If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, let me point you to Part 1 of this mini-series: Toddlers and Teens in Devon: Part 1.
On day two we knew that it was going to be one of our warmiest sunniest days (based on the BBC weather forecast) so we decided to make this our ‘beach day’. We had it on good authority that one of the nicest beaches most suitable for the little people in that area was to be found at Teignmouth – about a 20 minute drive away from where we were staying just outside Torquay.
After packing up the million and one things you need to take to a beach with kids (not including food) we set off in convoy and took a scenic drive up the Riviera coastline arriving in Teignmouth at about 10.30am. I found an ideal parking spot right on the roadside but the others had to go a bit further up to the car park. My dad decided to go and track them down and duly disappeared whilst the rest of us found each other outside the Beachcomber Cafe (which was always going to be a safe bet 😉 ) and then we all wondered where Grandad had gone with all our bags!
In the meantime my brother in law had ordered pancakes with bacon and maple syrup for the girls and lattes for the adults. The restaurant was busy but very convenient and we ended up ordering the kids a little packed lunch lunchbag from there later on albeit during a massive embarassing, screamy meltdown from EJ! Here is a view out from the restaurant:
It was another one of those partly stony, partly sandy beaches and it wasn’t the most massive stretch so it did get very busy up near all the facilities. My brother in law bought a little dinghy which kept JJ and the girls entertained and then they settled down to build a sand fort.
Just across the road was a lovely water play park which EJ absolutely loved although by that point JJ had gotten a little bit wet and cold and he was happy to go off and explore the other play equipment while his little brother got squirted and ambushed by the intermittent jets of water shooting up in every direction!
EJ scaled great heights all by himself as he is wont to do and JJ loved the fact there was play equipment in the shape of a pirate ship!
It really was a lovely place to take little children and I’d definitely recommend it.
On day 3 we decided to do something completely different and headed inland to the lovely town of Totnes. We’d visited here before as a family, two years ago when EJ was just 5 weeks old and pretty much re-visited the same places and did the same things again. On the itinerary was a scrummy breakfast at the unique Barrel House cafe where I had the most magnificent Eggs Benedict and my sister had the Eggs Florentine which looked equally delicious! The children were kept quiet with luxury hot chocolates and eggs on toast.
With full tummies we left to explore and do a little bit of window shopping. Totnes is one of those towns full of interesting one-off boutiques although we spent rather a long time hanging around Mountain Warehouse which EJ decided was the best and nicest shop ever and we ended up playing the ‘yes of course I’ll buy you this camping chair/set of skittles/wind-up torch” before skipping round the back of the display stand to put it all straight back!
We eventually extracted the monkey and headed down to the South Devon Steam Railway. My mum and I took the toddlers and teens on a round trip to Buckfastleigh via the Hogwarts Express (as far as my nieces were concerned!) whilst the other adults hung out at the cafe of the Rare Breeds Farm which is just the other side of the tracks. After our train journey my sister and brother in law took the boys into the farm whilst the rest of us chilled out at the cafe.
My dad at the Rare Breeds cafe looking out across the railway and rolling hills:
Some train portraits (not sure what happened to JJ – he must have been off wandering the corridors!):
And later, some more ‘arty’ black and white shots:
(Steam trains are noisy!)
Last time we came to this place it was absolutely bucketing with rain so we really had the luck this time round and a lovely day out for all the family.
Look out for the third and final installment of Toddlers and Teens in Devon to discover:
– Blue tongues and chocolate body painting*
– How to entertain two preschoolers with nothing but a small hotel room and a fully inflated dinghy
– When plastic curtains are more interesting than skittering otters (*sigh*)
– And how to (almost) swim with the seals.
*Not as exciting as it sounds…