I recently had a much needed trip away to Finlake Holiday Park in Newton Abbott, Devon with Chris and his family (and Honey the doggo)! Just on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, the place was surrounded by stunning views- especially as the leaves on the trees were turning into beautiful Autumnal colours.
The park has its own indoor and outdoor pool, sauna, steam room, gym, spa area, amongst other activities on and off site.. making it the perfect getaway for families, couples and groups of friends. There are a range of accommodation available- cabins, lodges and even lodges in the trees. We stayed in the ‘Country Holiday Home Six VIP‘ which was dog friendly and had its own hot tub on the decking.
Here’s a little summary of what we got up too:
Travel day- travelling via train Brighton- Chichester and then driving to Devon from Chichester. We did a food shop in Newton Abbott town and then drove the holiday park and checked in. We had a fairly chilled evening of hanging out in the hot tub, eating vegan chilli for dinner and playing board games.
Chris and I booked some activities for the next couple of days (bike hiring and water zorbing). We then came back to the lodge and chilled for a bit before heading down to the pool and sauna/steam room area. Chris’ cousin and his partner’s son came with us whilst the girls went into town to shop. We then all met for lunch (hello Linda McCartney’s vegan pulled pork burgers!) before heading off to Canonteign Falls (England’s largest Manmade Waterfall). The walk up to the waterfall was through a scenic wooded area but coming down we went through a differed wooded route which lead to some stunning lakes.
After the walk, we came back to the lodge. Us vegans ordered Thai food to pick up for a takeaway whilst the meat eaters had a meal out. After a lovely meal, I couldn’t resist another dip in the super relaxing hot tub.
As requested on the previous day- our bike hire delivery arrived at 09:30 in the morning. Each bike was £15 to hire for the day (+£2 optional insurance) with a £15 delivery charge to the park (again, optional). Chris and I then went for 12 or so miles around the surrounding areas and did a mix of road and off-roading cycling. Considering I ride fixed gear on an aluminium and carbon fork frame, I wasn’t quite prepared for the heaviness.. and gears of a mountain bike! It took a little while to get used to it (especially on the roads) but as soon as we hit the muddy tracks, it was such a fun experience! We then came back for some lunch- and then four of us went back on the bikes for another hour- exploring the holiday park itself.
After a quick rest 6/7 of us went down to the outdoor pool to try.. ‘Water Walkerz’ (water zorbing). Although there were a line of 15 kids (and I mean, 11 years and younger), we still wanted to do it haha. Especially at £5, we couldn’t really pass the opportunity! I think all of us came out laughing, a good sign indeed! We then headed back to the cabin for dinner, pumpkin carving, sparklers and chill time.
The last day was just a packing up and travel day, bar stopping off for some food.
Sometimes it’s easy to think that a holiday must involve getting your passport out and going on a plane, to another country- however I’m always proved wrong at how much fun I can have exploring different parts of England. A great weekend which was the perfect mix of trying new things and relaxing.. And getting to hang out with a dog all weekend, well i’m certainly not complaining!