North Devon Cottages North Devon cottages, let us help you choose your dream cottage Thu, 28 Jun 2012 14:04:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 North Devon Cottages Mon, 02 Aug 2010 08:44:36 +0000 North Devon Cottages
Typical North Devon Cottage Image credit Adrian Platt ©©

Typical North Devon Cottage

North Devon cottages are typically quite modest houses, often in a rural, or semi-rural setting. Usually these are one-and-a-half story properties, where the upstairs floor goes into the eaves. The windows are usually dormers which means there maybe restricted height in part of the room. This also sometimes means that the eave timbers form part of the bedroom space. The timber purlins, rafters and posts are left to give a more traditional feel.
In some of the larger North Devon villages and small towns the term “cottage” can just mean a small, cosy house.

This doesn’t mean that cottages are always small, though. They vary in size usually with between 1 and 4 bedrooms. Larger cottages have sometimes been created by knocking a row of small cottages into one or two larger houses and a cosy cottagey exterior can hide a spacious living area.

The joy of a holiday cottage is that you can use it as if it were your own home for the duration of your stay. This gives you the freedom to eat in, eat out and relax . Unlike a bed and breakfast or hotel, where there is usually some sort of restriction on your access because of cleaning schedules, in a holiday cottage you can please yourself.

Holiday cottages are an ideal choice for families with children and babies, especially in larger properties where three generations can holiday together.

Holidays in cottages are becoming more and more popular in the UK. Holiday rentals in areas such as Cornwall, the Lake District and Costwolds are now very expensive. This is where relatively undiscovered and unspoilt villages of North Devon really come into their own. Prices are far more reasonable and availability is good, giving holiday-makers a much wider choice.
Increased competition between cottage owners has led to significant improvements in the quality of presentation of properties on offer. You can expect tasteful decor, character furnishings and good quality appliances in most North Devon cottages.

Image credit Adrian Platt ©©

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Dates « Vintage Mobile Cinema Mon, 07 Jun 2010 15:45:32 +0000

Kings Nympton

July 8, 2010
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

@ the village hall.

Instow Cricket Club

June 22, 2010
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

South Molton Olde English Fayre

June 20, 2010

@ The Pannier Market.

Bideford College Summer Science Day

June 19, 2010

@ Tapely Park, Instow

Goldcoast festival with Aim Higher

June 18, 2010

Croyde surf festival. Workshops and activities all day.

See my previous post. Here are the dates for the vintage mobile cinema that’s doing the rounds of North Devon villages

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BBC – Movies on the move in vintage mobile cinema in Devon Mon, 07 Jun 2010 15:43:18 +0000
Movies on the move in vintage mobile cinema in Devon
By Laura Joint
BBC Devon

The vintage mobile cinema – restored after five years of hard work

Five years ago the Movie Bus was a rusty old heap, rotting away in a field – but just look at it now!

The vintage mobile cinema has been lovingly restored by its Devon owner, Ollie Halls, and has now taken to the roads in north Devon, showing archive films of the area.

It seems the perfect place to sit and watch historic footage.

The archive film project is run with the backing of groups including the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.

With lottery funding, the Movie Bus has secured the use of films stored by the South West Film and Television Archive.

Eight 20-minute films will be taken on a tour of towns and villages in north Devon during 2010.

Looks fun – great thing to do on the odd rainy afternoon. I’ll try to find a schedule for it. With luck it will park just near your North Devon cottage!

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North Devon Can Be A Little Surprising! Thu, 26 Nov 2009 00:11:28 +0000

Teen pregnancy hotspot town’s new logo looks like a human sperm

Ilfracombe logo

A town with a dire teen pregnancy record has rebran-ded itself using a logo that looks like a human sperm.

Designer Tessa Martin came up with the “idiosyncratic swirl” as part of a campaign which cost council taxpayers £5,000.

It is supposed to get people to “take another look and be surprised” by Ilfracombe, Devon.

What can I say?

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North Devon Cottages – a little homework Thu, 19 Nov 2009 17:41:13 +0000 North Devon cottages give you a wonderful base from which to explore both the coast and the countryside of North Devon. I find doing a little preparation is a great way to get the best out of a holiday. I like to have one or two books on the go that give me a taste of the area I’m going to stay in. I love being able to get a feel for the landscape before I get there and to match the fictional landscape to what is really there.

Devon is the setting for a couple of classic works of fiction, Lorna Doone and Tarka the Otter. Both are typical Sunday afternoon serial material and offer good plots, bags of atmosphere and a story the whole family can enjoy.

Lorna Doone

Lorna Doone is a character in a well known book that became a much loved film. (For many Americans she is synonymous with shortbread bisuits but that’s another story!) The book, subtitled A Romance of Exmoor is a novel by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. It is a romance based on a group of historical characters and set in the late 17th century in Devon and Somerset. The hero John Ridd’s father, a respectable farmer, was murdered in cold blood by one of the notorious Doone clan, a once noble family, now outlaws, in the isolated Doone Valley. Battling his desire for revenge, John grows up to take good care of his mother and two sisters and become a farmer like his father.  One day he meets a girl, Lorna, and falls hopelessly in love. Tragically she seems to be not only the granddaughter of Sir Ensor Doone but destined to marry the evil heir of the Doone Valley, Carver Doone. Carver will let nothing get in the way of his marriage to Lorna, which he plans to force upon her once Sir Ensor dies and he comes into his inheritance.

Lorna Doone Country

The bridge at Oare

The Exmoor countryside becomes almost another character in the book and some of the descriptions make the Moor sound a very bleak, yet hauntingly beautiful place. There are lots of walks available that are based on the story and it is fairly easy to find the real life models for many places mentioned in the book. At the heart of Loona Doone Country is Malmsmead, where visitors can find Lorna Doone Farm, and nearby Oare House and Oare Church, where R D Blackmore’s grandfather was once rector.

Tarka the Otter

Tarka the Otter is another well loved story set in the Devon countryside. Tarka was written by Henry Williamson and first published in 1927. It starts with Tarka as  a cub growing up in a den with his mother and siblings. As a cub, he learns how to clean himself, swim, and catch fish. When his home is attacked by hunters, he and his family must abandon it to flee from danger. Joining up with another group of otters, the family continue to travel. At some point he loses his family and his mother forgets she even had a cub named Tarka. From then on he must fend for himself.

It is a fairly realistic imagining of the life of an otter from his earliest time as a cub to the end of his life. It is not a book for the squeamish and some of the descriptions of animal behaviour are quite vivid. However it gives an amazingly realistic, althought sometimes harsh, picture of the life of the Devon countryside.

The Tarka Trail

Tarka lives his life and has his adventures in a much more realistic depiction of North Devon than Lorna Doone. The area where the book is set is well documented and there is even a Tarka Trail which you can use to help you explore.

The Tarka Trail is a series of interconnected footpaths and cyclepaths. It is a figure-of-eight route and covers some 180 miles of path. The route covers a wide variety of landscapes including: wooded river valleys, rugged moorland, coastal cliffs and sandy bays. Walking varies between easy and strenuous, depending on the location, but, in general, it is comprehensively waymarked. You can also explore the Tarka Trail by bike and cycle hire is available if you haven’t brought bikes from home.

Preparing for your holiday builds the excitement

If you are preparing for a holiday in a North Devon cottage you could do worse than add both of these to your family reading list. Children will enjoy both these books and be fascinated by finding the real places described in them. A bit of preparation like this before a holiday can provide a good theme for days out and give that feeling of being on a quest which children often find enjoyable.

Another way to prepare is to find videos of both these stories and here are a couple to get you started.

The first is a trailer for the film of Tarka the Otter (available on DVD) and will give you a taste of the sort of countryside you will be exploring form your cottage.

The second is set on Exmoor itself and is a trailer for the 1960s film of Lorna Doone. I couldn’t resist showing you it but I fear it may give a rather strange impression of Lorna Doone’s setting. Do you think they’d ever been to the UK? :-)

A quick look round youtube also leads to the whole of the more recent BBC classic serial of the story with Amelia Warner and Richard Coyle  but I’m not about to link to that here :-) as the BBC may well insist it is taken down. You can however buy the series on DVD. Lorna Doone [DVD]

I think that doing a bit of preparation when you are getting ready for a holiday helps to build excitement and will add to your chances of a really good holiday in your North Devon cottage.

Creative Commons License image credit: nicksarebi

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