Tag Archives: devon cottage

Half Term Family Fun at Flear

We had a super half term here at Flear this autumn, with a pumpkin competition, a treasure hunt, Ceramic painting, and a bonfire & firework display complete with mulled cider and flapjacks. We all loved it! There was also time for a walk on Dartmoor and a windy beach outing.

It’s worth saying that the best holiday here can be doing as little as possible, drifting from the pool to the playbarn to the valley to the beach etc. so of course none of these activities were compulsory, but a big thank you to all our families who enjoyed it with us!

An afternoon’s walk on Dartmoor with the kids was incredible. Spot the shorts in late October…

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Here is one of the “Clue” pumpkins scattered around Flear, this one was down by the playarea. Find them all and solve the clue…

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Some beautiful skies over our valley this week.

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Followed by some cold and frosty mornings!

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A pumpkin outside Quarry Cottage awaits it’s destiny… Things soon warm up – the red glow of the Autumn sun is warm and magical.

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Ceramic painting fun in the Playbarn. The ceramics were then fired in Bridget’s Kiln here, and ready in time for the children to take them home at the end of the holiday.

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Preparing the field for the festivities – a quick mow and setting up the cordons for the fire and fireworks. The gorgeous views looks out towards Salcombe.

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Laying out the light trail up to the top field, so our guests can follow it in the dark.

 

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First of all, the bonfire to get things going!

 

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And then, the Firework fun on the top of the valley, with mulled cider, flapjacks and ginger cake!

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Our ponies, Abbie and Willow were treated to a night time walk back to their field after the display in order to protect them from the noise.

School holidays come to an end but the Summer rolls on!

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The boys LOVED the ferry ride…

As the School Holidays come to an end, we look back on another beautiful Summer, but also look forward to the rest of Summer still to go!

With warm sunny days reaching right to Halloween the last 5 years running, we’re hoping this year is no different. Today, to mark the end of School holidays, we had a family trip on the Rivermaid Ferry to the nearby beaches and fishing village of Salcombe.

A lazy start at Flear meant that by the time we arrived, the first thing we needed to do was feed the kids. The ferry handily drops-off outside the The Ferry Inn. We had a decent meal outside overlooking the Estuary and the beaches on the other side.

After lunch, a fun but VERY brief ride on the East Portlemouth Ferry left us on the sands on the other side of the estuary, for a few hours of lovely beach time.

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The Water is a good temperature for swimming at this time of year. No wetsuits required!

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Lots of sandy shoreline, so beautiful and almost deserted compared to just a few days ago.

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The Wooded Hills that surround the beaches above make it a truly breathtaking environment. Of course the views are largely wasted on the boys who are more concerned with running in and out of the surf, pretending to be speedboats, or throwing stones into the water endlessly, delighting in each splash as if it’s the first they’ve ever seen. It’s simple fun, but we’re relaxed, and that allows them to be…

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A calm journey home up the Estuary to Kingsbridge. A brilliant and easy day out – Recommended to our families! (Ferry Timetimes are in the Playbarn).

Animal Silly Face Competition! (and a new Play Area)

Another wonderful year is almost over, and so much to look back on! Another beautiful Spring and Summer, with the sunshine continuing right through the autumn and into the winter, bringing us lots of sunny days and bright frosty mornings. Beach days running into December yet again for our holidaying families, who have all been so great to us and so deserve it!

But enough of that, some of the animals here have been posing with silly faces this morning so in true internet tradition, these are the photos we shall share with you.

Abbie blows a raspberry, whilst Alasdair chooses “statuesque and aloof”. This is typical of their personalities in general…

 

Chicken Mafia. Little Dude presides with May, June and also Long-Distance Clara briefly popping into the background before roving off once more.

 

And to add something sensible here are a couple of pics also taken this morning of our new Play Area, designed and handmade with local materials by the amazing Earth Wrights.

Outdoor play is still at the heart of a great childhood

New Play Area overlooking a corner of our valley. Adventures to be had!

Two little shetland ponies come to live at Flear

This winter we said a sad goodbye to our chestnut pony, Yara, who has left us to become a riding pony in her new home in North Devon, as we make arrangements for a couple of gorgeous little shetland ponies to come and live at Flear. Meanwhile Abbie has been waiting for her new companions eagerly!

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Are they nearly here yet?

A few days later the Little Shetland siblings, Scooby and Shaggy arrive after walking through the village and up our lane. It’s all very exciting for everyone.

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Let’s go for a run!

After a fair amount of showing off, Abbie shows the newbies around as they go for a run together.

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These ponies are simply adorable

Then they get to know each other a bit, there’s lots of nose-to-nose chat, and they all get on very well from the start.

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Playing it cool.

Abbie is playing it a bit cool, but we know how much she missed having company just in the few days since Yara left. Ignore the horsey poker face, she’s thrilled to have new friends.

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Lots of delicious hay? Well I shouldn’t, but go on then…

As with people, a lot of excitement makes everyone hungry. Three piles of hay coming up! Welcome Scooby and Shaggy – you think it’s good now, just wait until our visiting families turn up with carrots and cuddles!

 

Summer: picnics, ducklings and fairies come to Flear.

As summer continues at full swing here at Flear the little ones enjoy some fun in the valley and we welcome some cute and even magical arrivals…

Picnic in the Valley

Picnic in the Valley

Playing on the bridge over the stream

Playing on the bridge over the stream

These ducklings were born down at the pond this summer and have been enjoying their new home.

Ducklings at Flear

Ducklings at Flear

We also say hello to some newly fledged young ducks just settling into after arriving this afternoon. We set up a pen for them to get used to the area for a while. It took about an hour for all the other ducks and then the family of Moorhens with their chicks to come to the pen for a chat. You can spot one Moorhen chick (black and fluffy) in this pic just above the pen on the far bank.

Young ducks arrive and are settling in.

Young ducks arrive and are settling in.

And finally we welcome the more magical arrival of a family of Fairies who set up a beautiful harvest camp in Flear House garden. Fairies Tink and Willow communicated with the resident “big people” by secret message and have given their permission for us to use this photo, so we’re really very lucky to be able to show it here. Thanks to Sue, Karen, Lesley and their families for passing on this great pic.

The Fairy house in Flear House garden

The Fairy house in Flear House garden

As the summer continues well into September we are all looking forward to more picnics, barbecues and beach days!

Spring and Spa!

Spring has arrived here in South Devon and brought us some glorious weather, with lots more to come. We’ve been busy making the valley look beautiful, and building a new Steam Room and Spa treatments room in our pool complex and they are now all in full swing.

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The new Treatment Room here at Flear.

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A variety of treatments are available, please see our Treatments menu for more information.

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The Steam Room is a significant upgrade on the old Sauna room and much more effective and relaxing.

There's plenty of space to sit or lie down to relax. For an extra relaxing experience, choose "Starfield" for your lighting.

There’s plenty of space to sit or lie down to relax. For an extra relaxing experience, choose “Starfield” for your lighting…

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Meanwhile, the Valley floor has been a glorious sun trap this week, and ready for the multitudes of spring flowers about to bloom.

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We had a shower or two one day which prompted the Ducks to come up to the cottages and hang around for titbits!

All in all, Flear has never been in better heart, there are one or two weeks left in May if you can get away do let us know. Next post will likely be on the Bluebell Woods! See you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas at Flear…

It’s Christmas time and here at Flear we have gotten well and truly in to the spirit of the season. Our Christmas and New year guests will get to enjoy one or two of eleven real christmas trees and a christmassy themed play barn… I’ve lost count of how many Baubles we have… Seasons greeting to you all from all of us here at Flear.

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A belated welcome to Yara the little Hill Pony !

Yara the Dartmoor Hill Pony has been with us at Flear for nearly two months, and we have been waiting to see how she was fitting in (particularly with Abbie) before officially welcoming her to live here.

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Yara, giving us a profile of her new winter coat she’s growing for the season.

We’re delighted to report that Yara has settled in so well, here and Abbie were rubbing along from right from the start as if they had been friends for years.

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Yara’s calm nature and her eagerness to learn new things were the main reasons we brought her to Flear. The inquisitive cheekiness comes as standard.

From the moment she arrived, she fell into step alongside Abbie and hasn’t left her side since. We were all surprised at just how well they are suited to each other as friends and companions. Ponies, particularly Dartmoors, make very strong bonds and Abbie and Yara’s new relationship is important for them both, and will last all their lives.

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Grazing together, like old friends.

Both ponies spend their time chatting to the ducks over the fence, grazing together quietly or coming to see families up by the gate in the hope of a carrot or two.

20 little ducks have a new home on our Duck Pond

Flear’s new residents, 20 little ducks, have been waiting to move on to the pond for several days, but we were having their duck house made, so they have been living in the back barn in the meantime. It’s been warm and comfortable for them there, but nothing could be better than a beautiful big pond, roosting platform and duck house for them in the valley. It’s safe to say they are absolutely loving their new home, hooray for our little ducks!

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They started out by doing a few laps of the pond-side to get to see if it would do.

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The children love them already and we are down to see them every day. Roo has been attempting to impress them with his bike, in as much as one can impress a duck – which is not much as it turns out.

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There’s plenty of space in the parkland of the valley floor, and lots of stream side to forage on if they fancy a change of scene, perhaps they might keep the weeds down? If so, Hooray again for the little ducks of Flear!

Flear Farm from the skies

Here are a couple for pics taken of Flear recently. You can see the pony paddock centre left, the pitch and putt course curls around the bottom towards the tennis court. The left side of the picture is the duck pond and stream-side meadow with the little bridge you can sit and dangle your legs over. The Apple orchard is top centre, with the beehives under the big Oak tree in the middle. A lot of the estate is not shown with the ridge going towards Flear Wood starting beyond the Orchard and the Fishing pond being further upstream but it does go a little way to showing how beautiful it is here, so we’re sharing it with you.

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Flear House and gardens, including the outdoor pool and blackberry terraces.Flear House