Blog - What's on

Summer holiday fun for children

What's on

Our suggestions for entertaining the family this summer - plus great value cottages for freedom and adventures...

The summer holiday stretches endlessly ahead when the children break up from school, but time flies and before you've organised the all-important family adventures, thoughts turn to whether last term’s uniform still fits and the need for new school shoes.
So make plans now - don’t leave it until it's too late to find a cottage and then fritter away the break! The halcyon days of school summer holidays should make marvellous memories, so leave the TV and Xbox at home – they aren’t ‘such stuff as dreams are made on’.
We've fabulous cottages available for the summer, where you can get away with the family for freedom and fun. Check out these ideas, or give us a call - we'll find you the perfect cottage to treat the family.

Climb a tor, fly a kite

Dartmoor and Exmoor are natural playgrounds for scrambling up heather-topped hills and craggy tors and the view from the top is the reward for the grown-ups too. Dunkery Bacon, Exmoor’s highest peak, is a challenge worth tackling, and there’s a treasure trove of letterboxes to discover around the base of Hound Tor for those who eschew its climb.

[Image: Ian Stedman]

Take a kite to soar with the breeze, then picnic beside a crystal stream where the whole family can roll up trousers and construct (and deconstruct) a dam. You might even find a pool for a spot of wild swimming – bracing maybe, but gosh it will make your heart sing!
And if you can resist the children’s shrieks of delight when you spot an ice cream van in a moorland car park on the journey home, you’re a strong parent indeed.
Hole Farm, a Devon longhouse sleeping 12 on Dartmoor, has availability and space to gather the extended family. Or Primrose Cottage, for four, is perfectly placed for the open moor, den building, river swimming and a great family-friendly pub. For Exmoor, head to Milbanke which sleeps six in the foothills of Exmoor's heather hills and oak woods.

Surf’s up

We don’t need to shout about the amazing beaches all around us. A trip to the seaside is a no-brainer for keeping the children happy. The only dilemma is which beautiful beach to head for?

[Image:Sharon Mollerus]

The south coast is milder and softer, with places like Looe being great for rummaging in rock pools and paddling with small children, whilst the rugged north coast with its Atlantic swell is bodyboarding and surfing heaven for older ones.

Rose Cottage, accommodating four, is just seven miles from Polzeath and Rock on the north coast, both famous for their fabulous surf and golden beaches - it'll be hard to choose which one to head to with your boards. For the south coast, Ros Creek Cottage, sleeping six in picturesque St Just in Roseland, will have you following the salty twang of sea air to a different nearby beach each day.

On your bike

Safe, level cycle routes are popping up everywhere and it’s a lovely way to enjoy scenery peacefully with the family, and get fit too. Take your own bikes (many cottages offer secure storage) or hire locally. Bike trailers, tag-alongs and tandems mean all generations, from tiddlers to the creaky-jointed, can come for the ride.

[Image: andrewrendell]

Rock Barn, which sleeps 12 and has storage for your bikes, is just four miles from the start of the Granite Way, an easy 11 mile cycle track to Lydford with wonderful views of Dartmoor en route. Stop off at the National Trust's Lydford Gorge to see the White Lady Waterfall and the Devil's Cauldron. Then it's back over Meldon Viaduct, a sprint finish to the old station tea rooms at Okehampton and home to the comforts of gorgeous Rock Barn.

Attractions aplenty

Miniature ponies, steam trains, donkeys, fossils, monkeys and tanks... there are so many attractions to visit and weird and wonderful things to discover there.

Seaton Tramway

Stay at The Old Manor House, which sleeps 10 in Charmouth, or Lower Wadden Farmhouse, which sleeps 14 in Southleigh, and visit The Donkey Sanctuary, Seaton Tramway and Pecorama, then escape from the rattling wheels to the refined gentility of Forde Abbey and Gardens.
Or head to the beautiful South Hams and if you stay at Linney Cottage, which sleeps five, or Meadow Brook Cottage for four, there's plenty to do and see in the area, including Agatha Christie's Greenway, Dartmouth Castle and the exciting rides at popular Woodlands Family Theme Park, as well as lovely beaches all along the coast.

There are lots more ideas for fun activities in our What Shall We Do Today? guide, as well as dozens of money-saving vouchers for the best West Country attractions - we'll send it with your directions to your cottage.
Dr Seuss may have been referring to walking with ten cats on one’s head and flying a kite in bed, but his wise words are equally pertinent to simply getting away for a few days of family time: “If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”

[Main image: Ken Teegardin]

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