The Bistro at Hawkchurch has a fabulous new menu just waiting for you to try it out and enjoy every delicious bite!

Hawkchurch Resort & Spa boasts beautiful scenery of the understated Devonshire countryside, as well as spectacular 5 star facilities. Our facilities are open to owners, holiday guests and local residents, everyone is welcome to come and try out the spa, gym and of course, the true gem, The Bistro Restaurant & Bar.

So whether you’re looking to enjoy a relaxing holiday break away, finding your holiday home of dreams, or live in the local area and are looking for the ultimate in dining out, Hawkchurch is the place to be!

Our brand new menu will have your mouth watering and your hand reaching for the phone to book your table at our wonderful restaurant!


the sandwich selection

The brand new sandwich selection will tickle all the taste buds with offerings from all over the world.

Tuck into The Cuban , with a delicious filling of ham, mustard and cheese. However, the French Dip is a firm favourite, it includes slow roasted beef and comes with a pot of mouth-watering jus to dip the sandwich in – utter heaven!

All our sandwiches are served in a chunky toasted baguette (because there is just nothing better) and they come with dressed salad and coleslaw. The sandwich selection is available between 12noon and 2pm, making it the ideal lunch time meal.


the stand out dishes

Our new menu offers everything you could want for a meal, whether it’s a lite bite lunch, or a 3 course meal with a range of wonderful starters, a number of sizzling grill options and, of course, the classic pizza choices. But we wanted to pick out our 3 stand out dishes from the whole menu that we think you will really love!

  • Jerk Chicken Thighs – served with chimichurri and sweet corn relish, you will love this jerk dish which also comes with spicy potato wedges
  • Superfood Salad – a one-of-a-kind salad filled with goodness for your body and mind, the ingredients include quinoa, kale and cos lettuce
  • Coffee Parfait – this is an ideal finisher for your meal and delicious treat for everyone, it comes with whipped cream and shortbread

Photo of a fish dish available at the bistro at Hawkchurch

Our menu caters to all tastes and needs, with a variety of vegetarian and vegan options. All our stunning dishes are lovingly prepared by a talented team of chefs at the Bistro.

The Bistro also offers an outstanding bar, which is fully stocked with a wide range of wines, spirits and ales. We also offer a varied Costa Coffee menu, so you can relax on the outdoor seating area, taking in the views of the Axe Valley while enjoying your favourite coffee.

Call us on 01297 678402 to book your table today and find out what your favourites are on our new menu!

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Somerset is a beautiful part of the UK, blessed with natural beauty and filled with man made works of art including the idyllic Iford Manor, which is located just six miles from our very own Bath Mill Lodge Retreat. This stunning estate with its Grade 1 listed gardens is a must see the next time you enjoy a holiday at Bath Mill.

the peto gardens

One of the stand out attractions on the estate is of course the Grade 1 Internationally Listed gardens at Iford Manor which were designed and created by the important Edwardian garden designer Harold Peto, who lived here from 1899-1933.

Peto was a renowned British architect who was famous for beautiful garden designs, many of which are still in existence today in parts of both the UK and France. The Peto Gardens at Iford Manor are perhaps the finest example of his work still in existence, with Peto expanding and completely designing the gardens upon purchasing the estate. The design of the garden was very much influenced by Peto’s travels prior to purchasing Iford Manor when he took inspiration from architectural designs in Egypt, Italy, France, Spain and Greece to name but a few. Peto was particularly interested in classic Italian garden designs at the time of designing these, this is traditionally characterised by the presence of pools and statues amongst the greenery. The current owners have worked in accordance with the original designs to maintain this look and feel.

All of this is complemented by the steep south-facing valley side which offers an emblematic feel of rural England, and the babbling river Frome adds a touch of the Riviera. As a former winner of the Historic Houses Association/Christie’s Garden of the Year Award, the green fingered amongst you will relish the opportunity to explore these stunning 2.5 acre gardens.

a great day out

The valley is the perfect launch point for a number of circular walks, taking in, for example, the romantic ruins of Farleigh Hungerford castle, or the charming villages of Freshford and Avoncliff, where the railway to Bath also stops.

If you are taking a stroll around the extensive gardens or indeed planning to head into the valley, then you will surely be looking for some refreshments. Iford Manor has got this covered with their very own tearoom, which offers a range of home-baked cakes and scones. However, the real stand out here is the loose leaf teas that are chosen by the owner himself who happens to be a tea merchant. Iford Manor Teas LTD have taken the same approach to their teas as Harold Peto took to his gardens, travelling the world to take inspiration from teas all over the world to bring back the very best blends that are on offer. There are various teas to sample ranging from the traditional House Breakfast Blend and Earl Grey, to herbal and fruit infused varieties.

Iford Manor is a great location for a peaceful and scenic day out, perfect for the next time you stay at Bath Mill Lodge Retreat, why not book your holiday today?

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The Springs Golf Club offers a fantastic range of memberships at our beautiful course in Wallingford, Oxfordshire

Our wonderful course is spread over 133 acres of picturesque parkland in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, meaning you can soak up the tranquil countryside when you play. The Springs offers more than golf, with a stunning Tudor-style clubhouse hosting a range of events all year round, including quiz nights, afternoon tea days and festive dinners to enjoy.

the course

Our popular course challenges beginners and advanced golfers alike, it was originally designed by Brian Huggett MBE, a former Ryder Cup Captain.

Brian managed to incorporate the range of terrains found around the parkland of The Springs to create an innovative and admired golf course, which is popular with players all over the UK. The course recently featured the prestigious and popular Trilby Tour Championship, which was featured on Sky Sports.

As well as the course itself being challenging, the surrounding area adds to the game as it is completely open to the elements. The 8th hole in particular will challenge all, as it is the place you’re most likely to be impacted by the wind of the day, which means that depending on weather conditions you could need anything from a wood to a mid-iron for the shot. Our beautifully designed course will test all your skills and knowledge, making a fun round of golf for all abilities.

the benefits

Becoming a member at The Springs Golf Club means taking advantage of all the below benefits open to you, as well as enjoying a range of members events at the Tudor-style clubhouse.

  • Access to the immaculately kept course and grounds all year round
  • Use of our perfect practice facilities, including a practice range, bunker practice facilities and a putting green
  • Priority online tee bookings, plus tee booking 2 weeks in advance
  • 24 hour booking availability via from
  • A fully stocked pro shop onsite for all your needs
  • Official CONGU handicap administration
  • Player Score Input (PSI) for competition cards
  • Enjoy membership only access to a range of Theatre and Bridge clubs

As a member, you will also benefit from a country card, which allows discounted fees at over 1000 other golf courses around the UK.

the fees

Our 2018 annual fees are currently:

Membership Type Fee
Junior Under 18
Intermediate 18 – 24
Inter Plus 24 – 35
5 Day
5 Day Joint
7 Day
7 Day Joint


So what are you waiting for? Find out which membership option is right for you and join one of Oxfordshire’s most popular clubs, The Springs Golf Club.

Call us on 01491 827300 for more information.

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Join in on the Family Fun Day on 24th June at Talacre Beach and raise money for a great cause! Talacre Beach’s fantastic entertainments team have put together a super special Family Fun Day on 24th June. Sign up in teams of 4 – 6 for the It’s A Knockout Course, cost of £5 per person for a fantastic cause, with funds going to the Special Care Baby Unit (S.C.B.U) in Glan Clwyd Hospital. Each team must have at least 2 adults, sign-up sheets are currently in reception but you will also be able to sign up on the day.

Other fabulously fun attractions include:

  • Giant Assault Course
  • Wipe-out Course
  • Zorb Runner
  • Obstacle Course
  • Balloon Modelling
  • Face Painting
  • Ice Cream Van
  • Temporary Tattoos

There will also be live entertainment from Tommy Barron and Heather Marie, with cheeky Charlie Bear also making an appearance at various times throughout the day. His team of Rangers will be on-hand all day selling raffle tickets, giving you the chance to win some fantastic prizes on the day!

about Talacre Beach Resort

Talacre Beach Resort has been a popular holiday destination for over 50 years, located a stone’s throw from the beach itself and home to five-star facilities, it’s easy to see why.

Updated throughout the decades, Talacre Beach offers a traditional British seaside holiday, including onsite fish and chip shop for that authentic ‘chippy tea by the sea’. Our five star, luxurious and modern facilities include an indoor, tropically heated swimming pool, sauna and steam room, along with a fully stocked bar and onsite restaurant serving delicious meals.

There is never ending fun for the little ones at Talacre Beach, from the fun arcades room, the teenagers Loft room and Pebbles indoor play room for the younger crowd, to the full Go Active programme, including archery and panna soccer. There is also a full entertainments programme daily for fun with Charlie Bear and his Rangers, as well as family entertainment during the evening in the North Star lounge, including fantastic cabaret acts and family fun games.

Talacre Beach offers holiday home ownership, making sure you can create memories that last a lifetime as many times as you want throughout the year. Pop into see our Ownership Team, or call them on 01745858010, or talk to an adviser via our live chat service on our website.

Come join us at Talacre Beach’s Family Fun Day on 24th June, sign up for the It’s A Knockout and raise money for a wonderful cause!

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The Isle of Wight turns into the Isle of Fright for Halloween Half Term, with the whole island getting into the spooky spirit. With both Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat and Woodside Coastal Retreat located on the island, close to the vibrant towns of Ryde and Cowes, Darwin Escapes locations are perfectly placed to give you a frightening amount of fun this Halloween Half Term.

spooky castle at carisbrooke castle

When: 22nd – 30th Oct. Time: 10am – 4pm. Prices: £8.80 (adult) £5.20 (child)

Are you brave enough to take on the islands most haunted castle? A fun spooky adventure for families, where you can create your own Halloween crafts, wander the grounds with a Victorian ghost hunter and listen to their macabre tales of spooky events of days gone by. Don’t forget to drop by the graveyard and find out how some of the residents met their grisly and gruesome demise. Make sure to dress up in your spookiest costume for the Best Halloween Costume Competition everyday.

festival of light at robin hill

When: 1st Oct – 5th Nov. Time: 6pm – 10pm. Prices: £18.50

The Festival of Light at Robin Hill Country Park is inspired by the beautiful Hindu festival Diwali, you can experience the lush colours, flavours and magic of the Asian sub-continent all set in the Robin Hill’s breath taking and ancient woodland. The spectacular ‘electric woods’ aims and succeeds, every year, to capture the spirit of one of the most popular festivals in the Hindu calendar, don’t miss the valley’s great new light, fire and sound show!

wizard week at iow steam railway

When: 24th – 28th Oct. Time: 10am – 5pm. Prices: £13 (adult) £6.50 (child)

This is a wickedly wonderful Halloween event at the islands steam railway, with magic shows, relaxing train rides with spooky stories and a fang-tastic walk through the enchanted woodland, where you will meet the friendly Witches of Havenstreet and help with magic spells and potions. Make sure to don your best fancy dress with a fun competition everyday and a prize for the winner, along with a Halloween treasure hunt and fun Halloween themed crafts.

halloween at the garlic farm

When: 22nd – 30th Oct. Time: 11am – 4pm. Prices: Free (activities individually priced)

A whole week of Halloween themed fun this Half Term at The Garlic Farm, including Tractor Trailer Farm Tours, free tastings, the Muddy Boots farm walk, as well as garlic planting and garlic bread making workshops, you can decorate your very own garlic bulb, enter into the luck dip and raffle, with fancy dress encouraged and good old fashioned pumpkin carving. On the 29th October there is a Halloween event for adults only, after dark you can take the Tractor Trailer Terror Tour, if you’re brave enough, then head on over to the special Halloween Spooky Supper in the restaurant, feel free to dress up in fancy dress for the spooky event. The 3 course meal and spooky night costs £24.95 per person.

park of the dead at puckpool park

When: 26th – 30th Oct. Time: 6.30pm – 10pm. Prices: £22.50

The infamous, live action, annual event is selling out fast, so go book your tickets now to avoid disappointment! Every year the theme of this live action scare fest loosely follows on from the previous year, immerse yourself in LOCKDOWN for 2016. The ‘Z’ virus has spread throughout the country, the government has rounded up the survivors to hold them in an underground facility and that includes you, helping to protect the existence of mankind, but what lurks in there with you? This is a live action event with talented and spooky actors, creating a fantastic horror experience and is intended to be fully immersive from the second you cross the gate, it is high intensity and definitely not for the faint hearted.

There are some great goings on this Halloween Half Term on the Isle of Wight, and something for all ages. If you’re staying in the quirky tree houses at Woodside Bay then make sure not to scare yourself too much while up there in the middle of the trees, in the dark, listening to all the bumps of the night… (I made it worse didn’t I?)

Happy Half Term Halloween Ghosts and Gouls!

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Enjoy one of the world’s best collections of tanks and armoured vehicles at the Tank Museum in exhibitions consisting of the world’s very first tank and a modern day Challenger 2…


If you are looking for a great family day out during your stay at the soon to be opened Wareham Forest Lodge Retreat, then why not head down to The Tank Museum in Bovington, which is a great location to learn about the history of our great nations’ armoured warfare over the past century.

The Tank Museum is located less than ten miles away from our brand new Wareham Forest Lodge Retreat near Poole. Find out what is on offer at this fantastic museum…


100 years of history

The museum consists of eight powerful exhibitions which are made up of close to 300 armoured vehicles from over the past century. It is generally regarded as the greatest collection in the world and includes the world’s first tank and the modern day Challenger 2.

The aim is to tell the story of the part that armoured vehicles have played in warfare over the past 100 years and the story of the people who fought in them. You can learn all about the vehicles, the part they played in conflicts and also how they have evolved over time. You can learn all about this in ‘The Tank Story’ exhibition, but those more interested in mechanics and the designs of these machines, will want to head down to the ‘Tank Factory’ exhibition which takes a look at how the tanks are made and the manufacturers behind them.

A very poignant exhibition given that it is the 100th anniversary of the battle of the Somme is ‘The Trench Experience’ exhibition where you are transported back in time to the trenches in 1916 during the First World War. You can also gain an insight into the lives of these brave men in the new ‘Tank Men: The Story of the First Crews’ exhibition.

For a slightly more modern experience of warfare, head to the ‘Battlegroup Afghanistan’ exhibition which benefits from accounts from today’s front line combat experts.


tanks in action this summer

Every weekday during the summer holidays between the 21st July and 2nd September 2016, the Tank Museum will be putting on an awesome display of tanks in action. Children and adults alike will no doubt relish the opportunity to see these fantastic machines in motion with their thunderous engines, but it is not for the faint hearted with life-like explosions to increase the atmosphere around the displays and simulate the feel of a real battle ground.

The commentary provided during the shows ensures that as well as being spectacular, the displays are also educational with experts explaining how the tanks work and their functions in battle.

The live action show takes place in the Kuwait Arena just outside of the museum. Guests are welcome to attend the shows at no extra cost other than what has already been paid for their admission to the museum, giving you an even better reason to head down to the Tank Museum during the summer holidays.


Book a holiday at Wareham Forest Lodge Retreat

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Summer is fast approaching and if you are lucky you might get the opportunity to enjoy a day out at the seaside and really make the most of the weather as the sun makes a welcome return to the UK shorelines.

But how often have you turned up at the beach and realised that you have left an essential at home? I’ve become reminiscent of a lobster on multiple occasions as a result of not bringing enough sun cream to see me through the day. Of course, this is not a clever thing to do with recommended that we reapply skin protection every two hours.

With this in mind, Darwin Escapes have put together a list of the top ten beach essentials which you simply can’t go without when you are heading to the seaside this summer. Other essentials of course include handy tips such as taking a flask with you; after all flasks are just as effective at keeping your cold drinks cool as they are keeping your tea or coffee warm. Another handy tip is to take talcum powder with you, there really is nothing better at getting pesky sand off your feet. Take a look at all of our handy tips in our below infographic.

Infographic of all the beach essentials you will need

Darwin Escapes have a number of seaside holiday resorts across the UK where you can enjoy beach holidays in locations including the 5 star Talacre Beach Holiday Home Park on the gorgeous North Wales coast.

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