Holiday cottages in Devon
Whilst the UK has many fascinating places to visit, Devon ranks as one of the favourite destinations offering an exciting variety of sights and experiences, all within a picturesque county in the South.
Renting a holiday cottage for your visit is a fantastic option, giving you complete freedom in deciding how to spend your time in a place where there is so much to do!
Devon is rural and has two distinct coast lines to the north and south. Much of the northern coastline is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. And a visit there can be planned to coincide with sections of the Tarka Trail, a 180 mile natural pathway meandering through the best countryside of Devon.
You may have heard about Dartmoor, but no description can adequately prepare you for the simple, stark and rugged beauty of the moors. It is one of the few places in England that is truly remote and wild and offers a new experience for exploring by foot, cycling, or simply touring the landscape in your car. Dartmoor has a staggering 454 miles of public rights of way, and is a national park with public access enshrined in law.
Perhaps the real beauty of Devon lies in the contrast of these high moorlands with the beautiful southern coastline, known as the English Riviera.
You will find excellent beaches and historic ports and fishing towns, ranging from the large city of Plymouth to the slightly smaller yet charming Torquay. Don’t overlook some of the beautiful small seaside towns however, like the beautiful Lynmouth, Salcombe and Dawlish, which has a lovely sea wall walk round the shallow bay.
Arguably the most beautiful county in England, Devon is a place of enormous beauty and incredible diversity. From the rugged coastlines of North Devon through to the picturesque, timeless cobbled streets of Clovelly, a charming village lost in time, Devon never fails to delight with its magical scenery. Whether you value the tranquillity of rural life, enjoy the bustling ambience of thriving local markets and independent shops, or yearn for a quiet drink looking out across the Atlantic, Devon offers all this and much more. A rental property in this beautiful county opens up a wealth of possibilities for an unforgettable holiday.
Inviting locations within the county are numerous, with each offering its own local attractions. As Devon has coastlines on both the north and south sides of the county, you’re never far from the sea, even if visiting Exeter, the county’s capital. Often known as the English Rivera, the southern stretch of shoreline which incorporates towns such as Torquay, Paignton and Brixham is well-known for its warmer temperatures and gentle, temperate weather. Cottages for rent in the area are often located close to the ocean, enabling you to visit the beach whenever you wish, then pop home for a barbeque or a quick change before going out to eat.
For surfers and other water sports enthusiasts, the rolling Atlantic breakers of the North Devon coast excellent opportunities for some exhilarating sporting action. Croyde, Saunton Sands and Woolacombe Bay are some of the top spots for boarding, and with plenty of affordable UK cottages close by, there’s no shortage of places to stay which can securely accommodate even large items of kit. If you’ve never had a go at surfing but always wanted to try it, then friendly lessons from experienced local experts are readily available. Suitable clothing and equipment can be cheaply hired and, once experienced, the thrill of the surf is hard to resist.
For something a little less adrenaline packed but equally enjoyable, why not consider a walking or hiking holiday in the area? Criss-crossed with routes and wonderfully remote, the Dartmoor National Park is a popular destination for walkers of all abilities. If you prefer cliff walks with superb sea views, then a trip along one of the numerous coastal paths is a superb option. For less experienced walkers or families, there are a number of gentle trails, such as the engaging Tarka Trail which provides a well-marked walking and cycling route through the North Devon Biosphere Reserve. All these locations can be easily accessed for a day trip, or may form the basis of a longer expedition for real enthusiasts.
Lovers of the outdoors will be stunned and delighted by the spectacular range of flora and fauna which thrive in the Devon countryside. The river estuaries are particularly rich in bird life, providing a wonderful opportunity for bird watchers to spot species which are unique to this part of the world. A boat trip from Bideford to Lundy Island, for example, gives wildlife enthusiasts the chance to see everything from guillemots to puffins to dolphins. Inland, a quiet ramble by the meandering waters of the River Exe or Dart will allow visitors to see voles, foxes, rabbits and even otters.If gardening is your passion, then Devon is home to some of the most beautiful and intriguing gardens and plant species to be found anywhere in the UK. The temperate climate means plants thrive here, ensuring spectacular displays throughout the year. Trips to horticultural gems such as Bicton Park Botanical Gardens, Manwood Hill (near Barnstaple) or Saltram are a wonderful opportunity to enjoy well-established flora at their very best. Many of the best gardens surround spectacular stately homes and historic castles, so historians and horticulturalists alike will enjoy trips to Arlington Court, Branscombe (near Seaton) or Coldharbour Mill Museum in Uffculme. Many Devon towns and villages are steeped in history and a visit to places such as Clovelly, Buckfastleigh or Widdecombe provide a chance to enjoy streets of period housing and shops which give a delightful ambience to these popular destinations. It’s not only flowers and ornamental plants which grow well here, a wide range of vegetables and fruit also thrives, which is why Devon offers so many excellent places to enjoy fine local produce skilfully prepared in a selection of traditional dishes. Award winning restaurants can be found right across the county, encompassing everything from cutting-edge fusion cuisine to old favourites made with care using fresh ingredients sourced from nearby farms. Coombe House (East Devon), the Saunton Sands Hotel (North Devon) and The Orange Tree Restaurant in Torbay are all well-known eateries which never disappoint. Even if you’re not able to visit one of these outstanding restaurants, the passion for fine fare which is typical of the county ensures that you can always find somewhere near your cottage to enjoy a delicious meal.If you’re in self catering accommodation and would prefer to make your own meals, then a quick drive through the local area will normally reveal a number of farm shops offering seasonal produce at extremely reasonable prices. Look out for fresh fruit or vegetables proffered by keen gardeners who will often display their surplus produce outside their garden gate, ready for purchase. Devon has a long and proud fishing heritage, so if you’re staying near the coast, sampling some of the morning’s catch is essential. Having the chance to stroll down to the local quayside and purchase fresh fish for breakfast as it comes off the boat is the stuff of unforgettable holiday memories.
The cream tea is probably the most well-known of Devon’s traditional meals and it is a perennial favourite with both visitors and residents. What could be better than light, fluffy scones covered with a layer of homemade jam then topped with a spoonful of clotted cream made in the local dairy? Served with a hot drink, this gorgeous confectionary provides a spectacular afternoon tea which is ideal to revive flagging energy levels after a day out. In addition, mouth-watering locally inspired recipes such as Salcombe fish soup, Devonshire Cider Cake or Devon Apple Cake and Thatched Chicken Pie ensure you’ll never be short of ideas for making your own meals or great choices to select when dining out.
If enjoying the results of local farming inspires you to find out more about how the delicious ingredients in your meals are grown or sourced, then Devon offers a number of different opportunities to find out more. Yearlestone Vineyard, the oldest vineyard near Bickleigh provides a chance to see the grapes soaking up the goodness of the rich soil and also sample some of the award-winning wines the vineyard has produced. For a fun-packed day out suitable for the whole family, the Big Sheep at Abbotsham (just outside Bideford), offers a range of informative farming demonstrations as well as rides, a range of kid’s activities and an indoor animal barn.
A holiday cottage in Devon provides a perfect holiday for people of all ages and is particularly suitable for family groups, older couples or anyone who wants the flexibility to follow their own holiday itinerary without being tied to specific mealtimes or subject to other limitations. There are plenty of child-friendly attractions throughout the county, ranging from The Milky Way Adventure Park (near Clovelly in North Devon) to the World of Country Life near Sidmouth. These places provide an exciting destination for a day trip and offer something for everyone. If you’re holidaying on a budget, the numerous blue flag beaches and accessible countryside ensures children can be kept happily entertained for hours with activities which are completely free. Children love the freedom and fresh air which Devon provides in abundance.
Thriving market towns, intriguing markets and a spectacular selection of locally produced craft items, clothing, food and drink ensures that any shopping expedition is packed with possibilities. Barnstaple’s Pannier Market has been providing premium merchandise to visitors and locals alike for centuries, whilst the nearby Lanes area offers superb opportunities to find original artwork, pottery and artisan foodstuffs. The Castle and Cathedral Quarter in Exeter, the Barbican in Plymouth and small towns such as Totnes and Sidmouth provide a spectacular array of products you won’t be able to source elsewhere, as well as exciting designer brands.
Cottages to rent in Devon provide ideal accommodation from which to experience Devon at its best. Many cottages are in remote, rural locations where you can enjoy the tranquil ambience of a by-gone age. Made from traditional materials and local stone, such properties have intriguing histories as fishermen’s cottages or old farms. Despite their rustic appeal, rental properties enjoy premium facilities with all the conveniences required for 21st Century living. Washing machines, microwaves, television and central heating are standard, with some accommodation offering additional luxuries such as an open fire place, a wood burning stove or even a garden hot tub.
There are so many different things to see and do in Devon, that people rarely find that one visit is sufficient to experience them all. Many visitors return to Devon year after year, completely captivated by the area. With activities and pastimes suitable for absolutely everybody, renting a property gives holidaying families, couples or groups a well-appointed, secure base from which to experience the many delights which the county has to offer.