There’s that one country park in every area that seems to magnetically draw families, dog walkers and visitors to its grounds on Sundays and sunny days, and in Torquay that place is Cockington. This country park is easy to reach (less than a mile from the seafront) and is so old that it even featured in the Domesday Book.
Not much has changed over the years, and the manor house is surrounded by 460 acres of parkland. Apart from the occasional game of cricket the area is a great place to let your dog stretch his legs or sit and enjoy a drink outside the cafe while the children enjoy the open grounds. If you veer off the main path and explore the water meadows you’ll often see ducklings between the lily pads, and the deserted gamekeeper’s cottage tells of days gone by when the land was a Devon manor house’s hunting ground.
Cockington village is the place to get that perfect holiday snapshot, as the thatched cottages, rose gardens and tea rooms huddle around the village square while horse and carts make plod between the seafront and the park. The Drum Inn has outside seating, an infamous Sunday roast and drinks outside for the four legged visitors – and look out for the water wheel on the way.
Cockington comes into its own each October when it hosts Apple Day, and visitors can see apple pressing demonstrations and pick up local foods and drinks. There are activities for the children too, so they can try their hands at apple bobbing, handcrafts and all kinds of traditional country games.
Cockington Court Craft Centre