Slow Travel

Perfect Day in East Devon

Celebrate the release of our new Slow Travel East Devon & The Jurassic Coast guidebook and win a two-night break for two at Cuckoo Down Farm. Simply tell us your ‘Perfect day in East Devon’.

Written by Bradt Travel Guides


My Perfect Day in East Devon and the Jurassic Coast – win a two-night stay at Cuckoo Down Farm

To celebrate the release of our new Slow Travel East Devon & The Jurassic Coast guide by Hilary Bradt and Janice Booth we are running a special competition to find the most perfect day in the area.

To enter, simply write a description of your perfect day in no more than 500 words. Your day might have really happened or be something imagined: it might include sampling some Exmouth mussels, twitching at one of the area’s many bird reserves or braving the waves on Lyme Regis’s iconic Cobb before settling in at a snug café for a cream tea. Whatever shape your perfect day might take, we want to hear what makes East Devon and the Jurassic Coast special to you. 

The prizes
The winner will receive a two-night break for two at Cuckoo Down Farm outside the village of West Hill. This family-run farm offers luxury accomodation in both yurts and safari tents, where the wood burning stove keeps away the night’s chill and the chickens pecking at the tent flaps provide eggs for your breakfast. The winning entry will also be published in an issue of Marshwood Vale Magazine, the most popular community magazine in East Devon and West Dorset.  
Cuckoo Down Farm, East Devon
Cuckoo Down Farm, East Devon
Three runners up will receive a copy of Slow Travel East Devon & The Jurassic Coast by Hilary Bradt and Janice Booth.
How to enter
Send your entry, in no more than 500 words, to either, with ‘Shropshire competition’ as the subject line, or post it to Hugh Collins (East Devon competition), Bradt Travel Guides, IDC House, The Vale, Chalfont St Peter, Bucks, SL9 9RZ.
Entries must be receieved by 31 May, and the winner and three runners up will be notified on 30 June. 

The entries will be judged by Hilary Bradt, who will pick her favourites based on their passion, colour and originality. Read Hilary’s own perfect day below. 

My Perfect Day in East Devon and the Jurassic Coast by Hilary Bradt

On a perfect day I shall morph into the sort of person who leaps out of bed at dawn, whistling a happy tune. For that’s when you need to get up to make the most of a visit to Seaton Wetlands (although there’s something to see at any time of day). There will already be a cluster of birders with their telescopes and binoculars in the hide, all wanting to share their expertise. It is May; the rising sun turns the water to gold, speckled with the silhouettes of waders.  On the opposite side of the river Axmouth’s church tower reminds me that I haven’t had breakfast and the Harbour Inn in the village serves a tasty one.  Then it’s to Honiton for its twice-weekly market.  Multicoloured vegetables and fruit, glisteningly fresh fish, fragrant baking and all sorts of home-produced goodies compete for attention.  Perhaps the lady with the bicycle will be there, selling wholesome snacks from her wicker bike basket.  I might pop into the All Hallows Museum to gaze at the exquisite examples of 17th century Honiton lace.

On the way home I stop off at Blackbury Camp – rewarding at all times of year for its combination of beech trees, far-reaching views and atmospheric iron-age hill fort, but extra special in May with its purple-blue carpet of bluebells. Perhaps I’ll go for coffee and a scone (is it too early for a cream tea?) at the nearby honey farm before returning to Seaton to catch the 899 bus to Branscombe. I love this route! The bus trundles along narrow lanes, scraping the hawthorn hedges and waiting patiently while panicking visitors reverse waveringly into gateways. There are only two buses a day but the second arrives at the Fountainhead pub in time for lunch, so I’ll indulge myself before taking the footpath to my just-about-favourite stretch of the South West Coast Path. An hour or so later, full of juicy Lyme Bay scallops and walking east towards Beer, I pause at The Sea Shanty at Branscombe Mouth (I’ve saved a little room for their delicious cakes) before toiling up the hill that leads to views of the chalk pillars of Beer Head and Hooken Cliffs, the Jurassic Coast’s most westerly Cretaceous rocks and a reminder of its geological variety.  Clumps of primroses splash the borders of the path with yellow, and the sea below me is a Mediterranean blue.

In Beer I never miss a visit to the two art galleries, whose seriously good paintings, sculpture and glasswork are a delight to browse.  Normally I would continue walking back to Seaton, but this is my perfect day so a special friend is going to take me to the region’s best and most picturesque restaurant: the Five Bells outside the little village of Clyst Hyden. I wait for him at the outdoor tables of Beer’s Anchor pub, sipping a local cider and thinking how lucky I am to live in this part of the world.

Terms & conditions

  1. The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over. Employees, contractors and authors of Bradt Travel Guides (“Bradt”) and the competition partner and members of the immediate family of the above are not eligible to participate.
  2. No purchase is necessary.
  3. The competition will be launched in February 2016. All entries must be received by midnight GMT on the closing date, 31 May 2016.
  4. There is one main prize in the competition and three runners-up prizes.
  5. Each entrant may submit only one entry for consideration. Joint entries are not allowed and entries on behalf of other people will be excluded.
  6. The competition theme is ‘My perfect day in East Devon and the Jurassic Coast’
  7. Entrants will be sent Bradt’s e-newsletter (providing news and special offers). If you do not wish to receive the e-newsletter, plus put “NO NEWSLETTER” in the message body of the email submission, or alongside the contact information in postal entries.
  8. The winner and runners-up will be selected by Hilary Bradt, co-author of the Bradt Slow Travel Guide to East Devon & The Jurassic Coast.
  9. The judge will consider a combination of factors including originality of idea, quality of writing, adherence to theme and creativity.
  10. If, for any reason, Hilary is unable to judge a suitable alternative judge will be found, at the sole discretion of Bradt.
  11. The First Prize (as defined below) will be awarded to the entry that the Judge considers to be the best. The Judge’s decision is final. The three runners-up prizes will be awarded to the three entries that the judge consider the next best.
  12. The winner and three runners-up will be notified by 30 June 2016.
  13. The winner of the main prize (the “Competition Winner”) shall win a two-night break for two to Cuckoo Down Farm (the “Competition Winner’s Prize”). Dates of travel are subject to availability and the Competition Winner must give at least one month’s notice in advance of their desired dates of travel. 
  14. Bradt will accept no responsibility for any costs associated with the Prize and not specifically included in the prize description, this includes transport to the prize location.
  15. The winner must communicate directly with Bradt about the Prize.
  16. All elements of the Prize are subject to availability.
  17. The prizes are non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and are not redeemable for cash or other prizes. In the event of cancellation by the Competition Winner, for whatever reason, no alternative prize or travel dates will be offered. Once a confirmed booking has been made, reservations may not be changed.
  18. If the Competition Winner is unable to take up his or her prize for any reason, or if we have not been able, after making reasonable efforts, to make contact with the winner, we reserve the right to award the relevant prize to an alternative winner.
  19. Your competition entry must be all your own work. It must not contain any third-party content or infringe the copyright of any third party and it must not be obscene, defamatory or in breach of any applicable legislation or regulations. We reserve the right to exclude entries from the competition that we consider, in our sole discretion, to be in breach of this clause.
  20. Bradt shall have a non-exclusive right to publish all entries on its website and in print and across other social media.
  21. Bradt reserve the right to withhold the prize, in whole or in part, if the judge decides in their sole discretion, that there are no entries of a suitable standard.
  22. Bradt and the competition partners reserve the right to publish the names of the winner and the winning entries themselves, and the winner is required to give their full co-operation to all reasonable requests by the promoters in connection with publicity for the competition, their entry, the prizes or otherwise.
  23. No correspondence will be entered into or comment issued on any matters concerning the competition and no reasons given for any decision made by the Judge.
  24. Bradt shall not be liable for any circumstances beyond our reasonable control that prevent the competition being fulfilled, a winner being chosen, or any prize being taken up or fully enjoyed by a winner. Bradt excludes liability to the full extent permitted by law for any cost, claims or losses howsoever caused that arise by reason of any person’s entry into a competition or the award, or non-award, to them of a prize.
  25. These terms and conditions shall be governed by and interpreted according to English law and the English courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction to deal with any disputes arising in connection with them.