Drewstone Cottages are located close to the sleepy town of South Molton in North Devon, situated on a working sheep farm we’re surrounded by fields as far as the eye can see

Pondering a UK Family holiday is always somewhat of a chore for me; the risk of bad weather is a major consideration as is picking a destination that’s new to us; we pine for unexplored areas in which we can discover new things and take on new experiences.

I certainly can’t do anything about the weather, but what I can do is think about the places that rank highly in my mind and then begin the elimination from there.

Yorkshire, Cumbria & Northumland are all ruled out almost immediately, I know them too well, this has to be a holiday of adventure so we’re down to two, Devon or Cornwall.

I have ventured into Cornwall once before, and I have to admit it’s my preferred choice however I have a 2 year old little girl to consider these days, so the travel time from Yorkshire rules that one out, Devon it is.

Devon excites me; I’ve never been but always wanted to, so when we discover our perfect accommodation for the week courtesy of Sykes Cottages imagine our excitement.

Family photo whilst in DevonDrewstone Cottages are located close to the sleepy town of South Molton in North Devon, situated on a working sheep farm we’re surrounded by fields as far as the eye can see, and the fact that there are sheep dogs, sheep and tractors passing from time to time creates much excitement for our little girl,

Eddie the dog becomes her best friend for the week, one very happy little girl.

The owners Ruth & Eric are the perfect hosts, there when you want them and nowhere to be seen when you don’t.

The farm is a real family affair with sons, daughters, son-in-laws, & grandchildren all involved in the operation, best of all the family are more than happy for you to wonder the farm and even get involved.

I shied away from the sheep sheering, however the trip around the farm on the back of a quad bike was too hard to refuse, accompanied by Eddie the dog it was possibly my daughters highlight of the week.

Away from the farm North Devon is the perfect base, it’s sandwiched between Somerset and Cornwall both of which can be reached in under an hour from South Molton.

Admittedly we did far too much on the holiday, I came back exhausted but in fairness the opportunity to have uninterrupted family time for a whole week made it worth it, so here’s my guide on the top 5 things you must see whilst staying in North Devon.

Lynton & Barnstable Railway

Strike a pose whilst on the linton railwayLynton & Barnstable Railway is a narrow gauge, volunteer run railway that takes in the picturesque and rugged views of Exmoor in North Devon.

Open everyday from March to November, a return trip on the 1 mile stretch costs from £7.50.

A great tip for the trip back towards Biddeford is The Blue Ball Inn at Lynmouth, the Steak & Ale pie in this traditional country pub is to die for.

Porlock Weir

Porlock WeirYou need to head to Porlock Weir just to witness, if nothing else, it’s beauty. We visited on a Sunday afternoon in which only the pub was open, but to be fair there’s not really much to browse other than the peace and tranquilness of this sleepy harbor.

Remember to check out the views from the top of the hill that heads into Porlock, it’s also advisable to take the toll road at some point (we did it on the way back to the top)


Appledore Coffe & CakeOn only one of the days in North Devon did we get really unlucky with the weather and that just happened to be the day we went to Appledore so what do you do on a miserable day? Coffee & Cake!

Lucky I found The Coffee Cabin, not only do they do awesome coffee & I mean really awesome coffee in fact possibly the best flat white I’ve had in some time but their cake is pretty awesome too, whilst I went for the coffee and walnut cake my wife and daughter devoured a lemon curd cake before daddy had chance to try a little. Highly Recommended!!


a fishy day in brixhamWe did try Crabbing in Appledore but the weather got the better of us, so when we parked a little distance away from Brixham and took the walkway at the side of the harbor into the town it was clear to see by the increased number of Crabbers that our luck might be about to change,

Don’t let anyone ever talk you into using squid as bait, bacon works better, we caught absolutely loads, little girl loved it!

After all that Crabbing we’d worked up an appetite, so the opportunity to sit on the verandah overlooking fishing boats unloading their catch into market at Rockpool Fish & Chips was way too much to resis.

Whilst Fish & Chips in the South don’t live up to those in the North I’d go as far to say that these are pretty special, a must visit!!


Dude sea poolYou can’t visit this part of the world without checking out their amazing beaches and I’m told Bude is one of the best, especially given they also have a Sea Pool.

What’s one of them I hear you ask, put simply it’s an outdoor unheated swimming pool that fills from the sea at high tide.

Wetsuit on, I’m in! I absolutely loved every minute of the sea pool especially given that we found an awesome place for Cornish Pasty not long after I’d got back into dry cloths. Bude is in Cornwall so it felt fitting, whilst in Rome and all that!

Sykes Cottages offer a huge choice of over 7,000 personally-inspected holiday cottages to rent in the UK and Ireland at fair and affordable prices. From romantic cottages for two to contemporary properties for large groups, you’re sure to find a holiday cottage to suit you.