The Business Staycation – A Very Devon Getaway
22 July 2016
After taking the leap and deciding to launch my own business in January of this year, there has been very limited time to stop and do anything aside from work. Needing a break and with a holiday abroad simply a no go, instead I decided on a girly weekend with some of my closest friends and colleagues.
After searching high and low across the country and even abroad, we decided to scrap the long commutes and stress of airports and opt for a weekend staycation in our own very beautiful Devon. The truth is, no matter how much you love the great place you live, you never really value how great it is until you really take the time and take it all in.
We were extremely lucky to stay in the fantastic newly renovated Woodside Cottages at Cofton Holiday Park, in Starcross. These cottages were situated in rural Devon with Picturesque views across the beautiful Exe Estuary. Relaxation was at the core of the weekend and so the hottub was a welcome addition to the already amazing accommodation. Hot Tub Holidays have never been so popular – and after this weekend, it was easy to see why!
For me one of the key reasons I love living in Devon so much, is that there really is such a rich array of things to do and places to visit. Starcross did not disappoint as a location for a staycation either, with just minutes to walk for the beach, the woodlands or the fantastic Exe Estuary Trail. Even if you are visiting from further afield and fancy a day in the city, Exeter offers some spectacular history, great shopping and wonderful attractions.
So how did we spend our time over the weekend?
The weekend was all about chilling out, catching up and having fun and so on Friday night we settled in, had some great food and a good old catch up, of course while relaxing in the hot tub. Bats flying overhead, it was cold outside but warm in the hot tub, what a way to spend a Friday evening.
Early Morning Fitness
Although not a feature of most people’s weekend getaways, I have recently caught the running bug and couldn’t help but get up a little earlier and take in some of the great views and the crisp morning air whilst running. Now it was only a short 5km run, but there really are views to die for just a stone’s throw away. Getting out early in the morning also often means some chance encounters with Devon’s best loved wildlife.
A day at the beach
As someone who was born and bred in Devon, as the sun comes out it’s only natural to want to head for the beach, but as a tourist it really is a must. Closest to Starcross is the lively Dawlish Warren, but it is just as easy to hop on the ferry and take a trip over to the neighbouring Exmouth if you are looking for something different.
For our day at the beach we decided to pay a visit to Dawlish Warren. We packed up a picnic which of course included a compulsory bottle of Prosecco as well as an array of other treats and walked just 15 minutes to the beach. We spent most of the morning chatting playing games and even went swimming. Dawlish Warren in the sun is a fantastic way to spend the day.
No weekend away should be without a BBQ. So after the beach we headed back to the cottage, chilled out and got things ready for a delicious BBQ feast. The afternoon was all about music, interesting chat, a few drinks, games and lovely food. The setting was so peaceful, it really was the perfect escape from the everyday.
Woodland Wildlife Walks
As the evening continued and the group were a little boiled by the hot tub and the sunny weather, I suggested a wildlife walk in the woods as something fun to do. Devon is notorious for its array of wildlife, but it’s rare that we see them or even know where to look. So six of us head for an evening walk in the Woodlands next to the cottage. As soon as we start walking we see a beautiful grey owl as well as an array of other birds, mice and rabbits. What we really wanted to see was a badger, we had no luck on this evening but perhaps a quieter group might have.
Aside from the wildlife, perhaps the biggest discovery of the evening was some of the amazing views that could be seen from the highest points in the Woodlands. We could see across the whole of Exeter as well as the stunning glistening Exe Estuary.
A Walk on the Estuary
On the Sunday, after such an amazing laughter filled Saturday, we wanted to do something a little more chilled, so we decided to take a walk. We walked along the Exe Estuary path, first to the fantastic Powderham Castle, where we had a look around some of the shops and then onto one of my favourite pubs the Turf Locks. The Turf is about a 40 minute walk from the cottage but worth every minute with the great views along the way and the stunning setting when you arrive. On a good day the turf also provides a great place to take part in a whole host of watersports including canoeing and paddle boarding.
For the remainder of the weekend, it really was just about valuable chill time. There was something really nice about the fact that we bought all of our food and drink in advance, were totally secluded from everyone and could just relax and do our own thing in the beautiful countryside. No hustle and bustle, no time pressures and most importantly no travel time meaning more time to relax.
Not only did I have a fantastic weekend, but I perhaps #LoveDevon even more than I did before.
If you are thinking of a getaway, the key is not forgetting to look closer to home. The first thought when thinking of a holiday or a short break is to get as far away as possible, where actually there are the most amazing places that you would never have fully explored right on your doorstep.
Why not join us in November? We have both the Cofton Comedy Night and Gin Tasting Masterclass over the 17th and 18th!
To book your weekend getaway, visit our website or give us a call on 01626 890111.
Some of your kind words...
A brilliant stay as always. We stayed in a cottage this time which was beautiful and very well equipped. Lots of lovely little touches with a welcome hamper and lots of board games. Hubbie was well impressed with the huge TV too. Loved the courtyard and we were lucky enough to have the weather to BBQ 2 of the days. All the staff from reception to the shop to the entertainment were friendly and very accommodating of both my girls. Used the chippy which has recently changed hands and the food was still great. There is lots to do, loved the swimming, the zip wire, the park and walk in the woods and around the fishing lake. Have to be honest though we missed the caravan...... will definitely be back, hopefully in the Fernworthy van with the hot tub.
Had an amazing weeks holiday. The park was immaculate, the outdoor pool was spotless and the cleaning blocks were cleaned regularly. All the staff were very helpful and the shop on site was reasonably priced. We went with two kids (aged 6 and 7) and our dog, the kids were never bored and had an amazing holiday. We will definitely be returning next year!
My family and I stayed for 5 nights in July, aged between 13 and 40 and we all had a brilliant family stay. The teenagers loved the outdoor pool and the woods and we all loved the donkeys. I’ve been coming here since I was a child and it’s still got a lovely relaxing atmosphere and has all the facilities you could want for a camping holiday. I must say the fish and chip shop is the best we have ever had at a holiday park, reasonable prices and good sized portions. We have booked to come back again on 25th August for a week and can’t wait!
I visited when my relatives came over from Canada and fell in love. I was lucky enough to stay for a week last August for my sons 2nd birthday. It has got to be one of my favourite places to go. Absolutely beautiful, quiet, good facilities, lovely restaurants. The staff are outstanding. I can't wait to come back again this year!
Stayed in campervan for a weekend. Great campsite good location, plenty of things for all to do. Great fishing lakes all in a short walk through the woodland to the lovely Dawlish Warren and Dawlish. Couldn't fault.
Highbridge, United Kingdom
We have had a wonderful experience, the site is very clean, ALL the staff were friendly and helpful especially the bar supervisor, entertainment was second to none, we'll 100% return...
The Warren Family
I just want to say how impressed my fellow Motorhomers and Caravaners were with the welcome and service we received during our stay. Staff in the office were polite and helpful at all times. Scott the restaurant manager was most accommodating when I enquired about reserving space for 25 to 30 of us for lunch after a walk. The service in the restaurant was speedy the food hot and varied. We were very pleased with the standards. Staff in the restaurant were cheerful and polite and helped make our meal most enjoyable. We had such a good time that we will be returning again next year for our Xmas Rally.
The best holiday park we've been to in our motorhome. Our children aged 2 and 4 loved it. Great facilities, entertainment and activities in one of the best parts of Devon!
Delicious fish and chips, friendly and helpful staff and delightful woodland.
Suze - Cornwall
Good location and dog walking, we'll be back and it can't come quick enough.
David - Portsmouth.
Loved the Zumba class! Can't wait to come back!
Elise - Exeter.
A* facilities, always very clean. The pool and food offer great value for money!
Stayed in Honeysuckle Cottage, stunning views over the Exe Estuary.. fantastic place for a family holiday
Ian - Australia.
My little girls aged 2,3 and 5 loved the entertainment.. all they can remember is fun, fun and more fun!
Anonymous - Cheshire.
Quiet and relaxing in a stunning location.. Can't wait to return
Ethan R, Burnham-on-Sea
We usually camp 3 times a year and hire a caravan after the Christmas break at Cofton, and will continue to do so. We thoroughly recommend staying there. Great for families or just the 2 of you.
Jilly B, Cheltenham
Go for swimming and food at this fabulous holiday camp... facilities A-star so clean and just great value for money would defo use over and over again which I do.... I'm a regular visitor. Dip and dine always good option as the food and snacks are fantastic in the bar cafe area near swimming pool!
Excellent toilet block and lovely hot showers. The on site pub was spot on with really friendly staff..
Joan L, Bromsgrove
The superbly equipped Woodside Cottage was beautifully clean with a fantastic Hot Tub. Waking up to horses and cows in the rear field.. stunning!
So friendly and clean, it’s a home from home and we couldn’t go a year with a visit!
Bernice Procter, Swindon
I always pay a visit to Amelia's Pantry, you can just Relax, Indulge and Enjoy!
‘Wonderful facilities, especially the swimming pools! In a lovely setting, for us it is simply the best campsite we have found.’
Margaret Hayes, Leeds
We have been coming to Cofton since 2009 and have stayed at least 12 times. We love everything about Cofton: the location and scenery in and around the park, the quality and cleanliness of accommodation, the friendly welcoming atmosphere; Everything about Cofton is great!
Ethan Robinson, Somerset
‘Dog walks, cycling, lovely country pubs… It suits our every need’
Kay Hancock, Bristol