About South West England
Surfing: the north coast of Devon and Cornwall is famed for its surfing beaches, such as Croyde, Woolacombe, Bude, Newquay and Sennen Cove. Croyde and Woolacombe are about 1.5 hours’ drive from Cuckoo Down Farm
The area has so many wonderful beaches, it is impossible to name them all. Sidmouth, Beer and Branscombe are within a short drive of Cuckoo Down Farm. Further afield there are the lovely beaches around Salcombe in South Devon, or legendary Cornish beaches such as Fistral in Newquay and Gyllyngvase in Falmouth.
You can sail from nearby Exmouth and Sidmouth (20 minutes from Cuckoo Down Farm). The Tall Ships Race started from the huge natural harbour at Falmouth, Cornwall in 2014, and sailing is a major part of life all along the south coast of Devon and Cornwall.
The South West is a major food producing area, thanks to its rural countryside and strong tradition of food excellence. Look out for wonderful cream, cheese, beef, lamb and home-baked cakes. The ice cream here is especially renowned, and so is the cider. Wine is, increasingly, acclaimed here – you can visit Sharpham Vineyard on the River Dart in Devon or the award-winning Camel Valley Vineyard in Cornwall. Rick Stein’s Padstow is a two-hour drive from Cuckoo Down Farm, while TV chef Michael Caines runs several restaurants in Exeter (12 miles from Cuckoo Down Farm). The Treby Arms at Sparkwell, Devon, is run by the 2013 MasterChef winner and Mark Hix runs a seafood restaurant in Lyme Regis.
The coastline of the South West has a wonderful footpath running right around it. Well-maintained and signposted, stunning sea views are guaranteed. Close to Cuckoo Down Farm, the coastal walks around Sidmouth are very beautiful. The superb countryside of unspoilt Dartmoor and Exmoor are both within an hour’s drive of the farm, too.
Highlights of the South West include The Eden Project in Cornwall, Padstow in north Cornwall, St Ives in West Cornwall, Clovelly in North Devon and Lyme Regis in West Dorset. Close to Cuckoo Down Farm, we recommend visits to Escot House, Bicton Gardens and the friendly Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth.
There are airports at Exeter (15 minutes from Cuckoo Down Farm) and Bristol (1.5 hours from Cuckoo Down Farm). The M5 and A30 are both just 10 minutes’ drive from the farm, making this an easy place to reach and a good base for exploration.