Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Get fit and happy for FREE! Ten useful links to help you feel better

Fed up? Overworked? Stressed? Exhausted?
  
Well help is at hand... and it doesn't cost a penny.



Yes, it's official!

Getting out into the fresh air, walking, unwinding, relaxing, and just simply enjoying nature is FREE for all the family. 



Not only is it Brilliant for your Body... 

...it does Wonders for your Wellbeing...

...and is Marvellous for your Mind...


And South Devon's the place to be, with so many lovely walks and an abundance of nature to be enjoyed...


Ten useful links to help make your South Devon Escape even more enjoyable:



Health Benefits: 


1) Help reduce stress and anxiety:
https://goo.gl/A57EhM


2) Why the Great Outdoors is Great for Kids:
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/16/childre-nature-outside-play-health




3) Benefits of walking for all ages - 'The Miracle Cure we've all been waiting for':
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/Whybeactive.aspx

4) Why walking is good for you:
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jun/05/best-foot-forward-why-walking-good-for-you

5) Benefits of walking:
http://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/directory/w/walking-health



Walks and Nature Info:

6) Downloadable FREE Walks in Devon:
http://www.walkingindevon.co.uk/walks.php

7) South Devon Family Walks
https://goo.gl/I0g56s

8) Discover and Enjoy Nature:
http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature

9) Wildlife in Devon
http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/wildlife-devon

10) Seven Best Autumn Walks in Devon:
http://www.devonlife.co.uk/out-about/places/7_of_the_best_autumn_walks_in_devon_1_4691433



 Make your escape now and plan your own personal quick fix to help ease your worries and get back to nature as soon as you can. 
Go on - it'll make you feel better...


Stoke Lodge - the country house hotel by the sea.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Walking in South Devon - get it while you can!

While the days are still warm and sunny - and before autumn really makes its appearance - why not grab the opportunity to pull on your walking boots and rediscover the benefits of getting back to nature and enjoying the varied wildlife to be found in the South Hams, before those cold, dark days of winter take over..?


Stoke Lodge is the ideal base for exploring.

Not only is it a designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty', it's also located right slap bang on the South West Coast Path. 







There is a whole host of interesting and special places just waiting for you to discover, and those nice people at family-run Stoke Lodge Hotel, with their wealth of local knowledge, can make things easier for you to help you get the best out of your stay.


Just say the word....

...and hotel owners Christine and Stephen - together with their daughters Sam, Sigourney and Chelsie - will be happy to advise you on walks, lend you books, maps and binoculars, and provide you with a lunch pack full of delicious local produce. 

Oh and should the weather turn nasty - perish the thought! - they can even dry off your boots and clothes for you when you return.





And what better way to rest at the end of your busy day than to relax in the hotel's two comfy lounges?  


Or have a drink in the bar or on the sunny terrace before enjoying a beautifully cooked meal in the Garden Restaurant? 







You can even have a pre-dinner swim in one of the two pools, relax in the sauna or jacuzzi, or visit the games room if you're still feeling energetic...

It's all waiting for you at Stoke Lodge so make sure you don't waste this lovely weather - once it's gone, it's gone..!





Some useful links to whet your appetite:

http://www.stokelodge.co.uk/wildlife_breaks.pdf

https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/

http://www.southdevonaonb.org.uk/explore/walks-trails

http://www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk/lots-to-do/outdoors-activities/walking

http://www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk/explore-south-devon/south-hams 

Thanks to By The Dart for all this very useful information:

http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/walk-%26-talk/

http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dead-man-s-folly-walk-talk-greenway-dartmouth/

http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dartington-garden-tours/

http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/south-west-coast-path-challenge/

http://www.bythedart.co.uk/things-to-do-in-dartmouth/walking--outdoors


Stoke Lodge - the country house hotel by the sea





Tuesday, 16 August 2016

August events - the last gasp...

A round up of events, activities and attractions in the Stoke Lodge Area until the end of August. Better get down here and make the most of them - the nights will be drawing in soon..! (sorry...)

A very big Thank You to those lovely people at By The Dart for all the useful information. 

There's still lots happening in the area at the moment, right up to the end of August and beyond. Check out the previous blog posts for full details of the many ongoing events to make sure you don't miss out...

Here's a sample of just some of the other fun and interesting things to do from now until the end of August:


August 16th & 17th - British Firework Championship

Started in 1997, this annual competition allows professional display companies to demonstrate their skills.

Plymouth Hoe became the favoured location providing a natural amphitheatre where large scale pyrotechnics can be used safely and watched from a variety of points around the harbour and Sound.  
The Championships have grown hugely and are now recognised as the premier annual display in the UK, attracting tens of thousands to the city.
- See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/british-firework-championships-16-17-august/#sthash.7AUhnIBN.dpuf




August 15th - 20th - Totnes Carnival Week

Totnes Carnival Includes traditional events throughout the week: Children’s Fancy Dress, 5-a-side Football, Picnic in the Park, Bingo and the challenging but fun ‘Odd Object Competition’. 

Grand Carnival Procession on  Saturday 18th August. Starts around 6pm.




 August 18th and 30th - Dartmouth Indoor Pool Fun Fete

An event for all the family with food, crafts, children's activities and much more.

Royal Avenue Gardens 10.00 - 4.00 

Help to raise funds for the Dartmouth Indoor Pool!





August 18th - Dog Awareness Day. 

10.30 - 3.30 Royal Avenue Gardens

An Educational Roadshow with The Dog Trust on hand to answer any questions you may have - and more...





 August 19th - Berry Head Bat Walk 7.45pm - 9.15pm

A unique opportunity to see the rare Greater Horseshoe bats at Berry Head National Nature Reserve, a Geopark Gateway Site.





August 21st - 23rd - Tribal Clash at Blackpool Sands

Whatever you do this summer - don't miss the Tribal Clash! - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/tribal-clash-blackpool-sands-dartmouth/#sthash.rwaSck2y.dpuf
Whatever you do this summer - don't miss the TRIBAL CLASH!



Taking place just a stone's throw from Stoke Lodge Hotel (well, almost), comes this awesome annual Tribal Clash event with teams of men and women from all across Europe battling it out in a series of gruelling, high-intensity challenges in the beautiful and natural environment of Blackpool Sands.



 August 21st - Totnes Good Food Sunday 10.00 - 3.00

The biggest monthly producers' and farmers' market in the Westcountry. Held on the 3rd Sunday of every month - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/totnes-good-food-sunday/#sthash.Tkke2PQP.dpuf
The biggest monthly producers' and farmers' market in the Westcountry. Held on the 3rd Sunday of every month.









August 22nd - 26th - Hands on History at Dartmouth Castle

Get set for a summer packed with time-travelling fun! With lots to see and do, the Hands on History Crew will be bringing history to life throughout the holidays. 11am - 5pm - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/hands-on-history-pirates-dartmouth-castle/#sthash.duHDrz6A.dpuf
From 11.00 until 5.00, get set for some time-travelling fun!

There will be lots to see and do with the hands on History Crew who will be bringing history to life.





August 22nd - 30th - Sail on the Pelican Tall Ship
Get set for a summer packed with time-travelling fun! With lots to see and do, the Hands on History Crew will be bringing history to life throughout the holidays - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/hands-on-history-pirates-dartmouth-castle/#sthash.Dq1KCu5q.dpuf

A unique opportunity to board and sail on this historic tall ship during Dartmouth Regatta.
A unique opportuntiy to board and sail upon the historic tall ship, Pelican during Dartmouth Regatta - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/sail-on-the-pelican-tall-ship/#sthash.uc3WqUf1.dpuf


Plymouth became the favoured location providing a natural amphitheatre where large scale pyrotechnics can be used safely and watched from a variety of points around the harbour and Soun - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/british-firework-championships-16-17-august/#sthash.i9PNcGmB.dpuf

More info about the Pelican: http://www.adventureundersail.com/ 

 
tarted in 1997 this annual competition allows professional display companies to demonstrate their skills. Plymouth became the favoured location providing a natural amphitheatre where large scale pyrotechnics can be used safely and watched from a variety of points around the harbour and Sound.  
The Championships have grown hugely and are now recognised as the premier annual display in the UK, attracting tens of thousands to the city.
- See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/british-firework-championships-16-17-august/#sthash.7AUhnIBN.dpuf

August 25th - 27th - Dartmouth Royal Regatta

Dartmouth's Big Event, this year's Regatta has a packed programme of events both on and off the water, from rowing races to river activities, fun events to fireworks, crabbing and kids competitions, air displays, crafts, funfair, stalls - oh and much much more!

There's so much going on - make sure you don't miss a single thing!  

Visit the Regatta website for details of all events going on over the weekend, plus Regatta Jump and Jive on 22nd, the Regatta Royale Ball on 23rd, and Regatta Rock on 24th.





 
August 26th - 27th - Sea Change Festival  

A new Festival based in Totnes for the August Bank Holiday weekend, with films, literature, talks - and plenty of music across five venues.

Curated and presented by the award winning Drift Record Shop.





August 27th - Dartmouth Artisan Market, Market Square 9.00- 3.00

A range of goodies from local artisans: designers, craftsmen, artists, jewellers, furniture makers - and makers of beautiful bags! 

A chance to see what our local artists do and to purchase an original gift...






August 29th - Stoke Fleming Horticultural Show - 12.30 - 4.30

Held in the grounds of Stoke Fleming Village Hall, the 140th annual Stoke Fleming Show is a real village and family event with fruit and veg displays, many different stalls, BBQ, bar, tea and home made cakes - and lots of fun activities for all.





N.B. Life doesn't stop at the end of August in the South Hams - honestly! 

And the brilliant thing is you can enjoy all the good stuff going on from Stoke Lodge Hotel - the perfect base from which to explore, escape and discover...

It's often lovely weather here in September and even October, and there are loads of other interesting things going on throughout the year. 

Check out the By The Dart What's on Calendar for more details of things happening in what we hope will turn out to be be an Indian Summer - fingers crossed...


STOKE LODGE - THE COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL BY THE SEA



140th Annual Stoke Fleming Show  - a real village and family event with stalls, BBQ and lots of family activities - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/stoke-fleming-show-dartmouth/#sthash.KbzOfybr.dpuf




A range of goodies from local artisans - designers, craftsmen, artists, jewellers, furniture makers and beautiful bags.... - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dartmouth-artisan-market/#sthash.wcDHa4cC.dpuf

A chance to see what our local artists do and to purchase an original gift for you or a friend and even your mother! - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dartmouth-artisan-market/#sthash.wcDHa4cC.dpuf


CURATED & PRESENTED BY THE AWARD-WINNING DRIFT RECORD SHOP. Films, literature, talks and plenty of music across five venues.
- See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/sea-change-festival/#sthash.UOvBeIH9.dpuf
Regatta once again has a packed programme of activities on and off the water - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dartmouth-royal-regatta-2016/#sthash.cWXMoj8J.dpuf
The 2016 Regatta once again has a packed programme of activities on and off the water. - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dartmouth-royal-regatta-2016/#sthash.cWXMoj8J.dpuf
tarted in 1997 this annual competition allows professional display companies to demonstrate their skills. Plymouth became the favoured location providing a natural amphitheatre where large scale pyrotechnics can be used safely and watched from a variety of points around the harbour and Sound.  
The Championships have grown hugely and are now recognised as the premier annual display in the UK, attracting tens of thousands to the city.
- See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/british-firework-championships-16-17-august/#sthash.7AUhnIBN.dpuf
  

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Ongoing summer events and things to do in the South Hams

Ongoing events in August and beyond for all the family

There are still loads of interesting events, attractions and activities going on in the area this summer.

 
Make Stoke Lodge your ideal base from which to Explore, Experience and Enjoy them...
..and then relax in comfort at the end of the day!
 

Thanks to those lovely people at By the Dart for their brilliant information. 
 
 
Until 3rd September 2016 - Dartmouth Heated Outdoor Pool
 
The swimming pool is a 25 metre by 8.5 metre outdoor pool and is heated to a heavenly 28 degrees C!
 
During the summer season it is staffed by filly qualified lifeguards who are there to ensure that your experience of the pool is safe and enjoyable at all times. 
 
Info and timetables:
 
 
Until September 25th - Illustrating Harry Potter
 
A Summer of Magical Events at Hannah's at Seale-Hayne! 
 
There will be much to see Hayne during the exhibition - including the Willow Dragons Maze, Harry Potter’s Birthday Picnic, Open Air Cinema, Astronomy, The Magic Express Steam Train, Quidditch Lessons and much more.

Info:  http://www.discoverhannahs.org/events/current/illustrating-harry-potter/


Until September 4th - Devon Guild of Craftsmen Summer Exhibition 

Daily from 10.30am until 5.00pm, FREE exhibition in the Jubilee Gallery of the best new work from DGC Members.

Devon Guild of Craftsmen is an acclaimed exhibition space for contemporary craft and design as well as a leading charity for craft education. Located in Bovey Tracey, their large craft centre offers inspiring exhibitions and events for people to buy, make and learn about contemporary craft.

Info:  http://www.crafts.org.uk/Events-(1)/Summer-Show-new-craft-by-Guild-Members.aspx 


Until August 31st - The WOW Wondrous Occombe Wildlife Trail

Kids! Would you like a wild adventure this summer? 

Then take part in our super-fun WOW trail and solve hidden clues to win a prize. See if you can be as sly as a fox, understand the secret language of a bat, or be as nimble as a stoat!



https://www.countryside-trust.org.uk/events/details/340/the-wow-wondrous-occombe-wildlife-trail


Until August 31st - Slapton Ley Drop-In Beach Activities. See previous blog posts for full details.

Fun activities, craft and trails at our Beach Activity Trailer in the Middle Car Park on Slapton Sands.

Info:
 http://www.slnnr.org.uk/whats-on/beach-activity-trailer-events.aspx



Until August 29th - Britannia Royal Naval College Tour. See previous blog posts for full details.

Info:
http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/britannia-royal-naval-college-tour-dartmouth/


Until October 12th - Brixham Fish Market Tours. 

See previous blog posts for full details or visit:

 http://www.bxta.co.uk/

 http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/brixham-fish/





Until Sept 28th - Dartington Hall Garden Tours 

Join one of the volunteer-led Garden Tours to learn more about the heritage, beauty and historical features of the Dartington Hall Gardens. - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dartington-garden-tours/#sthash.YzvfSCdg.dpuf
Kids! Would you like a wild adventure this summer? Then take part in our super-fun WOW trail and solve hidden clues to win a prize. See if you can be as sly as a fox, understand the secret language of a bat, or be as nimble as a stoat! - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/the-wow-wondrous-occombe/#sthash.iIYIq0aT.dpuf
Join one of the volunteer-led Garden Tours to learn more about the heritage, beauty and historical features of the Dartington Hall Gardens.

https://www.dartington.org/whats-on/garden-tours/





Until October 13th - Dartmouth Walk and Talk.

Weekly walk around Dartmouth and environs - for full detail see previous blog posts or visit:

https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder/south-west/dartmouth-walk-talk


Weekly guided Thursday morning walks around Dartmouth environs. - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/walk-%26-talk/#sthash.RtOIFIEZ.dpufhttps://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder/south-west/dartmouth-walk-talk




Hopefully something for everyone - will that be enough to keep you all entertained for the time being..??

STOKE LODGE - THE COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL BY THE SEA

Weekly guided Thursday morning walks around Dartmouth environs. - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/walk-%26-talk/#sthash.RtOIFIEZ.dpuf
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Fun things to do for all the family - August 8th - 14th

There's a host of things for all ages to enjoy in the South Hams this August, and Stoke Lodge is the ideal base from which to Explore, Experience and Enjoy them - and then relax in comfort at the end of the day!


All these events and activities on offer are a short journey from the hotel - just take your pick...


Thanks to those lovely people at By the Dart for their brilliant information. 
August 8th - 14th
N.B. Some events and activities are carrying on for several weeks - so aren't we the lucky ones..??
Please below and follow the links on previous  blog posts for more details.
Dartmouth Art Society Summer Exhibition - ends August 13th.
Britannia Royal Naval College Tour - various dates, ends August 17th
Slapton Ley Drop-In Beach Activities - ends August 10th
Dartmouth Walk and Talk - Thursdays
Paignton Regatta - ends 14th
Brixham Fish Market Tour - various dates, ends August 31st
August 8th and 13th  11.30 - 3.00 - Wine Tasting at Michael Sutton's Cellar
Michael Sutton's Cellar are a family run independent wine merchant located in an idyllic rural setting offering you a variety of wines from both the new and old world. - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/wine-tasting-at-michael-suttons-cellar/#sthash.gwFpunIi.dpuf
Michael Sutton's Cellar are a family run independent wine merchant located in an idyllic rural setting offering you a variety of wines from both the new and old world. 
August 10th 7pm - 9pm - Evening Wildlife Walk at Cockington Court
Come for an evening stroll around Cockington Country Park looking for signs of wildlife, listening for bird calls and hopefully catching a glimpse of some of Cockington's wild residents 
August 10th 11.00 - 12 noon - Dartington Garden Tours
Join one of the volunteer-led Garden Tours to learn more about the heritage, beauty and historical features of the Dartington Hall Gardens

Join one of the volunteer-led Garden Tours to learn more about the heritage, beauty and historical features of the Dartington Hall Gardens. - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dartington-garden-tours/#sthash.hAQnbO1X.dpuf
August 11th 7.30 - 10.30pm - 'Dartmouth Films' by Ian Phillips 
2014 was the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings, and as part of the celebrations The Flavel Arts Centre and Cinema is offering another chance to see this film featuring local people, produced by Ian Phillips. 

Find out more here: 
August 12th - 14th - Torbay Lifeboat Weekend 
Torbay Lifeboat Station based in Brixham close to the famous Breakwater becomes the centre of a series of events planned by the local volunteers and sponsors for the whole family.
2014 was the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings and as part of the celebrations we are offering another chance to see this film featuring local people produced and directed by Ian Phillips. - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dartmouth-films-by-ian-phillips-flavel/#sthash.IvhBDZxR.dpuf
 August 13th and 14th 2.00 - 5.00 - Open Gardens at Higher Ash Farm
A chance to visit a beautiful 2.5 acre garden which has been extensively developed in the last few years, with a large kitchen garden, pond and bog garden, orchard, herbaceous borders and a variety of shrubs and trees.

A beautiful 2.5 acre garden which has been extensively developed in the last few years. Large kitchen garden, pond and bog garden, orchard, herbaceous borders and a variety of shrubs and trees. - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/open-gardens/#sthash.re5nqcJA.dpuf
August 13th 9.00 - 6.00 - Dittisham Regatta 
A fun filled event for all the family, welcoming visitors and locals alike both on and off the water.

August 13th 9.00 - 1.00 - Dartmouth Farmers' Market - ends December 10th
Local produce for local people from a local source. 
The Farmers' Market is held in Dartmouth's Market Square every second Saturday in the month.






 August 14th 10.30 - 2.30 - Family Forage Day
Come and enjoy the wild abundance of the Sharpham Estate with your children, where you'll discover what the season has to offer and pick some wild plants to take back to the sheltered outdoor kitchen for a fun cook up!
http://goo.gl/BcYcQ4
Local produce for local people from a local source. The Old Market Square every second Saturday in the month. 9am to 1pm - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dartmouth-farmers%27-market/#sthash.o84LP7Ff.dpuf
  



Once again, thanks to By the Dart for all this useful 'What's On' information. 
Check out their website for more details and links: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/


STOKE LODGE - THE COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL BY THE SEA
2014 was the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings and as part of the celebrations we are offering another chance to see this film featuring local people produced and directed by Ian Phillips. - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dartmouth-films-by-ian-phillips-flavel/#sthash.IvhBDZxR.dpuf

2014 was the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings and as part of the celebrations we are offering another chance to see this film featuring local people produced and directed by Ian Phillips. - See more at: http://www.bythedart.co.uk/events/dartmouth-films-by-ian-phillips-flavel/#sthash.IvhBDZxR.dpuf

Friday, 29 July 2016

Here Comes The Sun...

OK, so it may be a bit elusive at times, but when that July sun does decide to come out - it's HOT! 

What's great about staying at Stoke Lodge is all the different ways that you can relax and enjoy the sunshine while you can... Choose from any - or all - of these options:


 * Soaking up the rays on the comfy loungers around the pool, or taking a dip should you be lucky enough to need to cool off...


* Relaxing on the sun terrace where you can enjoy the peace and quiet, sea views and maybe a tasty bar snack or a Devon Cream Tea

(or make that a chilled glass of bubbles if you prefer...)


* Playing Outdoor Chess with the huge chess pieces on the terrace.





* Strolling along blissfully peaceful country lanes discovering the birdsong and wildlife, or walking a stretch of the South West Coast Path (which actually runs through the Hotel grounds!)

The friendly staff will even pack up a picnic lunch for you with fresh local produce - and by the way I can testify that their home made chocolate brownies are delicious!




* Catching the bus to nearby Blackpool Sands with its Secret Garden and The Venus Cafe, or just a little further on to Slapton Sands where you can walk around Slapton Ley Nature Reserve or have fun discovering things at one of their Beach Trailer events, or strolling along the sea front all the way to the village of Torcross with its famous D Day Tank Memorial.





Oh, and when the sun don't shine..??

There's a heated indoor pool, jacuzzi and sauna for you to enjoy......


...and even a games room.



There really is something for all types of weather and all kinds of tastes at Stoke Lodge Hotel - check out the website and see for yourself!








STOKE LODGE - THE COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL BY THE SEA