More about Snowdrops

In the last post we were talking about NGS Open Gardens some of which are opening in February because they have large numbers of snowdrops.

Yesterday we stumbled on a walk which is one of the best we have ever done for enjoying snowdrops. We did a circular walk from Dartington hall, taking in Staverton along the way. Very pleasant walk, long stretches by the river Dart but also turned out to have stunning displays of snowdrops for a large part of the route. Staverton is worth the detour: an impressive medieval bridge, a steam train station, and a refreshments at the lovely Sea Trout Inn.

National Garden Scheme 2019

The Devon NGS booklet for 2019 is in circulation with 108 different venue listings (and some of these are group listings comprising of several different gardens), many with multiple opening dates.

Whenever you stay at Sandays there is always an opportunity to visit a garden somewhere nearby! That includes February with various listings over the next few weeks, the main attraction this month being the snowdrops. However, mini daffodils, some early primroses and crocuses and the first camellias  are also featuring quite strongly around here.


Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors, the National Garden Scheme has donated £55 million to charity since 1927.

Originally set up to support district nurses, the National Garden Scheme is now the largest single funder of nursing and caring charities in the UK. They also support charities working in gardens and health, grant bursaries to help community gardening projects and support gardeners at the start of their career.

In 2018 a record £3.1 million was donated.

Half term just around the corner ..

As we are now into February, half term seems very close indeed!

There are simply too many things going on around here to start listing them but basically all the local theme parks, visitor attractions, museums, and national trust venues have lots of family style events planned during the week, most working on the basis of half term being 16th – 23rd February. 

The possibilities are endless.

Escaping the Snow

We seemed to have escaped most of the snow this time around at least, although the hillsides do look white around Dawlish.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is supposed to be a lovely sunny day so I expect all traces will have disappeared by Sunday.

Bird Cruises on the Exe Estuary.

Don’t miss out on a bird cruise on the Exe during these winter months when there are thousands of extra wintering birds here.

There are just a few RSPB cruises left on the schedule; they depart from Topsham.

Still a good number of Stuart Line Cruises on their schedule BUT some are sold out already and no doubt the rest will too.

For either option you would need to book. 

Sandays has re-opened for 2019

Sandays is re-opening after our winter break this weekend, ready to welcome our 2019 guests. We look forward to greeting new faces and welcoming back the familiar ones.

It may be winter outside, but it is snug inside! 

There are thousands of birds around the estuary, snowdrops are out in force in our churchyard, and there are plenty of interesting things to do at this time of year. 

We hope to see you soon.

Total Lunar Eclipse

There was a total lunar eclipse this morning which was clearly visible from the front windows at Sandays. Wonderful that we had a clear sky and nice not to have to leave the house as it was rather early – but worth getting up for.

The eclipse was produced when the shadow of the earth completely covered the moon, causing it to look red. As the eclipse slid away we were left with a supermoon looking larger and brighter than usual for the next couple of hours.

These pics don’t do the whole show justice, but here they are anyway. I’m sure there will be plenty of professional ones around to look at too.

Happy Christmas!

We are into our last week at Sandays before we close for Christmas and most of January; you can see the details on our Enquiry page.

There are many lovely festive events to chose from this weekend all around the local area.
It is hard though to beat a Christmas Tree Festival in the setting of a beautiful old church, and this we have just down the road in Dawlish at St.Gregory’s over this weekend. Lovingly decorated by many local groups aiming to inspire you in all sorts of ways; go and take a peek.

Illuminate in the Plymouth Royal William Yard 22nd-25th November.

This is the time of year for Christmas light switch-ons and many in the south west have become festival days with lantern parades and special illuminations, sometimes fireworks. There was an event in Truro this week and there will be one in Brixham this weekend.
Today we took ourselves from Sandays to Plymouth “Illuminate” in the Royal William Yard for a wonderful evening. This is a marvellous setting for an event such as this with plenty of space for people to mill around or just stand and watch the stories unfolding on the buildings. Some of the features are interactive, so created by people joining in.
All very well organised with plenty of options for food & drink.
Illuminate continues for the next 3 evenings and is definitely worth a visit.