Winter Escape – Dorset, Devon & Cornwall

8th February 2020
Cremyll, Cornwall


We went away again for New Year. Escaping the city after Christmas is my favourite way to spend the last days of the year and the first days of the new one.

Last year we went to Bath then Newquay. This year was similar though we based the trip around meeting up with friends and joining them on their break in Seaton, Devon.

We started out in Exeter, heading there on the 29th December. We stayed at the Mercure Southgate which is city centre based but also has parking and a pool (win, win, win!). It was a return trip, we stayed there before a few years back when Seren was a baby. I’ll be very honest, we had a few issues at the hotel this time. These were mainly staff mistakes and I didn’t feel like we had the experience we had paid for. We did get a chunk off the bill at the end though. On the upside, our room was pretty good and the kids adored their time in the pool. We had one full day in Exeter and ended up at the shops. It is a great city for shopping! The girls had Christmas money to spend and it was the first time that shopping with them has been a vaguely enjoyable experience. I’ve given up buying clothes for Seren now unless she is with me, she has such a strong idea of what she will and won’t wear! She had grown out of so many of her clothes so she was able to choose some new items. We had a lovely lunch too whilst they both played at the table with new toys.

Pink house, Lyme Regis Pebble beach, Lyme RegisLyme Regis on New Year's Eve

After two nights in Exeter we headed off to meet our friends in Lyme Regis on New Year’s Eve. I’d never been that far along the Jurassic Coast before! We had a blustery walk along the beach, a quick stop at the amusements and looked at all the fossil related things in the fossil shop. The kids were fascinated with the gems and fossils. They already knew about Mary Anning and Seren has been doing the Stone Age at school this term.

We stayed in the Premier Inn in Seaton for two nights and thankfully had a better experience than at the Mercure. I love a Premier Inn! We went out for dinner on NYE and were tucked up in bed my midnight. Perfect.

Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary

New Year’s Day was our friend Lottie’s 9th birthday, which added an extra shine to an otherwise dull and rainy day. We went to the donkey sanctuary in Sidmouth and the girls did a Christmas trail which was fun. I was impressed at the scale of the sanctuary, it’s a huge operation! Afterwards we took the tram from Seaton to Colton and back (and had a festive glass of Bucks Fizz!).  That evening we went for a Chinese (my unadventurous eaters stuck to rice and noodles) then played board games before bed.


We finished our time in Devon with a blustery walk along the front at Seaton then a walk around Axminster. We said goodbye to our friends and drove over to Newquay for the last leg of the trip.

We returned to the fabulous Watergate Bay hotel where we went last year. It’s a very comfortable, friendly and stylish place. The varied food options are great too though my girls especially love room service here. We went for walks on the beach and spent a fair amount of time in our lovely room. I started on my 2020 bullet journal and wrote out my goals.

Watergate Bay, Newquay Watergate Bay, Newquay Watergate Bay, Newquay

The star of the place is clearly the pool, the girls would happily spend all their time there. The view is amazing, I watched the sun set over the bay from the pool on the 3rd of January and felt so calm and lifted.

Watergate Bay, Newquay Watergate Bay, Newquay Watergate Bay, Newquay

On our way home, we spent the afternoon with friends in Cremyll, just over the water from Plymouth.

Cremyll, Cornwall

The girls ran around a lot with their dog, wearing them out for the longggggg drive home and we got to see one more lovely Cornish sunset :-). The Christmas school holiday starts earlier next year and they are back at school by the 4th January 2021. I’m not sure we will fit in the same sort of break unless we go away straight after Christmas. I don’t feel I can face Christmas without escaping afterwards though so I’m already looking at options!

Links to places I’ve mentioned: 

The Mercure Southgate in Exeter 

Premier Inn, Seaton

Watergate Bay, Hotel

The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth

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1 Comment

  • Reply Caroline O’Donoghue 9th February 2020 at 10:18 am

    We had such a lovely break together. Rock on the premier inn although I would swap it for watergate bay any day. One day, one day. Much love for you guys and your journey. You write beautifully, don’t stop! Xxx

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