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“This is less of a review of Devon and more of a joint...”


written by degbert on 21/02/2010

This is less of a review of Devon and more of a joint review of Owners Direct, of South Devon, and of the particular cottage we chose; and all of this given from a family perspective.

So the cottage is the old threshing barn, in Barton, Torquay, Devon. It was hired through Owners Direct. The holiday was in Feb 2010.

If the reviewcentre guys want to 'place' this in other appropriate locations on the web site, fine.

The Threshing Barn is a charming, cosy and yet fully functional and spacious recent barn conversion, nestling behind the old Manor House in a quiet road in Barton, a sleepy part of Torquay. Set apart from the traffic, noise and pace of the coastline, this is a quiet retreat ideally suited to families and those wishing to explore South Devon at their own pace. The owner, Martin Brook, lives in the old manor house next door and is a warm, thoughtful and engaging fountain of useful local knowledge and accurate recommendations. This is a genuine treasure of a find, in a great location, and represents exceptional value for money.

From our base we only had to venture a couple of miles for a variety of options - Babbacombe's wonderful vista, old-fashioned charm and fantastic tea rooms (especially Angels, which is a timeless gem well worth a visit) is just up the road. It boasts a few attractions of its own one of which, the model village, is an enchanting folly of a place which is as great for youngsters as it is intriguing for adults.

Slightly further afield is Maidencombe, on the back road to Teignmouth. A sandstone shingle beach awaits intrepid explorers ready to descend the steps from the car park, and it is sufficiently small and out of the way that - if you are lucky - you may have the run of the place to yourself. Better still, after the walk back, you can quench your thirst with some fantastic locally-sourced ales at the impressive Thatched Tavern. Another local hostelry to hunt out is further north, The Coombe Cellars, sat on the south banks of the Teign Estuary at Combe-in-Teignhead. Great location, excellent food and a pretty impressive ale and wine selection makes the country trek well worth the effort. Go at sunset for a beautiful evening view.

Elsewhere of note in the area are the impressive Paignton Zoo, which deserves its very strong reputation; the equally enjoyable South Devon Steam Railway, which runs to Totnes from further up the Dart in Buckfastleigh, on the foot of Dartmoor. Both are a great family day out. A trip up on to the Moor itself, taking in some of the fantastic views and convivial welcome of the local inns is again worth the trip along the A38.

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