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?
Nathan and I enjoyed a brilliant 2-night stay with Just Us Retreats and I couldn’t recommend a stay on this wonderful, family-run farm enough! Just Us Retreats is located just outside Crediton in Devon and is situated on a working family farm. Zara runs the luxury glamping offered on the farm and luxury it really is! There’s ‘Gabriel’ the bell tent or ‘Bathsheba’ the Shepherd’s Hut to choose from and both offer real privacy and are situated in their own fields.
We were lucky enough to enjoy a 2-night stay in ‘Gabriel’ the bell tent. We had never stayed in bell tent before and we certainly weren’t disappointed!
Welcome to Luxury Glamping
We arrived on a sunny Sunday day in May and were greeted warmly by Hugh, who had been ploughing a nearby field before we arrived. We hopped back into the car and Hugh led the way to the site of the bell tent. Hugh showed us around our own secluded private woodland and informed us a Devon cream tea was waiting for us!
My first impressions of the area were amazing! I thought the woodland field was gorgeous and the bell tent was stunning! Standing in the sunshine admiring the site, with the countryside views surrounding us, Nathan and I were giddy with excitement – we knew this was going to be a good stay!
Left to explore we took a closer look at Gabriel. Wow! What a stunningly decorated bell tent, furnished to such a high standard! The bed was made with duvets, pillows and plenty of blankets to keep us warm. There were two sofas and lots of storage space for clothes and all your other holiday bits. I think the sofas can be turned into beds if people are staying with children. I was so impressed with the colour scheme and how everything matched – I really liked the carpets too as they added a really homely feel to the tent. One of the rugs matched a one my Gran used to have in her house so that was a nice personal memory for me.
I loved all the candles and ornaments – I would happily have had any of them in my home! I think they added such nice touches and helped to make the tent feel so homely and luxurious. Additional extra touches like a welcome book, torch and first aid kit were also included. The welcome book includes a map of the farm site, a menu of fresh meals guests can order and recommendations for places to eat and visit. We were delighted to find a trunk full of cards, games, books and colouring pens for guests to use.
There’s also a wood burning stove inside the tent which kept us nice and warm in the evenings. There’s plenty of wood, kindling and firelighters provided to help get the fire going too.
A Touch of Romance
Despite there being no main electricity or lights, the bell tent still looks beautiful at night thanks for the abundance of fairy lights and candles. As well as providing a surprising amount of light, the glowing ebbs of the fairy lights and the flickering flames from central tea light holder give the bell tent such a romantic, cosy feel. It was lovely dosing off in the comfy bed with the candles flickering, the fire slowly crackling and listening to the owls hooting. We certainly slept well!
Everything You Need and More
The secluded site includes its own kitchen area – a gazebo-tent fully equipped with all you need to cook up a storm. There’s pots, pans, crockery, cutlery and a stove with whistleblowing kettle. There’s also tea, coffee, sugar and various other sauces and condiments included – there really was so much provided; it was everything we needed and more! There’s also a sink attached to mains water with tea towels and all you require to do the washing up. A cool box with ice-packs is provided and guests have access to a fridge that’s located in one of the farm’s barns. It makes a big difference to have all of these items included when you go glamping as it really cuts down how much you need to pack and bring from home – I’m always one for an easier life!
Inside the kitchen area is also a table and chairs – this was nice as this gave us the option to sit outside and enjoy our food or the option to have it undercover should it have rained. The nice added touch of some pink roses to dress the table was cute. We sat at the table for breakfast each day and enjoyed our complimentary scones, cream and jam too! Zara offers cooked meals and homemade desserts which you can pre-order. The menu included pasta dishes, lamb tagine and some very yummy sounding puddings! I can imagine these homely warming dishes would be very much appreciated in the colder months. You can also opt for another cream tea if the complimentary welcome one tempted you to have another!
I’ve never glamped or camped anywhere where I have had access to my own private toilet! The toilet hut is great and features a real flushing toilet that was spotlessly clean. An added bonus is the outdoor power shower – what a unique experience to shower outside amidst the wonderful woodland! There are fairy lights to guide you during night-time and plenty of toilet roll and shower essentials provided which again added another nice touch.
Camp Fire Heaven
For the two nights we stayed at Just Us Retreats we made use of the awesome fit pit to cook our dinners. There’s plenty of wood provided and we so enjoyed building the fire and cooking BBQ food.
Zara had left us some marshmallows and so using his pocket knife Nathan made us some sticks to roast the marshmallows on. There’s something so cute and romantic about toasting marshmallows over an open fire. There’s logs for sitting on and a bench too – plenty of room for a family to chill around an open roaring fire pit. All that was missing was the campfire songs – Nathan wasn’t too keen on these!
One of the brilliant additions to the site is the two full-size hammocks hooked up between the stunning woodland trees. Nathan and I spent hours laying in the sunshine looking up through the trees to the blue skies above us and chilling out. It was so relaxing to unwind with a cup of tea and a book and just listen to the birdsong whilst swaying in the breeze. I am dreaming about returning to these hammocks – such a great addition to the site!
Countryside Views and A Spot of Tennis
Whilst staying at Just Us Retreats guests have access to the farmland and surrounding fields. Guests are provided with a map and encouraged to walk around and enjoy the wonderful countryside views. We did this early one evening and loved how peaceful and beautiful the area was – all you can hear is the sound of birdsong and the sheep grazing in the fields! We spotted an abundance of wildlife during our stay including various birds, squirrels, rabbits, sheep, spiders, bees and lots of other woodland bugs! We weren’t lucky enough to see any deer which Zara regularly sees – maybe we weren’t quiet enough! You can check out some lovely pictures and videos of the wildlife filmed by Zara on the Just Us Retreats Instagram page.
As well as exploring the farmland and fields, guests are invited to use the tennis court. We had a couple of games and really enjoyed getting some exercise whilst competing against each other to win! All tennis balls and rackets are provided which is another bonus!
Taking a Look Around Bathsheba
Zara invited us to have a look ‘Bathsheba’ the Shepherd’s hut. Bathsheba is again situated in its own private field and offers stunning countryside views. The hut looked so cute and cosy and I would love to come back and stay here next time! As with Gabriel, the Shepherd’s hut site has its own toilet hut, kitchen area and fire pit. Again, there are lovely little personal touches that add to the luxurious and welcoming feel. Given the size of the Shepherd’s hut, I think Gabriel would be better for families as there is more space in the tent. I can imagine Bathsheba being super romantic for a couple’s birthday or anniversary getaway. The hut has great reviews on TripAdvisor too so don’t just take my word for it!
Whilst this was an easy and enjoyable blog post to write given how much fun we had, I also feel like I don’t have the words to do our wonderful stay justice! I really can’t give enough praise to Just Us Retreats and couldn’t recommend it more. Everything you need for a luxury glamping trip is provided here and Nathan I totally fell in love with Gabriel, our bell tent. It was so nice to get away from the daily grind and surround ourselves in the beautiful woodland of our secluded getaway. There’s such a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere and I truly felt able to relax and unwind. The luxurious nature of the tent felt very special and romantic and I would really recommend Just Us Retreats for a romantic getaway with your nearest and dearest. The added touches didn’t go unnoticed and we spent our whole stay exclaiming at how much was provided and how the attention to detail was superb. The bank holiday sunshine made our stay even more pleasant, but I can imagine with the watertight tent, warm furnishings and undercover cooking area that it would be a great place to glamp all year-round! Both Zara and Hugh were very welcoming and friendly and appeared keen to provide guests with a really lovely, luxurious and unique retreat. 5 stars all round!
You can book your luxury glamping stay directly through the Just Us Retreats webpage and check out more pictures, reviews and information on their Twitter and Facebook pages.
***Whilst our stay at Just Us Retreats was provided to us on a complimentary basis all thoughts and opinions are my own***
At the beginning of May, the sun was shining and after drowning in university work I decided it was time for a break. I really needed some fresh air and headspace! I decided to drive to Tiverton so I could explore the Grand Western Canal.
The Grand Canal
The canal runs from Tiverton in Devon to Taunton in Somerset. It’s 11 and a quarter miles long and dates back to the early 1800’s – so it’s been around a fair while! Car parking at the canal basin is easy and not too expensive. After parking the car all you have to do is walk up a set of steps or a tarmacked slope and you’ve reached the canal.
A Floating Cafe
As it was lunchtime and I’d neglected to fill my stomach before I left home I treated myself to a cheese and onion pasty and a cuppa tea from Ducks Ditty Cafe Bar. Ducks Ditty is such a cool cafe and very unique as it offers food and drinks from on board a canal boat!
The barge is moored up and has plenty of benches on the banks where people can sit and enjoy their food. Ducks Ditty offers a fully licensed bar, ice creams and yummy pasties. There are places to sit on board too if you fancy it!
Time for a Stroll
After chilling in the sun, eating my pasty and reading my book it was time for a stroll along the canal. The path is well-made out and follows alongside the canal. There are various bridges offering crossover points and plenty of benches for when your feet get tired or you want to stop and look for wildlife. There are lots of beautiful swans and ducks that swim along the canal and plenty of other wildlife including many birds, bugs and even some frogs that I spotted! I spent quite a while watching a swan and her newborn babies – so pretty and cute.
There were lots of people walking their dogs, cycling and walking along the canal path. There were also quite a few people fishing too. After walking a couple of miles from the busier canal basin there were stretches of the canal where I was walking the path alone. It was so peaceful and relaxing. It was nice to get some fresh air and feel the sun as I walked – it was just what I needed!
After walking a couple of miles I decided to turn round and walk back – it was tempting to keep going but I knew I would only have to walk back to the car! I’d love to come and cycle some of the canal path as I think I would cover more distance, more quickly – a trip to be planned for one day soon I hope.
Grand Canal Visitor Centre
On my way back I popped into the Grand Western Canal Visitor Centre. The visitor centre is free to enter and open every day from 9.30am – 4.30pm. There’s a cool touch screen with an interactive display and lots of information relating to the canal and its development. A large timeline details information about when the canal was built and how it’s been used over the years.
A Cheeky Scone
Before heading home I couldn’t resist visiting the Canal Tea Rooms and Garden – the idyllic looking cottage really drew me in! The tea room is actually outside with plenty of places to sit, along with a large covered seating area. All food is served out of a hatch and delivered to you by the friendly staff. The menu is pretty extensive offering lunchtime meals, cakes, ice creams and afternoon tea. I was very naughty and ordered a homemade traditional lemonade and a scone with cream and jam. Whilst the scone was tasty, it wasn’t the best I’ve had (and I’ve had many!) but the lemonade was delicious and more than made up for it! There were lots of people enjoying their food and sitting in the cute gardens. I had such a lovely time!
I had a lovely afternoon on a solo adventure exploring the Grand Western Canal. I really recommend it as somewhere to go for a lovely relaxing walk or cycle. The added extra of the special places to eat was an added bonus too!