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To want to go on my holiday to devon next week on a tight budget??

(44 Posts)
lucyellensmumisgreat Wed 03-Jun-09 20:47:30

Well obviously not - we are there for a week, caravan, self catering, haven holiday park. We have £300-£400 (at a push) so not desperately tight but tight enough to budget, this will be for food for two adults and one three year old, entertainment and petrol.

We will be in south devon - trying to avoid soft play centers as much as possible. So, apart from the beach - which is high on the list, what potentially could we do to entertain the wean?

We are going to take staple foodstuffs with us, as last year we spent out loads on having to buy things like tea bags and stock cubes, breakfast cereals etc. So, cheap places to eat out and quick, decent and healthy food ideas?

Thanks ladies

lucyellensmumisgreat Thu 04-Jun-09 08:33:58

seems i'm invisible then hmm oh well, i'll toddle back to my cave

BONKERZ Thu 04-Jun-09 08:44:15

i would say what you have is not a small budget at all! We normally take and spend about £200 when we go on holiday to devon and that includes food and everything for 2 adults and 3 children!!!!!!!!!!!!!

definately go to crealy park, cheap entry fee and loads to do...easy to spend a whole day there, its near exeter!
id say its worth travelling to paignton zoo too, take sandwiches to cut costs even more.

look out for leaflets when you get there cos most have discounts.

maybe drive upto minehead and have a day at butlins ( about £25 for the day!) then you can use all the facilities there and from south to north devon takes about hour and half!

Fayrazzled Thu 04-Jun-09 08:45:16

We came back from South devon last week and had a great time. If the sun shines, your really don't need to spend a lot of money. And we didn't visit a soft play centre once! We spent 3 days at different beaches: Bigbury, North Sands and East Portlemouth. For the latter we took the "ferry" from Salcombe which the children loved. We also visted the "Living Coasts" coastal zoo at Torquay but that was quite expensive, as was the South Devon Railway- but they were nice treats.

Depending on where you are staying you could visit the South Devon Chilli Farm or the Riverford Organics Farm. Totnes is a nice town to visit- i wish we had soent some more time there.

I think the biggest potential burner of cash is snacks/lunch when out and about, so my recommendation to stay in budget would be to take snacks and a picnic with you when you go out for the day. We stayed near Kingsbridge and there are no supermarkets near by- just Spar type shops. Next time we would do a Tesco online shop and have it delivered to where we are staying. But there are some good greengrocers, fishmongers and butchers about and lots of delis so it was easy to put meals together.

HTH. If you know where you're staying I'll try and be more specific.

Fayrazzled Thu 04-Jun-09 08:47:17

We went to Crealy on the way home. It is fab for pre-school children. Again, not cheap- about £13 per person I think, but good for a day out, and picnics are welcome there you don't need to eat at their restaurants.

Strawbezza Thu 04-Jun-09 08:58:17

Beach every day it's not raining, picnics every day, for tea do easy things like pasta, or grill sausages/chops and have them with chips from the chippy and some veg. Maybe promise yourself a meal out on the last Friday if you've got enough money left!

Use the free park facilities but steer clear of the kids' amusements - I've seen some parents feeding ten £1 coins in quick succession into those soft toy 'grabber' machines!

And the on-site cafe/restaurant will probably be overpriced freezer-to-microwave stuff, better to do some local research and pick out a nice local pub for your planned meal out.

yappybluedog Thu 04-Jun-09 09:10:54

I don't know, I live in South Devon and it costs a bleedin' fortune

There is a big Somerfield (soon to be Morrisons) in Kingsbridge

DON'T go to Totnes, you will BURN money there, too many lovely shops

You do rely on the weather alot here

Where are you staying?

lucyellensmumisgreat Thu 04-Jun-09 09:29:04

thankyou everyone I agree bonkers that it is a fairly big budget, its the whole thing of it being a BUDGET that i find scary - as in, thats it, that is ALL the money we have - we don't have credit cards to fall back on - cut those up!!!

Crealy does look good and im pleased to see some recommendations as i was nervous about paying out to go there if it was going to be pants. My daughter is a tall three year old so hopefully will be able to enjoy the rides.

Really hoping and praying for decent weather, but being realistic that it might not be sunbathing weather.

We are staying at Devon Cliffes, Haven in Exmouth. We went there last year on a Sun holiday but have booked ourselves this year as it worked out cheaper in the long run. What we weren't prepared for was self catering when we had NOTHING in the cupboards. At home we have staples and spices etc, but that week we had to spend out on everything - a valuable lesson learnt i have to say. So emptying our cupboards into a box and taking with this year. We managed to find a way into the show arenas without passing through the amusment arcade hell. So will avoid that like the plague this year. They have a decent swimming pool too - hopefully it will be nice enough to use their outside jobby. (I have this fantasy about my sittting and reading my book whilst daddy splashes with DD - one can hope!).

I think there is an Asda near by, but def a tesco, but was shocked that it was so much more expensive than here (we are in Kent). We spent much more than we wanted to on foodstuff last year.

I'm not one for shopping so that wont be a problem. Its the whole lunch and snack thing - a picnic is fun for a few days, but how do i make it fun for a week?

littlelamb Thu 04-Jun-09 09:33:21

If it rains (!) try and get to Exeter on a weekend morning- at the Vue cinema you will get the lot of you in to see the Kids Club Movie for less than £4. A day to Exeter is worthwhile, the Quay is gorgeous on a sunny day, bring the children to MakeArt to do somehting creative without you havine to clean up the mess, Dinkys is a play cafe that isn't the most hellish I've ever been in wink
Aside from that, keep an eye out for money off vouchers for days out in the Express and Echo. Pennywell Farm is definately worth a trip, so is Paignton Zoo.

poshwellies Thu 04-Jun-09 09:33:27

'I think there is an Asda near by, but def a tesco, but was shocked that it was so much more expensive than here (we are in Kent)'

Yes and our wages are shite down here sad

But anyway,have a great holiday,sending you lots of positive happy hol vibes-try not to focus too much on your budget and more on having a ace time!

lucyellensmumisgreat Thu 04-Jun-09 09:37:27

i empathise poshwellies. We live in Whitstable in Kent which in the last five years or so has become second home heaven (or hell, depends how you look at it) and the prices have shot up way beyond the reaches of locals. It is very frustrating. In fact i was moaning about this the other day and my DP said i should hush my mouth as we are going to be tourists in Devon soon.

Sunshinemummy Thu 04-Jun-09 09:55:17

We were in Devon in May and had a feb time. We stayed near Cortnworthy so were a little further away but things I'd suggest are:

- go crabbing (we went to Dittisham) - you need a bucket, stringy thing (which you can buy v. cheaply) and some bacon for bait. DS and his friend loved it.
- Dartmouth is a really nice town to visit and you can get the ferry across the River Dart which is quite a nice little trip.

mylifemykids Thu 04-Jun-09 10:01:40

What we do when we go on holiday is split the week's budget up into daily budgets. So your £350 for 7 days will work out as £50 a day (which is loads really isn't it!). Any you have left from the day obviously gets carried over into the next day - it's amazing how quickly it builds up and if you run out one day it's also amazing how much stuff you can find to do for free!!

Notalone Thu 04-Jun-09 10:08:10

Hey Lucyellens mummy. We were on the Sun holiday thread together back in January (I think it was January - you talked about accommodation because you have a dog and were advising me on the basic bronze caravans) and it looks like we are going away in the same week. We are off to Scotland on Monday and the weather is supposed to be rainy. Its not fair!! Has been glorious this week and I chose next week over this week thinking there would be more chance of better weather the later we book. Bloody typical! Think you will be better off in Devon - should be warmer and drier.

As for my words of wisdom. We are on a small budget too so what we do is a few weeks before buy a few extras out of the weekly shop. So for example I have put aside so far loo roll (don't forget this - very important!), cereal, juice, kitchen towel, shower gel etc. We take most of the staples with us and then when we get close to where we are staying we go to the local Tesco / Asda etc and buy the perishables (google where the supermarkets are first as it will save petrol on aimless driving looking for one). When you get there if it is sunny you won't need a lot of money as you can go to the beach with a picnic. If it does rain make the most of the swimming pool and other indoor facilites as you have indirectly already paid for these. Even if it does rain you can still go down to the beach for a bit. We did in Wales alst year and actually had a lot of fun depite getting wet. Research places to go before you get there and plan your trips around location to save on petrol so if you plan on visiting two places in a day ensure they are close together. Also if you do plan on visiting zoo's, farms etc look online for discount vouchers. We did this with the Sea Life Centre last year and saved 25% on 3 tickets. Also some Haven places can book tickets for places for you and you can get discounts this way (Primrose Valley Haven in Scarborough does this)

Hope you have a lovely (dry!) time

lucyellensmumisgreat Thu 04-Jun-09 10:58:24

I seem to remember notalone We are not taking our dog this year because we went booked via a special offer that meant the luxury caravan was cheaper than the basic one and we culdnt actually afford the basic one hmm. So, the dog is staying with my mum - i shall miss him alot.

We went to Scotland about six years ago and i just loved it - and it pissed down, and i mean pissed down every day. It didn't matter, it suited the scenery and walking in the highlands in the rain seems right and proper grin.

Good idea re the vouchers - will keep an eye out for those thats for sure. I am so tight these days, ha ha - can't afford to be otherwise.

Im quite excited now - I had to deal with the scary tax man today but he was a pussy cat really so we are all set - i hope

Strawbezza Thu 04-Jun-09 11:19:12

Other non-food things to take - plastic food bags, washing-up liquid, pan scourers, tinfoil, coathangers, and I always take my own tin opener and sharp knife.

Are you allowed to use one of those single-use barbecues on the site? If so take one (or two) with you, they are cheap at inland Wilkos but vastly expensive anywhere on the coast.

chosenone Thu 04-Jun-09 11:27:08

There is a wetherspoons in Exmouth that does cheap and cheeful meals with a small outdoor beer garden in front. The Powder Monkey. Also the Deer Leap across the front and a nice Chip Shop. But for picnics a fresh baguette that the DC can rip bits off can make a nice change, cheese cubed coulourful salad and fruit. A boat trip on the sea/estuary or the canal to exeter might be nice. have fun

Jux Thu 04-Jun-09 11:36:18

If you can bear to drive, Charmouth beach is great for fossil hunting.

There's a cafe on Honiton High Street called the Pottery Shop and Milkshake Bar (or similar) where you can spend a rainy afternoon painting pottery which they will fire for you and send to your home. They do snacks and drinks too.

DorisIsAPinkDragon Thu 04-Jun-09 11:57:54

Hi, If you have any tesco clubcard vouchers Pennywell farm ahve started accepting them and it's an absolutely lovely place for a 3 year old!!

Notalone Thu 04-Jun-09 12:04:32

Thats a bit silly re the basic v luxury caravan. Aw - bet you will miss him loads if you are used to taking him with you. Actually this thread is a bit spooky because I was thinking about you and your dog holidays this week. I volunteer at the local dog kennels and walk the unwanted dogs until they get rehomed. This week the most gorgeous dog has come in - he is just your bog standard collie but he has so much character and has a fantastic temprament that we are considering rehoming him ourselves. However I was wondering about the realities of holidaying with dogs. Are you really restricted where you can go (accommodation, beaches etc) and what about eating out, going to farms etc. Is it doable or impossible?

In relation to the discounts, it may be too late for clubcard deals but you could look on money saving expert etc for discount vouchers and it may be worth either pre booking to get admission cheaper or calling Devon Cliffs direct to see if they do offer discounts off local entry fees.

Glad you have got the tax man over and done with. Yay - you can relax now! I have to get my last uni assignment finished and in by tomorrow then I can relax too and start packing my waterproofs (sob sob!) smileHope you have a lovely holiday - we will have to compare notes on our return! smile

MilaMae Thu 04-Jun-09 12:15:55

Hi op I'd avoid Crealy it's hellish expensive and hideous(there was a free week offer on though but that may have ended, definitely wouldn't pay full price for 1 day).

The Miniature Pony Centre is gorgeous and one of the cheaper attractions round here.

Teignmouth is nice super play park,nice beach,my lot love riding their bikes along the sea front. Free
You can go crabbing off Shaldon beach opposite and it has a smugglers tunnel to walk through, you find loads of sea glass there.

Lustleigh on Dartmoor is a beautiful village with a little play park in an orchard with a stream.Free

Loads of child friendly walks and streams on Dartmoor.Free

Bovey Tracey has a nice playpark and dis used railway track you can walk to Lustleigh along. It has a nice craft centre with lovely cafe that has toys in for the kids to play with.

Ullacombe farm shop has just opened a lovely new cafe with toys for the kids. There are a couple of animals to look at.

Occambe farm near Paignton is fab loads to see and do all free but if you pay 50p deposit they'll give you a stamp pad and you can letterbox along one of the trails. It has a play area and cafe etc.

Stover park is free. It has a lovely Ted Hughes poetry trail,ducks to feed,education centre,plenty of places to romp around,plenty of trails.-fab for bikes.

As Littlelamb said Exeter is fab-the Apple store is good too as they let the kids play on the computers.The cathedral and library are good too,Boston Tea Party sells the best coffee and is child friendly.Big Waterstones with good kids section. Would second the other Exeter recommendations.

My favourite beach ever is Blackpool Sands free but it has the lovely Venus cafe which can tempt. It's beautiful though and it has a secret garden to visit behind,not pricey.

Bigbury is my 2nd fav and you can go across to the island on the sea tractor.

Paignton Zoo is pricey but worth it,has an under 5's area that is good like a mini pre-school you just turn up.

I could go on but suspect my post may well be a tad tedious now. The key thing is to picnic everybody does down here as we're all broke. I wouldn't spend anything like what you're planning to spend and I have 3 dc. Last Easter hols I think the dc and I only spent £30.

Have fun

Jux Thu 04-Jun-09 13:35:37

Sorry, meant to say have a good time!

(Got called for putting up shelves)

lucyellensmumisgreat Thu 04-Jun-09 14:44:29

MilaMae - we went to the mini horse centre last year - we loved it, will definately re visit.

Jux, where is charmouth beach? I LOVE fossil hunting, i have a fossil box!! I currently have two sharks teeth (found on my local beach) some cockles and sponges. I sent off for a free fossil book from the Open Uni so will be packing that. We were going to look at lyme regis for fossils too.

Just bought a crab line and the man in the shop told me that anything minging is a good lure Shaldon beach - check!

Occacomb farm looks good too

Will get on and research where these places are - we are armed with Satnav this year so we can just jump in the car and go - as apposed to my dodgy directions!

Notalone - it was great having our dog with us last year, but it was restrictive. He freaked out when we tried to leave him behind so we had to take him EVERYWHERE. Because he is kneehigh to a grasshopper it didn't matter too much. That was one of the reasons why we decided to leave him behind too as we are away for longer this time. If we wanted to eat we either chose outside tables, or when we went to eat in we left him in the car, with all the windows open (in a cage) and a bowl of water, within sight. Took him for a walk before we left him. At the minature pony centre there were kennels and i think quite a few places do this, we had to pay 50p and clean up after him. I do feel kind of lost on a walk without a dog, but i know he will be taken care of so i wont fret too much. I certainly don't think its impossible, and if you are like me and prefer to be outside its much easier. I did find it problematic with beaches though as not all beaches welcome dogs off the lead, or at all (understandable really).

Thank you so much for the advice - yes will definately visit Martin and his money advice. The only real big spend i think will be crealy park, i didn't go much on their website though so a bit dubious, but have promised lucy the fair!

lucyellensmumisgreat Thu 04-Jun-09 14:46:49

Oh and milae, not tedious at all - its great to get the local savvy! Im even more excited now

poshwellies Thu 04-Jun-09 14:50:51

Charmouth is about 5/6 miles down the road from Lyme.

Make sure you visit the Museum at Lyme too ,free of coursegrin)

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