Fun from Sunrise to Sunset
One of the (many) fantastic things to enjoy about a self-catering holiday in Devon is its breathtaking beaches that are as diverse as they are plentiful. For families, there are traditional seaside resort towns such as Sidmouth, Torquay and Paignton. These places are ideal for sun-seeking holidaymakers as they offer plenty of traditional entertainments such as crabbing in the harbour and eating hand-churned ice-cream on the pier. Beer and Clovelly are quieter and more refined, with chic gastro pubs and boutiques - perfect for a couple’s getaway; or head to the exclusive South Hams area with some the South West’s finest beaches including the mile long stretch of golden sand at Beesands, Thurlestone Sands Beach and Blackpool Sands. Devon has dog-friendly beaches, Blue Flag Beaches, beaches for swimming, surfing and sailing, beaches for long blustery walks in winter, and beaches for lazy picnics eaten from hampers overflowing with tasty regional treats.
Visitors who love nothing more than relaxing on their private balcony with a glass of wine as the sun goes down over the ocean should look at north Devon beaches such as Croyde, Woolacombe and Westward Ho!. Early birds who want to make the most of every moment of every day should consider a holiday cottage somewhere like Dartmouth or Teignmouth. These beaches face the English Channel and enjoy spectacular sunrises.
The stretch of coast from Newton Abbot to Brixham is known as the English Riviera for its pleasant climate and sublime coastline. Agatha Christie, arguably Britain’s finest crime writer, was born in Torquay and her home, Greenway, is expertly managed by the National Trust. Honour Christie’s legacy and create an occasion to remember with a murder mystery dinner at your cottage. Use a private chef like Nina Groves or those with La Belle Assiette, and get The Cocktail Kings in to ensure your drinks are deliciously authentic.
Healthy Bodies and Peaceful Minds
There is nowhere better than the rural Devon landscape to help you to relax and unwind. Settle back in a deck chair and revel in the silence that is only broken by the chittering of birds, water flowing over rocks in a stream, or the soft lowing of cows in a nearby field. Devon’s countryside isn’t only lovely to look at - it’s beauty is a balm for the soul.
Pamper yourself with a day of yoga, meditation, or spa treatments. There is an abundance of excellent practitioners to help you achieve a zen state, including Simply Soulful in Kingsbridge where visitors can choose from a variety of classes including SUP yoga, sunset yoga sessions on the beach, and light-hearted sessions with local goats to “help you find your inner kid”. If meditation is your preferred method of achieving enlightenment, then visit a meditation centre like The Barn Retreat Centre in Totnes, Gaia House in Newton Abbot, and the Hartridge Buddhist Monastry in Honiton.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Visitors who come to Devon to kick up their heels will find a world of pleasure. Those in the know engage the services of a local guide to ensure they don’t waste a moment of their precious holiday time. Book a Luxury Experience with My England Tours for a private, chauffeured day trip tailored to your tastes. Alternatively, contact Alex Graeme for a Unqiue Devon Tour. Dartmoor's Daughter plans bespoke walking tours, or schedule a horse riding session across the moors with Liberty Trails.
If food is your forte, then book a table at one of Devon’s four restaurants with a coveted Michelin star: Lympstone Manor in Exmouth, The Elephant in Torquay, The Masons Arms in Knowstone, and Thomas Carr @ The Olive Room in Ilfracombe. Work up an appetite with a spot of designer shopping in Plymouth, or admiring the elegance of a stately home at Coleton Fishacre and Arlington Court.
Those who crave adventure can take an Exmoor Safari or go coasteering, and Devon’s coastline is a favourite with sailors who can’t resist chartering a luxury yacht to sightsee from the water. If you have always promised yourself to learn to cook when you “have the time”, then you will love a day spent learning at the reputable Two Tarts or the Ashburton Cookery School.
Devon delivers the many delights of the coast and countryside without visitors having to sacrifice urban comforts like superb service and superior comfort. It was the place to see and be seen a century ago and remains a stylish spot thanks to its timeless beauty and luxury holiday cottages to rent.