It’s time for a British summer holiday getaway! I wanted somewhere quiet to relax and chill…beautiful countryside to explore…quaint villages and close to the beach for the kids. I also wanted somewhere no more than a 4 hour drive from home – Devon ticked all those boxes and as we’ve never been we decided to take a family weekend break there.
It was rather last minute so I searched for lodges to stay and while browsing I came across Darwin Escapes. They have a variety of holiday parks across the UK, each with its own unique character to suit all tastes.
I settled on Hawkchurch Resort & Spa and checked availability. There was a 3 night stay (Fri-Mon) for £249 which was fantastic, it was the last one so I booked it right away.
Hawkchurch Resort & Spa is a luxury 5 star lodge resort located in a stunning countryside, surrounded by woodland and greenery and boasting magnificent views over the Axe Valley.
The resort has over 100 lodges and offers a wide range of one to four bedroom luxury lodges (some with private hot tubs) for holiday breaks or ownership with a home away from home feel.
The resort boasts state of the art facilities designed to rejuvenate, refresh and relax. Enjoy delicious food at The Beeches Restaurant or relax on the sun terrace with a refreshing drink from the bar.
For sheer indulgence, visit the Ezina Spa (proud partners with Aromatherapy Associates) for a range of luxurious treatments from highly qualified therapists, available to both men and women designed to relax, de-stress and revive.
If you fancy a workout, there’s a gym with state-of-the-art equipment including exercise bikes, rowing machine and treadmills
or enter a world of relaxation in the Hydrotherapy pool and relax and unwind in the poolside Sauna and Hamman style steam room.
Our planned 3hr drive took more like 5+hrs. Honestly it was traffic chaos on the roads. Check-in is from 4pm and reception closes at 7pm. I had a phone call from reception to confirm what time we would arrive and as I knew we wouldn’t make it before 7, I was given options of where to pick our lodge keys from.
As we drove up to the resort I noticed how tranquil the location is, and we were surrounded by lush greenery.
We finally arrived around 8pm and there was actually a lovely man in the reception area. I was given a warm welcome, he was really friendly and asked how our journey was. Check-in was really fast and he explained how to get to our lodge.
I was presented with a cute mini tin suitcase box which is yours to keep when you leave.
Inside the box was:
- our lodge keys
- a mini brochure with a map of the resort and facilities plus places to discover and explore
- internet voucher with access code giving you free Wi-Fi access for up to 6 devices
- leaflets about the restaurant, spa and owning a holiday home
After a short drive we arrived at our lodge. There is a parking space right next to the lodge.
We stayed in the Marple Lodge which is a stunning 2 bedroom lodge. I had originally wanted the Marple premier lodge which has a private hot tub but sadly there were no available ones that weekend.
Our lodge features one spacious king size double bedroom with walk in closet, dressing table and ensuite shower, one twin bedroom with wardrobe and ensuite bath/shower.
Complimentary toiletries (Aromatherapy Associates), bedlinen, duvets, towels and hairdryer are provided. Each bedroom also features its own flat screen TV with Freeview channels.
The beds were super comfy and we all had a good night’s sleep.
There is a spacious open plan living/kitchen/dining area with patio doors which lead onto a private decking area.
The kitchen was well equipped, featuring everything you could possibly need for the ultimate self catered break.
- wine cooler
- cooker, oven, microwave
- dish washer
- toaster and kettle with tea, coffee, sugar sachets
- mini pack with dishwasher tablets, mini washing up liquid, sponge, cleaning cloth
- iron and ironing board
There is a welcome book with instructions on how to use some of the appliances.
The cupboards were fully stocked with crockery, glasses, utensils, pots/pans. I was pleasantly surprised, it was just like being at home! I did manage to cook a few meals there which was great and the rest of the time we ate out.
There is also a nice selection of products in the main building which I think you can purchase.
The living room area had a large sofa, 2 arm chairs and coffee table. There was plenty of space to chill out and watch the hi-tech Smart TV with Freeview.
There were some board games provided, the kids did enjoy playing Connect4.
and spending time in the decking area when the weather decided to behave.
What we did….
I had booked a Deep cleanse facial at the Ezina spa, so I headed there early Saturday morning while hubby stayed with the kids. My therapist was very welcoming and I had the most amazing facial which included a scalp massage and hand and arm massage.
Pure bliss…. I left feeling totally pampered and relaxed.
Now time to begin our adventures…
In the lodge there’s a welcome book which included a list of the local area, amenities and places to explore.
First on our list – the scenic fishing town of Lyme Regis, Dorset. The drive took about 20 mins but it was super busy and we struggled to find a parking space.
We finally found one in Charmouth road (on the far east side of Lyme Regis). To access the sea front there are about 114 steps. We didn’t mind as we enjoyed the breathtaking scenery.
The weather was all over the place…typical British summer – one minute it’s sunny…. then cloudy, oh wait heavy rain and then it’s sunny again!
After our long walk, we decided to stop and have some fish and chips before heading to the beach. Sadly hubby had to watch us with envy (damn coeliac) and he hated me saying it was the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. Gluten free fish and chip shop???
The weather decided to behave…it’s now sunny. We all had fun at the beach and the kids enjoyed building sand castles.
We took a stroll along the Marine Parade and then headed back to the lodge. The kids wanted pizza so we headed to the Beeches restaurant for Pizza Alfresco. They had a yummy Margarita pizza cooked in the wood burner oven.
I wasn’t very hungry so I just had some crab cakes
Later on that evening we took a drive down to Taunton, Somerset and while we were there we went to the cinema to see Spider-Man Homecoming.
On Sunday we decided to drive to Seaton. There is a lovely pebble beach there but we decided on a fun day on the Seaton Tramway – featuring a narrow gauge electric tramway running 3 miles from Seaton to Colyton via Colyford.
The ride to Colyton lasts 30 minutes and the kids enjoyed the little play area at the station
The station has a restaurant and gift shop
We headed to the town centre
St Andrew’s church is a charming old church in Colyton
We found some animals nearby
Time to head back to Seaton…
Once we arrived back at the lodge we decided to head to the spa area. We had to take turns watching the kids as only over 16s are allowed.
I headed to the relaxing hydrotherapy pool. It was lovely and helped relieve tension in my muscles. I also used the sauna but sadly the steam room was out of order.
It’s Monday morning and time to go home…we all didn’t want to leave. We checked out at 10am and had planned to visit Beer but there was heavy rain and we decided to head straight home.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our time in Devon and our stay in Hawkchurch Resort & Spa. We had no issues with our lodge, the staff are super warm and friendly. This is definitely my kind of place.
If you’re looking for somewhere peaceful to relax, surrounded by beautiful scenery, lots to explore, then this is the place to be!
Bye bye Devon…hope to see you again soon!
Where are your favourite British destinations?
Have a lovely weekend.