For family holidays and romantic breaks or even solo trips, South Devon has a wealth of beautiful locations, spas and hotels in which to spend quality time. Salcombe, for example, in the South Hams is amongst the best known holiday destinations and a sailor’s paradise, while Dartmouth is a historic port town offering old world charm in abundance and Dartmoor has the kind of rugged beauty usually reserved for novels.
For families, nothing could be more idyllic than a beach holiday and with so many sandy locations begging for buckets and spades, South Devon has the kind of appeal that an Enid Blyton story might inspire.
In Salcombe North Sands with its beachside cafe, The Winking Prawn, is a haven for families, while over the water at East Portlemouth, which you can access by a small ferry, there is a little collection of beaches that lace the shoreline offering shallow waters for paddling and nearby conveniences for teas, coffees and light meals.
On rainy days the art cafe Paper Bird Island on Island Street is a favourite amongst kids and kids at heart, Dartmouth Zoo always holds appeal, not least as the inspiration for the movie We Bought a Zoo, featuring Matt Damon. In Plymouth the Plymouth Aquarium is a favourite for all age groups, while the Butterfly Farm at Buckfastleigh or the Model Village at Babbacombe is a classic favourite.
Food is a big deal in this part of the world. In an age where we’re all increasingly concerned about where our food is sourced and how it’s packaged, this is a place where local seafood is one of the greatest pleasures, and Salcombe itself has its own ice cream factory. It goes without saying that.
Devon cream tea is a necessity in this part of the world, but don’t forget to try a crab sandwich as well – on a sunny day coupled with a glass of some of South Devon’s English wines, few things could be finer.
Life by the sea is characterised by outdoor activities. Walking along the South West Coast Path through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, surfing at the famed Bantham beach, paddle boarding or kayaking with Sea Kayak Salcombe into caves and past local shipwrecks, or simply splashing in the water on a sunny day with a bodyboard – this is wellness in its truest form and for all ages.
At any time of the year, South Devon has a reason to get you outside and in the fresh air so you really feel ready for that afternoon tea!
A family friendly hotel with all the luxury credentials for a romantic break overlooking the beach and adjacent to the golf course, The Thurlestone Hotel has just the right amount of old school charm set alongside contemporary style and service. It is complete with The Voyage Spa, a recently renovated addition to the hotel, combining top class modern facilities with a touch of classic nostalgia from the golden age of ocean travel.
A three star hotel in Dartmouth, surrounded by Devonshire countryside, the Best Western The Dartmouth Hotel, Golf and Spa Hotel is contemporary, sits next to the golf course and has a comprehensive spa with reasonable prices with facilities including a mud rasul – perfect for friends to share!
A lavish hotel for romantic breaks, and a contemporary spa that’s perfect for groups, Boringdon Hall is postcard perfect with views over Dartmoor and an abundance of history – it is said that Lady Jane Grey stayed here once upon a time. The hotel has been renovated in recent years to achieve five star status, and amongst its assets, the top floor of the spa is a dedicated Spatisserie where they have recently introduced brunch to the menu divided into awakening, balancing and calming meals.
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