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93 articles

Geevor Tin Mine

For my family, day trips normally involve beaches or stately homes, but whilst holidaying in Cornwall this half-term the bad weather forced us to think creatively. And so feeling the Poldark effect, we found ourselves at Geevor Tin Mine.

Murder Mystery family activity in Totnes

Explore a new town and find things to do with children in Totnes - as we eliminated suspects and weapons we explored places with great names like Warland and Ticklemore Street.

Ruddy muddy dog walk in Godolphin Woods

Rainy days often encourage indoor-based activities, like sofa lounging, board games in front of a roaring open fire and so much television your eyes start crossing. We’re not like that in my family. We love the rain!

Family day at Stourhead Gardens

A family day out to Stourhead, exploring the gardens, having a picnic and generally having a magical adventure.

Trerice by Candlelight - ghost hunting in Cornwall

I had never visited a stately home by candlelight before. So when I noticed that Trerice House in Cornwall was one of a handful of National Trust properties which organised night time ghost walks I was truly excited by the idea.

A day tour of Longleat

The beauty of Longleat is that as an attraction, it never gets old, with something new to delight you with every visit, so it is well worth going back again and again when on holiday in Somerset.

Slipping back in time at Corfe Castle

Despite being prolific sightseers, my family and I have discovered few views as awe-inspiring in the UK as our first glimpse of Corfe Castle.

Exploring Lostwithiel

But it’s not just the lively shopping scene that draws the crowds, there are beautiful riverside walks to enjoy, brilliant play parks for kids and plenty of excellent pubs, cafes and restaurants ready for when hunger strikes.

Cardinham Woods family walk

My wife is a city girl; she is happy in these maintained woodlands to know that there are toilets nearby, places to buy good coffee, and well-maintained paths, while I’m happy that we don’t have to actually stay on the paths at all.

Charlestown harbour

Charlestown is immediately recognisable to fans of Poldark as the harbour in the series. The joy of it as a location is that they’ve hardly had to change much at all.

Healey's Cyder Farm

There are some places that only get discovered on rainy Wednesdays and we stumbled onto one of them. I’m sure that a visit to a cider farm isn’t a top priority for many families but the destination delivered.

Stoke Gabriel dog walk in Devon

Take in the waterside sights of an amble around the ancient village of Stoke Gabriel and its dog-friendly places to go.

St Michael's Mount day trip

You really wonder at the enterprise and sheer foolishness of building a stately home on a huge chuck of rock 500 meters out to sea

Spontaneous short breaks in Somerset

When did you last do something impromptu? Sometimes, being spontaneous is exactly what you need - and Somerset offers the perfect playground.

Somerset Walks and Unusual Discoveries

Walking along and picking out the pieces that catch my eye has become a ritual. Imagining where they came from, who used them and why they were cast out is addictive and helps paint vivid pictures of times gone by.

Paddle Boarding with SUP in a Bag

Favoured with glassy waters, calm enveloped the morning and as we looked out to sea our excitement grew – this was a perfect day to go paddle boarding.

Moors Valley Country Park

I cannot recommend Moors Valley Country Park highly enough, in fact I've already sent a number of friends and family along and hope to go back again myself soon.

Beaches of the New Forest

We decided to work our way back along the beaches of the south coast despite it being a somewhat dreary looking February day

Lyndhurst and the New Forest ponies

We had driven through the town of Lyndhurst earlier in the day and made a note to stop off on our way back to our holiday cottage in Lymington, not least because of the large number of New Forest ponies we had seen just on the outskirts of the town.

New Forest Wildlife Park

The wolves and chatty giant otters were a big hit, the stories of their conservation making for heart-warming reading and the friendly deer that were free to roam around the park added a magical touch.

Out to eat in Lymington

Charlotte and I decided to see if we could find a takeaway for dinner. Yes, there was a fully equipped kitchen to cater to our self-catering needs, but being so close to the sea, our hearts (and stomachs) were set on a fresh fish supper. So fish and chips it was to be.

Family fun day at Bucklers Hard

Considering it wasn't our location of choice we really surprised ourselves with how enjoyable it was and would highly recommend a visit.

Discovering Saltram House, Plymouth

The house itself is impressive with fantastic period furnishings and beautifully decorated rooms, but the grounds are the star of the show.

A day in Kingsand and Cawsand

Kingsand and Cawsand are twin seafront villages on The Rame Peninsula in Cornwall. They have a rich fishing (and smuggling!) heritage and you can still spot the old fish cellars and stores along the coast.

Our holiday in the New Forest

Do I really only get to stay here for the weekend? Perhaps I will call in sick on Monday and stay just a little longer.

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.

The Blue Pool

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

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.

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.

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

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)

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.

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.

An American in Cornwall: A Cornish bus ride

I read a good deal more books in a year than I previously thought possible. I did a lot of walking. I learned how to slow down and wait. I learned the hard way that buses in rural places don't stop unless you hail them.

Relax in Cornwall with Yoga in Newquay

For the first time in a long time I was able to fully shut out all those niggling worries and racing thoughts swirling around my mind. It was total bliss.

Lattes and lunch in lycra - a cycle in Somerset

While my husband now conforms to the current male phenomena that is a ‘MAMIL’ (Middle-Aged Man In Lycra) I’d describe myself more of a ‘leisure cyclist’ (I push my bike up hills).

Origin Coffee brewed by you

Learn how to make a proper coffee at home (or in your holiday cottage!) with Origin

Open Air Theatre in Cornwall

Theatre really comes into its own when it’s performed on the road. Each summer in Cornwall, a myriad of makeshift stages spring up all over the county – some providing seating, but many simply on the beach or a patch of grass on which to spread your blanket. It’s an experience not to be missed.

Velo Vintage Cycling in the South West

Velo Vintage sees hundreds of vintage and cycling enthusiasts come together and take time to ‘cycle, take tea, converse, and dress with style’. Forget lycra and hi-vis cycling wear, this is all about old-fashioned British style.

Family Holidays: Crabbing at Stoke Gabriel

On most crabbing adventures at other sites we feel the familiar tug on the line and gingerly start to pull the string up, but halfway up the wall the crab wisely lets go of the bag and jumps back into the water. Not so at Stoke Gabriel.

Miracle Theatre: The Tempest

Live music, beautiful singing and puppetry, costume and trickery are all part of the watery journey that Miracle are inviting you to join this summer.

The best family friendly beach in south Devon

I hesitate to write this because I don’t want too many people to know about THE perfect family friendly beach, but just between you and me, I think I’ve found it.

An American in Cornwall: The Minack in the rain

It began to rain, and then it began to pour. The wind started gusting. Backdrops blew over and props flew away. The players had to grip their costumes to themselves and shout to be heard over the whistle of wind in their mics. But there can be no better place in the world to experience Shakespeare.

A magical afternoon at Dartington Hall

They say Dartington is situated on a ley line – now I’m not sure about all that hippy stuff, but one thing I do know is I always feel an incredible sense of calm and beauty when I visit.

An American in Cornwall: The First English Coffee

While the British do drink tea in a way that Americans never will, they also drink coffee in a way that that most Americans never will. And that way is (dare I say this?) unquestionably superior.

Learning to surf in Cornwall

In a county hemmed by stunning, Atlantic-pounded beaches, it’s hardly surprising that surfing is such a popular pastime

Bluebells at Blackbury Camp in Devon

The flowers are short-lived, and so once they are out, you should grab the opportunity to see them at their best...

Exploring Exeter University

Not just for students – exploring Exeter University Streatham Campus

The Magic of Mount's Bay

Not just for those with a Bus Pass... this journey is best taken on an open top bus!

Guest experience: The best barbecue time can buy

In Notes & Stories 3 we asked you to name your most memorable barbecue moment as part of a collaboration with our friends at Barefoot Kitchen. One entry rose like a phoenix from the coals...