With the shortest and dullest days of the year now on the way out, there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful as we head into spring. Whether you want a taste of local cuisine, a little culture or simply to escape from it all, it’s time to get planning your short break in Devon. We have some superb special offers to tempt you at Bickley Mill, besides great locally-sourced food and a wealth of places to visit in Devon, all within easy reach. Here are some of our favourite destinations for spring 2016:
Nothing epitomises the charm of Devon better than our local beauty spots. There are a huge number of wonderful places to stretch your legs and switch off the mobile. The many Dartmoor Tors offer awe-inspiring views and a rugged beauty all of their own. Hound Tor is an especially craggy and fascinating location that can be reached with just a gentle walk. Venture a little further and you might also find the ruins of a medieval village. The spot is easily reached from the B3387 as you travel between Bovey Tracey and Widecombe-in-the-Moor.
For beautiful lakeside walks, however, another lovely and easy to access Devon location is the trio of Southwest Waters Reservoirs (Kennick, Tottiford and Trenchford) right on the edge of Dartmoor. Trenchford Reservoir (OS ref: SX805824), in particular, represents a lovely waterside stroll, while you can also explore well-marked woodland trails. Kennick Reservoir is also worth a look for anyone looking to get their fly fishing fix.
The Only Way to Travel
Another delightful way to explore Devon is to take a nostalgic journey from times past. There several classic routes and specially restored steam trains in Devon. The South Devon Railway, for example, runs between the pretty town of Buckfastleigh and Totnes, offering great views whatever the weather. Trips run for an hour and a quarter typically, allowing you plenty of time to have a look around the Rail Museum or take a walk before Sunday Carvery is served. Full details on prices and times are available on the South Devon Railway site: www.southdevonrailway.co.uk
Another must if the weather is reasonable is to head for a local beach. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to locations. Wildlife lovers and bird watchers will love Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve (nearby parking: EX7 0NF). This is a lovely spot to explore as the first wild flowers start to appear. There are well marked routes and plenty of living things to spot, including a huge variety of birds that visit the Exe Estuary.
Among many other locations Shaldon Beach (just below Teignmouth) is a particularly quirky place for a quick visit. Look out for the legendary Smugglers’ Passage, which leads to a lovely sandy beach. It is an especially rich area at low tide, with rock pools galore and views across the mouth of the River Teign. Try The Ness Car Park (TQ14 0HP) for easy access.
Devon Racing Days
Should the coast and countryside seem rather quiet for your liking, race days at Newton Abbot Racecourse are a thrillingly different option. Whether it is your first or fiftieth time, these racing meets offer a sociable and fun way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon, whether you fancy a flutter on the horses or just take in the excitement of each race. Meets take place throughout the year from late March onwards in all but the worst weather, while the venue also hosts antique fairs and other special gatherings. Find a full race calendar and event listings here: www.newtonabbotracing.com
Come Rain or Shine…
Naturally, the weather does not always cooperate with our best laid plans. Should you arrive on a wet or windy day, however, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a great day out. Indeed, there are plenty of sheltered and all weather attractions in South Devon to take your mind off the drizzle. For a mixture of art and culture, Torre Abbey holds a wide appeal on even the dampest say of spring afternoons. Recently redeveloped, it hosts all manner of art exhibitions, talks and workshops, while the grounds are also splendid on brighter days. See www.torre-abbey.org.uk for more information.
Plan Your Perfect Devon Escape!
Whether you are looking for a last minute mini break in Devon or planning for a well-earned getaway later in the year, our special offers section is always worth keeping an eye on. Currently, we also have a tempting Dinner for Two Offer, Classic Sundays Deal and more. We hope to see you at the Mill soon.