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Recommedations needed please for Devon?

(36 Posts)
CHUNKYMUNKEY Sun 02-Jan-05 22:45:02

Hi all, I want to book a week's holiday in Devon asap in August for myself dp, and dd who will be 4. I have got a good brochure for accomodation, but have no idea about what area to stay in, does anyone have any recommendations that will help me and info about places of interest in these areas especially things to do for dd.such as beaches,playgrounds, etc. Thanks.

Frizbe Sun 02-Jan-05 23:29:35

Do not stay in Appledore, (we were vey close last year and it was very zzzz) it'll bore the socks off you! the place opposite has a nice beach, but is very quiet(get a map as I can't remember what it was called! ....Saunton sands has a good beach for the kids, surfing etc and the villages down from it are good and barnstaple is very nice, good shopping!....Ilfracombe is odd....for the south I'd say Babacombe, which has two good beaches, Torquay or Paington are good

bluesky Mon 03-Jan-05 14:47:56

Chunkymunkey, we would really recommend Torquay/Paington, loads to do, been several times with my boys when they were 4ish. Great beaches, boat trips, steam train ride, Paignton Zoo, indoor play area in Torquay, lots of craxy golf which my two LOVE. We stayed in Brixham, little harbour town, there are several Hoseasons type places to stay near there. There was a big Sainsburys nearby where I did the shopping.

KateandtheGirls Mon 03-Jan-05 14:52:20

We stayed in Hope Cove last summer, which is a gorgeous little village with nice beaches. It's near Salcombe, which I would recommend because it has beaches, boats, pubs and restaraunts etc.

Surfermum Mon 03-Jan-05 15:32:08

If you like beach holidays then I'd recommend Woolacombe. For days out the Big Sheep is great and it has a large indoor play centre.

BearintheBigBlueHouse Tue 04-Jan-05 17:17:45

I second Woolacombe/Croyde for beach fun.

Frizbe (and anyone else who knows) - we're looking at a house between Bideford and Westward Ho! for this summer (couldn't find one big enough for us + DGPs north of the estuary ie Woolacombe/Croyde/Saunton) - is it really that dreary? - aren't the beach and dunes etc at WH! alright? Please help before we send deposit

CHUNKYMUNKEY Tue 04-Jan-05 17:24:47

Have seen two nice cottages in Bideford, was thinking about this area? does anyone know it? I have had trouble with posting so this thread may be repeated a few times sorry! Thanks for your suggestions i have never been to Devon. I have heard of the big sheep and a place called the Milky way is this a theme park? My dp is looking for a nice pub with grub! and dd is happy with playgrounds, zoos and a beach. I would prefer places to do that are fairly close by to where we are staying, although we are driving so getting around is fine. Places to avoid would be handy to know as well.

Zephyrcat Tue 04-Jan-05 17:31:26

DP lived in Ilfracombe for 10 years after going for just a weekend!! We go there every year and love it. We also spend time at Woolacombe. The beach there is lovely and great for the kids. The big sheep is brill too!! See if you can find Lee Bay while you are in the area. No-one really knows about it and it's amazing. The tide is right out all day and it's absolutely beautiful.... About half a milr of cliffs and rock pools walking out to a little cove and beach

Aero Tue 04-Jan-05 17:48:03

We stayed at this brilliant farm park last year. It has it's own pub and restaurant with gorgeous home-made food and is within easy driving distance of loads of things to do incl Pennywell Farm, Paignton Zoo (12 miles), River Dart Adventure Park (excellent day out) etc. They also do farm walks twice a week where children can get involved in seeing, feeding and handling the animals etc. Would highly recommend. Also, they have trampolines everywhere and a good play area.

Frizbe Tue 04-Jan-05 21:21:35

Westward Ho! is rather strange...(cue twangy guitar music, the hairdressers called Lucifers drew a laugh though!) it seemed to have a newsagents, a spar, a hairdressers, three arcades and a cafe? oh and a beach with pitch n put (small) so wouldn't recommend it.....Bideford is ok on a small town scale (and it is all near the Big Sheep, which is a good day out) We stayed in Westleigh, which is a lovely little village near Instow, (although it only has a pub and a phone for things to do) Instow is the place with the good beach on the estuary,has shop, nice sand and icecreams! opposite Appledore (Yawn) Instow has a good shop, with Deli, two galleries, a pub and two restaurants I think?.... would def recommend either of these two, but not the ho!

janeybops Tue 04-Jan-05 21:24:41

Bideford is just a town by aestuary. You have to drive to get to a beach. Although plenty of good ones nearby - Croyde, Saunton Sands, Woolacombe, Westwrad Ho! Near to Clovelly which is worth a visit.

For beach holiday go to north coast - lots of surf and golden beaches.

For attractions etc go to south coast but beaches are not very good. Little surf and sand is not so good. Beaches also smaller.

Frizbe Tue 04-Jan-05 21:24:53

that is Instow or Westleigh, or Bideford, as all in good reach of attractions! Clovelly is a nice day out, although a bit steep!

janeybops Tue 04-Jan-05 21:27:22

BTW there aren't really dunes at WH! There is a huge pebble ridge that separates the beach from the town. Bit wierd actually. I quite like it for a day visit not sure if |I'd stay there all week. We used to stay in Braunton. Very nice village and close to some excellent beaches. My Aunt has a holiday cottage there...

CHUNKYMUNKEY Tue 04-Jan-05 21:44:47

Thanks everyone. Okay, i have scrapped Bideford, looking at Torquay and Paignton possibly now. If we go in May and the weather isn't very good, are there indoor places to visit near here, thanks Aero for the link to the farm it looks great but dp is adament he doesn't want to stay on a farm and be woken up by cockerels at 5.00 am!

Frizbe Tue 04-Jan-05 23:39:15

ah Braunton, that's the name of the place near Saunton Sands!

Marina Wed 05-Jan-05 09:45:06

Tend to agree with others that north of Barnstaple is nicer than south, as far as beaches and activities on the N Devon coast are concerned. We holidayed in Woolacombe last year, are going back this year, recommend it and the area highly although the traffic bottlenecks at Barnstaple are appalling.
The Big Sheep is good for children, purgatory for adults. We preferred Watermouth Castle near Ilfracombe, and the cliff funicular/woodland walks at Lynton/Lynmouth. Other things to do in the area include walks on the headland followed by lobster lunch in the fresh air at Mortehoe, rather crowded and steep dinosaur/wildlife park at Combe Martin, cycle hire on the Tarka Trail (disused railway, baby/child seats, trailers and tagalongs all available) between Bideford and Barnstaple, tapas lunch at Damien Hurst's new restaurant in Ilfracombe, trip to Lundy Island from Ilfracombe or Bideford on the MS Oldenbourg.
Agree with Frizbe that Ilfracombe is a bit weird/down at heel, but with a new Sainsbury's planned I think regeneration can't be far behind...

weightwatchingwaterwitch Wed 05-Jan-05 12:28:23

Chunkeymonkey, I think Torquay and Paignton are a bit naff actually (sorry to anyone who lives there) - the other side of the river is nicer IMO! I used to live in Dartmouth, which is very pretty and Totnes and Kingsbridge are also good places to visit with children. You might find them cheaper than Darmouth too, which can be v expensive. You could have a look at the South Hams district council page and call and ask for their new guide . I mostly disliked living there but think it's a lovely place for a holiday! There's a big play place, Woodlands, here and the page has lots of other links on it .

hopefulmover Wed 05-Jan-05 12:33:20

Dawlish warren - lovely beach with soft sand dunes. Near enough to Exeter for shops. Crealy if its wet. Paignton zoo will tire even the most active child and has a place where adults can sit while children do soft play or colour in Much nicer than north devon - although I may be a tiny bit biased

yoyo Wed 05-Jan-05 12:41:33

Had a wonderful holiday in Dartmouth. Blackpool beach nearby (shingle but good for children as has a sort of pool area). Crabbing brilliant fun in Dartmouth itself as well as river trips and the steam train over to Torquay. There is also a super open-air pool at the top end of Dartmouth where we spent many hapy hours. We stayed in a flat called "Harbour Lights" which overlooked the marina and it was excellent.

CHUNKYMUNKEY Wed 05-Jan-05 18:01:37

We have gone back to the idea of being near Bideford again, we are on a budget and have seen some cottages here in our price range, its says its near the big sheep, milky way, RHS Garden Rosemooor and clovely. does this sound like a good place to be based? Could we get to other attractions fairly easily such as paignton Zoo or would this be too far away? The two places we may possibly be chosing are woolsery near Bideford and Buckland Brewer in Bideford.

helenmc Wed 05-Jan-05 22:25:08

I'm biased like hopefulmover - we had fantastic holiday at Exmouth, lovely sandy beach with rock pools. also near Dawlish Warren. Crealy Park just outside Exeter has animals and a huge huge indoor soft play centre for rainy days, Country LIfe - loads of animals (chance to take a goat for a walk).
Avoid Torquay & paignton - nightmare going in and out. My mum lives near Newton Abbot and avoids T&P like the pague in the summer, and spring and ....

hopefulmover Thu 06-Jan-05 03:58:40

Traffic in Paignotn in summer certainly is a nightmare but the zoo is very large and you can stay all day. Grown-ups will be worn out but there's that soft play area.....its not a big play area but a very useful one. dd played happily while my feet recovered! Its a bit far from Bideford. There's some sort of dinosaur place in North Devon but it was closed when we were there - Combe Martin?

Crealy is designed to allow adults to go in the soft play area if that appeals

CHUNKYMUNKEY Thu 06-Jan-05 16:03:15

Thanks for your reccomendations everyone, we don't know anyone who has been to devon so your comments are much appreciated. Going to try and make a decision by the end of the week and book, we are again unsure about bideford and are going to look at Woolacombe, dartmouth and dawlish. Does anyone know of a website or where i can get infomation on tourist attractions for these areas such as prices, opening times etc?

Marina Thu 06-Jan-05 16:10:46

Try this for some N Devon tourist attractions and also this official website as a start point.
Our biggest hit in the area last year was Watermouth Castle, ds loved it.
Beaches at Woolacombe are delightful - clean, good facilities, unspoilt and friendly - the English seaside at its rare best.

Furball Thu 06-Jan-05 16:13:42

Also Here for the north and Here for the south

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