We arrived at Andrewshayes Holiday Park on a Friday evening in June and received a warm greeting from Clare who owns the holiday park. Clare directed us to the warden’s office to collect our keys and was helpful in giving us an overview of the park and pointed us in the right direction of the camping pod.
The Glamping Pods
Our glamping pod was lovely and one of two here at Andrewshayes. The two pods are nestled in between touring caravan pitches but have a private feel to them. The pods are identical, and each one has a double bed and two single beds and so can sleep four people – perfect for a family holiday. You have to bring your own bedding but that was easy enough for us, we just chucked some clean sheets, pillows and my duvet in the car and it made for a very comfy place to sleep.
The pods also have a little sitting area with built in bench seats and cushions. There’s a little corner table which gives you enough room to make a cuppa tea with the kettle provided. Main’s electricity is provided with plug sockets to charge all your electrical essentials. I think there is a heater in there too, but we didn’t need this as it was nice and warm during our visit. There’s also strip lighting throughout the pod which adds a nice touch and means you aren’t grappling around in the dark once the sun goes down.
Outside each pod, there is a decking area with a picnic bench and space for a BBQ. This gives you the opportunity to sit outside and enjoy an al fresco dinner – should the weather allow it!
We enjoyed BBQing some tasty food and eating outside on our bench overlooking the great Devon countryside. We were lucky enough to have a great view of the surrounding fields and made friends with the cows that grazed in the field each evening.
A Lovely Holiday Park
The holiday park has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. It offers lots of pitches for both touring caravans and tents and is home to lots of static caravans too. There are caravans to hire, some even with their own hot tubs! We found the site to be quiet, despite many of the pitches being occupied around us – there was no noise at night and everyone we spoke to was friendly.
Facilities at Andrewshayes were really good. There are two toilet blocks and we didn’t have to walk far from our pod to use them. The toilets and showers were spotlessly clean and for some reason, I really liked the teal colour of them! There’s a laundry too, disabled shower room and outside undercover washing up areas. You can find out more about the site by visiting the Andrewhayes Holiday Park Youtube page and checking out their tour videos of the site.
Lots of Keep You Entertained!
We really enjoyed making use of the amenities the holiday park offers including the games room and swimming pool. The games room includes various gaming machines as well as 2p slot machines which of course we played the 50p challenge on! We enjoyed quite a few games of pool (who knew Nathan was so good!) and had a very fast and furious game of air hockey. There’s a change machine too so doesn’t worry if you forget your pennies! There was also a separate soft play area for the little ones, which looked really clean and well looked after.
The swimming pool was lots of fun! It’s heated and a really good size. We went swimming on Saturday afternoon and had the pool to ourselves for at least half an hour before we were joined by a couple of families. There are tables, chairs and pool loungers situated around the pool, so if swimming isn’t your thing then you can always lay by the pool and read a book instead! There’s showers and places to get changed too and if you’re hungry after your swim (why does that always happen?!) then you can grab a milkshake and bit to eat at the bar area which is adjacent to the pool area. We didn’t visit the bar, which I think offers more of a menu and increased opening hours during peak months, but it looked like a nice place to chill of an evening and play some bingo! Check out the Andrewhayes Twitter page for added information!
Obviously, being an adventure and days out blogger I love planning trips and finding new places to visit. Given this, you can imagine my delight when we stumbled across the information room. Situated next to the reception the information room was full of leaflets and information relating to local attractions and places to visit. The leaflets covered the regions of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and included maps of local walks and upcoming events. I certainly got a few ideas for some local places I hope to visit in the near future!
Location and Price
Andrewshayes is located in Dalwood, near Axminster in Devon. It is really close to the border of Dorset and the seaside town of Lyme Regis. The holiday park is in a brilliant location for accessing Dartmoor, the Jurassic coast and the beautiful Devon countryside. I don’t think anyone would be stuck for places to visit whatever their interests. If you need any inspiration, then the information room is the place to go!
There are a reception and shop located onsite. The reception staff were friendly and welcoming, and the shop sold all the essential holiday items, lots of tempting sweets and some BBQ bits. We did our bigger shop for dinners at the local Tesco which was about a 10-minute drive away from the site.
The price of the glamping pods ranges from £45 – £60 depending on the season in which you visit. I think this is a pretty good price if going as a family and want a little more luxury than a tent to stay in! The games room, tennis table and pool are free to people staying onsite so this is a bonus given they are sure to keep the children entertained! Check out the Andrewhayes Facebook page for more info!
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay in the glamping pod at Andrewshayes Holiday Park. The site was relaxed and quiet with great facilities and amenities to keep us entertained. The pod was clean, cosy and we slept really well on the double mattress. We thought the pods were very cute and provided somewhere a little different to stay. It was nice to have the little seating area and the options to sit inside in case it rained – this is different from other glamping pods we have stayed in before where the pod is empty and has no beds or seats. We loved the decking area and being able to cook and eat outside whilst chatting to the cows – the views were beautiful to wake up to as well!
I think the pods provide a special glamping experience which is perfect for both couple stays or family holidays. The holiday park is in a great location, is easy to find and is on the doorstep of so many fun attractions and lovely places to explore. The pool and games room were a highlight and provided us with lots of fun!
Big thanks to Clare and those at Andrewshayes Holiday Park for having us, we had a great two-night stay and hope to return one day in the future.
***Whilst our two-night glamping pod stay at Andrewsshayes Holiday Park was complimentary, all thoughts and opinions in this post are entirely my own***
Have you ever stayed in a glamping pod? What did you think?
On the second May bank holiday, Nathan and I went for a very hot and sweaty walk around Otterton village and Landram Bay.
We started off in Otterton Villiage which was so picturesque and quaint. We followed a route that had instructions online. Somehow we managed to go completely the wrong way to start with and got ourselves a bit lost and very hot and flustered! I wasn’t best pleased, especially given how hot it was!
After retracing our steps (probably about a mile!) we made our way back to the start of the route and continued the right way! We walked through a lot of farm tracks and it was very peaceful and quiet.
We stopped off in a field for a cup of tea and to admire the beautiful views our over Landram Bay. Neither of us had been here before so enjoyed seeing a new piece of coastline.
We packed away the flask and as we started to head down across the field following the route, we came across a huge herd of cows coming straight towards us! It spooked us somewhat as we wondered where on earth they had come from and they were all lined up directly in our path. Nathan and I have had a bad experience of crossing cows before when we were at Dodman Point and some basically nearly chased us off a cliff edge! So we decided it was best to retreat and wait for the cows to pass which they did eventually!
We mad our way down to Landram Bay Holiday Park where we stopped for a cheeky magnum ice cream and some water. The holiday park was pretty busy and there were loads of people and families pouring off the beach towards the holiday park – some looking rather sunburnt!
After our quick stop, we carried on our walk, going out the other side of the holiday park and through some woodland and fields back down to Otterton Villiage. We stopped off at the pub for a pint of lemonade each as we were so hot, worn out and in need of a cold drink!
On the way back to the car we passed so many pretty cottages and lovely village houses. I bet this is such a nice place to live!
Do you like going for walks? Where’s your favourite place to go for a walk?
After staying the night at The Heritage Hotel in Torquay I drove 15 minutes to Cockington Court. Parking was easy and cost a couple of pound for a few hours. There’s a couple of different car parks in the village and at the craft centre. The craft centre is free to enter and open from 10m each day.
Cockington Court is a unique craft centre and has various art studios and shops to visit. You can visit artists who showcase their talents and welcome you in to admire their work. I enjoyed talking to Janet Ventre and hearing about the patience she needs to create her mosaic pictures and mirrors. I purchased a lovely mosaic coaster tile – I just couldn’t resist!
You can also visit Cockington Chocolate Company and see homemade chocolates being made! I looked around at the vast collection of chocolate on display – so many different flavours and cute chocolate shapes! Of course, I didn’t leave the shop entry handed!
Take some time to visit Our Glass and not only see their beautiful display of glass work but watch a demonstration of how the glass is made. I found this really interesting and again couldn’t resist treating myself to a few bits!
There’s some lovely gardens to explore and a nice walk that takes you to three pretty and tranquil lakes. I sat for ages watching some ducks and moorhens being followed around by their babies – so cute!
After all my shopping and the walk around the gardens, I needed to stop for some lunch! I visited the Tea Rooms and had a brie and bacon panini and a can of apple tango – yum yum! There’s plenty of space to sit inside and outside and a big menu to choose from.
There’s currently a trail of fun sculptures to explore around the craft centre and a fun looking children play area for the younger ones.
It was hard to believe that this place as only a mile from Torquay’s seafront – it was so green and lush you couldn’t have thought the sea was so close!
Coockington Court is a great place to visit if you like seeing local art and crafts made by passionate and talented people. I really enjoyed wandering around and treating myself to a few bits. The tea room was nice, and the gardens are a lovely place to go for a walk. I think there was even more to explore should I have had more time, so I hope to return one day soon.
Do you like arts and crafts? What’s your favourite type of art?
After working (for my day job) in Torquay I decided it would be a good opportunity to stay overnight and explore the English Riviera some more! I did a last-minute booking for the Heritage Hotel on booking.com and paid what I thought was a really good price for centrally located and large room.
The Heritage Hotel is rated as 3.5 stars on TripAdvisor and is located just up from the seafront. It’s about a 15-minute walk along the seafront to the marina and most rooms offer lovely distant views of the sea. There’s parking available but as the hotel is attached to Appleby’s bar the parking gets busy and there were limited spaces when I arrived around 3pm on a Friday. If you can’t find a space, you are advised to park in the pay and display car park which is a short walk in front of the hotel. I was glad I didn’t have to park here as the car park changes 24 hours a day and would have cost me £10 to park overnight which would really have defeated the point of getting a cheap room for the night.
The room was clean, comfortable and spacious. For the price I paid I was really surprised by how large the room was and the fact there was both a double and single bed – plenty of room for just me!
There was plenty of storage space, two seats and a table overlooking the car park/view and a TV with Sky. The TV could have been a bit bigger, but most people don’t go away to watch TV do they!
The bathroom was a good size with the standard toilet, sink and shower. Individual body wash and soap were provided too.
There was the usual compliments tray with tea, coffee, milk and biscuits. I was impressed actually by the amount of tea bags there was – normally you don’t get enough for two of you to have a couple of cups but there was plenty!
I decided not to eat at the bar attached to the hotel as I wanted to go outside and soak up the evening sunshine on the seafront. I think Appleby’s did a good range of food and drinks though and it seemed like it was pretty popular.
For dinner, I took a walk down to the strip of restaurants next to the seafront. Lots of people were sitting outside in the nice warm evening sunshine and I opted to do the same at Seabank Fish and Chip Restaurant. Here, I ordered fish goujons and chips and was promptly presented with a big portion of hot and tasty food. Washed down with a can of Rio whilst reading my book it was lovely! Fish and chips are probably always going to be the best-priced meal you will find – nice and quick and it’s always good to have fish on a Friday, isn’t it!
After my meal I took a quick walk along the seafront and made the most of the warm spring evening – it really felt like summer was coming – so warm! It was nice to see all the boats in the marina and visit the bonbon shop!
The gardens were lovely to visit again too. It was very humid and muggy out though and I was looking forward to a cool shower.
I made my way back to the room for a shower and chilled out watching TV and eating my bon bons! There was a little bit of noise from the bar later on in the evening, but it didn’t disturb me – not half as much as the generators outside my window! They were continual and pretty noisy, especially given I had to have the window open as it was so warm. If you’re going to stay, don’t go for room number 7 unless you like white noise/fans to send you to sleep! Luckily, I knew it was Friday and I didn’t have to be up that early or have work the next day, so I was able to sleep.
Breakfast at the Heritage Hotel is a continental affair. It’s buffet style where you can help yourself to cereals, toast, yoghurts and pastries. There are juice, tea and coffee on offer too. The continental breakfast is included with your stay, however, there is the choice to upgrade to a cooked full English breakfast should you prefer.
I had a nice stay at the Heritage Hotel; my room was spacious and clean, and the shower was good. The hotel has a bar which was a little lively at night-time, but it didn’t keep me awake. Breakfast was pretty average, and the parking could be a little tricky. I think the biggest selling point of the hotel is its location and views out to sea.
Have you ever been to Torquay? What do you look for most when staying at a hotel?
On a sunny Tuesday in the May half-term, Nathan and I took a trip to Chard in Somerset to visit the beautiful Forde Abbey and Gardens. We were lucky enough to be attending a special half-term pizza making workshop and enjoyed being able to explore the Abbey and gardens whilst we were there.
Forde Abbey is home to a ridiculous amount of history and walking around it visitors can find out about the various previous occupants and learn how it was monastery for 400 years! The Abbey was built over 900 years ago and is really grand. The walls are adorned with stunning tapestries and visitors can explore the many bedrooms and living quarters. The Abbey has been owned by the Kennard family since 2009 and the family continue to live on site. Photography wasn’t allowed within the Abbey, hence the lack of photos – you will just have to visit to see for yourself what it all looked like inside!
The outside of the Abbey is just as beautiful as the inside – the building’s architecture and brickwork are stunning.
There’s a lovely chapel that you can look around and spend time imagining all the monks hundreds of years ago going about their religious duties.
A pretty and interesting talking point is the beautiful wisteria that appears to grow on the building housing the men’s toilets!
The gardens at Forde Abbey are a delight to wander around and explore. They are really old too having been created in 1141! There are several different gardens including the bog garden, walled garden, rock garden and various lawns and ponds to discover. I particularly enjoyed walking through the bog garden as the flowers here were just beautiful! I loved all the colours and how everything was so well planted and maintained.
Whilst there were quite a few people visiting the abbey on this day, the gardens are so vast that you can find yourself your own private piece of garden to explore on your own in the peace and quiet! There are lots of benches situated around the gardens allowing for plenty of places to stop to rest and take in the beauty of the gardens.
One of the main features to admire in the gardens is the centenary fountain. The fountain celebrates 100 years of the Roper family at the abbey. The fountain is quite the sight with water shooting perfectly vertically 160 feet into the air. It runs three times a day and certainly isn’t to be missed! Be careful to watch the wind direction though, because as Nathan learnt, you can get caught but the surface spray and end up quite wet!
As it was half term, there were two special events offering pizza-making workshops. The workshop was £10 per person and was situated just outside the gardens in a marquee. We arrived and were warmly greeted by the chef who had built the pizza stove. After being joined by a couple of children we started the workshop, beginning with an introduction to how the pizza dough had been made.
We were each given some dough and a rolling pin and told how to roll the dough to create our pizza base. We then added tomato sauce, cheese and some fresh herbs which smelled lovely! Next, our pizzas were put into the homemade wood-burning pizza oven.
The pizzas didn’t take too long to cook and within a few minutes, we were tucking into our delicious margaritas. The pizzas were super tasty and tasted even better knowing we had handmade them and they had been cooked in the special pizza oven. The chef was super friendly and answered all our questions about how he made the oven. You can check out what events are coming up on the Forde Abbey website.
In case you don’t fancy making your own pizza then there’s always the option to grab something to eat at the Tearoom. There’s plenty of space too sit both inside and outside and lots of yummy drinks and food on offer. Nathan and I treated ourselves to a late afternoon hot chocolate and cake each which were very tasty, if a little on the pricey side.
Be sure to check out the well-stocked gift and plant shop on the way out too!
We really enjoyed our trip to Forde Abbey and enjoyed the tasty pizza-making workshop. I really enjoyed exploring the beautiful gardens and taking all the photos of the flowers on display. The fountain was pretty cool too! Entry prices to the abbey and gardens are £13 for an adult and £5 for children. It was £10 each for the pizza making workshop which I think was possibly a little on the pricey side given the length of the workshop – it’s probably best aimed at children but was a unique experience to make and cook pizza in a woodfired pizza oven.
***Entry to the Abbey and pizza making workshop was provided to us on a complimentary basis in return for this review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.***