It’s a crisp Sunday morning in December; our Christmas tree is up and I’m feeling festive! So, with a clear blue sky and sunshine forecasted, I fancy doing something outdoorsy and Christmassy.
Luckily for me that’s exactly what I’m promised I’ll be treated to at Cockington Park’s Christmas Fair today. From local crafts to yummy Devonshire eats, handmade gifts to seasonal goodies; I should be jingle bellsing my way around the country park’s beautiful grounds in no time.
It’s about elevenish when we reach the top car park, and as we make our way down past the rows of workshops, we can’t help being drawn in by the gorgeous items on display. Handstitched leather satchels and a jaw-dropping chocolate sculpture, an elegant verdé wreath (that’s very tempting as a replacement for me current faux version), and the most fabulous upholstered footstool in a steely grey.
With a mental note of the things we’re definitely going to buy before we leave, we head down to the Seven Dials at Cockington Court for a bit of pre-shopping sustenance. Stepping inside we’re impressed with the café’s new cool décor, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee is seriously enticing. We order a couple of scones and two hot drinks and guzzle everything down in a matter of minutes – I could sit here for hours but the room is busier than usual with the anticipated festivities about to commence, so we take our leave and make our way outside into the glorious winter sunshine.
Excitement mounts as we hit the market stalls. Buzzing with activity and bursting with gorgeous goodies it doesn’t take long to be drawn into the festive atmosphere, made even better by the sounds of a local Christmas Rock choir setting the scene. Inspired by the range of beautiful things on offer we peruse the pottery and knitwear, wooden crafts and jewellery, and leave with a bunch of fab little gifts for popping under the tree. Before we head back to the car we decide to explore the village itself, and as one of the most densely thatched in England it is stunningly picturesque. There’s a real working forge, a waterwheel, and a medieval church as well as a beautiful rose garden and interesting little shops. The surrounding water meadows mean plenty of green space for walking and a pathway connecting Cockington to the seafront means getting to and from Torquay on foot is really easy.
As much as we’d love to spend a few more hours in this lovely place we’ve run out of time and so amble back to the car; not however without a stop in at that divine chocolatier for a box of gin truffles and a choccie fish and chips.
I’m fortunate enough to have this beautiful village on my doorstep, but even if I had a longer drive to get there it would be well worth it. Being so close to Torquay’s seafront, there’s plenty to see and do in the surrounding area too – so why not make a weekend of it? Cockington Cottages are set right within the grounds of the country park and with lovely touches like underfloor heating and private outdoor space they are in my opinion the perfect place to spend a festive break.
Larah Walker – Marketing Executive at Luxury Coastal
I was born in South Africa and spent most of my life in the western Cape before relocating to Torbay 10 years ago. I love to travel, write, cook (my favourite books to read are recipe books), and paint; but prefer nothing more than simply spending time with my amazing family.