Devon: Cream Tea, Coastlines & Christie

01 December 2016

brixham-devonDevon, home to sandy beaches, areas of outstanding natural beauty, national parks, medieval towns and of course, Galmpton Touring Park.

Based in the heart of the English Riviera, Galmpton is a prime location for relaxing, exploring and discovering all that the South West has to offer. To give you a taste of what’s on offer, we have picked some of the things that always spring to mind first when you think of Devon.
 

Cream Tea

devon-cream-teaDevon cream is a quintessential ingredient in the oh-so-British tradition of Afternoon Cream Tea. Picture it: dainty sandwiches, scones served with lashings of clotted cream and jam, cakes and pastries, and of course, tea from India or Ceylon in silver tea pots drunk from bone China cups. Simply delectable!

There is something of a disagreement about how one is supposed to serve Cream Tea – more specifically the scones, and in Devon the cream is slathered onto the scone first and topped off with jam (strawberry ideally). This means you get the sweetness of the jam first, followed by the balancing flavours of the thick cream underneath.

To experience a true Devonshire Cream Tea, you can visit places such as Cakeadoodledo, the home of all things ‘cakey’, which is a 50 minute drive from the Park, or a little further afield you can find The Old Forge in Chagford, which began as a blacksmith’s forge early in the 1800’s and its historic ambiance remains to this day. It serves what has been billed as Britain’s best cream tea. Closer to home, The Singing Kettle Tea Room and Eatery on Belgrave Road in Torquay is just 25 minutes away and is famous for its cream teas – and its breakfasts.
 

Coastlines

burnham-coastlineThe English Riviera is 22 miles of coastline running through Torquay, Babbacombe, Paignton and Brixham, with Galmpton at its heart. There is literally something for everyone, with glorious beaches, walks and watersports all along the Riviera, and in nearby Paignton, there is the zoo, an environmental park, the Palace Theatre, and Pirates Bay Adventure Golf.

In Torquay there is Kents Cavern, which is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. Babbacombe has a wonderful miniature model village and Brixham Harbour & Marina is the perfect place to soak up some history, culture and some sunshine.

With some of the most stunning beaches in Britain, the English Riviera offers plenty of choice – whether it’s a relaxing day on the sand, or a more adventurous afternoon in the water.
 

Christie

GTP_greenway_01Greenway House, located a short walk away from Galmpton Touring Park was home to the world’s best-selling novelists – Agatha Christie. Only the Bible and Shakespeare have sold more books! She was born in Torquay on 15 September 1890, and spent her years in stunning surroundings that proved to be an inspiration time and time again. Christie called Greenway “the loveliest place in the world.” She had grown up knowing all about it, and in later years, bought the place as a summer home where she and her family got away to relax and play croquet and clock golf. The garden is large and quite romantic and leads down the hillside toward the Dart estuary.

Want to know more? Take an Agatha Christie tour! The English Riviera Visitor Information Centre can arrange a tour of Agatha Christie’s Riviera and there are excellent local guides who have an in-depth knowledge of Christie, the Queen of Crime. You can experience walks along the Agatha Christie Mile or a guide will take you on driving tours of the Agatha Christie Literary Trail.

The Agatha Christie Festival is a grand annual event held in September, and returns in 2017 running from the 13th – 17th.

Book your holiday at Galmpton Touring Park now and prepare for stunning beauty, historic surprises and special events that are underway from March 2017 onward.

Explore Brixham…

01 November 2016

brixhamHome to Galmpton Touring Park, and located in the heart of Devon, Brixham is a stunning little seaside resort that offers something for everyone, all year round.

Located right on the coast of Devon, Brixham is a charming fishing town packed full of things to do, see and explore – from adventures with the kids to relaxing amongst stunning scenery.

brixham-marinaThe focal point of Brixham is the harbour, which perfectly captures the essence of the English Riviera, and is a combination of both pleasure and work with its yachts and heritage trawlers nestled together in their moorings.

Brixham is laced with history and culture, with the most popular attraction being the Golden Hind – Sir Francis Drake’s Tudor galleon and the first ship to sail around the world. There are Pirate Days, special events and celebrations happening all year round on what is lovingly known as ‘Brixham’s treasure’ to celebrate its history with tales of pirates and smugglers from it’s past.

Bustling with things to do no matter the season, Brixham is full of attractions, scenic views and nature – not to mention a plethora of great places to eat amongst fascinating boutique stores.

berry-headgolden-hindIn the spring and summer, there are countless boat trips that allow you to experience the true beauty of the area from the water, and what boat trip would be complete without a tale (tall or not) about some of the famous historical nautical adventures from the area? Both interesting and entertaining, it’s a definite must for a summer family visit.

The UNESCO Global Geopark is open year round, and you can reach it via Berry Head – a gorgeous half an hour walk from the harbour. If you’re a birdwatcher, the walk from Berry Head to Sharkham Point is a haven for several nationally rare and threatened species. These birds rely on thin limestone soils, a mild climate, and exposed headlands to thrive and this area provides this atmosphere in abundance.

The Geopark, designated in 2007, offers kayaking, diving, coasteering, and sea-fishing – to name a few, and is home to 3 visitor centres: Kents Cavern, Berry Head National Nature Reserve and The Seashore Centre, which all give a glimpse into the history and geography of the region. Kents Cavern in particular, is Britain’s oldest cave site and was around during the Stone Age. This spectacular archaeological site has produced the bones of sabre-toothed tiger and a mammoth, and was the Ice Age home to Britain’s earliest living humans.

Alongside the Marina and nearby attractions, Brixham’s natural beauty is reason enough to pay a visit. Whether you explore it during the winter months, or book your summer holiday early there is plenty to experience no matter what the weather.

Form Furry Friendships at Living Coasts

03 October 2016

galmpton-living-coastsLiving Coasts is a year round, all weather zoo and aquarium located on the Torquay seafront in South Devon, and it is a hugely popular attraction for all ages.

Located just 15 minutes away from Galmpton Touring Park, this family favourite offers a huge array of activities and experiences to make it a truly wonderful day out. The marine animal experiences let you get up close and personal with some of the most popular animals, specifically penguins, seals, otters, and rays.

There is more than enough to keep you entertained throughout your visit to Living Coasts, with feeding times and talks for different animals happening daily and lots of things to see and do. There are many special areas within the grounds, such as the Puppet Show at Auks Under Water, which is one of the first things you encounter as you enter the site, and Water Play at the Jetty where toddlers can splash about and have some fun in the water. The Crawl Tank is a firm favourite as it lets children get a glimpse of how the sea life lives from underneath the tank and is described as like being ‘under a huge transparent rockpool!’ The Climbing Wall lets you experience the difficulty in holding on to rocks – and really makes you wonder how limpets do it. The Children’s Area is a great place for young children to play and is the perfect opportunity to watch the penguins under water, while The Interactive Area is a spot where children can jump around and clear the seaweed and litter before the tide comes in.

Alongside the daily activities, there are also various exhibitions and events going on throughout the year. The Forgotten Wrecks exhibition is on until the 16th November and features First World War wrecks of all shapes and sizes that were discovered off the Devon Coast. With more than 700 wrecks currently off the south coast, this gives a great insight into what lies below the waves in and around Devon. Then there is the Super Villains Week (perfect for celebrating Halloween), which is taking place between the 24th and 30th October. Super Villains make an appearance to interact and get up to no good as only villains can do! Plus during half term there are fancy dress competitions, spooky puppet shows, and a Creepy Coffin trail (for which there is a £1 charge).

You can also meet and chat with the animals’ keepers who will tell you everything you need to know about the animals and their natural habitat, and there are plenty of experiences to be had – including a diving experience where you can go below deck to see sea creatures in their natural habitats. (If you want to have either of these experiences on a specific date, call or email Living Coasts to check availability before booking.)

Are you a real animal lover who would love to make a difference? Living Coasts’ ‘Adopt an Animal’ scheme is an excellent program that allows you to make a real contribution to the vital conservation work that the group does onsite and around the world. At the moment, there is a real threat that more than 10,000 species could disappear by the year 2050, and you can help to change that. Choose from African penguins, macaroni penguins, otters, seals, blue-spotted ribbon tail rays, octopuses and tufted puffins. This is a chance to adopt a species rather than a specific animal, and it is designed this way because some animals may move from Living Coasts to other zoos as part of breeding programmes. For more information, please visit the adoption section of their website.

If you’re feeling ‘peckish’ during your visit, the Living Coasts Café is open to all with free entry to non-visitors. You can drop in any time for family friendly, local food and drink with spectacular sea views to enjoy while you eat. Tradewinds Gift Shop is also free to visit, and carries everything from plush toys and games to books, clothing and confectionery as well as a huge range of Fair Trade jewellery and local art, with all profits going towards the conservation work the group are so proud of.

Living Coasts is open daily (except Christmas Day) from 10.00am. Adult entry is £11.05, with Children (3-15 Years) costing £8.30. Senior Citizens are £9.40 and Family Passes (2 Adults and 2 Children 3-15 years) are £34.85.

The Old Market House Restaurant

01 September 2016

18496-brixham-harbourLocated a mere 10 mins from Galmpton Touring Park, on the beautiful Brixham harbour, The Old Market House Restaurant provides a fantastic dining experience with stunning views overlooking the marina.

Covering two floors, the restaurant offers a bar menu with counter service on the ground floor, while upstairs there is a friendly table service to create a true dining experience. If that is not enough, The Old Market House also has an extensive outdoor seating area overlooking breath-taking Brixham harbour, including the replica of The Golden Hind – a popular feature of the area.

The food is spectacular, and the menu consists of fresh, locally sourced food from the South West. They offer a range of drinks, including their own award-winning beer as well as a great selection of fine wines. The food is all freshly prepared and cooked on the premises, and there is a local produce map that shows who the key local providers are for the items on the menu.

Whether you want to explore and discover a bit of history in the hillside harbour town and the surrounding countryside of Brixham, or just want a good meal – The Old Market House is a great place to start or end a tour of the area. Not only is the food fresh and locally sourced, the restaurant also has a daily specials board announcing what seasonal produce is available that day.

Reviews are excellent, with a typical comment going something like this: “…it was the best place by far. Excellent range of beers and cider (St Austell ales and lager, Rattler cider amongst others).”

The nearest parking is available at Brixham Central where you can park for up to 3 hours, but there are car parks for longer stays on the edges of the harbour and beyond.

Breakfast is served from 9am – 11am. Other meals are served daily from 12 noon.

Explore English Heritage at its Finest at Totnes Castle

02 August 2016

18403-Totnes-CastleJust a 25 minute drive away from Galmpton Touring Park, nestled on the hill overlooking the Saxon town of Totnes is the stunning 11th Century built Totnes Castle – originally owned by a commander in William The Conqueror’s army.

Today, the castle has been transformed into a beautiful reminder of the lengthy and colourful history of England and is truly a spectacle to behold amongst the glorious Devon countryside.

Climb the steps up to the castle and overlook the thriving town of Totnes – a centre of commerce that boast a strong artistic community – and take in spectacular views of the River Dart. Visit the Castle Keep, built in the 13th Century and the best preserved of all of the three keeps in Devon, you can even still see the defensive arrow slits and battlements left behind.

The courtyard (also referred to as the bailey) is a grassy area perfect for picnics! Sheltered by trees including the Holm Oak, which is believed to be more than 150 years old, it is a truly tranquil place to sit and take in your surroundings. Weather permitting, there are archery targets set up in the bailey where you can try out the ancient skills with a bow and arrow for yourself.

There is a Moat Walk, which surrounds the outside walls of the castle, which would have been part of the original defence system for the entrance. Today it is filled with wild flowers and plants and makes a beautiful scenic walk perfect for nature lovers.

The Castle Shop offers souvenirs and distinctive gifts including chutneys, jams, books and jewellery for a wonderful reminder of your day. There are children’s toys and games that are wonderful replicas of the past, with wooden bows and arrows and dressing up outfits for budding knights and princesses. You can also purchase drinks, snacks, local wine, beer, and cider.

There is limited pay and display parking 64 metres away from the castle, which is suitable for cars only. Admission is £4 for adults, £2.40 per child (aged 5-15), and family admission for 2 adults and up to 3 children is £10.40. Gift Aid admission price is a little higher and includes a voluntary donation of 10%.

Totnes Castle is open daily from 10am to 6pm with the last admission an hour before closing.

An adorable day out for animal lovers!

04 July 2016

miniature-pony-centreThe Miniature Pony Centre at Wormhill Farm, Newton Abott does exactly what is says on the tin, with a large family of ponies of different colours, sizes and cheeky characters!

 

The Farm is around an hour’s drive away from Galmpton Touring Park, and is a guaranteed great day out! All of the ponies, aside from being utterly adorable, are tame and love to be stroked and played with – so the kids (and their parents) can get up close and personal and spend some real quality time with these delightful creatures. Now is a great time to visit too – as the mature ponies have had a busy few months and there are 3 brand new foals at the farm! However, there are more than tiny ponies and horses on offer for visitors.

There are peacocks and hens with tiny newborns arriving all the time during the Spring months. In the aviaries, there are cockatiels and several different varieties of poultry including incredibly noisy guinea fowl – whom now have their own living area in Pets Paddock. There are also rabbits, guinea pigs, lambs, and pigmy goats as well.

As well as the animals and birds, there are some high-energy attractions for children including Fort Bovey, and indoor activity area featuring a climbing wall, slide and tunnels which is ideal for children aged six and over. There are also soft play areas inside where younger children can crawl through holes, leap into ball pools, and play on a curly slide. At the top of the Centre there is a trampoline area, with 3 huge trampolines for the big kids, and a special one for those under 5, and for the really adventurous amongst you, try the zip-wire and get a birds-eye view of the whole park!

Children aged 3 to 10 years old can have pony rides touring a complete circuit of the riding area. Don’t worry, each ride (and child) is supervised by staff who are experts with the ponies, and will also make sure you have all the right kit – including a safety helmet! Each ride costs £2.

If you fancy something a little more peaceful during your visit, there is a fantastic walkway through the hedges, wetlands, and ponds, surrounded by trees and brimming with wildlife. In the Willow Garden you can walk amongst the butterflies and discover all kinds of insects and amongst the flowers and plants, and a trip to the top of the Stallion Paddock Walk rewards you with a magnificent view.

If you are planning to make a special trip, why not check out the hugely popular Pony Care Days? At £50 for a full day, or £30 for half a day the kids are taught the basic of how to properly care for the ponies – including feeding, grooming and mucking out! If the weather is nice they can also get involved in bathing the ponies – which, whilst a wonderful experience, can also prove rather wet so bring a change of clothes just in case! Pony Days must be booked at least a week in advance to avoid missing out!

The Centre is open daily from 10.30 am until 4.30 pm, although during August it stays open until 5.00pm. Admission for adults is £8.50, children 3 to 16 are £7.50 and Seniors and concessions are £7.00. Children under 3 are free. You can also get a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) for £30 with additional children costing £6.00 each.

Fun, Food and Family Entertainment at The Gooseberry Pie Fair

31 May 2016

18313-Galmpton-Gooseberry-Pie-Fair“In eighteen hundred and seventy three, the people of Galmpton did agree, to hold a Gooseberry Pie Fair.”

And so according to the tales that have been told, in 1873, the tradition of Galmpton’s Gooseberry Pie Fair began – although records show it may well have been even earlier than this! The Fair hasn’t run consistently each year, it was revived in 1923, and then again in 1951 for the Festival of Britain celebrations. It was then held every year from 1968 to 1985 on the Memorial Recreation Field opposite Churston Grammar School, before another break in the proceedings which led to it’s re-launch as a Street Fair in 1995. Now in its 21st year as such, it returns once more for 2016.

Traditionally held on the first Sunday of July each year, The Gooseberry Pie Fair is a great, family-friendly fun day out, with Live Music, stalls selling all sorts of crafts, old Victorian rides and load more to see and do besides. This year’s event takes place less than half a mile away from Galmpton Touring Park, at The Manor Inn on Sunday 3rd July and looks set to be one of the busiest and best yet.

Each year, a HUGE Gooseberry Pie travels by steam train into Churston Station, where it is met by the villagers (and visitors) of Galmpton, and carried via procession into the heart of the village where it is blessed and the fair set in motion.

Why gooseberries? No one knows, but the tradition is so instilled into the heart of Galmpton that the reason behind the fruit is no longer important. The network of roads is closed off for the day and it really is a wonderful way to bring everyone together for an afternoon of fun. Stalls, activities and events that run on the day raise money for local charities with any surpluses from the fair itself being put back into local good causes for the community.

Access to the Village is restricted after 11.30am on the day of the Fair, and if you’re staying at Galmpton Touring Park, The Manor Inn is just a short walk away. Those travelling for the event have access to car parking on the outskirts of the village.

Staying at Galmpton in June? Why not check out some of the fantastic events going on while you’re here…

1st June

ROCK ON THE BEACH
The Ferry Boat Inn, Dittisham

1st, 8th, 15th
and 29th June

BMAD BIKE NIGHT
Paignton Sea Front

2nd June

PIRATE DAY
Brixham Quay

3rd – 4th June

THE OCCOMBE BEER FESTIVAL
Occombe Farm

3rd – 5th June

KINGSBRIDGE FOOD & MUSIC FESTIVAL
Kingsbridge Town Centre

4th June

CLASSIC CAR MOTOR SHOW
Newton Abbot

4th June

LEMONFEST
Newton Abbot Racecourse

4th June

WRITER IN RESIDENCE
Greenway House

4th June

UKULELE FESTIVAL
Babbacombe Cliff Railway

10th – 12th June

THE CONTEMPORARY CRAFT FESTIVAL
Mill Marsh Park

10th – 12th June

TORBAY AIR SHOW
(Including the Red Arrows on 12th June)
Paignton Green

11th June

ARMED FORCES DAY
Paignton Sea Front

12th  – 24th June

ROYAL TORBAY YACHT CLUB TRIANGLE RACE
Beacon Quay, Torquay

15th June

BABBACOMBE ROTARY FAYRE
Babbacombe Downs

17th – 19th June

TEIGNMOUTH FOLK FESTIVAL
Various Locations – Teignmouth

18th June

BRIXHAM TRAWLER RACE
Brixham Harbour

19th June

UDO SOUTH WEST STREET DANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Riviera Centre, Chestnut Avenue, Torquay

19th June

CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES
Cockington Court

26th June

FOOD & CRAFT MARKET
Cockington Court

26th June

TORBAY HALF MARATHON
Paignton Green

26th June

DARTMOOR CLASSIC SPORTIVE
(Departing from) Newton Abbot Racecourse

Going Underground… at Kents Cavern!

04 May 2016

Children-CavingFancy doing something a little different during your break? Kents Cavern could be just the thing! Just a half an hour drive from Galmpton, this naturally formed cave system (also the warmest in the country with a constant temperature of 14ºC) is a great day out for the whole family.

This system of caves date back to prehistoric times, when settlers would live in the cavern, but today it offers one of the best day trip adventures you will find. Visitors can experience the Stone Age lifestyle of the people who lived in, and found shelter from the weather in the caves. They made fire, created tools and made a life for themselves in this amazing labyrinth of rock that is over 400 million years old.

Kents Cavern offer guided tours (which usually last about an hour), where you can discover how the caves were formed and see evidence of how people lived. The tour will also take you deep into the Cavern to see some of the earliest tools used in Britain, and you can also get a glimpse of animal bones and teeth that have been left behind from long ago. You can also experience the famous total blackout in the Bears Den – one for the braver amongst us!

There is more than a kilometre of cave passage and the visitors’ tour only covers a third of it! If you have a little caving knowledge and experience, there is also a ‘Dig Deeper’ package that let’s you delve into the depths even further. Be warned – there are some really tight squeezes to get in and out of down here, so it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted!

May is the perfect time to go, as there is plenty of half-term fun to be had with special on-site activities. Go on an Ice Age animal hunt through the woodland trail, go shopping just like a caveman and see if you can match all ten shops to your activity sheet, or how about going in search of fossils inside the caves? The Fun Dig lets kids go on a mini excavation for fossils, and if you dig deep enough – maybe even gemstones! With all this and more going on, a great day out is guaranteed.

As well as the breathtaking tour of the caverns, you can enjoy walks in the area with its spectacular scenery, and there is a ‘Stone Age School’ on the third Saturday of every month, where kids can go along and learn a new skill that the people of the Stone Age used every day. (It’s £5 for a single session or £35 for the year). One adult for up to four children is admitted free, but be sure to pre-book for this, as it’s very popular. Sessions run from 10am to noon, or from 2pm to 4pm. Children get to take home their creations as a keepsake at the end of the day too! It could be a leather pouch made in the Gathering Session, a bow drill made in the Firemaker Session or a bow and arrow or a Stone Tool Session! There’s lots to learn and discover, and you can create lots of different essential tools from the past.

The Cavern is open every day except Christmas Day, the restaurant and cafe open at 9:30am and the cave tours operate from 10.30am to 4.00pm. Adult admission is £10, children (3 -15 years), students, and seniors are £9. Children under 3 are free.

Fun in the Sun for Everyone at Paignton Pier

04 April 2016

18105_Galmpton_Paignton PierSet in the centre of a fabulous Torbay beach, the 240-metre long Paignton Pier provides a spectacular view of Torbay as well an exciting range of amusements for the entire family. Located just 15 minutes away from Galmpton Touring Park, there is something exotic about the boardwalk type experience that harkens back to an earlier time, and something about the bright colours and the sounds of laughter than brightens even the dullest day.

The beach, the sun, the fun, and the games – all come with their own built in stress relievers. If you don’t believe us, then you’ve clearly never enjoyed riding the Orbiter Dodgems and firing an infrared beam at the others to send them into a spin!

Built in 1879 by Paignton barrister Arthur Hyde Dendy, and designed by George Soudon Bridgman, the Pier was an instant success. The pavilion on the Pier was the site of entertainment such as singing, dancing, recitals, and a music hall. In 1880, Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera ‘HMS Pinafore’ was performed in the pavilion and the billiard room was constructed the following year.

In the 20th century a fire damaged the Pier, and over the years it declined until in 1980, a massive redevelopment project rejuvenated it completely with a wider shoreward end and the construction of the new pavilions that are in use today. At the Pier-head where the pavilion once stood (it had burned down in 1919), and where so much great entertainment took place in the 19th century, there is now an open amusement area with karts, slides and carousel.

The revival of Paignton Pier is a testament to what a natural place this is to relax. The sand, sea, and scenery are exquisite and the man-made entertainment has changed with the times to make this an exciting place to spend a day.

In 2014, Stade Developments (Hastings) Ltd. purchased Paignton Pier with the promise to invest heavily in new equipment. Last year, the Pier added the casino area with its popular slot machines – some with £500 jackpots!

Today, you can enjoy the latest machines, the mega slide, Orbiter Dodgems, trampolines, bouncy castle, shooting gallery, remote control cars, ten-pin bowling, and crazy golf. There is a beach shop and if you feel like a snack, there’s a cafe, takeaway, ice cream parlour, rock and sweet shop, snack bar, seafood kiosk, fresh donut stand, burgers and chips, and the homemade fudge shop.

From the Pier you can stroll to the centre of Paignton, where there is plenty of parking and the station and buses are nearby this English Riviera attraction.

Get Crafty at Cockington Country Park

01 March 2016

17986_Cockington CourtThe thatched village of Cockington is located a mile up the road from Torquay seafront, and just 15 minutes from Galmpton Touring Park. There you will find 450 acres of wonder to explore – Cockington Country Park.

A veritable paradise for nature lovers, gardeners and for those wishing to take in great views during a great day walking, this award-winning Country Park has something for everyone. The Church of St George and Saint Mary was constructed late in the 11th Century and still stands strong today, if you visit, you can enjoy the parkland and countryside via a network of paths and bridleways that allow for leisurely exploration either on foot or by bicycle. There is also an Arboretum south of the cricket pitch, which was historically a deer park.

The main focal point amongst the grounds is Cockington Court – a historic Manor House bustling with activity and things to do. There is the beautiful Rose Garden, ornamental ponds, art galleries, tea-rooms and craft centre’s to discover, whilst kids of all ages and abilities can enjoy the play area.

Alric the Saxon owned the Manor originally before he sold it to William Hostiarus. From there it was passed on to William de Falesia and subsequently to his stepson Robert FitzMartin after he died. During the reign of Henry I, FitzMartin became involved in the Norman invasions of Wales, and so there is a long and colourful history of the Norman invasion and the anarchy of the time well-rooted in the area. Suffice to say that FitzMartin left his land in Cockington to his son, Roger de Cockington and the land stayed in the Cockington family until 1348.

Over the centuries, the estate has changed hands several times, and today you can enjoy the beauty of the area largely thanks to the efforts of the Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust, a local, independent charity with more than 1,750 acres of green space across Torbay. As well as the 450 acres of Cockington Country Park, the Trust also protects the natural environment and heritage of Berry Head Nature Reserve and Occombe Farm along with various woodlands, cliffs and coastal walks in the area. The most current project underway within The Trust is the Cockington Green Heart Project, which is focused on rescuing the Linhay in the village centre and converting it into a County Park Centre. This involves developing a programme of volunteering, renovating the lakes, and providing more events and activities in the park.

 

Craft Studios & Art Galleries

Amongst the grounds at Cockington Court, there are 2 large craft studios where you can see the artists at work, and have the opportunity to purchase high quality goods made on-site.

The Stable Yard studios are workshops for sculptors, artists, tailors, glass blowers and a blacksmith (see list of artists here), whilst the Sea Change studios have sculptors, a chocolatier, accessory makers & upholsterers and jewellery makers and designers, (see list of artists here). There is also a smaller gallery a smaller ‘Cob’ studio behind the Play Area. If you are planning on visiting to see a particular artist, please call them first to check opening and viewing times – as they may differ from person to person.

Apart from seeing these fabulous creators in action, there is also a selection of galleries to explore at Cockington Court. There is a contemporary art gallery and walled art garden which has open-air rooms, hidden artwork and a story-telling area. The most popular, however, is the Kitchen Gallery, which is making quite the name for itself as a successful gallery space – showcasing local artwork alongside internationally acclaimed artists.

The galleries and craft studios have different events on throughout the month – from exhibitions, open days and days to get involved in. For a full list of events, click here.

 

Getting There and Getting in…

Cockington Court is open daily, from 10am – 4pm between October and March, and 10am – 5pm in April to September and admission is free. To get there by car via Torquay or Paignton, turn at the Livermead Hotel (signposted) and follow the lane down into the Village where you will find two car parks – Cycle Hub and Village. There is also parking available at Cockington Court itself, located behind the Sea Change studios. Once you are in the Village, take a right then turn left to the Drum Inn, keep left and follow the lane down to the car park. The Craft Centre and Cycle Hub car parks are open from 7am – 7pm, whilst the Village car park is 24 hours.

If you are travelling by bus, the Dialabus Service number 62 takes you directly to Cockington Court, and operates from Monday to Friday. The last bus leaves at 4.10pm from the stop located between the Manor and the Sea Change studios. If you are walking however, it is located 1 mile from the Torbay Sea with a walking route signposted starting at Cockington Lane.

Cockington Court is wheelchair accessible, and is a dog-friendly site, so feel free to bring your canine companion along for the day, however they do ask that they be kept on a lead in the gardens and studio areas.