IN AND AROUND THE BLACKDOWN HILLS

PUBS & DINING OUT

Culm Valley Inn
Great food, beers and lovely atmosphere – that sums it up! Book in advance to be sure of a table.

Catherine Wheel Pub
Our local pub with good pub food and a relaxed feel.

Exe Valley Pizza Company
Wood fired pizza van stops in Hemyock on a Friday Night

Your Plaice or Mine
Really good chip van with other street food in Hemyock every Tuesday Night or Dunkeswell on a Monday

Jack in the Green Inn
Oh, such lovely food, just like their sister restaurant The Five Bells, love both, happy to do special diets and have to be my fave for a special occasion – do need to book ahead.


DAY OUT?

Why not just grab a picnic and totter up to the woods? When you crave civilisation again here are some ideas!

 River Exe Café
Just our favourite day out – great views, fresh sea air and fabulous food – all the ingredients to total relaxation.

Escot Park
Lovely day out, works for all ages, plus otters, wild boar and restaurant, I personally love to drop in when passing as there is a FREE to enter red squirrel enclosure OUTSIDE the gates – love them!

Exeter Cathedral
Cathedral and Exeter Underground passages – great for kids as well. Shopping in Gandy Street and Cathedral Yard, Exeter has theatres, museums and events through the year – don’t miss The Plant Café in the square, veggie and vegan food that you will adore even if you aren’t! Book in advance at the Quay for Saddles and Paddles (cycling and canoeing) or just drive straight to the Double Locks pub (you won’t believe you are in the right place but you are… you’ll see) or the Turf Locks Pub, if you have your bike or don’t mind a good walk!

Diggerland Devon
I’m not a great one for theme parks, there’s lots around here (woodlands and creally to name a couple) but Diggerland is quite novel – if you have kids who are digger obsessed, also great for adults

Bickleigh Mill
Lovely gallery, lunch and a superb volunteer run model railway centre right beside it – great for toddlers upwards…oh gosh and grown men with train interests…

Pecorama
More model trains…I never quite get it, but my son and husband do love this!

The Museum of Somerset, Taunton
A stunning museum and really nice restaurant with well thought out healthy kid food options too – great place

The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre
Great programme of events – see their website

 

SHOPPING

Darts Farm
You are going to love this place, go in for lunch or just visit in passing on the way to the beach or historic Topsham, fired Earth, Aga, farm shop and toy store as well as Cotswold Outdoors clothing

Otter Nurseries Garden Centre
GARDEN CENTRE with so much more! visit any time of year, their festive range is just crazy! You won’t be disappointed if you love your garden and home. Next to Joshua’s Harvest Store …

Joshua’s Harvest Store
Go here for food and come out with a few lovely things you had no idea you needed – place I head to for presents, food and lovely lunch… oh and right next door to Otter Nurseries!

Millers Farm Shop
Cup of tea, amazing groceries and veg shop, much of it fresh from France – you will never wish to return to a noisy brightly lit brash supermarket again when you have shopped in a great farm shop!

 

ANTS IN YOUR PANTS?

Devon & Somerset Flight Training
Take a flight in a small plane, or learn to fly – just up the road and a lovely company.

Dunkeswell Airfield
Parachuting, leisure kart racing, flying lessons, small plane hire, Aviator TAC Bar and lots of seasonal events. Also see the Gliding Club nearby for their experience days and Aerosaurus Balloons.

Tramway Station – CAR FREE DAY OUT!
Drive to Colyton or take the Number 20 bus from here to Seaton and ride the electric tramway, wrap up warm and enjoy the view- take a picnic to the beach or buy chips and ice cream!

Haldon Hill
Forest walking, cycling, zip wiring, archery, segways, restaurant, just the best day out – my personal favourite day out, just lovely.

Skydive Buzz
Fabulous company – if you are going to do a parachute jump then do it here – very friendly and totally professional

Honiton Golf Club
Yes you get a discount on green fees when you stay here!

Knightshayes Gardens National Trust
Lovely gardens, beautiful house, national trust cafe and kids love the freedom to run in the grounds (there is also a discretely tucked away wooden play area). Great lunch and always seasonal interest


OTHER NEARBY TOWNS & VILLAGES

Hemyock
Two shops and a post office, a pub and a school, you wouldn’t think much would go on, but you are so wrong! Lots of great village events

Sidmouth
Sleepy little seaside town, but one week in August is FOLK WEEK – sit on the seafront and watch Morris dancers, go to evening concerts, take workshops with musicians – and end of week carnival

Topsham
Historic Topsham – quay, cute boutiques and not far from Darts Farm too.

Exeter Northcott Theatre
great programme of events – see their website

Axminster Power Tool Centre
Ohhhh, shiney tools! The best and widest range of sparkly new tools we love Axminster power tools!

Honiton
ANTIQUE SHOPS GALORE! The wonderful THELMA HULBERT GALLERY (see childrens holiday artist workshops and pre-Christmas selling exhibition amongst other fabulous events throught the year, The Beehive Arts Centre with lots of different entertainment, Market days Tuesday and Saturday, lovely cup of tea and home you go!

Ottery St. Mary
Ottery, a sleepy little village with lovely local stores, Otter Nurseries & Joshuas Harvest store. BUT one night of the year it goes crackers, not for the faint hearted TAR BARRELS don’t take the kids!

Blackdown Hills Beer & Music Festival
Fancy a bit of local culture – live music and local beers, Blackdown Hills Samba Band can’t be missed!

Powderham Castle
Great day out, lovely farm shop to stock up on local produce and lots of events through the summer evenings too

Blackdown Hills AONB
Of course I have to recommend – we live in the heart of this stunning landscape, tranquillity, lush green views and laid back way of being will leave you rested and refreshed. There are lots of wonderful events in our Hills – see the events calender!

The Jurassic Coastline
Dramatic south coastal path and World Heritage Site, wonderful to walk all or a little chunk, or just enjoy one of the towns or beaches along the way – Branscombe with its deep pebbles, or Lyme Regis with golden sand, all very different!

I know I have missed a million places, there really is so much to choose from around and about! Don’t forget to grab a Devon cream tea along the way and eat lots of local ice cream – oh see theres another, I could write for ever!