When the sea is calm and the sun is out how about visiting Tunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe’s hidden seaside?
These private beaches charge £2.50 for adults. Accessed by tunnels carved in 1823, you can step into a secluded area beneath the cliffs, where there is still an original bathing pool as well as lots of rocky outcrops and beach.
The tunneled entrance has historic signs and old news paper stories from the beaches.
No dogs are allowed on the beaches, but expect a few seagulls nesting in the cliffs behind the beach.
We visited on a hot, still June afternoon and even dared a cooling swim in the cold water off the rocks, which was beautiful. Lots of seaweed in the rock pools is a testament to the clean waters and the beach was beautifully litter free too!
Most were bathing in the pool which no doubt warms up much more quickly than the open sea and is of course much safer as there are usually waves making rock swimming more hazardous!
If a dip isn’t for you, then deck chairs are available.
The beach has a small snack bar and shop. There was a limited choice of eats so we headed back into town for lunch, (we could have re-entered on the same entrance fee). There are a good selection of places to eat along the front at Ilfracombe near North Devon Theatre, including a busy Weatherspoons with a rooftop sun-terrace, which is open if the weather is right.
Whilst in Ilfracombe it’s also worth a walk to the lovely harbour and to take a look at Damien Hirst’s scuplture – Verity, who looms over the harbour mouth. Follow this link to see the sculpture. http://www.damienhirst.com/verity
Perfect day out at the Gallery Lodges Braunton. Its so sunny and beautiful here.
The sea is warming up, surf is on the way and the sun seems to keep on shining. Just 2 minutes drive up the road from the Lodges we took one of our favourite walks. Past the stunning historic house and gardens through carpets of bue bells and wild garlic.
Over to look at Croyde Bay and then back through the trees down to Saunton Beach for a coffee and a cake and just squeezed in a pasty at the beach cafe. Rested and refreshed we headed back through the dunes to collect the car. Now you would think we couldn’t eat any more and life just couldn’t get better.
But then we took a short trip round the headland to Down End Car Park and took home a Sri Lankan curry Tambapanni (See food Guide) from the Saturday Take out van and ate it on the Headland at Croyde.
If you are going to stay at the Lodges, just remember the food vans at Croyde Down End Car Park. The sign by the entrance is updated with the van schedule this season.
Saturday is the Sri Lankan Curry and its absolutely wonderful, well cooked and hits the spot every time.
Booking for the Lodges at www.thegallerylodges.co.uk or pm me.
If you want to know where this stunning walk in you will have to visit ud at the Lodges or at the art studio www.petecaswell.co.uk
Take a short trip to the Braunton Burrows when you stay at The Gallery Lodges.
We have free maps of this area in the lodges so you can explore it all.
One of the largest sand dune areas in Europe and a Unesco Biosphere reserve, its really worth a visit.
You can walk, cycle or drive to the start where there is a reasonably priced car park, about 1.5 miles away.
Take a walk from the car park and walk to a deserted stretch of saunton sands beach or do a loop to Crow Point. On the way – wild flowers, water slacks, WW2 relics from the DDay landings and the odd real life army excersize.
The area is home to a large number of resident and migratory birds along with the estuary. It is a superb place to bird-spot and hear the plethora of bird song. Throughout the seasons you will see all the different migratory birds as they pass through. Many of the birds you can also see at The Gallery Lodges as they feed in the meadows marshland and woodland which surround the lodges which encompasses 2 SSSI reserves. As if this wasn’t enough of Birds and wild flowers there is also the Braunton Marshes wetland system which adjoins the estuary and inlet to Braunton. More, there is more still, but that’s another blogg page.
At Last the beach and you can see there is no one here usually. Cycle to Saunton Sands Hotel from here for coffee and then back to The Gallery Lodges along the road.Go the other way round Crow point, but the sand gets a bit hard going. Possible but hard work…..could be worth it though!
Looking out to sea from the Dunes on the way back to the car park or walk up to Saunton Sands Hotel and catch the bus back to The Gallery Lodges .
New Hotel at Braunton near to Saunton Sands Golf club. In between Saunton sands and Braunton set in 7 acres of grounds are some new garden luxury garden suites in the ground of Pete Caswell’s art studio.
Its not exactly a hotel, but that is where the original concept came from. We selected the best ideas from travel accommodation around the globe and designed these lodges to fit out dreams of a perfect stay.
The plan for the buildings was based on a hotel room, but not any room, a suite, not any suite, a garden suite in the grounds of a hotel. I love staying in hotel rooms they have a great atmosphere (in the right hotel) and they are kind of sexy for that weekend get away break.
Unlike a holiday house they don’t remind you of home so you can shut off much more easily, relax and get into the holiday mood.
Just like a luxury hotel room we fitted them out beautifully with marble bathrooms and high class fittings. A big King Size bed (Super King size in suite 2) to spread out on comfortable new mattresses.
Then there is the downside to a hotel room, the noise, the corridors, the room service interruptions in the morning, the lack of fresh air, the views of the car park, getting up for breakfast, miniature rooms, and no where to make a quick snack, too cold, too hot, grumpy staff lack of parking…..Okay the list goes on and not all hotels have these downsides but we’ve all been there and been disappointed.
So when I designed these room, I made the bedroom so you could get to the bed from both sides, I put two windows in with great views to two sides and a nice high ceiling. Usb ports for the phone and a nice big wardrobe. Then just like a hotel room suite I put in a colourful comfortable sofa for two, looking straight out through floor to ceiling French door over the meadows outside. With a hardwood deck outside you can stroll out without even putting your slippers on. Why bother with slippers, just heat the floor, so we put in underfloor heating throughout and super insulated them so even in inter you will be nice and snug. Walnut floors and kitchen with oak doors and stainless fittings add a quality feel.
Over head we have a yacht sail to shade the deck should the sun get too intense, and by using hardwood and stainless yacht fittings you might get an inkling your on a boat, but without all that wobbling about (unless you’ve been on the booze again)
In the lounge area we fitted a nice little snack and drinks area for no charge, walnut cupboards and marble top with a little hob, toaster, kettle and full size fridge just in case you get hungry. In the corner is a small dining area and 32″ TV. Wi-Fi as well for free.
Well to get rid of the grumpy staff we omitted the reception area, just call in at the Art Studio for the key. And to stop you getting too drunk we removed the bar. To stop you getting to fat we took out the restaurant. Instead of a gym we gave you bit of exersize, a walk about 20 mins into Braunton to a large range of fun cafes, pubs and restaurants. This not only keeps you fit but walks off all that alcohol on the way back home to stop you getting a headache in the morning.
Room service went out the window so you can stay in bed all day without the cleaner joining you(however we do offer an optional bed change during your stay( for a small fee).
Children are banned so you won’t get squawking kids during the school holidays. 7 acres in all, fenced in securely with electric fences to keep the crowds away during the peak periods (its for the horses we have, but it does the trick at keeping the children and crowds out too)
Then I nearly forgot, the whole reason we built the lodges was somewhere to put my art collection in such lovely buildings. Just like a high class 5 start hotel with its little boutique art galleries and art projects, visiting artists etc, we did this backwards and the art gallery built the suites to house some of the best art work from the studio.
So if you have a little too much time on your hands or a bit too much money in your wallet, then you can indulge your self in a visit to the art gallery and see some of Pete Caswell’s beautiful art work from sunsets, yacht races to skiing and snowboarding paintings at all you favourite resorts in the Alps. You don’t even have to visit the gallery as we have thought of that as well. Each lodge has its own little display of Pete’s art to colour and brighten up you day. Pete’s paintings can be seen for sale on www.petecaswell.co.uk
Hotel Suite Number three is the ski lodge with all the latest skiing and snowboarding paintings (Do check first though as being an artist things are liable to change). If you are like me, in the middle of summer all you can think about is the first powder of the season. So here it is a lodge you can feel like you are skiing in all year without all the hard work. http://petecaswell.co.uk/wp2/product-category/ski-snowboard-paintings/
Lodge number two if for the inevitable getting older and less mobile. With a few assistive grab rails in the bathroom and a wheelchair ramp to the entrance and low threshold doors make mobility easier. All the thresholds are level with no nasty bumps or raised thresholds to trip you up. But wait there with a bit of clever design and custom manufacture we managed to discreetly hide all these extra features so you feel normal again with all those unsightly fittings spoiling the beauty of the bathroom. Take a look it looks beautiful.
I do hope you like the hotel garden lodges which I have built for you. Are they a hotel room, a hotel suite, a lodge or a holiday let. I’ll let you decide. In my mind they are a luxury hotel suite carefully placed and thoughtfully created in the middle of a beautiful hay meadow. If I stayed at a hotel again, this is how I would like it. They are chilled out with low fuss and hassle, peaceful and calming. Please help to keep it this way.