Out and About
Something for Everyone
The setting of Highbullen could not be better if you are seeking an adventure on foot. The local footpaths and country lanes provide plenty of scope for setting off with friends or family for a day's walking. The variety of walks include short strolls along the rivers and streams, admiring the beautiful flora and fauna, circular walks where you can see a wide range of views and, of course, long hikes over fields and moorland as you comb Exmoor.
For something a little further away but wonderfully rewarding, head to the South West Coast Path that winds its way around the Devon coastline. Whether you are looking for a breath of fresh air or a day's hiking, the views from the path are spectacular as it climbs to the top of some of the country's highest cliffs and passes golden beaches and romantic inlets.
Shared with walkers and runners, the 30 mile Tarka Trail running from Braunton to Meeth is one of Britain's longest traffic free cycling paths; it is also part of the Devon coast to coast cycle route.
Views from the Tarka Trail are superb with the Taw Estuary visible for several miles. There are even a few shelters for ducking into if there is a sudden downpour. Plenty of wildlife can also be seen when cycling the route with its different habitats including mud flats, salt marshes and woodlands.
The Tarka Trail is an easy route to follow, and, because it is flat, it is ideal for families with young children or beginners. The Puffing Billy pub is well worth a visit if cycling on the stretch of path around Torrington. This former railway waiting-room serves good food in a relaxed atmosphere.
Within a 10 mile radius of the Highbullen Estate there are several riding stables offering countryside rides or lessons. BHS qualified staff are on hand at Collacott Farm as they help riders to learn or improve their skills. At Chulmleigh, Boldtry Riding Stables have a wide range of services on offer, including recreational rides. Horse riding is a great way to enjoy the countryside and is very relaxing. Another excellent stable yard in the local area is Oaklands, who is able to provide both lessons and hacks for all levels of riders, including those with disabilities.
Visitors looking for a more relaxed and colourful outing when staying on the Highbullen Estate will find a wealth of local gardens and National Trust properties to explore. The gardens at RHS Rosemoor near Torrington are beautiful all year round, as are those at Marwood, Tapley Park, Hartland and the nearby Castle Hill.
For a wonderful mix of art and flowers head to Broomhill Sculpture Gardens on the outskirts of Barnstaple; and to see something a little more familiar, well-known gardener Carol Klein's Glebe Cottage, as seen on BBC's Gardener's World, is located in Chittlehampton.
Fantastic period properties surrounded by gardens can be found at both Arlington Court near Barnstaple and Knightshayes on the edge of Tiverton. These National Trust managed estates are open for the majority of the year and are well worth a visit. As well as being able to look around the houses, you will also have access to their large gardens and grounds. Both these properties offer a range of activities for children and adults and are well worth a visit when staying at Highbullen.
A trip to the West Country would not be complete without visiting one of its many beautiful towns and villages. Within the realms of the Exmoor National Park visitors can take a trip back in time exploring some of the quaint villages that exist amongst the pretty flora and fauna, including Dunster and Dulverton, where you will discover cosy tearooms and a range of small shops. Alternatively, enjoy a hearty meal at one of the many rural pubs situated within the borders of the National Park.
To enjoy fresh seafood and a classic cream tea, spend the day at one of the charming coastal towns or villages that are dotted along the Northern coastline. See where Exmoor meets the sea at Lynton or Lynmouth and enjoy a trip on the Cliff Railway, which is solely powered by water. On another day, visit Ilfracombe and its beautiful harbour where you can see contemporary artist Damien Hirst's statue 'Verity', or hop on board a boat bound for Lundy Island.
For stunning scenery and wonderful views why not spend time in Clovelly? This lovely little village has pretty whitewashed cottages and a working harbour that is reached via a traffic free cobbled street, where donkeys are still used to transport goods. Just along the coastline from Clovelly are Appledore and Instow, two seaside villages that are very popular with artists.
There are several other nearby attractions to keep all ages entertained. Near Bideford, The Big Sheep is a popular day out for all the family with baby lambs to bottle feed, sheep racing to laugh at, tractor rides to enjoy and much, much more.
On the outskirts of Torrington, Dartington Crystal is a great place to have fun and pick up a few souvenirs. Try your hand at glass blowing, glass painting, hand casting or jewellery making, or, alternatively, watch the experts as they create stunning glass and crystal ware.
A little closer to home is Exmoor Zoo, a fantastic park offering visitors the chance to get up close to a number of well-known and rare mammals and reptiles. Other attractions within the area, include Watermouth Castle, Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park and The Milky Way.