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FAMILY FAVOURITES


By Hettie Eggleton Ideas to keep the children occupied T


wo of my family’s favourite walks in good weather are at Sugary Cove and Berry Head. Sugary Cove is a spectacular place to go and needs a little bit of effort with small children, but it is well worth it. If you drive or take the Castle Ferry to Dartmouth Castle and then head up the steps from the Castle (past Castle Cove) you can follow the path off to the left through Sugary Green. Sugary Green is an easy and beautiful place to take small children to play in the sunshine as there are plenty of picnic tables and benches and a big flat area to play games. There are fabulous views of the mouth of the River Dart. Beyond Sugary Green, take the windy, steep path down to Sugary Cove and sit on the rocks with your picnic at high tide or play on the beach and paddle at low tide. It is not “pushchairable”, so carry your littlest ones, or get them to walk if they can. Plenty of people swim here (the water quality is good) but please be careful of the tide. The best time of day to go for the sunshine is the morning or early afternoon, as later in the afternoon half of Sugary Cove goes into the shade, so take your sunnies and sit and enjoy the views and watch the kids play. The nearest toilets/cafe facilities are at the castle, which is a good ten minute walk away up a steep path, so go prepared. This beach is dog friendly all year round.


We have also Berry Head © Miss Steel


thoroughly enjoyed summer walks at Berry Head, which is a great place to go with scooters/ bikes/buggies/dogs, and has easy parking (pay and display) and a great cafe. You can make this into a


ten minute walk to the cafe and back, but you can also spend a good half a day exploring up at Berry Head, looking at the stunning views, playing on the grassy areas, visiting the bird hide (opposite the cafe, really informative, kids loved it) and the museum (inside the café, with crayons etc. available to keep children busy). The café at Berry Head is one of the most family friendly places I have ever been in. The staff were so helpful, the toys were beautifully laid out and looked after and the best thing for my little people were the chalks and


Sugary cove


chalk board and a bucket of “Mr Potato Heads” that kept them entertained for ages. There are lovely bits and bobs for sale in this cafe too and interesting things on the walls to look at. If you walk all the way along the path to the end of Berry Head, be warned it is a sheer drop off the end and you need to watch the kids carefully but it is a fantastic place to go and explore. Definitely worth a visit. Last summer at Slapton Sands Memorial car park the Field Studies Council from Slapton set up a mobile classroom with free activities aimed at children of all ages. We spent a lot of time using this free resource. There were information boards all about the local area, telling you all about geology and flora and fauna of Slapton. There were also displays of things to handle, skulls, rocks, shells, seaweed – kids of any age seemed to love this. The


trailer is staffed at all times by people from the Field Studies Centre – ask them anything you like and they seemed to have the answers. There was a daily programme of activities running, all for free! This year’s activities are on the FSC website and include Mysterious Mini Beasts, Pond Dipping, Meet the Ranger and many more. I googled “Slapton Ley Free Events 2013” to find the programme. Make the most of it. We spent ages last


Slapton Ley Beach trailer


year at the trailer looking at the pictures people had drawn on a roll of wall paper, about what they had seen/done on the beach and we added many little pictures of our own. There is an ice cream van right next to the FSC van and toilets at one end of the carpark and Slapton Sands is dog friendly all year round. If your kids are older then go for a good long walk to the end of the beach (Torcross) and sit in a pub/café and then walk back or head off round Slapton Ley and walk on the Boardwalks (we love this and we highly recommend walking round the Ley), but if you don’t want to go too far then FSC trailer can be a lovely focal point of your trip. For a guaranteed morning of fun for children aged 0-7


you can head to the recently opened Play Station in Totnes. Right opposite the railway station in Totnes, it is


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