No holiday to The English Riviera would be
complete without a visit to Cockington. This idyllic village is
hidden in a deep valley just one mile from the bustle of Torquay.
Cockington is easily accessible from the seafront by bus or car, or
alternatively by horse-drawn carriage in keeping with the history of
the area. Visitors find themselves transported to a magical land, so
peaceful you can almost hear a pin drop. Narrow winding lanes open
out onto beautiful chocolate box cottages, old English gardens and
thatched gift shops. These sell locally produced crafts and
Devonshire Cream Teas.
Cockington court has 450 acres of parkland, woodland
and lakes to explore. The lakes themselves are thought to have been
created by monks living at nearby
Abbey, to supply them with fresh fish and were restored
by local landowner, Richard Mallock before he died in 1900.
On the edge of the woods is Cockingtons famous
Gamekeeper's Cottage dating back to the 16th century. The Gamekeeper
was entrusted with raising pheasants, hares, duck and rabbits and
keeping the area free of poachers. Today the cottage is the meeting
place for many guided woodland walks.
In the centre of Cockington amongst the
pretty thatched cottages stands
Forge. This is one of the most photographed buildings in
the country, and dates from the 14th century. In fact, the oldest
postcard featuring the village was of the Forge taken in the 1890's.
It was unusual for that time as it was taken in winter.
Unfortunately, no longer a working forge, it is now home to the
famous miniature horseshoe. There are hundreds of brasses to choose
from and they make wonderful gifts.
The village also has its own Inn situated
across the road from the car park. It has fine views, friendly
staff, log fires in winter and great food. There is outside seating
and a varied menu to suit all tastes. It also welcomes families and
children can play safely in the gardens.
The Drum Inn, completed in 1936,
also has a thatched roof in keeping with the rest of the area and
was designed by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. (01803
The wooden footpath through the Drum's
gardens opens onto the village cricket ground which provides the
venue for many open-air events throughout the year. One of these
events is the annual "Last Night Of The Proms" which attracts
thousands of people and raises funds for many local charities.
Visitors can also spend a lazy summer afternoon watching the local
cricket teams battle it out!
At the end of the cricket field is the
stately manor house,
Cockington Court. The building was
originally owned by the De Cockington family between 1130 and 1350,
but the exact age of the Court is unknown. There are weddings held
today in the stately rooms and the second floor houses many
studios. These are open 7 days a week, free of charge and
feature handcrafted glassware, Paintings, and handmade jewellery to
name but a few.
Adjacent to Cockington Court is a Norman
church, today dedicated to St. George and St. Mary. Once the centre
of the village before an extensive reshuffle by the Mallock family
who became lords of the grounds in 1654, the church is now primarily
used for weddings and christenings although it still holds services
every Sunday. Should you be interested in getting married in this
stunning church, rich in architectural delights dating from 1086 to
the present day, you would only have to wait four years!(