Home to two captivating coastlines, two national parks and three AONBs, Devon is all about the numbers. Add that lot up, and the result is one of England’s prettiest counties. Throw in a happy-go-lucky attitude, a relatively temperate climate (for the UK, anyway), and a healthy love affair with cheese and cream, and you’ve got all the makings of an unforgettable cottage holiday.
With so much of Devon falling firmly into the ‘wow’ category, picking a place to base yourself will probably be your most difficult task. So, to make things a little easier for you, we’ve gone and done the hard bit already. Here’s what to expect from this great county.
Characteristically outdoorsy, north Devon is shaped by its incredible coastline and the wild beauty of Exmoor National Park. Take a cottage holiday here and you’ll get golden beaches on tap – check out Wild Pear Beach and Woolacombe Beach – vast swathes of lovely countryside to ramble through and quaint towns such Barnstaple and Great Torrington to explore.
On the other side of the county, it’s all about the English Riviera – a lovely chunk of British seaside centred around the trio Brixham, Paignton and Torquay. Head here for brilliant beaches and mouth-watering seafood. If you’re seeking more of a city vibe for your break, consider either Plymouth or Execter.
To the east, you’ve got the breathtaking Jurassic Coastline, the East Devon and Blackdown Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which pretty much sums up the region’s appeal. Whether you’re after pure escapism, a romantic retreat or a family break, you won’t go far wrong with a cottage holiday near seaside towns Sidmouth, Seaton and Beer or around inland towns and villages such as Sidbury and Dunkeswell.
In-between both coastlines you have rural mainland Devon, which, in the southern half, is dominated by the inspiring landscapes of Dartmoor National Park, otherwise known as the ‘Heart of Devon’. Your best options for a cottage are in the national park itself – convenient but pricier – or somewhere close by such as Tavistock and Bovey Tracey. In the northern half, Bampton places you close to Exmoor National Park, Tiverton transports you back to the past – by way of Tiverton Castle and Knightshayes Court – and Holsworthy gives you easy access to the wildlife of Dunsdon.
Whatever you’re after in a cottage holiday, remember to do your research in advance – they don’t all come with a hot tub and roaring log fire as standard!
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