Family run holiday business celebrates 25 years in Sidmouth

Dorothy,Alex,Tracy and Polly of Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays. Ref shs 34 17TI 9646. Picture: Terry If

Dorothy,Alex,Tracy and Polly of Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays. Ref shs 34 17TI 9646. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A family business that aims to help holidaymakers unwind and see ‘unspoilt’ East Devon is marking its 25th anniversary.

Tracy Gater and her family have run Sweetcombe Holiday Cottages on the edge of Sidmouth since 1992.

Back then, she and mum Dorothy ran 25 holiday cottages but have seen the portfolio of properties grow to 140 lets based from Topsham to Beer.

Daughters Polly and Alex also help alongside their mum and grandma to welcome thousands of visitors all year round.

Tracy, who moved to the town when she was 14, said she wants guests to unwind while taking in the unspoilt sights of the area.

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The business owner said: “I’m lucky enough to live in a lovely place. You have to learn to appreciate what is on your own doorstep by encouraging all the people to come to this area which is beautiful. It makes you realise how lucky you are to live here.”

The mother-of-two has always enjoyed helping people and first started when she was seven, helping serve meals at the bed and breakfast her parents ran in Cornwall for 10 years.

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Within her own business, Tracy said her approach is ‘old fashioned’.

She said: “It was really just mum and I, we started it together, and looked after the children and answered the phones and washed and ironed the sheets. We always did the laundry. It was very long hours and it still is now, I am on call 24 hours.

“I still like to do things the old fashioned way, picking up the phone and talking to people.

“The standard of the properties have increased beyond all recognition. It’s important to keep up with the needs and expectations, people have quite high standards these days, they have to have everything that is in their own home.

“It’s really rewarding, knowing that people are coming here from where they live and coming down here and having a total relax. I like them to come down here and unwind.”

To mark 25 years in business, Tracy is running a competition to give away three prizes.

First place will receive £250 to spend on a holiday cottage and further prizes include a Jurassic boat trip and hamper.

For more information about the competition visit the business’s Facebook page at

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