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Since becoming parents, we’ve loved travelling with our children. Of course, we have the odd envious moment when we spot speedy couples striding by at the airport whilst we dig around for passports beneath the toys and colouring pads! However, there’s something so special and fulfilling about visiting new places with the boys, that it makes any long journey worth it.
We’ve always wanted to visit Devon so when we were kindly invited to stay at the beautiful, Cary Arms “Inn on The Beach” in Torquay, we leapt at the chance. Devon is well known for its picturesque coastline, countryside and endless list of outdoor activities so we knew we’d have no trouble keeping Finlay entertained.
Lucky for us the weather couldn’t have been better. All weekend we got to enjoy beautiful sunshine, fluffy blue skies and views that stopped us in our tracks. When we arrived, the Cary Arms was in full swing and we soon joined the rest of the guests outside for drinks on the botanical terrace, which overlooks Babbacombe bay.
During our visit we stayed in the sea-facing Beach Cottage, which feels like a home-away-from-home. The cosy sitting room has a beautiful log fire and a bookcase full of boardgames, books and magazines. There was also a complimentary bottle of homemade Sloe gin for us to enjoy as a nightcap, which we did one evening after crashing on the sofa once the boys had gone down for the night.
The cottage also has its own dining room and kitchen with everything you’d need for you and your guests, plus fresh milk in the fridge and to our delight, a personal Nespresso machine! With so many complimentary products to use throughout the house, we felt we got to experience all the usual thrills you get when staying at a hotel, only better!
The rooms are all very spacious and the master bedroom has a lovely big bed, traditional wooden blinds, plus your own white robes and slippers. Being so close to the beach meant we could hear the sea at night and look right out over the bay in the morning. Beach Cottage feels very special and peaceful, even with a toddler and baby in tow!
Torquay itself is a traditional British seaside town, but with a twist thanks to its harbour full of flashy yachts. In fact, walking along the pier with ice creams it felt like we were in the South of France not England! We enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon having drinks by the sea followed by a walk along The Royal Terrace Gardens, which feature colourful mediterranean plants and even more stunning views of the coast.
We also visited Pennywell Farm, which was a bit of a drive, but the perfect spot to bring the boys. However, there’s a long list of other attractions we wished we could have squeezed in such as the Babbacombe Cliff Railway (right by the Inn) and a walk along Babbacombe Downs where you can spot seals and dolphins. You could easily spend a week in this sunny town, there seems to be so many great places nearby to take in.
One of the highlights of our stay was kicking off our mornings with a delicious breakfast full of continental and cooked options. I’ve never seen Finlay eat so much! We also had an incredible dinner, which we’re all still raving about. Being by the seaside I wanted to stick with seafood so I went for the scallops followed by good old fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding. For any fellow foodies I assure you, this was worth skipping lunch for.
Overall, what made our visit to the Cary Arms so lovely had to be how kind the staff were. Everyone was so friendly, which coupled with the relaxed atmosphere, made us feel instantly welcome. We never felt awkward having the boys with us, even when dining at the restaurant. As animal lovers, we also liked how dogs are welcome to join their owners on holiday. Finlay was so excited to meet all the different breeds who popped in, especially the Cockapoo and pair of Bassett Hounds. We couldn’t have asked for a better stay!
Thank you very much to the Cary Arms for hosting us, it was such a pleasure to visit. An overnight stay at the Cary Arms starts from £195. For further details and bookings: http://www.caryarms.co.uk/ 01803 327110