Thursday, 20 July 2017

School's Out For Summer! What's on this weekend

Take a look at what's on offer just a stone's throw from Stoke Lodge Hotel this weekend...and beyond!

Photo credit - Forest and Beach
School Holiday Forest Days, Beeson

Throughout the school holidays 9.30am - 3.30pm for children aged 5 - 14+ years. Includes fire lighting, shelter building, archery days, beach days, exploring the outdoors with friends - and much more.

For full details visit

Photo credit - Countryside Trust
Friday 21st July - Berry Head Bat Walk, Brixham

A unique opportunity to see the rare Greater Horseshoe bats at Berry Head National Nature Reserve - a Geopark Gateway. 8.15 - 9.45pm.


Saturday 22nd July - Experienced Snorkel Safari, Wembury Marine Centre

A session aimed at more experienced snorkelers keen to explore Wembury's stunning underwater world! Full kit provided, booking essential.

Contact: 01752 862538/ Info:

Saturday 22nd July - English Riviera Model Railway Show, Churston

Around twelve model railway layouts in a variety of scales from tiny Z gauge to 0 gauge will be on show at Churston Grammer School, together with trade stands, from 10.00am - 4.30pm

Info and photo courtesy of By the Dart Magazine - thank you.

Photo credit: National Trust & Wembury Marine Centre
Saturday 22nd July - Friday 28th July - National Trust & Wembury Marine Centre.

Kickstart the holidays with beach fun! A host of fun holiday activities, kicking off with the Wembury Summer Fun Day

Family Fun Day, Bug Hunting, Kite Making, Campfire Cooking and other Craft activities, Rock Pooling Safari, Mini Raft Race Extravaganza and much more.

Full info here:

Photo credit: Into Yoga and Nature

Sunday 23rd July - Nature Connection Forage, East Prawle

An immersion in the wild South Devon coast for some nature connection using the senses, some quiet walking and guided easy meditation. Sample foraged afternoon tea!

Booking essential with Liz Turner at Into Yoga and Nature. Contact: 07765 631877


Photo Credit: English Heritage
Monday 24th July - 31st August. Hands on History - Pirates, Dartmouth Castle 

11.00 - 5.00 at Dartmouth Castle. Get set for a summer packed with time-travelling fun, with lots to see and do. The English Heritage Hands on History Crew bring the past to life throughout the school holidays.

For more info please visit: 

Dartmouth Castle:

Pirate Activity Days:

Photo credit: Slapton Ley Nature Reserve
Monday 24th July - 3rd September - A Whole Host of Summer Fun and Free Family Events around Slapton Ley Nature Reserve

Activities include the Secret World of Wildlife, Bat Watching, Mammals and Moths, Rocky Shore Rambles, Seashore Adventures, Survive the Wild, What Lurks Beneath and a Wildlife Canoe Safari.

Details too numerous to mention here so visit

Wednesday 26th - Guided Tour of Lupton House and Gardens

Join Charles Bevan from Lupton Trust, to discover more about the history and stories of this estate and find out what the Trust are going to bring the house and gardens back to their former glory.

£5pp - 1.30pm - 3pm. Meet in the coach house cafĂ©, Lupton House, Churston Ferrers. TQ5 0LD
Booking essential – call 01803 845800.


Photo credit: Yealmpton Show
Wednesday 26th July - Yealmpton Show, Kitley Lawns, Yealmpton

A great day out for all the family with a Countryside Marquee, Food Hall, Cakes and Handicrafts, Diggers and Tractors, Classic Cras, Trade Stands - and much more!


Photo credit: National Trust
Thursday 27th July - Beach Fun at South Milton Sands

All part of the National Trust’s 50 Things to do before you’re 11 ¾ campaign... Join the rangers on the beach from 11.00am until 3.00pm for a fun session of scavenger hunting and beach art, exploring the beach and being creative! Bring shoes that will get wet, sunhats and sun cream.
Free (accompanied children only)

Meet at South Milton Sands SX 677414


Many thanks to By the Dart Magazine and the South Devon AONB for all this very useful information - have fun..!

Stoke Lodge Hotel - the Country House Hotel by the sea...

Thursday, 6 July 2017

What's On this weekend in South Devon?

AONB. Photo credit: Phil Hemsley – Start Point
When we say there's a lot going on in the South Hams right now, we're not kidding! 

Take a look at some of the events and activities on offer and take your pick. 

Saturday 8th July - Loving The Beach Fest at Blackpool Sands from 8.30am - 11pm.

Live music, Bays Brewery drinks tent, local food plus a whole host of demos and activities throughout the day - what's not to like??

Saturday 8th July - Britannia Royal Naval College Open Day. Dartmouth, 11.00am - 4.00pm 

BRNC opens its gates to visitors to give members of the public a chance to look around this world renowned College.

Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th July - Michael Sutton's Wine Cellars Wine Tasting.
Open house hosted by Jonathan and Suzi Sutton with a large variety of delicious wines to taste from 11.00am until 3.00pm. Tel. 01803 770737 

Sunday 9th July - Summer Celebration Open Day at Sharpham House, Ashprington

A packed day of activities and a chance to enjoy the splendour of Sharpham House and Gardens.

Wednesday 12th July - Brixham Fish Market Tour and Seafood Breakfast

A chance to see behind the scenes at this world famous fish market, fishing with a delicious fish breakfast at Rockfish. Booking essential:

Many thanks to South Devon AONB and By the Dart magazine for this invaluable information - for more information on future local events please follow the links:

Is that enough for you to be going on with...?And the good news is, it's all just a pebble's throw from Stoke Lodge!

Stoke Lodge Hotel - the country house hotel by the sea

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Thank you!

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all at Stoke Lodge for a most enjoyable Rotary Club President Handover Dinner last Thursday night. 

Dartmouth Rotary Club members and partners gathered together to say goodbye to retiring President Bill Parker and welcome to incoming President Mike Freeman (second time around for him - he must like it!).

It was extremely interesting to hear all about the many good causes Rotary supports not only locally but nationally and overseas - I had no idea they were involved in so much and it was quite an eye opener to learn about the many different projects currently being supported.

To find out more click the links below - you might be surprised...



I don't know if it's the beautiful setting, the general ambience or the friendly and helpful Mayer family and staff at the Hotel but I always feel very relaxed and at home the minute I walk through the doors, and last night was no exception.

I really enjoyed the pre-dinner drinks - scrumptious chilled rose wine in the lounge bar, teamed with lots of friendly chat - followed by dinner in the Garden Restaurant.

My choice was smoked salmon and avocado on bruschetta, roast chicken in a spicy tomato sauce with vegetables, and a very nice cheese board with crackers, followed by coffee and mints.

Simple things done well are - to my mind - hard to beat...

It was a really friendly, lovely atmosphere and I think Christine, Steven and daughters did Dartmouth Rotary Club proud. Many thanks to all at Stoke Lodge for another enjoyable evening - see you again soon!

Guest Blogger Valeria D

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Just found some lovely images and quotes to share...

I now feel calmed, interested and inspired and I hope you will too...


Logging off myself - can't wait to get outside right now...

Friday, 9 June 2017

Prolific Pinterest Pics from Stoke Lodge

Just take a look here at the fabulous images on Stoke Lodge Hotels' Pinterest Boards, featuring Dartmouth and the Sensational South Hams...!

We really like this sentiment from one of the Boards:

OK, so we know that the work has to be done - but doesn't everyone deserve a break from the pressures that modern life can bring? A chance to discover and reconnect with Nature and Wildlife...and just simply relax for a day or two?

Sick of being sucked into endless e mail checking..?

Tired of texting and fed up with frustrating phone interruptions?

Weary of wasting time with worrying work deadlines and demands?

From the wonderful wildlife to the superlative scenery, the South Devon AONB has everything you need to switch off from the technical overload and plug into the natural world to help recharge your batteries.

Stoke Lodge Hotel, in the heart of the beautiful South Hams and just ten minutes by car (or a scenic walk along the South West Coast Path...) from Dartmouth, can help. With over thirty years' experience, this comfortable family run Hotel is the perfect location to discover, explore and unwind. 


Sound tempting? 

What's stopping you..?

Discover the many benefits that Stoke Lodge can offer and organise yourself that well earned break right now...

Click here for free 'Reconnect With Nature' information pack: 



Stoke Lodge Hotel - the Country House Hotel by the Sea

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Slapton's humpback whale's fame spreads to Springwatch!

Photo credit: Herald Express
Slapton's famous humpback whale had a prime slot on BBC's Springwatch this week - here's a link:

Slapton is just a stone's throw from Stoke Lodge Hotel - did you stay there recently and be lucky enough to get a glimpse of the whale? If so let us know - we'd love to hear about it.

Stoke Lodge Hotel - the Country House Hotel by the Sea... 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

What a Wonderful World Book Night Weekend...

Kate Furnivall, Annette Shaw and Jane Corry
Many congratulations to Stoke Lodge Hotel for hosting another brilliant World Book Night Extravaganza last Friday and Saturday. 

It was, as always, a hugely enjoyable event for writers and readers alike and I am sure that all who attended went home feeling newly Inspired, Informed, Interested, Imaginative, and Inevitably Impressed!

The event got off to a great start on Friday evening with a variety of delicious canapes and a glass of Prosecco, followed by a fun 'Desert Island Books meets Just A Minute' session run by Master of Ceremonies Alan Depledge.

This then evolved into, as things do when people are enjoying themselves, a round of book name charades which produced much entertainment and laughter - which of course was the whole idea! The 'Just A Minute' quiz was won by local author Jill Treseder who was presented with a copy of  'Atlas Obscura'.

Jane Corry
Saturday started with coffee at 10.00 and, after a short introduction from Alan about Stoke Lodge Hotel, author Jane Corry gave us a very interesting talk on how she came to write her Sunday Times bestseller debut novel 'My Husband's Wife'. 

Who can resist reading a book with a strapline like 'First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes murder...' ?? We are eagerly awaiting her second novel 'Blood Sisters' which will be published in June.

Please see website for details:

Jill Treseder and Victoria Sutor
After a short break for photographs on the sunny terrace overlooking the sea, we were given two very informative and interesting talks by Victoria Sutor of the NHS Leadership Academy and writer Jill Treseder. 

They discussed and explained the many benefits that regular reading can bring, both mentally and physically - including stress relief, improvement of brain functions, and even longevity! 

For more information on this fascinating subject please visit: and

L-R Lucy, friend Chloe Hughes, and Julie

This was followed by a talk each from local authors Julie Archer and Lucy Willetts, who were both inspired by last year's event and have now published their debut novels 'Cocktails, Rock Tales and Betrayals' and 'Crosskiller' respectively.

There was then a book swap - we had been invited to bring books to swap and the table was positively loaded with lovely loot! - after which we broke for lunch in the Garden Restaurant, where Stoke Lodge had prepared a wonderful buffet of home cooked turkey, beef, ham, scampi and more, with a huge variety of salads and side dishes - not to mention the gorgeous desserts which followed. 

Happy, replete and relaxed, we returned to the lounge for a fascinating talk from best-selling novelist Kate Furnivall - with nine books to her credit - who gave us an insight into the meticulous research needed to write her historical novels. Her most recent books are 'The Italian Wife' and 'The Liberation'.

Her latest novel, entitled 'The Betrayal', is set in Paris in 1938 and will be released in November.

There then followed an informal networking session with short talks from local authors, including Steve Stephenson-Olds, Elizabeth Ducie, Mel Menzies, Phil Barber and Ian Hobbs, founder of book lovers' website Goodreads.

All in all it was a most informative and inspirational - not to mention enjoyable - day which ended at about 3.30pm when we left, happily clutching or 'new' book finds and giving us all a lot to think about.

Alan and Annette

With huge thanks to organiser Annette Shaw, Book Reviewer for Devon Life magazine, and to all at Stoke Lodge Hotel who hosted the event and looked after us so well - not forgetting of course the inimitable MC Alan Depledge, and indeed everyone who came along and helped to make it such a great event.


 We sincerely hope they will do it all over again next year - do you..?? Got to go now - lots of lovely books to read... (Guest Blogger Val Depledge)

Stoke Lodge Hotel - the country house hotel by the sea.