After Work Walks at Dawlish Warren Beach, South Devon

After Work Walks at Dawlish Warren Beach, South Devon

Back in the summer months last year I was on my university placement in the lovely seaside town of Dawlish in South Devon. With the evenings being lighter and longer, I often tried to make the most of the summer vibes and take myself down Dawlish Warren Beach to enjoy an after-work walk. I mean why wouldn’t you – look how gorgeous it is!

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

I love all these cute and colourful beach huts – they are so pretty sat constantly above the beach. I wonder how much you would have to pay to own one? There is only a small row of them so I can imagine they are pretty sought after!

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren is a blue flag beach and it seems super clean. It’s got lovely sand – perfect for building those sandcastles with the kids! There is lots to do nearby including crazy golf, children’s theme park rides and cool shops with plenty of surfer gear.

If you visit don’t forget t check out the Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve too which is over 500 acres of protected grassland and has some pretty impressive sand dunes! I need to check out the visitor centre next time I visit.

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

There’s also a small arcade too which my friend Charlie and I couldn’t resist when we visited on our last day of placement. Of course, we partook in the 50p challenge, I can’t remember who won though!

Dawlish Warren, Devon

On our last visit, we also popped to The Boat House Tavern and Grill where we treated ourselves to a tasty dinner with views out to sea – it’s a shame the wasn’t a bit nicer – it was August after all!

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

Dawlish Warren Beach, Devon

I can recommend Dawlish Warren Beach for a lovely seaside walk and some tasty grub. I love the beach huts the most and the cute seaside vibe it has. If you’re going with family then there’s loads to do and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

If you like the sound of Dawlish Warren then check out my previous post from when Nathan and I visited the main town and enjoyed a spot of Safari Adventure Golf!

Dawlish Safari Adventure Golf and the Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

Dawlish Safari Adventure Golf and the Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

On a sunny Sunday in August Nathan and I went to Dawlish in Devon for a spot of crazy golf. It was super hot but not too busy and we had a good yet competitive round of golf!

Black Swans

Dawlish is famous for its black swans – something I have never seen before! Quite the site, especially as we didn’t see any white ones like we are used to!

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish is such a lovely little town to walk through. You can wander along the river watching the swans and it feels really green and luscious.

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

I loved all the flowers along the river and the pretty lights too – I bet it looks nice all lit up at night.

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

Dawlish, Devon

Safari Adventure Golf

After our gentle stroll along the river, it was time for a round of golf at the Dawlish Safari Adventure Golf course. The course was themed with safari animals which were dotted around the course.

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

I like the fact that in amongst the safari animals there are the famous Dawlish black swans too!

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

It was quite busy on the course meaning we had to wait a while between the holes but it was super sunny and warm so we didn’t mind too much!

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

The course is home to this giant gorilla statue that actually made the local papers when first placed there due to it being an obstruction to the local neighbours. It is quite funny reading all the newspaper articles detailing the complaints about it invading their privacy

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

Dawlish Adventure Golf, Devon

After all the competition (and Nathan beating me.. again) we had some lunch in one of the local cafes. We had fish finger sandwiches and chips and sat outside enjoying the sun.

Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour

On our way back home we stopped off for a cheek ice cream at the Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour at Taverners Farm. There were so many choices of delicious homemade ice cream it was hard to decide what we wanted.

Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter
Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

The ice cream parlour has won many awards for their ice cream so it’s certainly the place to go!

Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

Nathan is clearly enjoying his ice cream a little too much here! It as so hot it melted fast! The parlour is not far from Exeter so I think we will certainly be back next summer!

Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

I went for kiwi and peach in the end as I fancied something fruity. They were really nice although I feel I could have gone for some stronger flavours as they didn’t taste that strong! I can’t say I’ve ever had kiwi or peach flavoured ice cream before so that was a first!

Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour, Exeter

We had a lovely day out in Dawlish and at the ice cream parlour. I feel like a round of crazy golf, some shine and ice cream is the perfect way to spend a Sunday for Nathan and me!

If you like the sound of visiting Dawlish then be sure to check out my next post all about Dawlish Warren Beach.

My Parents Visit Me in Devon – Visit to Tiverton and the Crediton Museum!

My Parents Visit Me in Devon – Visit to Tiverton and the Crediton Museum!

I have lived in the South West for 4 years now and finally, my parents came together to visit me in Devon at the end of August last year. I had a lovely time showing them around my flat and the local area. It was great to spend some quality time with them which actually felt a little odd at times as normally there are at least one of my three sisters around too!

Trip to Tiverton

We enjoyed a lovely trip to Tiverton where we visited the visitor centre and took a stroll along the canal.

Grand Western Canal Visitor Centre, Tiverton, Devon

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

My Dad was rather impressed by the horse-drawn canal boat – maybe an activity for next time they visit!

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

We had a lovely cream tea at the Canal Tea Rooms and Gardens where we sat outside and tried to swot all the wasps away from our scones and jam!

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

For dinner, we went to The Stables in Cowley where we enjoyed a tasty dinner. The only problem was there were tonnes of flies buzzing around which out us off a bit and meant we didn’t stay for pudding!

Crediton, Devon

Exploring Crediton

The next day we went for a wander around Crediton where my Dad got himself a new toolbox and some sherbet lemons from the sweet shop! We stopped for a coffee at Ashton’s Coffee Lounge and enjoyed sitting outside in the square chatting and watching everyone go by. They do the best hot chocolate here!

We had a look around the Crediton Museum which was actually really interesting. I learnt a lot about the town I am now living in and it’s history. My parents enjoyed looking back at the old fashioned toys and TV programmes.

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

There was actually so much more in the museum than I imagined there would be and the man working there was so sweet and happy to answer questions and tell us about Crediton in days gone by.

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

Crediton Town Museum, Devon

All too soon it was time for parents to head off and drive back to Kent. It was so nice to see them and show them around my new home. I hope they come back and visit soon – they are welcome anytime!

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon

Exploring the Land of King Arthur in Tintagel, Cornwall

Exploring the Land of King Arthur in Tintagel, Cornwall

At the end of the summer, Nathan and I visited Tintagel in Cornwall. We took a wander through the town, visited the visitor centre and stopped off for a rather tasty lunch al fresco. We also had a look around Tintagel Old Post Office which is a lovely little National Trust property. Read on to find out more!

Tintagel Visitor Centre

We visited the visitor centre where you can read all about Tintagel and its famous history. There’s loads of information to look at and plenty of books, maps and other souvenirs to purchase.

tintagel

tintagel

tintagel

tintagel

There’s plenty of gift shops, places to get food and nice places to explore along the main road. We were sad to see the fudge shop was closed!

tintagel

tintagel street

King Arthur’s Cafe

For lunch, we stopped at the lovely King Arthur’s Cafe. We sat outside in the sunshine and watched the hustle bustle of the town. Many tourists come to Tintagel each year, particularly drawn in by Tintagel Castle and legend of King Arthur himself.

tintagel king arthurs cafe

tintagel king arthurs cafe

We shared a panini and a cream team – plenty of food for us both. It was so super tasty and only the pesky wasps buzzing around put us off!

tintagel king arthurs cafe

tintagel king arthurs cafe

tintagel, cornwall

Before leaving Tintagel we made sure to pop into the Tintagel Old Post Office. This is a cute National Trust property situated in a medieval building with a gorgeous outside. You can go inside and see lots of Victorian postal equipment and even buy some stamps to post in the working post box outside.

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

There’s a lovely little garden out the back of the Old Post Office, full of lovely flowers and plants. It was nice to escape the busyness of the streets and relax in the garden admiring all the nature.

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

The Old Post Office is such a lovely building – I love how it looks so old and imperfect which to me makes it look so cosy and atmospheric.

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

I can confirm the post box is still in use as I sent my friend Katherine’s birthday card from it and it got there OK!

tintagel old post office, cornwall

tintagel old post office, cornwall

Have you ever been to Tintagel? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Relaxing Spa Weekend at the Hilton at Ageas Bowl, Southampton

Relaxing Spa Weekend at the Hilton at Ageas Bowl, Southampton

Sometimes you just really need to treat yourself, don’t you? And what better way to treat yourself than head to a Hilton Hotel for a posh spa weekend with a best friend? This is exactly what I did back in August with my good friend Katherine. Read on to hear more about the spa and what we got up to on our grown-up girly weekend!

I drove from Devon to Southampton and it took bloody ages in busy summer traffic! By the time I arrived (late!) at the Ageas Bowl Hilton Hotel and Spa I was hot, sweaty, stressed and very much in need of some relaxation! Lucky I found myself the right place for some proper R&R.

Katherine was waiting for me, having already checked into the spa and was enjoying a glass of Pimm’s on the sun terrace! I got myself checked in, completed the health form and we were ready to rock! Or should I say relax!

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

The Spa Facilities

The facilities at the spa were really good; large changing rooms with plenty of mirrors and hair dryers to check you still looked human after lounging around all day! After changing into our swimming gear and utilising our free flip-flops and bathrobes we explored what the spa had to offer. I headed first to the foot spa as I love all things feet treatment-related, whilst Katherine tried out some of the funky rain showers and even the ice cold one – she is mad!

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

We moved on to enjoy the pool which had some very relaxing jets in – we laughed hysterically though at how the jets blew up our swimsuits making it looked like we were balloons being blown up! The spa wasn’t very busy and so it felt really chilled and like we had the place to ourselves really. This made me feel much more comfortable as I’m not really someone that enjoys taking my clothes off and wandering around in swimwear!

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

Afternoon Tea

After lounging around, enjoying the facilities and doing way too much gossiping, it was time for our afternoon tea in the before spa kitchen. This was included as part of our spa break package and it was totally scrumptious. The restaurant has a chilled vibe and guests using the spa can enjoy a light lunch or afternoon tea whilst being cosy and comfy in their bathrobes – ideal!

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

The afternoon was delicious and we were stuffed by the end of it. I’m not actually sure we were able to finish everything which is very unlike both myself and Katherine! There were little sandwich rolls, a variety of tasty little cakes and some lovely filling scones with jam and cream – perfect! The kitchen overlooks the golf course at the hotel and so there were some lovely views of the lush green course and we enjoyed spotting all the golfers – some of who were clearly more successful than others!

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

Massage Time

Next, we headed to the relaxation room to chill out in preparation for our spa treatments. This was a really chilled out room with super comfy chairs and relaxing music – I could have easily had a nap there! The spa deal included one spa treatment each and Katherine and I both opted for neck, shoulder and back massages which were super relaxing and just what I needed after a stressful few months at university. My massage therapist was really friendly and I had noted on my health form that I sometimes suffered from some anxiety and claustrophobia and she was really sweet in broaching this with me and checking the room, temperature and music were all OK for me. This helped put me at ease and I allowed myself to really (about 85%!) relax which is a rarity for me! I think I enjoyed my massage more than Katherine did which is a shame as I had hoped we would both feel the benefits of it afterwards.

We spent the reminder our time checking out the other spa facilities and doing yet more gossiping. We must have sat in the outdoor hot tub for a good hour just chatting and catching up which was great. We spent more time in the indoor infinity pool as well as trying out the heated relaxation room, saunas and steam rooms. I, of course, made sure I went back to the foot spa bit!

There were various different groups of people using the spa including mothers and daughters, small groups of friends and couples. I couldn’t help but think a spa day or break would be a lovely thing for Nathan and me to do together as I don’t think he has ever been to sap or had any professional treatments before! He, like me, isn’t one to take his clothes off and parade around either so he might take some persuading!

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

The Hotel

After enjoying our afternoon in the spa and re-dressing (it’s amazing how used to chilling in a swimsuit and robe you get) it was time for us to check into the hotel and see out room. We did this with ease and were pleased to find we had a lovely big room with twin beds. There was an en-suite bathroom with shower and all the usual amenities including complimentary tea and coffee and a huge TV. The room also had huge floor to ceiling windows and we were quite high up so I was glad there were net curtains to obscure the drop down to outside somewhat!

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

Dinner Time

For dinner, we decided to check out the onsite restaurant owned by cricket legend Sir Ian Botham- BEEFY’S. BEEFY’s offers great British food and boasts awesome views over the cricket ground. There was actually a cricket match on the night we stayed so there were lots of people outside enjoying a local game – I personally don’t know much about cricket but this was the closest I had even got to a cricket ground so I found that pretty exciting! Despite there being a match on the restaurant wasn’t too busy and we were seated straight away. I loved the decoration and the huge chandeliers in the restaurant, it had a good vibe and people seemed to be having a good time. Katherine and I were both excited by the menus and ordered ourselves some cocktails and main courses. Unfortunately, that was when the excitement ended for us both with my drink arriving way later than Katherines and after our food arrived. After all the water and fun in the spa, I was super hungry and excited to dive into my huge chicken burger only to find that after a few bites the chicken breast was raw in the middle! We immediately sent it back and the waiter asked if I would like another one however I had been somewhat put off by the chicken and opted to have a replacement beef burger instead. This came very quickly and was cooked this time which was great but I had lost my appetite a little and then was fretting a tad about being poorly which ruined the meal for me really. I think Katherine enjoyed her dish however they didn’t seem to be much of it for the price and it felt a little overrated. We were equally unimpressed when the bill came with an already included 12% tip which we did refuse to pay given a slow service, the difference in timings with the drinks and the raw chicken burger! What a shame as I reckon the restaurant and food could be so much better here!

beefys restaurant

beefys restaurant

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

We made our way back to our room and chilled out watching some rubbish on the TV and chatted putting the world to rights. The beds were really comfy, the hotel quiet and we both slept well.

Breakfast Buffet

In the morning we headed down to BEEFY’s again where the included breakfast was served. It was buffet style and wow there was so much on offer! There were tables full of hot and cold food including all your full English breakfast items, fruit, cereals, pastries and more! There were plenty of juices on tap too and tea served to the table. It’s times like this when I am presented with all you can eat oodles of yummy food that I wish I was more of a ‘breakfast person’. I never feel I can eat much in the mornings and feel I don’t do justice to what is on offer. We enjoyed our breakfasts and I was glad to see everything was cooked fully!

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

We checked out and then it was time for Katherine and me to go our separate ways and head home! I really enjoyed our spa break at the Hilton Ageas Bowl in Southampton and would return for their spa facilities, afternoon tea, the nice hotel rooms and plentiful breakfast. The only downside was the experience at BEEFY’s but I guess maybe the restaurant was just having a bad night! The whole spa break cost us £150 which I think for a night in a posh hotel, spa treatment, use of the spa facilities and breakfast isn’t bad indeed! I look forward to the next spa break Katherine and I treat ourselves too!

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton

hilton at ageas bowl, southampton