While we love to get away abroad and discover new cultures, there are so many beautiful places on our door step, that every year we always try and make an effort to visit somewhere in the United Kingdom. This year of course, we had Luna to think about so I set about trying to find the perfect break that would accompany our little pup too!
I desperately wanted to find somewhere close to the sea and when I came across Darwin Escapes who offer a selection of beach huts situated on the the coast of North Devon, I couldn’t believe my luck. It ticked so many of our boxes, it was unique, an experience we’d never done before, right on the beach and dog friendly! I don’t think I’ve been so excited about something for such a long time and couldn’t wait once we’d booked, counting down the three months constantly!
So on the 18th of April, we packed up the car (who knew one tiny puppy had so much stuff!?) and began the five hour drive to Ilfracombe in Devon. Luckily we had a lot of Serial to catch up on which helped the journey pass a bit quicker. While we didn’t appreciate Luna throwing up literally two minutes before we arrived, we were excited to have a look around!
Beach Cove Coastal Retreat was everything we could have hoped for and more. We stayed in the Wrinklewood Premier which featured an open plan living room and kitchen area as well as a bedroom with a kingsize be and en-suite. Everything was so white, fresh and clean. I’m talking whitewashed floors (just like those that every blogger photographs against!) and gorgeous little touches to remind you of the sea. We had big windows that looked out towards the sea, flooding the room in daylight.
|You are left bath robes and slippers, ready for you to slip out to the hot tub!|
|This lovely little fella was awaiting our arrival!|
|Complimentary dog bones for Miss Luna!|
We also had a our own little patio area which led to one of the best parts of the retreat… the hot tub. Could you think of anything better? Sitting in your private hot tub, clutching a glass of something sweet with the sea gently lapping behind you. Is it any wonder I was so excited to get to Beach Cove Coastal Retreat? We were in the hot tub every day, making the most of it as much as we could. And if we weren’t in there, we were enjoying basking in the warm sun while having a spot of lunch.
We absoloutely loved being literally minutes walk to the beach. Once we’d settled in a bit, we headed straight down there with Luna and she went wild. Having never been to a beach before, it must have been sense overload for her as she was so excited! She soon became very sandy and before we could do a thing, she dived straight into the sea! I actually filmed this and you can hear me being slightly hysterical as Luna swam further and further out. Having never gone ‘swimming’ before, we were amazed by how natural it was to her! Thankfully, our very wet pup swam back to us soon enough and we could not stop staring at her in awe. The beach became a favourite place of all of ours and we would find ourselves there even at seven o’clock in the evening, enjoying being so close to the sea.
On our first night, we decided to go out for dinner. Having your own kitchen in the beach hut with all the equipment you could need means you can mix up going out and staying in for food when you feel like it. It was recommended to me to stop by a lovely place called Hele Billy’s Bar & Restaurant for some food so it was there we stopped by for our first meal.
Matt convinced me to go for starters so we chose sautéed tiger prawns and BBQ pork riblets with garlic bread. I was really impressed with the generous portion of my tasty riblets and couldn’t help wonder how I was going to fit in my steak! None the less, I managed to tuck in easily enough and when the steak tasted as good as it did, I certainly couldn’t let it go to waste!
On one of our days, after a recommendation from a member of the Beach Cove staff, we headed to a place 20 minutes away called Woolacombe which was a three-mile long stretch of soft sand, perfect for the sunny weather we were fortunate enough to be enjoying during our weeks stay. It was only when we arrived did we realise it had actually being awarded best British Beach two years running by Trip Advisor and we could certainly see why!
The sheer length of the beach means there is plenty of room for everyone to spread out enjoy. Laying back on our blanket while Luna skipped around playing with her ball and digging holes, we felt like we were in a entirely different country with the hot sun bearing down on us. We decided we couldn’t not finish the day’s trip with some fish and chips and a spot of ice cream too!
There is no shortage of lovely walks to enjoy either and on one of our last days, Matt encouraged me to follow him and Luna on a particularly hilly costal walk which proved well worth the views when we reached the viewing point at the point and were able to see Ilfracombe stretched out before us. It was so peaceful to sit together and enjoy the scenery. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the fittest of people but when the view is worth it, I’ll happily soldier on! Luna put us both to shame as always and was ahead of us at all times, exploring where she could and trying to throw herself off the hill numerous amounts of times!
It was quite a bit cooler on our last full day, so after the walk we decided to treat ourselves to a cream tea in a lovely little teashop called Nelly May’s. We couldn’t go all the way to Devon and not have a proper Devonshire cream tea now could we!? Funnily enough, the debate between Devon and Cornwall when it comes to scones came up in conversation much to my amusement. If you’re not aware, in Devon, you spread clotted cream on your scone and then jam on top whereas in Cornwall, it’s jam that goes on first and then the clotted cream. I’ll admit that my only thought is does it really matter? Surely they must all taste the same! Nonetheless, our cream teams were extremely tasty and left us both sitting back satisfied with full bellies!
It’s safe to say, we left Devon discussing when we would be able to come back to the beautiful little beach huts and I’m sure Ilfracombe will be somewhere we’ll definitely be revisiting. It’s the perfect destination for a romantic break and pet friendly too (in a number of the huts) which means your four legged best friend can come too! Being able to have Luna with us was what made our trip as everywhere was so pet-friendly from the beaches to the pubs. Other than that, it’s the best place to really kick back and relax. We didn’t want somewhere where we would be doing numerous activities, we wanted to forget about our jobs and any worries and sink into utter relaxation with no pressure to do anything, which was exactly what we did! With fresh air in our lungs, we were able to really take it easy and we went home feeling refreshed and revitalised. I would like to give a big thank you to Sarah from Darwin’s Escapes who was so helpful with her suggestions and tips whilst we were in Devon. I would hands down recommend Beach Cove Coastal Retreat to anyone looking for a little slice of paradise.