Heavenly Devon… and beyond!

If you need some inspiration or trusted guidance from our lovely Maynard community for your family travels this year, look no further! Our families, staff and students have shared their favourite holiday destinations and best places to visit. Whatever your idea of the perfect vacation is, our ultimate Heavenly Devon information forum has something for everyone!

Dartmoor

Melissa, Registrar – Bellever Tor

“Make sure you book the Rugglestone Inn at Widecombe-in-the-Moor for lunch after your walk. Only a 5 minute drive away – yummy food, picturesque and quintessentially English pub with chickens roaming free in the garden! Love it and very nice wine.”

Why they love it so much:

“Breathtaking scenery at the top of the top! Make sure you go and visit on a clear and sunny day!”

Any special recommendations:

“Make sure you book the Rugglestone Inn at Widecombe-in-the-Moor for lunch after your walk. Only a 5 min drive away – yummy food, picturesque and quintessentially English pub with chickens roaming free in the garden! Love it and very nice wine.”

Mrs Smart, SENCO – Canonteign Falls

Why they love it so much:

“Family run; beautiful walks up to and down from man-made waterfall; nice park.”

Matilda, Upper 4 – Cosdon Beacon

Why they love it so much:

“It’s really beautiful there, there’s always a magical feeling of it being untouched by time and the view is lovely – it’s always really atmospheric. Also, it means a lot to me as I live nearby and see it from my window every morning.”

A memorable moment:

“Once we went horse-riding up there in the summer. It was a slightly stormy day, and dark clouds billowed across the moor. Suddenly, a small herd of Dartmoor ponies came charging at us over the horizon! Normally, they just glance at us or walk away uninterested, but these ones started chasing us round and round the cairn at the top. It was so funny, but we realized it was going to be very hard to somehow get away…. Eventually we used a packet of horse treats and some unfortunate hikers to lure them away!”

Gwen, Upper 4 – Dartmoor in general

Why they love it so much:

“It is a beautiful and natural wonderland that has scenic and breathtaking views. It also has many animals just living peacefully and not really in danger of anything. It gives me a sense of calm.”

A memorable moment:

“When I was doing a walk with scouts (5 tors) I fell into a waist deep bog less that half way through and had to walk the rest of it soaked 😂.”

Miss Cousins, Teacher of PE – Dartmoor in general

Why they love it so much:

“Stunning scenery and adventure.”

Any special recommendations:

“Belstone.”

Mrs Greenwood, Head of Pre-Prep and Year 1 Class teacher – Haytor

Why they love it so much:

“Superb panoramic views, fresh air, a bit of bouldering to get to the top and a great pub at the end of the walk!”

Any special recommendations:

“There are 3 options for parking, depending on how far up the hill you want to walk. There is a visitor information building in the bottom carpark which is well worth popping in to. The Tinpickle and Rhum gastro pub (part of the Moorland Hotel) is lovely for lunch or some coffee and cake. There are also a couple of hidden letter boxes to locate!”

Milly, Lower 4 – Hound Tor

Why they love it so much:

“Very beautiful and good climbing routes.”

A memorable moment:

“There was a herd of Dartmoor ponies that were very friendly.”

East Devon

Dr Nielson, Science Technician – Beer

Why they love it so much:

“Perfect spot for a sunrise swim.”

The Clark Family – Beer to Branscombe coast walk

Why they love it so much:

“The whole of the walk has open sea views across East Devon. Stop at Branscombe beach for food at the Sea Shanty on the beach. You may be lucky as we were one time, to be there when the men were actually singing!”

Any special recommendations:

“Park at Beer Head car park.”

Emily, Lower 4 – The Malsters Arms, Woodbury

Why they love it so much:

“It’s an amazing place and everyone in there is so kind and the drinks are amazing and I love playing pool there (while watching the rugby).”

A memorable moment:

“Christmas Day and their amazing turkey.”

Andrew, Chef Manager – Landacre Bridge, Exmouth

Why they love it so much:

“Brings back great memories with the family growing up as a kid.”

Any special recommendations:

“Just park up, no pubs no restaurants, just take your own picnic and enjoy the natural beauty.”

Mrs Lewis-Weeks, Director of Sport – Otterton Mill to Budleigh walk

Why they love it so much:

“Lovely nature walk.”

Any special recommendations:

“Otterton Mill parking.”

The Knight Family – Otter Estuary

Why they love it so much:

“It’s been an incredible project to convert the unproductive fields between Budleigh Salterton and Otterton into estuary and marshland that will create new habitats and increase biodiversity. In addition it’s created many miles of new, accessible walks.”

Any special recommendations:

“Arriving at Otterton Mill for coffee and cake (and a sausage roll for the dog).”

Exeter

Steve, IT Technician – Exeter Canal

Why they love it so much:

“Being able to walk, cycle or even kayak. Several pubs along the way help to ensure “hydration” is maintained.”

Any special recommendations:

“Parking at Countess Wear can be difficult, but is free.”

Tala, Lower 5 – Killerton House

Why they love it so much:

“Its such a calm place to walk.”

A memorable moment:

“The light show.”

Mrs York, Head of Biology – Topsham

Why they love it so much:

“Great cafes, independent shops and a waterside view.”

Any special recommendations:

“Crepes from the boathouse cafe.”

Miss Ingham-Hill, Teacher of PE – Cycle down to the Turf Locks

Why they love it so much:

“Very picturesque and a beautiful pub for a coffee or dinner. Right by the water.”

Any special recommendations:

“You can’t get there by car but cycling is a good way or you can park and then walk.”

North Devon

The Radford-Lewis Family – Croyde

Where did you stay?

“Parkdean Ruda Caravan Park.”

How long would you recommend staying there?

“Long weekend.”

This holiday would suit children of what ages?

“5-12.”

What family activities did you do?

“The swimming pool with slide and rapids, evening entertainment and bingo, walks on the beach.”

Mollie, Lower 4 – North Devon in general

Why they love it so much:

“Because its really pretty place.”

A memorable moment:

“My sister falling in the river.”

Catherine, Upper 3 – Putsborough

Why they love it so much:

“It is really beautiful and clean and lots of views!”

A memorable moment:

“Running down to the beach in the sand with my family and swimming in the sea or bodyboarding!”

South Hams

Magda, Upper 3 – Bantham Beach

Why they love it so much:

“The water is lovely and super clear and there’s a little river down the side we go paddleboarding in.”

A memorable moment:

“I fell over on the sand way too many times!”

Mrs Trevallion, Higher Level Teaching Assistant & Thrive Practitioner – Branscombe

Why they love it so much:

“The natural unspoiled beauty and tranquility.”

Any special recommendations:

“Park at Branscombe Village Hall and take the short footpath to the beach. Try the fish platter at the beach side cafe. Sharpham House retreats are a wonderful way to connect to nature, rest and renew.”

Mrs Gregory, Head – Coleton Fishacre

Why they love it so much:

“The National Trust property has a spectacular garden with winding paths and hidden treasures. You look over the coast from all angles of the garden and have easy access to the coastal path.”

Darcey, Upper 6 – Flete Park

Why they love it so much:

“I went almost every year when I was younger.”

A memorable moment:

“We set up our own pizza stall and I always managed to sprain my ankle on the bouncy castle.”

Mrs Lewis, Head of Careers & Exams Officer – Overbeck House

Why they love it so much:

“This National Trust House is beautiful inside, but the real attraction is the amazing garden with its subtropical plants and spectacular views out over the Kingsbridge Estuary & North Sands Beach.”

Any special recommendations:

“It seems to be one of the lesser known National Trust Houses and you can usually park without any problems. Great NT cafe.”

Teignbridge

Mrs Grainger-Allen, Senior Science Technician – Stover Country Park

Why they love it so much:

“It is a beautiful managed lake, wetland and woodland area. Lots of wildlife and walks to suit everyone.”

Any special recommendations:

“There is the Ted Hughes Poetry trail, the Canadian War Memorial, and a wide range of wildlife including birds, fish and if you look hard maybe snakes and otters!”

Torbay

Arian, Lower 6 – Anstey’s Cove (seagrass reserve)

Why they love it so much:

“It’s so full of amazing wildlife and snorkelling there is amazing. The surrounding cliffs are covered in trees and look so beautiful.”

A memorable moment:

“I’ve been snorkelling there with friends, and we see so many beautiful fish, crabs, and a weird prawn thing one time. Some of them are massive and the seagrass and seaweed is beautiful.”

Mrs Grainger-Allen, Senior Science Technician – Cockington Country Park

Why they love it so much:

“Lovely walks with big ponds and beautiful gardens. It’s great for dogs and children. A big cricket green in front of the big house.”

Any special recommendations:

“There is a fantastic cream tea at Weavers Cottage. A craft centre. You can also walk up beyond the top car park and out into very typical Devon countryside with a lovely wooded walk as well.”

The Stubbs Family – Greenway House

Why they love it so much:

“Agatha Christie’s holiday home and where Dead Man’s Folly was filmed. Christie and her husband were avid collectors and the house is packed with all manner of maps, porcelain, silver, pictures… Fabulous views from the gardens coupled with the opportunity to visit many locations from the film, including the boat house, makes this a fabulous day out for all fans of the Queen of Crime.”

Any special recommendations:

“You need to book a parking space. Book for the morning as the car park fills up quickly.”

West Devon

Mrs Fabian, Acting Head of Junior School & Head of Pre-Prep & Junior PE – Lydford Gorge

Why they love it so much:

“Such a magical place… there are lots of different aspects to a walk at Lydford Gorge, mystical fairylike woodlands, picnic spots along the river, several waterfalls and plunge pools for pups to splash about it in and a fair bit of rock scrabbling leading to the amazing Devil’s Cauldron towards the end.”

Any special recommendations:

“Woodland fairy houses along the river bank to look out for!”

Beyond Devon

Lower 5 Family – British Virgin Islands

Where did you stay?

“Sunsail yacht.”

How long would you recommend staying there?

“Two weeks or more.”

This holiday would suit children of what ages?

“All ages.”

What family activities did you do?

“Sailing, snorkeling, diving.”

Why did you love it so much?

“The fish and the coral reefs are incredible and the sailing is easy.”

The Mackenzie Family – Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

Where did you stay?

“Canal boat from Cambrian Cruisers, Pencelli LD37LJ.”

How long would you recommend staying there?

“One week.”

This holiday would suit children of what ages?

“5 upwards.”

What family activities did you do?

“Boating, working locks, walking, cycling.”

Why did you love it so much?

“You get to spend time together in the fresh air, gazing at the amazing view across the Brecons and the Usk valley. There’s no WiFi and a boat is perfect for getting the board games out in the evenings.”

Other holiday guidance:

“Local transport in Mexico was good and safe to see sites like cenotes, Mayan ruins at Tulum and Playa del Carmen and over to the island of Cozumel.”

Halla, Upper 5 – Newquay, Cornwall

Why they love it so much:

“Just such a beautiful place to relax with a gorgeous view.”

A memorable moment:

“I was racing a friend on our bodyboards and as I looked over to check on my things, ALL my food was stolen!”

The Bayly Family – Portscatho, Cornwall

Where did you stay?

“Treloan Campsite.”

How long would you recommend staying there?

“One week.”

This holiday would suit children of what ages?

“All ages.”

What family activities did you do?

“Beach, paddleboarding, sailing, coastal hikes, trip to St Mawes, boat to Falmouth from St Mawes to visit the aquarium etc., lunch nearby at ‘The Hidden Hut’ by renowned chef Simon Stallard, dinner at his gastro pub The Standard in Porthscatho.”

Why did you love it so much?

“Lots for everyone to do, without needing to drive far. Walk from campsite to beach and town, freedom for the kids. Book the campsite well in advance!”

The Radford-Lewis Family – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Where did you stay?

“Grand Sirenis Hotel, all inclusive.”

How long would you recommend staying there?

“Two weeks or more.”

This holiday would suit children of what ages?

“7-18.”

What family activities did you do?

“Hotel kids club, multiple swimming pools, lazy river, dolphinarium with free show (you can pay to swim with dolphins) night shows and a beach party.”

Why did you love it so much?

“Great activities with good entertainment and food.”

Other holiday guidance:

“Local transport in Mexico was good and safe to see sites like cenotes, Mayan ruins at Tulum and Playa del Carmen and over to the island of Cozumel.”

Lower 5 Family – Seaview, Isle of Wight

Where did you stay?

“Self catering property.”

How long would you recommend staying there?

“A week.”

This holiday would suit children of what ages?

“All ages.”

What family activities did you do?

“Sailing, SUPing, swimming, horse riding, walking.”

Why did you love it so much?

“It’s a traditional seaside holiday with a warmer and drier climate.”

The Bayly Family – Sérignan Plage, France

Where did you stay?

“Yelloh campsite.”

How long would you recommend staying there?

“10 days.”

This holiday would suit children of what ages?

“All ages.”

What family activities did you do?

“Water based activities, kids club, evening entertainment.”

Why did you love it so much?

“Freedom for the kids, shops and restaurants on site.”

The Mackenzie Family – Steinach, Germany

Where did you stay?

“Campsite: Campingplatz Kinzigtal.”

How long would you recommend staying there?

“A week.”

This holiday would suit children of what ages?

“All ages.”

What family activities did you do?

“Swimming pool on site. Train to nearby activities including the best crazy golf ever and a cool dry bobsleigh run thing (alpine roller).”

Why did you love it so much?

“Clean fresh air, the campsite fee included free local train travel, great weather, well kept facilities and municipal pool. Germany is so easy to holiday in.”

Other holiday guidance:

“We did interrail, first going to Bordeaux for a week, then to Strasbourg where we hired a car for our week in Germany.”