So much Easter fun to be had in South Devon!

At Beeson Farm we love the Easter holidays! The lanes are dripping in primroses and wildflowers, lambs are in the fields and the days are getting much longer- perfect for long and lazy afternoons on the beach.

The local villages really embrace the start of Easter and the start of the holiday season, so here are our top picks for an egg-cellent Easter in South Devon!

On Easter Sunday morning join us on the farm to see what the Easter Bunny has been up to.  We guarantee there will be plenty of chocolate Easter eggs hiding around the farm, cottages and courtyard for our youngest guests!
Head over to the annual South Pool Easter Fun Day on 31 March (Approx 10 mins from Beeson Farm). The fun takes place alongside the estuary in the pretty village of South Pool, home to the fabulous Millbrook Inn.  Be sure to turn up with your Easter Bonnet ready for the children’s egg hunt and bonnet competition from 12:15pm and then marvel at the South Pool duck race from 2pm.  You can choose your rubber duck and cheer it on as it floats to victory down the estuary! There will be a BBQ and live music at the pub throughout the afternoon.  East Soar Outdoor Experience is situated on a National Trust farm in one of the most breath-taking parts of the South Devon headland, just above the picturesque town of Salcombe (approx 15 mins drive from Beeson Farm).  Their yearly Easter family fun days are hugely popular with locals and guests alike and will run from Friday 30th March – Wednesday 3rd April – 11am daily, £3 per child.Easter bonnet

East Prawle is Devon’s most southerly village and The Pigs Nose Magical Easter Extravaganza is back for 2018 on 1st April (approx 5 min drive from Beeson Farm).  It’s going to be a day of family entertainment for all, with Lez the Fez and even the Easter bunny itself making a visit.  Head to the Pigs Nose for a fun day out and a chance to win some Easter prizes.  The afternoon kicks off at 2.30pm with the Easter Bonnet and boiled egg design competition before the egg rolling race and treasure hunt.

At Beeson Farm we have five family friendly cottages sleeping 4-6.  Easter is an ideal time to book exclusive use of the site for a large family/friends getaway.

Louise

www.beesonhols.co.uk

 

 

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A trip to Bickleigh Mill is a must!

Bickleigh millBickleigh Mill, near Tiverton, combines an artisan shopping experience, fine dining and a base for local recreational activities all in a picturesque environment.  The building itself, is an historic 18th century working water mill and is open 7 days a week from 10.00am.Bickleigh mill shopping

The gift shop sells a treasure trove of items to delight both young and old – framed prints, clothing and accessories, jewellery, home furnishings and traditional toys and crafts to inspire the children.

Bickleigh Mill diningThe bistro bar and restaurant is open from 10am – 5pm every day and later on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year.  It serves a variety of light and main meals, also catering for vegetarian and gluten free diners and offers the best in seasonal produce, all sourced from local suppliers and delivered fresh to the Mill.

Bickleigh Mill is situated between Exeter and Tiverton in the Exe Valley.  Set in 10 acres of land, the Mill has its own waterways and walks that can make your visit complete. For any outdoor enthusiast this idyllic setting is a must and there are many other local attractions within a short distance.

Posted in Member Farms, Restaurants, Retail, walks

Extend World Book Day and hibernate with a good read!

As the weather is only really good for sledging or hibernating we think World Book Day (yesterday) should be extended!

Devon has inspired many authors, and South Devon is still a creative hub of artists & craftsmen who are inspired by the stunning and diverse area in which we live.  It’s no wonder that celebrated writers such as Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle, RD Blackmore, Henry Williamson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge – to name only a few – all have links in one way or another with Devon.

Here is our top pick of books with a Devon connection:

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was born in Torquay and as a child she enjoyed all aspects of an English Riviera social life: roller-skating along the pier, going to dances, dinners and balls and bathing in the sea.  She later spent many happy years at Greenway House, her holiday home on the banks of the River Dart, now owned by the National Trust.  Greenway is a magical place to explore for all the family, the house is charmingly cluttered, and there are acres of grounds filled with meandering walks, hidden follies and views of the River Dart. Agatha Christie set three of her novels here – Five Little Pigs, Dead Man’s Folly (in which the boat house is the scene of the crime) and Ordeal by Innocence.

Agatha Christie set ‘And Then There Were None’ on a fictional island off the coast of Devon, inspired by Burgh Island at Bigbury.  It is also the setting for the Hercule Poirot mystery ‘Evil Under the Sun’.

Greenway House is approximately a 20 minute drive from Beeson Farm (if you travel via foot ferry from Dittisham).  You can find information on visiting the house here:   https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway

Burgh Island and Bigbury beach are approximately 35 minutes from Beeson Farm by car.  The beach is a popular spot with many of our visitors who enjoy the large stretches of sand as well as surf lessons from the surf school.

Michael MorpurgoMichael Morpurgo book

Celebrated author, and resident of Dartmoor, Michael Morpurgo has written some of our best loved children’s books.  War Horse and Farm Boy were set on Dartmoor, but The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips is a favourite with us.  Set in 1943, Lily Tregenza lives on a farm in the idyllic seaside village of Slapton.  Her life is scarcely touched by the war until one day her family, along with all of the other villagers, are told to move out of their homes. Soon, the whole area is out of bounds as the Allied forces practice their landings for D-day, preparing to invade France.  Tips, Lily’s adored cat, has other ideas.  Barbed wire and keep-out signs mean nothing to her, nor does the danger of guns and bombs.  Frantic to find her, Lily decides to cross the wire into the danger zone to look for Tips herself…

Torcross and Slapton Sands are a 10 minute drive from Beeson Farm.  Visitors can see the memorial to the hundreds of Allied soldiers who lost their lives in Operation Tiger as well as the Sherman Tank that was recovered from the sea and now stands as a place of remembrance.

You can read more about Operation Tiger here: http://www.exercisetigerslapton.org

Arthur Conan Doyle

Dartmoor provides the backdrop for The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle; perhaps his most famous and best loved novel.  The novel is believed to be based on the story of local ‘monstrously evil man’ Richard Cabell of Buckfastleigh (his tomb still stands in Buckfastleigh churchyard).  Legend has it that when he died in the 1670s, fire-breathing dogs raced howling across the moor.  Baskerville Hall itself is argued to be either Hayford Hall or Brook Manor, both near Buckfastleigh, and many believe that Fox Tor Mire was the setting for the fictional Great Grimpen Mire.

Dartmoor is approximately a 40 minute drive from Beeson Farm. Visit the Dartmoor Visitor Centre (https://www.visitdartmoor.co.uk/things-to-do/dartmoor-national-park-visitor-centre-princetown-p140393) to find out more about the Hound of the Baskervilles.

Devon Cookbooks

If your reading tastes are more of the non-fiction variety then there are a plethora of cookbooks inspired by our local produce. The well-known Riverford box scheme began when Guy Watson started delivering vegetables locally to 30 friends in Devon.  They now deliver around 47,000 boxes a week to homes around the UK from our regional farms and their cookbook contains a great variety of seasonal recipes.  The Farm Kitchen at Riverford is approximately a 30 minute drive from Beeson Farm, find out more here: https://www.riverford.co.uk/restaurant

The newly published Devon Cook Book (http://www.foodanddrinkdevon.co.uk/devon-cook-book) celebrates the best of the county’s food scene with over 50 recipes from a wide selection of local foodie businesses.  These include some of Devon’s finest local restaurants, delis, gastro pubs, cafes and local suppliers (such as the South Devon Chilli Farm, a 20 minute drive from Beeson Farm – https://www.southdevonchillifarm.co.uk/).  To browse these and many more titles visit the Harbour Book Shop in Kingsbridge, on Mill Street at the bottom of the town.

Cottages at Beeson Farm are well stocked with good reads.  Sit and relax in the farm grounds or on the beach with a good read on your next stay with us!

www.beesonhols.co.uk

 

Posted in Beach, Member Farms

Fursdon Orchards’ Apple Juice

At Fursdon, there are some very old orchards which are tucked away on the estate and not seen much by visitors, but the apples that come from them are accessible to all in the form of Fursdon apple juice.  Come October there is a great gathering and bagging from ground and tree and they are taken to be pressed and pasteurised before returning in the form of this pure, sweet, tangy golden liquid.

Visitors coming to Devon to stay in Fursdon’s holiday homes, The Park Wing, Garden Wing and Fursdon Cottage will find a complimentary bottle of Fursdon apple juice as part of their welcome and there is a ready supply for them to buy.

It is also sold in Fursdon’s Coach Hall tea room, which is open to the public, from Easter Monday to the end of September, on Bank Holidays, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Visitors here can buy it by the glass or in a bottle to take away. On a hot day there is nothing more refreshing after a tour of Fursdon House or a stroll in the grounds and gardens and, if it is chilly, Fursdon Apple juice is wonderful warmed and spiced. Just once in a while cider is made, but that is mostly a treat for the family! http://www.fursdon.co.uk/

Cider bottles and view- Fursdon

Apples - Fursdon

Posted in Member Farms, Recipes, Retail

Our equine family have just enjoyed their annual winter break!

Devenish Pitt poniesOur  horses and ponies have just had their annual 4 week break after another busy year.  As well as our holiday cottages, we have a superb family of reliable mounts to suit all sizes and abilities of rider.  Our riding school was established in the early 1960s and we offer hacks and lessons from a friendly team of very experienced instructors.  You can also hack out in the beautiful surrounding countryside and have numerous routes over our 260 acre farm and common, local bridleways and forestry to choose from.  We can offer quiet family rides in the valley or faster rides across our field and common.  Come and meet our equine family!

Alison

www.devenishpitt.com

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Pancake Day at Beeson Farm

 

Pancake Day is a firm favourite with our family – especially the dog, who waits expectantly for any failed flips and pancakes falling from the heavens! Although we love a good, fluffy, American-style pancake for breakfast, we think for pancake day you’ve got to go traditional.

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

Ingredients:

100g plain flour

2 large eggs

300ml milk

1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying

lemon wedges, to serve (optional)

caster sugar, to serve (optional)

Put the flour, eggs, milk, 1 tbsp oil and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter. Set aside for 30 mins to rest if you have time, or start cooking straight away.

Set a medium frying/crepe pan over a medium heat and lightly wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper. When hot, cook your pancakes for 1 min on each side until golden, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go.

Serve with lemon wedges and sugar, or your favourite filling. Beeson pancake

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

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

If you prefer to go out for pancakes we can recommend The Seabreeze Cafe at Torcross for big American fluffy style pancakes, The Tower Inn at Slapton (Kids all you can eat pancakes for £5) and Valley View Cafe at Aune Valley near Loddiswell.

www.beesonhols.co.uk

Posted in Member Farms, Recipes

Plenty of half term options nearby to Orchard Meadow…

If you’re wondering what to do over half term, with so much in close proximity in East Devon, we can always point you in the right direction.

Local activities include:

Pecorama – set on the hillside above the picturesque village of Beer, this popular tourist venue includes a display of model railways, pretty gardens, a shop, and you can take a ride on the Beer Heights Light Railway. (20 minutes away)Pecorama

Seaton Tramway – Seaton Tramway operates narrow gauge heritage trams between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton in the glorious Axe Valley.  Travelling alongside the River Axe estuary through two nature reserves, you get an unrivalled view of the abundant wading bird life. (20 minutes away)

Seaton Jurassic centre – Share the excitement of the discoveries made by local fossil hunters, geologists and evolutionary-thinkers as they uncovered the stories of life on Earth. With loads of hands-on activities and a fun garden to explore you’ll have a great day out whatever the weather! (20 minutes away)

Seaton Wetlands – A must for those twitchers amongst you as you enjoy beautiful marshland and reedbeds alongside the River Axe.  There are five bird hides and nearly 4km of level trails and boardwalks suitable for wheelchair, bike and pushchairs.  It’s a countryside haven and home to an abundance of wildlife.   Seaton Wetlands is made up of four main sites – Seaton Marshes, Black Hole Marsh, Colyford Common and Stafford Marsh. (20 minutes away)

Bicton Gardens  – Award Winning World Heritage Botanical Gardens open to the public all year.  Wander at your leisure around this stunning site or let the small gauge train service take the strain.  Shop, café and a wonderful children’s play area. (20 minutes away)

Crealy Adventure Park – Over 100 acres of beautiful countryside to explore, 60 rides and attractions (plenty of undercover areas in case the weather is inclement) to get the heart pumping and the kids squealing with delight.  There’s also a wide range of cute and cuddly animal residents. (25 minutes away)

Radway Cinema in Sidmouth – This lovely old fashioned cinema is a delight to visit, with lovely décor, comfy seats with tables for your drinks and friendly and accommodating staff. Currently showing the latest Wallace and Gromit film, ‘Early Man’. (20 minutes away)

Ruth

http://www.stubbhayne-farm-cottage-devon.co.uk/holiday-cottage.html 20180101_144504

 

 

 

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Half Term options in South Devon…

There is plenty of fun to be found to suit all ages and budgets this Half Term in South Devon.

Here is our pick of whats on locally:

Woodlands Family Theme Park, near Dartmouth (approximately 20 minutes from Beeson Farm). During half term it’s Superhero and Princess Week, with winter prices of only £7.50 per person.  When children dress up as a superhero or a princess they will get a free child return ticket to visit the park again before 25th March 2018. There will be live entertainment 13th, 14th and 15th February 2018. https://www.woodlandspark.com/

Pennywell Farm (approximately 45 mins from Beeson Farm). Become a Pennywell VIP with a February Half Term return ticket. A full price day admission ticket gives you a FREE return for the rest of half term so you can visit as many times as you like! With a full day of hands-on animal action, a different activity, show or display every half hour, hundreds of friendly animals (including some you can bottle feed and the world famous Pennywell Farm miniature pigs). There is also an indoor play space and four free outdoor rides. https://www.pennywellfarm.co.uk/

Paignton Zoo (approximately 50 minutes from Beeson Farm). With over 2,000 animals across 80 acres, you’re in for a really wild time at Paignton Zoo! Head down to the zoo for a week full of fun activities and the launch of their year of Nearby Nature. As well as finding out about all the animals in the zoo guests can learn about, and get closer to, the fantastic native species we have around us. There will be lots to do including special talks, trails and more. https://www.paigntonzoo.org.uk/

National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth (approx. 60 minutes from Beeson Farm). The UK’s largest aquarium, with over 4000 animals.  2018 is their 20th birthday year! During February Half Term visitors can join in with ‘Sea the Difference: Ocean Adventures’ celebrating all the wonderful marine animals and habitats found here in the UK. Meet scientists, conservationists and marine heroes and take part in activities, games and adventures! http://www.national-aquarium.co.uk/

As if that all wasn’t enough to fill your Half Term we would also recommend the Art Café in Kingsbridge, The Kidz and Co play café in Salcombe, PaperBird Island in Salcombe, Clip and Climb in Plymouth, iBounce in Newton Abbott, the South Devon Steam Railway in Buckfastleigh and Start Point Lighthouse.

www.beesonhols.co.uk

Posted in Calves, chickens, Lambs, Member Farms, pets

Spotlight on Mothecombe Beach…

Mothecombe Beach lies at the mouth of the River Erme. The beach is part of the privately owned Flete Estate and is only open to the public on Wednesdays and weekends. With its soft golden sand, a little stream, rock pools and small secluded coves revealed at low tide, the beach slopes gently into the sea and is safe for bathing. On either side there are rocks which are perfect for climbing and exploring.  Mothecombe has remained completely unspoilt, with the only buildings being an old boathouse and the lime kiln.Mothecombe beach 2

Nearby Coastguards Beach is open every day, year round. It is reached via a narrow road and slipway with bollards, giving access for wheelchairs, horse riders, wind surfers, canoes and surfboards, but there is only turning room and no parking available at the slipway. There is half a mile of firm sand at low tide, but a small beach at high tide.

Wonwell beach, on the opposite side of the Erme, is reached by driving through Kingston, and is especially popular with dog owners. There is limited free parking on the road, but it becomes congested at peak times.

 

Posted in Beach, Member Farms

Quench your thirst in Devon!

South Devon has some hidden gems of breweries, distilleries and vineyards.  Whether you want to take a tour or just sample what’s on offer you can make some great holiday memories whilst quenching your thirst.

Salcombe Gin

Salcombe is South Devon’s yachting haven and what better ritual to adopt than that of the “sundowner”- a refreshing gin and tonic – after a day on the water!  Salcombe Gin opened the doors of its distillery in 2016.  Located on Island Street, Salcombe Gin has since scooped numerous national and international awards. Their gin is hand-distilled from 13 carefully selected botanicals and blended with pure Dartmoor water in a 450 litre copper still using a traditional “one shot” method. Visit the Distillery for a drink in the bar or book in to the gin school to create your own unique blend of gin and take home the ultimate 70cl souvenir of your holiday!Salcombe-Gin-930x620

Salcombe gin is available at many of our local pubs, including the Cricket Inn, and is for sale locally at Stokeley Farm Shop, Chillington Post Office and Kingsbridge Wine Rooms. https://www.salcombegin.com/

Salcombe Brewery

Salcombe brewery is located in the countryside near Kingsbridge, looking towards the Salcombe estuary.  The site has its own borehole which supplies the brewery with its own source of pure Devonian water, perfect for the brewing process.  The Brewery has 4 fermenting vessels capable of making 350 casks every week.  Visitors are welcome for tours or brew days.  The Brewery Shop is open during the week from 10am to 4pm, on some Saturdays 10am -2pm (seasonally), and sells beer, gift packs and branded merchandise. https://www.salcombebrewery.com/

South Hams Brewery

This 10 barrel plant is run by the Brooking family on the site at Stokeley Farm Shop, overlooking beautiful Start Bay.  The family have a real love for real ale and are the small brewery that’s very big on taste!  Popular classic ales, such as Eddystone, Wild Blonde and Devon Pride, can be found alongside seasonal ales for sale in Stokeley Farm Shop and many local establishments.  http://southhamsbrewery.co.uk/

Sharpham Vineyard

Just two miles from Totnes, The Sharpham vineyard overlooks the River Dart where the soil, climate and grape variety combine to make a unique regional wine.   Sharpham are at the forefront of vine-growing and winemaking in the UK and have won numerous Regional, National and International medals.  Visit the vineyard to sample their wine and take a tour of the vineyard.  Sharpham wine is available to buy at Stokely Farm Shop and Kingsbridge Wine Rooms. http://www.sharpham.com/ Sharpham vineyard

Beeson Farmhouse Cider

Beeson Farm has always produced its own cider from the apples that grow in our orchard. Each year the apples are harvested, pressed and fermented on site.  Guests are very welcome to join in with the process – especially the tasting!  We work closely with Orchard Link, a south Devon organisation set up in 1998 by apple and cider enthusiasts concerned about the disappearance of traditional orchards in the area.  Our traditional farmhouse cider is available to buy from the farmhouse door.  Enjoy a cold glass of cider whilst sitting in the courtyard in which the traditional stone cider press is now a decorative focal point.

Louise

www.beesonhols.co.uk

 

Posted in Member Farms, Recipes, Retail