Saturday, 15 September 2007
I'm back from my week's holiday in North Devon refreshed and invigorated if a little tired from Mini waking me up at 5.30am with sore teeth. Even this however, cannot get me down. We had a real cracker of a holiday.. and I discovered Rattler's cider..
If you have small children, don't want to drive far, don't want to spend a fortune, want a bit of a break from your kids each day, love the beach and surfing, love great food... then read on. We have just spent a week at the Woolacombe Bay Hotel in North Devon, approx 3 hours drive from London. We went last year and loved it so much we booked again for this year. We went this year and loved it so much we have booked again for next.. not many places you can say that about.
Why did we love it? Well all of the reasons listed above really. The WBH is that rare combination of an all singing all dancing family hotel by the sea but with self catering accomodation. We therefore go S/C so that we don't have to eat in the restaurant every morning, noon and night at vast expense. But the best bit is that you can self cater and use all the hotel's facilities - for FREE. These include:
Creche - Senior in there every morning for 2 hours - LOVED IT.
Tennis - free courts, racquet and ball hire.
Pitch and putt - yup we did that too.
Indoor and outdoor heated pools - in them all day every day..
Spa - I had excellent Elemis pedicure. Bush Daddy had full Elemis aromatherapy massage (you do pay for this but it is within hotel, very good and very reasonable)
and so it goes on..
They also offer kids tea which as most mums of young kids will know is a god send. No cooking bloody fishfingers and sausages on your holiday.. delicious food for the nippers every day at 5.30pm in the restaurant. Also baby listening so you can be anywhere in the hotel and listen in to your apartment/room for your kids and reception will do the same every 15 minutes - although I did not take this offer up this year for obvious reasons (read last post).
It's not luxury - very basic accomodation - but with everything you need.. it's three minutes walk from the one of most beautiful beaches in the UK, the nearest bar, ice cream shop, cafe.. We got in our car once all week when it rained on Thursday..
and that's it. I know this sounds like an ad but seriously it was so good that I cannot rave about it enough..
Finally on an historical note, the hotel was requisitioned before the Second World War by the US Army as a training centre for US, Canadian and British troops. It was on the beaches of Woolacombe and nearby Saunton that the Allied troops trained for the Normandy landings of June 1944. I never knew this and felt awestruck at how instrumental this beautiful stretch of beach was in the history of our country.