Holiday cottages Devon and special places to stay

Devon’s geographical diversity is even broader than you might expect from England’s third largest county. Between the surf beaches of the north coast and the Jurassic cliffs of the south, rivers wind through ancient woodland, villages sit in the folds of sweeping fields and imposing tors loom over Dartmoor and Exmoor.

Weaved into these landscapes is a culture you can see in Ilfracombe’s annual art trail, Sidmouth’s week-long summer folk festival and seafood festivals in Clovelly. The county’s food heritage runs deep, with sharp cheese, cider and sparkling wine sold in centuries-old pannier markets and served on tables from the floating River Exe Cafe to River Cottage HQ.

We carefully inspect our places to stay in Devon, looking for the ones that give you a real experience of living there, from a self-catering apartment right on Saunton Sands, to an old rectory hotel with tracks to hidden coves and a craft-ale inn at the heart of an artsy city centre.

Why we love Devon:

  • You can wander around sleepy harbour villages, surf pounding waves at the beach and explore lively towns all in a single day
  • Traditional cheese and cider producers have been joined by experimental growers, artisans and chefs to create an exciting and thriving food scene
  • Dartmoor, Exmoor and the coast combine to offer everything from gentle woodland walks to challenging hikes and climbs
  • The South Hams region, with 52 miles of coastal path, family-friendly beaches, upmarket villages and South Devon AONB
  • It’s the home of the only place exciting enough to have an exclamation mark officially in its name – Westward Ho!

Great things to do in Devon:

  • Catch a water taxi from Exmouth marina and enjoy a unique dining experience at the offshore River Exe Cafe
  • Follow the river Dart on a walk from Totnes to Sharpham Wine and Cheese, for tastings and alfresco dining at the vineyard cafe
  • The boat-bus-train trip from Totnes to Paignton to Dartmouth – the best way to explore South Devon
  • Ride the tram through the Axe valley on a scenic three-mile journey from Colyton down to the beach at Seaton
  • Keen cyclists can take in the rippling coastline from Exmoor’s highest point, Dunkery Beacon, a steep two-mile climb from the village of Porlock.

Featured places