Do you ever get a hankering for Christmas as it used to be? Each year it can seem like the festive season becomes louder, busier and more stressful. So this time around, why not celebrate by giving yourself a more relaxing experience with a nod to tradition in 2016? Here are just some of the reasons we love Christmas in North Devon, here at Northcote Manor:
Does your local neighbourhood go nuts for the tacky side of Christmas? Elegant understatement seems to be out of fashion in many towns and cities. But here in the countryside, Christmas is still marked by a simpler, more nostalgic approach. You can keep your plastic Santa Claus and multi-coloured lights, we much prefer traditional Christmas decorations such as holly wreaths, hand crafted ornaments and candle light. Add the warm glow of a real fireplace and we know which version of seasonal cheer we prefer.
Devon is well known for its milder climate, but venture west towards the turn of the year and you will also see a wilder, cooler side to the county. This is never truer than on the heights of our National Parks, with Exmoor especially beautiful in the winter. Reach the upper ground and you have an excellent chance of snow too, should you fancy a taste of White Christmas or a day out with the kids or grandkids.
You may also spot creatures such as Exmoor ponies and red deer, which remain surprisingly active throughout much of the winter. Or equally, you could drive to the coast and be walking on one of our stunning wild beaches in no time at all. Switch the phone off, take a deep breath and you might find a totally different side to some of Devon and Somerset’s loveliest scenery. Our special blog on Exmoor's most beautiful sites has some useful starting points and places to visit.
The sheer amount of work involved in Christmas dinner can be pretty formidable, especially if you have several extra guests to cater for. Why not give yourself a break this year by letting the chefs take care of everything? Featuring Christmas favourites along with special treats (including delicious fish courses, canapes, festive drinks and homemade pastries) Christmas breaks at Northcote Manor is set to be a well deserved treat this year, delivered with all the trimmings from our award-winning kitchen team.
If you tend to spend the Boxing Day Sales wishing you were somewhere else, the North Devon countryside and pretty villages become even more appealing this year. Why not swap the usual queues for a day exploring or a spot of golf or fly fishing? It’s so much more relaxing to spend this traditional day of rest and recreation doing just that, and few regions around the UK have a more delightful selection of pretty villages, outdoor excursions and country sports than North Devon.
Molland is just one renowned spot for shooting pheasant and grouse; or if angling is more your thing why not head for one of several excellent winter fly fisheries in Devon, such as Blakewell, Bratton Water or Simpson Valley? The area's spring-fed lakes remain open all year, even when there is ice on the ground (here’s a handy guide to several of the best of day ticket fly fisheries in Devon). And what better way to celebrate a successful day’s sport than our 6 course gourmet Boxing Day Dinner at Northcote Manor?
As for the best way to have a truly memorable, totally stress free Christmas, the ultimate answer is to get away for a short break. Our festive breaks in North Devon take care of everything, offering you all the fun and relaxation of Christmas with none of the unwanted work or washing up.
For full details, see our Christmas Breaks page, which has several packages on offer, providing the best in food and hospitality in our delightful country house setting in North Devon. Why not give yourself the greatest gift of all and make it a totally stress free Christmas this year?