Barbara O

South England

Barbara O

Welcome to the Oakes Household! We are a family of three – Barbara, Michael, and our son Richard (2001) – with a wide range of interests. We moved to Devon from London in 2012 to run a Post Office, and for the beautiful countryside and more relaxed way of life. I have been busy learning how to run the retail side of the business but, now it is under control, I want to move on to work that is more suited to my own abilities, and allows us to share our home and interest in language with you.

No smoking Children at home Teacher pick-up from airport Wifi available at home
No smoking Children at home Teacher transfer WiFi available

Location information

Location: Honiton, Devon | View a map of this location

Nearest airport(s): Exeter (EXE) 15 minutes

Nominated transfer location(s): Bristol (BRS); Exeter (EXE)

Nearest railway station: Honiton

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Academic information

Previous qualifications include:
Joint Honours Degree, Geology and Geography, London University
Cordon Bleu Diploma, Tante Marie School of Cookery, Woking.

Courses taught

Qualified to teach English to speakers of other languages, my teaching methods are modern. In practice, my students have all benefitted especially from learning the English phoneme system.

 Family information

Michael (early 60s) is a Sub Postmaster – a job he really loves. I am 6 years younger, and have had a wide variety of jobs. We have one son, born in 2001, who attends the local secondary school – Honiton Community College. His favourite activities are climbing and playing computer games: occasionally, he will comes and play badminton with us as well.

Michael and I share interests in choral singing; our local Community Church; DIY and home improvement; badminton (for which we run an all-ability club); and classic cars (I own an Austin A40 Farina: we attend local Shows with it 2-3 times a year). I am also a keen gardener, member of Honiton Garden Club, and we have a large garden here for me to play with. Michael enjoys reading, and we both like word games and puzzles. Our son really enjoys being a member of the Quay Climbing Club in Exeter, where he goes on Monday evenings. He also loves creating artwork – by hand or computer design – and playing computer games. Visiting students would be very welcome to join in any of our activities.

Barbara’s Photos

About the teacher’s accommodation

Kersland is a double-fronted, semi-detached house with 4 bedrooms, plenty of car-parking in front and a large garden behind. We have lived here since September 2012, and are gradually restoring the house to its original 1930s style. The High Street, railway station, Leisure Centre and town centre are all about 10 minutes’ walk away, downhill. The family bathroom is shared, and there is an additional toilet downstairs

About the local area

There is a very popular sports / leisure centre and swimming pool in the middle of Honiton – about 10 minutes’ walk from home. There are also several horse-riding stables within a few km. In summer and into the autumn, I like to swim in the sea: the nearest beaches are at Lyme Regis and Sidmouth (which has sand at low tide). For a traditional wide sandy beach, Exmouth is fantastic, about 30 minutes away by car. If you like walking and wild places, a visit to Dartmoor National Park is a must: it is about 30 km to the west of Honiton, beyond Exeter.

Excursions you can take with your teacher

Exeter – Take car or train to Exeter, then walk through the traffic-free centre (with shopping opportunities) to the cathedral, and on to the quay for a picnic lunch. A cathedral rooftop tour or historic water-supply underground tunnels rounds off the day.

Cost: Free

Jurassic Coast Visitor Experience at Seaton – This newly-opened £multi-million interactive exhibition has something for all ages. Its interesting displays explain the geology and fossil record of the coastal World Heritage Site.

Cost: Free

Strolling round Sidmouth – Sidmouth is packed with narrow streets and interesting architecture. Explore its lanes and alleys and find unusual hidden cafés & shops. The Byes (National Trust) meadows follow the pretty River Sid right onto the seashore, with its fantastic red cliffs.

Cost: Free

Haldon Forest Activity Centre – Haldon offers a range of activities for adrenalin-junkies: Go Ape (high ropes); mountain bike hire and routes; field archery; Segway tours.

Cost: a full “Segway Safari” is around £30

Dawlish Warren bird sanctury and seaside amusements – Dawlish Warren is a huge sand bar, which stretches from the western side of the Exe Estuary towards Exmouth on the opposite shore. It is a popular camping/caravanning resort, and there are several cafés and facilities for holidaymakers.

Cost: Walking is free. The Crazy Golf, Go-Karts, and other amusements have charges between £2 & £10.