Friday, 12 August 2011

What do you like to discover on holiday?

Whether you’re holidaying on the moor, by the sea or in river country, there’s so much history and nature to discover on your doorstep in Devon.

If you stay at The Hayloft in Lower Cator, a hamlet in a hill-farmed valley in the heart of southern Dartmoor, you’ll find miles of lovely moorland and riverside walks amidst spectacular scenery. One of the holidaymakers who stayed here described the “riot of colour and wildlife” and there’s a wealth of archaeological sites to visit too.

It can be great fun to plot your walking route to call in at country pubs – try The Rugglestone Inn in Widecombe-in-the-Moor, a popular, ‘real Dartmoor’ village world-famous for its fair. The Hayloft is an excellent, upside down cottage (one of two converted from a big barn) in a truly beautiful location; a peaceful retreat after busy days out.

In the heart of Axminster, you’ll find lovely Coombe House, big, semi-detached and Grade II listed, originally built for the local abbot in the 16th century. There’s history all around you here. Axminster is a bustling little town with 300BC Celtic origins and nearby is the imposing Jurassic Coast – miles of stunning coastline and ancient geology recording 185 million years of the Earth's evolution.

After hunting for fossils and exploring rockpools, relax in the property’s big enclosed, walled garden shaded by a lovely mature beech tree – and you’re welcome to roam the friendly owner’s garden and help yourself to seasonal fruit and veg.

In the heart of the historic fishing village of Appledore, quirky Peelers Cottage has 1732 origins and once served the village as a police station and gaol. The picturesque village is well placed at the mouth of the Taw and Torridge estuary.

Make a hearty packed lunch and head off on your bikes to explore the famous Tarka Trail (you can hire cycles in Bideford, just 2 miles away) – you’ll find an abundance of wildlife. A good route is Bideford to Torrington which takes you up the Torridge Estuary on the old railway bed. Or how about a boat trip from Bideford to breathtaking Lundy Island to see its rich and diverse flora and fauna?

For more holiday ideas, browse through the rest of our holiday cottages in Devon.