Well, here we are, heading into winter now, clocks gone back and everything. Whilst summer days on the beach are well and truly behind us for another year, it’s not too late to book yourselves in at Stonehayes Farm for some very enjoyable walking holidays in Devon. Don’t worry about the weather; worrying about the weather is for wimps, and anyhow, there’s no such things as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing! So get yourselves togged up, pack your outdoor duds, lace up your boots and come on down to the glorious East Devon countryside.
Boy oh boy, what a treat awaits you! Miles and miles of lush green fields to explore, rolling hills, coastal trails, riverside walks, and footpaths, footpaths EVERYWHERE! Stonehayes Farm is pretty well out in the sticks so you won’t even need to get the car out; you can set out on foot, find a track and go and discover a whole new world. And yes, the weather might not be very reliable but it’s actually a good time for walking holidays in Devon because there’s less traffic, less people and less livestock in the fields. As long as you’ve got a good waterproof coat and some stout walking boots, you’ll be fine.
Our dog friendly Devon holiday cottages are all spick and span, ready to welcome you; they’re bright and airy for breakfast in the morning and super cosy in the evening – especially if you’ve got the wood-burner lit and you’re snuggled up on the sofa with a nice glass of red. Who cares what’s going on out there? For now you’re cocooned in your own little world, content as can be, snug as a bug. Now, that’s our idea of the perfect late autumn break!
The good thing is that at Stonehayes Farm we’re geared up for groups of all sizes. We’ve got country cottages big and small, so if you belong to a walking group and you’re looking to get away as a whole then you can rent the entire place, all five of our cottages in Devon, to sleep 45 people. But if there’s only two of you and you want a coochie little bolt hole to escape to where you can spend peaceful days wandering the hills, then Siskins Nook will suit you fine; it actually sleeps 4 in two bedrooms, so is good for a family too. Likewise Pipits Retreat and Wagtail Corner, which both sleep 5. Then there’s Dippers Rest with room for 6, and if you’re a couple of families wanting to get away together then book Whinchat Barns, which is actually Dippers Retreat and Wagtail Corner together as they’re right next to each other – then you’ll have snooze space for 11. If there's a few more of you, Pippinsands will suit you fine; that's our beautiful thatched farmhouse that sleeps 14 and has its own hot tub.
Don’t be put off by thinking that a walking holiday won’t be much fun for the children; start them off young, get them into it early on. If they’re tiny they might start to tire easily, but don’t forget we’ve got 15 acres here, with nice gentle walks down to the River Luv, and you know, once you get the littl’uns outdoors running about, it’s surprising how far their little legs will keep going – plus, they’ll certainly sleep well with all that exercise and fresh country air.
It’s quite easy to plan a walk to suit everyone no matter what your ages; for instance, a visit to Wildwood Escot, Knighthayes Court or Killerton House; all are close by. They usually have activities for children, but because they’re set in vast parklands you can get a good walk in too. And what kids don’t like a trip to the beach? We’re not far from the Jurassic Coast here so there’s quite a choice of beaches to visit where you can walk along the shore, climb up the cliffs or pick up part of the South West Coast Path. Just make sure you spend time on the beach too and the youngsters will be perfectly happy; explore the rockpools, see who throws the best skimmers, round it off with fish and chips.
We’re lucky at Stonehayes Farm you see, because we’ve got the best of coast and country. Whilst the beach is only a short drive away, the Blackdown Hills are right on the doorstep, and you don’t need us to tell you that there are countless walking opportunities in them thar’ hills. There are several leaflets that set out walks you can do in different parts of the Blackdowns AONB, covering field paths, woodlands, lanes and commons, and what’s good is that there’s no shortage of country pubs to wind up at for a pint of the local brew or some tasty home cooked food. Not far from our Devon holiday cottages is Hembury Fort, an excellent starting point for walks; just up behind Stonehayes Farm is Dumpdon Fort, where you can amble through the beech woods and along the ramparts, admiring the far reaching views over the Otter Valley.
It makes a change to have a stroll around a town sometimes though, doesn’t it? Especially if you plan it so you venture off the beaten trail and do a circular walk back to town for a bite to eat. Honiton is only a mile and a half from us, and there’s a very short town trail you can follow that takes in key historic places. When you’re done go to Bella Pizza, The Holt or JK’s Bistro for food, or head back to your Devon holiday cottage at Stonehayes Farm and tuck into a hearty homemade stew or a warming bowl of soup. Then when the evening draws in, you can put your feet up in your chunky woollen socks and settle down to watch a movie, or get your head in a good book. If you fancy being sociable potter over to the games room and see if anyone fancies a spot of table tennis or pool. But make sure you turn in at a respectable hour because you’ll want to be up early, checking your map and lacing up your boots for the next instalment of your walking holidays in Devon… get the rucksack out! Book your walking holidays in Devon today!