Mill Barn is the perfect Devon holiday cottage whatever the season. We have attempted to give you a flavour of how this part of Dartmoor changes over the course of the year and what activities might be of interest to you.
Mill Barn is the ideal base for a post-Christmas break. The rivers are in full spate and make for spectacular companions for walks around Lustleigh Cleave and the village (a great way to work of some of that Christmas excess!). With the trees denuded of their leaves distant views are better than at any other time of the year. After all of that exercise you can cosy up in front of the wood burning stove or in the local pub.
Spring comes early to this piece of Devon. At the end of January the first snowdrops start to make an appearance but by February they appear in abundance creating great drifts of flowers standing proud and heralding the promise of Spring. Valentine’s Day is always a popular week so remember to book early for a special romantic getaway.
A magical month!! Spring is really springing now and the fields and hedgerows are full of primroses and daffodils. Later in the month spring lambs will be in the Mill field below Mill Barn. The first days of the spring when one feels the sun of you back are wonderful reminder of another winter passing. Lots of daylight makes exploring even more enjoyable and every day another plant seems to come into bud or flower.
It’s all about the mesmerising bluebells. We are fortunate to have a number of wonderful bluebell woods within walking distance of Mill Barn. These flowers are one of the highlights of the year. The scent is intoxicating. Early bluebells will start to appear in March whilst those on the higher slopes of Dartmoor will make an appearance in May. There are some wonderful displays around the village as well as along the River Bovey and in Lustleigh Cleave. We can direct you to the best spots of bluebell sightseeing!
In Lustleigh the BIG event is our May Day festival held on the first Saturday of the month. This event draws crowds from all over the South West to the village. A traditionally pagan festival the current May Day festivities were revived in the early Twentieth Century. May Pole dancing, flower procession, traditional stalls and a BBQ are the order of the day as the village orchard hosts this charming event. For a larger rural event the Devon County Show is also on near Exeter.
What a great time of the year! Massive daylight hours and still blessed by the freshness of spring. The bluebells may have a passed but only for the foxgloves to offer their own display of colour. As the schools are still in session the area is still quiet making visits to the beach more relaxed. With all the trees in leaf there are a thousand shades of green to survey from the garden. Enjoy the quintessential English summer afternoon with a spot of lunch at the pub or tea room before lying back under the Sun dappled light as it falls between the leaves of the beech trees to watch a game of cricket at Peter O’Toole’s favourite ground. The sound of leather on willow accompanied by the burble of the river and the occasional broken by the cry of ‘howzat’.
High summer. This is what Devon is all about. The fields are green, the lambs are fattening up nicely and hedgerows are full of flowers. Around Lustleigh our neighbouring villages are putting on their annual summer shows with rural crafts and delicious local food. No matter how hot it is a walk along the river Bovey will help to cool you down. Shaded by tall trees you can take a dip or dabble your toes in the river and watch the trout sunning themselves. You might even spot an otter or the flash of a kingfisher.
In August the only subject on the local’s minds is the annual show on the bank holiday Monday. This event is massive for the village. Last year almost 5,000 visitors came to show which features a horticultural show, horse show, parachuting, rural skills, 10Km ‘fun’ run, dozens of craft and food stalls, bands, dancing, dog racing and critically a bar. You will be please to know the show actually takes place on the edge of the village so those staying at Mill Barn get all the enjoyment without disruption caused by traffic. For a more martime based festival why not take in the famous Dartmouth Regatta?
September has been a very reliable month over the last couple of years with warm temperatures and low rainfall. The schools are once again in session so much of the hustle and bustle of summer has subsided but there are still a great many local events going on such as the famous Widecombe Fair.
Autumn is now showing herself and the leaves are turning to wonderful shades of orange and gold. The earth smells damp and the keen forager will be collecting mushrooms and blackberries on their walks. The rivers are beginning to sing their winter song as they fill with precipitation from the higher parts of Dartmoor. The first frosts of the season make the wood burner an attractive proposition in the evening.
The towns around Lustleigh make a great destination for picking up interesting and individual Christmas presents. Totnes, Dartington, Ashburton, Bovey Tracey and Chagford are blessed with quirky shops perfect for finding gifts. It’s not all about shopping though, those wanting to walk will find the moors and woods quieter than summer adding to the sense of atmosphere.
The festive period is always a popular at Mill Barn. We put up a tree for you so the barn looks suitably festive on your arrival. We know that the modern Christmas can be a stressful experience so escaping to our barn and the simple life can be an appealing option to many. Visitors often decide to join the village in seeing in the New Year with the annual bash in the village hall. This is always a memorable experience with a great live band.