Summertime with Devon Life Bloggers

Some of Devon Life's regular bloggers give us a taste of what they'll be getting up to in the county this July

Food LoverKaty Hanley, Teignmouth

Summer is great for al fresco meals on the beach, particularly Back Beach in Teignmouth, and going mackerel fishing on the boats from Exmouth, then cooking up fresh fish on the beach using a portable barbecue. I enjoy a jug of Pimm’s in pub gardens such as the Ring of Bells in North Bovey, and sunny July days are great for picking fresh strawberries and raspberries with my kids from local PYOs such as Shute Fruit in Bishopsteignton and Netherton Farm near Newton Abbot.

From the Stage

Belinda Dillon, Exeter

The Exeter Fringe Festival (which runs until 2 July) is showcasing some exciting new work. I’m especially keen to see what the Box of Tricks double bill at The Bike Shed Theatre has in store – this company is generating lots of interest so should be worth a look.

When I’m not sitting in darkened rooms, I like to head to Bantham for some quality beach time. At this time of year, I also love the way the hedges along the green lanes and B roads grow increasingly shaggy and wild.

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Anna Turns, Kingsbridge

Last July, I blogged about the escapologist act our chocolate labrador performed at the village dog show when Daisy broke lose from her collar just as the judging for the waggiest tail category began. We came second, and this year we are determined to try to win!

Summer is a busy time in the South Hams and I hope to sneak in a few early morning rows on the Salcombe estuary before the creeks get crowded. I also love the long July evenings which are an ideal opportunity to look out for glow-worms in the hedgerows and bats flying overhead, especially in the lanes around South Pool or Ayrmer Cove. I’ll plus be expecting a new addition to the family, which no doubt will keep me busy this summer!

Coastal SnapshotsKim Aldis, Torbay

For me, photography is all about light and spectacle. The South Devon coast has both in spades. It goes without saying that the coastal views here are spectacular, but mostly it’s south-facing, which means you’re shooting into the light a lot of the time, backlighting and lifting the scenery out of the ordinary.Summer involves spending a lot of time walking the dogs – they need exercise to keep them out of trouble. I sail a fair bit from the sailing club at Oddicombe and fish in the bay from a kayak, plus I’m planning to do a bit of windsurfing if I can find the time.

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WalksTeresa Frost, Plympton

Devon makes you feel you are on holiday all the time, even when you live here. There is always something to do and somewhere to go. Even if we only want a short walk, we are close to Saltram House, Plymbridge Woods, Wembury and Newton Ferrers. Parking at Jennicliffe and walking down to the Breakwater is lovely, too. The Hoe is a short walk from the city centre, with the Barbican having a distinctly Continental feel about it.Plymouth has the best of both worlds, with Dartmoor on one side and the coast on the other. From Burrator Reservoir, there are so many places to walk to, and Sharpitor is a lovely place for a picnic and an ice cream. There are lots of great events too – we often go to the Mid-Devon Agricultural Show in Tiverton, and the Fireworks Competition on the Hoe.

Tempting TreatsMiranda Gardiner, Bigbury

One of my favourite July moments last year was an impromptu after-school supper on Bantham beach followed by a film at our local high street cinema, The Reel Cinema in Kingsbridge. I baked a tray of Salted Caramel Blondies in the afternoon, gathered some goodies from the local deli (Avon Mill Deli, Dart’s Farm and Riverford always work for me) and added a handful of eager children.

July tends to be a loop of baking cakes for school sports day or fetes: rich chunky brownies, iced slices of buttery Bakewell tart, a damp Moroccan orange and almond cake, chewy flapjack and mountains of Victoria sponges filled with jam, cream and fresh strawberries. I’m looking forward to seeing Anna del Conte, one of my food heroines, at Dartington’s Ways with Words festival.

Out and AboutMartin Staniforth, Honiton

The great thing about living in Devon is that it’s an essential holiday destination. I’m looking forward to the Sidmouth Folk Festival, then the Levellers’ Beautiful Days festival at Escot in August and walks over the Jurassic Coast cliffs from Branscombe to Beer followed by crab sandwiches at Anna’s, my favourite tea house.

A Piece of HistoryDerek Tait, Plymouth

If I’m not writing, I love to go out and take photos of Plymouth and the surrounding areas. One of my favourite places to photograph in the summer are the Hoe and the River Tamar. I have just finished taking photos for the Plymouth version of Monopoly, and some of the books that I’m putting together for Amberley involve taking photos of the city, so I get to combine both interests.