MEMORIES OF TRAVELS PAST: CHRISTMAS AND FAMILY TRADITIONS IN DEVON*

The Devon Coastline 2005

 

We’ve all got one. A dust-gathering shoebox in the back of a wardrobe somewhere, full of nostalgic old holiday photos that take us back to happy times. Times when a 99 ice cream really was 99p, and holiday activities included skimming stones and donkey rides.

Parkdean wants to take us all back to those happy times. They asked me to dig out that shoebox and show them my favourite old holiday snaps. To help revive those long lost childhood dreams they kindly sent me a hamper filled with nostalgic items from the British Seashore.

Reminiscing about trips to Devon is always bound to send you into a complete state of bliss and relaxation. The laid back atmosphere of the county is one of its memorable factors. That, the golden sands, and the amazing clotted cream teas!

For me Devon is synonymous with Christmas. And at Christmas Family always comes first. My Family background is complicated, to say the least.  With divorced Parents that live in separate Countries, celebrating Christmas was never going to be easy. In fact, for me Santa Clause came twice every year. We would first celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December in Paris, with my Mum, Stepdad and their parents. And then again on the 28th of December in Devon with my Dad and his Parents. You could say, the Duplicate Christmas became somewhat of a Family Tradition.

 

 

TRADITION # 1 : FUN AND GAMES ON THE BEACH IN DEVON (1997)

 

No Trip to Devon would ever be complete without some Playtime on the Beach. Whenever the Weather permitted it, you would most likely find us on one of the numerous Beaches along the Devon Coastline. Most of  Devon’s Beaches are sandy and backed by Dunes. The perfect Play Area for kids. We would build sand castles, play tag with the waves and Treasure Hunt. The Games might have changed over Time but the location never did.

 

Fun and games on the Beach in Devon 1997

 

Fun and games on the Beach in Devon 1997

 

Fun and games on the Beach in Devon 1997

 

Fun and games on the Beach in Devon 1997

 

Fun and games on the Beach in Devon 1997

 

Fun and games on the Beach in Devon 1997

 

Fun and games on the Beach in Devon 1997

 

TRADITION # 2 : PLAYING WITH ROCKS (1998)

 

Honestly, what Kid isn’t a huge fan of Rock Pools? And what Kid wouldn’t want to build his or her very own Castle out of beach rocks. Although most of Devon’s Coastline features dreamy Sandy Beaches, most of them are at least partly speckled with rock formations. As Kids we would skip from Rock to Rock, narrowly missing falling into the water below. The rocky shore is excellent for wildlife and includes features such as Fan-Worms, Reefs, Sea Hares and Sea Anemones and some Cowrie shells.

 

 Playing with Rocks on the Beach in Devon 1997

 

Playing with Rocks on the Beach in Devon 1997

 

Playing with Rocks on the Beach in Devon 1997

 

TRADITION # 3 : A VISIT TO THE LOCAL FARM IN DEVON (1998-1999)

 

The Highlight of every one of our Christmas Holidays in Devon has to be visiting one of the Local Farms. Devon is a Dairy County and you will find a farm hidden behind the hedgerow at every bend of the very windy country roads. I can’t remember a single Christmas Holiday that didn’t involve at least one or two Farm Animals.  Away from the farm, Devon boasts an enviable choice of more exotic Wildlife Attractions, from Zoos and Wildlife Parks to the National Marine Aquarium.

 

A VISIT TO THE LOCAL FARM IN DEVON (1998-1999)

 

A VISIT TO THE LOCAL FARM IN DEVON (1998-1999)

 

A VISIT TO THE LOCAL FARM IN DEVON (1998-1999)

 

A VISIT TO THE LOCAL FARM IN DEVON (1998-1999)

 

A VISIT TO THE LOCAL FARM  (1998-1999)

 

A VISIT TO THE LOCAL FARM IN DEVON (1998-1999)

 

TRADITION # 4 : A DIP IN THE FREEZING WATER (1999)

 

Another yearly Tradition is the obligatory dash and dive in Freezing Sea of the Devon Coastline. At this time of the year water temperatures drop to 7C. Although our legs did turn Lobster Red, none of us would ever have purposefully skipped this important Family Tradition.

 

 

A DIP IN THE FREEZING WATER IN DEVON (1999)

 

Good Times on the Beach with my Sister 1999

 

My dad, my Sister and I. Family traditions on the Coastline 1999

 

TRADITION # 5 : A HIKE THROUGH THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRYSIDE (2005)

 

The Heart of Devon is home to some of Britain’s most stunning landscapes – dramatic scenic coastline, rugged mystical moorland and undulating countryside. Whether you’re a keen hiker or just a fan of taking a stroll, there’s no better way to discover the Heart of Devon than going for a walk. You can follow Devon’s Walking trails for hours on end. The scenery is simply stunning!

 

My Granddad Hiking through the Devon Countryside 2005

 

My Granddad Hiking through the Devon Countryside 2005

 

My Sister Hiking through the Countryside 2005

 

My Sister and I Hiking through the Devon Countryside 2005

 

My Sister and I Hiking through the Devon Countryside 2005

 

TRADITION # 6 : A STROLL ALONG THE BEACH (2005)

 

One of my favourite past-times in Devon has to be the Beach Stroll!Devon’s Coast is lined with sandy Beaches and quaint little Villages. The surrounding fields and sand dunes are criss-crossed with various hiking paths and bridleways. The South Devon Coastal Route is a favourite among many visitors. If you have a dog, do not leave him at home. Most beaches are very dog friendly and there surely can’t be anything much more exciting for your companion then to dig in the sand, sniff out all the new scents, play in the waves and run for miles on end. Read more about one of our many Strolls along the Beach  right on this Blog!

 

My Sister and I taking a Stroll along the Beach  2005

 

My Sister and I taking a Stroll along the Beach 2005

 

My Sister and I taking a Stroll along the Beach in Devon 2005

 

My Sister and I taking a Stroll along the Beach in Devon 2005

 

My Sister and I taking a Stroll along the Beach in Devon 2005

 

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS

 

In the Past we would visit Devon, once a year. It was a Special Occasion. Now that we live in London, visiting Devon and my Grandparents on a more Regular Basis has become a more plausible Idea. Devon is located at approximately a five hour drive from London. It is not feasible to visit my Grandparents for just one day. But it certainly is the perfect Destination for a long Weekend. Gary and I drove down a couple of months ago and had a great time discovering the South Coast of Devon: Torquay, Paignton, Brixham, the Eden project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. I am sure we will return soon.

Parkdean very kindly sent me a 30£ voucher when my Hamper got lost in the Post. I was instructed to use it for anything that took my fancy. I ended up buying three brilliant guides to Devon and Cornwall: DK Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Devon & Cornwall, Lonely Planet Devon & Cornwall and The Rough Guide to Devon and Cornwall. Here is to the year’s to come and the many many trips to Devon that lie in the Future!

 

I bought Three Guidebooks for Devon and Cornwall. Thank you Parkdean

 

How about You? Devon

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1 Comment

  1. Natalie Tanner
    December 23, 2015 / 2:46 pm

    How did splashing through such COLD COLD water become a family tradition? So curious about this painful 😉 tradition!!

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