Choice Cottages | Self catering holiday accommodation | April 2013

Ilfracombe Victorian Week | Holiday Cottages UK

by Admin30. April 2013 09:00

Devon Holiday Idea:

Ilfracombe Victorian Week 

Saturday 8th June to Sunday 16th June 2013 

This nine day festival aims to have something for everyone. There are two parades - along the High Street on the first Saturday and along the Seafront on the last Sunday afternoon. Every day there are two or three shows of magic and illusion performed by David Alexander at his Victorian Theatre on the Landmark Green. There are two Garden Parties by the Bandstand with beautifully dressed Victorians sitting at their dressed tables, drinking from delicate china cups, on Sunday and Wednesday afternoon.

Ilfracombe Victorian Week

Ilfracombe is visited on the Tuesday by American Victorians in the shape of The Boots and Saddles Western Re-enactment Group who will raid businesses throughout the Town. Come and see mini Victorians with their teddies having a picnic lunch on the Seafront on Monday and then enjoying a Magic Show. There will be several trips available to local attractions throughout the week as well as events on the Seafront. On Friday evening there will be entertainment, including a performance by a Children's Circus Workshop and local Jugglers Matt Lemon and David Alexander. This will be followed by the arrival of a Candlelit Procession and the Grand Fireworks Display.


On Saturday there is a Crazy Golf Competition in the morning on the seafront. In the evening The Grand Ball takes place at the Landmark with the most elaborate costumes being worn. The Museum, The Emmanuel Church and The Landmark Theatre all put events on throughout the nine days. This Festival is put on entirely by volunteers to entertain locals and visitors alike. This is the 26th year of the celebration and it is hoped that Her Majesty Queen Victoria will visit - so come along and you may meet her! 


More info at:


Why not combine Victorian Ilfracombe with thoroughly modern life in Croyde Cottages or other local villages, were you can enjoy the beaches, surfing and many other activities – less of a two centre holiday and more of a two styles of life in one – and no need to repack the suitcase to enjoy both. Holiday Cottages UK accommodation is really good value in June and many bookings can include the extra weekend to enable you to make the most of your trip to Devon Cottages. Choose your favourite UK holiday cottages, or large cottages in Devon, at

History of Clovelly Life | Historic Fishing Village in North Devon

by Admin29. April 2013 09:00

Date for your Devon Diary:

History of Clovelly Life

Wednesday 8th May 2013 | Clovelly Village Hall

Clovelly | North Devon

Rent Books, poor lists and the deeds to the Clovelly Estate, are some of the records that have been uncovered by the recently formed Clovelly Community Archive Association and they date back over 180 years. The Association members are planning to open a base in the car park at the top of the village where people will be able to come and research a document, or see a particular record. The group also hope to include information from the Clovelly Lifeboat, which has played a major part in village life. The group has started holding regular talks and you can hear about life in Clovelly at this talk on 8th May.


You can stay in a selection of gorgeous cottages in Clovelly and nerdy Hartland Cottages. More info at:

Spring Craft and Design Fair | RHS Garden Rosemoor

by Admin28. April 2013 09:00

Things to Do in Devon:

Spring Craft and Design Fair

Saturday 4th to Monday 6th May 2013 | RHS Garden Rosemoor

Treat yourself over the Bank Holiday Weekend with a visit to Rosemoor's Craft and Design Fair where you can browse amongst stalls of beautiful and unusual hand crafted items for home and garden. This three-day fair showcases a wealth of West Country creative talent and includes handcrafted ceramics, jewellery, clothing, handbags and glasswork, among many other hand made products. While you are there visit the gardens, the Garden Kitchen restaurant (which has had a makeover during the winter), and buy a few plants to take home. If you get there by green transport (bus or bike) you get a reduced price entry ticket.

Why not stay in stunning Holiday Cottages UK with Choice Cottages.


More info at:

Gala Concert | Simonsbath Festival 2013 | St Lukes Church

by Admin27. April 2013 09:00

Date for your Devon Diary:

Gala Concert, Simonsbath Festival 2013

Saturday 4th May 2013 at 19.30 | St Lukes Church, Simonsbath

Internationally acclaimed concert pianist Helen Yorke launches Simonsbath Festival 2013 with a gala concert at St Luke's Church. Refreshments will be available and an optional snack during the interval may be booked in advance. Simonsbath Festival 2013 takes place from May 4 to June 22.  The programme of events includes May Day and Midsummer’s Day celebrations of traditional music and songs from the Exmoor Forest and top musicians from this country and abroad have been invited to celebrate the music of other cultures. Among the events at St Luke's are an evening of opera from students of the Italian masterclass founded in memory of Sir Georg Solti, an all-female trumpet quartet, African, Indian and Spanish Flamenco concerts and a return visit by Barbara Pears' Moorland Quartet. There will also be a presentation by Tom and Barbara Brown about farming life in the area from the 1920s to 1970s, with archive film and traditional music and song, and a preview of the new film Hope Bourne – a celebration of Exmoor by Chris Chapman, as well as an art exhibition, jazz, poetry and talks on the history of the Simonsbath area, guided walks, family activity days, workshops and lots more. Simonsbath Festival has also won a £6,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to revive the traditional music and songs of Exmoor.  The festival will work with folk and community arts organisation Wren Music on the project "Songs from the Exmoor Forest", organising workshops for local schools and community groups to learn the music and songs from their collection. Wren musicians will perform some of the music and songs for the festival's May Day celebrations on Monday May 6, and they will be joined by local children and other members of the community for a concert performance to mark Midsummer and bring the festival to a close on Saturday 22nd June. Stay in UK holiday cottages.


More info at:

THE LANDMARK BEER & MUSIC FESTIVAL | Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe

by Admin26. April 2013 09:00

Holiday Ideas Devon:


Friday 3rd May – Monday 6th May 2013 | Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe


Here’s a suggestion that we think you’ll like, this coming bank-holiday weekend, why not avoid all the May Day traffic and mayhem and pop down to Ilfracombe where you can have a chilling weekend listening to great music. With a selection of real ales to quaff on, a feast of food to fill your belly and a superb line-up of free live music, these mini-festivals have become an annual Mecca for pure, relaxed and effortless enjoyment. Even better admission is free! Why not book a Last Minute Short Break in Devon with Choice Cottages so that you can really relax and enjoy a break from your normal routine, away from the mundane or the hectic, and descend to the peace of Devon, taste the real ale and enjoy the music. Holiday Cottages UK are particularly good value at this time of year and often the weather is as good as in the summer (maybe better than it was last summer!) Will you opt for a romantic getaway for two or large holiday cottages and invite a dozen friends to share the enjoyment? 

Full music line up will include

  • The Richard O'Brien Project; 
  • Wille & The Bandits; 
  • Odds & 8 Balls
  • Zamba
  • Peter Crawford
  • Eaten By Sharks

More info at:  

Holiday Cottages UK at

Pet and Dog Friendly Holiday Cottages in Devon

by Admin25. April 2013 09:00

Pet Friendly Holidays in Devon:

Dog Friendly Holiday Cottages in Devon

Justin Beckley Photography in Devon

Is a dog a member of your family? Then think about how your dog can join you on your family holiday to Devon.  A dog staying in Choice Cottages holiday cottages costs only £15 a week – much better value than the £100+ that leaving them in kennels may cost you and I am sure you and your dog will have a more enjoyable pet friendly holiday together than apart. Walk along the many stunning costal paths, run on the long, wide (and often deserted) sandy beaches, paddle in the streams and rock pools and explore the wild, remote moors of Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin. Maybe you can even teach your dog to surf – it has been done! I wonder who will enjoy it most – the family or the dog. One thing you can be sure of – it is even better shared together.


Dogs are made really welcome in Devon, with many attractions providing a kennel/shaded parking for your dog while you visit (eg The Eden Project, Exmoor Zoo and The Big Sheep) others are happy for dogs to come into the grounds and gardens. Check on line to see what is available for your dog where you want to visit. There are also local kennels that may be willing to take your dog in for the day to allow you to explore further afield. Although some beaches have restrictions on dogs during the peak holiday season there are many others that don’t and often these are the best ones to find an open expanse of sand for a quick game of ball, sand dunes for hide and seek and rocky pools to look into to see what sealife lives there (if you can get stop the dog having a paddle). Responsible dog owners and their dogs are welcome in the towns and villages and many shops and eating places put out dog bowls of water and welcome dogs in the outside seating areas.


Enjoy your holiday with the whole family. Have a look at dog friendly cottages in Devon at but please remember the holidays cottages with hot tubs and swimming pools are intended for use by humans only!

Swaling | Exmoor & Dartmoor, Devon UK

by Admin24. April 2013 09:00

Local History in Devon:


Swaling - sounds like some sort of manic folk dance, but it is a practice that has been carried out for centuries. Swaling is the annual burning of the gorse and scrub in order to thin out the old vegetation in order to allow new grass shoots to grow thus providing grazing for the livestock.


The first recorded instance of the word 'swaling' comes from a poem written in around 1205AD by Layamon called Brut, it is suggested that the actual word comes from the Anglo Saxon word - Swælan meaning to burn. In 1808, Vancouver regarded swaling or burning to be, "a safe and effectual means of bringing coarse moory land, when effectually drained, into a state of profitable cultivation ..." Swaling would occur on the commons and wastes of the moor, and as stated above the idea was to burn off the old growth and allow new shoots to establish thus giving some good grazing. In addition the wood ash would also act as a fertiliser, which in turn would encourage good regrowth. It does not take long for the new shoots of grass to establish themselves amongst the charred remnants of the gorse. When swaling is taking place the huge plumes of smoke can be seen from many a mile and the far horizons glow from the fires. At one time the larger pieces of burnt wood, or 'black stick' would be collected and tied into faggots, usually by the children, then taken home to use on the fire. Another feature of swaling is that, for a few days after, any sheep in the area virtually turn black as their fleeces attract the dark ash. This also means that if you walk through a recently swaled area expect everything below your knee to take on a similar black coat of ash. These days the practice of swaling is strictly regulated and controlled as fire spreads rapidly, especially in dry conditions on Dartmoor and Exmoor. Please take care not to start fires accidentally with a BBQ, campfire or discarded litter. Every year we seem to have another heath fire, caused unintentionally, but devastating acres of land, killing wildlife, and putting fire-fighters at risk.


You can stay in stunning self catering holiday cottages across Devon UK. More info at:

About Choice Cottages

Choice Cottages specialise in providing quality self catering holiday cottages to let in Devon, Somerset, Cornwall & Dorset in the UK.

We are an expanding family run company with offices in Bideford, Barnstaple, and Braunton and have a friendly, experienced team providing guests with the personal touch.

We have a wide portfolio of quality hand-picked self catering cottages to let in the South West and are proud of our high levels of service to holiday makers.

These well-appointed Devon Cottages will offer you and your family, fantastic access to the designated areas of outstanding natural beauty and inspiring scenery in North Devon and the best weather in England.

We currently specialise in the West Country Counties with many properties in the popular Seaside areas of: Croyde Bay, Saunton, WoolacombeLee Bay, Westward Ho!, Appledore, Bideford, Teignmouth, Lynton and Lynmouth. In addition, a selection of properties are available for the Country and town locations of: Barnstaple, Braunton, GeorgehamExmoorHartland and Torrington

With hundreds of hand-picked properties to choose from, you are assured of the best of quality, from luxury Holiday Cottages to romantic getaways, pet friendly properties and large traditional thatch Holiday Homes - there is something for everyone’s budget.

Choice Cottages is North Devon's Premier self catering holiday cottage letting agent for owners. We have a growing list of clients who have chosen us to market their holiday home for rent and to deal with their bookings, so why not join us now.

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