We have welcomed 3 new specimen carp to our Trusham Lake to further add to the carp stock already present. This builds on last years stocking of 9 big carp to this lake and represents our ongoing investment in the fish stocks here at Cofton. These stunning big carp, handpicked by top fish farmers Priory Fisheries (https://www.prioryfishery.co.uk/) are young fish (8 years old) and still have lots of growing to do. They will hopefully bring lots of joy to our guests for many years to come. Trusham lake has a low stock of carp, around 80 fish and these target fish should have plenty of room to flourish. We are working hard this winter to remove the silver fish to further aid the environment for the carp.
The biggest of the fish this mirror weighed in at 30lb 8oz. She is a long fish and has a lovely scale pattern.
This mirror weighed in at 27lb and is sure to be a star of the venue. She is deep with a hump back and has already shown me her character. Very lively, no water shot with this one she was having none of it!
Weighing in at 25lb this deep scarcely scaled mirror would put a smile on anyone’s face and is fantastic addition to this lake.
On November the 15th the Cofton team went Quakers for Children in Need with a range of exciting fundraising activities throughout the complex.
Children In Need, now in its 39th year, supports over 3,000 projects and charities throughout the UK, with a vision of ensuring every child in the UK has a childhood which is safe, secure and allows them the chance to reach their potential.
Every year the team at Cofton is encouraged to get involved with fundraising activities and this year there was a host of hilarious ideas from all of the different departments.
The total so far raised from the team is in the region of £730.00, with more money still to be counted. Thank you to everyone who got involved,
Here are some of our fundraising activities…
Baking for Children in need
The chefs got busy in the kitchen, with a few helping hands from the reception team to help with the decorations.
The Pudsey shortbread biscuits were a hit with children and adults throughout the day and with a £1.00 donation per biscuit, a great contributor to our total money raised.
A charity head shave
A huge thank you then goes to Nick from the Cofton grounds team, who had his head shaved to raise money for this fantastic cause. He was able to raise hundreds of pounds towards our final total.
Going Quackers for a good cause
Last, but by no means least we have our leisure manager Ian Baker, who got well and truly stitched up, with company directors carefully selecting a fitting fancy dress attire for him to wear.
He was a duck for the day and throughout the day he took to the water with the aqua fitters, threw some shapes in dance fitness and even checked into the onsite shop for a loaf.
As we move from autumn into winter and the days are cold and crisp, new fishing opportunities make themselves available.
This is the time for Perch!
Perch thrive in the commercial carp style venues like our Mamhead match lake and Ashcombe Carp Pool, I could write a whole blog on why this habitat is perfect for growing big stripy’s but here’s the key reasons:
Neglect: Generally, the Perch are not fished for, so they have little angling pressure. The most common baits on these venues are pellets, meat, corn, midi boilies and paste, all of which hold little appeal for the Perch.
Coloured Water: With the high stocking density of this style of lake, the water tends to be coloured for most of the year. This gives the Perch long periods to feed, using its superior eyesight.
Abundance of Food: Big Perch feed primarily on small fish. These small bait fish benefit from all the bait that is put in the lake for the Carp and in doing so flourish. Lots of small fish means big Perch.
For much of the summer the Perch are feeding on small fry and fish and are difficult to catch on conventional baits. Added to this that the Carp are at their most active and fishing baits desirable to Perch like Prawn, Worm, Maggots and Caster are just as desirable to the large number of Carp present making it hard to target the Perch at this time.
In the winter months with the temperatures low, the carp activity is greatly reduced. The numbers of small bait fish has fallen and the Perch have to work a little harder for a meal. Circumstances now present the best time to fish for these impressive fish.
With all this in mind I made my way to our Ashcombe carp pool to see if I could tempt one of the big Perch that reside in this water
Plan of attack: Fish light up in the water with small hooks and small baits to catch silver fish. Try to maximise small fish activity, this will attract the Perch to the area. Every so often drop down onto the bottom below the feeding silver fish with a big bait of worm or prawn and snare a big stripy!
Swim Choice: Choosing to fish in this way, you are hoping to attract the Perch to you. This is much different than trying to tempt them from ambush swims where you are fishing to features. I chose swim 2 which gave me open water in front and a reed bed to my right and my line of attack was about 3 meters off the reed bed.
Tackle: Today im going to fish the pole which will allow me to easily change between rigs and fish with greater speed for the roach to build the swim activity. The up in the water rig aimed at catching the roach is fished with a 2.5lb mono hooklink to a size 20 hook. The big bait rig is 3.3lb fluorocarbon hook length to size 12 hook.
Tip: Fluorocarbon’s low visibility is a great edge in winter, when the water starts to clear as Perch have fantastic eyesight.
Bait: The bait table is loaded with maggot, caster, worm, prawn and sweet micro pellet.
I’ve caught lots of big Perch on prawn over the years, for me fresh prawn is better than frozen. Frozen prawn is blast chilled in an ice coating and as it defrosts it takes away a lot of its attraction. This also happens to the bait in the water and because of this I change the hook bait on every cast.
Worm can be fished in bunches but big Perch seem to like taking small pieces of worm so always have a play with bait size. Caster is an excellent Perch bait that really comes into its own after a heavy frost or in the coldest conditions. Maggot is here primarily to catch the Roach up in the water, but the Perch readily take them and I have caught many big Perch on the Roach rig when fishing in this way. As with the maggot the micro pellet is here as an attractor for the silver fish. As with this style of venue, pellet is fed lots for the carp which makes this a top attractor for the small fish. Groundbait is a great alternative, but the ease of use of pellet has made it my choice in recent years.
Tip: If your having problems keeping prawn on the hook or small fish are pulling it off, use a bait band and banding tool to mount the prawn. This is great when on the waggler or ledgering as the bait can now survive a forceful cast.
So how did the session go? I started by feeding micro pellet and maggot through the toss pot a little bit, but with every put in. A steady stream of roach up to 8oz followed the perfect start. I got to the point where I was getting an instant bite and so it was time to have a look on the bottom. I changed over rigs and baited with a prawn. 5 minutes of inactivity passed so when straight back to the maggot rig and repeated the process. Next put in on the bottom resulted in a small carp to a bunch of worms. I was back on the maggot rig and started picking up carp on this rig to.
I fished hard right up until dark as the last hour of light is the magic time for Perch, but unfortunately did not encounter any Perch. The last hour the bigger Carp moved in and I managed to extract a double figure Common. At the end of the session I had landed 9 Carp and lost a few along the way. The amount of Carp in the swim especially in the golden hour certainly didn’t help with targeting the Perch, but as they say there is always next time. It’s a great way to fish to increase your chances of catching big Perch and with plenty of action very enjoyable to.
The Carp were just too active and moved on to the bait.
Heading abroad for a winter holiday is always a temptation, but why miss out on the opportunity to explore some hidden gems right here in the UK this winter?
There are some magical places to visit all across the UK, but we have a strong belief that Devon is up there with the very best when it comes to couples getaways and sensational things to see and do.
Here are just a few reasons why:
1. Two stunning coastlines
Devon is the only county to offer two glorious coastlines, both vastly different. In the winter months, it’s a destination full of secret coves, empty beaches and expansive stretches of stunning coastline.
There are some unmissable hiking routes, a chance to enjoy unforgettable views, connect with nature and if you are brave enough even a chance to take a dip in the sea.
North Devon offers some choppier waters ideal for water sports including wind surfing and surfing. South Devon coasts have a tendency to be a little calmer, with some charming seaside towns providing an ideal place to watch the day go by, enjoy a slice of cake and cup of tea while enjoying the stunning seaside views.
2. National Parks
If you are looking for variety, try one of the two national parks situated in Devon, Dartmoor for its rugged and exposed terrain or Exmoor for it’s greener pastures and winding riverside walks.
Whether you’re looking for a challenging hill climb or a relaxed riverside stumble, there is something for everyone.
3. Historic Ruins
Historic ruins can be found all over the place, with Devon holding one of the highest concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze age settlements.
If historic buildings to explore are more your thing, why not check out Killerton House and Gardens on the outskirts of Exeter, or if you are ready for a scare why not head to Berry Pomeroy to experience the most haunted Castle in the UK?
4. A tale of two cities
As cities go, Exeter and Plymouth couldn’t be more different. While Plymouth is located right by the sea and is modern in its architecture, Exeter is an ancient city dating all the way back to the Roman Era.
Both cities are full to the brim of fantastic shops, eateries, museums, theatres, award-winning restaurants and other cultural activities and well worth a visit on any stay in Devon.
5. Delicious foodie delights
When all the exploring gets too much, you won’t be disappointed with your choice of places to eat and drink. From cosy country pubs through to award winning dining experiences and local producers, Devon has it all.
If you are looking to sample some of Devon’s best produce, a great place to start is at one of Devon’s fantastic farm shops.
Lets also not forget that with two coast lines you can’t visit Devon without sampling the fabulous sea food. Devon is proud to be the home to Krispies Fish and Chip shop, which was crowned the best chippy in the UK and is well worth a visit if you are stopping in the coastal town of Exmouth.
Finally if you make the choice to stay at Cofton, don’t forget to check out the onsite eatery. Bucking the trend for holiday parks, Cofton prides itself on serving fresh local produce, to create a menu of hearty favourites. Dig a little deeper into the menu and you will also find some of the chefs more specialist gourmet creations. Perfect for a hearty winter meal, when you just don’t feel like cooking.
6. You can stay at Cofton Holidays
Our 5 star holiday park Cofton Holiday’s is ideally situated on the South Devon Coast and is within commuter distance to all major attractions, making it the perfect place to stay all year round.
In the winter months, Cofton becomes a quieter retreat and the perfect place to help you to escape the hustle and bustle of day to day life.
For that extra touch of comfort we recommend booking into one of our cosy cottages or apartments.
We are excited to announce we have been shortlisted in five categories of Devon’s most prestigious hospitality and tourism awards.
Cofton is through to the final rounds of the Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2019, having been shortlisted for: Holiday Park of the Year; Self Catering Accommodation of the Year; Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism business of the year; Dog Friendly Business of the Year, and Café and Tea Room of the Year.
Now in its 10th year, the Visit Devon Awards saw a record 240 entries from businesses across Devon, including over 70 from the English Riviera. Cofton Holidays, which won Gold for Holiday Park of the Year in 2018, and went on to win Gold at the South West Tourism Awards in the same category, will now proceed to the final, with the winners being announced at a glittering ceremony on Thursday 28th November 2019 in Torquay.
This is the second bout of good news that Cofton Holidays has received in the space of one month. Recently, we were also shortlisted in the 2019 UK Pool and Spa Awards. Cofton has made it down to the last three in the Holiday Park Pool of the Year category, fighting off competition from other businesses across the country. Cofton has also been shortlisted in the Family Business of the Year category at the Western Morning New Business Awards, which will be announced on 21 November.
Robin Barker, organiser of the Visit Devon Awards, commented: “Change is one of the constants in business success and so it is with awards. Ten years ago, we launched the Devon Tourism Awards with 80 entries and concluded with an awards event for 120. This year, we have seen a record 240 entries and expect over 300 for the event.”
Having previously won Gold at the Visit Devon Awards 2018, Helen Scott, Director of Cofton Holidays, is hoping to continue their winning streak:
“We are thrilled to announce that we have been shortlisted for five categories in this year’s Visit Devon Awards. After winning Gold and Silver awards last year, it’s an honour for us to be recognised in even more categories this year. The Cofton team work tirelessly throughout the year to deliver an unforgettable experience to all of our guests and being recognised by award bodies such as this one is a great testament to all that we do.”
Helen continued: “We’re particularly delighted that we’ve been shortlisted in ‘Dog Friendly Business of the Year’ as we only launched our brand-new dog-friendly holiday cottages earlier this year. They’ve been incredibly popular with our guests, with more and more holidaymakers wanting to bring their dogs along to enjoy our glorious corner of Devon. Through the passion of our team, investment in our facilities and services, and the desire to go the extra mile, we aim to fly the flag for Devon and our region. We look forward to the awards ceremony and have our fingers crossed for another great set of results.”
Our site facilities include a heated indoor pool with a splash pad area and hydrotherapy loungers, a gym, restaurant, pub, steam room, sauna, fitness studio, soft play area, playground, sports wall, outdoor pools and much more. Guests also have access to five coarse fishing lakes, miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take visitors through woodland to the golden sands of Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve.
Free kids’ clubs take place each day throughout the school holidays, from Easter through to the October half term. Other free activities on site include the new £50,000 Woodland Adventure Area which features a 25m zip line, a climbing cage, rope ladders, balance beam, balance lines and scramble nets.
It’s finally here and for those who love nothing more than a getaway, the autumn half term is the perfect time for an escape to Devon.
If you have booked your stay at Cofton between the 21st of October to the 3rd of November then you are in for a treat, with some fantastic things to look forward to at the holiday park.
Here are just a few highlights to look out for:
1. Free family fishing experience
Back by popular demand, this half term we are again offering free family fishing down on the lakes. You and your little ones can learn from our fantastic fishing coaches. The even better news is, that on the 23rd and 30th, the fishing experience is totally free.
Simply pop into reception to book your space, we’re offering 30mins free tuition including bait and equipment.
2. Pumpkin Carving
Join us on Wednesday the 23rd and 30th October for pumpkin carving with the Cofton entertainments team. There is three slots throughout the day, join us at either 10am, 11:30am and 1pm. Pumpkins are £3, Please book your slot at reception early to avoid disapointment.
There will be a pumpkin show and competition in the evening from 7pm.
3. Breakfast with Digby
If you love nothing more than a delicious breakfast, then this half term you are in for a treat, because not only can you enjoy a delicious breakfast, but you can meet digby and friends on one of our charater days, see the entertainments program for times.
It’s that time of year again, when we get to crown the winner of our popular Cofton’s Got Talent show. A night packed with fantastic entertainment from budding singers, dancers, gymnasts and comedians.
We can’t wait to crown our 2019 winner. Join us on Saturday 26th to see how the night unfolds.
5. Halloween Day
Join us on the 24th and 31st of October for our Halloween day. Our teams rehearsals are in full swing for our brand new spooky show Creepython.
Start the evening with the Halloween disco at 6pm.
There will be prizes for the best decorated table, best dressed adult, best dressed 10-17 and best dressed under 10.
At 9pm sit back and relax for showtime. Trick or treat yourselves and let the Cofton crew lift your spirits as they embark on a goulish adventure to the underworld! You’ll be dying to rock out and dance along with the Master of the underworld and his hellish victims as they try to escape his evil grasp. You’d be a ghoul to miss out on this fa-boo-lously, fang-tastic show!
6. UV Disco
On Tuesday the 22nd and 29th of September, join in for the fabulous UV disco from 6pm.
There is this and so much more to look forward to over the half term. For more information check out the entertainment guide or pop into reception and they would be happy to provide you with more information.
Autumn is a magical time of year and there really is no better time to appreciate the beautiful countryside, colours of the rolling hills and windswept beaches in Devon.
Outside of the hustle and bustle of the school holidays, the autumn is the perfect time for walkers, nature lovers, foodies and dog owners. As well as being an under-rated time of year to get away, lets not forget, autumn is a much cheaper time to get away than the peak of summer, so also great for a thrifty pocket.
1. Mild temperatures
There’s always something quite comforting about putting on a warm jumper and your favourite pair of leather boots after the summer months. Wrap up warm and head out for a glorious walk in the autumn breeze and take in the breathtaking scenery.
2. Rolling Devon hills
As the autumn arrives, the leaves change into their glorious jewel-like colours, gold and red. Nothing quite beats a long walk, with some fantastic countryside and river valley views to enjoy.
At Cofton enjoy stunning views across Haldon Forest, a stumble through the private woodlands to Eastdon and a muddy stroll in our dog walking field.
If exploring is more your thing, you don’t have to go far for some true Devon gems, from the gorgeous blue flag Dawlish Warren beach, to the Estuary views across to Topsham and of course let’s not forget two stunning national parks right on our doorstep, with Exmoor and Dartmoor.
3. Strolls on uncrowded beaches
Beaches in the autumn may not have the same appeal as scorching summer days. But do not underestimate the wild beauty of South Devon’s beautiful coastlines take-on during the autumn months. This time of year welcomes a wealth of beautiful uncrowded beaches, with some fantastic quiet spots to read your book, take in the scenery or enjoy a hot chocolate with the sand beneath your toes.
4. Dog friendly Devon
South Devon is the perfect playground for you and your four legged friend. Best of all, in autumn, all of our beaches become dog-friendly with no restricted access, meaning you can really maximise your beach time.
Our dog friendly accommodation provides the perfect base for you and your favourite four legged friend. New to Cofton for 2019 are purpose built dog friendly caravans and specially re-renovated cottages on the Easton Estate, the perfect home from home for you and your dog.
5. City exploring
On days where the rain sets it, there is nothing quite like some city exploring and close by Exeter offers something pretty special. It’s a compact city that is easy to explore on foot, it’s steeped in roman history, filled to the brim with vibrant coffee shops and places to eat and drink and has a fantastic assortment of shops including fantastic independent retailers.
When the shopping is done, take a visit to the historic quayside enjoy watching the boats go by with a refreshing glass of local ale or cider.
6. Cosy Home Comforts
Head out to the cosy pubs and restaurants that offer snug shelter from the autumn weather. Devon has a great reputation for it’s fantastic local food and drinks scene and is renowned for being one of the UK’s finest regions for dining. Your never far from the next dining delight, cosy countryside pub or beach side eatery.
If you’d rather make the most of your luxury accommodation at Cofton, relax on our comfy sofas, enjoy the luxurious finishes and tuck into a bottle of locally produced wine while you take in the glorious views.
Why choose Cofton for your Autumn break?
We may be slightly biased but we believe Cofton offers one of the best camping and self catering accommodation experiences in the region. Hopefully the reviews and awards speak for themselves, but the even better news is that there are some fantastic discounts and offers to make your break that little bit better.
Autumn is the most perfect time for the most memorable break… Take a break in your glorious corner of Devon.
We are delighted to have been shortlisted in the 2019 UK Pool and Spa Awards having achieved a 5-star rating earlier this year.
We need your help to support our bid to win this award over pools from Butlins in Bognor Regis and Plas Coch Coastal and Country Retreat in Wales. All finalists will be kept in suspense until 12th December when they will learn whether they have won at a glittering ceremony hosted in Birmingham.
Opened in July 2012, the indoor pool is heated to 30 degrees and welcomes everyone from adults to babies. A range of sessions are hosted for visitors throughout the year including adult only swim sessions, soft play sessions, Aquajet experiences, swimming parties, one-to-one swimming lessons and lessons for babies and toddlers. The popular pool is complete with hydrotherapy loungers, bubbling water jets and a splash pad area. The pool itself has a low impact ‘memory gel’ style base which aids grip, making it perfect for Aqua Aerobics.
The UK Pool and Spa Awards has also recognised Cofton’s seasonal outdoor pool as a contender in the competition. Open from 24th May to 14th September, this pool is predominantly used by sun seekers who can soak up the Devon sunshine on the large green spaces that surround the pool. This year, Cofton hosted Mermaid and Shark lessons in its outdoor pool for the first time, run by the holiday park’s very own Fin2Fit Mermaid Instructor.
Experiencing a high-level of success throughout 2019, Helen Scott, Director of Cofton Holidays, is delighted with this recent achievement:
“Having been shortlisted in this year’s Pool and Spa Awards, only a few weeks after being announced as a 5-star graded holiday park, is a huge honour for us. We’ve invested a great deal in our two popular swimming pools, and we are delighted that this has been recognised once again.
“One of the aspects we are particularly proud of is our £1/2million state-of-the-art biomass hub that provides heat and hot water to our indoor pool as well as our leisure and dining complex. The largest of its kind in Devon, it produces on average 1.9 million kWh of energy that constantly charges our thermal stores of hot water. It’s a great sustainable initiative for us.
“The public vote is now open and we’re up against two much larger operators. We would love to encourage our fans, guests and day visitors to vote for us through the UK Pool and Spa Awards website so that we can fly the flag for Devon. We’d like to thank all of our visitors for their support and loyalty as without them, we wouldn’t be celebrating such great achievements like this one.”