Tried and Tested: Coastal Cabins, Devon
It goes without saying that after the last year we are all in need of a break from the norm and the same four walls... so what better place to retreat to than a cosy coastal cabin on a peaceful, remote site in beautiful North Devon! Last month, that is exactly what we did - and read on to find out how you could win a stay at Coastal Cabins too...
With an upcoming birthday to celebrate and an excited toddler to amuse, we set off for our Devonshire break in the last week of May, eager for a change of scenery and some beach fun. As we were making the trip from Essex, we decided to stop for a night in Hampshire to break up the journey and visit Peppa Pig World at Paulton's Park - a highly recommend pitstop for those with toddlers, as long as you can get the theme tune out of your head that evening.
Arriving at our cabin on the Friday afternoon through the winding roads of Hartland, we pulled into the Coastal Cabins car park and got our first glimpse of the charming cabins, each prettily painted a different ice-cream shade, and set around a gravel path leading down to the fishing lake at the foot of the site.
Our cabin, Sandy Mouth, was one of the furthest from the car park so we made use of the handy wheelbarrow supplied by our cabin to cart our belongings to and fro. Sandy Mouth occupies a lovely unobstructed lake-facing view from its deck, and as we unpacked we were met some of our neighbours - a pair of Canada Geese with their six fluffy goslings, who were usually to be found somewhere around the site throughout our stay.
Inside, the cabin had a gorgeously light and summery feel, with whitewashed wooden walls, beach-inspired décor and everything we could need for our stay, including a handy little kitchenette, ensuite toilet and shower, cosy wall-mounted heater and a parasol for the picnic table on the decking.
The large kingsize bed in the centre of the room was very inviting after a long drive, and our toddler couldn't wait to jump into the bunk beds as he'd never slept in a bunk before and found it quite a novelty (in fact, he slept an unbroken night's sleep for once - almost unheard of!).
The next morning after breakfast we met up with the lovely Janet, who runs the site with her husband John and daughter Melissa (who we also got to meet later in the week - so nice to be able to put faces to names!). We had a good chat about the site, the geese, and how the last year has affected the hospitality industry. Janet and family spent some during lockdown refreshing the cabins ready for reopening, and even took a staycation in one themselves, which you can read about here!
We decided to visit Bude for our first trip for a walk along the beach, which was just a 25 minute drive over the border in Cornwall. A bright and breezy day meant the surfers were out in force, with lessons on the beach and lots braving the waves. We stayed dry and indulged in ice-creams from the beach café instead. A short drive further along the coast took us to the impressive Widemouth Bay, where we stopped at the family-friendly Bay View Inn (which we found ourselves returning to later in the week too!). With a lovely seafront location, beautiful views, a big car park and a great little kid's play area, it was the perfect spot for us to have some dinner and let the little one run off some steam before we headed back to our cosy cabin for the night.
The next day was my birthday, and the weather had decided to take a turn again, so we opted for a trip to the supermarket to buy lots of indulgent food for an indoor picnic, and enjoyed a relaxing day doing not very much at all - a rare opportunity!
Other places we enjoyed visiting during our stay were Westward Ho! for the arcades and slot machines (another good option not too far away and great for a not-so-sunny day), the World of Wonder soft play in Bideford, and - a little further but worth the 1hr 15 min drive in my opinion, Lynton and Lynmouth for their amazing Victorian cliff railway - the highest and steepest fully water powered cliff railway in the world and quite an experience to travel on. We also loved the fabulous Lynton Toy Museum which was a bargain to get in, quite the tardis on the inside and full of nostalgia, featuring all sorts of toys and games from the latter half of the 20th century which brought back so many fun memories of our 1980s childhood!
A particularly sunny day prompted us to visit our cabin's namesake, the National Trust beach at Sandymouth Cove, a really beautiful, wide beach of pebbles and sand, with a dramatic backdrop of twisted cliffs and scenic coastal trails. We grabbed some takeaway lunch from the café by the car park, and enjoyed a nice alfresco lunch before exploring the rockpools and paddling in the sea.
Back at Coastal Cabins, it was time to indulge in my option extra, booked prior to our stay - a blissful hour in their onsite Wild Spa area, an adults-only secluded corner of the site, with garden furniture, sun loungers, and a big bubbling hot tub all to myself. Those with young children will know how special a totally kid-free hour is, so I made the most of the time, remained in the hot tub for the full hour and sipped the sparkling prosecco left for me by Janet and John whilst I watched the sun retreat below the horizon. If you're booking a stay at Coastal Cabins I highly recommend that you book a Wild Spa session too - you'll regret it if you don't!
Having experienced all that the weather could offer us (except a snowstorm, thankfully!) during our six night stay, I can safely say that it's just as lovely, albeit in a rather different way, cosying up listening to the rain outside as it is sitting outside on the deck soaking up the sunshine, both of which we were lucky enough to experience. This calm and pretty site is ideal for couples and young families, a perfect mix of outdoor living with all the creature comforts you'll need for a cosy, relaxing stay.
If you'd like to experience a blissful seaside break in North Devon, don't miss our 5th Birthday competition to WIN a 3 or 4 night break at Coastal Cabins for up to 4 guests - there are two chances to enter, and you can find out more here! Competition ends on Monday 28th June 2021.