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Destination South Devon: Where, when and why?  holiday cottages

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Destination South Devon: Where, when and why?

Kate W 01 April 2019

Exclusive, stylish and unspoilt: this region is a UK paradise.

Many artists attempt to capture the atmospheric and ephemeral beauty of Dartmoor National Park. In fact, the English Riviera is a known celebrity haunt and its alluring landscape has been written about by countless novelists and poets, while the entire county of Devon is renowned as one of the UK’s most scenic travel destinations.

In sharp contrast to the wilderness of Devon’s north coast, the chic south is famed for unspoilt beaches with miles of fine sand, huge expanses of idyllic countryside and the calm, turquoise waters with secret coves where yachts can drop anchor. Exclusive manors and stylish country homes bring old-world glamour to a naturally breath-taking coastline.

We have curated a remarkable collection of large houses for big groups in Devon. Grab yourself a coffee, sink into a chair and peruse the exclusive properties we have to offer.

Where to stay

Sheafhayne Manor | Honiton (9mls NE), Devon

Sheafhayne Manor

Sleeps 24

An unforgettable manor house, this stately home is one of our biggest properties and a memorable venue to host a huge soiree.

Intice family and friends down to South Devon with a stay in this majestic property and impress them with the magnificent interior that includes luxurious dark wood Tudor panelling, historic oak floors and provides a grandiose atmosphere. Wander through the charming orchard, dip your toes in the stream and amuse yourself with a game of croquet on the lawn. Discover an additional 2,500 acres of exquisite farmland just waiting for you to begin your exploration. Indoors you’ll uncover further entertainment for your guests in the games room, including pool, table tennis, air hockey and table football.

A special extra: it’s located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which means the views are breath-taking.

The Coastguard Cottage | Plymouth (4mls S), Devon

coastguard cottage

Sleeps 8

Intrigued by the breath-taking views at Sheafhayne Manor but searching for a unique property half the size? Then take a look at the panorama below; which is what you’ll wake up to every morning if you stay at this cottage by the sea.

Once upon a time, this property was owned by the Coastguard, and as such it has an incredible clifftop location allowing views out to sea and a path that acts as a shortcut down to the beach. A greystone exterior lends itself to the coastal theme, with large old-fashioned windows and a lookout space in the lounge that makes the most of the ocean panorama. Dogs are welcome here and it’s family-friendly with a games room and the local beach acting as two wonderful entertainment options. Plymouth is a short 4-mile drive yet you’d have no idea you were so close to city life due to the secluded and peaceful setting of this property.

Where to eat

Breakfast delicatessen: Jacka Bakery, Plymouth

If you know, you know! Famous among locals yet relatively unknown elsewhere, it’s one of Plymouth’s best-kept secrets, serving bread and pastries straight from the oven.

This hidden gem claims to be the oldest working commercial bakery in the UK (going back as far as 1610) and is the proud recipient of several awards, yet you wouldn’t know it from the unassuming façade. Specialising in sourdough creations, tasty on-toast meals and speciality coffee, breakfast at Jacka’s offers a sublime start to the day. Dip inside to uncover the foodie secrets of this historic maritime city.

A casual lunch: The Elephant, Torquay

 
 
 
 
 
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6 years ago to the day, training for Bocuse d'Or #memories

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With almost 15 years spent as a Michelin-starred restaurant, you’d expect a little prestige and pomp, yet the owner and head chef, Simon Hulstone, has ensured that it retains an informal and welcoming atmosphere, even claiming ‘to serve the best value Michelin starred lunch in the UK’. The impressive owner is one of the UK's most decorated chefs and he champions the beautiful English Riviera. Torquay harbour views compliment the delicious, locally-grown ingredients served up at this contemporary establishment.

Dine in style: Gidleigh Park, Chagford

 
 
 
 
 
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Hands up if you’d want to eat at this stunning Tudor-style country house in Devon, South West England?! 🙋‍♀️😍 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Situated on the very edge of the Dartmoor National Park, Gidleigh Park enjoys a prime location on the reaches of the River Teign, South Devon 🌳 Famed for its culinary credentials, at the heart of this gorgeous hotel is its award-winning restaurant, offering an intimate dining area with magnificent views across the hotel’s gardens. Executive Chef, Chris Simpson (@chrissimpson80) offers a memorable culinary experience with a focus on creating unique, locally sourced dishes that are full of flavour 👨‍🍳😋 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ While you’re there, why not treat yourself to a full afternoon tea complete with an ice cold glass of English bubbly? 🇬🇧🍾 The drinks menu boasts a variety of bottles from local sparkling wine producers Sharpham Estate (@sharpham_wine_and_cheese) and Furleigh Estate (@furleigh.estate), for a true taste of the South West. Cheers! 🥂 ____________________ 📸: @davidloftus @innesh99 @priscipic @brownswordhotels #GREATBritishFood

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Sophisticated old country home in the wilds of Dartmoor where the service is excellent and the food divine. Previously headed by Michael Caines and Michael Wignall, today’s executive chef, Chris Simpson, arrived in 2018 after seven years leading a two Michelin starred establishment, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall.

Dinner is served in wood-panelled rooms with numerous waiters attending to each table ensuring an outstanding evening. Special mention for evening dining must go to Lympstone Manor in Exmouth, new in comparison to the well-established Gidleigh Park, yet it was opened by Michael Caines, has its own Michelin star as well as an artist-in-residence.

Where to visit

Sandy toes at a secret beach: Blackpool Sands, Dartmouth

blackpool sands

You may not expect to find an award-winning beach sheltered by a forest of pines and evergreens, yet that’s exactly what defines this unspoilt treasure. Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, discover sand pits, a beach shop and a café with hot and cold food.

Lie back on the bathing raft before uncovering the secret garden hidden just beyond the sandy shore or enjoy a little adventure on this family-friendly beach by hiring a kayak or paddleboard to explore the turquoise waters.

Walk the majestic moorland: Two Moors Way, Dartmoor

castle drogo walk

One of the secrets of the Dartmoor National Park, this lesser-known trail will lead you through the Teign Valley with the famous high moorland on one side and a steep forest on the other.

Begin your journey at Fingle Bridge carpark and follow this pathway as it passes over the beautiful bridge, up a steep incline along Hunter's Path and ends when you reach the magnificent Castle Drogo from which you’ll meet startling views of the North Moor. A café allows for a pit stop at the castle, while there are further options for exploring beside the river and Teign Gorge if you follow Fisherman’s Path.

Uncover a unique experience: Lydford Gorge, Okehampton

lydford gorge

For an extra-special experience, make your way to the spectacular 30m Whitelady Waterfall at Lydford Gorge. The magical waterfall is one of the unique natural phenomenon you’ll discover here.

A rocky path leads you to the dark and endlessly deep waters of Devil’s Cauldron while the River Lyd is home to the deepest gorge in the South West. Surrounded by extensive views and ancient woodland, the entire venture you’ll be provided with startling scenery.

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