Are you planning a summer break in the UK this year? It’s something we are definitely looking into again this summer. We want to take advantage of not having to travel too far and be able to bring our dog, Bennett with us. As well as spend some time in the south of England which we love, and always have a great time visiting. South Devon would make a perfect family holiday destination, there is so much to do as a family, or in fact as a couple in the evening now our girls are getting older. You never know you might actually get a date night in too.
We’ve spent quite a few summers in this area. Mostly renting out houses or cottages with companies such as Blueriver Cottages. What we love about doing this is, is the freedom that it offers you. They often have places to rent that allow dogs or even as Blue River do, have a ‘dogs go free‘ offer in the summer. When we holiday in the UK we love the ability to bring our dog, as we can take advantage of the gorgeous countryside and coast altogether. Holidaying in a cottage or house really does give you total freedom especially as you can have the home comforts but be in an exciting new place to explore.
So here are a few of my recommendations for a holiday in the south of Devon.
Dartmoor has quite a few stables in and around the national park. There is something so liberating being on horseback and exploring an area. You can ride out on the open moor (provided that it is common land) trot along woodland trails and bridleways. How about following some of the historic byways linking towns and villages. This is something for all age and abilities, I’m a complete novice but the experience is so memorable.
That’s me, the second rider.
Dartmoor Ponies are an iconic sight, that I’ve been lucky enough to witness a few times. The live as semi-wild herds all over the moor. The Dartmoor scenery is absolutely breathtaking, add to that the site of these wild pony foals playing, it honestly stunning and not one to miss.
Dartmoor makes a great day out. You can enjoy a family picnic, take a walk or saddle up for a cycle as well as horse riding. There are also lots of places to just let the kids run about and expel some energy. Don’t forget a visit to a local pub for a bite to eat, there are lots that are both dog and child-friendly.
There are so many really good beaches in the South of Devon. Everything from small sandy coves, pebble beaches or traditional seaside ones.
Kids and families will love the sandy beaches. You can all spend hours chilling on the sand, building sandcastles and discovering creatures in rock pools. Another important factor is they have lifeguards throughout the summer for extra safety. Lots of the beaches in South Devon have awards for water and beach quality as well. Don’t forget watersports available on the coast with sailing, surfing, kayaking and paddleboarding.
Many of the beaches in South Devon are dog-friendly, so whether you are enjoying a stroll and the sunset in the evening, or wanting to have a dip in the heat of the day, there are lots of options.
Are you a family like us who likes a little retail therapy whilst they are having a holiday? We are and I can definitely recommend Totnes to satisfy the shopping urge. Lots of independent shops and many vintage and antique places to explore. That’s another great advantage of holidaying in the UK, as you easily transport your finds back home. There are some fantastic restaurants in Totnes, or places to enjoy an iconic Devonshire cream tea. In the heart of the town is also Totnes Castle, where you can climb up to the top of the Norman castle and enjoy wonderful views across the town.
Burgh Island is a tidal island on the coast of South Devon in England near the small seaside village of Bigbury-on-Sea. Famed for its links to Agatha Christie.
I think a car in Devon is essential really. What we also found is we stumbled upon things whilst we visited we were there. We’d go and visit somewhere and on the way find another place to visit too. For example, on our way to find something to eat one day, we saw a signpost for a cafe and found Otterton Mill. We sat down to have drinks and lunch whilst the chef took us through his top courgettes recipes. It was fantastic, and this kind of thing we always seem to stumble across in this area. So sometimes not planning and going with the flow really does make a great break.
I hope you enjoyed this post if you do visit South Devon this year, please do let me know your tips of what to try.