Explore Brixham…

Home to Galmpton Touring Park, and located in the heart of Devon, Brixham is a stunning little seaside resort that offers something for everyone, all year round.

Located right on the coast of Devon, Brixham is a charming fishing town packed full of things to do, see and explore – from adventures with the kids to relaxing amongst stunning scenery.

brixham-marinaThe focal point of Brixham is the harbour, which perfectly captures the essence of the English Riviera, and is a combination of both pleasure and work with its yachts and heritage trawlers nestled together in their moorings.

Brixham is laced with history and culture, with the most popular attraction being the Golden Hind – Sir Francis Drake’s Tudor galleon and the first ship to sail around the world. There are Pirate Days, special events and celebrations happening all year round on what is lovingly known as ‘Brixham’s treasure’ to celebrate its history with tales of pirates and smugglers from it’s past.

Bustling with things to do no matter the season, Brixham is full of attractions, scenic views and nature – not to mention a plethora of great places to eat amongst fascinating boutique stores.

berry-headgolden-hindIn the spring and summer, there are countless boat trips that allow you to experience the true beauty of the area from the water, and what boat trip would be complete without a tale (tall or not) about some of the famous historical nautical adventures from the area? Both interesting and entertaining, it’s a definite must for a summer family visit.

The UNESCO Global Geopark is open year round, and you can reach it via Berry Head – a gorgeous half an hour walk from the harbour. If you’re a birdwatcher, the walk from Berry Head to Sharkham Point is a haven for several nationally rare and threatened species. These birds rely on thin limestone soils, a mild climate, and exposed headlands to thrive and this area provides this atmosphere in abundance.

The Geopark, designated in 2007, offers kayaking, diving, coasteering, and sea-fishing – to name a few, and is home to 3 visitor centres: Kents Cavern, Berry Head National Nature Reserve and The Seashore Centre, which all give a glimpse into the history and geography of the region. Kents Cavern in particular, is Britain’s oldest cave site and was around during the Stone Age. This spectacular archaeological site has produced the bones of sabre-toothed tiger and a mammoth, and was the Ice Age home to Britain’s earliest living humans.

Alongside the Marina and nearby attractions, Brixham’s natural beauty is reason enough to pay a visit. Whether you explore it during the winter months, or book your summer holiday early there is plenty to experience no matter what the weather.

Form Furry Friendships at Living Coasts

Living Coasts is a year round, all weather zoo and aquarium located on the Torquay seafront in South Devon, and it is a hugely popular attraction for all ages.

Located just 15 minutes away from Galmpton Touring Park, this family favourite offers a huge array of activities and experiences to make it a truly wonderful day out. The marine animal experiences let you get up close and personal with some of the most popular animals, specifically penguins, seals, otters, and rays.

There is more than enough to keep you entertained throughout your visit to Living Coasts, with feeding times and talks for different animals happening daily and lots of things to see and do. There are many special areas within the grounds, such as the Puppet Show at Auks Under Water, which is one of the first things you encounter as you enter the site, and Water Play at the Jetty where toddlers can splash about and have some fun in the water. The Crawl Tank is a firm favourite as it lets children get a glimpse of how the sea life lives from underneath the tank and is described as like being ‘under a huge transparent rockpool!’ The Climbing Wall lets you experience the difficulty in holding on to rocks – and really makes you wonder how limpets do it. The Children’s Area is a great place for young children to play and is the perfect opportunity to watch the penguins under water, while The Interactive Area is a spot where children can jump around and clear the seaweed and litter before the tide comes in.

Alongside the daily activities, there are also various exhibitions and events going on throughout the year. The Forgotten Wrecks exhibition is on until the 16th November and features First World War wrecks of all shapes and sizes that were discovered off the Devon Coast. With more than 700 wrecks currently off the south coast, this gives a great insight into what lies below the waves in and around Devon. Then there is the Super Villains Week (perfect for celebrating Halloween), which is taking place between the 24th and 30th October. Super Villains make an appearance to interact and get up to no good as only villains can do! Plus during half term there are fancy dress competitions, spooky puppet shows, and a Creepy Coffin trail (for which there is a £1 charge).

You can also meet and chat with the animals’ keepers who will tell you everything you need to know about the animals and their natural habitat, and there are plenty of experiences to be had – including a diving experience where you can go below deck to see sea creatures in their natural habitats. (If you want to have either of these experiences on a specific date, call or email Living Coasts to check availability before booking.)

Are you a real animal lover who would love to make a difference? Living Coasts’ ‘Adopt an Animal’ scheme is an excellent program that allows you to make a real contribution to the vital conservation work that the group does onsite and around the world. At the moment, there is a real threat that more than 10,000 species could disappear by the year 2050, and you can help to change that. Choose from African penguins, macaroni penguins, otters, seals, blue-spotted ribbon tail rays, octopuses and tufted puffins. This is a chance to adopt a species rather than a specific animal, and it is designed this way because some animals may move from Living Coasts to other zoos as part of breeding programmes. For more information, please visit the adoption section of their website.

If you’re feeling ‘peckish’ during your visit, the Living Coasts Café is open to all with free entry to non-visitors. You can drop in any time for family friendly, local food and drink with spectacular sea views to enjoy while you eat. Tradewinds Gift Shop is also free to visit, and carries everything from plush toys and games to books, clothing and confectionery as well as a huge range of Fair Trade jewellery and local art, with all profits going towards the conservation work the group are so proud of.

Living Coasts is open daily (except Christmas Day) from 10.00am. Adult entry is £11.05, with Children (3-15 Years) costing £8.30. Senior Citizens are £9.40 and Family Passes (2 Adults and 2 Children 3-15 years) are £34.85.

The Old Market House Restaurant

The Old Market House Restaurant

18496-brixham-harbourLocated a mere 10 mins from Galmpton Touring Park, on the beautiful Brixham harbour, The Old Market House Restaurant provides a fantastic dining experience with stunning views overlooking the marina.

Covering two floors, the restaurant offers a bar menu with counter service on the ground floor, while upstairs there is a friendly table service to create a true dining experience. If that is not enough, The Old Market House also has an extensive outdoor seating area overlooking breath-taking Brixham harbour, including the replica of The Golden Hind – a popular feature of the area.

The food is spectacular, and the menu consists of fresh, locally sourced food from the South West. They offer a range of drinks, including their own award-winning beer as well as a great selection of fine wines. The food is all freshly prepared and cooked on the premises, and there is a local produce map that shows who the key local providers are for the items on the menu.

Whether you want to explore and discover a bit of history in the hillside harbour town and the surrounding countryside of Brixham, or just want a good meal – The Old Market House is a great place to start or end a tour of the area. Not only is the food fresh and locally sourced, the restaurant also has a daily specials board announcing what seasonal produce is available that day.

Reviews are excellent, with a typical comment going something like this: “…it was the best place by far. Excellent range of beers and cider (St Austell ales and lager, Rattler cider amongst others).”

The nearest parking is available at Brixham Central where you can park for up to 3 hours, but there are car parks for longer stays on the edges of the harbour and beyond.

Breakfast is served from 9am – 11am. Other meals are served daily from 12 noon.

Explore English Heritage at its Finest at Totnes Castle

Explore English Heritage at its Finest at Totnes Castle

18403-Totnes-CastleJust a 25 minute drive away from Galmpton Touring Park, nestled on the hill overlooking the Saxon town of Totnes is the stunning 11th Century built Totnes Castle – originally owned by a commander in William The Conqueror’s army.

Today, the castle has been transformed into a beautiful reminder of the lengthy and colourful history of England and is truly a spectacle to behold amongst the glorious Devon countryside.

Climb the steps up to the castle and overlook the thriving town of Totnes – a centre of commerce that boast a strong artistic community – and take in spectacular views of the River Dart. Visit the Castle Keep, built in the 13th Century and the best preserved of all of the three keeps in Devon, you can even still see the defensive arrow slits and battlements left behind.

The courtyard (also referred to as the bailey) is a grassy area perfect for picnics! Sheltered by trees including the Holm Oak, which is believed to be more than 150 years old, it is a truly tranquil place to sit and take in your surroundings. Weather permitting, there are archery targets set up in the bailey where you can try out the ancient skills with a bow and arrow for yourself.

There is a Moat Walk, which surrounds the outside walls of the castle, which would have been part of the original defence system for the entrance. Today it is filled with wild flowers and plants and makes a beautiful scenic walk perfect for nature lovers.

The Castle Shop offers souvenirs and distinctive gifts including chutneys, jams, books and jewellery for a wonderful reminder of your day. There are children’s toys and games that are wonderful replicas of the past, with wooden bows and arrows and dressing up outfits for budding knights and princesses. You can also purchase drinks, snacks, local wine, beer, and cider.

There is limited pay and display parking 64 metres away from the castle, which is suitable for cars only. Admission is £4 for adults, £2.40 per child (aged 5-15), and family admission for 2 adults and up to 3 children is £10.40. Gift Aid admission price is a little higher and includes a voluntary donation of 10%.

Totnes Castle is open daily from 10am to 6pm with the last admission an hour before closing.

An adorable day out for animal lovers!

An adorable day out for animal lovers!

miniature-pony-centreThe Miniature Pony Centre at Wormhill Farm, Newton Abott does exactly what is says on the tin, with a large family of ponies of different colours, sizes and cheeky characters!

 

The Farm is around an hour’s drive away from Galmpton Touring Park, and is a guaranteed great day out! All of the ponies, aside from being utterly adorable, are tame and love to be stroked and played with – so the kids (and their parents) can get up close and personal and spend some real quality time with these delightful creatures. Now is a great time to visit too – as the mature ponies have had a busy few months and there are 3 brand new foals at the farm! However, there are more than tiny ponies and horses on offer for visitors.

There are peacocks and hens with tiny newborns arriving all the time during the Spring months. In the aviaries, there are cockatiels and several different varieties of poultry including incredibly noisy guinea fowl – whom now have their own living area in Pets Paddock. There are also rabbits, guinea pigs, lambs, and pigmy goats as well.

As well as the animals and birds, there are some high-energy attractions for children including Fort Bovey, and indoor activity area featuring a climbing wall, slide and tunnels which is ideal for children aged six and over. There are also soft play areas inside where younger children can crawl through holes, leap into ball pools, and play on a curly slide. At the top of the Centre there is a trampoline area, with 3 huge trampolines for the big kids, and a special one for those under 5, and for the really adventurous amongst you, try the zip-wire and get a birds-eye view of the whole park!

Children aged 3 to 10 years old can have pony rides touring a complete circuit of the riding area. Don’t worry, each ride (and child) is supervised by staff who are experts with the ponies, and will also make sure you have all the right kit – including a safety helmet! Each ride costs £2.

If you fancy something a little more peaceful during your visit, there is a fantastic walkway through the hedges, wetlands, and ponds, surrounded by trees and brimming with wildlife. In the Willow Garden you can walk amongst the butterflies and discover all kinds of insects and amongst the flowers and plants, and a trip to the top of the Stallion Paddock Walk rewards you with a magnificent view.

If you are planning to make a special trip, why not check out the hugely popular Pony Care Days? At £50 for a full day, or £30 for half a day the kids are taught the basic of how to properly care for the ponies – including feeding, grooming and mucking out! If the weather is nice they can also get involved in bathing the ponies – which, whilst a wonderful experience, can also prove rather wet so bring a change of clothes just in case! Pony Days must be booked at least a week in advance to avoid missing out!

The Centre is open daily from 10.30 am until 4.30 pm, although during August it stays open until 5.00pm. Admission for adults is £8.50, children 3 to 16 are £7.50 and Seniors and concessions are £7.00. Children under 3 are free. You can also get a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) for £30 with additional children costing £6.00 each.