Devon Holidays Guide

Devon coastal landscapeWant to discover what Devon offers for cottage breaks?  Read’s guide to country cottage holidays and self-catering breaks by the sea in Devon.


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What Does Devon Offer for Cottage Breaks?

From unspoilt countryside to a superb coastline with unspoilt beaches and family attractions, there is much to discover and enjoy on a cottage holiday in Devon.



Devon’s Top Attractions include

•    The Devon coastline with great beaches and pretty coastal towns,

•    The unspoilt Devon countryside including Dartmoor and Exmoor,

•    Family Attractions in Devon



Explore all that Devon has to offer on your next holiday 

Devon is a stunning place for a tranquil break away on your next adventure, offering plenty of options for a memorable holiday. Enjoy the picturesque sites of national parks or charming walks around historic towns. Or, take the change to relax on a sunny beach against the backdrop of majestic cliffs and postcard towns. Read our guide below to make the most out of all Devon has to offer for your next break away!



Devon coastlineDiscover Beautiful Beaches. Pretty Villages and Quaint Coastal Towns along Devon’s coastline

Devon is home to some of the most gorgeous seaside retreats in the UK, and you won’t want to miss any of them on your next trip away!


The North Devon Coast

The North Devon Coast is a sublime landscape, graded an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that boasts plenty of stunning areas and places to explore. Covering 171 square kilometres of stunning land, there’s plenty to explore up and down the coastline. Soak up the panoramic views of the Heritage Coast, transporting you back to the ancient ocean landscapes. 



Which are Devon’s Best Coastal Towns?

Some of Devon’s best loved coastal towns include:

•    Dartmouth, 

•    Salacombe 

•    Torquay



Dartmouth is a picturesque seaside town and a lovely place to explore. From the renowned food festival where you can sample all the fantastic local cuisine to a wander around the historic museums and galleries, there’s so much to see and do in Dartmouth. Dartmouth is full of grand houses and gardens right out of a history book that are yours to explore, and you won’t be able to get enough of venturing through the charming town streets. You can even have a go at some water sports if you’re feeling adventurous!


With stunning views across the coast as well as an idyllic countryside setting, there’s really nothing better than a day out in Salcombe! Take a dip in the water or try out some sailing if you want to explore beyond land, or wander through the streets of the enticing town. Salcombe is perfect for water sports, and you can finish off with a bite to eat at one of the cute independent cafes around. It’s an ideal place to enjoy a family break away! 



Torquay is an unmissable destination in Devon, complete with palm trees that’ll make you feel as if you’re enjoying Mediterranean waters as well as a bustling harbour. It’s a thriving seaside town with renowned restaurants and even a boat trip to experience all the stunning areas of the sea. Or, enjoy the ocean waves from land as you gaze out over the Princess Pier. It’ll be a glorious retreat!



Woolacombe Beach, DevonDevon’s Top 10 Beaches

1.    Woolacombe Beach - This award-winning sandy beach with its long stretch of sandy shores and beautiful blue waters, is a popular spot with both surfers and sunbathers.

2.    Croyde Bay - A beautiful sandy beach backed by sand dunes, this beach is another favourite with surfers due to its big waves.

3.    Saunton Sands - This is one of Devon’s most famous beaches, on account of its long stretch of sandy beach, and beautiful dunes, and is another popular surfing beach.

4.    Blackpool Sands - This sheltered golden sandy blue flag award winning beach is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and pebbly shore.  This is a family-friendly beach and there is a café close by, as well as a place to rent watersports equipment.

5.    Bantham Beach - This beach with its generous sandy shores is one of the best in South Devon and is popular with both surfers and families.  The beach is set by a backdrop of unspoilt countryside.

6.    Bigbury-on-Sea - This beautiful sandy beach lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is famous for its iconic Burgh Island, which is accessible via a tidal causeway. 

7.    Teignmouth Beach -  If you are in search of a town with a good beach then look no further than Teignmouth on the South Devon coast.  This long sandy beach is popular with families and close to the promenade and amenities of Teignmouth.

8.    Hope Cove - For a truly picturesque beach, head for Hope Cove.  Made up of two sheltered sandy coves, this beach is next to a small seaside village and is a quiet pretty beach.

9.    Salcombe South Sands - This is a small beautiful beach which is just a walk from the pretty town of Salcombe.  For sunbathing or a paddle in the waves, Salcombe South Sands is an appealing beach.

10.  Dawlish Warren Beach - Located close to Dawlish, this is a long stretch of sandy beach with seaside amusements nearby including mini golf, cafes and restaurants.


Exmoor LandscapeWhat are the Devon’s Best Areas of Countryside?

Not only does Devon offer unparalleled access to England’s stunning coves and beaches, but you’ll also be surrounded by beautiful countryside views and secluded retreats on a cottage holiday in Devon.

Some of Devon’s best loved areas of countryside include:

•    Dartmoor National Park

•    Exmoor National Park

•    The Teign Valley




Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor is a secluded location full of unique examples of wildlife to discover across its open moorlands and river valleys. Take in the rolling hills and the photographic views of the countryside as you explore the expanses of land on offer – don’t forget to keep an eye on the Dartmoor National Park website for regular updates on events, talks and exhibitions to really engage with the history of Dartmoor and Devon!  Whether you want to enjoy walking, cycling or wildlife watching, this is a glorious unspoilt area of Devon to discover on holiday.



Exmoor National Park

With an abundance of walks and trails to enjoy, Exmoor National Park is an ideal place for any nature lovers looking to explore the countryside. Enjoy a hike to experience the renowned views or a picnic in one of the stunning open spaces (or stop in a village pub if you feel like being cooked for!). Don’t forget to look out for wild red deer and the Exmoor ponies!






The Teign Valley

Another stunning natural area, the Teign Valley is a gorgeous setting with plenty to do along the way, whether you’re looking for scenic walks, local attractions or a break in a charming inn. Trek through the Fingle Woods, home to ancient habitats and sublime views, or visit the iconic Heltor Rock. You can rest after a day of walking in one of the lovely Inns, where you can enjoy a cosy atmosphere and hot food. There’s even a golf course nestled in the valley!





Top 10 Family Attractions in Devon include:

Whether your kids love a day out at a theme park, a visit to a zoo or a honey farm, it’s all on offer in Devon.

  1. Crealy Theme Park
  2. Diggerland
  3. Exmoor Zoo
  4. National Marine Aquarium
  5. Quince Honey Farm
  6. River Dart Country Park
  7. The Milky Way Adventure Park
  8. The BIG Sheep
  9. Woodlands Family Theme Park
  10. World of Country Life



Have the Best of Times on Holiday in Devon

Whatever you choose to do on holiday in Devon, whether you opt to spend time by the seaside on Devon's beautiful beaches or in the unspoilt countryside, we hope you have your best holiday yet in Devon.

Page last reviewed on 12 October 2023
by Em Burr

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