A grand old man, Harry is 14 and has spent every Whit week holiday for nine years at Watermill Cottages.
And although his back legs are not too steady these days, and though sleep is almost, not quite, but almost, more important than food – he is a Labrador after all – he always goes for his morning and evening amble down to the stream to cool his paws, sniff the air and catch the breeze.
He loves scents and knows them well here, he’s at home in Barleycorn Cottage where he’s stayed every year for nine years. It matters, as his eyes don’t see too well now. His nose tells him who we all are!
As you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, Harry needs help getting out of the stream. Out for him is always up on to the grass. It most certainly is NOT up a plank of wood, onto a flat rock and then onto the lawn.
‘Honestly, who do they think I am!’ gruffed Harry, as he deftly removed a burnt sausage from beside the bbq.
|The Times recommends Watermill Cottages
The Times, to our delighted surprise, recommended us in its Travel Doctor column on Saturday May 23 2015.
Watermill Cottages’ 20 acres of rural coastal retreat near Slapton Sands beach in South Devon’s AONB is perfect for families of all ages and sizes with plenty of dogs!
It was in the Weekend Section, which Andy at Strete General Stores had luckily held for us on Sunday morning.
The Times quoted prices for May half-term 2016 for Rose, Quack and Barleycorn Cottages – the same price as 2015 – prices and availability for 2015 are on this link.
For 2016 prices and availability please call us on 01803 770219 or email email@example.com
Word has got out!
April the first and it’s not a joke – this morning two bright yellow ducklings for Dark Green Duck, the first of the spring at Watermill Cottages. Mrs Duckel, the grey and white duck, looks on from her own nest – she has three weeks to go.
Field with a View
We’ve recently added a six acre meadow for your enjoyment at Watermill Cottages – it’s at the top of the lane and has stunning views over Start Bay to the lighthouse at Start Point. It’s great for sunsets (and eclipses)..
We’re planning a campfire place and rustic seating so it’ll be the perfect spot for family picnics and sundowners, never mind watercolours, photography, kite-flying (it catches the breeze), and rolling down the slope. It’s a healthy stroll with the delight of walking down hill home to your cottage.
Sheep Report Matilda is thriving (still on bottles), here she is with the cuckoo lamb from last year and Jesse the friendly Jacob ram who eats from your hand
|Cuckoo lamb, Jesse ram and Matilda
Slow Nature Wild Words
|The Gara Valley
Fri 15 Nov – Sun 17 Nov 2013
A residential rural writing weekend in the heart of the unspoilt Gara Valley in south Devon close to Slapton Sands.
Exploring our natural processes of creation and writing in response to our felt sense of nature in thirteen acres of unspoilt coastal valley that’s virtually untouched by the modern world. Far from the madding crowd away from the white noise of TV, mobiles and WiFi, time and space to attune to natural rhythms.
- James Crowden inspiring words as we walk the byways of the Gara Valley
- new ways of creative expression through the resonance of woods, winds, walks and water
- footscapes, landscapes, soundscapes, wordscapes
- space to unearth lost, found, forgotten, new & old rhythms
- sessions on raw & found materials, creating across disciplines, collaborative writing…
- nourishment for creativity, body, spirit and soul
- Full programme here
A room of one’s own in shared old stone cottages that are part of an historic 18th Century former watermill at Watermill Cottages, Hansel, nr Slapton, Dartmouth, South Devon TQ6 0LN.
Click the link for full details of the glorious setting at Watermill Cottages in the Gara Valley.
Just 12 places. Residential, two days and nights, all food, accommodation and tuition.
Check-in 15:00 Friday and checkout by 18:00 Sunday – or stay longer if your fancy takes you, just ask.
Biographies here for leaders and facilitators.
To book or for more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Christine on 01803 770219
Or take a look at Slow Nature WIld Words website
|Higher North Mill
A Left Bank event with Watermill Cottages
Are you going to have the chance of a real break this summer?
I did, when, last week, my son Josh and I headed for the Gara valley in Devon for four days at Watermill Cottages, owned by my dear friend Christine and her partner, John.
Descending for six full minutes from the village of Slapton, through a high-hedged one-car-wide lane, towards Higher North Mill, reminded us of going down a rabbit hole. To discover a real Wonderland in which to play on our arrival was sublime.
Then I had a big shock… no wifi in our cottage, no TV and the nearest mobile signal was a 20 minute steep glute-loving climb up to what Christine calls ‘Texting Corner’. “Go on, Mum! I dare you!” Josh challenged me. “See if you can go a week without logging on.”
I knew Christine and John had working wifi next door but I resisted temptation and indeed took a week off.
Within just 24 hours I had a thumping headache, which, I am pretty sure, was due to the toxins leaving my body, but then I entered a state of such mindfulness and bliss that I never wanted to leave.
Poetry swirled round my head. Endlessly, lines from WH Davies, Wordsworth, Edward Thomas and my new love Anthony Anaxagorou, replaced the inane chatter, and slowly I was reminded of what really mattered to me in life – words, rhyme, metaphor, meaning, nature and laughter.
Just four days down the rabbit hole and suddenly I saw everything clearly again. And I wrote and wrote and wrote.
They say TV is ‘chewing gum for the mind’. Now I know it’s true. Take away technology and magically, out of the tangle of wires I found myself again. And it was good.
“Oh, no. Back to reality tomorrow,” I said to John on our last night, as we sat by his woodburning stove, singing along to him on guitar and Josh on double bass.
“Maybe this is reality,” said John.
Valley of the Senses
Once upon a childhood dream
I searched for fairies by a stream
and hunkered low by waterfalls,
listened for the swallow’s call,
dressed in week-old mucky clothes,
felt wet grass on sandalled toes,
sucked honey from the nettle flower,
inhaled the mist that filled the air.
And so today I push my tired hair behind deafened ears,
brace my blinded eyes
and remind myself to breathe,
in and out through my heart,
to ignore the constant chatter of my
tinnitus and monkey mind.
Christine writes: If you’d like to find what Jo found here, join me on a creative writing weekend on 3-5 November 2017, Writers at The Watermill