I have been suggesting for a long time that our school bolts its teacher training days around a half term holiday so we can enjoy an extended break and over May half-term I got my wish.
By the time the kids go back to school on Thursday they would have had two weeks off and we have been busy with lots of days out, including a short break to Andrewshayes Holiday Park in Devon.
The family run park is situated just off the A35 in Axminster and is close to the popular seaside resorts of Lyme Regis, Charmouth and Seaton, making it the perfect base to explore both Dorset and East Devon.
We stayed in a 3 bedroom static caravan, although they also offer pitches, an area for motorhomes and camping pods. The caravan, which sleeps 6, is the nicest we have ever stayed in. It had a well equipped kitchen, a comfortable lounge and dining area, bathroom, 2 bedrooms with 2 single beds in each, a master bedroom with a double bed and en suite toilet and a decking area outside with a patio set.
It was the onsite facilities that really sold it to us. They have a large shaded play area, a large heated swimming pool, small toddler soft play room, games room, a field for ball games, nature trail, a shop and the Ploughman’s Bar and take-away.
The kids would have stayed in the pool all day given half the chance, but the caravan also came with a comprehensive list of days out to suit all ages and I also had a place on my list that I really wanted to visit – Pecorama.
You can read my full review of Pecorama here, but it is a great place to visit with or without kids and we spent the whole day there. It sits above the village of Beer and offers stunning views over Lyme Bay below. It is the perfect day out for railway enthusiasts, garden lovers and families and features manicured lawns and stunning flower beds, model railways, 4 play parks, crazy golf, indoor soft play and the Beer Heights Light Railway.
The following day we visited Wildwood Escot which is based in Ottery St Mary and is home to a wonderful collection of native and formerly native wildlife, a fascinating Saxon village, a rather tricky beech hedge maze and lots of woodland paths to explore.
Because it wasn’t the weekend or school holidays we didn’t get to see the Bird of Prey display, but we did get to see the red squirrel talk which was fascinating and one of the squirrels, Bramble, came over to collect some nuts and say hello.
The kids were fascinated by the Saxon village and seeing how people once lived and of course we got lost in the maze. There is also a pirate ship play park for them to let of steam and a rather scary death slide that they were not quite brave enough to try!!
Our final port of call for our break was recommended by my Dad who lives locally, the Axe Valley Wildlife Park. It is a small and friendly zoo recommended for under 12’s which offers wildlife encounters, animal feeds and keeper talks to its visitors.
My Dad and his wife had been there before and raved about the animal encounters, but sadly with it not being half term the lady that did them was on holiday. We did get to see the Lemurs being fed and enjoyed wandering around the park, playing on the equipment and spotting the animals.
We had a lovely time exploring some of what East Devon has to offer visitors and visiting my Dad and hope to be back very soon.