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DISCOVER t a e r g A re u t n e v d a Handpicked holiday cottages throughout the West Country

ISSUE 07 | AUGUST 2016


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Inside this Issue


Taste of the West The cream of the crop

the ahard work It’sTake always good time to visit the West Country on for a short out of catering break, a whole host of yourwith holiday and call fantastic things to in the experts to see do itand do whatever for you the season

Special At River destinations Cottage

Takeday a trip to Andy a picture One with Tyrell postcard harbourside and Will Livingstone of and an enchanting River Cottage, inspires us to historic fishing village create magic in the kitchen

Shopping Holiday on a budget

Visit Dorchester and A fabulous self-catering Dartington for the holiday won’t burn a hole best in food, clothes, in your pocket if you follow restaurants and our fantastic ten tips for a artisan products low cost holiday


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Jackie Dawes Telephone: 01647 434360 PUBLISHER

Andy Forster Telephone: 01326 574842 Mobile: 07711 160590

CONTRIBUTORS Nadia Pendleton Christine Phillips Felix Rowe Steve Mathews Chloe Searle Hannah Tapping

COVER IMAGE Canadian Canoe at Tamar Lakes


Jackie and the Helpful Holidays team

What a wonderful start to the summer we’ve had! There’s been plenty of sunshine across the South West and here at Helpful Holidays we’ve enjoyed putting together the latest edition of DISCOVER, full of wonderful places to stay and places to visit. We’ve over 600 dream holiday homes to choose from, in all shapes and sizes, from coastal cottages, modern apartments and rural hideaways, to our sociable large holiday homes, perfect for big family gatherings or groups. In this issue we go adventuring both on and off the water (pages 10-17), visiting some of the South West’s best activity centres. After all that exertion, why not find a sumptuous spa in which to relax (pages 43-45), treat yourself to some retail therapy (pages 64-67) and take the toil out of self-catering on holiday with our guide to the best of the West’s caterers and food delivery services (pages 50-52). With food in mind, we speak to Louisa Newman (pages 46-48), founder of the Venus Company, and include a recipe for her famous lemon drizzle cake, and look at the story behind the mother of modern vintage, Cath Kidston (pages 18-21).

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.

With our Events Guide (pages 72-77) suggesting unmissable dates for your diary through to the end of the year, DISCOVER is packed full of everything you’ll need to plan your next holiday adventure.

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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).

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r Cove re u t Fea S E PAG- 17 10





Discover the idyllic, historic fishing village of Turnchapel

Two of the team share their favourite beauty spots in the West Country


News, stories and updates from Helpful Holidays


Things to do both on and off the water at the South West’s finest activity centres


Rest and rejuvenate at our selection of luxury spas

46 HEAVENLY AND HEALTHFUL We chat with Louisa Newman of Venus Cafés





The story behind the gorgeous, much loved Cath Kidston brand

From cosy retreats to spacious manor houses, Helpful Holidays has something for everyone

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00 80

Some delicious alternatives to eating out on holiday

Explore the ancient cobbled streets of beautiful, quirky Clovelly


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s e g a t t o c y a d i l o h d e Handpickout the West Country through


Meet the experts who can help make your dream of living in Cornwall a reality




Mike Boother shows us Townend in South Zeal, Devon: a fun and family-friendly holiday home

62 TIME FOR A MAKEOVER How to give a treat to your holiday home


A unique selection of shops to visit in Dartington and Dorchester


For an insight into Cornwall’s industrial heritage, check out Wheal Martyn’s summer events



Follow the drovers’ ancient inland route across Dorset’s Golden Cap


Adventures to pencil in from July to December




Kit out a friend or loved one for a summer of walking


Meet Georgina Geikie, an Olympic athlete who overcame all the odds

82 LOVE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE Q&A with acclaimed TV star Julia Bradbury


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SPECIAL DESTINATION TURNCHAPEL A wonderfully serene retreat, just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Plymouth Turnchapel is an enchanting, historic fishing village with a friendly time-forgotten feel. The village has two popular pubs, including the award-winning Clovelly Bay Inn, where you’ll enjoy proper hearty pub food served in generous portions in an idyllic setting. For the lovers of watersports, The Mount Batten Centre caters for all your needs, from canoeing to windsurfing. Take a ferry across the river to Plymouth Hoe

to enjoy the thriving maritime city abounding with sights and attractions, from theatre and a variety of restaurants to the popular National Fireworks Championships held every August. There are glorious sandy beaches in abundance within easy reach. We have two fabulous homes to rent here: Providence Cottage (L273) and Drift Cottage (L151), both perfect bases for exploring this wonderful part of the world.


The view to Plymouth on the other side of the Cattewater

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Nearby Jennycliff, the perfect spot for watching life drift by

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Prices from: ÂŁ394 pw


Relax, unwind and eat in style in the comfortable, welcoming dining area








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A charming traditional cottage on the waterfront

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OPENING DOORS For the fifth consecutive year, Helpful Holidays is supporting the Emerging Artist Bursary Scheme. £100 has been donated to each of five talented Devon-based emerging artists to enable them to enter the annual Devon Open Studios event. The remaining £50 entry fee is coming from a bequest by the late Joanna Radford, a leading member of the Devon Artists Network and a Dartmoor printmaker and bookbinder. Last year’s bursary winner, Leah Edwards, said, “The bursary distilled my vision as an artist. I wasn’t sure how my work would be received in exhibition, but the positive reaction gave me the confidence to make more work and get it out there. I’ll be having a show in Exeter this year. The bursary has helped push my career further as an artist in Devon.” The 2016 Open Studios event will take place across the county from 10th to 25th September. Amongst the 200 plus artists inviting visitors to visit their studios and discover their work are these bursary winners: Luna North – an artist printmaker making linocuts and vinyl prints in the foothills of Exmoor Jonathan Bayes – a joiner making pieces inspired by seventeenth century joinery and carving Sally Rich – an illustrator and book artist Jane Roper – an artist whose drawings based on natural pigments develop into experiments in paint, print, ceramics and stitch Zoe Singleton – a stone carver using West Country materials, influenced by the geology of Dartmoor The artists, accompanied by Helpful Holidays’ Adrian and Open Studios Coordinator Claire McLaughlin, are pictured below at a spectacular holiday home, Great Bidlake Manor.

A COASTAL ADVENTURE This year’s Helpful Holidays Walk West Cornwall festival gave participants the chance to lace up their boots and take a first hand look at the amazing scenery that our stunning coastline offers. One of the walks began at Gurnard Head Hotel, guided by the knowledgeable Steve Crummay, an environmentalist with a deep passion for both recent and ancient history. Walkers strolled along the Coast Path, through mining sites that would once have buzzed with the sound of industry but stand silent now, conceding to Nature as she reclaims the clifftops. The walk took those involved as far as Porthmeor, where streams that meet the cove once drove the wheels of industry, grinding corn and crushing ore in yet another beautiful site of Cornwall’s famed industrial history. Other walks included foraging for wild produce with the talented Vix Hill-Ryder, who cooked up the produce into a delicious lunch for the walkers to enjoy overlooking the sea. A few spots of rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits and Helpful Holidays’ Gill said, “We’re already looking forward to Walk West Cornwall 2017!”

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RECORD NUMBERS FLOCK TO FOOD FESTIVAL This year’s Porthleven Food Festival once again proved a huge, not-tobe-missed hit for locals and visitors alike, attracting over 30,000 to the harbour side of Porthleven.

Highlights included celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson taking

Finally, on Sunday, the auction which sold 46 lots donated by local businesses and individuals raised a massive £3,800, to be shared between the festival fund and the Porthleven Lights Committee.

Image courtesy of: Daimian Blewitt

Made possible by the dedicated band of volunteers who form part of the festival committee, as well as those hard-working committee members who begin the event’s planning an amazing eight months beforehand, this year’s festival took place under the balmy pre-summer sun on the glistening Porthleven quayside, offering a rich blend of entertainment, tantalising food and a wealth of local beers, ales, ciders and wines.

on local legend, head chef and owner of the deliciously renowned Kota and Kota Kai, in a cook-off of mouth-watering proportions, as well as live music of varied genres in the evenings. The new Literature tent was a big hit, with talks about bibliotherapy among others keeping audiences entertained all weekend.

To find out more about why you must put this in your 2017 diary visit the website.

VIVA LAS VEGAS Running from 26th September to 1st October, this year’s Chagford Film Festival is set to be even bigger and better than the last, with a Las Vegas theme and an eclectic mix of films and live music from both well established and newly emerging talent.


If you’re a film buff or would like to be a part of what promises to be one of the year’s unmissable highlights, why not book one of our cottages in Chagford or the nearby villages? To find out more,

Helpful Holidays recently teamed up with Fal River Cornwall and local community groups to help clean the riverbanks of the Cornish capital, Truro. An impressive 50½ kilograms of litter was collected, including a fire extinguisher, a woolly hat, an old shoe and a vintage glass bottle, as well as the usual drinks cans, sweet wrappers, crisp packets and plastic bags. Adrian and Katie from Helpful Holidays mucked in, donning their wellies to tackle the debris along the riverbanks. Thankfully, they didn’t get stuck in the mud and made it back to camp with bags full of litter! Canoe Cornwall also headed upstream in kayaks, picking up floating waste from otherwise inaccessible areas of the river. A huge well done to all those involved!

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Great AADVENTURE We take a look at some of the South West’s finest activity centres with lots to do, both on and off the water. South West Lakes Trust is the region’s largest combined environmental and recreational charity managing 50 inland waters, including five Outdoor + Active centres, spread across Devon, Cornwall and West Somerset. Have a go at kayaking, windsurfing, sailing and wakeboarding or, for those wanting to stay on land, why not attempt the high ropes courses, explore the lakes by bike or foot or simply relax in a café with a cream tea whilst enjoying the views.


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Tamar Lakes Near Bude

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Roadford Lake With over 730 acres of water, Roadford Lake is a spectacular lake set on the edge of Dartmoor between Okehampton and Launceston. As well as the activity centre offering a variety of activities on and off the water, including sailing, windsurfing, high ropes and archery, you’ll also find the Lakeside Café and Function Suite, which includes a Visitor Centre,


plus miles of paths and cycle routes to explore.

Tamar Lakes Near Bude, these two lakes offer a variety of activities, including watersports, coarse angling, walking, cycling and relaxing. There are many miles of paths following the shorelines of the two lakes, meandering through woodland and on to

open countryside. There’s also a wealth of wildlife to watch and discover, with bird hides located at both Upper and Lower Lakes. So whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, an active cycle ride or a more challenging walk, whatever your ability there’s something for everyone at Tamar. There’s also a café overlooking the lake, a popular round-lake walk and a fantastic new children’s play area which opened in May 2016.

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Roadford Lake Near Launceston

SECCOMBE BARN: J24 Sleeping six, this converted barn is on an ancient, Domesday-mentioned farm within a short stroll of stunning views over Roadford Lake. Inside, the cottage is spacious with oak floors and a good-sized living/dining room that has a large fireplace and leather sofas. This is a very comfortable, friendly base in a timeless conservation area.

ROADFORD LAKE ACORN COTTAGE: J30 You’ll find this cottage, for six, at the top end of Roadford Lake, tucked away off a no through farm lane. There are walks from the door within the 12 acres of the owners’ adjoining woodland. This is a lovely, peaceful spot, great for walkers and those with wildlife, watersports and outdoor interests.



In a quiet close in Bude, just 400 yards from the wide expanse of golden sand of Crooklets beach, this modern semi-detached home set over three floors has comfortable accommodation for six. There is a small, enclosed, lawned garden sheltered by a tamarisk hedge. Inside, it is light, uncluttered, stylish and modern. A great place to enjoy the seaside.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Canadian canoe at Tamar Lakes Sailing at Roadford Fishing at Upper Tamar Cycling at Roadford Lake

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Gear Up! Make sure you’re kitted out with all the latest outdoor kit – turn to pages 78 and 79 for our favourites.

Wimbleball Lake Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor, offers a variety of activities for all abilities, including watersports, high ropes, archery, trout angling, walking, cycling and relaxing. The Duck Café offers an indoor retreat for light lunches, beverages and snacks, whilst the play area is ideal for the younger ones to burn off some energy in the beautiful Exmoor countryside.

Stithians Lake Stithians Lake, Redruth, is an open site with uninterrupted views across the water. In addition to the Outdoor + Active centre offering a variety of water-based activities, there’s a


circular walk around the lake which is just under five miles long. There’s also a cycleway along the northern shore and public footpaths may be accessed from the western shore for longer walks. A children’s play area overlooks the lake and a café serves fine Italian coffee, homemade cakes and light lunches.This majestic water, one of England’s most westerly trout fisheries, is regularly stocked with Rainbow Trout and Blue Trout and contains a natural head of Brown Trout.

Siblyback Lake Siblyback Lake is surrounded by the striking Bodmin Moor, ‘Poldark

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e k a L l l a b e l b m i W Exmoor WEST HUCKHAM BARN: F101 Deep in the Quarme Valley this 200-year-old detached cottage for five, three miles from Wheddon Cross, has been smartly converted from a barn and has superb long moorland views. Inside, the cottage is full of light and space, with an open-plan living room, dining room and kitchen. This is a brilliant retreat for the true country lover.


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP High ropes course at Wimbleball Stithians Windsurf Rally Family fun at Siblyback Walking at Wimbleball Wakeboarding at Siblyback

country’, and offers a wide range of activities, both on and off the water. There’s plenty to do at this scenic lake, including miles of walks, cycle trails, excellent bird watching, children’s play areas and a café overlooking the water.

1 The Brass Bolt Shop is a Grade II listed cottage in a smart private residential development of cottages and apartments newly converted from the historic Perran Foundry at Perranarworthal. Inside, the cottage, sleeping four, has been artfully renovated to sensitively merge contemporary comforts with the original spirit of the building.


MERRYFIELD MANOR: N378 Merryfield Manor, near St Cleer, sleeps ten and is a remarkable and splendid house, thick-walled and oakbeamed, with its own indoor heated swimming pool. It is 100 yards off a quiet lane, beside a 114 acre organic farm. Up to seventeen people can be accommodated when booked with neighbouring Merryfield Farmhouse (N379).


The Outdoor + Active centre at Siblyback offers a variety of activities, such as sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, high ropes and even cable wakeboarding. If fishing is more your style, then this popular premier fishery is regularly stocked with Rainbow Trout and Blue Trout up to 7lbs. For more information about what South West Lakes has to offer, visit

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Enjoy, discover, explore

Fun on the water

A truly Cornish attraction, Wheal Martyn offers a great day out for all the family, even the dog! This picturesque site includes nature trails and woodland walks and is also home to the UK’s only china clay heritage centre.

The Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre is open all year round and welcomes families, friends, individuals, businesses and schools to participate in water and land based activities.

Set amongst the preserved remains of a Victorian clay works, Wheal Martyn gives a fascinating insight into Cornwall’s billion pound clay industry, an industry alive today which shapes lives and landscape across mid-Cornwall. Here you can explore the interactive discovery centre, flat rod tunnel, see Cornwall’s largest working waterwheel, a locomotive, vintage lorries and much more. At ‘Pit View’ you can watch spectacular modern mining in action in a working clay pit. There’s a children’s play area here, as well as a café and gift shop and dogs are welcome throughout the site.


The Centre commands stunning views towards Plymouth’s historic Barbican area, the Hoe and across to Mount Edgcumbe. It’s perfectly situated on the tidal estuary of The Sound, making it an ideal, and safe, location for the thousands of people, of all ages, that use the Centre each year – whether for recreational or professional use. The Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre has a small, friendly, dedicated and highly experienced team, always on hand to ensure that visitors have an enjoyable time in a safe and welcoming environment. If you love the water, then you’ll love the Mount Batten Centre.

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n y t r a M l a e h W St Austell HIDEAWAY BARN: S71 Tucked away in Charlestown, this is an attractive detached cottage recently converted from an old barn. The openplan living area has double doors leading to the garden. Two bedrooms, sleeping four, both have big floor-to-ceiling windows between original granite pillars. This is a comfy base within walking distance of the beach.


PROVIDENCE COTTAGE: L273 In the heart of Turnchapel, a row back from the water’s edge, sits the 18th century three-storey Providence Cottage, for six, one of the village’s oldest cottages. With wonderful views from upstairs over the marina and the water just a stone’s throw away, this is a lovely property in a waterside village with a friendly ‘time-forgotten’ feel.

TURNCHAPEL DRIFT COTTAGE: L151 Tucked on the water’s edge in the heart of Turnchapel, this detached cottage, sleeping six, is a former pilot boat house, beautifully refurbished with nautical features and outstanding and ever-changing views across bustling Plymouth harbour towards the city from almost every room. Wonderful for alfresco meals and watching the boats sail by.

Out and About Turn to our Special Destination feature on pages 6 and 7 to find out more about the area.

TURNCHAPEL CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Learning at Wheal Martyn Wheal Martyn woodland walks Fun in the sun Scaling the heights and learning to canoe at Mount Batten Sailing in Plymouth Sound

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n r e d o M age Vint

We look at the inspiration behind the company that’s synonymous with modern vintage style and all things lovely.

In 1993, the first ever Cath Kidston store opened - a small shop in Notting Hill, London. Selling brightly coloured, customised second-hand furniture, vintage fabrics and wallpapers, Cath Kidston developed a unique design style that turned practical products into something witty, fresh and fun. The shop and products soon became a cult success. Originally inspired by taking traditional print and using it in a fresh, surprising and modern way, Cath began to design her own unique printed textiles and used them to create simple practical everyday products. One of the first ‘Cath Kidston’ products was a printed ironing board cover. Practical, quirky and with a very distinctive floral print, it has come to epitomise the Cath Kidston look

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and remains an iconic item in the collection to this day. More than two decades later, the brand continues to create useful everyday things with a unique Cath Kidston twist - a twist that transforms mundane products into must have items. As the desire for Cath Kidston products has grown, the collections have expanded into a full lifestyle range across laundry, homeware, accessories, women’s clothing and Cath Kids. The brand continues to go from strength to strength, expanding product offerings and opening new stores across the globe. Today, the Cath Kidston brand still lives by the company’s core values, designing cheerful and practical products to brighten up people’s lives. Christine Hafsten, Design Director at Cath Kidston,

and her team of print designers take inspiration from vintage finds to create beautiful, distinctive prints that are applied to all sorts of things, designed to lift your mood. For Spring/Summer 2016, Cath Kidston has taken inspiration from the British summertime and the simple pleasures of the seaside: catching the sun, cooling off in the water and taking in views of scenic coastal landscapes. Holidays to Salcombe in Devon and Falmouth in Cornwall have made quite an impact on the brand’s high summer collection, in which the prints have a distinctly nautical feel. Beautiful, evocative seaside designs set the tone for the brand’s high summer print story. Sea View and Harbour View depict the same Salcombe Harbour scene from different perspectives. Sea View

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is a cleverly hand-drawn design which looks out to sea and features painterly ripples on the water and boats bobbing on the waves. Harbour View is designed from the beautiful perspective of a boat moored in the harbour looking back to shore, including boats sailing, houses on the shore and seagulls flying overhead. Encapsulating the traditional British seaside perfectly, the Beach Huts print reflects a gentle stroll along the beach to take in the seaside sights – from colourful beach huts, parasols, windbreaks and deckchairs, to playful dogs, a familiar surf shack and even somewhere you can pick up fresh fish for supper! Cath Kidston’s high summer collection has everything you need for a summer holiday in true British

style. Pack up a picnic in a wicker hamper and colourful lunch boxes, bring along a beach bag for your towel plus a beach pouch to keep your valuables safe and dry; dress the part in the Harbour View skirt, perfect for a warm afternoon walk along the seafront. Just don’t forget your bucket and spade!

ABOVE From tableware to handbags and children’s clothes, there’s a Cath Kidston design for every occasion

Turn the page for our selection of Cath Kidston products

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Sea View Part Coated Beach Bag £35

Harbour View Ocean Blue Cotton Skirt £55

Sea View Dress £60

Meadow 500ml Flask £16

Meadow Water Bottle £12

Beach Hut And Daisy Bed Set Of Two Rectangle Lunch Boxes £12

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Beach Huts Acrylic Tumbler £5

Beach Huts Melamine Bowl £5


Underbecks is an 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, a mile away, from its good-sized enclosed terrace. Inside, Underbecks is spacious, full of light that streams in from roof lights and floor-to-ceiling windows, decorated and furnished cleverly and comfortably.

A Winning Combination

5. AN EAGLE IN THE SNOW purgo ael Mor ichKidston, MCath Like the Helpful Holidays team By love 9 fun and beautiful style, and we were 2.9seaside £1

delighted to join Cath Kidston recently to offer a week’s holiday at our luxury beachside villa, Underbecks, in fabulous Salcombe, with private dining and a host of Cath Kidston goodies thrown in. If you missed the competition, you can still take a look at Underbecks on our website where you’ll find lots of other seaside holiday homes to choose from too.

Harbour View Woven Printed Shawl £35

Beach Huts Melamine Side Plate £5

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Yarcombe East Devon

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Our inspiring range of holiday homes across the South West has something for everyone, from cosy hideaways for two to majestic mansions for many.


Our pick of the latest places to stay


Ideal for large groups of family or friends with plenty of space for all to enjoy


Pamper yourself at our cottages with pools or hot tubs

Sheafhayne Manor Reference G1 Yarcombe, East Devon


No need to leave your ‘best friend’ at home with a break at our dog-friendly cottages


Create less impact on the environment when you enjoy our eco-friendly homes


Celebrate the festive season in style at these wonderful retreats


Treat yourself to a stay at our glorious coastal homes

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y a n e t r u o C d r o f Sa mp ntry Devon’s River Cou





With stunning homes regularly joining our wonderful collection, discover new additions to enjoy and explore. J58


The Old Parlour Reference J58 Sampford Courtenay, Devon’s River Country This delightful detached cottage, once serving as a milking parlour, sits in lovingly landscaped gardens with ponds, a babbling brook and wildlife – all for you to enjoy. Surrounded by farmland, it’s a pleasant, short walk to the local pub. It’s a quiet, restful place; this is one of the prettiest villages in the heart of Devon, a haven of thatched cottages and masses of flowers. The cottage, which sleeps four, offers a spacious, light open-plan living/

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dining/kitchen area, peaceful garden views and big glazed doors opening to the patio: the perfect place to unwind. The double bedroom has a lovely walk-in shower-room. Upstairs, a gallery with books, games and seating leads through to a children’s twin bedroom.

making friends with the resident ponies and dogs: an oasis of wild beauty and calm.

Reference A244 Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Dartmoor

The open-plan living/dining room has a high, beamed ceiling with Velux windows (perfect for stargazing) and a lovely woodburner for getting cosy at night. Stairs lead up to a gallery double bedroom with sloping beams. Another curtained-off double bedroom offers alternative sleeping.

Dartmoor’s most famous village is two miles from this charming semi-detached cottage sleeping two, attached to a historic Grade II listed farmhouse. You’re welcome to roam the garden and 23 acres of grounds,

The famous village, with two good food pubs and a splendid church, is nestled in a beautiful valley between steep tor-topped hills, an excellent walking base for exploring the moor’s most spectacular scenery.

Hamel Down Hideaway

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Ruan Lanihorne Cornwall s’ ‘M ed’

Gare Barn Cottage Reference S87 Ruan Lanihorne, Cornwall’s ‘Med’ Gare Barn Cottage is an impressive cottage sleeping six, converted from a stone barn on a 370-acre working farm surrounded by wooded valleys, with streams and creeks meandering to the sea. It’s part of the historic Tregothnan Estate, one of the largest estates in Cornwall, with the only tea plantation in Britain. You’re welcome to wander the farmland and enjoy magnificent views across the River Fal and feed lambs in the spring. The cottage adjoins the owners’ farmhouse, with your own enclosed



lawned garden at front and rear. It’s the perfect retreat for relaxing and for walkers and wildlife lovers. Ruan Lanihorne is a pretty, rural village on the Roseland peninsula. There are many beautiful beaches and stunning subtropical gardens, including Trebah, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Pinetum Park, all within a short drive.

Pelyn Creek Cottage Reference S86 Gerrans, Cornwall’s ‘Med’ Set in a beautiful, secluded location surrounded by wooded hills, a mile from Portscatho beach, is this semi-detached cottage sleeping six, converted from a barn adjoining


the owners’ farmhouse. Fields slope down over 600 yards to Pelyn Creek and a secluded tidal beach on the Percuil River with views across to St Mawes. Wander the surrounding 13 acres of fields and woodland. The first floor living area boasts spectacular views across a ‘hidden’ valley with a feeling of being up in the treetops. It’s a welcoming cottage in an idyllic setting, lovely for peace, watersports and walking the countryside and riverbanks. Gerrans is charming with stunning view of Gerrans Bay and the tiny harbour of Portscatho, with a lovely coastal walk to Porthcurnick beach.



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With plenty of space both indoors and out, our selection of large houses is perfect for a family get-together or spending time with friends. Sheafhayne Manor

Reference G1 Yarcombe, East Devon Just a mile from the delightful village of Yarcombe, Sheafhayne, sleeping 24, is a superbly positioned, Grade II*, Elizabethan manor house, likened by the Sunday Times to ‘a full-sized game of Cluedo’. The village is surrounded by meadows and ancient woods

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and is positioned on the edge of the Blackdown Hills, with the south coast towns of Lyme Regis, Seaton, Beer and Sidmouth all within driving distance. Sheafhayne was originally a medieval hall house and the shooting lodge of Sir Francis Drake’s Yarcombe Estate. Its large and beautiful garden has a lawn that fades into the countryside via a ha-ha. There’s also a wild garden

orchard with mown paths at the end of a pergola walk – an idyllic place to sit and relax, while the children are kept entertained in the huge games room. You enter the house via a formal courtyard with fine views over the estate. The house has tremendous character and the beams, Tudor panelling, flagstones, mullioned windows and old oak floors and

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Yarcombe East Devon

doors are truly wonderful. The drawing room is warmed by a woodburner with a television for those evenings when you just want to curl up in front of the fire. The impressive dining room has everything you could want for entertaining in style, with a carved ornamental fireplace, piano, iPod dock and dining table seating 24. The kitchen/breakfast room is well

equipped and leads to a proper old-fashioned larder/wine store and butler’s pantry. Four staircases lead up to the majority of the bedrooms (one is on the ground floor), all of which are en suite except two that share a large shower-room. Some rooms have interconnecting doors, making them great for families; however, all can be bolted and individually accessed.

Some have lovely panelling, others exceptional views – all are glorious. If you’re looking for a complete ‘away from it all’ break, then maid service, professional catering and ready meals can be arranged. Overall, this is a fabulous house situated in the loveliest east Devon countryside, a welcoming, remarkable place for special occasions and family gatherings.

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Beesands South Hams

Lower Widdicombe Farm Reference L307 Beesands, South Hams This 19th century former farmhouse is a beautiful new addition to Helpful Holidays’ selection of big houses for sociable gatherings and family get-togethers. Accommodating 14, it’s peacefully set on a 280 acre traditional working farm amongst the verdant rolling hills of glorious south Devon countryside. Just a mile inland from a picturesque stretch of the coast, visitors can follow a footpath across the farm to the South West Coast Path and the long beach at Beesands. The seaside villages of Torcross and Beesands are also easily reached by road, being just two miles from Lower Widdicombe Farm in either direction. When not occupied with seaside bucket and spade fun,

children will enjoy the garden, which has masses of grassy space for ball kicking and running. Inside, the house is five star and fabulous. At its heart is the big kitchen/dining room, a lovely place for 14 family and friends to gather round the long bespoke oak table beside the woodburner. French windows lead from the hand-built kitchen area to a sunny terrace with picnic tables for soaking up the views across the farm towards the sea and chatting over sundowners at the end of the day. This is a great place for feasting like kings, with just-landed fresh fish for sale in the village and a popular farm shop full of delicious West Country food and drink a couple of miles away. When you don’t feel like cooking, there’s a good fish restaurant in the village, or

professional caterers can come to the house and prepare meals. The living room at Lower Widdicombe is another cosy room and, with seven bedrooms and six bath or shower-rooms, there’s plenty of space and facilities for everyone, including a downstairs bedroom. The luxurious bathrooms here are far more than shiny functionality – beautifully designed, they’re places to linger, maybe soaking with a flute of Prosecco in a deep white bath. Heating is provided by an ecofriendly biomass boiler and you’ll enjoy pure spring water from the tap. This is a wonderfully peaceful house for escaping with your nearest and dearest (including dogs, which are welcome in the kitchen and boot room), either for a special occasion or to explore the coast and countryside of this lovely part of Devon.

L307 L307


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e b m o o C n o t a r r Bu South Cornwall




Meadowsweet Farm Reference R81 Burraton Coombe, South Cornwall On the edge of Burraton Coombe, you’ll find this huge detached house, privately situated within four acres of grounds and a delightful landscaped garden. This is a real fisherman’s paradise as at the rear of the house, fenced off from the formal garden, is a deep lake stocked with roach and carp where fishing is permitted on a catch and return basis. Created from a 19th century quarry, nature has reclaimed it and now dragon and damsel flies hover, swallows swoop and wildlife in general abounds around the lake.


Safely away from the lake, the children’s play area, complete with swing, slide and trampoline, makes Meadowsweet a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors without having to venture far from your front door. The house rambles wonderfully over three levels with masses of space for everyone to find their own corner. The living room has an open fire and French windows to the patio area where, on a summer’s evening, you can enjoy a barbecue looking out across the garden to the lake. The large fitted kitchen also has French windows to the terrace which let light flood in on a summer’s morning and there’s a little play den here too for small children. The dining hall has a medieval banqueting feel with

two flights of stairs rather grandly climbing to a conservatory with gorgeous views over the garden and lake. There’s a cosy reading area on the landing, complete with sofas on which to curl up with a good book, and a second living room with pool table; there’s a place for everyone to relax here. With six bedrooms and room to accommodate 15, this elegant and spacious holiday home is ideal for large groups of families or friends. The pretty hamlet of Burraton Coombe is just a mile from the tidal estuary waters of the Tamar and you’re just west of Saltash with its shops and restaurants.


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Parracombe Exmoor

ols Tubs Poand Whether sunbathing with a cool drink, splashing for fun or clocking up lengths, a pool makes a focal point for any holiday – the place where people gather! We’ve chosen some of our current favourites.


Lower Cowley Farmhouse Reference F170 Parracombe, Exmoor This 18th century farmhouse, sleeping 14, is two miles from Parracombe and surrounded by 10 acres of naturally beautiful grounds, including garden, woods, orchard, a river, unfenced lakes and meadows. The crowning glory, however, is undoubtedly the integral indoor heated swimming pool, available from the Easter school holidays to 31st October.

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The living room has a huge inglenook with woodburner. Step down to a second living room with open fire, baby grand piano and French windows opening to a terrace with wonderful views over the high moorland of Holdstone Hill and Trentishoe Down. There’s a pretty fitted kitchen with farmhouse-style table and chairs seating six in the centre. A dining room with oak refectory table comfortably seats 12. There are seven bedrooms in total, enjoying pretty views. Attached to and included with the house is Trout Cottage, a self-contained annexe for

two. There’s also an open-fronted barn with table tennis, perfect for keeping children entertained. The farmhouse sits in its own deep Exmoor valley with a river rushing through oak woods and meadows to Hunters Inn and the sea at Heddon’s Mouth. It’s a fabulous place with beautiful scenery for total seclusion, peace and quiet, no light pollution and wonderful night skies. There are lots of public footpaths in the area, leading via woods and a stream to dramatic cliff walks along the stunning heritage coastline.

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South Hams

The Roundhouse Reference L266 Halwell, South Hams Nestled in a peaceful and secluded setting, a mile from Halwell, is Bickleigh Farm – a 300-acre working mixed farm, home to two cottages and three superb barn conversions. All share an indoor heated swimming pool with toddlers’ splash pool, children’s play area, large trampoline and games room. The Roundhouse, sleeping 18, is a magnificent, detached house converted from a barn with seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms in an ‘upside down’ arrangement,

making the most of huge vaulted ceilings and rolling farmland views. Across the full length of the upper floor is a large open-plan living room with woodburner and enormous kitchen/dining room with oak and granite dining table and designer lighting, spectacular oak beams and large windows creating a cathedral-like space. At each end of this level are double bedrooms, both with en suite bathrooms. A vertical ladder leads to a galleried mezzanine/den with comfy seating and wonderful valley views. There’s also an adjacent annexe for four. To the rear, a spacious, private terrace enjoys all-day sun, with

steps up to a lawn. There’s a grassy, wild meadow with a walnut and fruit trees. Conservation walks with wonderful views to Torbay and Dartmoor have been laid out across the farmland and the holiday homes are positioned to each have their own patio and barbecue area, and share large lawns and garden. These are very special places to stay. Halwell is a small village, with a church and good food pub in wooded farmland, a short drive from Totnes, Kingsbridge, Dartmouth and the beach at Blackpool Sands – the ideal South Hams base.




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a e S n o y r u b g Bi South Hams


s e g a t Cot


Feel the sand between your toes just a stone’s throw from your holiday home.


Apartment 12 Reference L546 Bigbury-on-Sea, South Hams Twenty yards from Bigbury-on-Sea’s big and splendid sandy beach, and looking at Burgh Island over the low-tide sandy causeway, is this truly excellent and very greatly appreciated development of 29 high quality apartments of which we let 13, and, within the building, 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. The island’s jolly pub, The Pilchard, is fun to visit (hop on

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the long-legged sea tractor at high tide). All the apartments have those sensational views and are marvellously light, with large living/ dining/fitted kitchens and glazed doors to balconies or terraces. They are privately owned and individually furnished. Bedrooms have good quality en suite bath or showerrooms. There’s parking for one car at the back of each property and some extra space for guests. Apartment 12, which sleeps four, is on the first floor, looking directly at the island and out to sea on either side. Inside, modern and smart with oak floor and good paintings

and prints. The living/dining/fitted modern kitchen has the stunning sea views and there are two bedrooms – a double with en suite bathroom, and a twin with en suite shower-room. Enjoy a drink on the balcony after a day on the beach. Prices include everything – from linen to use of the Leisure Club facilities, open from 10am every day, with a fine indoor kidney-shaped swimming pool, spa pool, extensive well-equipped gym and sauna. The smart bar provides drinks through the day and light meals, cream teas and a children’s menu. You really won’t get much closer to a beach than this!

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Kellaton South Hams

Orchard View

wonderfully understated with uncluttered, chic modern decor.

Reference L58 Kellaton, South Hams Situated in Kellaton, in the everpopular South Hams area of south Devon, Orchard View is a secluded, light and airy detached modern bungalow in a tranquil setting with no passing traffic. The home is surrounded by a lovely, enclosed and mostly lawned garden with a barbecue, perfect for chilling out and relaxing after a day exploring the beautiful locale. A few steps from the parking area lead down to the front door. Inside the cottage, the style is smart and

Enter the hall with tiled floor, through into the living room with its serene, long rural views and its cosy woodburner. Big glazed doors lead to the garden and patio, with table and chairs for all the family to sit around. The neat fitted kitchen with oak worktops has a step leading down to the dining room and back door to the garden. There are three relaxing bedrooms, sleeping six – a double and two twins, along with a roomy shower-room. From the back door, steps lead up to an outhouse with table tennis, perfect for keeping the family entertained.

Orchard View is an excellent, comfortable and practical home within walking distance of a fantastic, yet quiet beach. Kellaton is a sleepy, tranquil hamlet with the occasional vehicle and horse-rider passing through. It’s just a mile from the lovely, unspoilt sandy beach at Lannacombe and the Coast Path to Start Point and beyond – the ideal base to explore this truly stunning stretch of coastline. It’s also a short walk to the pub at Beesands. Slightly further afield is Kingsbridge with its array of shops, restaurants and independent galleries. There are superb boating and sailing opportunities at Salcombe.

L58 L58

Torcross and Slapton Sands

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o t s e c Pla A215


Don’t leave your best friend behind. Book a stay at one of our lovely dog-friendly cottages and enjoy a holiday together as it should be.



Townend Barn Reference A215 Lydford, Dartmoor In the centre of Lydford, you’ll find this detached cottage, converted from the top floor of a barn quietly tucked within the owners’ acre of garden, behind their beautiful house. Surrounded by original sculpture and artwork, this is a wonderful retreat from the hurly burly of the modern world. Inside is open-plan with oak floors and ceilings and clever marriage of old and new furniture creating an intimate, cosy atmosphere. The living and dining space has a sleek fitted kitchen, woodburner and even a grand piano. The cottage sleeps two in a pretty, comfortable beamed double bedroom. Townend Barn is

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an elegant cottage from which to explore the magical wilderness of the highest tors.

cottages, all exceptionally well done with smart, stylish design, oak and tiled floors and sleek kitchens.

Lydford village has two good food pubs, a farm shop and a church. It sits on Dartmoor’s western edge, famous for its gorge and waterfall (a beautiful walk deep in woods) and ruined medieval castle. The area is perfect for cyclists and dog walkers.

A sweeping shared drive leads to the cottages, looking over scenic parkland. You’re welcome to wander the vast lower lawns (with picnic benches, barbecue area and dogs on leads most welcome) and peaceful circular woodland walk. An outstanding location, much thought has gone into making the cottages individual and comfortable.

Barley House Reference G105 Talaton, East Devon In the heart of Talaton is striking Grade II listed Talaton House, a former rectory surrounded by acres of beautiful parkland. Beside the house, the original stables, groom’s cottage and hayloft have been finely converted into three excellent

Barley House has a light-filled, open-plan living space with glazed doors opening to the front terrace. It accommodates six in style and comfort. The cottage is super-smart and comfortable, particularly convenient for those with limited mobility and in a beautiful location.

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Falmouth Cornwall ‘s ‘M ed’





Six Jays Apartment Reference S73 Falmouth, Cornwall’s ‘Med’ Just 400 yards from the sandy cove of Swanpool beach and a mile from Falmouth via the Coast Path is this spacious and stylish apartment. Six Jays is next door to Swanpool lake and nature reserve, excellent for birdwatching and nature lovers. The large, peaceful, enclosed patio is perfect for barbecues and alfresco dining. French windows lead into an open-plan living space with a wellequipped kitchen with big tripleaspect windows and a woodburner. The apartment, which sleeps four, is superbly located for kayaking, golf and visiting Falmouth, abounding with independent shops, galleries and restaurants. It’s a popular

town with one of the world’s most beautiful and largest natural harbours, home to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. The area is renowned as a world-class sailing destination, at the entrance of the Carrick Roads, a stunning flooded valley. There are plenty of fantastic, sheltered sandy beaches to enjoy in the area, with rockpools for the children to explore. Cornwall’s ‘Med’ is also well known for its subtropical gardens, including Trebah.

Tillislow Barton Farmhouse Reference J53 Virginstow, Devon’s River Country Less than a mile from Virginstow, on a 350-acre working farm, is

Tillislow Barton Farmhouse, a beautiful, detached 18th century house. The house has a sunny front garden overlooking the farmyard and duck pond. There’s an enclosed dog exercise area and kennel available. Sleeping up to ten, the house is perfect for family gatherings, with a spacious kitchen and dining room, a living room overlooking the garden and an additional sunroom for enjoying balmy evenings. Virginstow is a peaceful village with a church, just a mile from an excellent restaurant; it’s a superb base for discovering the nearby moors and beaches, walking and exploring Devon’s glorious coast and countryside.

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Dunster Exmoor

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Look after yourself and the planet with a stay at our eco-friendly homes. F46

The Oval Reference Dunster, Exmoor F46

The Oval, sleeping six, is an historically fascinating, quirky cottage, once an open ‘hall house’ believed to date from the 1400s and one of the oldest buildings in Dunster. It has been beautifully upgraded, furnished and decorated whilst retaining its original charm, history and the odd wonky floor! The cottage has tiled and stone floors, with ancient timbers, leaded windows, low lintels and beams all adding to the character. The living room is warmed by a woodburner and a separate snug makes The Oval

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a very relaxing home. Upstairs, the master bedroom has a beautiful double four-poster bed below stunning vaulted ceilings and cruck beams. At the back of the cottage there’s a small courtyard and, up steep steps, a decked patio with fruit trees and lovely views over the village to wooded hills, where you can sit back and relax. This is a unique cottage in a beautiful village.

The Hay Loft Reference G40 Kentisbeare, East Devon The Hay Loft is a very roomy and comfortable house converted from a barn that lies just across the courtyard

G40 from the owners’ farmhouse and is situated on their five-acre organic smallholding. Guests are welcome to walk around the smallholding, which has pretty views across miles of open countryside. From the lawned garden, there’s access to two pretty ponds stocked with tench and carp. Inside, the house is light and bright with stone and wood floors. The living area is open-plan with a galleried seating area where you can sit back and soak up the countryside views. There are four bedrooms downstairs, one with its own stable doors to a patio area, which makes this holiday home suitable for wheelchair users. Overall, this is a very well-equipped and comfortable holiday home.

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East Devon

Swallows’ Cottage Reference G78 Honiton, East Devon This pretty cottage for four is close to the charming owners’ 17th century farmhouse. It’s in a brilliant, peaceful position with fine views, on the side of beech-tree-crowned Dumpdon Hill above the Otter Valley. Heating and hot water are piped to the cottage from solar panels and a log boiler (out of sight) which is fed with coppiced wood from sustainably managed woodland. Swallows’ Cottage has been excellently converted from an old



threshing barn into a high quality and welcoming cottage. The town of Honiton is two miles away, famous for its lace-making and antique shops. There’s lovely farmland all around this area and the beaches at Sidmouth are a short drive away.

Ayrmer Path Reference L79 Ringmore, South Hams One of the closest dwellings to the beautiful Ayrmer Cove, at the end of a no-through road in Ringmore, Ayrmer Path is a spacious, detached, period home with outstanding


uninterrupted views to the sea. Alongside the cottage, a footpath leads down to the little beach (600 yards) and Coast Path. This is a real unspoiled haven for rare birds and dragonflies. On the seaward side is a large terrace where you can soak up the sun or enjoy a barbecue. There are panoramic views and the sunsets here are very special. Ayrmer Path is surrounded by a big garden with its own orchard and meadow areas. Many idyllic childhood summers have been spent here in this refurbished, stylish, spacious and comfortable home for eight.



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St Ive

South Cornwall

s a m t s i r Ch and New Year COTTAGES These stunning retreats are ideal for bringing all the family together to celebrate the festive season. R77


Haye Barton Farm

enjoy, while other barns provide sanctuary for swallows.

Reference R77 St Ive, South Cornwall Deep in hedgerow lanes just outside St Ive, near Liskeard, is Haye Barton Farm, a huge, detached and completely private, south-facing farmhouse on three levels. The house looks over 115 acres of farmland and bluebell woods, all yours to roam and explore. Immediately in front of the house is a small, enclosed walled garden. An open-ended barn contains table tennis and badminton for the children to


The inside has been completely renovated with smart bathrooms, while retaining charming period details, including flagstone and wood floors throughout and beamed ceilings. Both the living room and large kitchen/dining room have a lovely inglenook with woodburner, creating a very cosy atmosphere in winter, while the kitchen also boasts an original and unique glass-topped well. Stairs lead up to five bedrooms (three double and two twin), a bathroom and a shower-room.

A few more stairs lead up to a second living room/den with a sofa bed, and a sixth bedroom with en suite shower-room. Sleeping up to 14, this is a terrific family house offering freedom for children and it’s perfect for Christmas breaks. St Ive (not to be confused with St Ives in the far west) is a village on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor, ‘Poldark country’, with its roots in prehistory. Nearby Pensilva has a pub and shop, and Siblyback Lake offers fishing and watersports, while Liskeard, with a range of shops and amenities, is only four miles away.

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Talaton East Devon

Talaton House Cottages Reference G103-G106 Talaton, East Devon In the grounds of the stunning Grade II listed Talaton House sit four beautiful cottages: Groom’s Cottage (G103), Gardener’s Cottage (G104), Barley House (G105) and Hayloft (G106). Surrounded by acres of beautiful parkland, the original stables and their associated buildings have been finely converted with flair into

these excellent cottages. All have been styled with attention to detail including wooden floors, elegant kitchens and smart décor.

It’s an outstanding location and much thought has gone into making these superb places individual and comfortable.

They all look over scenic parkland alongside the main house and you’re welcome to wander the vast lower lawns and peaceful circular woodland walk. Groom’s Cottage, Gardener’s Cottage and Barley House each have a gravelled terrace with a table and seating at the front, made private with attractive planting.

Talaton is a small village in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There’s plenty to explore in the area, including the market towns of Honiton and Tiverton, the ‘Jurassic Coast’ and a sandy beach at Exmouth. Closer to home are Escot gardens, with a maze, woodland, and wonderful picnic spots.







G106 J108

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Porlock Vale Exmoor

s e t i r u o Tea m fav GILL NICHOLLS Property Manager Gill has spent most of her life living in north Cornwall, a breathtaking area which combines wild coastland, moors and tors, farmland and fishing villages galore. Gill’s was a farming family, she explains, “We had our own summer visitors helping with the lambs and dairy goats.” She started working for Helpful Holidays in 2000 after spending 18 years building up the West

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Country property portfolio for a Welsh-based company. “Providing holiday accommodation sounds so simple,” says Gill, “but there’s a staggering choice, most of which can be accessed over the internet. So getting it right, from the start, is essential for success. And that’s where I come in – as a property manager with Helpful Holidays, I guide all sorts of people at all sorts of stages in their holiday home ownership. Some are at the early stage of looking to buy a suitable place, some have plans on the kitchen table, some already run accommodation but are looking to improve things, some own medieval manors or even castles! At Helpful Holidays we advise all along the way to tick important boxes. “It’s not all about property though,”adds Gill. “A holiday home owner’s attitude is very important – a real desire to offer a true welcome as you would if friends were coming to stay.

to just about most places in the South West and love the lush wooded valleys, dramatic coast and everywhere in between.” Despite living in Cornwall, Devon is very special for Gill: “Apart from my stunningly beautiful stretch of home coast, Exmoor is one of my favourite places – wild, uncompromising, like Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor. Anyone who’s travelled along the A39 from Lynmouth to Porlock will know how breathtaking it is, with views across to South Wales. And yet, dip down into wooded valleys – Heddon’s Mouth, Oare valley – and you could be a million miles from anywhere. Exactly what’s needed for the majority of people who live cheek by jowl, day in, day out in teeming suburban communities to relax and unwind. “That’s why I feel so lucky to be living and working in such a fantastic environment.”

“Over the 30 plus years I’ve been involved in tourism, I’ve travelled

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Saunton Sands North Devon

“The moment I walked into the office I knew I wanted to work here. I like the blend of professionalism and cutting edge technology, combined with old fashioned family values and honest customer service. I’ve always strongly believed in providing a simple service well and in having values and integrity.”

JAMES WEBB Deputy Sales Office Manager James grew up in Moretonhampstead, a small Dartmoor town just a few miles from the Helpful Holidays offices in Chagford. His family have scattered a little, but remain in Devon; he currently lives in Exeter. He enjoys spending time in the great Devon outdoors, saying, “ I like surfing (I’m terrible though!), photography (I’m not very good at that either!) and travel (I don’t nearly do enough!).” James joined Helpful Holidays in the summer of 2000, fresh out of college, and has been there ever since; his job now is Deputy Sales Office Manager. His father, also in the travel industry, encouraged him to apply; the rest took care of itself.

When asked about his favourite places, James is torn. “It’s hard to pick a favourite Devon spot,” he says. “I’m Devon born and bred and there’s just so much on offer, depending on your mood. If I want to go snorkelling, I’ll head to South Milton Sands, near Thurlestone. The water on a calm day is crystal clear with fish aplenty over the reef. The coastal walking here is great and Salcombe is just a few miles away for an end of day drink and food. If I want to get my bike out, I’ll stay in Exeter and follow the cycle path along the Exe estuary to Dawlish Warren. This is a safe route and a real coup for Exeter, with some fantastic scenery on the way. I’ll do this trek several times each summer, usually with a swim in the sea at Dawlish Warren and plenty of coffee stops on the way. If I want to hike, then I’ll most likely head to Hound Tor on Dartmoor. The sight of the rocks rising out of the ground as you get closer is

spectacular. It’s even better on a misty or foggy day when they become very atmospheric. If I want to surf, then I’ll often go to Saunton [pictured here] on the north coast. The waves aren’t as powerful as Croyde around the corner, but that’s why I like it. Mellow waves with plenty of space on possibly the most beautiful beach that Devon offers. Lastly, if the weather isn’t great or I’m feeling lazy, I’ll probably just enjoy Exeter. There’s always something going on with all that a modern city has to offer. “My favourite place in Cornwall is probably Widemouth Bay, which is just a couple of miles south of Bude on the north coast. It’s only just over an hour from the office and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve headed up after a day at work to catch a few waves. In the summer months it’s great to be in the water by 7pm and surf until the sky turns red. Bude is a great town as well, meaning I’ve plenty of options for a post surf snack (almost always fish and chips!). Facing west, it’s great for sunsets, though I’ve never photographed one here – I’ve always been in the water instead!”

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trust • knowledge • experienCe wealth creation and financial solutions in Cornwall SPECIALISTS IN mortgages • pensions • investments life assuranCe • CritiCal illness benefit • equity release

Delivering the personal touch, because your needs are unique Contact us today for professional advice from a fully qualified adviser

01736 366550 • Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other debt secured on it. For mortgages, we offer free consultations but a mortgage fee will apply at the application stage. Typically this is likely to be £495. Equity release is a lifetime mortgage or home reversion scheme. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration. The value of pension and investments can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.

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16/11/2015 09:41 27/06/2016 10:13



Pa mpyeorurself! Take some time out for a little rest and recuperation at our selection of lavish, luxury spas. Thermae Bath Spa Bath, Somerset If you’re looking for the ultimate spa experience in the UK, steeped in history but with all modern luxuries, then this really is perfection – a natural spring frequented by visitors for thousands of years due to its natural rejuvenation and reputed healing qualities. Thankfully, things have moved on a bit since Roman times, with the introduction of Thermae Bath Spa, a lavish modern complex in an ancient city setting. Soak in the bubbles as you gaze over the rooftops of the famous skyline, constructed in beautiful, golden Bath stone. There are four natural thermal baths to enjoy: the Cross Bath, an 18th century open-air bathing pool; the Hot Bath, and two more open-air baths in the chic New Royal Bath, a more recent addition. You’ll also find 20 treatment rooms,

MAIN The rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa INSET Relaxing with a hot stone massage

40 complementary therapies, four luxury steam rooms and even a restaurant. So why not book a stay at nearby Week Farm, truly pamper yourself with a massage and facial, and then take some time to explore this fascinating historic city?

Lush Spa Poole, Dorset Lush is perhaps best known for its sumptuous and ever popular handmade soaps and cosmetics, with an ethical stance: 100% vegetarian and against animal testing, promoting ethical buying, and using minimal packaging to cut down on unnecessary waste. But you may not know that the chain also has eight luxury spas in various cities dotted across the country, including one at its HQ in Poole, Dorset. The Spa offers a range of fabulous treatments, utilising Lush’s

scented products that really are a feast for all the senses. On entering the spa, you may be forgiven for thinking you’ve walked into somebody’s country kitchen, with a rustic wooden table, wellstocked fruit bowl and freshly-cut flowers. Apparently, it draws upon “influences as diverse as birdsong, traditional English music, the scent of an English country garden and a calming cup of tea in a cosy cottage kitchen”. The idea is to offer a “refreshing, amazingly effective experience in familiar, reassuring surroundings.” For something a bit different, why not try the ‘Sound Bath’ – a fully immersive sonic experience, that’s “deeply rebalancing, meditative and refreshing for the senses”, which promises to “strike a chord deep within” – it certainly sounds intriguing to us!

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The Elan Spa, Bovey Castle Dartmoor, Devon This 400-acre luxury resort in the Dartmoor National Park has a stunning 18-hole golf course in the grounds, with plenty of opportunities in the area to get outdoors and stretch your legs, from cycling to horse riding. But if you’re here to relax rather than exert yourself, then you simply must book yourself in for a spa treatment at Bovey Castle’s opulent Elan Spa. The spa uses the luxury range of products from award-winning ESPA, utilising essential oils, marine extracts and botanicals. Bovey Castle also has a truly sumptuous Art Deco swimming pool housed in the orangery overlooking the

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terrace. So you can relax with a few leisurely lengths, before or after a spa treatment. We have a choice of several delightful and stylish granite-built lodges set in Bovey Castle’s grounds to stay in, which enjoy full use of all the world-class facilities. What more could you possibly ask for?

Ezina Spa at Hawkchurch Resort and Spa Axminster, Devon Recently redeveloped, Hawkchurch Resort and Spa only fully opened last December, and features a luxurious and exclusive spa. The Ezina Spa in the sleepy Devon

village of Hawkchurch near Axminster is owned and run by Darwin Escapes, one of 16 sites across the country, many based in the South West. Enjoy Ezina’s signature treatment, ‘Moroccan Rose’. Lasting for two hours, it features “a cleansing olive grain exfoliation to the whole body and traditional aromatherapy full body massage. The face is then cleansed, exfoliated and toned using Hydrating Rose products.” This is finished off with a “lymphatic drainage massage using Rose Quartz stones”. Absolute bliss! There are fantastic gym facilities on site and much to explore in the locale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

| Enquiries and Bookings 01647 434360 |

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Bovey Castle

COTTAGES nearby...


WEEK FARM: E100 Just four miles from the centre of Bath, on the edge of the village of Combe Hay, you’ll find Week Farm. This elegant Georgian manor house for 18, set within its own 98 acres of grounds and gardens, is reached by a private tree-lined drive. This is a wonderful house and estate, a very special setting for celebrations or memorable family gatherings.

BATH FINGLE TOR: A232 Hidden in the grounds of Bovey Castle we offer 12 private, granite-built lodges. These smart, stylish properties overlook the Edwardian gardens, lake and tennis courts. All the hotel facilities are yours to enjoy, including the indoor swimming pool, gym, steam room, sauna, spa and restaurants. Fingle Tor, for six, is the perfect place to enjoy this wonderful retreat.



My Personal Sanctuary A spa service that comes to you! My Personal Sanctuary was established almost a decade ago, providing an organic mobile spa treatment service to guests staying at self-catering properties across the South West. My Personal Sanctuary even has a 24-hour answering service (contact Gillie Lane or Lizzie Edwards on 01625 540557). Spa therapists at My Personal Sanctuary use organic Neil’s Yard products, which suit all skin types. They say: “Our techniques are designed to lift the soul and calm the mind.” Sounds good!

LEFT Clockwise from far left: Bathing by candlelight in Bath The pool at Bovey Castle

On the edge of the village of Hawkchurch, Windwhistle Cottage is an end-of-terrace thatched holiday home for four. With an enclosed garden to the side and small courtyard at the rear, this is a cosy cottage with a snug living room and period features. For anyone looking to explore Devon and Dorset, this is a lovely traditional cottage in an unspoilt village.


Watsu treatment in the Hot Bath Relaxing with My Personal Sanctuary ABOVE Enjoying a couple’s treatment at Thermae Bath Spa Treats abound at Lush Spa RIGHT Bovey Castle

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n a m w e a s i N u Lo Love of the sea, beach and all that is healthful is found in abundance at the Venus Cafés

I grabbed a moment to speak with the effusive, passionate Louisa in what I imagined would be a brief moment of calm after a hectic halfterm. Louisa, husband Michael and colleague Lee Porter opened the first modern-day Venus Café on March 24th 1995 at Blackpool Sands. Venus now has six cafés and Louisa does not it would seem, slow down at all. The next event on her mind is the wedding for 160 being held at the weekend on the beach at Blackpool Sands. Louisa and her team have been catering for weddings in this idyllic spot for about five years. The food she creates for these special occasions is classic, fresh and simple, ‘not froo froo’ she explains, laughing. There is joy in all Louisa


does. Her warmth of spirit is surely one of the reasons people choose Venus as the place to share and declare their own love. The café is licensed for marriage ceremonies: “Couples often have a blessing on the beach, round stones on the sand. Seaweed arches are made, the sea shines and the whole place is so beautiful you can’t imagine you’re in Devon. You could be in Italy.” Louisa’s love of great food and the beach where it all began started in childhood. Her Mother made all food from scratch, their vegetable garden and Father’s lobster pots and fishing trips providing bountiful ingredients for the table. “I don’t even remember going shopping,” she says. “Food was important to us, nutritional and,

importantly, natural.” The natural food philosophy is one that’s as central to the Venus Cafés today as it was on her childhood table and in the kitchen at the iconic Cranks vegetarian restaurant at the top of Shaftesbury Avenue where Louisa honed her craft. She was part of the early food revolution in the 1970s, the backlash against synthetic, mass produced food that was being pumped out at the time. An aspiring actress, she was in a world of bohemian bliss. The bubble was burst when she understood that the businessmen who she was catering for didn’t want her kind of food. Leaving London she came back to the café that her father had opened on the beach in the ‘50s named after

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s d n a S l o o p k c a l B South Hams

the goddess of the sea, Venus de Milo. “This beach is a really special place to us. It has a huge role in our family history.” Louisa wasn’t afraid to put her stamp on it; she brought in eating healthy options at the beach, as well as the treats and traditional. She also brought with her some of the ‘modern’ philosophies: locally sourced, organic seasonal fresh ingredients and recycling. It wasn’t all welcomed with open arms; she was seen as the ‘food police’ for taking salt off the table and only using natural ingredients.

MAIN LEFT Blackpool Sands INSET LEFT Louisa Newman ABOVE Venus Café at Blackpool Sands RIGHT & INSET The original Venus Café back in the 1950s

“At the time, people didn’t understand why I was asking for bottles to be returned to us.” Today, they still seem confused that she won’t provide straws or plastic

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packaging. “I explain to them the damage that plastic straws can do to the sea-life and they seem to accept it.” Louisa is mindful of the excessive amounts of sugar in processed foods and has taken steps to balance things in her own foods. “I’ve gradually reduced the amount of sugar in the cakes we make. They’re still made with local organic eggs, butter (never margarine) and the finest ingredients, but I realised we were probably just using too much. No-one has complained about the little changes. They probably don’t even notice.”

Louisa is ‘fanatical’, as she puts it, about quality and traceability. She’s always been ahead of her time in going back to the principles put on her kitchen table as a child. “I wouldn’t want to serve anything I wouldn’t be absolutely happy eating myself.” With the six cafés and takeaways across the group, she and her husband Michael Smith, Venus’ Business Manager, still strive to make the best fresh healthy food for their guests. They are sticking to what they believe and delivering it with genuine love.

Ingredients ❊ Gluten-free self-raising flour 125g ❊ Butter (salted)


❊ Lemon zest

2 lemons

❊ Lemon juice

½ lemon

❊ Eggs (medium)

4 eggs

❊ Caster sugar


❊ Ground almonds




For the drizzle ❊ Lemon juice

1½ lemons

❊ Lemon zest

1 lemon

❊ Caster sugar


Method Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease loaf tin and line with parchment Beat together butter and sugar for 5 minutes until pale and fluffy Gradually beat in the eggs, then add the lemon zest and juice Fold in the flour and ground almonds Spoon mixture into the tin Bake for 40-50 minutes – check with a metal skewer, when it comes out clean it is ready Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn onto cooling tray

Drizzle Put the sugar, lemon juice and zest in a bowl - mix until sugar has dissolved Prick the cake lightly with a skewer Spoon the drizzle over the cake


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© National Trust Images. Registered Charity Number 205846.

As the battle continues to save Castle Drogo, you can see the castle in a whole new light. Castle, gardens, café, shop and estate open daily.

Castle Drogo

Members and under 5s go free. 01647 433306

Serving local, organic food and drink in stunning locations Summer evening dining at Blackpool Sands offering steak, freshly caught fish, crab and lobster Blackpool Sands available for functions, parties and weddings For opening times and menus visit

East Portlemouth


Blackpool Sands · Bigbury on Sea · East Portlemouth · Dartington Watergate Bay · Tolcarne TheVenusCompany

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Image courtesy of: The Galley Girls

k n i r D d n a d o o F

Image co

Here at Helpful Holidays, we’ve been looking at some foodie companies who are putting the catering into self-catering. So, if you’re looking for an alternative to eating out, you need go no further… The Dinner Service Liz Turner believes in making things personal. Her first question is what foods and flavours her guests love. She then sources the finest ingredients from the best local producers, making sure quality comes first. Although happy to use past menus to help inform and inspire her guests, Liz doesn’t believe in sending out set menus and asking people to choose between them. “I dig deep to find out what sorts of things would really make their time special. “It’s different for everyone,” she explains. Last night, she tells me, her guests, who like to follow a theme, went Scottish: Cullen skink, local venison followed by cranachan with plenty of whisky and they were a very happy bunch. The former Le Gavroche chef moved from London to Devon with her young family. After 25 years in the industry, her passion for food and cooking never faded and she picked up the pans professionally in a way

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that could be flexible around her children. The Dinner Service gives her the opportunity to demonstrate her skills and make food that guests truly relish. “I enjoy cooking, but I also really love looking after people,” she says. Families will often ask her to come back year on year. She’s been cooking for one particular family for nine years. “There are 18 of them,” she says. “Every year there are new additions. I see the babies grow and have a real bond with the children. They make me fairy cakes when I come and we all muck in to make pizza. In fact, one of the kids likes to join me as second chef whenever possible. “Often, when working with a group or a family over a week’s holiday, I will prepare the first night as they’ve arranged,”she explains. “Then I’ll chat to them as the week goes on. They might have gone fishing and brought home loads of sea bass and mackerel that they want me to cook. The weather might be amazing and I can prepare a barbecue

feast they stick on the fire and cook themselves after a day at the beach, or I might leave them some ‘heat and serve yourself’ dishes for convenient evenings.” She’s as comfortable cooking fine foods for the Duke and Duchess of Somerset as she is for a wild hen party. Cost is a factor that scares many people away from hiring private chefs, but Liz reassures me that it often costs less than eating out, without the hassle of getting there and back and having to keep everyone entertained for as long as they want to be at the table. At home, everyone can relax and go at their own pace. If the children want to leave the table to go and play, the adults can still stay on to drink more and enjoy coffee without having to worry. Guests get good value. There are simple charges that are honest and reflect the work and the ingredients used. The key to the equation is choice. You can have as much or as little as you choose.

| Enquiries and Bookings 01647 434360 |

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Image courtesy of: The Galley Girls


e Dinner Se

tesy of: Th

Image cour

Image courtesy of: The Galley Girls

Image courtesy of: The Dinner Service

The Galley Girls Gemma and Polly are young, vibrant and passionate cooks. Gemma was a highly sought after chef working on luxury yachts, while Polly was running a restaurant before they decided to join forces and work for themselves. The Galley Girls was born to serve an alternative style of catering, injected with fun and quality. They can create a festival-style feast in the back garden of your holiday cottage or a formal meal in your dining room, fantastic rustic picnics for twenty people or canapés and cocktails overlooking the sea, always ensuring the best local ingredients for your table. It is a luxury to have someone come into your home and do everything for you. Polly and Gemma do their best to make sure you relax and let the good times roll. They make sure the wine flows, dishes are done and the kitchen is left sparkling for your breakfast the next day. If you can’t face making your own breakfast after a heavy night, they will even return to cook up a full English.

Conscientious as well as fun, the girls go to great lengths to ensure all the produce they use is locally sourced and of the highest quality. Their meat is from Coleman’s, the local family butchers and fresh fish and seafood comes straight from the quay in Salcombe. “Our seafood platters are a firm favourite,” says Gemma, “Lobster, crab, hand-dived scallops, mussels and oysters, piled on ice.” If you prefer your seafood delicately wrapped, the pair have completed a sushi course under the tutelage of expert Japanese chef Keiko Yamamoto aka the Sushi Queen. Buying great local produce is something they want their guests to care about too. Rather than sticking to the large chain supermarkets and ordering online, putting nothing back into the local community and getting sub-standard produce, the girls have set up a holiday cottage provisioning service. They will fill the fridge with fresh local dairy, meats, fish and vegetables. They source local honeys, jams and chutneys, juices, breads and bakery treats and stock the larder to

make sure there’s enough great food for everyone to enjoy. Every menu is different; they can, of course, cater for dietary requirements and do their best to accommodate even the fussiest eaters in the family, without making a meal of it. If you were to book this summer season, you might expect mouthwatering dishes such as spicy crayfish linguine, followed by shots of banoffee pie with popping candy, vodka lemon posset or Eton mess. Turn the page to find more of our foodie favourites that will help your holiday be the best ever.

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s e t i r u o v a F t e m r u o G r Ou

Caroline Bowser Caterer Professional catering for dinner parties and events. Within an hour’s drive of Bovey Tracey

Charlotte Cooks4u Good home cooked food delivered direct to holiday cottages. North Devon Dave’s Kitchen Professional catering for canapés, buffets and three course dinners. Devon and east Cornwall Delimann Delicatessen delivering West Country produce nationwide. Fish Face Catering events from barbecues to full service meals. Devon and Dorset Felicity’s Kitchen A range of traditional ‘ready-to-heat’ dishes, hampers and catering. Within 10 miles of Honiton

Pipers Farm Award-winning range of fresh meat, pies and ready meals available online.

The Kitchen Table Bespoke, multi-course dinner parties and ready meal service. Within 30 miles of Totnes

Poet’s Pantry A range of delicious home cooked meals ready to reheat and enjoy. Rame Peninsula

Tyrone Power - Personal Chef Bespoke, personal chef catering service for the holidaymaker.

Purely Devon Hampers Gift or holiday hampers comprised solely of Devon produce.

Westcountry Hampers A range of hampers packed full of West Country food and drink.

Sara Mears Catering A range of delicious ready made meals tailored to your needs. Dartmoor Sharpham Wine and Cheese Award-winning artisan wine and cheese delivered to your cottage. Devon The Devon Chef Bespoke private chef services for 2 to 25 people. All of Devon apart from the South Hams

Flour Power Welcome packs of home-baked, free trade and organic produce. Bigbury and Bigbury-on-Sea Chef-selected quality Cornish produce on arrival and ‘top up’ boxes. North and south Cornwall Oaktree Occasions Bespoke menus and service in any environment for 12-120 guests. Devon

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| Enquiries and Bookings 01647 434360 |

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SPECIAL DESTINATION CLOVELLY With ancient cobbled streets and stone cottages, a visit to Clovelly is a step back in time to another world. If you envisage the archetypal idyllic seaside village in your head, you might just create Clovelly. This beautiful retreat on the north coast of Devon was once home to Charles Kingsley, author of The Water Babies and Westwood Ho! Arriving at the top of the village, why not have a wander around the beautiful Victorian Clovelly Court Gardens, and also the Visitor Centre, where you’ll find gifts, souvenirs and a spacious café. The village abounds with curiosities, from Queen Victoria’s Fountain to Angel’s Wings, an intricate 19th century wooden shelter. Perhaps enjoy a cream tea at the Cottage Tea Rooms. Then stop at one of the many jaw-dropping

vantage points, including Mount Pleasant, Wilderness Summerhouse and The Cabin, to soak up the views. Meet the resident donkeys, which have played an important role in the village’s history, hauling catches, goods and other loads up the village’s traffic-free cobbled street. Today they have a more leisurely life, taking children for rides. Head down to the shore to discover Crazy Kate’s Cottage, the old lime kiln, the lifeboat station and the traditional pub. Take a walk along historic Clovelly Quay – it’s a beautiful place in which to lose yourself.


Down-a-long, the historic cobbled street that winds down the village towards the shore

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The traditional working donkeys of Clovelly, now enjoying a more leisurely life

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Prices from: £363 pw Images courtesy of Clovelly Estate




The cottage sleeps three and has been lovingly styled with a chic coastal theme









Muted off-whites give a calming feel to the bedrooms

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Image courtesy of: Carla Regler

e d i s e B Live the Sea

Take all the stress out of finding your dream home by letting experts do the hard work for you.

After a wonderful stay in a fabulous Helpful Holidays home in Cornwall, perhaps you’re dreaming of owning a holiday cottage in this stunning part of the world? Maybe you’re even giving up a hectic life ‘up country’ in order to make Cornwall your new home? Live Beside the Sea are bespoke property search agents who successfully find outstanding homes for clients, either to relocate to Cornwall or as investment holiday homes. They work very closely with clients’ briefs and travel all over the county to find them their dream homes. In collaboration with Wright House

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Designs, all properties are viewed with the expert eye of both Jayne Phillips-Choak, who has experience as an estate agent, and Rozzi Wright, a property designer with experience in property development and interior design. The two of them view each house with meticulous care, compiling a detailed report on the surroundings, the lifestyle on offer and the potential for alterations, to fit the clients’ requirements, as well as highlighting any structural repairs that may be required. For anyone looking for an investment in Cornwall, Live Beside the Sea always use the experts at Helpful Holidays to provide a

projected idea of income, as well as helpful hints on making a property even more appealing to potential holidaymakers. Live Beside the Sea were commissioned by a busy Oxfordshire couple with a small baby to find a home with a business attached, to start a new life in Cornwall. Jayne viewed 25 properties, stretching from Bodmin to Lamorna, in search of the perfect property, narrowing it down to four. The couple fell in love with the ‘wildcard’ entry: a stunning former mill with the most astounding Thai water garden near Leedstown. Live Beside the Sea and Wright House

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Leedstown Cornwall

saw a business opportunity for the ever-popular glamping in shepherds’ huts in the grounds, while the experts at Helpful Holidays advised positively on potential earnings. The couple loved the idea of doing something totally new and an offer was made on the fabulous mill. Jayne guided the clients through the entire process, even recommending a surveyor and solicitor. They have now purchased the mill and look forward to settling into their new home. Hunting for a new home in a new area can be very time consuming and costly. Frequently, houses do not match up to the pictures, or

agents’ descriptions fail to give a true portrayal of the area. In using Live Beside the Sea, you’re saving yourself an enormous amount of time and stress, as well as money, by letting this experienced team, do the search for you. So you can reserve all your energy and time to have fun in your new home and explore the area.


Live Beside The Sea Telephone: 07882 037836

The boardwalk leading to the sand dunes at Godrevy

Wright House Designs Telephone: 07979 503250

Jayne Phillips-Choak Mill near Leedstown A client’s house on Bar Road, Helford Passage Jayne creating a video tour of a house for a client who couldn’t be there in person

Jayne and Rozzi enjoying lunch with happy clients The waterfall at the mill

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As a family-run business based in the heart of Devon, we take pride in the friendly and exceptionally helpful service we offer. We have a straightforward, personable approach with no hidden costs or add-ons and, because we live and work in the region, our local knowledge is second to none.

If you have a great holiday home or are thinking of buying one, we’d love to hear from you. You’ll be looked after by one of our experienced property managers and will have the friendly support of our entire team. For more information, call us on 01647 434360 or visit our website We look forward to hearing from you.

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Feefo Gold Trusted Merchant 2015 Sunday Times Editor’s Award Winner 2013 24/06/2016 10:12 10:13 27/06/2016

South Zeal Dartmoor

t h g i s n I r Owne Townend, in South Zeal in Devon, has the authentic feel of a fun family home, because it is. Mike, originally from Essex, moved to university in Exeter and couldn’t bring himself to leave Devon. After a stint in Topsham, he and his partner found an old barn to convert in a hamlet close to South Zeal. He wasn’t really looking to move, but when Townend became available it was a no brainer. He explains: “We first saw the house when we went to Scout leaders’ meetings there (Ralph, the owner then, was the Group Secretary). He offered us first refusal to buy, probably with the thought in mind that we would use the house and grounds for Scouts and the like...

which we did and so followed many years of Scout camps, village cider picnics, swimming, wide games, rounders and so on. Good times had by many!” The house has everything you might want; there are snugs and lounges for all the family, a games room with home cinema, pool and table tennis, huge boxes of toys and Lego in the attic playroom. “We just created what we enjoyed,” says Mike. “Secret playrooms, hatches and stairs all add to the fun of a house that has been lived in and loved.”

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Inside, all the rooms have been finished to a wonderfully high standard. The kitchen plays a huge part as the heart of the home, modern with huge ‘wow’ factor. It has all conveniences and equipment of a proper working kitchen and a fantastic Aga. “Guests really enjoy cooking on the Aga and cosying around it in winter.” As well as the Aga and two woodburning fires, the house is heated by biomass fuel. A big (and expensive) decision for Mike, but one that gives the house an ecological advantage and sustainability. Outside, there are extensive gardens, fields and a sheltered walled area. Over the years there have been many cricket matches and football tournaments held there. Townend

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has over the years gained some extra acreage. The ‘burgage plots’ as they are called were allocated to each new house by the Lord of the Manor in the 13th century. It is said that village gamblers used their land in lieu of cash and with three acres the Townend owner must have been some player! Uniquely sitting in the garden is a large cider press. Mike and friends from the village bring apples from their gardens and a local redundant cider orchard and press the juice, each taking their lots to brew. It sounds like the results provide great entertainment for them all. The outdoor pool has a story of its own. It used to be the local primary school’s swimming pool. When they no longer had the funds for its

upkeep, they decided to sell it off. Mike paid the princely sum of £1 for it; he did, however, have to pay to remove it, no mean feat for a liner set in thick concrete. The deal was undertaken for a good cause and bringing it to the house continues to make people happy. The village of South Zeal, a bit like the fit of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, is just the right size. It’s small enough to have a great sense of community. “Everyone knows each other and there’s a buzz about the place, but it’s big enough to have all you might need. A couple of great pubs, shop, café and the Post Office make it really convenient,” says Mike. It is well positioned in the middle of Devon, making it a great starting point for

| Enquiries and Bookings 01647 434360 |

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South Zeal Dartmoor

MAIN IMAGE LEFT The expansive living room BELOW RIGHT Cider making at Townend

ABOVE Clockwise from top left: The large family kitchen Enjoying the pool Before the renovations

exploring the whole county. The best walk is straight out of the back door, says Mike. It’s not as easy as it looks, but if you walk up 330 metres of smooth tor you can see right across to Exmoor. Mike and his son Thomas live in the wing next door, completely separate, but always on hand for guests should they wish for anything at all.

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y d u t S Case How to increase bookings at your holiday home

Discover how Molly’s Cottage, one of the cottages Helpful Holidays offer, doubled its bookings after enjoying a simple but highly effective make over.

tired fixtures and décor in the bathroom and update the soft furnishings to create a homely country cottage.


Within four weeks, and to the agreed budget, the team completed a full refurbishment of the bathroom. The bathroom’s entire fixtures and fittings were replaced with a modern, efficient arrangement which suited the character of the cottage. Soft furnishings were purchased to complement and enhance the existing furniture.

Last year, Molly’s Cottage (L175), a beautiful whitewashed Devon cottage located in the popular waterside village of Noss Mayo, was receiving occasional grumbles from guests and achieving a disappointing level of bookings. It was clearly in need of some investment. Working with the client, Montagu South West, the property management specialists, reviewed the complaints, conducted a survey of Molly’s Cottage and compiled a list of tasks. With two bedrooms, one bathroom, living room and a kitchen, their team set to work to overhaul the

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The property was transformed into a charming, comfortable, immaculate and cosy cottage in keeping with its period and delightful location.

Result The client was overjoyed with the transformation, which has resulted

in a lovely cottage with a high standard of finish in the bathroom and stylish soft furnishings. Montagu continues its successful involvement with Molly’s Cottage by managing the property to a meticulous standard, from changeovers by a dedicated housekeeper to welcoming cream teas and garden maintenance, and further renovations are planned. “Initially I was impressed by Montagu’s level of enthusiasm and commitment, but was slightly concerned by some of the suggested costs for refurbishment,” said David, the owner. “But with Lola from Montagu we came up with a plan which we both agreed would improve the experience for guests. Montagu organised the works to time and to budget and I’ve been very pleased with the result,

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Noss M ayo South Hams

BELOW Montagu’s Directors Lola and Nicki

Montagu South West both in terms of the effect on the cottage and the bookings.” Bookings have significantly increased, doubling from the previous year, and holidaymakers’ testimonials are now glowing. Gaby Wakley, Helpful Holidays’ Head of Property Management, added: “Molly’s Cottage had all

the fundamental requirements of a great holiday home and huge potential, but needed a little love and personal attention to bring it up to our exacting standards. Montagu have succeeded in giving Molly’s Cottage a new lease of life, and we’re delighted this dear little cottage is proving so popular with guests.”

Montagu are specialist providers of property management, maintenance and building refurbishment services. With over 35 years’ experience, the team have a reputation for excellence. To discuss your ‘wish list’, give Lola a call on 01803 847871 or email

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n o t g n i t r Da

A group of 14 shops and cafés, located in a beautiful rural setting in a range of what were once farm buildings, The Shops at Dartington is owned by the Dartington Hall Trust. With a unique selection of shops to explore, hours can be spent browsing the specialist glass and pottery collections, stylish women’s and men’s fashions, homewares and unusual gifts and furnishings. Dartington Crystal Dartington Crystal have been handcrafting their range of English crystal products since 1967 - their factory in north Devon is the only major crystal factory in the UK. Pioneering Dartington philanthropists Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst were keen to

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aid the economic regeneration of rural areas with low employment prospects and, to this end they established Dartington Glass (now Dartington Crystal). A team of highly skilled Swedish glass-blowers was invited to run the factory and pass on their knowledge to recruited Devon craftspeople, who formed the original workforce of 35. Today you can see the exquisite crystal on offer at the Dartington Glass Gallery and Shop, which also houses one of the largest collections of Dartington Crystal in the South West. Their experienced team is always happy to provide help and advice on suitable gifts and collectable pieces.

Venus Café & Takeaway The Venus Company is well loved on some of the most popular beaches in Devon and Cornwall; in their first departure from the beach, they’ve chosen Dartington to launch Venus inland, bringing hungry shoppers healthy, fresh foods. Venus caters for gluten-free, vegetarian and meat lovers alike, with a wide selection of delicious products to either eat in the café or to take away. The Venus Café group is a family business, passionate about serving locally sourced, delicious food with minimum impact on the environment and an emphasis on sustainability. They have twice won the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development, one of only ten companies throughout the UK to

| Enquiries and Bookings 01647 434360 |

27/06/2016 17:09

Dartington South Ha

COTTAGES nearby...


CULLAFORD COTTAGE: A213 This is a stunning detached cottage for four in Scorriton. Across the lane, there is a small enclosed orchard and, beyond, a bluebell wood with the river on one side. Inside, the interior is pared back and elegant with pale wood and stone floors, a soothing white palette and original art. It’s a magical and sophisticated cottage in a tranquil, beautiful setting.

NEAR DARTINGTON SANDRIDGE BOATHOUSE: C617 Built in 1760 as a bathing house in one of the most secluded, private, romantic settings in south Devon, Sandridge Boathouse, for four, is on the water’s edge where the Dart meanders between Stoke Gabriel and Dittisham. It’s surrounded by a wide, covered balcony. Inside, the home is beautiful and comfortable, a haven away from everything.



FAR LEFT Beautiful Dartington Crystal ABOVE Exciting food at the Venus Café & Takeaway Interesting homewares at the Kitchen Shop

have been awarded a sustainability honour in 2010 and one of only eight companies to have achieved the award in 2005. They’ve been described as ‘a rare example of a sustainable café chain’. Cranks Kitchen Since their swinging start on Carnaby Street back in 1961,


Cranks have been simultaneously shaking things up whilst taking it slow. Every meal in this vegetarian restaurant is cooked from scratch, in an on-site kitchen. Expect slow-risen bread, wholesome pies, paninis and seasonal salads. They believe it’s the only way to guarantee everything is as fresh as they want it to be. All the food is sourced locally and can be enjoyed

Also in Stoke Gabriel, this is an 18th century stone-built cottage, beside a brook in a peaceful location shared with passing ducks and the occasional kingfisher. A large well-planted garden on several levels surrounds the cottage and there is a waterside terrace with a lovely walled seating area for lazy days in the sun. Sleeping four, this is a great base from which to explore the surrounding area.

either in the restaurant or the garden.

To read more about the Venus Company and its founder, Louisa Newman, turn to page 46, where you’ll also find a recipe for one of Venus’ mouthwatering cakes.

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r e t s e h c Dor Historic Dorchester is the county town of Dorset. In addition to its Roman influence and cherished Thomas Hardy connection, Dorchester’s reputation for great shopping is growing fast.

Originally sited on Maiden Castle, the largest and most complex Iron Age hill fort in Britain, the town was developed in its current location by the Romans in AD43. It rapidly grew to be Durnovaria, one of the most important towns in England. These days, alongside the antiques stores, the weekly markets and new shopping developments are keeping the town vibrant and modern, attracting a new generation of visitors. There’s a pleasant mix of high street brands and independent shops: a place to go if you live somewhere remote and want a fix of Waitrose, Joules, Laura Ashley and the like. It also appeals to those city dwellers who want a small place to wander through to browse

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antiques, arty shops and markets. Shoppers will find a town with one foot in the past and another firmly in the future. South Street Market The weekly traditional country market on Wednesdays brings with it a lively atmosphere, held in the Fairfield car parks off Weymouth Avenue. There’s also a farmers’ market on the fourth Saturday of the month, from 9am until 1pm in South Street. Brewery Square The historic Dorchester Brewery site is being transformed into a cosmopolitan hub. Alongside brand new luxury apartments, the development brings well chosen shops such as the stunning Stems Florist and Gift Shop, Morrish and Banham’s wine merchant and tasting shop, Jones’, Joules and Stolen by Susie clothes and accessories. Carluccios and

Simon’s delis serve fresh delights to shoppers who can also relax with a movie at the multi-screen cinema. If you need something stronger after your retail therapy, The Brewhouse & Kitchen is a stylish pub bringing brewing back to the historic site where Eldridge Pope brewed their famous ales from 1880 until the late 1990s. Britain’s first solar powered rail station, as well as a four star boutique hotel with spa facilities, will be located in the listed brewhouse. The Maltings will be transformed into a stunning arts centre with a theatre, dance studio and art exhibition space, providing a platform to celebrate the arts in Dorchester. Goulds When Mr H J Gould opened this department store on South Street in 1902, it offered ‘a well selected stock of general and fancy drapery’

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Dorc heDsotrseter

COTTAGES nearby...

Images courtesy of:



Just a mile from Shaftesbury, in the small hamlet of Longcross, Bramble Barn is a smart and spacious single-storey detached cottage for four. This is a light and bright home with its own enclosed garden and patio. A large open-plan living/dining/ fitted kitchen has original exposed stone walls and roof trusses, with a large stone fireplace surrounded by sofas on which to relax.

FARTHINGS: H35 Image courtesy of: English Heritage

You’ll find Farthings at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, just a ten minute walk from the beach, marina and town centre of Weymouth. This three-storey town house, for six, has a contemporary and bright interior. The dining room has French windows to the patio area outside for alfresco dining.

NEAR DORCHESTER to the residents of Dorchester, with prices worth stopping for. Harry and Florence Gould were the greatgrandparents of two of the present Directors, Anthony and Chris Gould. The store has diversified its stock over the years, adding a garden centre as well as fashion and furnishings. It went online 100 years after the doors first opened, but remains a firm favourite on the high street, still independently operated by the same family with the core principles of offering a great shopping experience to all. During busy times, Dorchester has Town Ambassadors to help in the county town’s car parks and to help guide you around. Whether you’re breaking up the retail fix with a wander round the gardens and historical sights, or the other way round, Dorchester makes a great place for a day trip.

THE CHAPEL: Y1 ABOVE The spectacular hill fort of Maiden Castle LEFT INSET A bronze dray horse can be found in Brewery Square


This former Methodist chapel, sleeping four, has been lovingly recreated as a state of the art, contemporary and stylish home in the village of Milborne St Andrew. Inside, it’s been architect designed and is magnificent. The open-plan living/dining/kitchen has a huge vaulted ceiling and leaded-light windows. It’s an extraordinary conversion and a wonderful, fanciful escape.

Discover more Munchkins Play Café makes shopping fun for all the family. Pop in for a pit stop or bribery! Owner Michelle believes becoming a parent shouldn’t mean being denied great coffee and food. “Imaginative, constructive play coupled with a menu we love!”

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MAIN Enjoying a day out at Wheal Martyn

n y t r a M Wheal For a taste of Cornwall’s industrial heritage in stunning surroundings, we take a look at the events happening at Wheal Martyn this year.

Set amid 26 acres of woodland walks, Wheal Martyn gives a fascinating insight into Cornwall’s billion pound china clay mining industry and introduces the nearby World Heritage Site, comprising the beautiful wooded Luxulyan Valley and the picturesque harbour at Charlestown. Summer fun Throughout the summer holidays you can take part in a variety of fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. The ‘Make and Take’ craft activities will be available daily during the holidays and there will also be self-led, family

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pottery painting workshops every Wednesday from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm. Man Engine visits Wheal Martyn Join in on Thursday 28th July from 6pm by adding to the community sculpture in the grounds of Wheal Martyn. Enjoy circus skills, music from local choirs, bands and entertainment on site. Watch the man transform and then enjoy a barbecue. Tickets are £5 for adults and children go free.

the scenes of the modern clay industry. Follow the journey of clay, from extraction to export, in this multi-million pound industry. Your tour guide will provide a fascinating insight into the Cornish clay industry, taking you to places you never knew were there! The tours, which start at 1.30pm, cost £15 per person, with a maximum of 8 people per tour. Booking is essential. Steel toecaps, high vis and hard hats are provided.

Pit to Port tours

Open air screening of ‘TIN’ the movie

On 4th and 18th August you can take an exciting 4x4 tour behind

Experience Miracle Theatre’s feature film of love, greed and opera at

| Enquiries and Bookings 01647 434360 |

27/06/2016 17:12

Wheal M artyn

COTTAGES nearby...

St Austell



On the edge of the harbour and surrounded on three sides by water at high tide, this is a fabulous cottage for six, aptly named Island House in Golant.The location is superb, with water views from every window and from the first floor the river’s moorings can be seen beyond the Victorian railway embankment. An exceptional waterside property in a beautiful part of Cornwall.

NANTELLAN ROUNDHOUSE: S74 Wonderfully tucked away in five acres of grounds, this large, single-storey, detached cottage for six has been converted from an old barn, with serene views over the surrounding hedgerow and meadows. There is an enclosed garden and inside the cottage is comfortable with many traditional features. A quiet refuge, hugely convenient for both Cornish coasts at Grampound. NEAR



Wheal Martyn on 22nd August. You’ll need to bring your own picnic blankets or chairs, as there’s no seating provided at the venue. Tickets cost £10 per person. For more information or to book visit

ABOVE The café is a great place to stop after a busy day at Wheal Martyn

Tucked away in Charlestown, this is an attractive detached cottage recently converted from an old barn. The openplan living area has double doors leading to the garden. Two bedrooms, sleeping four, both have big floor-to-ceiling windows between original granite pillars. This is a comfy base within walking distance of the beach.


‘Bark in the Park’ fundraiser

INSET BELOW Modern day mining

On Sunday 18th September bring along your four-legged friends to Wheal Martyn for their dog show, agility course, treasure hunt, stalls, entertainment, a barbecue and more! Tickets cost only £5 for adults and £2 for children. Dogs go free. Keep an eye on the website for more information coming soon.

For information on all the fantastic events happening at Wheal Martyn this year, call 01726 850362, email or visit

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l u f r e d n o w A


Fans of the popular TV drama Broadchurch will instantly recognise the stunning and distinctive clifftops and seascapes of west Dorset’s ‘Jurassic Coast’ on this jaw-dropping three-hill walk. From the Domesday village of Symondsbury, near the trendy country town of Bridport, Julia follows the drovers’ ancient inland route, including a climb up the iconic and ever popular Colmer’s Hill. The walk takes her through the ancient and infamous Dorset Holloways, and culminates with a climb to the highest point on England’s south coast, Golden Cap.

Inspired by Julia Bradbury’s acclaimed ‘Best Walks With a View’ series, have a go at this awe-inspiring walk across Dorset’s Golden Cap.

At 191 metres, the views from here across the ‘Jurassic Coast’ – the only natural World Heritage Site in England – are truly spectacular. It’s an unforgettable walk, ending with fish and chips in a pub with sea views across Lyme Bay.

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Images courtesy of: Kevin Walsh -

Images courtesy of: The Outdoor Guide -

For full details and more beautiful walks like this, visit The Outdoor Guide:

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Golden Cap

COTTAGES nearby...


PARK FARMHOUSE: H626 Built in the 18th century, this large, detached Grade II listed house, sleeping 17, is perfect for jolly gatherings. The interior has been lovingly renovated and this holiday home has the benefit of an indoor heated swimming pool. There is a good pub close by, as well as a fossil-hunting beach within walking distance.


Walk tips

Along wooded lanes and bordered by rolling green fields, you’ll find this detached stone-built farmhouse for 12, in a peaceful and secluded setting with no near neighbours. The farmhouse was completely refurbished in 2015, with the addition of modern comforts and technologies to create a smart, spacious and welcoming home.

Length: 6.3 miles Difficulty: Medium


THE OLD MANOR HOUSE: H17 Set back from the main street in Charmouth, about 7 minutes’ walk from the beach, The Old Manor House is a beautifully refurbished, early 16th century, Grade II listed home. It is a comfortable and elegant family house for ten, decorated and furnished to a high standard and an excellent base for exploring this delightful area at any time of year.

“This isn’t a circular walk, so either phone a friend or hitch a ride back to your car!”


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27/06/2016 17:24

What’s on

MAIN IMAGE Rock Oyster Festival

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.

RNAS Culdrose Air Day

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Falmouth Week

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JULY 2016


July 15 – 16

Rock Oyster Festival

July 16

Camborne Show

July 23

Heritage Day, Bude

July 23 – Aug 7 National Marine Week, North Coast July 24 – Aug 1 Carnival Week, Looe

July 26 – Aug 5

Summer Music Festival, St Endellion

July 28

RNAS Culdrose Air Day

July 28 – 31

Port Eliot Festival, St Germans

July 29 – 31

Boconnoc Steam Fair, Lostwithiel

Aug 5 – 14

Falmouth Week

Aug 15

Bude Carnival

Aug 6 – 8

Tregony Heavy Horse Show and Country Fayre

Aug 21

Cornwall Air Ambulance Family Fun Day, Bodmin

Aug 12 – 14

Cornish Steam and Country Fair, Penryn

Aug 24 – 26

Morval Vintage Steam Ralley, Looe

Aug 27

Portscatho Regatta

Aug 13

Camelford Agricultural Show

Aug 29

Newlyn Fish Festival

Aug 14 – 20

Fowey Regatta and Carnival Week

Aug 30 – 2 Sep Bude Jazz Festival

Sept 3 – 4

Newquay Ladies Pilot Gig Championships

Sept 10 – 24

September Festival, St Ives

Sept 4

World Bellyboard Championships, St Agnes

Sept 16 – 18

Fish Festival, Newquay

Sept 23 – 25

Music Festival, Looe

Sept 9

Mining and Pasty Festival, Redruth

Sept 23 – 25

Sept 9

Polo On The Beach, Newquay

Cornwall Food and Drink Festival, Truro

Sept 10 – 16

South East Cornwall Walking Festival

Sept 24 – 25

Open County Pilot Gig Championships, Newquay

Oct 1

Beer Festival, Eden Project

Oct 1 – 2

Food, Arts and Crafts Festival, Boscastle

Oct 13 – 16

Oyster Festival, Falmouth

Oct 15 – 16

Cornwall Motor Show, Redruth

Oct 5

Honey Fair, Callington

Oct 20 – 23

Beer Festival, Falmouth

Oct 8 – 9

British SUP Championships, Newquay

Oct 27 – 30

Jazz and Blues Festival, Calstock

Nov 2 – 6

Lowender Peran Festival, Newquay

Nov 5

Rotary Club Firework Display, Penzance

Nov 16

Truro City of Lights

Nov 19

Torchlight Carnival, St Austell

Dec 1 – 4

Christmas Festival, Padstow

Dec 1 – 4

Christmas in Falmouth

Dec 3

Truro Primestock Show

Dec 3 – 4

Trereife Christmas Fair

Nov 25 – Jan 2

Winter Festival, Eden Project

Nov 26

St Austell Brewery Celtic Beer Festival, St Austell

Nov 28

Liskeard Lights Up

Nov 30

Street Market and Reindeer Parade, Truro

Dec 12 – 21

Montol Festival, Penzance

Dec 13 – 18

Victorian Christmas Market, Truro

Dec 17 – Jan 7

Mousehole Christmas Lights

Dec 25

Christmas Day Swim, Porthleven

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What’s on

MAIN IMAGE Clovelly Maritime Festival

Devon holidays aren’t only about rolling countryside, beautiful beaches and the great outdoors - there are plenty of other things to do 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.

Dartington Summer School

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Powderham Cas tle

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JULY 2016


July 16 – 23

Fair Week, Kingsbridge

July 26

July 17

Maritime Festival, Clovelly

July 29 – Aug 5 Sidmouth Folk Week

July 22 – 23

Chagstock Music Festival, Chagford

July 30

South West Birdman, Ilfracombe

July 23

Mid Devon Show, near Tiverton

July 31

Totnes Show

July 23 – 31

Torbay Carnival Week, Paignton

July 31 – Aug 6 Salcombe Town Regatta

Aug 1 – 27

Dartington International Summer School and Festival

Aug 13 – 20

Carnival Week, Dawlish

Aug 3

North Devon Show, Umberleigh

Aug 16 – 17

Aug 4

Honiton Show

British Fireworks Championships, Plymouth

Hot Pennies Day, Honiton

Aug 5 – 7

Dartmoor Folk Festival

Aug 18

Chagford Show

Aug 6 – 7

Clovelly Lifeboat Weekend

Aug 19 – 21

Beautiful Days Festival, Escot Park

Aug 6 – 14

Paignton Regatta

Aug 19 – 24

Torbay Royal Regatta

Aug 7 – 12

Yacht Club Regatta, Salcombe

Aug 25 – 27

Dartmouth Royal Regatta

Sept 3

Widecombe Fair

Sept 14 – 18

Agatha Christie Festival, Torquay

Sept 3

Kingsbridge Show

Sept 16 – 18

Sept 4

Lobster and Crab Feast, Clovelly

Literature Festival, Budleigh Salterton

Sept 10

Fishstock, Brixham

Sept 23 – Oct 2

Appledore Book Festival

Sept 10 – 25

Devon Open Studios, across Devon

Sept 24 – 25

Seafood Festival, Plymouth

Sept 26 – Oct 1

Chagford Film Festival

Oct 1 – 2

Food Festival, Powderham

Oct 21 – 23

Food Festival, Dartmouth

Oct 12

Goosey Fair, Tavistock

Oct 21 – 23

Oct 20 – 29

Two Moors Festival, Dartmoor and Exmoor

Baring Gould Folk Festival, Okehampton

Oct 22

Honiton Carnival

Nov 3

Powderham Castle Michaelmas Fair

Nov 5

Tar Barrels, Ottery St Mary

Nov 5

Warm Up To Christmas Market, Tavistock

Nov 12

Dartmouth Farmers’ Market

Dec 2 – 24

The Polar Express Tram Ride, Seaton Tramway

Dec 4

Clovelly Christmas Lights

Dec 4

Christmas Lights (in aid of the R.N.L.I.), Clovelly

Nov 12

Plymouth Christmas Show

Nov 17 – Dec 18 Exeter Christmas Market Nov 19

Totnes Christmas Market

Nov 20

Clovelly Herring Festival

Nov 25 – 26

Candlelit Dartmouth

Dec 21

Christmas Street Fayre, Newton Abbot

Dec 25

Christmas Day Swim River Cruise, Stuart Line Cruises, Exmouth

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What’s on

MAIN IMAGE Yeovilton Air Day

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.

Great Dorset S

team Fair

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JULY 2016



July 1 – 10

Frome Festival

Jul 17

July 2

RNAS Yeovilton International Air Show, Yeovil

Classics at the Castle Car Show, Sherborne Castle

Jul 21

Red Arrows Display, Lyme Regis

July 2 – 10

Frome Open Studios

Jul 21 – 23

July 3

North Somerset Model Show, Weston-super-Mare

Beer and Bluegrass Fesitval, Branksome, Poole

Jul 23 – 30

Lifeboat Week, Lyme Regis

July 22 – 25

Summer Jazz Weekend, Dunster

Jul 28 – 31

Camp Bestival, East Lulworth

Aug 5 – 6

Taunton Flower Show

Aug 5 – 7

Outcider Festival, Compton Martin

Aug 7

West Bay Day

Aug 7 – 14

Music Week, Dunster

Aug 7

Poole Carnival

Aug 13 – 14

Bridgwater Classic and Vintage Show

Aug 17

Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show

Aug 18 – 21

Bournemouth Air Festival

Aug 21

Buckham Fair, Beaminster

Aug 25 – 29

Great Dorset Steam Fair, Blandford Forum

Aug 21

Mid Somerset Show, Shepton Mallet

Aug 26 – 28

Watchet Music Festival

Sept 11

Classic Bus Rally, Weston-super-Mare

Sept 3 – 4

Dorset County Show, Dorchester

Sept 16 – 18

Priston Festival, near Bath

Sept 3 – 11

Gillingham Walking Festival

Sept 17 – 18

Sealed Knot Civil War Battle Re-enactment, Weston-super-Mare

Sept 9 – 11

Swanage Folk Festival

Sept 10 – 11

Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival

Sept 24

Wellington Carnival

Sept 25

Sept 24 – 25

Somerset Festival of Transport, Wincanton

Heavy Horse Show and Country Fair, Shaftesbury

Oct 1

Illminster Carnival

Oct 6 – 9

Autumn Steam Gala, West Somerset Railway

Oct 1

Shaftesbury Carnival

Oct 6 – 9

Swanage Blues and Roots Festival

Oct 8

Chard Carnival

Oct 10 – 16

Bridport Open Book Festival

Oct 15

Taunton Carnival

Oct 12 – 16

Sherborne Literary Festival

Oct 20 – 29

Two Moors Festival, Exmoor

Oct 14 – 16

Oct 30

Open Cockpit Day, Helicopter Museum, Weston-super-Mare

Autumn Steam Gala, Swanage Railway

Nov 5

Bridgwater Carnival

Nov 7

Guy Fawkes Carnival, Burnham-on-Sea

Nov 5

Fireworks Extravaganza, Sherborne Castle

Nov 11

Weston-super-Mare Carnival

Nov 6 – 13

Literary Festival, Bridport

Nov 18

Wells Carnival

Nov 27

Christmas Market, Weymouth

Nov 19

Glastonbury Carnival

Dec 2 – 3

Dunster by Candlelight

Dec 1 – 31

Santa Specials, Swanage Railway

Dec 2 – 3

Dunster Specials, West Somerset Railway

Dec 25

Charmouth RNLI Christmas Day Swim

Dec 25

Christmas Day Harbour Swim, Weymouth

Dec 29 – Jan 1 Mince Pie Specials, Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

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Shopping Prepare yourself or a loved one for a summer of walking the countryside with these fantastic gift ideas.

SHORTS Men’s and Women’s Baggy Shorts, Berghaus The perfect shorts for days out walking or running the trails, these baggy shorts are lightweight with a durable and water repellent finish for added comfort and protection on-the-go. Packed full of design features, these shorts are fast drying with added ventilation to aid any outdoors challenge, whilst the longer baggy style offers freedom of movement, whether on the hill or in the pub afterwards. £60 from

WALKING POLES Passport TL130 Adjustable Pole, Helinox TL Passport series poles provide the lowest weight and the most compact size for the wilderness, on trails and in the urban environment. They’re suited for both the casual rambler and the seasoned pro, and for all general bush walking. £149 from

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| Enquiries and Bookings 01647 434360 |

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BOOTS Women’s Hillwalker II GTX, Berghaus

WALKING BOOTS Men’s Hillmaster II GTX, Berghaus The award-winning Berghaus Hillmaster® II GTX® is the perfect walking boot for the hills and valleys, using GORE-TEX® technology to ensure maximum performance. Using super soft leather, the Hillmaster is engineered with comfort in mind. Built with an anti-clogging outsole and shock absorbing midsole, the extensive cushioning allows for greater walking performance for all types of trails.

This is a perfect boot for country strolls or long day hikes on the hillside – the Women’s Hillwalker II GTX® Walking Boot is the classic leather walking boot designed for all British weather conditions. This Pittards® leather boot features a GORE-TEX® lining that adds excellent waterproof performance with maximum comfort on your adventures. Light in weight and designed with a rubber outsole and a shock-absorbing EVA midsole, it allows for maximum durability and underfoot comfort. £160 from

£160 from

BOOK Unforgettable Walks, Julia Bradbury

BACKPACKS Kestrel and Kyte series, Osprey The Kestrel and Kyte series have been developed to cope with any trail, any season, so you’re ready to hike the trails all year round. Boasting a clean design, they are versatile and effective on short or longer trips. Soft materials line the contact areas with the body for higher levels of comfort for the user. The adjustable AirScape™ back panel keeps you well ventilated, whilst offering the load support you require. In wet weather, the built-in rain cover protects your gear against the elements. Starting at £100 from

Published to accompany ITV’s ‘Best Walks With a View’, Julia recounts her favourite walks, sharing unique insights and amusing anecdotes from her adventures, the beautiful locations she visited and inspiring people met along the way. Personalised copies, signed by Julia, are available from The Outdoor Guide. £23.50 from


5. AN EAGLE IN THE Courtesy of Julia Bradbury and The SNOW Outdoor Guide, we’re offering a purgo ornext lM fabulous prize to ae inspire your ich By M walking adventure. Enter for a chance 2.99 to win copies of the Canal £1personalised Walks DVD and Julia’s latest book, Unforgettable Walks. To enter visit: http://theoutdoorguide. Terms and conditions apply.

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e d a M Devon-


Georgina Geikie is a winner and true Westcountry woman. The land that keeps her grounded also prepared her for the dizzying heights of the world Olympic stage. Determined and dedicated to her dream of representing her country on home turf in two shooting disciplines, Gorgs, as she is affectionately known, picked up her first gun at her local Pony Club, aged only 5. Pip and Patrick Bugg, she explained, lived on a farm overlooking Chagford and gave Pony Club children a great early education in country sports. In the barn she was shown how to hold and shoot the gun safely and the rest, as they say, is history. Gorgs lives not far from Chagford, in the village of South Tawton. The Devon countryside has shaped Gorgs’ journey in competition and off the field. A grafter, this selffunded Olympic athlete and all round high achiever has been working towards one competition or another her whole life. One of the Pony Club events she mastered was Tetrathlon:

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riding, shooting, swimming and running. She was chosen to be part of the team which went on to the National Championships: just some girls from around Chagford who had no expectations, but a love of what they did.

to be done, such as washing five sports kits, looking after the horse and preparing good nutritious food, became too much. When Gorgs does things, she wants to do them to the highest standards, so it was tough to have to make compromises.

Around 2001, the breakout of footand-mouth disease meant nobody could transport livestock around the country; this included horses to competitions. In true Gorgs style, she saw an opportunity when most would have packed up and given in. Under the rules of modern Pentathlon competitions, hosts have to provide the horses. If she could master fencing she could join the competitions and not have to bring her horse: serious lateral thinking.

Gorgs was put forward for the British Pistol Club Championships and won them, then was selected to compete in the Commonwealth Games in 2006 where she won Bronze. Clearly, she was good at shooting so decided to focus on it. She completed her 2:1 in Product Design, left London and worked toward her ultimate dream to represent her country on the world stage.

She took her gruelling training schedule with her to university. Whilst there, she continued to enter individual competitions in riding, running, fencing, swimming and shooting. Trying to train for five events and studying for her degree, as well as all the things that needed

The story of Gorgs’ Olympic success is one of truly overcoming the odds. When she first started competitions she couldn’t even have the tool of her trade in the country. Her events are the Air Pistol and 2.2 Cartridge Pistol. For the latter, she can only train at Bisley, near Guildford, or Charmouth in Dorset. It’s hard to imagine another competitor able to

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get to such high levels with so little opportunity to practise. After the Dunblane school shooting in 1996, pistols were banned from the country and all the Team GB equipment was shipped off to Switzerland. There are now two shooting clubs where she can practice her sport in the country – Okehampton Shooting Club and Budleigh Farm, Moretonhampstead.

her journey for the last seven years. “It was a tough road to the 2012 Olympics,” she says. “Support plays a huge part in any competitor’s life, but as well as invaluable support, Helpful Holidays gave me a car, which enabled me to get to training and competitions.” She is extremely grateful and humbled by the role Helpful Holidays has played.

Despite her massive success, she is very humble, her feet well grounded on the Devon moors. While training, she worked three jobs that allowed her the flexibility to get to her training grounds. She never asked for a penny from her parents, but they helped with constant support, put food on the table and gave her a sanctuary of calm encouragement. While working at local pubs, people started to recognise the effort this young woman was making to achieve the ultimate and decided to try and help her. Coming together, the locals helped a girl from Chagford represent Devon and England on the world stage. Helpful Holidays has supported

Everything went on hold for 2012. In the aftermath of success, she realised she was living an impossible life. She had used all her resources, and again had to find various jobs to fit around her sporting career.

She won her quota place for the 2012 Olympics from her performance alone. She was the first pistol shooter for Team GB to have ever qualified and competed at this level. She made history.

Gorgs was understandably upset to tell me that unfortunately she has not been selected to compete in Rio 2016. In fact, nobody in the country has been selected to represent the

UK in this sport as they were unable to make the highly competitive standards. Perhaps the limiting nature of rules and regulations has won this battle for now. Gorgs remains positive and upbeat “There’s no place like the West Country for relaxing and thinking”, she says. “For my sport, you have to have a really focused mind and be able to completely calm your body and mind. In this environment you can be true to yourself. It’s real and you don’t have to live up to anyone else. It’s all about coming back to your roots. You can fool your trainers, fool your friends, but you can’t fool yourself. When I get out in the countryside I feel a sense of perspective. It really grounds me. It’s a place where you can just be you.” Her favourite walk is one she can take from her home, up Ramsley Common. “On Cosdon Beacon there are incredible views, you get the essence of how small you are in such a big place.”

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Last words...

Julia Bradbury’s presenting credits list all the best bits of popular primetime and consumer affairs television: Countryfile, Watchdog, GMTV, Wish You Were Here and Top Gear are just a few of the shows she has been involved with. With a lifelong love of the countryside, Julia has won acclaim for her fabulous walking and wildlife documentaries. Q. What’s the most memorable moment in your career to date? A. Flying in a Red Arrow, hiking up a volcano, living with tribesmen in the Indonesian jungle, sleeping rough in London for a documentary about homelessness… the great thing about this job is that you get to do lots of contrasting, memorable and sometimes life changing things. The Sport Relief homeless documentary re-affirmed how lucky we all are if we have a home, and family and friends who love us. I’m about to become an ambassador for The Big Issue, so I hope to keep homelessness in the forefront of people’s minds. Q. What’s the draw of the countryside? A. The escape, the green, the big skies and the sound of leaves rustling in the wind. It’s also a great leveller – it doesn’t matter what you do, we’re all the same on a walk. My dad took me walking when I was a little girl, from about the age of seven… it definitely affected me and instilled a love of the landscape. Q. What is so special about Dorset’s Golden Cap walk? A. Well it’s a favourite family walk for Best Walks With A View’s executive producer Eric, so it has a personal story, which always makes you love a place that little bit more. We filmed it out of sequence, which often happens


because we’re always short of time and there are some sections that you want to shoot in the best weather; there have been times when that’s not possible so you end up with lots of anorak shots and rain dripping off your nose. But when we filmed on Golden Cap we were particularly lucky and these beautiful golden beams of sunshine shone out over the coast – they’re called Jesus rays – and I think it looked just perfect. That’s always an edifying moment. Q. What was it like climbing Bosigran’s legendary ‘Commando Ridge’ [an iconic coastal climb in south-west Cornwall]? A. I had to learn to rock climb in 12 weeks for a documentary. I did some indoor climbing to get started, then Commando Ridge was the first real rock face I had to tackle. All I remember is the sea thundering beneath me at the base and some very tricky moments on the rocks. It’s all a bit of a blur to be honest, but I made it, which is a shame because it meant I then had to move on to the final challenge – a 60m sea stack called the Old Nam of Stoer in Sutherland. I don’t recommend it for beginners!

or Guide

sy of: The Outdo

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Q. How do you juggle parenthood with a busy career? A. I try not to travel so much now that I have three little ones. I have a rule when I’m filming in the UK that I’m back for bath and bedtime every third night, which means I get to do a breakfast and walk to school. It’s hard leaving them. Thank God for Skype and Face Time. The cliché is that they grow up so fast, but it’s so true; every time I hold a little hand, I think, “It won’t be this small for long.”

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market place, st ives | middle street, padstow fore street, fowey | pennygillam, launceston

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