I am very lucky that I live in a beautiful part of the country here in North Devon. Every year we get thousands of tourists (known as grockels to the proper Devonshire folk who were born and bred here), who travel down here to witness the stunning scenery, coastlines and get a taste of life here in the West Country. However, it is actually the South of Devon which gets the better weather than us North Devon peeps, (we get all the rain instead!) and with its glorious beaches and exciting places to visit it is a part of the county that we pop to from time to time.
If we were heading to South Devon for a holiday I would definitely look into hiring a holiday cottage, a little home from home where I feel that with children is so much more practical then staying in a hotel or B&B. I appreciate that as a Mum I would still be required to do some cooking, even though it is meant to be a holiday, but I would rather that then pay for hotel meals which my two would not eat, or be tied to having to eat at specific times stated by our accomodation. Holiday homes like the ones featured by Coast and Country Cottages would be ideal for us, and they do offer a home from home, and possibly even more besides.
However, with such an array of hotels, B&B’s, campsites, holiday caravans and youth hostels available in South Devon there will be accommodation to suit every budget and need.
With two energetic boys in tow, we would want to visit places which offer a mix of things to keep them amused and out of trouble! They love open spaces and being allowed to run around and be boys, and South Devon is not short of such places which would enable them to do this. Being the English Riveria, there are a wealth of blue flag beaches to choose from where the mix of sand, sea and sand castle making would keep them happy for hours on end!
However, personally I would prefer to avoid the very popular and ‘touristy’ beaches which would be jam packed with holiday makers wanting to make the most of the golden sandy beaches and aqua blue sea. You can easily discover beaches which are off the tourist track simply by searching for them on the internet. These quiter coves offer just the same in terms of the wonderful coastline but are much quieter and there will also be opportunities to explore the rock pools for all thier natural treasures (just remember to return them safely to their natural habitats afterwards).
The great thing about visiting a beach which is not swarming with other tourists is that asides from maybe car park fees, it is a free day out. Just pack what you need and you have a wonderful day out that will not cost anything, especially if you bring your nets, buckets and spades with you.
If, like my family and I, you would be looking to spend you days not having to spend too much money, there are so mnay activities you can do for free. Again, if you plan your trip in advance and use the internet to search for things to do within your budget, you will be amazed at what you can discover and have planned for your family, without breaking the bank.
Not far from the English Riveria is the wild and magnificent Dartmoor National Park. With its rugged scenery, breath taking views and wildlife in abundance this is another free excursion that is a short car journey away from the beaches. I have been many times to Dartmoor and I never tire of its natural splendor or seeing how close the wild ponies will come to you.
Another great thing to try while in South Devon is to ride on the Dartmouth Steam Train, something which I have not done for some years now but I cannot wait to take the boys on one day very soon. You travel all along the picturesque coastline from Paignton to Kingswear (just a short hop and a ferry ride from Dartmouth), and the views are just amazing
Not forgetting of course that South Devon also boasts a huge array of tourist attractions offerign something to do in all weathers – more information can be found on line on the visitor guide. There are two wildlife parks which are worth a visit also, both of which I have visted several times, Paignton Zoo and Dartmoor Zoological Park – the latter of which you may already be familiar with if you have seen the movie We Bought A Zoo (Starring Matt Damon). Although zoos and wildlife parks can be pricey to gain admission to, it is always worth checking their websites for online ticket discounts, I know that at least the money we have spent is going back into the zoo to help fund it.
Whatever you do, you will want to eat at some point and there are lots of places to eat which are family friendly in and around South Devon. But don’t forget to save some room for a Devon cream tea – a local delicacy which is a must especially when on holiday. Then all you need to decide is whether to add the cream first and then the jam, or the jam first and then the cream!!!
These are just a few suggestions of what you can do with your family on a holiday in South Devon, but of course this is just the tip of the iceberg as there is sooooo much more to see and do. Just remember to plan ahead and use the internet to search for things of interest to you and your family – I can guarantee that you will not be short of ideas!
This is my entry into the Perfect Holiday Blogger Competitio