities, providing the perfect balance of practical information and inspirational ideas. All the best activities, beaches and big days out are captured in this great guide, along with all the best places to stay and to eat. Gorgeous photos highlight Gray's family holiday favourites. Will Gray's guide will certainly set you off on your own adventures.



look back

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in Devon permanently and not just come for holidays? How would it feel to wake up every morning to the sea or the moors or lush green countryside? How easy is it to uproot the family and start a new life at a different pace? MAIN IMAGE Liz Bridgewater moved to Devon and has never looked back


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North Devon

Home to soap &


COTTAGES Nearby... THE COW SHED: K42 Four miles from Clovelly, in the grounds of a one-time farmhouse, a brand new cottage for 2 converted from a former cow shed. Meadows surround it and you can walk from the garden gate across a field to the stunning South West Coast Path winding down into Clovelly and beyond.


Liz Bridgewater and her family did just that four years ago and haven’t looked back. Moving to a small north Devon community from Cambridge was a big change. Leaving high powered jobs as Lloyds brokers to start up three small businesses and settle a 15 year old into a new school was even bigger. Talking to Liz, she says none of them would ever look back. “We wanted a complete change of life. Long days in the City and the two hour daily commute were taking their toll on us. We started looking for a weekend home in south Devon but we ended up moving permanently to Hartland in the north and we really couldn’t be happier.” Beginning with converting a couple of buildings on their three acre home to holiday lets, Liz almost fell into soap making by accident, making homemade gifts for friends. When one of these friends took her soap bags to work at the Eden Project, orders followed and a new business was born. Naturally Bridgewater has become a real success story in just two years. As well as Eden, Liz’s enviable client list includes award-winning luxury holiday accommodation and interior designer Jill Stein. Not content with two businesses, entrepreneur Liz has also started Ruby Red Chocolate, supplying local pubs and holiday accommodation across the south west. “It’s inspirational living somewhere beautiful.” says Liz. “It’s not just about the incredible scenery, it’s the people and the support. It’s easy to be entrepreneurial - local businesses want to buy local. Even some of the hurdles like Trading Standards have been far simpler than I thought. Everyone just wants you to succeed and will help out with advice and finding suppliers – even competitors!” As well as local support, Liz has found that her local suppliers are incredibly reliable. “They really are fantastic - I place an order and they get everything to me straight away. They are very attuned to small businesses needs.”

TOP IMAGE Liz’s first business was converting barns on their land into holiday accommodation INSET IMAGES A selection of soaps and chocolates from Naturally Bridgewater and Ruby Red Chocolates

Find out more

Ever wondered wh at it would be like to live in De von permanently ? Find out more at the Devon Delivers website : www.investdevo To find Liz’s beau tiful handcrafted soaps visit www.naturallyb and find Ruby Re d Chocolate on Facebook.


Homeers Own

wn a Do you o e in the m o h y holida est? South W hear to e v lo We’d ! from you

By name & by nature

Image courtesy of: Carla Regler

“What’s so helpful about you?” is one question Helpful Holidays has, perhaps, asked for. The answer, we like to think, lies in the honest, efficient, plain-speaking and professional service we give to both holidaymakers and home owners. When Su and Euan Bowater started the agency in 1982, they called it ‘Found it! – The Helpful Holiday Agency’ because they had repeatedly experienced miserable holidays in awful cottages the brochure jargon had talked up. A company which published accurate, fair, enlightening information on self-catering holiday homes and backed that up with knowledgeable staff would be a winner, they thought, and they were right. The company rapidly outgrew the spare bedroom, expanded into the garage and finally the barn and outbuildings of their Dartmoor family home, and as time passed, the


‘Helpful’ bit rightly took precedence. Currently, we arrange bookings for just over 700 properties. It’s a varied portfolio covering the entire range of property sizes and character. Our focus is on ensuring holidaymakers have good holidays in the properties we promote and who, as a result, return to book with us in the future and recommend us to their friends. That very successful strategy ensures very good bookings (an average of 29 weeks per property per year) for our owners with a minimum of hassle. We welcome new owners with good quality properties, and who share our aim to deliver a good and reliable service to holidaymakers, to join us.

Our efforts generate high rates of occupancy and optimum returns for property owners. Our calm yet effective style makes holiday-home ownership simple, relaxing and rewarding. The key to our success is developing a good working relationship with each one of our property owners. Transparency and honesty are the corner stones of that relationship and also our relationship with holidaymakers. Owners say they like Helpful Holidays because their calls and emails are handled by someone they’ve met and they value our team’s personal, detailed knowledge of their property, experience of the market and advice and our efficiency in gaining

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Our home



We book an average of 29 weeks per property per year (not including owners’ own bookings). Those bookings come from the efficient marketing campaigns we run and because we maintain a close relationship and good reputation amongst our holidaymakers.


We believe owners should be paid before they open their properties, so we pay for all bookings in full before guests arrive.


Even if holidaymakers cancel, we guarantee 100% payment to owners for all confirmed bookings by insuring every booking we take (at no additional cost to either our owners or holidaymakers).


To help protect owners’ properties, we take a minimum £100 damages deposit from holidaymakers with every booking.


Our simple fee includes everything. We don’t charge additional ‘registration’ fees or for photos, website entries, cancellation insurances, booking fees or anything else. We are paid only when we generate bookings - 25% including VAT of the rent paid by holidaymakers.

Competition time!


For an opportunity to win your first year as a Helpful Holidays cottage owner totally commission free, call 01647 434360 to join us today and quote:

DISCOVER and processing bookings. Our name is a statement of intent. It attracts hundreds of thousands of customers every year and is very obviously something to live up to. Our focus is on making sure we deliver on the reasonable expectations we raise in our holidaymakers and happily they seem to confirm, in the main, that we do (over 99% of questionnaire respondents have said every year for the last decade that they’d recommend us to a friend). The resulting happy holidaymakers lead to abundant repeat bookings and recommendations, good occupancy rates and highly satisfied home owners.

Our industry-leading inspection and assessment service is completely free to owners and we support owners with our advice and experience throughout their holiday home projects: from buying to development, planning and interior design, to guidance with regulations and insurance. Our aim is to help owners make the most of their holiday homes financially, whilst enjoying owning their homes as well, and to make it easy.


MAIN IMAGE Porthleven stunning scenery in the UK’s most southerly port INSET IMAGES This year, with holiday homes like Sweeton Manor, the team at Helpful Holidays arrange holidays for over 100,000 guests

We run excellent, efficient, targeted advertising, PR and direct mail campaigns using traditional media (broadsheet newspapers, magazines) and up to date webbased campaigns (including Google, Facebook, Twitter and our blog). All that draws on over 30 years’ worth of experience and a huge database of happy previous customers - and our performance speaks for itself...

Find out more

If you have a great holiday home, we’d love to hear from you. You’ll be looked after by our experienced property managers, and will have the friendly support of our entire team.

CALL US ON: 01647 434360 67


The shopping experience in Chagford is closely linked to its colourful history – and from traditional crafts to locally grown vegetables, you’re unlikely to go home empty-handed

On the eastern edge of Dartmoor, Chagford was a thriving medieval Stannary town, with its trade based on tin mining and wool spinning. The octagonal market house in The Square, known as the Pepper Pot, was previously the site of the old Stannary Court. Clustered around this landmark you’ll find restaurants, pubs, banks, churches (including the 15th-century St Michael’s) and an amazing variety of independent shops. The two most established retail faces, trading for over 100 years, are the family-run stores Webbers & Sons and James Bowden & Son. Both hardware emporiums, Webbers specialises in cookery wares and Bowdens is a traditional ironmonger. Each is


renowned for their comprehensive stock – locals say there’s nothing that can’t be found there – and Bowdens even has a small museum. If your inclination is a little more towards the brands, then a visit to Filly & Bounder, with their collections from Joules to Bohemia UK, Ella Moda and Mistral should hit the spot. But no outfit is finished without the accessories, and a trip to Divine, an Aladdin’s Cave of glorious glittering goodies, should make it easy to find exactly what you

MAIN IMAGE Artisan shows Martin Brady’s leatherwork

need - no matter the occasion. Need a necklace to complete an outfit? Want a gift for a loved one? Something special for your partner? Lois, Helen and Ellie are on hand to help and advise. Local arts and crafts include art galleries, artists, baskets, pottery, jewellery and textiles. Wood & Rush displays the work of basketmaker Linda Lemieux who makes log, garden and fruit baskets in natural coloured willows. Artisan showcases Martin Brady’s hand-stitched leather

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Old meets new

COTTAGES Nearby... PARFORD: A98 Nestled on a hillside, 2 miles from Chagford, is this detached, beautifully furnished cottage for 6 with superb panoramic views over farmland to high Dartmoor, while behind the cottage rises National Trust woodland. An exquisite, wonderful place, perfect for inside and outside living.


BLUEBELL COTTAGE: A78 Just 300 yards from the centre of Chagford is this Grade II listed, thatched, terraced cottage for 3 on the winding street leading up into The Square. It has been lovingly restored to reflect its 1750s origins and the owner’s fondness for things from a bygone age. This is a picturesque and cosy base with a touch of nostalgia.


INSET TOP Blacks Delicatessen, whose quiches and sticky toffee pudding are legendary

pieces including a range of Dartmoor inspired leather bags, along with other local crafts. Of course, shopping when on holiday isn’t just about clothes and jewellery, it should also be about pampering ourselves, relaxation and adding those special touches to a day out that we wouldn’t normally have time to indulge in. With that in mind, we’d certainly recommend a trip to Amore, offering a wide selection of beauty and massage treatments. Amore retail 100% organic

face and body products which are made locally and also have a selection of beauty treats such as soaps, bath bombs, crystal nail files and Orly nail varnishes. Maybe you feel in need of a little ‘light healing’, or a minor miracle to boost your vibrancy? If so, then a visit to Healing Hare’s cosy sanctuary or a browse around their apothecary, stocked with gem essences, crystals, health supplements and other hidden treasures, may well be the magic remedy you’ve been seeking.

INSET MIDDLE Bowdens, where they even have a small museum INSET BOTTOM The town of Chagford, nestled on the eastern edge of Dartmoor

Shopping is hungry work, and there are plenty of cafés and restaurants in The Square. Food suppliers include baker Thomas of Chagford, Wannells Greengrocers, The Courtyard wholefood shop which stock locally grown fruit and vegetables, The Dairy and Blacks Delicatessen, whose homemade quiches and sticky toffee pudding are legendary. These outlets combine with all the essentials – an off-licence, newsagent, florist, hairdresser, chemist, post office and a small supermarket – to make Chagford a one-stop destination.



The Cornish town of Fowey to the west of the bustling Fowey Estuary was once a trading and naval town, and has a series of winding streets which swarm with retail delights


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MAIN IMAGE There’s more to shopping in Fowey than local shops, with big brands like Fat Face


t harbour town Idyllic south coas

COTTAGES Nearby... HARBOUR VIEW: R35 In Fowey, with lovely views along the river and its estuary, lies an elegant, early Victorian house for 7 in a quiet, attractive terrace, brilliantly convenient to everything. Inside, high ceilings make it light and airy, while the views explain why this area is often referred to as ‘Cornwall’s Med’.


SPINNAKER: R104 Only 300 yards up from the picturesque Polruan harbour is this detached house for 6 with spectacular estuary views in a small residential cul-de-sac. Perfectly placed for jaunts to the two pubs or walks around the harbour that faces across the mouth of the Fowey River to the bigger Fowey village.

NEAR FOWEY ABOVE INSET Ocean One on Station Road sells a selection of designer clothing labels

The steep, narrow streets make walking de rigueur, but it’s the friendly, pedestrian character of Fowey, with its cobbled walkways, terraced cottages and independent shops, that create its charm. The waterside location gives the town a generous quota of nautical and water sports shops. Outriggers in Fore Street specialise in marine, surf and casual clothing. On Board in the Esplanade caters for watersports, with surfboards, wetsuits and goggles. Or if you’re really serious about boats, there’s chandler Upperdeck Marine on Albert Quay and a boatyard builders in Passage Lane. Keeping to the sea theme – it’s hard to escape – Fowey Fish and Fowey Wines in Fore Street which stock fish and shellfish caught within 10-15 miles. More marine influences are found in

Toe in the Water Gallery in Lostwithiel Street, with work inspired by the sea and coastline. Another gallery in this street, Art for Serious People, is run by a retired Venetian gondolier, demonstrating Fowey’s inclusive trading character. For style purchases, highlights include Emma’s Home in Trafalgar Square for interior accessories; Ocean One in Station Road with a selection of fine designer clothing labels; Cindy Ashbridge’s jewellery studio in South Street; and Brocante in Fore Street

BOTTOM INSET Fowey from the water. An idyllic south coast harbour town

with vintage inspired gifts, furniture and furnishings. For the younger generation, Bird Kids on Custom House Hill sells children’s clothes, and toys and games with natural, ethical flair. There are crafts and eccentric finds aplenty, with ceramics in White Doll Arts in Passage Street, Tippers Treasures in South Street with glassware, books, furniture and household pieces and Westcliff Pottery in Tower Park showing vessels with unusual glaze effects. And don’t forget to visit the traditional butcher, Kittow’s delicatessen and Rachel’s Relish in South Street. Before you leave, stock up on treats to take home with some Cornish fudge and chocolate at Middleton’s of Fowey’s.



Every Saturday from April 5th until October

Billy Rawlings spent 40 years employed by Rowena Cade as gardener and handyman. From the memories of the family and people who knew him, local storyteller Mark Harandon has researched and re-created the character of Billy and will lead you around the theatre telling stories and reminiscing about how the theatre was built.


Storytelling for families with young children September 3rd at 10.30am Squashbox presents 'Stones & Bones' September 5th at 10.30am Squashbox presents 'Skillywidden'


Act Now Theatre Company September 1st to 5th

A contemporary musical take on a grand classic tale of the timeless bond between an enslaved Nubian princess and an Egyptian soldier. As forbidden love blossoms between them, the young lovers are forced to face death or part forever.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS Theatre In The Square September 8th to 12th

One of Charles Dickens' most familiar and best loved stories. Theatre In The Square is delighted to return to Minack with this exciting and faithful adaptation of Dickens' classic tale.


Cambridge University G. & S. Society September 15th to 20th

Gilbert and Sullivan’s first smash-hit, and it’s easy to see why. With a plot that features all of Gilbert’s sparkling wit, with a touching romance at its heart, and a score featuring some of Sullivan’s most beautiful ballads and rousing, whistle-able choruses.


Scary Little Girls September 22nd to 26th

Following a hugely successful national tour and sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival, Scary Little Girls has turned the perennially popular 'Dracula' myth on its head in an audacious new all female production.


Mount Charles Brass Band and friends September 27th & 28th


The Minack Theatre is Cornwall's world famous open-air theatre, carved into the granite cliff and set in glorious gardens overlooking the stunning seascape of Porthcurno. It creates an illusion of having been carved by Romans thousands of years ago, but is in fact only 80 years old. The summer theatre season runs from May to September and presents an eclectic mix of musicals, drama, opera and classics with a truly dramatic backdrop.

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M inack Theatre

Stage e West

visit th A great reason to


Day visitors can explore this world famous open-air theatre created from a cliffside at Porthcurno by Rowena Cade where the subtropical gardens have become a visitors favourite, and the succulent plants thrive on the open cliffside all year round. Don't miss the Rowena Cade Visitor Centre which tells the remarkable story of how a girl from Victorian era Cheltenham grew up to build this internationally renowned theatre.Visit during the

day, explore and relax in the café overlooking the theatre and soak up the magic that is Minack. From the start of April to the end of September, the theatre is open to day visitors from 9.30 until 5pm, except during ticketed matinee performances on Wednesdays and Fridays, and children's story telling performances which are usually on Tuesday and Thursday mornings during school holidays. Matinee performances start at 2pm and evening performances at 8pm.

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Favourite Memories Linda McKeown Sales Manager, Helpful Holidays

overlooking the beach and her children learned to surf. She recalls, “Fistral Beach gets the best waves – my son took to the surfing really quickly and my daughter loved it too, in fact she also managed to get her instructor to carry her surfboard for her wherever she went!” Linda has a particular affection for the Cornish, “They’re always so friendly and welcoming, and will go that extra mile to make you feel at ease.”

Sales Manager Linda McKeown lives in Bridestowe, a Devon village so close to the Cornish border that she enjoys easy access to both counties. Linda has many happy memories of Fistral Beach on the north coast of Cornwall. Steep sand dunes lead down to the 820 yard beach and the Atlantic swells make it one of the best for surfing. Linda remembers a holiday she spent there with her son of 15 and daughter, 13. They stayed in an apartment

Fistral Beach gets the best waves – my son took to the surfing really quickly and my daughter loved it, too.

If lik e Jo n yo get o u lov ut an e to d ex plor t a ke a e, th sele look ction at ou en of w r alks , per the f fect ami for a ly. ll

WAL KS P – 42 AGE –


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Fistral Beac h

Dartmoor Jon Vernon IT Manager, Helpful Holidays IT Manager Jon lives in Moretonhampstead, on the eastern edge of Dartmoor. He recommends Sennen Cove in west Cornwall as a fantastic surfing spot, “I’ve been lucky enough to surf there early in the morning with just a couple of seals in the lineup”. And surfing is not the only activity on offer, “There are some amazing cliff walks from the cove, including one to St Just. The landscape along this stretch has a very different

With Dartmoor you don’t have to go far to find something interesting to do – I have a four-year old son and we spend much of our time splashing in streams.

feel with its wild, coastal scenery”. Jon also appreciates the area around his home, “With Dartmoor you don’t have to go far to find something interesting to do – I have a four-year old son and we spend much of our time splashing in streams, building dams and swimming in the River Dart”. Jon adds, “I also love to get out on the moor with my mountain bike to get away from everything for a while. You can ride for a whole day, only seeing a couple of horse riders”.


What’s on? Time on holiday is precious and the choices can be bewildering. You don’t want to waste valuable holiday time on research. Impartial recommendations can help you make the most of your stay and guide you to places you might otherwise overlook. So here are places and things that we recommend.

We hope you enjoy them.

The Rock Oyster Festival

Padstow Christm

as Festival


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JULY 2014


July 14

Stithians Agricultural Show

July 16 - 20

Penzance Literary Festival

July 18 - 20

Boconnoc Steam Fair, Lostwithiel

July 19

Camborne Show

July 20

Padstow to Rock Swim

July 24

Launceston Agricultural Show

Aug 6 - 10 Aug 7

July 24 - 27

Port Eliot Festival, St Germans

July 26

Perranporth Carnival

July 26 - Aug 1 Charlestown Regatta Week, St Austell July 27 - Aug 2 Looe Carnival Week July 29 - Aug 8 St Endellion Summer Music Festival July 30 - Aug 2 Gunnislake Festival July 31

RNAS Culdrose Air Day

Boardmasters Festival, Newquay

Aug 22 - 25

Cornwall Folk Festival, Wadebridge

St Ewe Country Fair, St Austell

Aug 23

Portscatho Regatta

Aug 8 - 17

Henri Lloyd Falmouth Regatta Week

Aug 23 - 25

Morval Vintage Steam Rally, Looe

Aug 13

Camelford Agricultural Show

Aug 25

Newlyn Fish Festival

Aug 15 - 17

Cornish Steam & Country Fair, Truro

Aug 26 - 29

Bude Jazz Festival

Aug 16

Bude Carnival

Aug 17 - 23

Fowey Regatta and Carnival Week

Women’s County Gig Championships, Aug 30 - 31 Newquay

Sep 1 - 5

Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida at Minack

Sep 1 - 30

The Friendly Invasion at NMMC

Sep 11 - 14

Heritage Open Days, across Cornwall

Sep 12 - 14

Newquay Fish Festival

Sep 12 - 14

Cornish Pasty Festival, Redruth

Sep 12 - 21

Splash, Falmouth Art Festival

Sep 13 - 14 Men’s County Gig Championships, Newquay Sep 13 - 20

South East Cornwall Walking Festival

Sep 19 - 21

Looe Music Festival

Sep 20 - Oct 4 Roseland Festival Sep 27 - 29 Cornwall Food & Drink Festival, Truro

Oct 1

Callington Honey Fair

Oct 15 - 19

Oct 2 - 5

Weekend of sport, across Cornwall

Oct 17 - Nov 2 Fal River Autumn Walking Festival

Lowender Peran Festival

Oct 3 - 12

Thundercat Championships, Newquay

Oct 18 - Mar 1 Ice Skating at The Eden Project

Oct 4 - 5

Boscastle Food Festival

Oct 24 - 25

Falmouth Beer Festival

Oct 9 - 12

Falmouth Oyster Festival

Oct 24 - 26

Calstock Jazz & Blues Festival

Trereife Christmas Fair

Nov 1 - 2

Halloween at The Eden Project

Nov 21 - 23

Nov 7 - 11

Cornwall Film Festival, Newquay

Nov 25 - Dec 16 St Austell Christmas events

Nov 14

St Austell Torchlight Carnival

Nov 28 - Dec 1 Fowey Christmas Market

Nov 19

Truro City of Lights

Nov 29

Dec 3

Truro Primestock Show

Dec 4 - 7

Padstow Christmas Festival

Dec 5

Fowey Christmas Market

Dec 6

Liskeard Lights Up

Liskeard Lights Up Lantern Parade

Dec 6 - 7 Nadelik, A Cornish Christmas, Falmouth Dec 13

Mousehole Christmas Lights

Dec 15

Montol Festival, Penzance

Dec 23

Tom Bawcock’s Eve, Mousehole


What’s on?

MAIN IMAGE Tessa Jane at the Devon Open Studios

Dawlish Carnival

Clovelly Herring



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© Matt Austin Photography

Devon holidays aren’t only about rolling countryside, beautiful beaches and the great outdoors - there are plenty of other things to do in Devon too. This vibrant county plays host to an amazing array of events such as music, theatre, literature, comedy, sports and food festivals – and there are even a few more unusual events to be found that you simply won’t find anywhere else.







JULY 2014

July 18 - 19 Chagstock Music Festival, Chagford July 19

Ale Tasting & Bread Weighing Ceremony, Ashburton

July 19 - 26 Kingsbridge Fair Week

July 22

Honiton Hot Pennies Day

July 26

Marldon Apple Pie Fair

July 26

Mid Devon Show, near Tiverton

July 27

Totnes Show

July 28

Woolsery Agricultural Show

July 20

Clovelly Maritime Festival

July 20

Pedal Car Grand Prix, Torquay

Aug 1 - 3

Torbay Steam Fair

Aug 9 - 17

Paignton Regatta

Aug 1 - 8

Sidmouth Folk Week

Aug 10 - 16

Salcombe Town Regatta

Aug 2

Shaldon Water Carnival

Aug 3 - 9

Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta

Aug 12 - 13 British Fireworks Championships, Plymouth

Aug 4

Torbay Carnival

Aug 15 - 17

Beautiful Days Festival, Escot Park

Aug 5 - 9

Dartmouth Shakespeare Week

Aug 21

Chagford Show

Aug 6

North Devon Show, Umberleigh

Aug 9 - 16

Dawlish Carnival Week

Aug 22 - 25 Sunwest Beer & Music Festival, Ilfracombe

Sep 5 - 7

Sea Ilfracombe Maritime Festival

Sep 6

Kingsbridge Show

Sep 6 - 21

Devon Open Studios

Sep 7

Lobster & Crab Feast, Clovelly

Sep 9

Widecombe Fair

Sep 11

The Tour of Britain 2014, Devon Stage. Exmouth to Exeter

Sep 13

Fishstock, Brixham

Oct 4

Powderham Food Festival

Oct 16 - 25

Two Moors Music Festival, Dartmoor & Exmoor

Oct 24 - 26

Dartmouth Food Festival

Oct 24 - 26 Baring Gould Folk Festival, Okehampton

Nov 5

Tar Barrels, Ottery St Mary

Nov 8 Firework & Bonfire Extravaganza, Dawlish

Sep 14 - 21

Agatha Christie Week, Torquay

Sep 18 - 21 Budleigh Salterton Literature Festival Sep 22 - 27

Chagford Film Festival

Sep 27 - Oct 5

Appledore Book Festival

Sep 28 - 29

Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Autumn Gala

Oct 25 - 31

Halloween Evenings of Mini Horrors, Torquay

Oct 27 - Nov 1

Halloween Tram of Terror, Seaton Tramway

Oct 29 - 30

Devon Guild of Craftsmen 2014

Oct 31 - Nov 2

Landmark Folk & Cider Festival, Ilfracombe

Nov 28 - 29

Candlelit Dartmouth

Nov 29 Lanterns, Lights & ‘Luminations, Brixham

Nov 16

Clovelly Herring Festival

Nov 29 - 30

Christmas Shopping Fayre, Exeter

Nov 28

Dickensian Evening, Tavistock

Nov 30

Love Food at Dartington, Totnes

Dec 6 - 7

Candlelit Dartmouth

Dec 7 Harbour Lighting of the Lights, Ilfracombe Dec 7

Dawlish Christmas Market

Dec 10

Christmas Street Fayre, Newton Abbot

Dec 11 - 14

Otterton Mill Milling Days, Otterton

Dec 13 - 14, 20 - 24 Santa Specials, Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Dec 14, 21 - 24 Visit Santa by Tram, Seaton Tramway Dec 20 - 21

Love Food at Dartington, Totnes

Dec 27 - Jan 1

Mince Pie Specials, Lynton & Barnstaple Railway


What’s on?

MAIN IMAGE Get involved in a great cause at Swanage Lifeboat Week

At the heart of the West Country, Dorset and Somerset are wonderful destinations of dramatic coastlines, family seaside resorts, fantastic English countryside and historic places. Both counties are captivating, with a huge variety of things to do, so it’s often difficult to know where to start. To help with your planning, here is a list of some of our favourite events across Somerset and Dorset.

Wells Carnival

Sturminster New

ton Cheese Festi va



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JULY 2014

July 26


RNAS Yeovilton International Air Show

July 26 - 27 Stars of Time Sci-Fi Extravaganza, Weston-super-Mare

July 12 - 14

Swanage Jazz Festival

July 16 - 20

Larmer Tree Festival, near Blandford

July 18 - 20

Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival

July 27

Lowland Games, Thorney Lakes

July 19

Stoke Abbott Street Fair

July 30

Dunster Country Fair

July 19 - 26

Lifeboat Week, Lyme Regis

July 31

Forde Abbey Summer Fair

July 20

Classics at the Castle Car Show, Sherborne

Aug 1 - 2

Farmfestival 2014, Bruton

Aug 1 - 2

Taunton Flower Show

Aug 2 - 10

Regatta & Carnival Week, Lyme Regis

Aug 15

Dunster Show

Aug 8 - 10

Wareham Music Festival

Aug 8 - 17

Swanage Lifeboat Week

Aug 17

Buckham Fair, Beaminster

Dunkery Beacon by Moonlight, Aug 21 Exmoor Aug 22 - 24

Watchet Music Festival

Aug 24 - 28 Scott May’s Daredevil Stunt Show, Brean Sep 7 Rare Breeds Car Show, Haynes Motor Museum Sep 12

Night at the Abbey Spectacular, Glastonbury Abbey

Sep 13

Frome Cheese Show

Sep 13 - 14 Somerset Real Ale & Cider Festival, Minehead Sep 19 - 21

Priston Festival, near Bath

Oct 2 & 5 Autumn Steam Gala, West Somerset Railway Oct 4

Ilminster Carnival

Oct 11

Chard Carnival

Oct 16 - 25

Two Moors Music Festival, Dartmoor & Exmoor

Fireman Sam Day, West Somerset Oct 25 Railway

Aug 20 Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show Aug 20

Weymouth Carnival

Sep 5 - 6

Bridport Hat Festival

Sep 5 - 7

Swanage Folk Festival

Sep 6 - 7

Dorset County Show, Dorchester

Sep 13 - 14 Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival Sep 20 - 28

Lyme Regis ArtsFest

Sep 20 - 28 Swanage & Purbeck Walking Festival

Oct 3 - 5 Blues & Roots Festival, Swanage Oct 10 - 25

Purbeck Film Festival

Oct 15 - 19

Sherborne Literary Festival

Oct 19

Apple Day, Bridport

Oct 23 - 26 Sherborne International Film Festival

Nov 1

Bridgwater Carnival

Nov 3

Burnham-on-Sea Carnival

Nov 1

Corfe Castle Fireworks Display

Nov 7

Weston-super-Mare Carnival

Nov 8

North Petherton Carnival

Nov 8

Firework Extravaganza, Sherborne Castle

Nov 12

Shepton Mallet Carnival

Nov 8

Kingston Maurward Christmas Craft & Gourmet Food Fair

Nov 13 - 23

Bath Film Festival

Nov 9 - 16

Bridport Literary Festival

Nov 14

Wells Carnival

Nov 23

Bridport Chamber Orchestra Concert

Nov 15

Glastonbury Carnival

Dec 5 - 6

Dunster by Candlelight

Dec 8 - 10

Carol Trains, West Somerset Railway

Dec 14

Christmas Fun Day, Helicopter Museum, Weston-super-Mare

Dec 29 - 30

Winter Steam Festival, West Somerset Railway

From Dec 1

Swanage Railway Santa Specials

Dec 6 - 7 Christmas Craft Fair, Kingston Lacy Dec 13 The Great Pudding Stir, Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne Dec 19 Carols in the Cornmarket, Wimborne


Last words... The West Country is a jewel and we feel terrifically privileged to live and work in such a beautiful and diverse part of the world. Helping people plan their holidays is a pleasure; we’re enthusiastic about the diverse character of the region and absolutely confident it’s a great place for happy holidays, the stuff of which dreams and memories are made. Bounded by azure seas on three sides, our region is all about the ocean, the magnificent coast and the endless playground they provide. The glorious golden beaches washed by warm southerly winds off 4,000 miles of the Atlantic are fundamental to the West Country magic. Secret smugglers’ coves and huge stretches

of surf-washed sand are dotted along the 630-mile South West Coast Path, Britain’s longest footpath. It was fun choosing our favourite beaches for this magazine, but reaching a consensus sparked lively debate amongst the Helpful Holidays team in our Dartmoor offices. There are simply so many lovely ones to choose from. So we didn’t hesitate when choosing the Marine Conservation Society as our charity to support this year. Dedicated to protecting our seas, shores and wildlife, the sterling work the MCS does, particularly in the South West, is ensuring healthy oceans not only today but also for future generations. However you love

the sea – in it, on it, under it or beside it (or even feasting on its bounty – read about the delicious seafood on pages 54-61) – this is a very worthwhile cause. We’re delighted that in the 2014 Good Beach Guide nearly 90% of West Country beaches have been awarded recommended status for bathing water quality, an outstanding achievement since only 56% were listed the previous year. So whilst you’re on holiday with us, we wish you many happy hours surfing waves, building sandcastles, exploring rockpools and spotting amazing wildlife – and you may even spot the Helpful Holidays team there too!

INSET TOP The magnificent causeway to St Michaels Mount in Cornwall

© CarlaReglar Seadrift Images

INSET BOTTOM The Helpful Holidays team beach clean 2014

MCS is the UK charity dedicated to protecting our seas, shores and wildlife. They are very active in the South West, with lots of volunteer Sea Champions helping bring about positive change in their communities, keeping beaches clean, championing marine reserves and promoting sustainable seafood.

They and we would appreciate contributions to their important work. If you’d like to donate, please include a sum of your choice with your booking or visit: where you can donate online.


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© Carla Seadrift Images

You’ll find more details about all their inspiring projects at

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3 80 01


Serving local, organic food and drink in stunning locations ALL DAY, EVERY DAY* Evening dining available at Blackpool Sands offering steak, freshly caught fish, crab and lobster For opening times and menus visit

DEVON: Blackpool Sands · Bigbury on Sea · East Portlemouth · Dartington CORNWALL: Watergate Bay & Tolcarne Beach *Except East Portlemouth & Tolcarne (Easter-October only)

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