Places to Explore ~
Here’s an overview of things to do in the local area
There are lots of leaflets in our information room or ask a member of our team for advice and ideas.
Andrewshayes is surrounded by gently sloping meadowland, tucked between the Blackdown Hills and the stunning National Heritage coastline and this means there are lovely country views all around us and the village of Dalwood. There are many pleasant country walks through lanes and woods, but for the less energetic a five minute drive will bring you to Dalwood, a typical Devon village with its Norman church and thatched 15th-century “Tuckers Arms” pub. The Corry Brook running through the village joins the Axe and reaches the sea at Seaton.
Outside the village but close to Andrewshayes are beautiful Burrow Farm Gardens, where you can explore the gardens and also relax with a lovely Devon Cream Tea.
In less than twenty minutes by car you can be in one of the many well-known seaside resorts; Charmouth, Lyme Regis, Seaton, Beer or Sidmouth. Known to locals as West Bay, you can also be in Broadchurch in 1/2 hour. A mixture of sand and pebbles along our coast provide fun for all the family. If the children like rock pools then try Lyme Regis or Seaton Hole at low tide. The Jurassic Coast is famous for dinosaurs so for amazing fossil hunting contact the Heritage Centre at Charmouth or Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre for guided walks which are well worth doing. This beautiful World Heritage nominated coastline cannot fail to impress and everyone can walk a short part of the South West Coast Path even if it is just to find the nearest ice cream shop!
Ranging from exciting adventure parks to children’s farms and wildlife centres, East Devon has plenty of fun days out for the family. For action packed days try Crealy Adventure Park or Woodlands Leisure Park, for animals there’s the local Axe Valley Wildlife Park, Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary (free) or Wildwood Escot, a little further afield is the Sea Life Centre at Weymouth. For something a bit more educational how about the Fleet Air Arm Museum, the Tank Museum or Dinosaur Museum. Locally in Beer we have a real family favourite ‘Pecorama’, not only an amazing miniature train ride, but plenty for the children and wonderful gardens.
We keep a well stocked information room full of leaflets as well as posters advertising local events.
Food and Drink in Devon
In the Westcountry there is a huge variety of independent food and drink producers and great places to eat and drink. Whether you are after a Michelin Star restaurant or just some great fish and chips or a cream tea we have got it all.
Our most famous local eateries are the River Cottage Canteen (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) in Axminster where you can have a good value meal or just coffee and cake, or for a special occasion there is the Mark Hix owned Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis with stunning views over Lyme Bay. Of course there are many other lovely pubs, cafes and restaurants – to be honest it would almost be unfair to start naming places to eat as part of the fun of being on holiday is to discover them, but do feel free to ask the in reception if you want some help.
Westcountry cider making is seeing a real resurgence at the moment and you can also find some great English vineyards in the area. For a whole day of food you can use us as a base to visit the Exeter Festival of Food and Drink which is held every April or the Axe Vale Show in June which always has a lovely food tent.
Stately Gardens Devon
We are blessed with a huge variety of gardens and country houses nearby. From the unique Burrow Farm Gardens to the grandeur of Forde Abbey, as well as National Trust Knightshayes Court or Killerton. Bicton Park has something for all the family; traditional English and formal gardens, a palm house and woodland walks as well as a train ride, and indoor and outdoor play areas, perfect for the under 8’s.
Walking Devon Countryside
We are in an “Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty” (AONB) in the Blackdown Hills and East Devon, so the picturesque Axe Valley and the impressive local coastline provide no end of opportunities for every level of walker.
Within walking distance of Andrewshayes are Shute Woods, beautiful Burrow Farm Gardens, National Trust Loughwood Chapel and Shute Barton. There are local buses to Lyme Regis and Seaton for the South West Coastal Path and we are just a one hour drive from Dartmoor. Try out some of these local walks by taking a look at Clare’s blog. Flip Flops or Wellies, where you will find details a range of nearby walks.
Playing Golf in Devon
East Devon, Dorset and Somerset have some of England’s finest courses. Within half an hour you can reach courses at Axe Cliff (with breathtaking views over the cliffs), Lyme Regis, West Bay, Honiton, Windwhistle (nr Crewkerne), Sidmouth and Padbrook Park at Cullompton, search on www.devongolf.com for more details. For an experience not to be missed, treat yourself to a day at the famous championship quality course at Woodbury Park near Exeter where you can also enjoy their spa facilities and restaurant.
Fishing Trips Devon and Dorset
There are plenty of fishing opportunities locally both fly and course fishing. For something different for all the family, how about a mackerel fishing trip. They leave daily in the summer from Lyme Regis, Branscombe or Beer. Local tourist information centres in Axminster and Honiton also keep up to date details of coarse fishing lakes and open times.
Bird Watching Devon and Dorset
The nearby tidal Axe Estuary and Seaton Marshes (Seaton Wetlands) has fine opportunities for bird watching and wildlife, with superb lookout hides as well as easily accessible public footpaths. There is also the varied coastline with its cliffs and crags, a great attraction for seabirds. The Undercliff Nature Reserve, which is part of the Lyme Regis to Seaton coastal path is also a fantastic place for nature enthusiasts.
Cycling in Devon and Dorset
Whether you’re an energetic cyclist with your own bicycle or just fancy a short trip around the country lanes with a pub lunch en route, you will love the local area around Andrewshayes. There are bike hire shops locally in Colyton, Axminster and Lyme Regis.
Shopping in Devon and Dorset
The small market town of Axminster with its world renowned carpet factory and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Canteen is only five minutes drive away. It has two supermarkets and a superb range of independent shops including Complete Meats an award winning butcher.
Six miles in the other direction is Honiton, larger and famous locally for its antique shops, traditional Honiton Lace and pottery – both towns have weekly produce markets.
For more extensive shopping, Exeter is a lovely city with a combination of high street stores and a new shopping development, Princesshay, and cobbled streets with specialist shops. The historic Quayside at Exeter is now a riverside resort with shops, cafes and pubs.
For something a little different there are free historical guided city tours, underground tunnels to explore, the beautiful Gothic cathedral and the recently refurbished RAM Museum.
We are just 10 minutes drive from Park Farm, the River Cottage HQ so make an ideal base if you need local accommodation near to River Cottage during courses.
Also in Axminster is the well know Axminster Tool Centre – an aladin’s cave for anyone interested in power tools, woodturning and other activities. Again we are well placed to offer accommodation for courses at Axminster Tool Skill Centre