Devon delights

We don’t get away much!

In fact we’ve not been away longer than a weekend in years (and those are mainly going to visit family!).

We tried a couple of years ago when Iain’s mum and dad kindly paid for all the family to stay together in a wonderful house by the sea in Perranporth, Cornwall. However, four days into the holiday Rosie became ill, so our time was cut short as we travelled home and spent the rest of week – and the two weeks after that – in hospital.

Every time we made plans to get away for a break, we always had to cancel, postpone or offer it to someone else due to Rosie not being well enough to go. Eventually we stopped thinking about getting away and forgot it was even an option at all.

Two years since our last family holiday, we tried again. This time the family found a fantastic holiday home suitable for a little Wizzybug user called Otter Pool Barn in Ilfracombe, Devon.

Otter Pool Barn
Image Credit: Otter Pool Barn

Otter Pool Barn is a beautifully converted barn designed specifically for people with a whole range of disabilities. From adjustable beds to a completely accessible level ground floor and from a lift to the upstairs to an outdoor hydrotherapy pool, the owners really have thought about the special needs of those this place attracts. It was a perfect place for our family holiday.

Going away with Rosie is a HUGE upheaval and she certainly doesn’t travel light! We have to pack for absolutely every eventuality and her equipment is big and heavy. We have to pack her indoor support chair, outdoor pushchair and of course her beloved Wizzybug and that’s just for Rosie getting around! We drew the line at taking her standing frame! Luckily Iain owns a van, so although it’s not the most glamorous way to travel, it is certainly practical and I don’t know how we’d ever manage without it.

A week in Devon was fabulous and Rosie had an absolute blast! Here’s a few things she got up to…

Fishing for mackerel …


Learning about bees…


… and tasting different types of honey…


… at Quince Honey Farm.


She got up close and personal with a dragonfly, held a giant snail and stroked a lizard

She held slugs, worms and a cockroach…

We met a peacock and chatted almost every day to our three alpaca neighbours…

She gave money to charity in Barnstaple


Splashed (lots) in the pool


Had an ice-cream


and found total freedom in her amazing Wizzybug…

3. Otter Pool Barn Rosie through window

2. otter pool barn drive

The enormous effort it takes to get away is completely worth it and has put mini breaks firmly back on the Moncrieff map!

Watching Rosie embrace the independence of her Wizzybug around the property totally made my holiday. She played on her own terms, drove up to members of the family when she wanted conversation and sneaked out of the main barn doors when they’d accidentally been left open to track down the alpacas and feed them carrots.

Iain and I definitely saw and felt the benefit and realised that getting away is so important for us to get time together – we rarely do these days. There are so many fun and beautiful places right on our doorstep here in the South West and we don’t necessarily have to venture far and wide and make it into a big thing.

Sometimes it’s simply about getting away from the routine, that never-ending list of chores and things that still need to be sorted, painted or fixed in the house or garden. It can wait. A change of scene once in a while, new experiences and being together is more important.

So the question is, where to next?!


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