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Spring is in the air?  February 2011
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The days are growing longer and brighter as half-term and Easter hover on the horizon. Early spring flowers have defied the now retreating cold weather and continue to spread their bright, cheering colours across our coastal and moorland landscapes.

It’s a great time to escape to the West Country for an early spring break and treat yourself to a delicious lunch or supper at one of the region’s great pubs or restaurants, famous for fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
Some mouth-watering offers…


Have you a spring in your step as spring approaches? Then put your best foot forward and scoop up one of these great offers at our thoroughly recommended and inspected holiday homes.

In Teignmouth, Westhaven (B23) is a handsome, detached 1930s art deco-style house with panoramic views over the estuary towards Shaldon. It sleeps ten and costs less than £40 per person the week commencing 12th February - and short breaks are on offer too! Steep yourselves in the ancient surroundings of Hole Farm (A24) near Chagford, where you can save 20% right up until early April.

In the South Hams, 3 Gabberwell Cottages (L211) in Kingston sleeps seven and is available for £37 per person the remaining weeks in February. There’s a fabulous swimming pool and great children’s play area at Halwell – save 20% on full week bookings when staying at any of the four cottages (L2/L3/L266/L267) during February. Grab the chance to save 25% on a party of 12 staying at one of Salcombe’s luxurious houses, The Wood (L125), which sits above South Sands, sleeps 17 and can be booked with this saving until the end of April. Throughout February and March you save 20% at two very special places to stay in Aveton Gifford: the ever so romantic Music Room (L249), which sleeps two, and its neighbour, The Barn (L248), exceptionally well converted and sleeping four.

In north Devon, Buttery Barn (K20) in Clovelly sleeps six and is available for just £44 per person weeks commencing 4th and 25th February, while in north Cornwall, at Uphill Cottage (P346) in Penrose, you save 20% for all February weeks, including half-term. For a dip in a warm pool in winter, head for Park Farmhouse (H626) in Chideock, where for parties of up to 12 there’s a massive 50% saving the weeks commencing 4th and 11th February.


Devon’s most scrumptious!
Dartmoor Farmers Association is a recent Gold and Silver Winner at the prestigious Taste of the West Awards.
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Dartmoor delights...

The Association’s 50 individual hill farms produce high quality beef and lamb, available at local butchers and in many of the pubs, hotels and restaurants throughout the area. Dartmoor Farmers ‘Real Beef and Lamb’ can also be delivered straight to your front door throughout the UK by a courier meat box scheme.

And there’s more delicious Dartmoor food at the Moreton Food Festival on 5th March. Highlights include support from celebrity chefs Michael Caines (from the two Michelin star Gidleigh Park) and Jane Baxter from Riverford (author of many books and regular columnist in national newspapers). There’s also a 'Ready Steady Cook' event involving chefs from local restaurants and cooking demonstrations, including a children’s event in the 'Riverford Kitchen'.

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Tuck in at A103
The Old School House
Lustleigh, Dartmoor
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New places for happy holidays…
Our first 2011 colour supplement of new properties will be winging its way to you shortly with lots of wonderful new places to stay.

Treworgie (T8) is part of a handsome farmhouse in beautiful Mannacan, where there’s a great pub and restaurant and walks to the Helford River. On the edge of Feock, close to a creek-side hamlet, is Trolver Barn (S48), an ancient stone-built barn conversion. In north Cornwall is 3 Trevanger Cottages (P39), one of a row of whitewashed cottages in St Minver; while down in south Cornwall, Mote Cottage (R75) is just yards from the ancient stone bridge at Lerryn. Not far from there in Lanreath is Tresawson Farm (R74), an 18th century cottage with a lovely conservatory. Heading up the Tamar to Calstock is Turners Retreat (R76), a little place for two with views across the river.

In Devon, in the South Hams overlooking Dittisham, is Bows (L128), an-end-but-one terraced cottage on three floors with a patio garden and shared two acres of lawn and fruit trees. In Washbourne you’ll find Bridge Cottage (L130), a pretty stone cottage sleeping eight; and a mile from Avonwick, deep in rolling countryside, is Stable Cottage (L131), a smart contemporary cottage sleeping five. On the south-west of Dartmoor is The Old Byre (A164), a contemporary detached cottage sleeping two situated on a working farm near Dousland. In Hawkchurch, east Devon, Upper and Lower Wyld Court Mill (G45/G46), have been converted from the former mill at ancient Wyld Court, the same location as G35 and G36. Also in east Devon, look at Marlborough Cottage (G39), a sweet thatched cottage in the tiny village of Combpyne between Lyme Regis and Seaton. The Duke of Monmouth is reputed to have stayed at Coombe House (G38), a big, semi-detached, Grade II listed house in the heart of Axminster.

We are really pleased to welcome back a number of holiday homes and perhaps you’ll find an old favourite here! In north Cornwall, Kelly Park Cottage (P36) is a detached stone/cob cottage in St Mabyn. In Michaelstow, you’ll find Apple Tree Cottage (P360), an upside-down stone cottage just three miles from Camelford; and in St Breock, only a mile from Wadebridge, is Lansant-an-Vre (P368), another traditional Cornish stone cottage. Inland, a few miles from Minehead, is Elmfield (D3), a lovely, welcoming country house in Sampford Brett.

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T8, Treworgie
Mannacan, The Lizard
S48, Trolver Barn
Feock, Cornwall's Med 
P39, 3 Trevanger Cottages 
St Minver,  North Cornwall

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R75, Mote Cottage
Lerryn, South Cornwall
R74, Tresawson Farm
Lanreath, South Cornwall
R76, Turners Retreat
Calstock, South Cornwall 

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L128, Bows
Dittisham, South Hams
L130, Bridge Cottage
Washbourne, South Hams
L131, Stable Cottage
Avonwick, South Hams

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A164, The Old Byre
Dousland, Dartmoor
G45, Upper Wyld Court Mill
Hawkchurch, East Devon
G46, Lower Wyld Court Mill
Hawkchurch, East Devon 

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G39, Marlborough Cottage
Combpyne, East Devon
G38, Coombe House
Axminster, East Devon
P36, Kelly Park Cottage
St Mabyn, North Cornwall

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P360, Apple Tree Cottage  Michaelstow, North Cornwall P368, Lansant-an-Vre
St Breock, North Cornwall
D3, Elmfield
Sampford Brett, Somerset

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There’s nothing quite like a beach holiday…
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Spectacular West Country coastline...

Our spectacular West Country coastline is cherished by holidaymakers and locals alike, so for 2011 our chosen charity is, once again, the Marine Conservation Society. Its annual Good Beach Guide will help you find a safe, clean beach - with 126 recommendations in the West Country alone, you’re spoilt for choice. We’ve put our favourites in a photo gallery on Facebook – let us know if you agree with our top ten! You can also read an interview with our friends at MCS on our blog.
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You can almost dip your toes in the water from R73
Cliff End
Whitsand Bay, South Cornwall
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St Ives Feast Day, 7th February 
Hurrah! It’s time for some Cornish hurling again! Kick-off is at 10.30am after the mayoral parade to St Ia Well. The Western Hunt leaves the square at 11am and, after various scrummages and rough and tumbles, the silver ball is returned to the Mayor at the Guildhall, where pennies are tossed to the children from the balcony.
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Calm down at Z29
Dolphins
St Ives, End of England
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Walking in the sand, walking hand in hand…

The Venus Beach Café at Blackpool Sands in the South Hams will be serving a scrumptious Valentine’s Day Supper on 12th February. Enjoy a moonlit stroll on the beach and then settle down by a roasting log fire for the best of romantic meals!
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Snuggle down together at L107
Linney Cottage
Dittisham, South Hams
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Work off those calories…
… after all that delicious grub! For something a bit wild, try the Adrenalin Quarry near Liskeard. Test out the exciting zip run over the quarry lake, open from 29th January, or take the family on the freshwater coasteering route.
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Zip the wire to R38
Wyvell Cottage
St Veep, South Cornwall
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Not quite so hair-raising…
For something a little less frenetic, try a morning stroll from Bovey Tracey on Dartmoor along old railway lines and rivers and back through the town to drop into a pub or café.
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Back for coffee at A94
Ingle Tor
North Bovey, Dartmoor
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Spuds for all…

Don’t forget, now’s the time to start planning your potato harvest and there’s lots of help available. At Pyle Village Hall, near Shepton Mallet, they’re holding their 6th Annual Somerset Potato Day on 13th February, and at Holford, near Bridgwater, there’s a Potato Day on 5th March.
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Dig them teddies (West Country dialect for spuds) at D5
Quern Barn
Combwich, Somerset
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When will we see you again? 
Well, here’s your chance if you’re down west Cornwall way or in north Devon to see The Three Degrees, the glamorous singing group. Catch this classic act on 15th February in Barnstaple and on 16th February in Truro.
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Take good care of yourself at S243
Cuttle Cottage
Feock, Cornwall's Med
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Begone, cruel frosts! 
The Lost Gardens of Heligan has reported sightings of its first spring blooms. Camellias, Rhododendrons and alluring Hellebores are creeping into life in time for the upcoming Hellebore week, 12th to 20th February. The first daffodils and snowdrops were spotted back in mid-January!
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You can stroll back to S8
Penpol
Mevagissey, Cornwall's Med
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Hosts of golden daffodils… 
There will be lots of daffodils at the St Mawgan-in-Meneage Daffodil Festival on 19th and 20th February. The parish church is the venue to celebrate the flower and the industry, with over 7,000 blooms, information and displays. Light refreshments and music throughout the weekend.
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S18 is brilliantly placed for many fine gardens
Tresooth Cottage
Mawnan Smith, Cornwall's Med
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Crocus at Forde Abbey... 
There’s a Plant and Gardening Fair at this famous abbey near Chard in Somerset on 6th March and during that week there will be a purple haze of carpets of crocus across 10 acres of garden.
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Enjoy the gardens at E15
Puthill Cottage
Cricket St Thomas, Somerset
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Holiday on Ice, Exeter - Energia! 18th to 27th February

More extravagant and spectacular than ever before! Energia's evolutionary three-dimensional set whisks you into the great universe, where planets spin around you in glorious colours. The skating elite perform breathtaking feats that will have you on the edge of your seat! You’ll marvel at the scintillating choreography, magnificent costumes and world class skating.
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Get your skates on to G78
Swallows Cottage
Honiton, East Devon
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Have a go yourself…

Once you’ve seen how the professionals do it, pop down to Cornwall for some ice skating at the Eden Project, open till the end of February. Decorated with a Cornish Alps theme to celebrate the industrial heritage of the area, the rink is yours. Just hire some skates and away you go!
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Spin your way back to R62
Christmas Cottage
Pensilva, South Cornwall
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It just wouldn’t be February without Pennywell! 
The new season springs into life on 19th February, when you can race the ferrets, milk the goats, hand-feed the deer and help collect newly laid eggs or cuddle up to one of the world famous miniature piglets. And spring means lots of baby lambs just waiting for you to give them their bottle of milk!
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Feed your own ‘little beasts’ back at C4
Lower Tor Cot
Marldon, Torbay and the Red Cliffs
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A must for all model enthusiasts…

The Model Show on 19th February at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton is the biggest event of its kind in the South West. Flying displays and plenty for the plastic model as well as radio controlled aircraft, tank and boat enthusiasts. And there’s an Airfix ‘Make and Paint’ workshop and competitions.
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Fly back to E66
Gingerbread House
Ilminster, Somerset
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Swanage Blues Festival, 4th to 6th March

This free festival features over 40 gigs with acclaimed national and international blues musicians playing at a variety of venues around the picturesque seaside town of Swanage. Soak yourselves in acoustic, electric, rural and urban blues and catch 25 acts in 15 venues!
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Swing along to H73
Poppy Cottage
Charlton Marshall, Dorset
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Perrantide, The Feast of St Piran, 5th March 
Join the thousands dressed in black, white and gold as they celebrate the feast day of the patron saint of Cornwall and also of tin-miners. Follow his flag and watch the play about the saint’s life at Perranporth and take some golden daffodils to place on St Pirans’s Cross.
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Fly the flag at Q25
Elm 
Goonhavern, Newquay Coast
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The secluded coves, long sandy beaches, open moorland and rolling hills of the West Country look like being very popular again this year. As we’ve said, half-term and Easter will soon be here, but there’s still time to book a holiday or short break in the delightful South West. Our telephone team, all experienced property visitors, know all the properties and they’re always pleased to answer any special questions you might have. Just call us on 01647 433593 – we’re open 9am till 9pm Monday to Thursday, 9am to 7.30pm Fridays and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.
Best wishes

Moray Bowater
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