Tuesday 20 September 2016

Devon & Exmoor | Travel With Dogs

If you follow me on social media you will have no doubt seen that I enjoyed a lovely little week away to Devon and Exmoor a couple of weeks ago and so I thought it would be nice to share with you all some of the highlights. 

When I was growing up we never went abroad and instead my family took me Devon almost every year for our Summer holiday. Having not been there for a good 20+ years I was looking forward to going back and returning to some of our old favourite places!

When deciding where to book to stay I came across the Unique Home Stays website which features a selection of luxury self catering properties available for renting. I think it would be fair to say that all of the properties featured on this website are simply stunning! Many of them carry a pretty hefty price tag too, especially during peak seasons. But after a bit of delving around I came across Caspian Ranch which ticked all the boxes for us without being over budget. 

Caspian Ranch is so beautiful and it was everything we were hoping for and more! As soon as we walked inside and looked around I knew I would never want to leave. It's the perfect mix of rustic traditional and contemporary and it has been decorated so tastefully. We absolutely loved the huge open plan living / kitchen area which is separated by a huge log burner in the middle of the room. It was such a cosy place to stay and they had literally thought of everything which made our entire week there completely stress free. On arrival we were even presented with a welcome hamper full of goodies which kept us going until we could reach the nearest shop. 

Caspian Ranch is situated in Exmoor just near to the village of Dulverton. I couldn't remember ever visiting Exmoor in the past but it was so incredibly beautiful and scenic, I know I will return again in future. Whilst staying there we really felt like we were in a completely different part of the world and I don't think I have ever holidayed anywhere as peaceful as there before. I actually loved the fact that there wasn't a huge amount there and the tiny villages only had small independent shops without a Starbucks or Tesco's in sight. It was also great driving around the moors and spotting lots of wildlife including deer, sheep and cows. 

On our first full day we drove to Woolacombe Beach which was about an hour away and this was one of our favourite places to visit when I was a child. The weather wasn't great but thankfully it stayed dry so we could take a long walk along the beach with the dogs. If you've never been to Woolacombe Beach before it should be added to your 'must see' list because it is both beautiful and huge. It has perfect soft sand, huge waves ideal for surfing and the majority of it is dog friendly too.

Quite a few people had recommended to me to visit Dunster during our week away and I am so glad they did. We decided to drive there on our second day and it was perfect for strolling around and popping into many of the cute little shops dotted along the high street. There's also so many little cafes, tea rooms and pubs, it was the perfect place to go to for an afternoon out. Dunster is also most famous for it's castle which you can pay to go inside or just to explore the gardens. As we had the dogs with us we opted for the gardens only and they really are a beautiful sight, I would definitely recommend visiting if you get a chance. 

On another of our days out we opted to visit Saunton Sands Beach and the neighbouring town of Braunton. It was such strange weather the day we were there as it was so cloudy and the beach looked really misty. In the last photo above you can see that it was difficult to see where the sand, sea and sky ended and began! It certainly made for some great photo taking though. I could imagine this being a great place to visit on a sunny day and again it's perfect for surfing. This beach is also completely dog friendly too which meant our little pack had a great time running around and getting all sandy! 

I had read in Caspian Ranch's guest book that many people had enjoyed a day out to Lynmouth & Lynton and so we decided to spend a day there too. Thankfully towards the end of our week the weather did start to get better and we got to see some sunshine! I think this was my favourite day out of the whole holiday and the area was just so incredibly picturesque. We drove into Lynmouth which is packed full with little shops, cafes and tea rooms. We then rode the cliff railway up to the top of the hill in Lynton which was so much fun! The views at the top were amazing. All in all a great day out! 

The final day of the holiday we had the best weather and we decided to make the most of it by visiting Putsborough Beach which is just near to Woolacombe. I'm so glad that we visited this beach because it was truly amazing and my favourite beach of the whole week. This beach is much more quieter than Woolacombe as there isn't a great deal in terms of amenities close by but it is completely untouched which I think makes it all the more special. If you only visit once beach in North Devon I would say to go here.

All in all we couldn't have had a better time away enjoying some of England's finest scenery and beaches. This is such a beautiful part of the world to visit and if you've never been before it really makes a great place to holiday, even if the weather isn't perfect! In my opinion the beaches in North Devon are unbeatable so I would always recommend staying somewhere within driving distance of this area. Exmoor proved to be the perfect base for us which meant we could enjoy both the countryside and the coast. It also meant that we got to drive about and explore different areas opposed to staying in one location which helped to keep things varied. 

I decided not to feature or blog any of, or the lack of, vegan options during our stay because it was really hit and miss. For the most part we went to Co-Op and cooked a lot of our breakfasts and meals. In places I was able to get a salad sandwich or some pasta and two nights running I had chips so sadly I wouldn't say that this part of the world is particularly vegan friendly. But ultimately we didn't visit for the food and I had anticipated that this would be the case as it so often is in rural England. 

If you'd like to see more of our trip be sure to check out my husbands vlog from our travels as he managed to capture some really great drone footage!

Have you been to Devon or Exmoor before? 
Where do you love to visit? 
Maybe this post has got you thinking of visiting in future!? Let me know! 

1 comment

  1. Looks gorgeous! I love how colourful the beach huts are.


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