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Visit a vineyard in the Teign Valley


Huxbear is a delightful boutique vineyard nestled on the slopes of the Teign Valley in Chudleigh. Owners Ben and Lucy Hulland provide friendly 90-minute tours, with tastings and discounts on their very quaffable still and sparkling fare. Planted in 2007 and 2013 the grape vines now cover 15 acres with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Bacchus, Schonberger and Siegerrebe. The vineyard is off grid, mostly sourced from renewable energy, and the company practises minimum intervention vine growing and wine making. Very reasonably priced tour dates are on their website at www.huxbear.co.uk or bespoke events can be arranged. Accompanied under 16s and well-behaved dogs visit free. At the end of the summer, you can also volunteer to help Ben and Lucy with the harvest in exchange for a hearty lunch.


Cycle at Torbay’s only purpose-built mountain bike park There’s now a purpose-built mountain bike park in Torbay’s Scadson woods, with nine downhill trails each around 500m long. Scadson Freeride Park caters for all abilities of cyclists on its impressive 13-acre woodland site, which has helped discourage illegal mountain biking in the area. With tracks named training wheels, slippery weasel and dirty burger, and featuring banked corners, jumps and drops, this park will satisfy the adrenaline of any mountain biker. The trails are built to a professional standard and avoid disturbing any wildlife. The team is always updating the park and holds regular dig days to help develop new routes and biking events for everyone to get involved. www.scadsonfreeride.com


Enjoy the tranquillity of Buckfast Abbey


A visit to the magnificent Buckfast Abbey is always calm and peaceful. The gardens are glorious this time of year, full of sensory delights including the Physic Garden with its whole host of unusual herbs. The Abbey is part of an active Benedictine monastery at Buckfast. Founded more than 1,000 years ago, it stood for 500 years before Henry VIII’s Reformation. Today’s monks returned in 1882 and rebuilt the church on its medieval foundations. Alongside the tranquil church and gardens, there are shops to purchase the Abbey’s honey and their infamous Buckfast Tonic Wine, and the lovely Grange café. There are also lots of spacious areas to sit and relax and enjoy a picnic in the grounds. www.buckfast.org.uk


Visit the lost village of Hallsands


The once thriving village of Hallsands stood between Beesands and Start Point until it was literally washed away by storms in January 1917. Now only a few ruined houses mark this haunting, but peaceful, site. Following dredging activities to expand a Plymouth dockyard and years of erosion, easterly gales and exceptionally high tides breached Hallsands’ defences and the village fell into the sea. Miraculously, no one was hurt, and many heroic stories of neighbourly assistance live on today. The tragic story of Hallsands is told in detail at a viewing platform over the ruined village. Parts of some of the houses still remain and can be seen from the platform, although access down to the village is no longer permitted due to unstable cliffs and continued erosion. The village can be viewed via a short walk from Hallsands North beach or the South West Coast Path from Beesands. There is limited parking at Hallsands North beach.


photo by Nick Shepherd


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