A truly Devonshire holiday in Woodbury
PUBLISHED: 09:30 22 September 2014
Nothing says Devon quite like farming, so GEMMA CLAPP jumped at the chance of a weekend away on a local dairy farm
When you ask outsiders what they associate with Devon, you’d be hard pushed to find someone that doesn’t say ‘farms’ alongside the obvious stunning beaches and breathtaking scenery. It makes sense then that many grasp the opportunity to stay on one of our many farms when visiting our amazing county.
Devon Farms Accommodation offers tourists, and locals, just that. A group of approximately 120 farms from all corners of Devon, they are the cream of the crop when it comes to farm-based B&Bs, self catering providers or camping facilities.
To celebrate their 25th anniversary this year, Devon Farms invited my friends and I to stay at Rydon Farm, a four star B&B and dairy farm in Woodbury, run by Sally Glanvill.
In hotels and B&Bs I’m usually greeted by a smiling receptionist, but not at Rydon Farm - here we were greeted by dozens of curious cows! Sally later told us that her dairy farm, which at first seems quaint and small, is actually home to 300 milking cows plus another 290 heifers and beef cattle - not so small after all!
Why not make the most of your Devon Farms experience and offer your hosts a helping hand? Many of the accommodation providers allow guests to assist with farming, from collecting eggs or helping feed the animals. Every farm is different and you won’t be milking the cows, but it’s worth asking to see if you can help in any way, or even just watch. It’s the perfect way to embrace farm life!
After our unusual welcome we were greeted by Sally who showed us to our rooms. All uniquely decorated with a traditional theme, each room held its own charm. My room held a four-poster double bed and en-suite and had stunning views across the dairy farm, meaning we could see the cows being herded from where we slept, giving it a real farming feel.
We were unfortunately unable to get up close and personal with the cows during our stay, but its stunning location not far from Exeter meant we were free to explore the East Devon countryside. We enjoyed an evening meal in beer gardens at The Maltsters Arms in Woodbury and explored the country lanes. We also took advantage of the weather, visiting Exmouth beach before the inevitable trip to Darts Farm for a browse and a coffee.
We also sat in the garden of Rydon Farm, taking in the views and catching the sun’s rays. The peace and tranquillity of the area made it the perfect place to relax and unwind from our busy lives.