Our sales manager ventured up to south Devon to enjoy a fantastic weekend with family and friends at this gorgeous retreat in the Kitley Farm estate just outside of Yealmpton.
As a proud Cornishman, I’ve always had more of a sweet spot for the Cornish way of doing things compared to Devon. However, that all changed as soon as we pulled off the main road and onto the Kitley Estate. The green fields were filled with sheep nursing young lambs, hedgerows were brimming with wild garlic and bluebells, squirrels in the trees and deer at the bottom of the garden. I couldn’t wait to be immersed in the country air, fresh with the smell of new growth, ramble through the woodland down to the river and relax to the gentle trickle of water through the dam. I’m sure I can forgive the incorrect use of jam and cream for the weekend?
Where we stayed: Kitley Close
On arrival at Kitley Close, we were greeted by Spike who let us in and showed us around the incredibly spacious five-bedroom property. He had provided a few necessities to get us started after our post-work Friday drive; tea, coffee, sugar, milk and a bottle of fizz were the perfect welcome gifts. On the tour, we were shown the snug, perfect for more intimate gatherings next to the cloakroom and downstairs loo. Along the corridor is the main living area with plenty of spacious seating and an adjoining dining room with seating for 12. The kitchen area has a further open-plan dining area for four while there is also a host of modern cooking facilities including a five-burner induction hob and two ovens. The external doors of the living room open onto the veranda which overlooks the valley and adjacent woodland. On one end of the veranda is the large outdoor dining table and a storage area for the barbecue, while the opposite side is home to the hot tub and relaxation area with a wooden pergola above. The sheer scale can only be appreciated by walking the distance from the bedroom down to the kitchen for your morning brew.
Activities: Woodland walks, estuary strolls, fishing, archery and the hot tub!
Upon opening the curtains on our first morning we were lucky to be greeted by sunshine and the resident deer behind the garden fence. We set the main dining table with the croissants and fruit we had packed for our trip and enjoyed breakfast while planning our day.
First on the agenda was to investigate the estate. Armed with a couple of fly rods, we ventured through the woodland, down to the tidal estuary where we could see the mullet and trout breaching the surface. After a lesson by our party’s expert, even I was able to cast and try my luck at catching tonight’s dinner.
After a few hours of no success, we left the mullet in peace and went for a Booja Booja ice cream at Bens Farm Shop opposite the estate. Despite the lack of fish for tea, we did enjoy our evening meal, made mostly from local produce from the farm shop with some fresh foraged wild garlic from the hedgerow. Before dinner we took a short drive to Newton Ferrers harbour, then after, we strolled along the public footpath that follows the river down to what looks like the remains of an old railway bridge before retiring to rest for our final day.
The next morning started with another walk through the woodland. Spike had told us about the on-site archery experience but unfortunately, the instructor was away, so this time we set off to search for the model animals dispersed throughout the woodland. We had found a deer, bear and a beaver before bumping into Andrew and Oscar, members of the South Hams Field Archery Club, who showed us how it’s done. This would be a great experience for most age groups and it was a shame to miss out but fantastic to watch the professionals.
By now the sun was getting warm and we decided we had earned the right to open our bottle of fizz in the hot tub. Plastic “glasses” are provided for this which we thought was a nice safe touch.
It was now time to venture a little further, so we drove down to Noss Mayo for lunch at the Ship Inn. Roast Sunday lunch, sea bass and fish and chips were our choices which were delicious and prepared incredibly quickly thanks to this well-staffed harbourside pub. We couldn’t resist staying for a soft chocolate brownie, sticky toffee pudding and a lemon posset before heading back to pack.
This magnificent retreat is perfect for a luxurious Devonshire holiday for up to 12 people. Take a look here for more information.
Alternatively, if you are dreaming of a Yealmpton getaway take a look at Kitley Estate's riverside retreat, Western Torrs Cottage. Tucked down a private lane, surrounded by woodland and adjacent to the river, Western Torrs Cottage is a secluded and incredibly tranquil. Take a look and start planning your next escape to the South West!