A Devon farm stay at Traine Farm Holiday Cottages
What I loved about it:
I feel relaxed as soon as I turn into the drive of Traine Farm. I’ve been visiting for years and I love the quiet escape to the countryside. With the beach in walking distance, and loads of local attractions, it’s the perfect place for families to explore beautiful South Devon.
Value for money (out of 10):
Cockerels and cows - an authentic Devon farm stay
Just off a winding lane in rural South Devon, is the entrance to Traine Farm. Look behind you and you’ll be able to see the sea surrounding the landmark Mewstone. A large grey stone farmhouse greets you and the two alpacas might come and say hello over the wall. Some of the barns have been converted into holiday accommodation; providing the perfect location for a Devon farm stay.
The first thing you’ll notice is the sound of the cockerels as they strut around the yard. It’s one of the most authentic things about a farm stay; immersing yourself in the sights, sounds (and smells) of farm life! You won’t need to pack an alarm clock.
At this Devon farm stay, there’s a choice of accommodation depending on the size of your party. Each of them has its own courtyard seating area and there’s plenty of space for parking. There’s Rede which is set up to sleep 2, and it’s accessible for people with disabilities and also dog-friendly. Clowberry is also an accessible accommodation with a downstairs double bedroom, and upstairs family room which sleeps 4. Calmady has a double and a single bed upstairs, and the option of a sofa bed downstairs. For the purposes of this review, I stayed in Cory which has a large double bedroom, and a small second bedroom with bunk beds.
Traine Farm is a great choice if you are looking for family friendly accommodation in Devon. I was pleased to find a new travel cot which was perfect for my 11 month old, and I needn’t have worried about bringing a travel blind because the sky lights had blackout blinds of their own! The IKEA highchair was perfect because it’s easy to keep clean, and the stairgate provided peace of mind. I chose Cory because it had a bath, which is an essential when travelling with children. There’s also a decent electric shower over the bath. There’s plenty of storage too with wardrobes, chest of drawers and a large cupboard on the landing – perfect for keeping the space tidy.
As this is a self-catering farm stay, the kitchen is well-equipped with a large oven and microwave. I found everything I needed during my long weekend, though I did keep things quite simple by taking some Cook kitchen frozen meals (a top tip when travelling on your own with a baby). The downstairs is open plan with a dining table, armchair and sofa and a TV with DVD player. There is a washing machine in the cottage, but there’s also a laundry room across the courtyard where you can wash and dry clothes, or leave wetsuits to hang after a day at the beach.
Also across the courtyard is a large games room, providing entertainment for the whole family. It’s a real highlight of this Devon farm stay and I’ve enjoyed many a table tennis tournament over the years here, alongside a Fusball table, air hockey and selection of board games. The blackboard is full of great local information including up to date ‘What’s on’ events. Children generally enjoy the experience of staying on a farm, whether they’re following the chicks around, or arranging to walk the resident alpacas.
Within walking distance is Wembury beach, which does have a few sandy spots and lots of rockpools which are full of sealife. It probably takes about 20 minutes to walk down to the beach, but 30 minutes back due to the steep hills. If that’s too much when you’re loaded up with beach equipment for the day then you can drive down and use the National Trust car park which is free for members. Wembury Marine Centre often has activities on during school holidays and over the summer and I would recommend joining one of their rockpool sessions. On your way back to Traine Farm you can stop in at the Odd Wheel for a drink or a meal; it’s only a couple of minutes walk away.
As for things to do in South Devon, you’re spoilt for choice. It really depends on your interests. If you like to walk then you can join the South West Coastal Path at the beach and walk either East, or West towards Plymouth. You’re also conveniently located near access points for walking on Dartmoor; Haytor is one of my favourite spots. Plymouth is a city full of maritime history and is only a few miles away along the A38. I would choose to book a tour of the Plymouth Gin distillery and then enjoy a meal overlooking the sea.
If staying on a farm isn’t enough for you, then Pennywell Farm is 30 minutes drive away. It’s a full day out for those travelling with children as they pride themselves on running activities every half hour. Take a small soft blanket with you and you’ll be able to cuddle the piglets, rabbits and guinea pigs and you won’t have to spend £3.50 on a blanket at the door.
If the weather isn’t great then you could visit the Butterfly and Otter centre; the butterfly farm is a great place to spot different breeds and also to see the metamorphosis process in action. It’s by the South Devon Railway where you can catch the steam train at regular intervals to Totnes.
A trip to South Devon isn’t complete without a beach trip. You’ve got Wembury within walking distance; but Mothecombe and Bigbury-on-Sea are other good ones. At Bigbury you can walk across to Burgh Island at low tide, famous as Agatha Christie’s second home. At high tide you catch the sea tractor to avoid getting wet!
Hopefully I’ve tempted you into trying a Devon farm stay on your next holiday. Claire and Jen would be happy to welcome you at Traine Farm Holiday Cottages and they are full of local knowledge as it’s their childhood home. Expect to fall in love with Wembury, a hidden gem on the south coast of Devon.