Classic Cottages

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Welcome to Notes & Stories, our on-line journal (aka, our blog) about staying somewhere else. It's a balance of things you might find useful or interesting, before, during and maybe even after your holiday.

Dip in and out. Bookmark an article for your coffee break. Or get lost in our West Country world. And please, feel free to let us know your thoughts. We'd love to hear about your stories from the South West so email us at nas@classic.co.uk and we'll share them for you.

Things to do
Quirky Valentine's in Cornwall

Quirky Valentine's in Cornwall

Do Valentines differently this year with all things love-worthy in Cornwall.

News & Offers
Ten cosy cottages with fires

Ten cosy cottages with fires

Snuggle up together in our cottages with open fires and wood burners.

Places to Go
5 Dog-friendly walks with pubs in Cornwall

5 Dog-friendly walks with pubs in Cornwall

Combining two of the best bits about holidays in Cornwall - dog-friendly pubs and lovely long walks.

Things to do
A wet hotel on the Somerset Levels

A wet hotel on the Somerset Levels

This year the elements have conspired more than even to provide a fabulous winter hotel on the Somerset Levels for the best of wild bird guests that you could hope for.

Things to do
Piskies, Devils and Gubbins at Lydford Gorge

Piskies, Devils and Gubbins at Lydford Gorge

When we saw The Devil’s Cauldron in all its primeval glory we stood agog for a full ten minutes as the waters roared and the mist swirled around us.

Places to Go
Winter walks in Dorset

Winter walks in Dorset

Dorset has some of the finest countryside that the nation has to offer, including some absolutely breath-taking views. For beauty, views, and for a certain special something, here are some top winter walks around Dorset as the cold weather closes in around us.

Things to do
Den building at Coleton Fishacre

Den building at Coleton Fishacre

Coleton Fishacre is a hidden gem. It’s been one of my family’s top ten favourite day’s out for years and it’s just got a whole lot better...

Places to Go
Dog walking around Burgh Island, Bigbury-On-Sea

Dog walking around Burgh Island, Bigbury-On-Sea

Take a wander around, picking up some interesting facts about Bigbury Bay while you're there; the life and times of a Huer, and the pilchard packers. Remember though, it is tidal!

Things to do
10 reasons to Christmas in Cornwall

10 reasons to Christmas in Cornwall

With temperature dropping and the nights drawing in, it’s easy to lust after summer. But our sights are set firmly on the good stuff: a return to decent telly, wintry comfort food (hello Shepherd’s Pie, we’ve missed you) and most exciting of all - Christmas!

Things to do
Christmas delights in Dorset

Christmas delights in Dorset

Christmas themed outings from wreath-making workshops to ice-skating safaris!

Places to Go
Five best pubs with fires in Cornwall

Five best pubs with fires in Cornwall

The best-planned winter activities should factor in a fire, be it a hearth-side Sunday lunch, a cosy pint and pork scratchings or just a large slab of cake and coffee.

Things to do
Blood Moons and Dark Sky Tourism

Blood Moons and Dark Sky Tourism

When on holiday, consider a slightly different point of view. Grab a blanket, a bottle of wine and come and check out the latest in night-time activities.

Visitors' Book
A family walk around Lulworth Cove

A family walk around Lulworth Cove

When the sun is shining on this part of the world you can't really ask for a more perfect family day out.

News & Offers
Large Cottages for Christmas dinners

Large Cottages for Christmas dinners

Christmas cottage holidays mean the whole family can gather round to enjoy festive celebrations in style.

Places to Go
Goat walking in Exmouth

Goat walking in Exmouth

The World of Country Life is a great day out for young children. Even though we went on a Saturday it was surprisingly quiet and we didn’t have to queue for anything which made it all the more enjoyable.

Classic Fodder
Raising a glass to Cornish vineyards

Raising a glass to Cornish vineyards

Raising a glass to Cornish vineyards now the children are back at school

Visitors' Book
The Blue Pool

The Blue Pool

The Blue Pool in Wareham, Dorset is allegedly home to the Wareham Bears... So make sure you take a picnic!

Classic Fodder
The best of the best places to eat in Dorset

The best of the best places to eat in Dorset

Starting in my home town of Shaftesbury in north Dorset, we are incredibly lucky to boast no fewer than nine cafes and at least six great places for a wonderful dinner. There are however two which for me stand out above the rest and are worth travelling down to this part of Dorset especially for.

Places to Go
Beach tunnels and missing meerkats in Shaldon

Beach tunnels and missing meerkats in Shaldon

Philip takes his children on a little tour of this south Devon village, from smugglers' tunnels to escaped meerkats.

Visitors' Book
Finding inspiration in the wild and wonderful west

Finding inspiration in the wild and wonderful west

Emylia's book, 'The Sea Between Us', launches 27th August 2015, inspired by her holidays in Cornwall, and she stayed in Classic cottages along the way...

Visitors' Book
Becky Falls family day out

Becky Falls family day out

I read on the leaflet that Becky Falls has been open to the public since 1903. A lot of small feet must have walked its trails in that time but my children really did feel like explorers discovering a strange and magical land for the first time.

Visitors' Book
Dog walking in Devon on Berry Head

Dog walking in Devon on Berry Head

Yes, we are talking rabbits, dog walkers, bird watchers, picnic lovers, historical researchers; and of course not forgetting the Guardhouse Cafe, on the Berry Head Nature Reserve

Visitors' Book
A winning holiday at Winnie's Cottage

A winning holiday at Winnie's Cottage

The winner of our holiday competition with Classic Cottages and JojoMamanBebe tells us all about her fab baby-friendly holiday in Winnie's Cottage (1822)

Classic Fodder
Surf Cafe living: Crab Claws

Surf Cafe living: Crab Claws

This dish, shared with us by our friends at Surf Cafe Living, forces you to get your hands dirty and get involved with your food, so feel free to dish out bibs for a laugh.

Things to do
A boat trip out of Mousehole

A boat trip out of Mousehole

Head out with Cormorant Cruising and discover the local history, marine life and stunning views from the seas around beautiful Mousehole harbour.

Things to do
The Magnificent Three by Miracle Theatre

The Magnificent Three by Miracle Theatre

Jumpin' Jehosaphats! Miracle pull it out the bag yet again.

Classic Fodder
A grown up night out on The Barbican

A grown up night out on The Barbican

A night out on The Barbican, Plymouth's famous old town sea front.

Things to do
Walking in Dorset

Walking in Dorset

Some of the more rural country walks in North Dorset suggest themselves as more of a waterproof coat and wellington boot alternative, though there are plenty of coastal walks for the slightly more adventurous types with hiking boots and walking sticks. However, these are my particular favourites;

News & Offers
After Umbrage and Classic Cottages

After Umbrage and Classic Cottages

Kingham Cottage is used for respite holidays, but is also reserved for private rentals three months of the year with proceeds going directly to the charity, After Umbrage

Places to Go
Stay in Dorset's Far from the Madding Crowd

Stay in Dorset's Far from the Madding Crowd

We detail the natural stars of the show, so you can dive into your favourite scenes and experience Dorset for yourself. But be warned - if you haven't seen it, there are some story spoilers.

Classic Fodder
Surf Cafe Living: Smoking Fish

Surf Cafe Living: Smoking Fish

An easy how-to project for upcycling a biscuit tin into a fish smoker, from our friends at Surf Cafe Living.

News & Offers
5 degrees west, training for the London Marathon Finish

5 degrees west, training for the London Marathon Finish

I am so proud of what I achieved and I doubt there is any place better to train than Cornwall

News & Offers
Classic sponsor Castle Dore Rowing club

Classic sponsor Castle Dore Rowing club

In this brilliant blog, a very pleased if not exhausted Chloe details their latest success.

News & Offers
5 degrees west, training for the London Marathon Part 2

5 degrees west, training for the London Marathon Part 2

Cornwall runner, Paula Brocklesby, charts her training for the London Marathon with runs in the south west

Classic Fodder
Surf Cafe Living: Cookies

Surf Cafe Living: Cookies

The third in our series of exclusive Surf Cafe Living recipes from their cookbook, bake some seaside cookies this Easter.

Visitors' Book
Rip Currents

Rip Currents

It’s best to familiarise yourself with the dangers that come with swimming in the sea so that you can stay safe and happy

News & Offers
A holiday for your dog competition

A holiday for your dog competition

NOW CLOSED As featured in Crufts Show Mag: Win a long weekend away with your four-legged friend

Things to do
Global Boarders surfing in Cornwall

Global Boarders surfing in Cornwall

If you are looking for a fantastic day out, look no further.

Places to Go
Best Swimming Beaches in the South West

Best Swimming Beaches in the South West

If you’re coming to the South West and can’t wait to get into the water, this is the list for you. We’ve compiled a list of the best beaches to go swimming so you can get straight into the action.

Places to Go
Top ten dog friendly places to go

Top ten dog friendly places to go

Beaches become restricted from Easter onwards, so here are some other options when on holiday with your dog.

Places to Go
Best 5 dog friendly beaches in Somerset

Best 5 dog friendly beaches in Somerset

Beaches that welcome dogs all year round.

Places to Go
5 Best dog friendly beaches in Dorset

5 Best dog friendly beaches in Dorset

Don't leave the dog behind when you visit Dorset, there are plenty of beaches you can take them to, year-round.

Places to Go
Best dog friendly beaches in Devon

Best dog friendly beaches in Devon

Devon beaches that don't ban dogs during the summer months.

Places to Go
Top 5 dog friendly beaches in Cornwall

Top 5 dog friendly beaches in Cornwall

Which beaches welcome dogs during the summer in Cornwall.

Places to Go
Family friendly Things To Do for Free in Devon

Family friendly Things To Do for Free in Devon

We are quite a frugal family so the more free things that we can fill our days with, the better. Since we have lived in the West Country we have discovered all sorts of new, free, places to visit and I thought I would share a few of them with you.

Things to do
Distinctly Devon cycle path walk

Distinctly Devon cycle path walk

Totnes to Ashprington is a perfect riverside walk. The path is easy to walk on and beautiful from beginning to end.

Classic Fodder
Serious Mac and Cheese

Serious Mac and Cheese

This is perfect post surf nosh or to tuck into on a stormy night.

News & Offers
BBC TV series Poldark 2015

BBC TV series Poldark 2015

This modern adaption of one Britain’s most successful TV dramas ever is due to air on BBC this Sunday, 8 March. Be sure to keep your eyes open!

News & Offers
World Pasty Championships 2015

World Pasty Championships 2015

Who would be your pasty champ?

News & Offers
5 degrees west, training for the London Marathon

5 degrees west, training for the London Marathon

Cornwall runner, Paula Brocklesby, charts her training for the London Marathon with runs in the south west