Well, here we are, the end of November already! Isn’t the year marching on? And you-know-what is just around the corner! Well, before it starts to get bonkers busy with all the lists of who’s coming and the shopping and the presents and the tree and all that, treat yourselves to a moment of calm; check into Stonehayes Farm for pre Christmas weekend breaks in Devon.
It’s so incredibly peaceful here, that’s what we love; just the birds twittering and the occasional car or tractor going up the lane. At night we hear owls calling and foxes yapping in the fields; sometimes they come right up to the cottages, which is why we decided to re-home the chickens, but that’s another story…
But seriously, pre Christmas weekend breaks in Devon are just the ticket before the excitement of the festive season really kicks in. It gives you chance to put your feet up and relax, to rev your batteries up to full power so that you’re in good shape to cope with the school plays, the concerts, the carol singing, the huge shopping list, the present wrapping, and the endless stream of visitors. It’s all so wonderful and magical but it can leave you feeling quite frazzled, so a peaceful weekend away can make all the difference. It’s quality time, me time, and oh, you’re SO worth it!
The festivities seem to start earlier and earlier these days but that’s okay, because it helps to get you in that Christmassy frame of mind. You’ll find plenty going on in these parts; just down the road is the East Devon town of Honiton where you can catch the cheerful atmosphere of the twice weekly street market, or on the 7th December, the illuminated Christmas Carnival. At the Thelma Hulbert Art Gallery until 21st December there’s a Christmas craft and design selling exhibition with unique hand made gifts from local makers up for grabs; on the 14th December the Beehive Theatre are presenting A Brief History of Christmas, with music, songs and carols through 600 years! There will be Christmas Tree Festivals, craft fairs and carol services, all guaranteed to make you want to get your Christmas jumper out.
A few miles away on the 6th December, you can enjoy mince pies and mulled wine at Lyme Bay Winery Late Night Opening. It’s a good opportunity to sample the wines, gins, rum, cider, mead and liquers they sell – and do a spot of Christmas shopping too! Up at Hayne Farm Garden Centre there’s a certain someone making an appearance with his elves on 13th December; the winter wonderland they’ve created can’t fail to fill you with Yuletide joy.
At Killerton (NT) you can see the house in all its festive glory and find out what goes on when the family are tucked up in bed waiting for Christmas to arrive – all inspired by the ‘T’was The Night Before Christmas’ poem. It’s a similar story at Knightshayes Court where it’ll be looking very magical, and they’re running workshops to make willow decorations and wreaths, which is sure to muster up some Christmas spirit. There’s late night shopping at Princesshay in Exeter, a full-on Christmas market in cathedral close, two very sparkly December race dates at Exeter Racecourse, and Festive Special River Cruises on the River Exe.
If you’d rather steer clear of all that and just tuck yourselves away at one of our gorgeous Devon holiday cottages at Stonehayes Farm, you’ll have a wonderful time. Our cottages are so warm and cosy and if you light the wood-burner you’ll be extra snug; put your thick socks on, your winter woollies, and make mugs of hot chocolate to have by the fire with a tray of toast oozing with butter. Be gentle on yourselves, hunker down for a couple of days' solitude; ah, that’s bliss.
If you fancy a generous dose of fresh country air, pull on your boots and go for a stroll; you don’t have to go far to see how beautiful this part of the world is – just down the fields to the River Luv, or up to Dumpdon Hill to be wowed by the views across the Otter Valley is enough, though if you venture a teeny bit further, deep into the Blackdown Hills you’ll find footpaths galore, woodland walks, high hilltops, and cosy country pubs in villages where holly wreaths hang on the doors of centuries old cottages. Ooh, yes, we’re getting whimsical, but what’s wrong with a bit of good old-fashioned Christmas cheer?
Stonehayes Farm is hard to beat for pre Christmas weekend breaks in Devon; our cottages sleep 4-14 people and you can book as many as you want, subject to availability. You’ll find character and charm, cosiness and comfort; the kitchens are well equipped so you can whip up something divine with fresh produce bought from the local farm shops, there are TVs so you can snuggle up and watch a movie, and if you want to be sociable, there’s a shared games room where you can play pool, table football or table tennis. Give yourselves a little treat - you deserve it! Come and hide away at Stonehayes Farm and enjoy a contented weekend in a Devon holiday cottage. Check availability and book your stay right now - just what you need to get you in fine fettle, ready to face all the glittery glamour and festive fun! BRING IT ON!