The Scottish mill on the low road in South Devon

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Alan Payling visits The Famous Lee Mill in South Devon, part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill group, finding lots on offer for coach passengers – including a warm welcome and a warm feeling inside if they have a wee dram during their visit. Drivers are also looked after but they have to make do with a nice cuppa – along with a few other perks

Drivers can safely drop their passengers right outside the main entrance at Lee Mill. Alan Payling


For many in the coach trade, the name ‘Edinburgh Woollen Mill’ will be very familiar to them from their travels in Scotland. Wherever they’re on tour north of the border, tour drivers can rest assured that there will be a warm welcome for them and their passengers in one of the company’s many outlets, scattered conveniently throughout the Highlands and Lowlands. There will be many who have been grateful for the company’s facilities – geared as they are towards catering for the coach trade – when they’re taking the high road alongside the lochs and through the glens of Scotland.

When those same tour drivers take the much lower road through South Devon, they are all too often unaware that the same company – with the same facilities, the same warm welcome and the same generous offer for their patronage – awaits them on one of the main routes through the area.

I am talking here about Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s ‘The Famous Lee Mill’ outlet on the A38 Devon Expressway, situated handily betwixt and between Plymouth and Torbay. It’s not hard to miss Lee Mill, the outlet, as it is located in Lee Mill, the village, just off the A38. Given that this stretch of the A38 is the main conduit for coach parties heading to and from Plymouth from their holiday hotels in Torquay, Paignton and Exmouth, it’s a handy stop off to provide passengers with the chance to pick up a bargain, a holiday gift, a bite to eat or, if the driver has called ahead to organise a complimentary whisky tasting, a wee dram. For those familiar with how Edinburgh Woollen Mill looks after drivers, all the usual perks are on offer at Lee Mill; for drivers who are new to this emporia, joining the company’s coach drivers’ Travel Club is very easy and can be done as soon as they visit. […]

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