We decided we wouldn’t have a family holiday this year, a combination of money, work etc and a family reunion in Norfolk at the end of August meant we were staying put at home.
But then the summer holidays were looming and although we had some plans, there was still the longing to want to get away for a few days but without the hefty price tag that comes with the kids breaking up from school.
My mum had talked a lot about wanting to spend some time with the girls on a beach, or by the seaside and with Jonny working we decided we’d try and book something. Hotels were either fully booked or way too expensive as we’d need two rooms and most holiday rentals wanted a minimum of 7 days….so with the location of Salcombe in mind (straight down the m5) I decided to try Airbnb. I’d heard great things from friends who had used Airbnb before and a home from home sounded good to me especially when this was the first time I was taking the girls away without Jonny. We were lucky to find a small but perfectly put together 2 bedroom flat in Kingsbridge (about 3 miles from Salcombe) set right on the estuary, that came with everything we needed for the four of us.
What I loved most about booking was how flexible it was on how many nights we stayed, even in the first week of the summer holidays there was no minimum stay required. I know some Airbnb rentals do have this but luckily not ours. The owner was contactable for questions before booking, and immediately after I had a direct email and mobile number to contact her on should I have any questions. When we arrived the keys were waiting, the place was spotless and there was a note from the owner telling us to make ourselves at home – they’d even left us a basic shop and anyone who provides me with coffee after a 3 hour journey with a car sick toddler is a friend of mine.
When I mentioned we’d chosen Salcombe to friends, I was flooded with praise of the area and some great suggestions of places to try with the girls. As a massive fan of eating, restaurants are my/our thing and the lovely Cheltenham Maman and another friend recommended The Winking Prawn . This place is definitely up there in my top restaurants to visit with or without the children, but especially with. A treasure chest filled with dress up clothes, sand pit and toys that they can take to and from your table, fab childrens menu and amazing waiting staff who do not bat an eyelid when your child excitedly runs into them whilst they’re carrying a tray of food (sorry about that). You can choose to eat inside and have the a la carte menu or outside (there is a covered area) and go for their BBQ option. We actually ate there on both nights as we were so impressed and tried both options.
Yes that is my child rebelling against traditional dress up in a favour of a Cruella Deville wig!
We visited North Sands beach and Hope Cove, both easily accessible for families with push chairs and the copious amounts of bags, bucket and spades, food supplies etc. Although i’m sure it would become a squeeze at peak times, we even found parking to be fairly easy.
Weather wise we were pretty lucky, but one morning the heavens did open. Luckily whist having a mooch round Kingsbridge the day before we discovered Bumble a cafe/softplay/playarea for parents with little ones. I loved this place, half was a cafe with coffee on tap and the other half separated by a white picket fence was a haven for an over excited toddler and 4 year old. With a combination of soft play, dress up, chalk board walls, ipads and toys galore this was a fantastic rainy day activity . £2.50 per daughter bought 2 hours of kindle reading, coffee drinking fun for me and energy exerting fun for them. They even had a hairdressers station in their (racing car and JCB seats included) for you to book your little one in for a quick trim. I really loved this place (and i’m not one for soft play), just wish they had one in Worcester.
Salcombe really did live up to my expectations, it was wonderful to see the girls so happy exploring and playing and despite the toddler deciding sleep wasn’t on her agenda our first trip away without Jonny was definitely classed as a success. The ease of using Airbnb was fantastic and we’ll definitely be using it again. We’re already planning our next trip back with my brother for his birthday, luckily there is no end of choice for larger properties too!
With only 2 nights and 3 days we didn’t get to do or see everything that had been suggested to us, so here’s a couple more options if you’ve got longer to explore!
- The Crabshell Inn, Kingsbridge – set right on the estuary, this pub has some cracking reviews and seems a firm favourite with locals and tourists combined
- Dartmouth – my mum almost persuaded me to do a boat trip to Dartmouth just as we were about to leave as the sun had come out (and she’d just bought the yellow mac from Joules and wanted to show it off), but I was more concerned with the 1 year old sleeping on the way home. Dartmouth and especially Blackpool Sands was mentioned to me by a number of friends so it will definitely be on our list when we return
- Events – Salcombe and neighbouring areas seem to have an event, food festival, regatta, town fair on most weeks over the summer months. I didn’t look into this before we went and wish I had, as there was so many things on that we could have seen or did see but didn’t know what was going on!
To top off the trip I discovered Salcombe Gin, a new distillery that opened up this year. My bottle went pretty quickly, but luckily some friends have just come back so I made sure I got my order in for another one..bottoms up x
*This is not a sponsored post