We chose late August/early September as the rates are half that of peak Summer season and there are less tourists which means less hassle on the roads and it gives us a fair chance of getting into a tea room without queuing.
We rented a "Country Cottage" at Torrington; in fact the cottage was part of a converted water mill and we also had the benefit of a small swimming pool which the kids enjoyed. However, the rooms were cold and damp and the central heating was not switched on - fortunately the living room had a wood fuelled fire which we stoked up and kept alive most evenings.
On Sunday we visited Bideford and tried to catch some crabs. Monday we visited the Quince Honey Farm and saw umpteen bee hives that could be mechanically opened at a press of a button to reveal tens of thousands of industrious bees making honey - quite impressive, but overall the exhibition and buildings looked a little run down. Tuesday we took the kids to the Big Sheep which was a sheep farming themed fun park - there were some neat shows, such as using a sheep dog to herd ducks. On site was a barn full of baby farm animals where a free range goat had a go at eating my jeans and also "EWEtopia" - a barn full of slides and climbing frames which were useful for wearing the kids out.
Wednesday we walked into Torrington town centre and saw a demonstration 1643 civil war gun being loaded and shot, much to the dislike of my 6 year old son David - far too noisy!
One of the holiday highlights was Thursdays visit to Lynton and Lynmouth and riding on the water powered Victorian cliff railway - using the help of gravity and 600 gallons of water we zipped up and down the cliff in a few minutes saving us a long walk!
We rounded the week off with a visit on Friday to the Clovelly which a small and beautiful fishing village which has banned cars from it's cobbled streets. It's got lots of character and has not changed much in a hundred years.
Being in Devon, we made best use of tea rooms and I managed to consume 3 cream teas during the week - which is probably my quota for 2009. The weather was not brilliant, but it is England and one expects rain.
All it in, not a bad break, and I managed to get through a whole week without any internet connectivity without suffering too much!