Best Days out in Devon and Dorset for Social Distancing
At last lots of tourist attractions are starting to re-open which is great news for visitors and locals in the area. This year though, many popular attractions are likely to have some restrictions on which facilities are open. This is especially the case where social distancing or cleaning may be an issue, such as soft play or indoor areas.
Luckily for us we have many places near Andrewshayes that are perfect for social distancing. Here are some of our favourite days out in Devon and Dorset where we know you can relax and be safe.
1. The South West Coast Path
Enjoy a fabulous walk along the Jurassic Coast and you will be sure to find space to yourselves. There are many starting points for the South West coast path a short drive from Andrewshayes.
Our nearest is the fairly short walk from from Seaton (or Seaton Hole) to Beer. Another popular walk is Beer Head to Branscombe.
The views are stunning and can be combined with a beach stop off and picnic. Branscombe also has a lovely cafe on the seafront.
Local towns have takeaways and ice cream shops now open. Beer also has a fish shop on the beach selling freshly locally caught fish (although you many not want to carry that home in a rucksack!).
Heading into Dorset, Golden Cap is a popular beauty spot. You can enjoy a lovely walk around the area called Stonebarrow (National Trust car park with access from Charmouth). For direct access to Golden Cap head a little further towards Bridport and park at Langdon Woods (also National Trust between Morecombelake and Chiddeock) for a walk to the highest point on the Jurassic Coast.
The nearest local beaches to us are Seaton, Beer, Branscombe all of which have plenty of space for social distancing.
Charmouth is another popular option and has a large beach which is especially worth visiting at low tide. The sandy beach at Lyme Regis is quite small and does get busy, but there are also two large pebble beaches at Lyme Regis. These are all within a 20 minute drive of Andrewshayes.
Slightly further away is Sidmouth (head for Jacobs Ladder, again best at low tide). There are also pretty gardens and a cafe at the top pf the iconic white steps.
Exmouth has a large beach that stretches away form the town for 2 miles all the way along Marine Parade. For the energetic take the short hike along the South West Coast path to to Orcombe Point. More information on local beaches can be found on our website here.
If you are lucky enough to have a good sized garden at home or a nearby park, chances are you have spent plenty of time there this year. Nature scavenger hunts and outdoor games have been popular entertainment for many families. If you enjoy more formal gardens there are many of options for days out in the area. From gardens and parks always open to the public to beautiful private gardens taking part in the National Garden Scheme (where this year you will need to book to visit). Parks and gardens offer a the perfect opportunity to wander and relax as well as a new space for children to run and stretch their legs.
Burrow Farm Gardens is just a short drive from Andrewshayes and is East Devon’s secret garden set in 13 acres. Lovingly created over 50 years the garden has won awards for its creative planting and beautiful grounds. You are also able to enjoy snacks and cakes from their tea room whilst sat outside on one of the spaced out tables.
Forde Abbey near Chard is another nearby privately owned garden. Set in beautiful grounds of a former Monastery there are many seasonal flower beds, a large fountains as well as formal gardens.
Killerton House and Barrington Court – popular National Trust properties. Killerton has acres of parkland and woods whilst Barrington has more formal gardens. Both are currently open (not the houses) but entry booking is required so good to plan ahead for July 2020.
Slightly further away near Tiverton is Knighthayes with formal gardens. Woods and parkland open to explore.
4. Woodland Walks
Shute Woods is right on our doorstep (just the other side of the A35). There are miles of footpaths and tracks to explore as well as an old Beacon with amazing view over the Axe Valley (although it is quite hard to find!). You can also take the Old Roman Road to Kilmington where there are two pubs as well as Millers Farm Shop that has a cafe.
Our resident blogger Clare has written up lots of lovely local walks which are perfect for escaping the crowds. Pop over to Flip flops or Wellies for a catalogue of walks.
Other popular local walks include Lamberts Castle, Trinity Hill, The River Lym (Lyme Reigs) and The Byes (from Sidford to Sidmouth)
Further afield is Ashclyst Forest, part of the Killerton Estate and has popular marked trails.
Haldon Hill Forestry Commission has 3500 acres of woodland waiting to be explored, ideal for a gentle stroll or an extreme mountain biking experience. There are plenty of walking and cycle routes to choose from. Both are just outside Exeter, about 35 minutes from Andrewshayes.
5. Seaton Wetlands
Seaton Wetlands is a beautiful area to walk around overlooking the Axe Estuary at Seaton.
There are good paths throughout as well as bird hides where you can sit and watch a huge range of resident and migrating birds. This is free to access.
You can read our previous blog post here about Seaton Wetlands.
We are really are lucky to live in such a naturally beautiful part of the UK with so much open space around us. There are endless places for walks and picnics from woodland to quiet beaches. We look forward welcoming you to Andrewshayes where you can enjoy a holiday away from the crowds.