There is beauty to be found everywhere. But some places make you do a little digging to find it. Not Devon.
No – Devon’s beauty is on a grand scale. From the moors to the coastlines with the countryside between it’s totally, shamelessly, in-your-face Beautiful.
Especially in the spring and summer when the sun shines and turns up the saturation on green fields and azure seas.
It’s pretty special. Here are 8 reasons why Devon is the most beautiful place for a staycation. The most.
Vitamin Sea On the South West Coast Path
Sea-lovers will be in their element on the South West Coast Path. The gorgeous 630 mile footpath and trail winds across both of Devon’s coastlines. Think long, scenic cliffs with huge coastal horizons, and scores of picture-perfect villages to drop anchor in for an afternoon.
You’ll also find plenty of sandy bays and hidden coves if you fancy a sea swim to cool off on a hot day. Did you know the seas around the south west peninsular are the warmest of any sea area near to the UK?
Dartmoor: The South’s Largest Wilderness
Dartmoor National Park is unlike anywhere else in the world.
It’s a varied and ancient landscape, marked with pre-historic settlements and populated by Dartmoor ponies. You might associate it with the Hound of the Baskervilles, and you could spend days lost in its vast plains, hiking up to granite Tors with soaring views across the rolling countryside to the distant sea. But it also has a friendlier side, with attractions like Castle Drogo and gentle paths along the river Dart valley and through lush mossy woodland.
Miles Of Idyllic countryside
Over the last year walking has been one of the few activities open to us. It’s fair to say people might be getting tired of it. Actually, the BBC found 40% of people intend to do more walking after the pandemic than before.
There are few places with more walks to offer than Devon. Explore footpaths through fields and woodland, or simply head down a lane and see where you end up. Perhaps strangely, Devon has the highest mileage in roads of any county in the UK. But these aren’t motorways – these are sleepy grass-verged lanes. The kind with tall wild flower fringed hedgerows that hum with bees, and feed you views of softly rolling fields from each farm gate. Quiet lanes are popular for strolling. Here you are able to lose yourself in nature, in the slow and easy-going pace of country life.
Devon’s quiet lanes are also popular with cyclists. Of course, the most relaxing cycling is off-road. Not necessarily off-road in a cross-country sense (although Dartmoor alone offers 350km of bridleways and byways of this).
There are also plenty of undaunting and beautiful cycling routes for all ages and abilities in Devon. Haldon Forest Park is one. Easily accessed on the A38, this peaceful woodland offers child-friendly adrenaline fun. Alongside 3 walking trails and a running route, not to mention a Go Ape treetop assault course and a lovely café, the park has cycling trails for beginners and dawdlers of all ages up to the more experienced mountain bikers. Cycle hire is also available here.
Then there’s the Exe Estuary Trail, a 26-mile route along the Exe estuary from Dawlish Warren to Exeter then through the idyllic waterside town of Topsham to Exmouth. The largely flat and traffic-free route waslisted by the Sunday Times as one of the top twenty family cycle rides in the UK. It hasincredible views and passes by a huge variety of great pubs and cafes along the way.
Blue Flag Beaches
Picture a jaw-dropping coastline, with long golden sand beaches and dramatic rising headlands.
Now double it. Devon is the only county in the UK with two separate coastlines.
Each has its own unique character. The north, Devon’s Atlantic coast, offers the UK’s best surfing beaches like Bude and Woolacombe. This is where surfing was first practised in the UK. There are also plenty of pristine, hidden coves.
On the south coast there are seven Blue Flag beaches, all unspoiled paradises perfect for beach days and sea swimming.
At Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve you can enjoy a classic beach day with a difference—miles of golden sand, gentle dunes and a child-friendly gently shelving beach next to a Nature Reserve that is a precious habitat to rare sea birds. Make sand castles or relax to the sound of waves lapping at the shore while birds. Make sure you get a proper fish and chips on the pier, and perhaps a Westcountry ice cream topped with a dollop of clotted cream.
Fantastic Food and Drink
Devon is a foodie’s dream. The county has always served up the highest quality food, specialising in great meat, seafood, and dairy. But over the last few years the food scene has exploded. There is a huge array of independent pubs, restaurants and cafes, with something for everyone.
You’ll find that much of it is locally sourced. Brixham continues to land the nation’s best seafood, with a world-leading fish market supplying Michelin restaurants and chippies alike with the freshest catch. Meanwhile local breweries and distilleries like Salcombe Gin and Red Rock Brewery can be found on the drinks list.
And of course you simply can’t beat a traditional cream tea with lashings of Westcountry clotted cream.
You’ll find all the usual suspects of family-friendly fun in Devon. But the abundant green space and coastline allow for child-friendly outdoor activities you simply can’t find in other areas.
From Woodlands Theme Park and the River Dart Country Park to Pennywell Farm. Child-friendly Devon is top-tier— good enough for the adults, too.
Take Exe Adventures. They offer kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding sessions or hire in the beautiful Exe canal. It’s a fabulous day out with kids, but you’ll want to try it regardless. And for an adrenalin rush whatever the weather, a short walk from Lady’s Mile is the Grand Prix Go Karts which sports a collection of 32 karts, raring to go whatever your age or ability.
A Devon Staycation
If beautiful scenery, blue flag beaches, great food and a plethora of family-friendly attractions sound like components of your ideal staycation, you might just have found it.
Lady’s Mile Holiday Park in Dawlish Warren is easy walking distance from the beach and nature reserve and with inland views to Dartmoor and the surrounding countryside. It is the perfect place to spend a thoroughly enjoyable holiday, with as much relaxing or exploring as you like.