Discover the ghoulish tales surrounding some romantic ruins……

Tucked away in a deep wooded valley near Totnes, Berry Pomeroy Castle is the perfect romantic ruin with a colourful history of intrigue.

Within the 15th-century defences of the Pomeroy family castle, looms the dramatic ruined shell of its successor, the great Elizabethan mansion of the Seymours. Begun in around 1560 and ambitiously enlarged from around 1600, their mansion was intended to become the most spectacular house in Devon.Berry Pomeroy Castle

In the 16th century, Sir Edward, Lord Seymour, whose father had bought the castle, developed it into a fine house. With large windows offering stunning views from the four floors, it was typical of Elizabethan hunting lodges. Ornate mouldings over the windows can still be seen along with fragments of carving which now lie in the courtyard surrounded by the ruins of this once lavish mansion.  You can also still spot the remains of the arched loggia which lead from the main courtyard to the Great Hall. This was once the most magnificent room in the castle with an extravagant plaster ceiling, marble fireplace and wall tapestries. Now you can only imagine the grandeur of the room from the ruined walls and window openings.

Climb the steps to the first floor of the medieval gatehouse to the high roofed chamber and you will be rewarded with a beautiful 15th century wall painting. It depicts the adoration of the Magi – one of the earliest showing a black wise man in England. You can also see the Dominican altarpiece before crossing to the only medieval wall walk to survive almost to its original height.

Never completed, and abandoned by 1700, the house became the focus of blood-curdling ghost stories, recounted in the audio tour.

The location of the castle makes it ideal for walkers, who can explore the beautiful grounds and woodland views. Follow the John Musgrave Trail to enjoy beautiful views up to the castle from the lake. It’s a great place to spot wildlife and birds as well as wild flowers and dogs on leads are welcome too on the woodland walks.

In the Castle Café you can enjoy a light lunch, home-made cake or restorative cup of tea.   It’s open daily 10am – 5pm from June-October, then on Saturdays and Sundays from November-March.   Enquiries: 01803 849473.



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Shop local this Christmas…………

South Devon knows how to kick off Christmas!  Both Dartmouth and Kingsbridge have wonderful Christmas fairs.  Dartmouth opened the festive season with a unique Candlelit evening, lantern parade and Christmas market.  ‘Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas’ was the first weekend in December and showcased local artisans, food producers and independent retailers.

This year I have decided to focus our Christmas shopping locally as well as crafting our own gifts.  If I cant make it I am going to buy it in the South Hams – indeed I think everything on this list can be found within a 10mile radius of Beeson Farm!

Here are our top gifts that can be found in the South Hams:

My sister-in-law recently had a baby,  so we decided to buy something practical, beautiful and handmade from Wifflepigs (based near Start Point Lighthouse) who make beautiful handmade baby clothes in quirky and colourful fabrics. Prices start at £8 for a pair of leggings.

Naturemake is run by local artist Naomi, who also offers workshops locally throughout the year.  She sells kits online to make your own sculptures from natural materials (think unicorns, fairy houses, boats, tree houses made from wood, shells, petals etc).  Our children have found pure delight in her workshops and the Christmas scene we made a few years ago is now a treasured Christmas heirloom.  Her kits make ideal Christmas gifts for children (and adults) of all ages.  It’s great to know that the recipients of these gifts can make something special, unique, eco-friendly and beautiful.  Prices start at £7.50 for a small robin kit Naturemake

For a happy Ginmas what better than a bottle of locally produced Gin?  The perfect drink to get you through the long winter nights in front of the log fire!   Salcombe Gin distillery opened in 2016 and its Start Point Gin has won numerous awards.  A ticket to the Salcombe gin school would be a fabulous experience for a gin lover and a bottle of Salcombe Gin is definitely on my Christmas list!

My son is a chilli fiend – the hotter the better!  So this year I am off to the South Devon Chilli Farm for some Christmas shopping.  Everything spicy from Chilli Chocolate to a grow your own Chilli plant is available in store or online.

My daughter and I love to collect sea glass from our local beaches and have been following the work of Devon jeweller Olivia Joy Jones (who started off in Beeson) for a few years.  This year we both want one of her stunning sea glass necklaces which she sells from the Gallery at Avon Mill Garden Centre.  The Gallery also stocks a beautiful selection of cards, ceramics, art and other unique pieces.

Hallsands hidden treasuresAnother local artist we have been following on social media for a while is Hallsands Hidden Treasures.  She makes beautiful decorations for the home using scavenged drift wood and natural materials from the beach, as well as plastics which have washed up, which she sells on Etsy. Her decorations really add something uniquely Devon to the Christmas tree – we especially love her hanging jellyfish made from limpet shells!

This year we bought some of graphic designer Jennifer Cooper Designs’ beautiful pictures of the local area to adorn the walls of our cottages.  Her designs feature local landmarks and towns such as Burgh Island, Overbecks, Salcombe and Kingsbridge.  They make a beautiful gift for someone who has Devon in their blood, or to remind you of a holiday well spent in Devon!  Prices start at £15

This Christmas avoid the battle of the high street.  Shop local, shop ethical, shop unique and see what your local community has to offer.

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Year round interest at Hawley Farm…..

A warm welcome awaits guests to Hawley Farm for a holiday with year round interest.  Whether you want to see lambs in spring, shearing in the summer or the dairy herd all year round, you won’t be disappointed. We have three self-catering holiday lets, sleeping up to 16, and can offer a farm tour if requested.Dairy herd Hawley Farm

Favourite haunts for previous guest are the sheltered beach at Beer and the wonderful coastal town of Lyme Regis. When would you like to book in?! 20171105_12014420170418_155413

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Combine some marine monsters with a little bit of Christmas magic!

Christmas at Marine AquariumIf you‘ve been inspired by the amazing footage of weird and wonderful sea creatures on the BBC’s Blue Planet II, why not combine it with a bit of Christmas magic and visit the Plymouth Marine Aquarium? For one night a year the National Marine Aquarium transforms into a winter wonderland! They have mince pies and mulled wine, a Christmas choir singing festive songs, Christmas cupcake decorating and a special dive from Santa himself with a present for every child.

Immerse yourself in underwater delights. Not only are they the largest aquarium in the UK, with over 4000 animals, but this winter they’ll have a Christmas Trail around the aquarium all about reducing the amount we throw away over the holidays. There’ll be festive craft, a host of interactive shows and feeds. Plus, Santa Claus will be giving a special visit diving in the tanks through the

Why not visit the National Marine Aquarium this Christmas and make the festive season one to remember.

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Cows on a pub crawl?!

Bampfield cows at the pub





“I’m off for a pint in the beer garden… who’s coming?!”

Autumn has arrived at Bampfield, so the young cows enjoyed a nice walk back through the village to go to their winter accommodation where they will be warm and cosy.  They paused at the pub on the way!

We’re delighted to report that the last of this year’s kittens have settled into to their new homes well.  Bettie and Bertie have gone to Axbridge and Tarzan and Jane have gone to a neighbouring farm.

We are now taking bookings for 2018 – If you book before the end of December you will get a Spring hamper when you arrive!  Take a look at our special offer page.


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Lots of reasons why farm holidays are the best!

Devon Farms recently ran a competition to find out what made holidaying on a farm so special for so many people. We had a truly wonderful response and it was really hard to choose a winner.

Some of the comments were really poignant. They spoke of their own happy childhood memories of farm holidays and their determination to ensure their children now enjoyed the same experience. Some are now even taking the next generation, their grandchildren, on farm holidays to experience the same freedom, fun and relaxed learning environment that they had as a child.

Previous Devon Farms’ guests spoke so enthusiastically and eloquently of watching their small son or daughter’s face light up as they bottle fed new lambs and new calves, hunted for eggs, took a tour of the farm on a tractor, had hours of fun in the hay barns and met new characters amongst the goats, pigs and even llamas!  Most spoke of enjoying true quality time with their children in front of the fire or out in the fresh air, away from screens and social media. They said their children learned so much in such a short time, experiencing a different way of life and also being quietly educated about how their food is produced, with great care and attention by the farmers they met. Egg collecting

Devon Farm members were also lauded for the warm welcome they gave to their guests, many becoming firm friends and returning annually to the same farm. Access to delicious locally sourced produce was also a popular bonus.

In the end it was decided that Gillian Barnes would be awarded the first prize of a £50 voucher towards a holiday with Devon Farms.  She wrote, “I love the relaxed atmosphere. Watching my son beam with delight when he sees an old farm favourite or a new spring lamb. Sunsets behind old stone walls with foxgloves in bloom. The sound of the chickens, ducks, cows and sheep. Braying donkeys and greedy goats. The swoosh of swallows and the cheep of sparrows. A Devon farm really can’t be beat. Such happy memories. Stickwick Manor Farm and Cottages truly idyllic.”

The Committee were also so touched by the comments of Elaine Sparks that a second prize was awarded. Elaine said, 

“What better way to interact with the animals and muck in, to learn about farming first hand and enjoying all the cuddles, scenery and fresh air…as you can see by my photo you get the opportunity to meet some adorable friends and its hard not to get attached but even harder to say goodbye at the end of your holiday..”Elaine Sparks' photo

Well done to you both and we wish you a very happy holiday! 

So what are you waiting for?! Get booking and you too could be making magical memories with your family!

Posted in Calves, chickens, Cows, Lambs, Member Farms, Sheep, walks

Christmas gift ideas and spring lambs……

The rams have now joined the ewes so, with a gestation period of 21 weeks, we should have the first lambs around the 25th March and be lambing during the 2018 Easter holidays.  Get booking if you want to see them!Ram and sheep

Please remember, if you’re looking for a unique Christmas or 7th (wool) Anniversary gift, or just want to wrap up warm this winter please do have a look at Huxtable Farm B&B’s Jacob Wool products for sale; 100% wool throws, knee rugs, cushions, scarves, knitting kits, hand knitted hats and cowls. We also have 100gm balls of Jacob’s sheep wool in three different colours, cream, grey & dark brown.

Jacob-wool-products Huxtable



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Reach for the skies on a trip to the Milky Way!

If you need to entertain the children and you’re based in North Devon why not try the Milky Way adventure park? It’s an award-winning, fun filled day out for all the family. 

milky way roller-coasterYou can ride the cosmic typhoon rollercoasters, have a bumping good time on the droid destroyer dodgems and go wild in North Devon’s biggest indoor adventure play area. It has assault courses and slides built for both adults and children. Kick back and watch the amazing live shows featuring Merlin from Britain’s got talent, plus fantastic displays from the North Devon bird of prey centre.

milky-way-adventure-park-bideford-06At the Milky Way they’ve got attractions to suit all ages, whatever the weather. With over 110,000 ft.² of indoor fun and acres of outdoor activities the Milky Way theme park is the biggest all-weather family day out in North Devon! There are so many things to do plus all the rides are included in the entrance fee! Your adventure awaits. Are you ready?

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A few clues for entrants to our competition!

Here are a few things you can do during your stay at Huxtable Farm……………..Feed the hens and collect their eggs, identify bats at dusk, enjoy the beautiful colours of the leaves in the woodland whilst taking a bracing walk around Huxtable Farm’s Devon Wildlife Farm Trail, pick apples, collect conkers, see how many different fungi you can find and much, much more!conkers

To see what else is happening in North Devon this October please click on the following links:

RHS Rosemoor in October

21st & 22nd Antiques & Collectors Fair,

28th & 29th Pumpkin Weekend.

Halloween Festival at The Big Sheep 21st – 29th October

Pumpkin carving, haunted house, spooky castle, free face painting and much more!

Star Wars at The Milky Way 28th October

National Trust Arlington Court in October:

21st – 29th October Haunted Halloween Trail,

27th October Spooky Night Walk,

24th & 27th October Halloween Crafts

North Devon Food Festival 22nd October

19th – 29th October Exmoor’s first Dark Skies Festival,

Celebrating Exmoor National Park’s status as Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve. The Festival will appeal to families and children as well as those more experienced in watching the stars.

Don’t forget there’s so much you can do at Huxtable Farm B&B for FREE too


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‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness…………..

 APPLE-Bramley-1024x786 applesWith the apple trees bowed under the weight of all the fruit at the moment, you may wonder what to do with them all.  After all, there’s only so many pies and crumbles you can eat.  Well the picturesque village of Clovelly has the answer, so head there on Saturday October 28th for an endless array of apple based activities for all the family to enjoy.
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