Holidays in Devon have got it all. From sunny Torbay with its fluttering palms, to the rugged beauty of historic Dartmoor, it’s a county of diverse beauty with plenty to see and do. With so many lovely bays, coves and beaches its especially good for those of who love to be outdoors, so whether you like to SUP in the surf, laze on the beach or ramble your way along the South West Coast Path, this is the perfect place for a vacation.
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We know a huge chunk of your Devon holiday will be spent firmly planted on the nearest beach, but there’s plenty to see and do when you’re not in flip flops. Down on the South Coast you’ll find Paignton Zoo, one of our favourite Devon attractions and in neighbouring Torquay there are prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern, The Model Village in Babbacombe and the delightfully nostalgic Bygones in the town centre.
Up on the windswept but ever-so-beautiful Dartmoor, you’ll find Dartmoor Zoo. The zoo that inspired the book and film ‘We Bought a Zoo’, Dartmoor Zoo is a unique attraction with a story behind it. While you’re on Dartmoor, pop into Dartmoor Jail and experience the bleaker side of the moor’s history. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, Go Ape near Exeter is a great way to entertain the whole family (and you’ll get gorgeous views of the countryside from the tree tops!).Devon family holidays
We’re pretty certain the beaches in Devon are some of the best in the UK, so make sure you check out those sandy stretches while you’re self-catering in Devon. Up on the north coast, Woolacombe Beach rolls on for three blissful miles. Dogs are welcome between April and November, and there are lifeguards on patrol throughout the summer.
And then there’s Saunton Sands. The backdrop to many a film and music video (including Angels by Robbie Williams and Pink Floyd’s Brick in the Wall), this is one of the prettiest stretches of coastline we think you’ll ever come across. Down in South Devon, Torbay’s famous for its family-friendly series of beaches. Choose from Torre Sands, Meadfoot and Paignton Beach, or head over to neighbouring Brixham and find a quiet cove for a family barbeque.Coastal cottages in Devon
If you think Devon’s a dream come true, just imagine how it looks to our four-legged friends. Dog friendly Devon holidays involve days out on the beach, long walks in the fresh air and guaranteed head scratches wherever you go! Yes, the folk in Devon love our dogs almost as much as we do, so it’s the perfect spot for a dog friendly break.
The Milky Way Adventure Park welcomes dogs on leads, so your pet can enjoy a wander while the kids let off steam. Becky Falls Woodland Park on Dartmoor welcomes dogs along too, and with a spectacular waterfall tumbling down the cliff face it’s a beautiful area for a wander with your best friend. Dogs are also welcome aboard the Dartmouth River Cruise, and they’re even welcome (on leads) at Babbacombe Model Village.Dog friendly cottages in Devon
We have to say, there’s nowhere quite like the West Country for foodies. The restaurants in Devon showcase the region’s produce to perfection, so prepare to tuck in. Needless to say, the seafood scene’s thriving. Mitch Tonks owns Rockfish in Brixham and Torquay, so if you fancy good old fashioned fish and chips with a little flair then they’re the places to start. For that special meal for two, The Orange Tree restaurant in Torquay strikes an elegant note, and it serves up the flavours of the season.
Tucked in the countryside not far from Exmoor, The Mason’s Arms offers a menu of Michelin rated food in a gorgeous 13th century thatched pub. The perfect combination of good food and charming surroundings, this one’s a firm favourite with foodies on the Devon restaurant scene. Over in Buckfastleigh, the Riverford Field Kitchen is an organic farm, so expect hearty homemade meals served in a friendly kitchen-style restaurant.
Bringing your electric vehicle for your Devon holiday? Our collection of Devon cottages with EV charging means you’ll have the convenience of charging outside your front door.
Devon has an oceanic climate (also known as a maritime climate or marine climate) which means that it generally features mild summers and cool but not cold winters. Oceanic climates can be found in both temperate and subtropical areas (which explains the Torbay Palm) and this basically means that it’s a bit warmer than the rest of England. Although temperatures are milder they can, like the rest of the country, be unpredictable and severe, however generally speaking it’s unlikely you’ll see snow in winter and or boiling hot temperatures in summer (we’re fine with mid 20’s thank you!) If you’re planning a visit and don’t mind the rain, January, October, November and December are on average the wettest months, with June being the sunniest and July being the warmest and driest.
Devon’s family friendly attractions are varied and numerous with many indoor and outdoor adventures to choose from. We love getting our young ones in touch with nature so places like Occombe Farm in Paignton or Pennywell Farm in Buckfastligh rank among our favourites. There’s also the World of Country Life in Exmoor which promises an action-packed day out filled with lots of opportunity to pet the resident farm animals. The zoos at Paignton and Dartmoor are extremely well run and well-worth visiting as is The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth which is home to over 4,000 species of marine life. The zoos and aquarium offer an immersive experience for both children and adults alike, and you’ll be supporting their extensive conservation work by simply visiting these wonderful places. For more outdoor fun the seasonal and award-winning Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour near Exeter offers outdoor play areas, slides and a corn maze with tonnes of ice cream flavours to choose from, and Crealy Theme Park (also near Exeter) with over 60 rides and attractions, means you’ll be able to enjoy adrenalin-charged fun out all year round.
Yes many many! On your travels through Devon you’ll discover some of the Trust’s best historic homes and beauty spots which are dotted all along Devon’s coastline and strewn within its countryside. On the South Hams coast alone are places like Coleton Fishacre with its 24-acre garden and a house in the Arts and Crafts style, Agatha Christie’s holiday residence at Greenway which she said was “the loveliest place in the world” and Overbeck’s hidden paradise of subtropical gardens near Salcombe. There’s also the magnificent Saltram near Plymouth and Ale Ronde, a unique 16 sided house that was built in the 18th Century in Exmouth, with an ostentatious interior of decoration and collections, to name but a few.
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