We recently stumbled across a great blog called Country Mummy, full of days out in the South West and asked them if we could post some of their blog posts on Mini Travellers, thankfully they said yes, so here we go. Country Mummy is a community focused website designed to champion the families, businesses and charities of Somerset and we think it does a great job. If you are thinking of holidaying in the South West or live there, make sure you give them a follow on twitter @CountryMummyUK or on Facebook.
We were kindly invited to stay at Trimstone Manor recently so that we could continue our exploration of North Devon.
Trimstone Manor is wonderfully and quintessentially British… it has grandeur in its surroundings, views of the rolling hills and countryside, farm animals on site and is steeped in a rich 400 year history.
It was converted into a hotel in 1976 and the current owners work exceptionally hard to make their guests feel welcome and enjoy their stay. Their attitude is, if you need something, are unsure of anything, or have a question of any kind, just ask. The staff are approachable, knowledgeable and kind.
The hotel accommodations and grounds are filled with quirky features that add to its rustic charm… if you prefer IKEA style décor and more contemporary surroundings, Trimstone Manor and all that makes it a lovely and authentic country getaway, may not be for you.
It suited Roy, Bella and I perfectly, and we stayed in a 2 bedroom cottage that was located next to the indoor heated swimming pool. Our cottage was spotlessly clean, lovely and warm and included everything you would need to make the most of your getaway (including dishwasher with tablets). The bedrooms upstairs had cottage windows, oak beams and crisp white bedding allowing for a very comfortable stay and there was a phone in the cottage if you wanted to ring and book dinner at the hotel restaurant.
If Bella was the events planner for our little adventure we would have only left the lovely warm pool to refuel. Safe to say, that we didn’t explore as much as I’d planned, as Bella was the happiest little munchkin in the world to be living next door to the ‘giant bath’.
After dinner we’d cross the courtyard and go over to the little games room where we would play pool, table tennis and table football (badly). The games room I would describe as exactly what you would expect to find in an old English pub… just without the bar. It had books and dvds that you could borrow, and was a fun way to spend an hour after dinner.
Trimstone Manor is perfectly located to explore North Devon and we were able to squeeze in all of these attractions…
1) Lynton & Lynmouth to experience the cliff railway. Both of these little towns are beautiful and travelling on the unique Victorian water powered train makes for the beginnings of a great day out. When we arrived at Lynmouth we popped into the newly renovated pavilion which hosts a high tech National Park centre and borrowed an explorer’s backpack for the afternoon. The pack included nets, binoculars, magnifying glasses, buckets and more. This is a great initiative funded by the National Lottery encouraging little ones to rock pool, bug hunt, and trek in this lovely area. We also paid a visit to the Victorian Portrait Company in Lynmouth and enjoyed getting dressed up as a Victorian family.
2) The Milky Way Adventure Park. We were not as lucky with the weather this time around in Devon but the Milky Way has more undercover attractions than anywhere else in the area, as well as loads of outdoor space. It’s a great option for a rainy day, and all of the rides, shows and play areas are included in the price of the ticket. The astonomy show was brilliant and there was even some fun stuff for adults to try their hand at, including Archery and Laser target.
3) Swimming in the hotel pool.
4) Swimming in the pool.
5) More swimming.
So… on this particular little getaway we only managed to tick off another 2 attractions for the Devon days out page, mainly because we spent a ridiculous amount of time in the water.
I did manage to complete some research poolside on all the other things we could do if Bella hadn’t turned into a little fish! These included visiting Exmoor Zoo, Coombe Martin Dinosaur Park, Ilfracombe Aquarium, Woolacombe beach and Croyde. There is so much more to see and do in the area that we will hopefully be heading back down again soon.
The owners have very kindly agreed to promote a special family friendly offer through Country Mummy, so, if you are planning a visit to North Devon you can enjoy a stay at Trimstone manor and receive 20% off your stay of three nights or more! This great offer is available from now until the end of June 2015 (excluding school holidays) and you can download your voucher here.
Trimstone Manor is a fantastic option as a base to explore North Devon. It is ideally located to use as a holiday retreat to visit the attractions listed above, as well as all of the attractions listed in this previous Devon blog post ’10great things to do in and around Ilfracombe’.