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ISSUE 10 | AUGUST 2017





Coasting through time











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NMMC.CO.UK | 01326 313388 | FalMOUth NMMC.CO.UK | 01326 313388 | FalMOUth © 2017 National Maritime Museum Cornwall Discovery Quay Falmouth Cornwall TR11 3QY © 2017 National Maritime Museum Cornwall Discovery Quay Falmouth Cornwall TR11 3QY HH10--AD--National Maritime Museum-IFC-1.00.indd 18

02/06/2017 16:49


Moray Bowater


Jackie Dawes jackie.dawes@helpfulholidays.co.uk Telephone: 01647 434360


Jonathan Perkins Media Sales

jonathan.perkins@enginehousemedia.co.uk Telephone: 07587 072706


Andy Forster

andy@enginehousemedia.co.uk Telephone: 01326 574842 Mobile: 07711 160590


Annie Cowen Jamie Crocker Spencer Hawes Chrissy Phillips Felix Rowe Chloe Searle Hannah Tapping Dan Warden


Wheal Coates, St Agnes

DISCOVER is published for Helpful Holidays by ENGINE HOUSE MEDIA LTD Holbrook, The Moors, Porthleven, Cornwall, TR13 9JX www.enginehousemedia.co.uk www.levenmediagroup.co.uk Engine House Media Ltd is a new multi-platform media business with a passion for everything South West. Visit www.enginehousemedia.co.uk 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. For more information, please contact Andy Forster on 07711 160590 or email andy@ enginehousemedia.co.uk. © 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.


Summer is certainly here and what fantastic weather we’ve had so far! Here at Helpful Holidays we’ve thoroughly enjoyed checking out the best ways for you to enjoy this fabulous part of the world, plus compiling our selection of the region’s finest holiday accommodation. From country hideaways and seaside cottages, to modern apartments, smart townhouses and large, sociable holiday homes, we’ve got your dreams covered. In this issue, we explore the beautiful and historically significant coast of the West Country, from the ‘Tin Coast’ of Cornwall to the ‘Jurassic Coast’ of Devon and Dorset (pages 10-17). Perhaps you’re in need of some retail therapy, in which case our guides to shopping in Exeter (pages 56-57) and Totnes (pages 58-59) are certainly worth a read! And, if you find yourself feeling peckish, why not check out the treats the region’s many food festivals have to offer (pages 44-47)? Speaking of all things foodie, we catch up with Jan Billington (pages 40-43), founder and owner of Maddocks Farm Organics, who tells us all about how she traded life in the capital for a life on the land and shares one of her sumptuous recipes with us! With our events guide (pages 74-79) listing the most unmissable dates through to the end of the year, DISCOVER has everything you need to plan your next West Country adventure.

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www.helpfulholidays.co.uk Keep in touch with activities by following Helpful Holidays on Twitter (@helpfulholidays), by joining our Facebook page (/helpfulholidays) and via our blog at helpfulholidays.co.uk

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Discover 10




Discover sun-drenched villas on the island of Crete


homes for your perfect break

40 IN FULL BLOOM Sample the delights of an

Catch up with the latest Helpful Holidays headlines

10 COASTING THROUGH TIME The West Country’s cliffs are a theatre of history

organic edible flower farm

44 A FEAST OF FESTIVALS Our favourite celebrations of tasty West Country goodies

Supporting our ‘breathing

Take a day trip to the archipelago of white beaches and serenity


spaces’ under wide open skies







Our selection of dream holiday

A glimpse behind the easels


A unique waterside venue for


foodies and music lovers

Holiday villas on Corfu, the jewel of the Ionian Sea


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56 SUPER SHOPPING Satisfying sprees around Exeter and Totnes

60 HOME OWNER INTERVIEW Gillie Turner tells the transformation tale of her holiday home, Hamlocks

64 HOMES ON THE MARKET Check out our tempting selection of holiday homes for sale

68 TEAM FAVOURITES The Helpful Holidays gang share the West Country places they cherish

71 WALK SOUTH DEVON SHORES A gentle stroll taking in Noss Mayo and

18 48


Newton Ferrers on the banks of the Yealm

73 LET YOUR HOME HELP YOU Expert financial advice on Equity Release

74 EVENTS DIARY Make a date for the best of the West Country’s fairs, festivals and family fun days

80 LAST WORDS We chat to author Philip Reeve about his love of Dartmoor and its influence on his novels

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Alternative destination

CRETE Beautiful beaches, ancient villages and a rich past make this wonderful island a constant favourite amongst holiday destinations. Greece’s largest island, Crete, is the epitome of variation and beauty, from the stunning pink and white-sand beaches with clear water for snorkelling and diving, to snow-capped mountains that were the birthplace of Zeus, according to Greek mythology. Discover rugged gorges that spill down to coves and caves between cliffs and beautiful valleys sheltering sleepy villages where Cretan music and dress is celebrated and tavernas serve homemade cheeses, olive oil, wine and raki.

Crete is home to a rich tapestry of histories, from the Palace of Knossos built by the Minoans almost 5,000 years ago to mighty fortresses, mansions, mosques and frescoed churches and monasteries, which display Roman, Venetian and Ottoman influences. Vibrant cities, such as the capital Heraklion, colourful towns and mountain villages offer fascinating culture, amenities and the warm hospitality for which the island is famed.



A charming, tranquil hideaway for two, full of Cretan character, yet within moments of the village and easy reach of beaches.

A villa for six with spectacular views, an excellent location from which to explore western Crete and mountain villages.


A carefully and sensitively renovated village house for four, with magnificent sea views of Souda Bay.


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Summer Sale Now On!

Julian Foye the furnishers

Welcome to our family… call in and join us for a coffee and talk to our team of experts – a team we like to call our family. Our experienced sales staff will be happy to guide you in your choice of furnishings. For in-depth advice, please ask for an appointment, free of charge at the showroom, with one of our designers. www.julianfoye.co.uk


Truro Tregolls Road TR1 1SB 01872 222226 truro@julianfoye.co.uk

St Austell 8 Manfield Way PL25 3HQ 01726 70711 staustell@julianfoye.co.uk

Hayle 4 Fore Street TR27 4DY 01736 755700 hayle@julianfoye.co.uk

Wadebridge Bridgend PL27 6DA 01208 814242 wadebridge@julianfoye.co.uk

Enter our draw for the chance to win this month’s Star Prize A new prize every month – submit your email online or instore to enter and receive news and offers.

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As we go to press, the second Helpful Holidays’ Walk West Cornwall festival has been hailed as another resounding success. Blessed with glorious Cornish weather, walkers were treated to even more trails to enjoy this year with an extended week-long festival for 2017. The brainchild of our Property Manager Bev Plunkett, the festival included 20 guided walks around the wonderful west Cornwall coastline. Walkers were offered a range of events, from an artists’ trail around the picturesque Lamorna Cove to a wild food walk with outdoor cookery demonstration in Porthleven. www.walkwestcornwall.co.uk

SOUTH WEST LAKES TRUST The South West Lakes Trust have launched the ultimate family to-do list, so put down the iPads, immerse yourself in nature and fill your summer with new adventures and experiences with South West Lakes’ ‘101 things to do this summer’ booklet. Providing 40 inland waters, from the tip of Cornwall to Somerset, and ranging from just one to a whopping 900 acres, sites provide unrivalled public access to watersports, angling, walking and cycling. You’ll also find Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and local nature reserves. This year’s guide will help you get the most out of exploring the South West Lakes, helping you discover fun things to do as a family, from climbing trees and building dens, to tracking animal footprints and taking to the water. Andy Parsons, South West Lakes’ Chief Executive, said: “We’re passionate about people from all walks of life being able to benefit from our lakes and our booklet is perfect for getting more families outdoors.” www.southwestlakes.co.uk

POWDERHAM FOOD FESTIVAL Helpful Holidays is once again delighted to be the headline sponsor of the Powderham Food Festival. On 7th and 8th October 2017, Powderham Castle will provide the magnificent backdrop to this exciting celebration of all things tasty. Now in its sixth year, the festival includes a range of speakers, live music and great entertainment. Combine this with an excellent range of exhibitors, showcasing the exceptional treats the South West offers when it comes to food and drink, and you have the makings of a great day out. Turn to page 44 for our food festival round-up and to find out more about this exciting event. www.powderhamfoodfestival.com

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g n ti s Coa me ti h g ou r th

The stunning ‘Tin Coast’

Throughout the West Country there are countless reminders of the region’s history and heritage, from the relatively recent industrial remains of the Cornish mining industry, to the ancient caves and fossils of the ‘Jurassic Coast’ in Devon and Dorset. Here, you’ll find 185 million years of historical remains, which reveal near-complete histories of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. So get out there, get exploring and know your history!


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MINING IN CORNWALL Cornwall abounds with the historical remains of industry. The pursuit of minerals such as tin and copper fundamentally reshaped the county’s landscape – largely along long stretches of coast, where the towering chimneys of stone and red brickwork now stand sentinel, keeping watch over the Atlantic, seemingly rooted as firmly as the oldest oak. The Tin Coast This stretch of coast on the Penwith peninsula has been coined the ‘Tin Coast’, after the prolific yields of tin during the area’s mining heyday, and it offers plenty to explore – all set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Atlantic as it churns and surges over the rocks below. In fact, mining in the region took place more than 600 metres below the surface and, at points, 2.5km out beneath the seabed, a dangerous job to say the least!

While you’re here, be sure to stop by Levant Mine and Beam Engine. Owned by the National Trust, visitors can explore the various ruins dotted about this part of the coast, or follow the miners’ footsteps through the tunnel to the man-engine shaft; hear the tales of Edwardian miners and take a guided tour, discovering all the site’s secrets. The Queen’s Arms isn’t far, so once you’re done here, why not pop in and

choose from a range of local beers and a homecooked menu that’s based on locally sourced produce? Wheal Prosper, Rinsey Further along the south coast – a couple of miles up the road from Praa Sands – you’ll find Rinsey, and a complex of mines named ‘Wheal Prosper’. Despite the name, the mining here was some of the least productive in Cornwall, but it does make for some spectacular sightseeing, especially on a sunny day. Park up in the National Trust car park and wander down towards the first and, locally speaking, most iconic engine house of the area. In front of the building (which adventurous types can clamber inside), there’s a spot that’s perfect for a picnic, while just ten minutes up the road from the car park you’ll find The Lion and Lamb, serving local ales and a sumptuous menu. Wheal Coates, St Agnes If you’re closer to the north coast, one of Cornwall’s most famous engine houses – Wheal Coates – should definitely be on your list of things to see. Located on the clifftops between Porthtowan and St Agnes, this old tin mine is preserved by the National Trust, the icing on the cake for what’s already a stunning part of the coast. Take a wander here by following the way-marked circular route towards the sea and back again via the old mine buildings to enjoy the atmospheric remains dotted around the area.

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The iconic remains of the Cornish mining industry shape its landscape

THE ENGINE HOUSE TRAIL For those looking to rent a bike or bring their own, The Engine House Trail – stretching from Hayle to Bissoe – offers a fascinating insight into the lay of the mining landscape, a wonderful experience on two wheels.

Magor’s pump-engine house

Fossil hu

A typical stone and red-brick chimney

Starting from Hayle, it follows quiet roads towards Camborne, before taking a largely traffic-free route along the base of the Carn Brea monument. This is a great place to stop and admire one of the most quintessentially Cornish sights in the area. And, if you’re ready to stretch your legs and explore on foot, just a short distance from the monument is Carn Brea Castle, sitting atop gigantic, uncut boulders. This entire area was once the epicentre of the most intensely mined region in England, and the Carn Brea Monument was built as a tribute to Francis Basset – a member of one of the region’s most important mining families. As well as the good working conditions he provided for his workforce, Basset became famous for marching his miners to Plymouth in an effort to bolster defences against the French and Spanish invasion. Gwennap Pit

Leaving Redruth, the trail passes through the old mining village of Carharrack, before joining more old tramways towards Bissoe. On two wheels, you’ll observe hundreds of engine houses (hence the trail’s name) and other landmarks, including Gwennap Pit. This open air amphitheatre is thought to have been hollowed by mining activities originally, and was made famous by John Wesley – the founder of Methodism. Part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site, Gwennap Pit’s historical significance is now on an even keel with globally-famous landmarks around the world, including Stonehenge, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China. The Engine House Trail winds its way through 13 historic towns and villages, which is quite a distance for children to cover all in one day. Fortunately, any one stretch of the trail would make for a lovely afternoon of leisurely cycling and, wherever you find yourselves, there’s a wealth of heritage to see, explore and absorb. And, by renting bikes through Go ByCycle, you can have your bikes delivered to your holiday cottage door, so it couldn’t be easier. Instead of starting at Hayle, why not finish there and satisfy your appetite with lunch at The Old Quay House? Overlooking the Hayle estuary, this is just the ticket for enjoying a well-earned rest while soaking up views of the estuary’s abundant wildlife. On Sundays, the restaurant puts on a very popular carvery, which is a great way to round off your week in west Cornwall.


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Fossil hunter’s paradise on the ‘Jurassic Coast’

Durlston Country Park is home to a plethora of wildlife. It’s host to over 250 species of bird and more than 33 species of butterfly and has become nationally famous for its insects, including 10 species of grasshopper and bush-cricket.

Cottages nearby


RINSEY Yards from the coast path leading down to Rinsey Cove and within walking distance of the beach, this beautiful cottage sleeps six and enjoys more than a touch of luxury.

THE ‘JURASSIC COAST’ The name of this dramatic coastline alone conjures up images of a world millions of years ago: a world that nobody walking the Earth today would recognise. There’s a sense of mystery that draws people from all over the world, year after year, to the fringes of the Devon and Dorset coast. To the keen paleontologist, the ‘Jurassic Coast’ serves as something of a mecca – a paradise for those seeking a keener insight into prehistoric life. But it’s more than that. It’s impressive to anybody who can appreciate the staggering 185 million years (or thereabouts) that the layers of sedimentary rock here represent. If you’re visiting, you’ll find some wonderful ways to keep the whole family entertained, whether it’s brushing up on your history, taking a stroll along some of the region’s dog-friendly beaches or getting the adrenaline pumping with a day of outdoor adventure. Durlston Country Park Spend a day at Durlston Country Park, a 280-acre paradise of hay meadows and coastal downlands. There’s a wealth of wildlife to marvel at here – including regular dolphin sightings – as well as views of some astonishing limestone cliffs. These sweep into two bays, where rocks have been found to record the entire Cretaceous period – roughly 79 million years. The park’s also home to a Victorian castle, inside which you’ll find interactive displays and exhibitions. From the car park, a serpentine timeline path walks you through 4.6 billion years of history, giving you a mindblowing synopsis of just how significant the ‘Jurassic Coast’ is.

Jurassic Skyline For more beautiful views, you’ll be hard pressed to beat those of the Jurassic Skyline in Weymouth. The viewing capsule here has floor-to-ceiling windows, so you feel as if you’re suspended, looking down upon the coast. This is enhanced as the capsule gradually rotates, revealing the most incredible panorama you’re ever likely to experience. Where else can you take in 185 million years of history for 26 kilometres in every direction? Portland A trip to the Isle of Portland comes highly recommended. Connected to the mainland via Chesil Beach, Portland makes for some great exploring, from Portland Castle, which was built by Henry VIII, to Tout Quarry. Since falling silent in the early 1980s, Tout Quarry has become famous for the work done there by artists and sculptors in response to the holes, labyrinths and scars left by the quarrying. The exposed rocks here are more than 135 million years old – from the late Jurassic period – and if you look hard enough, you’ll find more than 60 hidden sculptures in the quarry. Fancy trying your hand at sculpting and stone carving? If so, there are classes running at the quarry until September – all you need to do is book! Rugged Dorset coastline


PORTHTOWAN Porthtowan beach is a hub of by-the-sea activity, with bars and pubs situated just off the sand. Sleeping four, Rockpools is a fabulous base from which to enjoy a family beach break.


NEAR DURLSTON Architect-designed, this former Methodist chapel is now a state of the art, contemporary and stylish house, offering four guests the chance to explore the wonderful surroundings of Milborne St Andrew.

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Beer Quarry Caves

Beer Quarry Caves

Having been handworked since Roman times, the village of Beer’s history centres around the Beer Quarry Caves. When work to extract the limestone ceased in 1920, a series of eerie caverns were left behind. If you’re visiting the caves, you can expect vaulted ceilings and pillars of Beer stone in a complex, cavernous network that’s been likened to an underground cathedral. From the end of March until September, tours run daily, every hour on the half hour, with the last tour starting at 4.30pm. After your visit, swing by The Masons Arms in neighbouring Branscombe, a charming, 14th century thatched-roof inn that serves an extensive menu of hearty, feel-good pub grub, as well as satisfying Fairtrade coffee from Brewer & Bean. Chapman’s Pool

Cottages nearby


BEER This modern, stylish and comfortable accommodation is ideal for a group of six, with coastal walks, harbour views and pub lunches on the doorstep.


BEER Coasteering fun

Adrenaline-fuelled adventures

An immaculate cottage, 1 Ottons Court is tucked quietly away but is still at the centre of things, so guests can enjoy the shops, restaurants and galleries of Beer. Sleeping three, this is a great place for a coastal escape.

Chapman’s Pool Fancy something a little more adrenaline-fuelled? Get in touch with the Cumulus Outdoors team, who specialise in exciting and fun-filled outdoor adventure activities on the ‘Jurassic Coast’. From coasteering, climbing and abseiling to kayaking and walking the plank, Cumulus have just the thing to get your blood pumping, with awe-inspiring views over the dramatic Dorset coastline to boot!

Here is one of the ‘Jurassic Coast’s’ finest, dog-friendly walks, of around seven miles. The limestone coastline here has been carved into caves and platforms by millions of years’ natural erosion, as well as human influence since prehistoric times and centuries of quarrying. The pool itself is a wild beach, where a plunging ravine sends water cascading down the cliffs, forming a stream that meets the sea. When the sun’s shining, Chapman’s Pool is a wonderful place to sit for the afternoon, so pack a picnic and don’t forget the blanket.


NEAR CHAPMAN’S POOL An excellent base from which to enjoy Weymouth’s beautiful, sheltered coastline, Henniker House has bright and contemporary accommodation for up to six guests.

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26 - 27 August 2017


MUSIC Sound of the Sirens | Mr Tea and The Minions | Melissa Bel | Nicky Swann Scott Cridland-Smith | Hungry Bentley | MarK McCabe | Sadie Horler


to be more ced n annou

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall | Satish Kumar | Chetna Makan | Philip Lymbery Ed Smith | Meera Sodha | John Wright | Steven Lamb | Jessica Seaton Clodagh McKenna | Adam Byatt | Kylee Newton | James Whetlor

more FESTIVAL FUN River cottage farmhouse feasts | COOKERY MASTERCLASSES | Wild Cocktails Yoga | STOMP CIRCUS | Baby Massage | Lucet Braiding | Felting | Jewellery making Star Gazing | Moth Trapping | Foraging | Nature Walks | Giant bubble shows

www.rivercottage.net/festival 01297 630 300 | Axminster, Devon 2017Fest-DiscoverAd.indd 1

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Cottage s nearby

Fossil-rich Charmouth beach



Be safe! If you’re digging for your own fossils, be mindful not to hammer at cliff faces, as they could fall away. A fossilrich place to go is Charmouth beach, especially during the winter when the wind and waves are likely to help expose more specimens.

Ammonite fossil

HUNTING FOR FOSSILS Coming in all shapes and sizes, fossils help bring the lost world of pre-history to life. Through them, we find evidence of how plants and animals evolved during the Mesozoic Era, and those found on the ‘Jurassic Coast’ have been used to construct vivid recreations of the region hundreds of millions of years ago. It’s this that continues to captivate a whole spectrum of visitors, from children inspired by the Jurassic Park films, to professional historians and paleontologists looking to expand their knowledge in the field. All the way along the ‘Jurassic Coast’ there are fossils to be found. However, if you’re setting out to find your own, you need to be safe and avoid the dangerous areas, while being mindful of protected spots and those which are prone to damage. If you’re planning an unguided trip, it’s important to check local information and for those who are new to fossil finding, joining a guided walk is highly recommended, as you’ll be able to maximise your time in some of the coast’s best digging spots. For anybody who’d like to book a walk, or wants to read into the history that fossils represent, Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre – near Charmouth beach, one of the region’s most prolific fossil hunting grounds – has some superb displays of locally-found fossils, as well as interactive displays and information on fossils, fossil hunting and local wildlife. Open daily from Easter to October, from 10.30am to 4.30pm, you’ll even find a video microscope that you can use to examine your finds from the beach. For more information on how you can make the most of the ‘Jurassic Coast’, including dogfriendly walks, fossil finding details and general information about the area, visit www.jurassiccoast.org.

Near the heart of Charmouth, this Grade II listed cottage is surprisingly spacious and sleeps six. The enclosed suntrap garden is a great spot for soaking up the summer Dorset sun.


CHARMOUTH This detached ‘upside down’ house enjoys coastal and countryside views and quality fittings, including a wine cooler! Modern, stylish and sleeping eight, Pippin is ideal for a group getaway.


CHARMOUTH Just a seven-minute walk from the beach, this 16th century home has been lovingly refurbished, with accommodation for 10 and all the mod-cons you’ll need, as well as a cosy woodburner for nights in.

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Keeping beautiful places safe

Haytor, Dartmoor

Image courtesy of: DNPA

National Parks welcome millions of visitors every year, but their wild and unspoiled charm isn’t maintained by chance. Campaign for National Parks works year-round to ensure they flourish. Heather on Exmoor

Image courtesy of: CNP


We are incredibly lucky in the UK. We have an amazing array of stunning National Parks: places of wild and engaging beauty that draw visitors from near and far for walking, cycling or just standing and enjoying the views. But these incredible locations aren’t a given. Campaign for National Parks has been working hard to protect and promote these beautiful places for 80 years, to ensure we can continue to enjoy our varied and impressive landscapes. Formed in 1936, Campaign for National Parks led the fight for initial National Park legislation, which was passed in 1949. Since then, this determined organisation has been campaigning to protect the parks against threats, help more people to access them and has been involved in the battle to get new National Parks, such as the South Downs, designated. One of the reasons our parks are so well loved is their variety. From moors to mountains and cliffside to riverside, these areas of boundless beauty are rich with unforgettable sights and exhilarating

activities. Lose yourself amidst the tranquillity of slow-moving waters, spend a day hiking through rocky tors, spotting wildlife as you go, or challenge yourself by climbing to the top of the highest peak with your reward the stretching and breathtaking 360-degree views. Despite the love that people have for National Parks, it’s sad to say that they are not free from threat. Last year, Campaign for National Parks launched a report exploring the detrimental impact that major development has had, and is still having. The aim is simple: ensuring people can enjoy the parks without their views being marred by unsightly developments. But it’s not just the views that make our National Parks special – they’re also home to some of our most treasured flora and fauna. In England alone, National Parks support over a quarter of our Sites of Special Scientific Interest. However, as inspiring as the array of wildlife and nature is, Campaign for National Parks is determined to make it even better.

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Cottages nearby



Exmoor ponies grazing above Porlock Bay

Image courtesy of: John Starkey

Image courtesy of: ENPA


Native wildlife found on Exmoor

Image courtesy of: DNPA

Why not become a member or a supporter of Campaign for National Parks’ important work? To find out more visit www.cnp.org.uk/become-friend



A campaign to improve National Parks’ biodiversity is currently underway, with the hopes of creating a bastion in which wildlife can flourish. Of course, all of this work is meaningless without people accessing and enjoying the National Parks. One project has helped over 30,000 people visit a National Park, many for the first time, with a new campaign for buses going to and from National Parks helping to maintain the natural beauty of the parks. All of this means that we can continue to experience the unhindered and raw, natural beauty of our incredible National Parks. As the team says: “We love and cherish the Parks and think they are phenomenal places. We believe future generations should be able to enjoy National Parks and will do everything we can to stand up for and champion them.”

A magnificent, detached house for 12, with superb views across the River Teign valley to Chagford and Dartmoor. A special place to stay for groups of friends or family gatherings.

I think the Parks are a truly important national asset. The National Parks are for everyone and I want to encourage people to use them, enjoy them and protect them for future generations.

Caroline Quentin, President of Campaign for National Parks Image courtesy of: ENPA

This is the perfect location for walkers, nature lovers and silence seekers. This semi-detached cottage in Porlock Weir, sleeping six, is decorated with gentle colours and fabrics and is designed for relaxation.


BODMIN MOOR This is a charming cottage of distinct character, sleeping four and situated in the charming village of Blisland on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Ideal for exploring moorland and coast. Caroline Quentin

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Otte rton Mill Boasting an idyllic setting, ancient traditions and a dedication to maintaining a vibrant music venue and eatery, Otterton Mill is full of surprises.

courtesy Carla Regler ComeImage and meet the of: millers

While we live in a world where we’re constantly seeking new ways to do things, sometimes it’s good to remember that certain things don’t need to be changed. Sometimes, just sometimes, we had it right the first time round. This is certainly the case at Otterton Mill, where the same ancient methods of flour milling and bread making that were used at the time of William the Conqueror are still being used today. Nestled in the village of Otterton, and positioned next to the waters of the River Otter, Otterton Mill has attracted visitors from near and far for generations. There’s been a working watermill on this spot since the site was first established over 1,000 years ago. In fact, it’s thought the mill is the 18th oldest company in the world, which is an amazing achievement. You can take a tour of this fascinating mill and learn about the ancient tradition from the millers themselves. Of course, there have been some changes over the last 1,000 years, with Otterton Mill now offering more than just your ‘run of the mill’ day out. Open every day, the mill provides a multitude of things to do, see and eat. You can taste the very bread


made at the mill in the award-winning café/ restaurant or buy some for later in the shop – you can even buy the wonderful stoneground wholemeal flour to use in your own culinary creations. Continuing through the mill, you’ll find the eclectic and charming Mill Shop and Gallery. Inside is an array of unique gifts and keepsakes for you and your home, alongside a lovely collection of local arts and crafts. Apart from being a popular haunt for foodies, Otterton Mill is a year-round hotspot for live music. Hosting a range of artists, the music, which centres on roots, ranges from Americana to blue grass and folk to blues. In the colder months, this welcoming venue holds the performances indoors, which makes for a wonderfully intimate atmosphere. Then, in July and August, the venue moves outside for Otterton Mill’s famous courtyard series. Underneath twinkling lights and with the beautiful backdrop of the river, these sell-out events are a fabulous way to experience music. With your evening filled with music and ambience, why not fill your day with nature and wonder? Otterton Mill is situated amidst stunning countryside

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Cottages nearby


NEAR OTTERTON MILL This is a Grade II listed, charming, terraced cottage for four in Otterton. Full of character, it has views over the garden to the hills beyond. Stop by for a relaxed coffee



Nothing beats a cream tea

Tempting displays of gifts and local arts and crafts Otterton Mill’s perfect riverside setting

in one of Devon’s most beautiful coastal valleys. Perfect for walkers, cyclists and wildlife enthusiasts, this tranquil area offers a revitalising visit. Walking along the banks of River Otter you might just spot kingfishers, herons and even occasional, elusive otters, which have been known to pop into Otterton Mill’s shop to have a quick poke around. The River Otter was chosen recently to be the only location in the UK to host a family of beavers. These enchanting and characterful creatures can be spotted from time to time, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled. With visitors from all over, including the river, Otterton Mill is proud to offer a unique experience, blending fascinating history with fantastic events and themed weekends. So make sure you put Otterton Mill on your must-visit list, as it’s a day out with a difference.

A smart 1830s townhouse for eight in Exmouth, this is a relaxing base for the beach, town centre and station. Seaside colours and stylish decor create an elegant interior.


NEAR OTTERTON MILL Sleeping four, this is a neat, comfortable, terraced cottage in the heart of the Regency seaside town of Sidmouth, perfect for exploring the ‘Jurassic Coast’ and surrounding pretty villages.

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Serving local, organic food and drink in stunning locations We are passionate about quality food made with nutritious, healthy and delicious ingredients - many of which are made from scratch Blackpool Sands available for functions, parties and weddings For opening times and menus visit


www.lovingthebeach.co.uk Bacon and Egg

Venus Classic

Tofu Burger

Cream Tea

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





ic Fantast r fo events 2017! PAY ONCE AND COME BACK ALL WEEK OPEN DAILY

Book online for great savings: visitsealife.com/gweek Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek nr Helston, Cornwall, TR12 6UG Tel: 01326 221 361

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Cottages From country retreats and waterside escapes to dog-friendly cottages and large homes for family get-togethers, we have holiday homes in perfect locations across the West Country.

24 L  ARGE HOLIDAY HOMES Ideal for big groups of family or friends, with plenty of space for all to enjoy 28 PLACES TO WALK AND WAG No need to leave your four-legged friend at home with our range of dog-friendly holiday homes 30 HOMES WITH POOLS Pamper yourself at one of our cottages with pools


Reference L194 Battisborough Cross, South Hams

32 WATERSIDE HOMES Treat youself to a stay at one of our homes near the water 34 SANDCASTLES AND SURF Enjoy the best of the West Country’s coastal homes 36 NEW COTTAGES Our pick of the latest places to stay


38 CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR Celebrate the festive season in style at these wonderful retreats

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Take a look at our magnificent range of large holiday homes and start planning your next big getaway with friends and family. L80


Reference L80 Milton Combe, Devon

Deep in Lord Roborough’s 6,000-acre estate is Maristow Barton, a large detached Georgian country house within its own grounds in the most peaceful of settings. Enjoy the many surrounding footpaths, moor your small boat to the jetty on the River Tavy, which boasts excellent birdwatching, or just sit back and enjoy the air of tranquillity that surrounds you. Beside this grand house you’ll find an enclosed, sunny gravelled yard with tables


and chairs and two barbecues, perfect for alfresco dining, while behind lies a large lawn. The house itself is a wonderful combination of comfort, elegance and modern decor. Filled with natural light, the living/dining room is an ideal space for socialising with the family, with plenty of room for seating the 16 guests this amazing house sleeps. This room also features a cosy open fire and a wine cooler fridge, so you’re covered whatever the season. The TV room stands out with its striking, dark red walls, which create a warm haven,

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L80 perfect for unwinding and cuddling up in front of a film. The first floor holds four of the eight bedrooms, each with space and plenty of light flooding through gorgeous Georgian windows. Indeed, most of the bedrooms steal the show with statement walls in a variety of colours and with furnishings and decor to match. These individually styled rooms range from opulent black, lavish purple and striking orange, to calming natural tones, refreshing blue and eye-catching pink. The surrounding area is also full of vibrancy and fun days out. Milton Combe,

L80 which is only a mile and a half from the house, has a lovely village pub near the River Tavy, while the city bustle of Plymouth is only eight miles away and offers an array of restaurants, shops and theatres, as well as a cinema and aquarium. You also have easy access to Dartmoor, with its beautiful rolling vistas, the Plym Valley cycle trail to Yelverton and National Trust houses and gardens, as well as beautiful fishing villages and sandy beaches. There’s definitely plenty to see and do during your revitalising stay at Maristow Barton.


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Reference J22 South Tawton, Devon A mile from South Tawton, in beautifully wooded lanes, Rock Barn is a huge, stunning house sleeping 12, converted from handsome barns that once served the farmhouse as a grain store. Gardens can be found at the front and back of the house, with a paved patio with table and chairs at the front as well, making this area perfect for some alfresco dining. Inside, the immediate impact is the terrific space. Indeed, the living area is the epitome of easy living, enhanced by the gorgeous, practical and very 21st century style. Within the massive living/dining room you’ll find an open fire, pool table and plenty


of comfortable places to sit and unwind, especially with the children’s den in the next room. Upstairs, the five bedrooms are each individual sanctuaries of natural light and fresh design, with some boasting beautiful wooden floors, some classic beams and others a shabby chic style with exposed stone walls. The pretty village of South Tawton is in close proximity to traditional inns in the handsome old villages of South Zeal and Sticklepath, with the town of Okehampton only four miles away. Rock Barn is a fine destination for walking the nearby hills of Dartmoor and cycling the Granite Way.


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Reference G190 Southleigh, Devon

High on a hillside above a picturesque valley sits Lower Wadden Farmhouse and Annexe, which sleeps 14. With nearly 180-degree views of green rolling fields, this holiday home is a true escape to the country. The farmhouse and its neighbouring holiday homes are surrounded by 200 acres of fields and woods carpeted with bluebells, which you’re welcome to explore. Wander along the stream and look out across the trout lake and duck pond to enjoy the glorious views, all the while keeping an eye out to spot deer and badgers. You can also arrange to take part in extra activities such as clay pigeon shooting, amphibious vehicles and archery,

which are sure to add something special to your holiday. The house itself includes brilliant outdoor entertainment, with a garden, barbecue, swing, slide, climbing frame, summer house/games room and a covered hot tub and trampoline. Inside, there’s plenty of room to relax in a welcoming atmosphere. The two living rooms provide the perfect place to unwind, while the conservatory is ideally placed for drinking in the views. The singlestorey annexe consists of an open-plan living/ dining/kitchen with large French windows opening out to the courtyard, a family bedroom that sleeps four and a bathroom.


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Enjoying a holiday with your dog is an opportunity not to be missed, so take a look at our welcoming dog-friendly cottages and get those tails wagging!







Reference L321 Ashprington, Devon

Reference D12 Kilve, Somerset

In the heart of Ashprington, handily situated between the two friendly pubs, sits this smart end-of-row cottage that’s been thoughtfully converted with stylish modern decor from a barn. The design throughout is impeccable, with carefully thought out colour schemes in each room, which together create a relaxing retreat with a fresh atmosphere filled with natural light. The width-of-house open-plan layout greets you on the ground floor, with a smart tiled floor and woodburner adding to the natural style of the cottage. Upstairs, three bedrooms, which sleep six in total, offer further creatively styled spaces. The village itself is very pretty, with an award-winning vineyard and cheese creamery which offer tours, a shop and a seasonal café. Dartmoor and a collection of beaches are close at hand for those wanting an active and refreshing getaway.

Just inland from the amazing and fossil-rich Kilve beach and sheltered in a gorgeous wooded valley along a no-through lane leading to the wilderness of the Quantock Hills, is Grooms Cottage, the west wing of a centuries old farmhouse. The location is ideal for those with canine companions which enjoy a good walk, as there’s unrivalled walking/ cycling/horse-riding from the door into the Quantock Hills. Alternatively, the Coleridge Way passes just above the cottage, linking with the Two Moors Way and the South West Coast Path. After a day’s walking, return to this smartly renovated cottage, which sleeps four, and completely relax. The cottage is beautifully styled and decorated with a fabulous openplan living/dining/kitchen and two bedrooms. The friendly owners are more than happy for you to enjoy their extensive gardens, making this a truly serene home-from-home.




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→ Q57








Reference Q57 Porthtowan, Cornwall

Reference J60 North Tawton, Devon

Stone’s Throw, in the Cornish seaside town of Porthtowan, is the ideal holiday home for larger families and has the versatility of a self-contained annexe, perfect for teenagers. The open-plan kitchen is well equipped and includes an American-style fridge-freezer. The living room is spacious and comfortable, decorated in vibrant pinks and greens, and there’s also a separate snug/playroom so everyone can enjoy their own space. You really are only a stone’s throw from the sea and a short walk will take you to the Blue Flag sandy beach. Renowned as one of the north Cornwall coast’s surfing hotspots, it’s also great for rock pooling and has direct access to the South West Coast Path. From here you can walk to the neigbouring beaches of Portreath and Trevaunance Cove, working up an appetite to return for dinner at Blue, Porthtowan’s popular beach bar.

Only three miles from North Tawton, on a 150-acre family farm, is the tranquil and oh-so-welcoming Jackdaws Cottage, which was recently converted from a granary into a comfortable holiday cottage with glorious views over stunning mid-Devon countryside. Approaching the cottage, you’ll pass paddocks, home to lambs in the spring, and a pretty wildlife pond. The games barn houses table tennis, bar billiards, a pool table and darts, so there’s no shortage of entertainment. Inside, this lovely cottage welcomes you with a relaxing atmosphere and a classic style. Unwind in the large living/dining room or dine out on the patio with its table and chairs and commanding view. The cottage, which sleeps six, lies within easy reach of Exmoor, Dartmoor and the south Devon and north Cornwall coasts, making it ideal for long revitalising romps with the dog.



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with pools


Dreaming of holidays lounging by a pool? Have a look at our poolside holiday homes and dive into your next exquisite getaway.




Reference K3 Stoke, Devon

Nestled within Stoke village sits this detached, Grade II listed, 16th century house with a courtyard, enclosed garden with a barbecue, and a gorgeous indoor heated swimming pool. Formerly owned by Hartland Abbey, the house has been beautifully converted and lovingly restored and now provides a truly restorative homefrom-home. Slate floors in the hall and a


K3 beautifully beamed living room add to the charm and character of the house, which sleeps ten, while the pool provides fabulous fun for all the family. The location is perfect for exploring the surrounding area, with lovely walks through Hartland Abbey’s woods to the sea. Hartland Quay provides spectacular cliffs, as well as a pub and a rocky cove for a family day out, while beautiful sandy beaches can be found at Bude, Westward Ho! and Instow.


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Reference L194 Battisborough Cross, Devon About a mile from Battisborough Cross, at the end of a long tree-lined drive, is Alston Hall, a three-storey, detached country residence that sleeps 38 and was built in 1906 as a rectory. Its more recent role as a country house hotel means this holiday home is bursting with entertaining extras, including an indoor heated swimming pool with pool chairs, table tennis and French

windows opening to an enclosed garden. Venturing further, you’ll find three acres of well kept grounds and gardens, most of which are southfacing, and at the front of the house, benefiting from all-day sun, lies the outdoor swimming pool. The oak-panelled hall with stained glass windows is a suitably grand entrance for this huge house. Indeed, the entire holiday home gives you grandeur and space at every turn and provides an amazing venue for a big get-together with friends or family.


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e id s er at WHOLIDAY HOMES S234

Waking up to a peaceful view of water is an unbeatable holiday experience. Take a look at our waterside cottages and plan your next revitalizing break. BRIXHAM


Reference S234 Feock, Cornwall

Between Feock and Devoran, on the shores of the peaceful Restronguet Creek at Point, lies Regatta Cottage, part of a historic Grade II listed building with wonderful views of the creek and woodland on the opposite shore. In a tranquil position, the cottage has lovely enclosed gardens to the front and back, with a waterside lawn for breakfast, launching your own small boats or simply sitting and daydreaming. With an almost storybook exterior with walls covered in ivy and a crawling vine amid the idyllic setting, this cottage is a lovely retreat for anyone. You can enjoy the views from the hall, which leads to a little enclosed garden, perfect for creek watching and birdsong during summer evenings. The interior has a true home-from-home atmosphere, with a


S234 woodburner in the living/dining room and a dining table in front of a window framing stunning views. The double bedroom upstairs also provides those views, with another two twin rooms meaning this family-friendly cottage sleeps six. The picturesque theme continues throughout Feock village, in its sprawling setting almost hidden in trees and overlooking a wide estuary with creeks and the open sea beyond. Enjoy watching the boats and yachts bob lazily on the sheltered water or launch dinghies from the shingle beach, which is also home to a beach cafÊ and sailing/windsurfing/ canoeing lessons. Nearby, you’ll find golf, the beautiful Trelissick Gardens and creekside walks or you can take the King Harry Ferry across to the Roseland Peninsula. All these characteristics make this cottage a lovely destination in terms of tranquil beauty and waterside views.



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High on the cliff above Brixham harbour, this four-storey, terraced house offers spectacular, uninterrupted views over the marina and out to sea from huge windows on every floor. Completely and expertly refurbished to exploit these breathtaking views, this lovely house, which sleeps six, provides a truly enviable location as it’s only a quarter of a mile from the harbour and town centre. Inside, you’re met with beautiful oak floors, white walls and considered furnishings which make staying here relaxing and comfortable. The enclosed terrace and separate balcony are great places to soak up the stretching vista of Brixham harbour. The harbour is a vibrant fishing port with great seafood restaurants and beaches nearby, making it an exhilarating holiday destination at any time of year.

Nestled in Topsham, tucked away on a quiet pedestrian lane in the conservation area, this Grade II listed townhouse, that accommodates six, is only 350 yards from the town centre, estuary and ferry. Spaciously spread over four floors and lovingly kitted out as the owners’ own holiday home, you’ll find plenty of books, toys and games for all ages. A cinema room also adds to the exciting entertainment factor of this familyfriendly home. Outside, you’ll find a small, enclosed garden and a courtyard, which can be accessed from the kitchen. Topsham itself is an old, interesting and attractive little town that sits next to the River Exe estuary. This home, with its charming touch of nostalgia and great location, is perfect for recapturing childhood holiday memories and is a great year-round location for foodies.

Reference C6 Brixham, Devon

Reference G108 Topsham, Devon



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Sandcastles and surf Where better to enjoy the West Country’s best beaches than at one of our coastal-inspired cottages, all just a stone’s throw from the sea?






This smart 1830s townhouse that sleeps eight is handily situated just half a mile from Exmouth’s beautiful beach, town centre and station. Spacious and light over three floors, the house has been carefully styled with cool seaside colours and stylish decor, which gives its Georgian elegance a modern and contemporary vibe. The walled garden is a sheltered spot in which to relax, with a table and chairs, barbecue and comfortable seating. Inside, the spacious and high-ceilinged living room is ideal for winding down, with two huge sofas, an open fire and the beautiful original shutters. Exmouth is a thriving seaside town with an array of shops, pubs, a cinema and a theatre, all of which, when paired with the long sandy beach, make this holiday destination ideal for all.

In a pretty terrace in Otterton, overlooking the village green, sits this Grade II listed, partly thatched cottage that sleeps four. Inside, you’re immediately greeted by an inspired mix of smart modern furnishings, unusual fabrics and local artwork, all of which complement the original features. The conservatory holds a lovely dining table and opens on to the enclosed, south-facing garden with a lawned terrace and views over rooftops to the village. Venturing into Otterton, you’ll find a pretty, mainly thatched village with a famous working mill, a restaurant, an artisan bakery, crafts, events and live music along the banks of the lovely River Otter. The beautiful pebbly beach at Ladram Bay, on the ‘Jurassic Coast,’ is only a mile away.

Reference G107 Exmouth, Devon



Reference G117 Otterton, Devon



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Reference S94 Falmouth, Cornwall

Reference Y2 Charmouth, Dorset

Just a five-minute stroll from the heart of Falmouth, this newly built townhouse, which sleeps six, gives terrific views across the water to Flushing. Inside, the house is beautifully presented with a natural colour palette in the living area and vibrantly fresh themes in the bedrooms. Through the living area you have access to a raised deck seating area with glass balustrade and stunning views over rooftops to the water. Falmouth is a vibrant and bustling town, perfectly positioned next to one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbours. Within the town, you’ll find an exceptional array of restaurants, cafés, shops and galleries. Nearby you have a fabulous choice of beaches, creekside walks, watersports and the beautiful gardens at Glendurgan and Trebah.

Charmouth, an old coastal village, boasts all of the essentials such as shops and pubs, while also providing access to the enchanting ‘Jurassic Coast,’ which is known for its fossils embedded along the cliffs and beaches. In Charmouth, around 500 yards up from the beach, sits Pippin, a contemporary detached house with an ‘upside down’ layout and long, panoramic views over the village to the beach. The interior is stylish and comfortable with luxurious extras such as USB sockets and an integrated wine cooler. The open-plan living area is filled with natural light, with high apex beams and a vast full-width bi-fold door to a seaward-facing balcony. The bedrooms, which sleep a total of eight, are equally spacious, each with its own style and charm.



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With new cottages joining Helpful Holidays every week, here are a couple of our latest arrivals.





Reference C26 Kingswear, Devon Hidden away on a quiet lane is Mainstay, a newly renovated cottage with farreaching views over rooftops, along the river and across to Dartmouth. Inside, you’ll find stylish decor with local artwork to complement the light interior. There’s a striking grey and red colour scheme in the kitchen/dining/living area, while the bedrooms, which sleep four, follow a refreshing nautical theme. The living area’s focal points include the dining table, which is perfectly positioned for river views, and the


fabulous telescope, which gives a clue to the ever-changing vista from this cottage. A short stroll down the hill brings you to the interesting shops and eateries the village of Kingswear has to offer. If you fancy venturing further afield, then you can catch the ferry across the river and spend the day exploring the wonderful old town of Dartmouth. Or, for those who enjoy a good murder mystery, Agatha Christie’s house, Greenway, is just two and a half miles away and provides a fascinating day out.


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Reference R123 Fort Picklecombe, Cornwall For 180-degree, ever-changing vistas of sea and sky, it’s hard to beat Apartment 39 at Fort Picklecombe, with its wonderful panorama of passing shipping and seal and dolphin sightings. Commissioned in the 1800s, Fort Picklecombe was one of ‘Palmerston’s Follies’. But its 40 guns never fired and it’s been reincarnated as peaceful waterside apartments, of which we offer four, accommodating from two to four. Apartment 39, which sleeps four in three bedrooms, has just been smartly

refurbished, although your eye will be drawn first to floor-to-ceiling windows leading from the living area to a balcony and those time-wasting views from Plymouth to Penlee Point – binoculars highly recommended. Don’t forget your walking boots (or your dog) either, as the building stands within beautiful Mount Edgcumbe Country Park and the South West Coast Path passes by. When you’re ready for city bright lights, Plymouth is just over the water by ferry.


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Christmas and New Year Gather friends and family together and celebrate in style and comfort at one of our individual and enchanting large holiday homes.




Reference L299 Newton Ferrers/Noss Mayo, Devon Found on the leafy road that winds its way from Noss Mayo towards the Coast Path and hidden cove beaches, this spacious single-storey cottage provides a lovely place to celebrate the height of summer or to ring in the New Year. The cottage is a wing of a 19th century building on the fabulously opulent, historic Membland estate. It has now been made smart, modern and completely private. Outside, you’ll find a stunning, enclosed garden with a beautiful terrace with a table and chairs and barbecue, as well as flower-bordered lawns and mature trees at the back. Walk inside and you’ll immediately feel at home in the spacious living room with comfy leather sofas and a woodburner and a smart kitchen. The bedrooms, which sleep eight in total with a maximum of six adults, follow the same elegant and modern design.


The adjoining villages of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo are ideally located close at hand. Indeed, the good food pubs and essential shops of Newton Ferrers are only a mile and a half from this peaceful retreat. Both villages lie beside the River Yealm estuary, which is sheltered by oak-wooded hillsides and is popular for sailing, walking or just sitting and enjoying the peace and quiet. And, as the cottage is pet-friendly, dogs can help to explore the surrounding area too. You can take the pedestrian ferry across the water before enjoying a short coastal walk to get to the village of Wembury and a lovely secluded beach. Or you can take a short drive and spend the day on Mothecombe, which is the nearest sandy beach and a beautiful place to unwind. The vibrant city of Plymouth is only eleven miles away and offers visitors a lively place to shop, dine out or indulge in local culture through the museum, aquarium or theatre.



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Reference G103 G104 G105 G106 Talaton, Devon

In the heart of Talaton sits Grade II listed Talaton House, a former rectory, renovated from its 18th century origins and surrounded by acres of beautiful parkland. Beside this house lie the original stables which have been finely converted with flair into four individual cottages, all exceptionally well done with smart design and furnishings, oak and tiled floors and sleek kitchens. Each cottage overlooks scenic parkland, which you’re welcome to wander. The vast lower lawns with picnic benches and a barbecue area, as well as the circular woodland walks, offer peace and tranquillity. Groom’s Cottage is one of the end-of-row cottages and has a light, open-plan kitchen/ dining/living area with airy high ceilings, while the smart double bedroom features a ceiling-high glazed door. Open tread oak


stairs lead up to the mezzanine level with a single day bed, meaning this cottage sleeps three in total. Hayloft stands above the original stables on the first floor and also has a spacious and airy interior due to the lovely high ceilings with big apex beams. This smart, single-storey cottage utilises beautiful statement walls to add a splash of colour and style. With stunning blue in the living area and twin bedroom and striking patterned wallpaper in the double room, a chic style is maintained throughout the cottage. The other two cottages, Gardener’s Cottage and Barley House, which sleep four and six, keep to the same smart decor but, as with all the cottages, maintain their own independent character. These four holiday homes are absolutely ideal for family celebrations as everyone can go on holiday together but still enjoy their own space and privacy when needed. Gather your friends and family around you and celebrate in sophisticated comfort.


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We talk to Jan Billington about how she swapped a life in London for a life on the land.

Only the freshest produce


Images courtesy of: www.neilwhite.co.uk


It’s been 15 years since Jan and her family re-located to the West Country. With two pre-school aged children and husband Stuart working as an auctioneer, still commuting to London, it was by no means an easy transition. “I blame it on watching too many episodes of Escape To River Cottage,” muses Jan. “We couldn’t resist the lure of the country. The farm itself is five acres and when we bought it the land hadn’t been worked for over 20 years.” It turns out that this was a blessing in disguise as it meant that there had been no pesticides sprayed on the land and it was toxin free. Clearing the farm was a labour of love though, as everything had to be done by hand to conquer the waist-high nettles and brambles. “As we only use organic manure, it means it is full of weed seeds, but that’s just the nature of organic farming. Every now and again we still lose control of a bit of our land to the thistles and the bindweed,” laughs Jan. Jan began by offering organic vegetable and salad boxes, but couldn’t compete with the bigger growers who were producing field crops. “Ours was on a much smaller scale and very soon we knew we had to specialise

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Cottages nearby


Jan loves experimenting with seafood

NEAR KENTISBEARE Sleeping 12 and suitable for wheelchair users, this part 17th century, listed farmhouse is roomy, comfortable and peaceful. There are two ponds in a field, for those who enjoy coarse fishing for tench and carp.

Jan’s four-legged companion

ABBEY CROSS BARN G20 DUNKESWELL ABBEY A beautiful, peaceful place in which to relax, Abbey Cross Barn sleeps four in two comfortable bedrooms. This is a lovely base for those looking for peace and tranquillity in east Devon.

Dishes created by Matt Mason, from Jack in the Green, using Jan’s flowers

in order to keep going,” explained Jan. “We’d always done some companion planting to attract the insects and would add some of the edible wildflowers to our salad bags to make them look pretty.” Jan started to get lots of positive feedback on these flowers and realised that the high-price point specialism she had been looking for was growing right under her nose. Every box of edible flowers varies according to the season and is picked to order to ensure optimum freshness. They arrive with the customer within 24 hours of being picked and can last anything from three to six days, maintaining their sweet smell and delicate flavour – a real bonus for chefs as they can last more than one service. Maddocks Farm Organics is the only edible flower specialist to have an organic licence from the Soil Association, for both growing and processing edible flowers and salads, which is something that Jan is, quite rightly, very proud of. Jan also has a delightful holiday home on her land. Converted from a barn, The Hay Loft (G40, pictured top right) is the culmination of Jan’s vision to create a holiday destination with

Growing in the richest soil


Jan’s polytunnels are beautifully organised

NEAR HONITON This early Victorian hay barn has been converted with considerable thought, now sleeping six with plenty of space for family activities, a table tennis table and a woodburner in the living room, great for those cooler evenings.

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green credentials. Solar panels, a borehole and even a charging point for an electric car are just a few of the energy efficient details that have gone into creating a sustainable retreat. Visitors can even lend a hand on the farm if they fancy getting stuck into tackling those ever-pernicious weeds! The Hay Loft was one of the first holiday homes to display the prestigious tree symbol in Helpful Holidays’ brochure and on the website. The symbol denotes ‘Green Cottages’, holiday homes where the owners have gone that extra mile to help guests tread lightly and limit their impact on the environment. We asked Jan how she would sum up her life in the country: “It wasn’t easy at the start with two young children and a husband working away, but I was desperate to create a better quality of life for us all. I’m not sure I could do it all again now, 15 years on, and I certainly couldn’t have done it without an amazingly supportive husband. I really do believe I have the best job in the world,” smiles Jan. www.maddocksfarmorganics.co.uk

The height of refreshment

Floral flavours

Just one of Jan’s mouth-watering dishes

Jan, doing what she loves the most


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Rose petal jam Typical of Jan’s recipe book, rose petal jam is a delicious treat on a summer’s day. Delicious as a spread or added to your favourite cocktail, and it’s not difficult to make either!

INGREDIENTS 300 grams of fresh organic rose petals* 250 grams of jam sugar (with pectin) ½ litre of water Juice of a large lemon

*The roses you use MUST be organic and unsprayed. Roses that you buy from florists or supermarkets are treated with toxic pesticides and herbicides and are definitely not designed for eating. Rose petals gathered from the garden are perfect to eat as long as they have not been sprayed. Make sure they are clean, dry and have no damage or insects on them. If you gather them on a warm day there will be more fragrance.

METHOD Any colour of rose petals can be used, but dark pink or red is best for the colour. White or yellow roses will produce a soft brown coloured (although equally delicious) jam. Layer the sugar and rose petals overnight in a bowl covered with clingfilm as this will ensure the flavour really infuses into the sugar.Put a saucer into the fridge to chill. Place all the ingredients into a heavy bottomed pan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to produce a rolling boil and continue until the jam is ready, which will be about 10 minutes. To test whether the jam is ready, pop a drop of jam on to the chilled saucer. After a couple of seconds give it a nudge and if the drop wrinkles and holds its shape, it is ready. If not, repeat the process again in a couple of minutes. Make sure the jars you are putting your jam into are clean and sterilised. You can sterilise them by warming them in an oven for a few minutes. At this point, strain the jam through a muslin or sieve as the colour will have leached out of the petals, leaving them translucent. Then snip a few fresh petals back into the hot jam at the very last minute. Pour into the jars and leave to cool. Perfect on Devon scones, for breakfast, or even warm a small drop back to a liquid state and add to a glass of chilled Prosecco for a summer treat.

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Ashburton Food Festival

d n a od Fo Drink For those who like to make the most of the West Country’s fabulous produce, the region’s food festivals are not to be missed!







For the seventh year running, the welcoming town of Ashburton will be holding its illustrious food festival on 9th September 2017. Ashburton is transformed from an historic Dartmoor town into a thriving festival of stalls and divine foodie delicacies, along with many happy customers. Last year’s event saw visitors, locals and traders alike flocking to this great event. This year, it promises to be even bigger and better, with the addition of cookery classes to help you brush up on your culinary skills. It’s hard to know which of the 50 stalls to choose from, so take your time to savour the locally grown food and produce. If a mixture of music, food, drink and comedy sounds like your cup of tea, don’t hesitate to head on down; it’s definitely worth a visit.

The annual crab festival in Salcombe will be held next year on 6th May 2018. The unique festival will give you a new-found knowledge of crabs, seafood and local tourism as this event incorporates all that Salcombe holds dearest into one joyous day. The reason this is such a success is due to the involvement of the locals and activities such as crab pot making and crab picking tuition. There were figures of around 2,500 in attendance at the recent event, and many listened into the interview between David Fitzgerald from BBC Radio Devon and top chef Matt Tebbutt, who gave onlookers and listeners a real insight into his career and the enjoyment he gets from it. Their next festival will have a lot to live up to, but with its ever-expanding audience and celebrity appearances, Salcombe’s Crabfest will be the place to be.



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Cottages nearby


NEAR ASHBURTON Secluded and spacious, this detached ‘upside down’ cottage has been smartly converted from a barn with split-level foundations, sleeping six in three bedrooms.


The self-proclaimed West Country’s ‘ultimate foodie event’, which is hard to argue with, will be held next year on 5th, 6th and 7th May 2018. Established over 14 years ago, the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink has grown from a small local festival to a three-day event attracting some 20,000 visitors. Held in the courtyard of Exeter Castle and the surrounding Northernhay Salcombe

Gardens, it now boasts an After Dark Music Festival which features live music and chef demonstrations. This event brings together top chefs from the region, as well as including workshops and food-themed activities for 4 HAZELDENE L129 everyone to enjoy. This event has received a Devon Tourism Award and also collected SALCOMBE Bronze for ‘Tourism Event of the Year’, which Just 500 yards from is an outstanding achievement and gives North Sands beach, you an idea of how good this event really is. this welcoming and


comfortable apartment for four creates a fabulous and fuss-free base in a beautiful part of the world.


NEAR EXETER Tucked next to the church in Drewsteignton, this detached, family-enjoyed cottage with pretty paintings and homely touches enjoys a lovely outdoor space, sleeping four in two bedrooms.

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The Porthleven Food and Music Festival transforms this fishing village into a place of food and music galore! This year’s event saw a record attendance and the festival really has put Porthleven on the foodie map. The festival kicks off with a live music tent on Friday night, which is just a warm up for the weekend ahead. Local restaurant owners and chefs take to the stage to show off their culinary skills, alongside other top chefs. This is a great day out for all the family, with a huge selection of street food and stalls, plus activities and live theatre shows taking place in the dedicated children’s arena for the younger festivalgoer. Live music stages are set up all around the harbour with music to suit every taste. Dates for next year’s event are still to be confirmed, so keep an eye on the website for more details - you won’t want to miss it! www.porthlevenfoodfestival.com


Powderham Food Festival, sponsored by Helpful Holidays, takes place in the breathtaking surroundings of Powderham Castle. The festival runs for two days, 7th and 8th of October 2017, and is an established event on the Devon foodie calendar, showcasing the West Country’s best food and drink producers. New and innovative themes are introduced each year to keep the festival fresh and unique. You won’t want to miss the Theatre Of Fire And Smoke, a festival favourite which sees chefs demonstrate culinary skills using fire pits. Enriched with music, activities, speakers and cooking demonstrations, this mouth-watering event is definitely one to visit and the uniqueness of the event really shows Powderham at its very best.







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River Cottage

Cottages nearby


PORTHLEVEN Tucked away in Porthleven and sleeping four, this is a much loved family home within an extremely popular harbourside village in a beautiful spot.


The River Cottage Festival is back on 26th and 27th August 2017. It returns with fresh activities and a brand new array of music line-ups. The weekend includes masterclasses, demonstrations by wellknown chefs, yoga workshops and many activities for children as well. The River Cottage team pride themselves on this being a family-friendly event.

On offer for the festival are weekend tickets and day and gig night tickets, so you can choose to dip into the festival or experience the whole weekend. The idyllic area in which the festival is set really brings to life the vibrant atmosphere which EXE VIEW B18 attracts thousands of new visitors every year to enjoy a weekend of music, dancing NEAR POWDERHAM and food. Sleeping two in Dawlish,


Exe View is a handy base with lots to offer nearby for walkers, golfers, beach/nature lovers and those seeking a car-free holiday in one of Devon’s most idyllic spots.

River Cottage


NEAR RIVER COTTAGE This beautiful, detached, thatched and Grade II listed cottage in Combpyne sleeps up to seven and is a brilliant cottage for couples or families in a hidden, yet accessible location. Image courtesy of: National Trust Images - John Millar

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Discove r the destination on your doorstep Make your escape to the Isles of Scilly this year, and discover the destination that’s like nowhere else in England. You’ll experience the unique charms of Scilly from the moment you check-in with Isles of Scilly Travel, whether you’ve chosen to soar into the skies on a Skybus plane or opted for a leisurely sail on the Scillonian passenger ferry. The Isles of Scilly is a must-see destination located only 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, yet this breathtakingly beautiful cluster of islands feels like an exotic escape, and has so much to offer visitors of all ages, whether it be for a long, lazy summer family holiday, an active weekend break, or even an unforgettable day trip. The Fly/Sail option is especially popular for day trip visitors, with the option of flying over from Land’s End early in the morning, spending a day exploring


the islands and sailing back aboard the Scillonian late afternoon. Sailing on the Scillonian III offers mesmerising views from the deck of the famous Cornish coastline, as well as an opportunity to spot wildlife – the ferry is sometimes accompanied by pods of dolphins on its three-hour journey to Scilly. If you decide to fly, Skybus services leave from Exeter, Newquay and Land’s End Airports and reach Scilly in less than an hour from Exeter, half an hour from Newquay or an all-too-brief 15 minutes from Land’s End, with just enough time to soak up the stunning aerial views before you arrive on St Mary’s. Flights leave from Land’s End and Newquay all year round and from Exeter Airport between March and October.

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Exploring Scilly on two wheels

Factfile • You can fly to the Isles of Scilly from Land’s End in just 15 minutes, half an hour from Newquay or 60 minutes from Exeter Airport

• You can also catch the Scillonian III ferry from Penzance and sail to Scilly accompanied by pods of dolphins. Ferry sailings operate from March to November

• Skybus flights leave in either an 8-seater Islander or a 19-seater Twin Otter plane, but either way, you’ll be able to watch your pilot as he flies to Scilly

However you choose to get there, you’ll arrive to discover a destination that is truly a world apart from everyday life, with deserted stretches of fine white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters waiting for you. There are five inhabited islands, each with its own unique charm and character, and island-hopping is a must with tripper boats making regular stops between St Mary’s, Tresco, Bryher, St Martin’s and St Agnes. Get back to nature with the opportunity to enjoy everything this magical archipelago has to offer in the great outdoors, from snorkelling with seals to embarking on a wildlife boat safari, kayaking to an off-island, exploring tropical gardens or searching out rare birds and historic sites of interest. Or you could just strap on your walking boots and wander at your leisure along the 60 miles of coastal paths and scenic nature trails, which are all bathed in never-ending views across the islands. So what are you waiting for? Make your escape this year - visit www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk or call 01736 334220 to book your Skybus flights or Scillonian ferry tickets to the Isles of Scilly.

• Dogs are welcome too – pet owners can book tickets for their pooch to fly with them in specially designed on-board dog carriers

• Flights offer incredible views of the Cornish coast – and Skybus even sells tickets for scenic flights taking in Cornwall’s iconic coastline

• This year marks the 80th anniversary of flights from Land’s End to Scilly – and the 30th anniversary of the first scheduled Skybus passenger services

• Stay up to date on competitions, offers, events, discounts and news by following @IOSTravel on Twitter or facebook.com/islesofscillytravel

An island paradise

Perfect place for a picnic

Scilly from the sky

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s ie r a s r bu l Helpfu s t s ti r a for Devon West Country artists welcome visitors to their studios this September – join us for revelation and inspiration‌


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Adrian Innocent, from Helpful Holidays, congratulating the bursary winners at The Wood (L125)

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Do you ever ponder the talent, toil and techniques that were applied behind the easel when you fall in love with an amazing seascape or portrait? Here’s your chance to find out… Over 16 days from 9th to 24th September 2017, over 200 artists in 142 venues will open their doors wide for the Devon Artist Network Open Studios event. Helpful Holidays is pleased and proud to sponsor this free event again, which attracts over 35,000 visitors each year. We’re passionate about the region and feel privileged to support wonderfully talented emerging artists who are inspired by the beauty of the West Country. The opportunity to observe behind studio scenes is popular with our holidaymakers too.

Helpful Holidays sponsors the Emerging Artist Bursary scheme, which this year has been awarded to five enterprising artists (see below and page 53). Adrian, from the Helpful Holidays team, is pictured meeting and congratulating the bursary winners at The Wood (L125), a fabulous seaside holiday home accommodating 17 in the nautical Devon town of Salcombe. So come west this autumn for a glimpse into the lives of working artists and maybe head home with your own work of art, purchased at source without gallery commission. We’ve gorgeous Devon cottages available during the event, all pretty as a picture and central bases for touring the studios – you might like to pack your own watercolours too.


SALCOMBE The Wood is a huge, handsome, detached house, set high looking over South Sands. It has the most sensational views along the estuary. Sleeping 17, this is a fabulous holiday home for large groups of family and friends. Devon Open Studios

Annette Pearson, Exmouth This year’s overall winner, Annette specialises in printmaking, experimenting with alcohol inks and combining them with lino and dry point with exciting results.

Devon Open Studios is a unique opportunity to meet artists in their studios in some of the most beautiful, unexplored parts of Devon. In addition to being able to buy art direct from the creator, many demonstrate, give talks or give you a chance to have a go. A cornucopia of art is on offer across Devon when over 200 resident artists and craftspeople open their studios to show and sell their individual artworks to the public each September. The diversity of studios is remarkable, as you can explore venues ranging from potters’ studios in meadows to medieval barns, sinuous sculpture gardens or garrets by the sea. These hidden havens reveal fascinating work in every medium that allows the opportunity to purchase affordable art, direct from the artist and without gallery commission. Venture out on self-guided art tours using the free full colour event guide or just by spontaneously following the yellow arrows scattered about the countryside. Meet the artists, participate in workshops and events or simply create your own journey of discovery in this most spectacular landscape.

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LEMON ARMS Family Friendly

Children Welcome, High Chairs Available

Outside Facilities

Garden/Terrace, Outdoor Dining, Covered Smoking Area

Parking & Access

Stanhope Forbes (1857 – 1947) Gala Day at Newlyn, 1907 Hartlepool Art Gallery © The Artists’ Estate / Bridgeman Images

Stanhope Forbes Father of the Newlyn School 10 June – 9 September 2017 PENLEE HOUSE GALLERY & MUSEUM Morrab Road, Penzance TR18 4HE Tel. 01736 363625 www.penleehouse.org.uk

Dog Friendly House, Dedicated Free On-Site Car Park, Local Free Parking, Full Wheelchair Access

Our Food

Traditional Pub, Fresh Seafood, Vegetarian, Children’s Menu, Gluten Free Options

Lemon Hill • Mylor Bridge •TR11 5NA

01326 373666

www.staustellbrewery.co.uk/ pub/falmouth/lemon-arms

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Cottages nearby

Belinda Reynell, Mid Devon Belinda specialises in oil painting, especially of the Devon coast and moors. She’s now introducing a more abstract style to her seascapes and landscapes.


Caroline Morgan, Exeter Caroline is influenced by her Scandinavian roots, producing hand-cut paper collage-style illustrations, with a special passion for illustrated poetry.

SHALDON A smart, stylish two-storey house for six, right on the beach with panoramic views across the water to Teignmouth. A brilliant place year-round for relaxed waterside living.


Shirley Bebbington, Exeter Shirley has been exploring painting and colour in the area of portraiture, focussing on links between classical portraiture and her sitters’ modern ‘selves’.

SANDFORD Sleeping eight, this smart and peaceful haven retains much original charm. A fabulous, welcoming retreat in a beautiful, tranquil spot for relaxing and walking, with country footpaths to explore.

Nicola Axe, East Devon Nicola is a stone carver who has recently begun applying the styles and subjects of traditional Japanese art when working with stone such as Serpentine and Opal.


SAMPFORD COURTENAY Renovated with care and attention, this detached, thatched cottage for six has glorious, panoramic views to Dartmoor and includes exclusive use of an indoor heated swimming pool.

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Alternative destination


A popular holiday destination in the Ionian Islands, Corfu is famous for its rugged mountains, exquisite shoreline and lush landscape. One of the greenest Greek islands, rural and peaceful Corfu boasts an amazing landscape of breathtaking mountains, iconic cypress trees and olive groves. There are plenty of beaches to choose from; some of the best are on the sandy west coast, such as Marathiá, Gardénos and Íssos, a relaxing haven from the busier resorts of the north. On the east coast lies the capital, Corfu Town, with winding medieval lanes and forts: a UNESCO


A welcoming villa for five close to a quiet beach and tavernas with fabulous views to Corfu town.


World Heritage Site. Corfu is also home to many museums and historical sites, with many of its towns reflecting Venetian, French and British rule over the centuries. The Museum of Asian Art and the Byzantine Museum can be found in Kérkyra Old Town and on the lofty slopes of Mount Pandokrátor lies a museum village, Paleá Períthia, which has remained architecturally unchanged since Venetian times.


A hideaway villa for six in a magical place for peace, relaxation and stunning views.

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Image courtesy of: Dietmar Rabich

Exe and the city

Historic Exeter is a bustling city in the heart of the South West, with plenty of wonderful places to eat, drink, explore and shop.

Shops around the Cathedral Green

Exeter is a city that’s steeped in history. Situated on the River Exe, and the most south-westerly fortified Roman settlement on mainland Britain, the Devon city grew with the rise of the wool trade into the vibrant city and county town that it is today. There’s plenty to see and do, from soaking up the vast array of culture such as the castle ruin and medieval cathedral, to partaking in some retail therapy among the many shopping opportunities. There’s a wonderful juxtaposition of big name brands and quirky independent stores and modern buildings standing shoulder-to-shoulder with medieval structures overhanging the streets below, with narrow cobbled lanes revealing hidden treasures around every corner. You’ll find all the major high street brands you’d expect from a city (over 70 in fact) at Princesshay Shopping Centre, including an Apple Store, Cath Kidston, Gap, Zara and Topshop, amongst others. Centrally located near the cathedral, it’s a great place for meeting friends and grabbing a bite to eat, whether stopping for a quick coffee or sushi. The Guildhall Shopping Centre is home to yet more household brands, including Body


Shop and WH Smith. You’ll also find a luxury spa, should you wish to rest and recuperate with a treatment. Queen St is a dining destination with food to suit every taste and budget, from gourmet burgers and freshly made pizzas, to Scandi, Caribbean, Lebanese and Middle Eastern inspired cuisine. If you’re looking for something you won’t find on the high street, there’s an abundance of interesting and unusual shops in the West Quarter, including The Real McCoy, which stocks a huge collection of vintage and retro clothing. Music fans and budding guitarists must pay a visit to the music mecca, Mansons Guitar Shop – some of the biggest rock stars on the planet have called on its services, from Jimmy Page to Peter Green. The 600-year-old Exeter Cathedral is, in the current Dean’s own words, “one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture anywhere,” and it’s hard to disagree. The impressive vaulted ceiling and a fascinating 15th century astronomical clock are worth the trip alone. As with any cathedral city, the cathedral quarter acts as a centrepiece to the city and creates a lively buzz around its many adjoining streets and lanes.

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Image courtesy of: Benjaminevans82

Shopping at Princesshay

Image courtesy of: Charles Miller

Boutique shops abound

The Cathedral Green is the ideal spot for a picnic in the summer, while in the winter it plays host to a fabulous Christmas Market, perfect for indulging in some yuletide treats and completing your last minute present shopping if you’re enjoying a festive break at one of our cottages. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), a Victorian Gothic Revival building of local red sandstone, is reminiscent of a slightly smaller (yet no less grand) sibling of Kensington’s Natural History Museum. Home to an array of exhibits from ancient Egypt and other fascinating curiosities, including a life-sized elephant and giraffe, it’s free to visit and a captivating destination in the heart of the city. But it’s not just the city centre itself that draws people. Exeter Quayside is popular for its arts and crafts boutiques, as well as the outdoor/indoor activity centre, which offers kayaking, bike hire and Clip ‘n Climb – a fun and safe climbing experience for both children and grown-ups. You’ll also find the contemporary Spacex gallery. There are more places to eat here, including On the Waterfront, offering fantastic views over the quay. Serving a wide range of food, there are many vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available on the menu. Exeter is a well-connected city, with beautiful coastal railways taking you to south Devon and Cornwall and good bus routes that can take you to and from your cottage.

Exeter’s stunning cathedral Exeter Quayside

Cottages nearby

THE BARN B17 NEAR EXETER This home 1½ miles from Chudleigh benefits from views stretching across the countryside. Sleeping six, The Barn has a beautiful open-plan kitchen/dining area with exposed beams.

THE FURROW J42 NEAR EXETER Just outside Tedburn St Mary, a typical Devon village near Exeter, The Furrow sleeps four in style and comfort. The former 16th century barn retains many original features.

THE WOODSHED J121 NEAR EXETER Sleeping four at Upton Pyne, just four miles from Exeter, The Woodshed is an oakframed cottage, once part of a barn, offering superb views over rolling farmland.

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Explore Totnes Discover the range of wonderful independent shops, markets and tea rooms at Totnes. The River Dart winding through Totnes

Totnes describes itself as a town full of hidden gems and when it comes to shopping that really is the case. Nestled in the centre is an array of independent, vibrant and quirky shops. Take a trip there with the family and you’re sure to find something for everyone. For many, a holiday is not truly a holiday until they unwind with a good book. If this is ringing bells, then meander down to Totnes Bookshop. This wonderfully independent store has an extensive range and its helpful staff are always on hand to help you find that perfect holiday read. Next up, why not head over to Firefly, a mini emporium selling a beautiful selection of fashionware, accessories, jewellery, homewares, luscious textiles and much more? Not far away in Civic Square you’ll find the traditional Totnes Market. Open on Friday and


Saturday, come here to browse and buy from a diverse selection of goods, gifts and food. If you love a bargain, you’ll surely find one in the flea market held every Friday in the Civic Hall above the square. For foodies, a visit to the award-winning Totnes Good Food Sunday Market is a must. Here, you’ll find dozens of local producers showcasing delights that are sure to make your mouth water. Totnes has been a significant market town since at least the 12th century and is a treasureland of listed buildings. Lying in a picturesque valley surrounded by lush green rolling hills, it’s the perfect town for walkers, amateur photographers and lovers of wildlife, with many lanes and footpaths to explore and take in the surrounding countryside. Pass over the old stone bridge that crosses the River Dart, and take a stroll up to the Norman

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Cottages nearby

motte and bailey castle, one of the finest examples to be found in England. Whilst in the area, it’s worth paying a visit to Dartington, offering more shops and cafés, including The Shops at Dartington, a unique, luxury retail centre. Relax and have a coffee or even sample The Haven Spa before exploring more shopping delights at this stunning location. During Christmas, late night shopping is also available, ensuring you can find that gift that no one else has! After all that shopping and exploring, a relaxing evening will definitely be on the cards. So why not head over to the Totnes Wine Company and find the perfect tipple to accompany your holiday read?

EAST BICKLEIGH L2 Totnes is a foodie haven

NEAR TOTNES East Bickleigh, sleeping eight near Halwell, is a superb barn conversion providing plenty of space. A games room and indoor heated swimming pool will keep the family entertained.

STERT MILL L278 NEAR TOTNES Close to Diptford and sleeping six, Stert Mill is the ideal escape. Here you can explore the circular woodland walk or simply sit back and listen to the stream trickle by.

The Venus Café at nearby Dartington


Bustling Totnes High Street

Image courtesy of Totnesmartin


The Butterwalk in Totnes

A mile from Stoke Gabriel, this peaceful and picturesque home sleeps four. A lovely outside seating area is perfect for watching passing ducks and even kingfishers over the babbling brook.

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Heavenly Hamlocks 60

With the help of a property management agency, home owner Gillie Turner proved it was possible to renovate her holiday home without being on site.

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Hamlock’s renovated exterior

Cool, calm tones in the bedroom

The light and airy living space

Originally from Devon, Gillie now lives with her husband and children in Kent. Eager to maintain her West Country ties as her parents and twin sister still live there, they bought a property specifically to let out. “We wanted to keep a foothold in Devon,” explained Gillie, “somewhere we could have family holidays and, who knows, eventually retire to!” Understandably, for some, owning a property hundreds of miles from where you live would be a daunting prospect, but for Gillie it was a case of trusting in experts who could take care of the property in her absence.

Gillie chose Hamlocks because of its beautiful, rural location in South Milton, combined with its close proximity (less than a mile) to the beach. When purchased it was structurally sound and had a lovely garden, but Gillie knew there was work to be done in order to bring it up to her exacting standards. “We worked closely with our property manager at Helpful Holidays, who gave advice on what they thought would work best for the renovation. Then it was a case of finding someone who could take on the work, project managing the whole thing, while we were back in Kent.”

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As an award-winning 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 helpfulholidays.co.uk . We look forward to hearing from you.

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Feefo Gold Trusted Merchant 2015 Sunday Times Editor’s Award Winner 2013

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The far-reaching coutryside view

A lovely spot for some alfresco dining

Gillie put her faith in Lola Grogan and her company Montagu South West and wasn’t disappointed. The brief was to transform the property both outside and in – cladding and refreshing the exterior, as well as opening out living areas with bi-fold doors to the garden to create a breezy, seaside feel. Hamlocks also got new windows throughout, as well as updated, funky bathrooms and coastalinspired soft furnishings. “We didn’t want to spend ludicrous amounts of money,” explained Gillie, “but we found that we could achieve what we wanted without breaking the bank. Montagu handled every aspect of the renovation, keeping in contact by email and sending regular photographic updates. If it wasn’t for this, we would have felt very nervous about handing over our beloved holiday home.”

Gillie would recommend having a holiday home in the West Country to anyone, even if you don’t live close by. “Helpful Holidays take care of all of our bookings, while the team at Montagu manages the actual property. Their brilliant cleaner who does our changeovers, picking wildflowers from the garden to greet our guests. She even re-arranged all the pictures at Hamlocks during the renovation, which made a dramatic difference.” For Gillie, and her family, owning Hamlocks is not just a profit-making venture. As long as it pays for itself, she’s happy to have a holiday home in her beloved Devon countryside. www.montagusouthwest.co.uk

Renovation works get underway

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for sale

Throughout the West Country, you’ll find a wealth of properties available for purchase that are ideally suited for holiday rentals. We’ve selected a few of our favourites. L163 From rural thatched retreats, to contemporary coastal residences, whether you’re looking for an investment or a holiday let that you can occasionally enjoy yourself, the West Country is the place in which to find it. What’s more, the Helpful Holidays Property Management Team is always happy to look at property details before a potential purchase, providing you with a realistic income appraisal along with a mortgage letter (if necessary), for which the fee is refundable.



Situated in an elevated position overlooking Noss Creek, this charming cottage is believed to date back to the late 17th century, with many of its original features still intact. While the interior has been sensitively improved by the vendors during their ownership, this period property retains plenty of character, including the period casement windows, projecting chimney stack and original roof structure, which partly account for its Grade II listing. Two


double bedrooms provide comfortable accommodation and a study offers the possibility of a third bedroom, which is ideal if your family is looking to move to the waterside. Outside, a double parking bay provides parking for two cars, while the rear garden has terraced seating and a studio, complete with hot water and electrics. Life in this area is a far cry from that of the city. Picture the wooded slopes of the estuary, climbing up from the River Yealm – a deep-water harbour much favoured by local sailors and a paradise for anyone who likes to sit back and watch the boating world bob by. Pink Cottage is a lifestyle opportunity not to be missed. Whether for a permanent residence or a holiday let, we’d certainly recommend a viewing.


Newton Hill, Newton Ferrers, Plymouth, Devon PL8 1AA 01752 872417 newtonferrers@luscombemaye.com www.luscombemaye.com

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This pair of 16th century cottages in Kingston village ooze timeless character with modern comforts and contemporary fittings. Consisting of Clematis Cottage (L254) and Rose Cottage (L255), with an interconnecting door between the two, Wheel Row can be used as one fivebedroom house or two separate cottages. The properties have been lovingly restored, but enjoy many traditional features, including original beams (some low ceilings) and a wood-burning stove and open fire, as well as a master en suite with planked flooring and panelling made from local shipwreck timbers. Outside, beautiful gardens with patio seating area, lawn and stunning, mature trees, as well as planted shrub borders, provide a wonderful area in which to gather in the sun, especially for those who enjoy a barbecue with a glass of something cold.


You’ll also find brick-paved, private parking. Situated in the South Hams, Kingston village is comprised mostly of pretty cottages, many of which are thatched. The local inn – The Dolphin – as well as the beautiful church, give the village much of its character and nearby, if being on the water is your thing, you’ll find plenty of sailing opportunities at Salcombe. What’s more, you’ll find Dartmoor to the north, with its tors, bridleways, footpaths and off-the-beaten-track adventures to get stuck into. Wheel Row represents a fantastic chance to take over a thriving holiday let (or two) – you couldn’t be blamed for enjoying it yourself, from time to time, but don’t just take our word for it.


4 Broad Street, Modbury, Devon PL21 0PS 01548 831163 modbury@marchandpetit.co.uk www.marchandpetit.co.uk



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96 Kenwyn Street Truro Cornwall TR1 3BX

01872 271535 info@threeriversfurniture.co.uk www.threeriversfurniture.co.uk

Your property matters to you...

...your insurance matters to us

Market-leading insurance cover, designed specifically for holiday let properties in the UK. Dining,living Living&&Bedroom BedroomDining, Collections of Pine, Oak, Painted, Mattresses and more Fast delivery to to room of of choice (including any required construction) Fast Delivery room choice (inclu any required construction) Most Products made in the Southwest Choice of wood & paint finishes

Semi-Bespoke size and alterations available

n Comprehensive cover, tailored to your property n Chartered Insurance Broker n Fully managed claims service To obtain a quotation visit cottagesure.co.uk or call

0800 533 5600

Please mention Helpful Holidays Helpful Holidays Ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Pavey Group Ltd, authorised & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Insurance & Financial Services






ALGAE REMOVAL • Remove green and red algae from buildings • Save £s on redecorating • Roof cleaning GUTTER CLEANING • High reach gutter system • Reach up to 35ft • CCTV inspection • Extraction system • No access equipment PRESSURE WASHING • Patios, Driveways, Soffits



SAFE REMOVAL OF UNSIGHTLY ALGAE GROWTH External Cleaning Services, Trenant Ind Est, Wadebridge PL27 6HB


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This is a brilliant opportunity to purchase a large plot overlooking stunning South Sands. The house, which commands tremendous views towards the Salcombe estuary, offers plenty of living space. The property is modern, detached and surrounded by its own garden backing on to woodland, meaning it’s a truly beautiful spot. Five bedrooms, including a master en suite, as well as three bathrooms and a wellequipped kitchen, offer comfortable and contemporary accommodation and from the master bedroom there are lovely views to wake up to. Outside, there’s sheltered parking for two cars in the form of a double garage, while the house is approached via a winding, sloped driveway, giving a whole new

meaning to the term ‘elevated position’. The South Hams, being possibly one of the most sought-after waterfront locations in the UK, enjoys an unusually warm climate. This, combined with many long, sandy beaches and sheltered coves, means that some of the UK’s finest sailing waters are found here. Salcombe, nearby, is famous for being a yachting hub, providing the perfect base for exploring France, the Channel Islands and the stunning creeks and harbours of the West Country.


19 Southernhay East, Exeter, Devon EX1 1QD 01392 423111 exeter@knightfrank.com www.knightfrank.co.uk

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23/06/2017 11:30

Team favourites MELANIE CASSIDY

Property Manager

Melanie celebrated her ten-year anniversary in 2017 as a property manager for Helpful Holidays. She lives, and works from home, on the beautiful South Hams coast. “I went to school in the area and after a spell of London living and globe-trotting I moved back. I love the West Country and in my job as Property Manager, welcoming owners of cottages to Helpful Holidays, I get to see a fair amount of it – places I know, as well as newly discovered places. I also meet lots of interesting people who are embarking on their holiday letting journey.” The other part of her job that Melanie particularly enjoys, and a service Helpful Holidays offers to all potential owners, is advising on the development and refurbishment of projects right from the very start. “It’s really satisfying seeing projects as they evolve from the early stages, so I always encourage owners’ queries, no matter how trivial they might consider them. Often a first visit involves a hi-viz jacket and a hard hat!” Melanie can be on hand at every stage of a project, from initial idea through to fitting-out and final furnishing, where everything is looking lovely and smart with cushions plumped ready to welcome the first guests. “We’re always happy to help with advice at any stage!”

All of these fit the bill with their fab beach cafés: South Milton Sands, Blackpool Sands and Bigbury-on-Sea. Helpful Holidays has lovely places to stay near all of these, but it takes quite a lot to beat the ‘on-the-beach’ location of the Burgh Island Apartments. We let several apartments there (including L543, L539) and I’ve stayed in and visited quite a few of them. Their views over the vast sandy beach and the stunning sunsets never fail to impress. If gathering with a group of friends, both Avocet (L153) and Curlew (L188) offer the same superb views over Bigbury Bay, but with the added bonus of your very own hot tub to enjoy them from!” Modern coastal living (L188)

Expansive sea views from the Burgh Island Apartments

When not working, Melanie loves to explore the local area. “I’m spoiled for choice with so many beautiful beaches in the South Hams, but I do have a favourite three! There’s something lovely (and reminiscent of my travels to warmer climes) about sitting on the beach in late afternoon sun with a decent cappuccino and an even better book.


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Website Development Manager Caroline joined Helpful Holidays 11 years ago. For Caroline, living in the West Country is all about achieving a good work-life balance, especially as she has a young family. “I love my desk at the quiet end of the office with the computer facing the window. I’m a website developer and value the concentration space it gives me. I also relish the ever-changing puzzles and challenges I’m given as part of my role, but equally benefit from the fact that my job at Helpful Holidays is not all-consuming. I get to go home at a reasonable hour and live a healthy life with my family. Working with such lovely people also helps get the balance right!” Caroline is an avid patchwork quilter and loves to get her sewing machine out in her spare time and play with different colours and patterns. “I also like to explore the West Country, finding somewhere new to eat and taking pictures of my little family enjoying the great outdoors. There are so Sociable dining (J8)

many beautiful views and greenery in the hedgerows and beaches in almost every direction. You couldn’t want for more.” One of Caroline’s favourite spots is Fingle Bridge on the River Teign. “It’s great for walks and a pub lunch and our little two year old son loves to run about, paddle and play ball here. We also enjoy visiting Exmouth with its sandy beach. We go there by train and take a portable barbecue in the summer for cooking up an alfresco supper.” Working for Helpful Holidays means that Caroline can experience the great range of cottages for herself. “We had a lovely family holiday at Lower Barley Hayes (J8) with my family. Its location near Torrington is very quiet and private, set in a wooded river valley. Being located right next to a stream and a really lovely stretch of the Tarka Trail meant that we could explore the countryside almost from our doorstep. You’re also not far from the Dartington Crystal factory where we blew our own glass tumblers.” Charming Lower Barley Hayes (J8)

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Rohrs & Rowe offer a very different approach to traditional estate agents. Our focus is not just on the property but also its location and the lifestyle opportunities which it enables. We provide the most visually appealing presentation in the market today through our professional photography and unique use of aerial videos. Combine this with targeted social media marketing campaigns, which enable us to provide our clients with the most up-to-date and technologically advanced marketing available today. These proven techniques will make a property stand out from the competition, they widen the market and create saleability, which ultimately potentially adds value. We also offer options for discrete marketing to targeted buyers we have every angle covered.


www.rohrsandrowe.co.uk | info@rohrsandrowe.co.uk 01872 306 360

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Distance 4.2 miles (6.7 km) Start Warren Car Park - PL8 1EW

Experience the many faces of maritime south Devon in one walk: the open sea and coast, a sheltered estuary, wooded riverbanks and the waterfront villages of Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers with their chocolate-box charm.

1. Leave the National Trust car park at the Warren through the wooden gate at the far end and join the footpath towards the sea. Pass through the five-barred gate and turn right on to the Coast Path along Revelstoke Carriage Drive. After a short distance, the route passes Warren Cottage, which was at one time the lunch stop for Lord Revelstoke and his guests.

2. Pass in front of Warren Cottage and continue, following the Coast Path. Dolphins and porpoises can sometimes be seen from this section of the walk, along with grey seals. The seals may be ‘hauled out’ on the rocks below, or in the water with just their heads visible above the waves. 3. 250m beyond Battery Cottage, either bear left along a footpath through the woods (grade

moderate), or continue along the drive. Both routes join again after a further 700m. In the woods along the river estuary, younger trees are thinned out to allow in more light. This encourages wildflowers, such as primroses and violets.

4. 20m after the routes meet, there is another choice. Bear right on to the footpath through Ferry Wood alongside the road (grade moderate), or continue to follow the road itself. The two routes join after another 800m. Those who have the time can cross the water by the seasonal ferry and explore the village of Newton Ferrers. 5. Follow the road through Noss Mayo village. At a sharp left-hand uphill bend, turn right, by a cottage called Yonda Coombe. Go past the

Newton Ferrers

car park and tennis courts and follow the lane. At the road, turn left and immediately right into the car park. NEARBY REFRESHMENTS There are several pubs in Noss Mayo and across the water in Newton Ferrers, all serving food and drink, including local beers. PUBLIC TRANSPORT Bus service 94 from Plymouth and Yealmpton to Noss Mayo. PARKING Small National Trust car park at the Warren. For more great walks visit southwestcoastpath.org.uk

helpfulholidays.co.uk | 01647 434360

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01736 366550 • 01872 888400 • www.harrisbegley.co.uk

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help you

Matt Begley, retirement planning expert at Harris Begley, explains the importance of getting the right advice when it comes to releasing equity from your home. When the idea first came about, Equity Release meant you could achieve the finer things in life by releasing money from the very bricks and mortar of your home – a yacht, big holiday, new car! Now, it’s become much more than that, allowing individuals aged 55 and over to release money from their homes, either in the form of a lump sum or in regular intervals, helping fund their day-to-day lives. Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Equity Release is now an invaluable tool when it comes to funding retirement, but there are some things you need to know before plunging headlong into a plan. For instance, there are two types of Equity Release that may apply to you, the first being ‘lifetime mortgages’ and the second being ‘home reversion’ plans. Lifetime mortgages This route requires you taking a mortgage that doesn’t demand monthly repayments. “Generally speaking,” explains Matt, “the loan and rolled-up interest are repaid by your estate when the

last person living in your home (and on your plan) either passes away or is moved into care. Funds can be received either in a lump sum, or in smaller increments as a steady income.” Home reversion With a home reversion plan, however, your provider will purchase your home – or a part of it – allowing you to live there for the rest of your life. “Taking into account your age and health, they will pay you with a tax-free lump sum, or you can again choose to receive regular payments. One advantage of such a plan is that you’ll be able to occupy the house with the same restrictions as if you still owned it privately,” continues Matt. Each of these categories offer many options, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages, which is why it’s crucial that you seek financial advice prior to choosing one. Without the appropriate advice, you may find that your tax position is affected, or indeed your eligibility for means-tested

benefits or ability to move or to sell your home. It’s also important that your adviser has the relevant, professional qualifications. “Making the right decisions for your future can seem a daunting prospect and it’s essential that you take expert advice,” says Matt. “Harris Begley takes pride in offering a personal service that takes your individual circumstances into account.” Get in touch for a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your requirements and plan for a brighter future.

HARRIS BEGLEY FINANCIAL PLANNING Penzance office The Regent, Chapel Street, Penzance TR18 4AE 01736 366550 Truro office Health & Wellbeing Innovation Centre, Treliske, Truro TR1 3FF 01872 888400 matt.begley@harrisbegley.co.uk www.harrisbegley.co.uk

helpfulholidays.co.uk | 01647 434360

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From festivals to fairs and shows to regattas, Cornwall has a wealth of events taking place throughout the year. Make sure you make a note in your diary so as not to miss your favourite!


Image courtesy of: Paul Williams

What’s on



Image courtesy of: C Faruolo


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Rock Oyster Festival St Breock

Jun 30 - Jul 2

Vintage Rally and Country Fair Padstow

Jul 17

Stithians Agricultural Show Stithians

Jul 1

Bodmin Riding and Heritage Day Bodmin

Jul 22 - 28 Charlestown Regatta Week  Charlestown

Jul 1 - 15

Lafrowda Festival St Just-in-Penwith

Jul 27 - 30

Port Eliot Festival St Germans

Jul 25 - Aug 4

St Endellion Summer Music Festival St Endellion

Aug 9

Camelford Agricultural Show Camelford

Aug 4

Symphony by the Sea Lusty Glaze Beach, Newquay

Aug 18 - 20

Cornish Steam and Country Fair Stithians

Aug 4 - 13

Falmouth Week Falmouth

Aug 19

Bude Carnival Bude

Aug 5

St Michael’s Mount Swim Marazion

Aug 28

Newlyn Fish Festival Newlyn

Sep 9 - 23

St Ives September Festival St Ives

Sep 7 - 10

Heritage Open Days Throughout Cornwall

Sep 10 - 18

South East Cornwall Walking Festival Looe

Sep 8 - 10

Mining and Pasty Festival Redruth

Sep 15 - 16

Fowey Valley Music Festival Fowey

Sep 8 - 10

Newquay Fish Festival Newquay

Sep 22 - 24

Great Cornish Food Festival Truro

Oct 19 - 21

Falmouth Beer Festival Falmouth

Oct 21

The Tempest Coast Path Run Minack Theatre, Porthcurno

Oct 21 - 28

Halloweden Eden Project, St Austell


Jul 7 - 8

Aug 29 - Sep 1 Bude Jazz Festival Bude


Tunes in the Dunes Perranporth

Sep 29 - Oct 1 Looe Music Festival Looe Oct 4

Callington Honey Fair Callington

Oct 6 - 7

Oktoberfest Truro Truro

Oct 12 - 15

Falmouth Oyster Festival Falmouth

Oct 21 - 29 Halloweek Lappa Valley Steam Railway, Newquay


Jun 30 - Jul 2

Nov 2 - 5

Lowender Peran Festival Newquay

Nov 22

Truro City of Lights Truro

Nov 3

Fireworks at Swanpool Beach Swanpool Beach

Nov 24 - 26

Fowey Christmas Market Fowey

Nov 5

Sunset, Fire and Feast Mawgan Porth

Nov 25 - 26

Bedruthan Christmas Craft Fair Mawgan Porth

Nov 18

St Austell Torchlight Carnival St Austell

Nov 27 - Dec 24

Christmas in Falmouth Falmouth



JULY 2017


Dec 2 - 3

Flambards Christmas Fayre Helston

Dec 7 - 10

Padstow Christmas Festival Padstow

Dec 16 - Jan 6

Mousehole Christmas Lights Mousehole

Dec 12 - 17

Truro Victorian Christmas Market Truro

Dec 23

Tom Bawcock’s Eve Mousehole

Dec 16 - 17

Nadelik Lowen - Cornish Christmas Pendennis Castle, Falmouth

Dec 30 Winter Steam Up Bodmin and Wenford Railway, Bodmin

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28/06/2017 09:18

There’s never a dull moment in Devon, with events happening across the county every weekend. So, whether you’re interested in food, music or full-on festivities, there’s sure to be an event happening to inspire and delight you.


Image courtesy of: H Coombes




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12th UK Taiko Festival Exeter

Jul 7 - 9

Glas-Denbury Denbury

Jul 1 - 2

South Devon 1940s Festival Buckfastleigh

Jul 16

Clovelly Maritime Festival Clovelly

Jul 2

Dartmoor Classic Sportive Cycling Event Newton Abbot Racecourse

Jul 21 - 22

Chagstock Music Festival Whiddon Down

Jul 6 - 8

Exeter Craft Festival Cathedral Green, Exeter

Jul 30

Totnes and District Agricultural Show Berry Pomeroy

Aug 4 - 6

Torbay Steam Fair Churston Ferrers

Aug 17

Chagford Show Chagford

Aug 4 - 11

Sidmouth Folk Week Sidmouth

Aug 18 - 23

Torbay Royal Regatta Torquay

Aug 5

Shaldon Water Carnival Shaldon

Aug 24 - 26

Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta Dartmouth

Aug 9 - 10

British Firework Championships Plymouth

Aug 27

Ilfracombe Carnival Ilfracombe

Sep 2 Sep 3 Sep 9 Sep 9 - 24

Kingsbridge Show Kingsbridge Lobster and Crab Feast Clovelly Ashburton Food Festival Ashburton Devon Open Studios Throughout Devon

Sep 13 - 17

Agatha Christie Festival Torquay


Oct 1

Totnes Raft Race Buckfastleigh

Oct 13 - 21

Two Moors Festival Dartmoor and Exmoor

Oct 7 - 8

Powderham Food Festival Powderham Castle

Oct 15

Cockington Apple Day Cockington

Oct 11

Goosey Fair Tavistock

Oct 20 - 22

Dartmouth Food Festival Dartmouth

Oct 13 - 15

Beer R&B Music Festival Beer

Oct 28

Apple Day Clovelly

Nov 2 Nov 3 - 5 Nov 5 Nov 7 - 8

Michaelmas Fair Powderham Castle Diesel Gala Buckfastleigh Tar Barrels Ottery St Mary Cathedral Winter Fair Exeter

Nov 11

Warm Up to Christmas 2017 Tavistock

Nov 18

Clovelly Herring Festival Clovelly

Nov 18

Plymouth Christmas Show 2017 Plymouth

Nov 25

Lanterns, Lights and ‘luminations Brixham

Nov 18 - Dec 17

Exeter Christmas Market Exeter

Dec 2 - 3

Westcountry Equine Fair Westpoint, Exeter

Dec 6

Victorian Evening Newton Abbot

Dec 3

Clovelly Christmas Lights Clovelly

Dec 10

Christmas at Cricklepit Exeter

Dec 13

Lantern Parade Newton Abbot

Dec 16

Christmas at Paignton Zoo Paignton




JULY 2017

Jun 30 - Jul 2



Dec 3 - 24 Santa By Steam South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh

Sep 22 - Oct 1 Appledore Book Festival Appledore Sep 23 - 29

Sidmouth Walking Festival Sidmouth

Sep 30 - Oct 1 Autumn Gala Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

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28/06/2017 09:18

What’s on When planning your holidays to Dorset or Somerset this year, be sure to take note of the great events happening across both counties. We wouldn’t want you to miss out!





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JULY 2017



Jul 8

RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day RNAS Yeovilton

Jun 30 - Jul 2 Purbeck Pirate Festival Swanage

Jul 15 - 16

The Yeovil Show Yeovil Showground

Jul 8 - 9

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival Weymouth Harbour

Jul 27 - 30

Lowland Games Thorney Lakes, Nr Langport

Jul 19 - 23

Wareham Carnival Wareham

Jul 28 - 29

Farmfest Gilcombe Farm, Bruton

Jul 27 - Aug 31 Summer Breeze on the Quay Poole

Aug 4 - 5

Taunton Flower Show Taunton

Aug 5

Dorset Food and Arts Festival Poundbury

Aug 12 - 13

RNLI Harbour Fest Minehead

Aug 15 - 16

Weymouth Carnival Weymouth

Aug 12 - 20

Bath Folk Festival Bath

Aug 19 - 20

Food Rocks Festival Lyme Regis

Aug 19 - 20

Yesterday’s Farming Show Near Ilminster

Aug 24 - 28

Great Dorset Steam Fair Blandford Forum

Sep 1 - 2

St Bartholomew’s Street Fair Crewkerne

Aug 31 - Sep 3

Bournemouth Air Festival Bournemouth Seafront

Sep 2

SheppyFest Music and Cider Festival Bradford-on-Tone

Sep 2 - 3

Dorset County Show Dorchester Showground

Sep 9 - 10 Wells Heritage Open Days Wells

Sep 9 - 10

Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival Sturminster Newton

Sep 16 - 17

Sep 16 - 24

Walk Swanage Festival Swanage

Oct 7 Ilminster Carnival Ilminster

Oct 7 - 8

Bournemouth Marathon Festival Bournemouth

Oct 8

Wells Food Festival Wells

Oct 12 - 29

Enchanted Floodlit Gardens Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

Oct 15 - 19

New Music Wells Festival Wells Cathedral

Oct 21 - 29 King Tut’s Treasure Hunt The Tutankhamun Exhibition, Dorchester

Weston Super Food Festival Weston-super-Mare

Oct 21 - 29 Haunted Haynes Week Haynes International Motor Museum

Oct 28

Fireworks Spectacular National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

Nov 4

Firework Extravaganza Sherborne Castle

Nov 4

Sherborne Castle Fireworks Sherborne

Nov 4

Bridgwater Carnival Bridgwater

Nov 5

Fireworks Display Poole Quay

Nov 18 Glastonbury Carnival Glastonbury

Nov 5

Weymouth Bonfire Night Weymouth

Nov 25 - 26

Nov 5 - 12

Bridport Literary Festival Bridport

Dec 3

Wyke Square Christmas Fayre Weymouth

Dec 9 - 24

Sail With Santa Poole Quay

Dec 10 - 24

Santa Specials Swanage Railway

Dec 25

Christmas Day Harbour Swim Weymouth Harbour

Weston Super Food Christmas Festival Weston-super-Mare

Dec 1 - 2 Dunster by Candlelight Dunster Dec 10

Santa by Helicopter Helicopter Museum, Weston-super-Mare

Dec 15 - 16

Casino Noel Christmas Party Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare

Dec 29 - 30

Winter Steam Festival West Somerset Railway

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28/06/2017 09:19

From Hound Tor Image courtesy of: DNPA


We meet Philip Reeve at his home on Dartmoor, and take a revealing peek inside the fascinating mind of this award-winning author.

Image courtesy of: Sarah McIntyre

Philip with his wife Sarah


We head deep into the heart of Dartmoor to meet Carnegie Medal winning author Philip Reeve at home – a charming country cottage with sweeping views of rolling hills dotted with sheep and wild ponies. Philip lives here on the moor with his wife, Sarah, and their teenage son, Sam. Today, however, he is accompanied by their poodle, Frodo, who jealously guards the sofa, eyeing up the digestives conspiratorially. Philip is welcoming, affable and frequently self-effacing, chatting easily over a cup of tea. Philip has won the acclaim of both critics and readers with his colourful, richly imagined stories, beloved of the young adult audience. His critically lauded masterpiece, Mortal Engines, is currently receiving the Hollywood blockbuster treatment by Universal Studios. An author operating at the very pinnacle of success, the first in his latest trilogy, Railhead, has been shortlisted for another Carnegie Medal. A gentle humour and mischievous touch run throughout his work. His only limitation is his imagination, which just happens to be as vast and vivid as the worlds his characters inhabit. But Philip’s literary career actually began as a freelance illustrator, working on the popular Horrible Histories series, “knocking out 10 or 15 of them every year” throughout the 1990s. Working to a strict brief, there was little opportunity to exercise his fertile imagination. So, in his spare time he put pen to paper,

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Philip Reeve

eventually shaping his first proper novel, Mortal Engines. “It started out as a bit of a hobby really, which writing has always been to me, like having a train set to tinker with on days off... when you can’t get to sleep at night, thinking up storylines and characters. There was never any moment where I thought, ‘I want to be a writer’; it was just something I was doing. Luckily, it sold well enough that the publisher wanted more.” Like his hero, Tolkien, Philip has that rare knack for creating his own unique universe, fully-formed and entirely authentic in every detail, then furnishing it with interesting and flawed, three-dimensional characters; at once otherworldly yet familiar, futuristic yet grounded within our own reality. He often spends as much time mulling over his characters and their world as he does actually writing, as the journey takes shape in his head. “I’m always thinking visually, but I think writing is much more filmic than illustrative; it’s much more akin to making a movie in your head than painting a picture...” It’s pertinent, then that just a week later, Philip will visit the New Zealand filmset where legendary filmmaker Peter Jackson and his team are adapting Mortal Engines for the big screen. If anyone can bring Philip’s complex world to life, it’s the multi Oscar-winning crew behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy who did what many said was impossible. You sense Philip’s genuine excitement and anticipation of the results.

Image courtesy of: DNPA

Image courtesy of: Sarah McIntyre

A small selection of Philip Reeve’s acclaimed works


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28/06/2017 10:01

The Moor

While Philip originally hails from Brighton, his adopted home holds a magnetic draw over him. “I’ve always liked Dartmoor since I was a child... I remember going to Hound Tor when I was about eight or nine with my parents, and thinking it was the most amazing place I’d ever seen. I loved Dartmoor instantly. Then in my teens I discovered the illustrator Brian Froud’s work, which at the time was very much infused with the spirit of the moor, reinforcing the notion of Dartmoor in my mind, and giving me the idea that I wanted to be an illustrator.” While Dartmoor slipped to the back of Philip’s mind, its draw would prove compelling, and after several holidays with his wife, Sarah, they eventually made the permanent move. “I was a full-time freelance illustrator by then, so I could pretty much live wherever I wanted... so I wanted to live in the middle of Dartmoor! It’s a nice place to work because I can go out and walk, and think.” Yet for someone who has made his name largely for sculpting futuristic landscapes, at first this feels at odds with Dartmoor’s rugged semi-wilderness. Look closer, however, and you’ll see how it has seeped into his work, whether the borrowing of geographic names (lead character, Tom Natsworthy in Mortal Engines) or even the landscape itself, as Philip recounted upon the release of Railhead. “A few years ago, we went to Lydford Gorge, on the far side of Dartmoor. It’s a place about as unlike a futuristic industrial city as you could imagine. The River Lyd flows through the deep gorge. There is a famous waterfall called The White Lady, and a beautiful, mossy path leading


The author near his home on Dartmoor

Image courtesy of: Sarah McIntyre

Image courtesy of: DNPA

Haytor, Dartmoor

up through the oak woods, beside the rapids. There’s also a spot called Devil’s Cauldron where the river plunges down into a deep chasm. Some previous landowner bolted metal walkways to the rock-faces so that sightseers could venture closer. The walkways are rusted now and maybe unsafe... But looking at them from the higher path made me think about a whole city built in that way, jutting from vertical cliff faces, half drowned in waterfall spray. Ideas lie in wait for us in the landscape, and they’re not always the ideas that we expect.” And there are more immediate influences too, such as the upcoming The Dartmoor Pegasus, the next instalment from his Reeve and McIntyre collaborative series for early readers. It’s interesting to note how many significant connections in Philip’s life have gone full circle, many of these deeply rooted in the geography of Dartmoor. The other great connection, of course, is his literary influence – growing up on a diet of Tolkien, then years later having his own book adapted for the screen by the very same filmmaker who so successfully adapted Tolkien. Yet for all these connections, Philip is ever keen to push things forward, refusing to be conveniently categorised into one genre or audience, never one to go stale as a writer. “If you’re going to keep a career going for a long time,” he muses, “it is vitally important that you change every so often and do something different... you have to keep pulling the rug out from under your feet.”



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Helpful Holidays Discover Issue 10

Helpful Holidays Discover Issue 10  

Helpful Holidays Discover Issue 10


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