This lodge is perfect for either couples (like us) who want to get away from it all or for families who want to visit the local attractions (Big Sheep, Milky Way Adventure Park etc) or North Devon's/North Cornwall's excellent beaches - however you will need a car to get around. The holiday park is situated 10 minutes drive from the A39 down narrow country lanes. The accommodation was immaculate and spotlessly clean with everything we wanted - and we have stayed in a fair few self catering cottages over our years. There are no amenities on site but that for us wasn't a problem as the lodge had absolutely everything. A nice sitting area on a veranda was perfect to enjoy morning breakfast or an evening meal.
During our weeks stay we found excellent sandy beaches at Bude (30 mins away) that was great for bodyboarding or mucking around in the surf and very safe with RNLI lifeguards in situ. There are also ice cream and snack shops plus those selling and hiring surf boards/wet suits etc.Bearing in mind we are of "Saga" age we found ourselves acting like kids in the water!
Other great local beaches include WestwoodHo.
The Coastal Footpath has some cracking views of the rugged coastline and rock formations We walked around the Hartland Quay/Point area where you can park in one of the National Trust car parks for free or pay a couple of quid at the Quay where there is a pub/tea shop that was welcome after a long walk.
If you want a pleasant garden with a cracking cafe then we found Docton Mill Gardens (www.doctonmill.co.uk) - the lunch/afternoon tea menu was superb, reasonably priced and high quality. A Devon Cream tea is a must or a local Crab sandwich. After visiting the gardens we walked from here to the headland to see the dramatic Spekes Mill Mouth Waterfall and some truly dramatic coastline. If you pay to enter the garden and mill you can leave your car here for the walk.
Appledore is a must - a quaint seaside village with a few nice gift shops and many eateries/pubs - we ate at the Beaver Inn which had a patio overlooking the river where we watched the world go by whilst eating a sunday lunch. Clovelly is a also a must and very picturesque by the small harbour. Our best find for a pub that was only 10 minutes drive away from the lodge down the country lanes was the Bradworthy Inn at Bradworthy. This is what you think a country pub should be like! Don't be fooled by the exterior. Inside the staff and locals were so pleasant, very homely and with some high quality food for a decent price. One of their specials is homemade pies. They have a more formal restaurant but we ate in the bar.
If you are keen cyclists this is a great area to explore around the country lanes but you may have to face some hills and cross a few main roads. We cycled on the Tarka Trail (you can hire bikes at Torrington Station (no longer in use) and cycled all day having lunch at Instow. very safe and would be great for kids as this is a disused railway made into a cycle track.
For me, as a keen coarse fisherman one of the best features of this lodge was the private fishing lake just 5 minutes from the lodge. I'm a keen carp angler and what a find this lake was. The lake has many carp between 5lb and 15lb and I took the opportunity to go very early morning and return to the lodge at breakfast time and get the best out of the day. In one session i caught about 15 fish up to 15lb in 3 hours - no sophisticated fishing tactics required, just breadcrust or dog biscuits and so much fun. This would be great place for a family with kids who want to catch fish! I often returned in the evening as it was so peaceful and I was often the only person on the lake.
Overall this Lodge is a great find and the owner has gone out of their way to make it home from home. It would suit a couple like us who wanted to get away from it all or a family who wants to visit the local beaches/attractions and if like coarse fishing, book it now!
There is a lot to do in the area and we will be definitely be back.
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