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Beautiful Burgundy. Family cycling in France.

9 Oct

France is a great location for a cycling holiday. We are not quite ready for on-road cycle routes and travelling miles and miles each day so this year we opted for one base that was in easy reach of family friendly rides.

The canal paths and sleepy waterways are perfect for cyclists of all abilities. We set off for the day, loaded up with picnics, drinks and sun cream and just loved the relaxed and easy way of life. No one rushes anywhere in Burgundy. The colourful canal boats drift along with ease, the crew giving a wave as you ride by or perhaps lifting a glass of wine in your direction to say ‘Bon Soir’. The beautiful villages along the way are very welcoming with their boulangeries and cafes.

canal-collage

Our accommodation was on the edge of Vermenton. A lovely small town with all amenities and a very good campsite by the river. Friends of ours stayed at this site for a few days and loved it.

We stayed at Le Moulinot. This is a wonderful property that provides everything a family needs for a fun-filled holiday. The property is spacious and welcoming, has all mod cons (including a DVD player with English films) and is situated next to a beautiful millpond and swimming pool.

collage-pool

There is a canoe on the pond which we made use of every day. The swimming pool was cool and inviting during the scorching hot days and there were plenty of loungers for relaxing and reading.

You feel completely free here and are surrounded by fields, streams and wildlife. Other than the owners who live in an adjacent property, there are no other neighbours and it felt very safe for the children to be wild and free. It is a bird spotters paradise, with a resident Kingfisher, Dippers, Herons and Buzzards flying over-head and beautiful dragonflies flitting about on the water.

Wildlife Collage.jpgOur favourite wildlife were the Coypu who doggie-paddled across the pool at dusk and entertained the children for hours. Although they are from the rodent family they are very sweet and look like little otters or beavers. They  have been eradicated in the UK so we were quite excited to see them. There were also red squirrels and  Loir (Edible Dormouse). We had a brief glimpse of a red squirrel but sadly never spotted a Loir as they are nocturnal. We did however hear them in the roof space at night!

Coypu Collage.jpg

Coypu spotting!

collage-moulinot

The beautiful and tranquil, Le Moulinot

Vermenton is an excellent base for exploring Burgundy. Here are our recommendations for places to visit.

  • Noyers-sur-Serein. A beautiful medieval town with an old castle to explore. Try lunch at Rouge et Blanc where you can get a fantastic platter of cheeses and cold meats.
  • Grottes de St More – Quite an energetic hike to these and you do need to be a bit of a mountain goat at times! If you are feeling adventurous though they are definitely worth exploring. Good for spotting sleeping bats!
  • Avallon – Another medieval town with some great restaurants. Thomas had his first taste of snails here. L’horloge restaurant on 63 Grande Rue Aristide Briand was really good at accommodating my gluten free requests. The owner spoke good English and was very reassuring in talking me through their menu.
  • Chablis – The only place I have ever been where it seems normal to have wine with breakfast! Check out the wine tours here, there are plenty to choose from. The open air market is excellent too.
  • Vezelay – A trip to the Basilica is definitely worthwhile. We had lunch at Restaurant le Dent Creuse which was very reasonably priced and despite looking like a tourist trap was actually very good.
  • Grottes D’Arcy – These are excellent caves with a guided tour in French (my husband and children enjoyed a spontaneous translation from a lovely Parisian English teacher). Look out for the second oldest cave paintings in France and amazing geological formations.
  • Auxerre – We visted here on our last day and I wish we had discovered it earlier. It has the best market of any we had seen. Do not miss Cathedral St Etienne, it has stunning stained glass windows, statues, gargoyles and paintings that take your breath away.

auxerre-collage

grottes-de-st-more-collage

vezelay-collageAs well as site seeing there are plenty of other things to do in the area…

Kayaking

collage-kayak

There are quite a few options for Kayaking the Burgundy rivers. We decided to head to St Pere in the Morvan Valley and chose AB Loisirs. They were helpful and friendly and spoke English which was very useful for us! Our route was a five mile fairly easy paddle and was easily managed by our 7 and 10 year old who shared kayaks with us. This was a great way to explore the river Cure and get up close to the wildlife.

Two minutes from AB Loisirs is Brasserie de Vezelay where you could buy a perfect, cold, gluten free beer. They also serve bar snacks. Definitely worth a visit if you are a coeliac like me.

Markets

We love visiting French markets with their atmosphere, sights and smells and stocking up on local cheeses and pastries. You can find a list of market days here.

Ecluse Des Dames on the Canal du Nivernais

ecluse-des-dames

Ecluse Des Dames – a wonderful find!

I have to mention Ecluse Des Dames which we happily discovered on a bike ride. This is a play park in the trees! For just five euros each your little ones can play tarzan for as long as they like whilst you enjoy the picnic areas and hammocks and keep a close eye on them. (Children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult). The owners also have a small bistrot here where you can enjoy a glass of Chablis and a goats cheese salad. What a perfect way to spend the afternoon.

Burgundy was a delight for all the family and we would definitely recommend Le Moulinot. We will have some very happy memories of this trip.

What is your favourite holiday destination as a family?

Hotel review: Horn of Plenty – award winning hotel in Devon

5 Sep

outside-day

It is not often that we review somewhere without a couple of noisy children in tow but on this rare weekend we were child free (thank you mum!). We thought we had better make the most of it and booked a night away at The Horn of Plenty, near  Tavistock in Devon.

A beautiful, independently owned hotel, the Horn of Plenty boasts many awards on their website. Too many to mention on here but do pop over to their awards page to see for yourself. It is a 4 star hotel with two AA rosettes and a multitude of excellent reviews. Here’s another one to add to the collection.

The hotel has 16 rooms with 4 located in the main house and the remainder in the converted Coach House. We stayed in one of the Coach House rooms which are described as being more contemporary in design. Ours was certainly very modern and furnished to an excellent standard. It was a huge room and had all the little luxuries that make a visit special. Molton Brown toiletries, super soft bath robe, slippers, mini bar, very comfortable bed, TV, hot drinks etc.

Bedroom

Our room had a sweet little terraced area where you could sit outside and watch the sheep in the neighbouring field. We sat out here after our evening meal and watched the many bats swooping around catching their supper.

Terrace

The luxurious bathroom was perfect for a long bath and the chance to indulge in a complimentary copy of Country Living Magazine.

bathroom

After being given a few moments to settle in one of the staff brought us some very complimentary Panacotta. This was such a nice touch and gave the hotel a really welcoming and individual feel.

Pannacotta

That evening we visited the fine dining restaurant in the main house that looks out over the Tamar Valley. We had a table with the most amazing views. You can see for miles and it really is breathtaking.

Table view

Now for the food….. ooh the food! Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. The dishes were inventive, full of flavour and fresh ingredients but were also works of art. Look at this beautiful Duck liver parfait with damsons and wild offerings.

Liver parfait

My starter was a Cornish crab and crayfish salad with curry spiced mayonnaise and alphonso mango.

crab salad

For main course we both chose the Pan roasted South Coast John Dory & butter poached lobster with vintage carrots, nasturtium & Nepalese pepper.

main

Now for my favourite part of the meal – pudding! I chose the Variations of Garden Mint and Valrhona bitter chocolate delice.  Nick had the Kaffir lime parfait, strawberries, watermelon & basil.

tracys pud

nicks pudding

My pudding was the most amazing I have ever eaten. The combination of the mint and bitter chocolate was just divine!

The cheeseboard was a perfect combination of flavours and came with picked celery and a ginger jelly. Very yummy!

We are both quite critical about food when eating out but we couldn’t fault our meal at all. Everything was delicious, and we were served by friendly, caring staff who went out of their way to please. They were very knowledgeable about the food and the menu. As a coeliac they advised me on my gluten free options and most of the menu was naturally gluten free or could be easily adapted.  The menu also included complimentary canapés,  espresso sized cheese soup and petit fours. Quite a feast!

Finally, as a green parent I am always interested in whether an establishment has an environmental policy. The Horn of Plenty have put a lot of time and resources into developing theirs which you can see here.  They have a fantastic kitchen garden which could easily supply their kitchens. This did look quite overgrown and neglected on our visit, it would be great to see this revamped and fully stocked.

The perfect romantic destination in Devon – we would highly recommend it if you feel the need to temporarily escape from the hectic world of work and parenting. If you can’t arrange childcare, do not fear – children are welcome too!

 

North Norfolk Adventures from Kelling Heath

17 Aug

kelling

Kelling Heath is in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the campsite is made up of 270 acres of woodland and heathland. Their website tempted us with the chance to spot wildlife, cycle and explore the beautiful Norfolk Coast. As ‘green parents’ there were so many things about Kelling Heath that we were drawn to, not least their 10 green reasons to visit, it really seemed the perfect location for us.

On arrival at the site we were instantly impressed by the layout and the ‘safe’ feeling that the site has. The speed restriction throughout is 5 mph, the roads are wide enough to accommodate a car, as well as a family of cyclists. We felt very confident with our children cycling around the site and always used our bikes to go to the ‘village centre’ or the pool. For such a large site I think they have got this just right.

Beautiful views from Kelling Heath

Beautiful views from Kelling Heath

Our pitch was spacious and had electric hook up as standard. (Our first time camping with a real fridge.. yippee!) The shower block was always clean when we visited, even at peak periods and there were always cleaning staff around to check on things. They did a great job at a really busy time. The showers were hot and the cubicles were well thought out for families – plenty of space, hooks for your clothes and a little fold down seat/shelf. I can’t stand it when your clothes end up in a wet puddle on the floor due to lack of space!

To use the indoor pool you will need to purchase a pass for the Leisure Centre (unless you are staying in a lodge in which case you will get free membership for the duration of your stay). A pass for a family of four will cost you £32 per day which I think is pretty steep. You can also use the gym, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi but even so it is a lot of money.  If you are feeling brave, the outdoor heated pool is free for anyone staying at the site. We didn’t use it but I heard from other people that it was very cold!   As an alternative you could visit the Splash Leisure Centre in Sheringham.

The other facilities and activities on the site were great. There is children’s entertainment most evenings and whenever possible this is outside.  This pleased us because on a nice summer’s evening the last thing you want to do is to be sat indoors. The entertainment was of a good quality, they had a clown on a couple of evenings who brought along lots of activities for the children to try. There were all sorts of comical bicycles and children of all ages were having a great time attempting to ride them. Green Daddy also had a go but this was purely for research purposes of course….

There is a children’s assault course, adventure play area and playing field. Plenty to keep children of all ages entertained.  The site is perfect for cycling. Whether you want to stick to cycling through the woodland and heathland on site or venture further afield, there is something for everyone. We did a lot of cycling. One of our favourite routes was from Kelling Heath to Sheringham Park (via a 40 foot viewing tower!). For more information on cycling routes check out the Huff and Puff website. They are based at Kelling Heath and can also provide cycle hire.

cycling

Viewing tower at Sherringham Park

Viewing tower at Sheringham Park

The highlight of our holiday was definitely our day out on the North Norfolk Steam Railway. This railway runs from Holt to Sheringham and makes a request stop at Kelling Heath Campsite! How great is that?! We had a fantastic day spending the first part of the day in the lovely seaside town of Sheringham. I would definitely recommend the Whelk Coppers Tearooms which is down on the seafront. It’s a quaint little cafe offering home-made cakes, light lunches and smoothies. Really great atmosphere and friendly staff too. Also, don’t miss the Shell Art Gallery. You might think is sounds boring but it was quite an eye opener!

NSR collage

Other days out included the seaside town of Cromer. The lifeboat station and the Henry Blogg Museum are both located here and the children really enjoyed both of these.  The Henry Blogg Museum was really interactive and the dressing up was fun!

Dressing up at the Henry Blogg Museum, Cromer

Dressing up at the Henry Blogg Museum, Cromer

Felbrigg Hall is another lovely place for families. It is a National Trust property with a fantastic walled garden. The house had a really fun quiz for the children which really kept them interested and they enjoyed re-enacting the ghostly photographs that a past resident had produced!

Ghostly going-ons at Fellbrig Hall

Ghostly goings-on at Fellbrig Hall

There is a wonderful new nature centre at Cley Marshes. The staff there are very knowledgeable, you can get a wonderful lunch in the cafe and the gift shop sells excellent gifts for bird lovers and nature lovers.

saltmarshes collage

lily=hide

marsh

No visit to North Norfolk would be complete without visiting the seals at Blakeney Point. There are various boats which will take you out on the 1 hour trip. We chose Beans Boats but they all charge around the same price. This was a great experience and one the children will hopefully remember forever!

Blakeney Point Seals

Blakeney Point Seals

on boat

Kelling is a great site, the only negative point for us was that we were in a field with a group of around 25 people who were very noisy in the evenings and late into the night. This did slightly spoil our holiday, especially given that we had asked to be in a quiet part of the site.  I have raised this issue with Kelling and they have assured me that they are going to re-visit their policies around group bookings and noise levels.

Overall, we would definitely recommend Kelling Heath as a great location for exploring North Norfolk. Three out of four of us agreed that we preferred it to Center Parcs!

 

 

 

 

Lavender Cottage, a family friendly holiday in Appledore

19 May
Lavender Cottage is the middle housse

Lavender Cottage is the middle housse

As an assessor with Approved Family Friendly, I was recently asked to visit Lavender Cottage in Appledore.  We were quite excited to visit a part of Devon that we had not previously visited.

The cottage is situated in a quiet residential street, it takes less than 5 minutes to walk down to the village and the quay. We loved wandering through the small streets (thankfully, pretty lacking in cars), exploring all the little nooks and crannies and discovering wonderful little cafes, galleries and other treats.

Although it obviously caters for tourists, Appledore has a real community feel about it. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming and it’s a very unspoilt little place.

appledore collage

Lavender Cottage is the most wonderful family home from which to explore the area. The owners have renovated the property with children in mind. They have lowered all of the door handles in the property, the original ones were far too high for children to reach. They have provided a cot and high chair and have left a list of other items which are available from the owners should anyone need them. children’s plates, cups and cutlery are also provided which makes life much easier if you have toddlers. Books, toys and DVDs are all available for children to enjoy. Both Lily and Thomas loved the whole ‘seaside’ theme throughout the house. The highlight for them had to be the little porthole window between the sitting room and kitchen!

porthole

The beds are SO comfortable. The single beds all have double duvets which makes them lovely and cosy. The double bedroom has a king size bed which I think is always a nice little luxury. The mattresses are very comfortable. when Thomas was tucked up in bed on the first evening he said “Mummy this bed is glorious” which did make me giggle. All of the beds are made up for your arrival and there are plenty of soft white towels too.

bedroom collage

 

View from the two back bedrooms

View from the two back bedrooms

 

The garden has also been designed with children in mind. As well as a lawned area, there is an ‘imagination area’ where children can make up their own games using stepping-stones and painted logs that can all be moved around to set the stage for any adventure. Lily and Thomas spent many hours playing out here and we enjoyed soaking up the sun with a glass of wine on the benches that are provided.

There is also a barbecue area and a picnic table which is separate from the play area. This will give peace of mind to anxious parents (like me) who get totally stressed when there’s a lit barbecue within 10 feet of children! Charcoal, fire lighters and matches are all provided for guests to use.

garden Collage

The owners have left lots of useful information in the cottage, including recommendations for days out, restaurants and local attractions. We discovered the wonderful Coffee Cabin in Appledore which serves freshly cooked, locally sourced food for breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to stop for lunch but the smoothies and cake were scrumptious!

menu

Tempting treats from the specials board

There is a passenger ferry from Appledore over to Instow which makes for a nice day out. Pack a picnic or visit one of the eating spots in Instow, you could also pick up some food from Johns Deli which has been awarded The Best Food and Drink retailer in Devon.

view collage

Appledore and Instow

We travelled a little further afield for our last day and visited the beautiful, historical fishing village of Clovelly. I remember visiting here as a child and loving it, Thomas and Lily felt exactly the same.

Lovely Clovelly

Lovely Clovelly

Lavender Cottage is a stunning, spacious property from which to explore North Devon and I would highly recommend it if you have children of any age. We can’t wait to go back for a longer visit. Check out their website for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review of the Waymarker Restaurant in Cornwall

9 Sep

building

This weekend, we had the pleasure of visiting The Waymarker near Constantine in Cornwall, in order to assess them for their listing with Approved Family Friendly. This restaurant had already been recommended by other families and I can certainly see why.

The restaurant is located on farmland in a lovely quiet, rural setting. The area around Constantine is very beautiful and a great base for a holiday. The restaurant makes the most of its location by offering a sunny terrace alongside a large wildlife pond (fully fenced off so no need to worry about any little ones falling in.)

It is just lovely to sit by the pond and watch the numerous dragonflies dipping in and out of the water. Children can safely enjoy the outside play area whilst you are waiting for your meal. Lily and Thomas made some new friends whilst playing in the little wooden house and we got to enjoy a glass of wine in peace!

play-area

 

kids-outised

tom-outside

On rainy days children can be just as easily entertained with the colouring, toys and games that have been provided for them inside. It is obvious that Kevin and Rhiannon genuinely welcome children and they really go that extra mile to include them. We met one family who had returned for their second visit that week. They told me that they found it quite hard to eat out somewhere that appealed to the whole family and that when they found The Waymarker they knew they were on to a winner.

Breastfeeding is very welcome in the restaurant, there are baby changing facilities and a good selection of reasonably priced children’s meals. The owner tells me that they are currently extending the children’s menu further to offer additional healthy side options. Lily and Thomas were very happy with their meal and their pudding was a real treat. They chose ice cream and it arrived so beautifully decorated. A nice change from the boring dollop of ice cream and a wafer that you usually get!

kids-pud

 

The Waymarker also offers a nature trail for families. This takes you through the farmland and is a great walk for wildlife spotting. We saw lots of butterflies, more dragonflies and some farm animals too. Just make sure you are wearing sensible walking shoes. (Unfortunately we were not!) It’s a great little route for Blackberry picking too!

blackberry

Although I was there with my ‘Family Friendly Assessor’ hat on… I couldn’t resist reviewing the food too.  Green Daddy and I are quite picky when it comes to eating out. We both consider ourselves fairly good cooks so we have high standards when eating out. In this case, we were not disappointed. The food was very, very good. We talked to the chef, who is extremely passionate about using fresh, local ingredients and this certainly pays off.

Baked Goats Cheese and Crispy Bacon Salad

Baked Goats Cheese and Crispy Bacon Salad

My starter was amazing! It was so tasty and I loved the addition of pomegranate to the salad which took it to a whole new dimension. The added bonus with my starter was that I was able to have it served on a gluten free baguette. It looked so good that I had to double-check it was gluten free!

Brie and Watercress Omelette

Brie and Watercress Omelette

My main course was a scrummy omelette, it was huge! Green Daddy chose a lovely linguine dish which he said was very tasty. It certainly looked amazing.

Crab and Scallop Linguine

Crab and Scallop Linguine

Unfortunately I scoffed my lovely pudding before taking a photo. Such a shame as it was a work of art. It was the most gooey, sticky, yummy Pavlova I have EVER tasted. I may have to make the two-hour journey to The Waymarker again just to have some more.

 

 

Famous Five Fun In The Peak District

21 Aug

This summer we had our first holiday to the Peak District.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, it’s not really somewhere I ever thought about going but after coming across the website for Dovedale Cottages at Church Farm I was desperate to visit! Little did I know what adventures we were to have…..

There are two cottages at Church Farm and both have received a gold award from Visit England. When we arrived we could instantly see why. We rented the smaller cottage which sleeps four and it was immaculate. I don’t think I have ever come across such a clean holiday property. Everything we could possibly need was provided for us and we were even greeted with home-made scones! A few essentials were also provided like tea, coffee, sugar, milk and cooking oil. The cottage is really quaint and is decorated beautifully. I loved the embroidered pictures that were hung throughout the cottage and may have to do some ebay searching to purchase a few myself!

Our cottage had a small garden with a table and chairs. Although it was not big enough for the children to run around in, this was not a problem as it was safe for them to play in the farm courtyard and they also played in one of the adjoining fields when there were no animals in it.

 

Cottage

Church Farm Cottage

 

We couldn’t wait to explore the area and went for a long walk before tea. Just look at this view from the farm!

Cottage - view

valley

 

binos sheep

We  walked down over these fields to Hall Dale and then on towards Dove Dale. It was a gorgeous walk, the children were super excited and ran on ahead.  Just on this first walk we discovered  three caves, a bridge over the river (perfect for playing pooh-sticks), and lots of wildlife. We spotted a Dipper, a Heron and a Sparrowhawk that evening which pleased my bird-spotting husband! From Church Farm you can walk for miles and miles. It would be easy to have a week’s holiday here without having to use your car.

The next day we walked from Church Farm to the famous stepping-stones at Dove Dale. This is around 3 miles and is a really lovely walk. As you get closer to the stepping-stones it gets much busier with tourists. There was actually a queue to go over the stepping-stones which was a surprise as on our previous walks we had hardly seen another person! We didn’t stay here long for this reason but it was a beautiful spot.

It was on this walk that we discovered some hidden treasure! We had watched an episode of Countryfile a few weeks earlier where they had featured the discovery of some Roman and early British coins in Raynards Cave. We decided to take Grandad’s metal detector and hunt for treasure ourselves! We didn’t find any treasure in this particular cave but we did find a buried treasure map!

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We followed the directions on the map which led us to another cave nearer to Church Farm. It was here that our trusty metal detector discovered the buried treasure! £5 in new money! I have no idea how it got there……..??!! Lily’s words were “Mummy this is the most exciting thing that has happened, EVER!!”

collage-treasure

It was pretty hard to beat this day of adventure but we did have lots more fun the following day on our bicycles. The Peak District is very popular with cyclists and there are some excellent cycle routes to explore. We tried The Tissington Trail, Monsal Trail and The Manifold Valley. They were all very flat and completely manageable for the children,  not once did we hear “are we there yet?”

 

Photo opportunity on the Tissington Trail

Photo opportunity on the Tissington Trail

The Manifold Way was our favourite route. It takes in Thors Cave which has a very steep climb up to it and can be slippery on a wet day. It is well worth the effort as it is a spectacular cave. At 260 feet above the valley, the view is amazing! There is also a disappearing river along this route, which as you can imagine was just like something out of a Famous Five adventure!

Inside Thors Cave

Inside Thors Cave

 

Insidethors2

 

The amazing view from Thors

The amazing view from Thors

If cycling this route be sure to stop at the Hulme End Tea Rooms. This is a very friendly cafe which serves home-made lunches and cakes. It has a very good gluten-free menu too. The tea-room also sells local produce and has lots of useful information about the area which you can look at whilst enjoying a cuppa.  Also worth a visit is Wetton Mill. This is a lovely spot for a picnic by the river and a paddle with the ducks!

Paddling

 

A short walk up the hills behind the Mill brings you to Nans Thor Cave (also known as Wetton Mill Rock Shelter). Lily and Thomas had a LOT of fun here! Many small tunnels come off a larger central cave and these are large enough for little ones to crawl through and come out the other side!

Nans cave

Short walk up to Nans Cave, with Wetton Mill in the background

Moving on to The Monsal Trail, this has a total of 6 tunnels along this route. They are pretty massive tunnels and generated a lot of excitement as we rode through them. They are well-lit but very cold!  There is also a large viaduct which you cycle over at Monsal Head. This adds extra interest to a route which, for me was less enjoyable than The Tissington and the Manifold routes. Although the route is flat it has a rough surface and the children found it quite hard going.  It was also extremely busy with both walkers and cyclists, which was a bit off-putting after the peaceful rides we had experienced on the other two trails. It does have some nice views but I felt it was lacking any real points of interest.

It is worth stopping at Hassop Station – a lovely old station building which has been converted. It now offers an excellent cafe with sun terrace, a book shop, gift shops and an outdoor adventure playground. On a sunny day this is a great spot to enjoy a glass of wine whilst watching the children climb and run around! They also do a roaring trade in take-away pizzas which seemed very popular whilst we were there.

Whilst in the Peak District we also visited Chatsworth House and Sudbury Hall. These are both excellent days out but I will review these separately as this has turned into quite a long post!

For more information on the Peak District, check out the Tourist Board website

Finally, here are a few of my favourite photos from our visit which I think reflects what a perfect family holiday we had!

family1

Family2

Family3

 

Hoburne Devon Bay Review

6 May

As a Blogger/Assessor with Approved Family Friendly, we recently visited Hoburne Devon Bay near Paignton. Hoburne already have the Approved Family Friendly Certification but this needs to be renewed every year. This is good practice as it means that providers are constantly having to maintain and improve their facilities to ensure that they can meet the requirements of this certification.

Devon Bay is perfectly located for exploring the Torbay area. There are loads of family attractions nearby, our favorite being Paignton Zoo. This is the best zoo we have ever visited although it is pretty expensive. Get there as early as you can and spend the whole day. There is loads to see and do and you will get the full benefit of your days entry. Paignton Zoo is a leading conservation and education charity so at least you know that your money is going to be well spent. Other excellent places to visit are Cockington Court,  Occombe Farm and Splashdown Water Park. Paignton Seafront is also worth a visit, it is a traditional seaside resort with colourful beach huts and a Victorian pier.  There are many walks from the Hoburne site including a 15 minute walk to Goodrington (note this one is not pram friendly).

We had a lovely day out at Cockington, including stopping for a gorgeous cream tea at Rose Cottage. This is a lovely restaurant with vast gardens and huge pond. Children are welcome to run around and have fun, ours spent ages rolling down the hill!

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Rose Cottage Tearoom and Gardens

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Be sure to try the scones!

 

I wonder how many tearooms have a nesting Moorhen?

I wonder how many tearooms have a nesting Moorhen?

There are two swimming pools on site, one indoors and one outside. Both pools were of a good size and the indoor pool also has a flume which our children loved! There is a good seating area where you can watch the rest of the family if you don’t fancy a dip yourself.

 

Outdoor pool, in the rain!

Outdoor pool, in the rain!

We stayed in a 3 bedroom caravan which was immaculate. It had gated decking which went around two sides of the caravan. This meant the children could safely play on the decking without us worrying about them. There is an excellent shop on site which is well stocked with everything you could possibly need.

There is a good programme of entertainment for both adults and children. We were there over Easter and the Easter Egg hunt was very popular! The park also offers two restaurants, an indoor play area, 10 pin bowling and a small games arcade. Although we didn’t use the restaurants we could see that they were both very family friendly, offering a good selection of children’s meals. One restaurant offers outdoor seating near the playground so you can enjoy sitting outside whilst still keeping an eye on the children.

The playground is excellent and with sea views directly behind it, it is a pleasure to perch yourself on a bench and watch them play as the sun goes down.

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Hoburne gets a thumbs up from us,  for being family friendly and for being in a great location!

Would you like to recommend a holiday park that is family friendly? Do  leave a comment and we will check it out.