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As a child growing up in Devon, I was spoilt for choice with such spectacular beauty on my doorstep! Lazy summer days were spent building sandcastles and splashing in the sea and what better way to finish off the day than by sitting wrapped up in a towel, sand between my toes, watching the tide come in whilst eating fish and chips and watching the sun set.
Return visits to this beautiful county as an adult are filled with nostalgia but the experience is perhaps a little more luxurious these days! Splashing in the sea might be replaced with a soak in the hot tub and whilst the fish and chips are always amazing, we might opt to eat in one of the many delightful country pubs serving gastro-style food.
With two National Parks and many areas of Outstanding National Beauty, Devon offers something for everyone. The spectacular rugged coastline both to the north and south, is home to many small secluded coves and sandy family-friendly blue flag beaches. Further inland there are rolling hills, bountiful farmland and craggy moorland, not to mention the two historic cities of Exeter and Plymouth with their bustling streets and great nightlife.
No visit to Devon would be complete without experiencing some of the fantastic local produce, Scrumpy Cider and a clotted cream tea to mention just a couple! And if you are looking to experience nature at its best, why not catch a boat across to Lundy Island just off of the north coast. Here you will be able to see rare wildlife such as Puffins and Manx Shearwaters. The English Riviera on the south coast, is a 22 mile stretch of outstanding coastline taking in picturesque villages, rocky coves and seaside resorts. With its warm climate, sophisticated bars and restaurants, it is a popular destination for visitors from across the globe.
Devon is a place that you will simply fall in love with, so whether you are looking for a charming period property or something with a modern edge, our pick of the top 10 Devon cottages, all close to family friendly beaches, will ensure that you want to return time and again…….
Aptly named Cliff House, this award winning cottage is perched atop coastal cliffs and simply oozes luxury both inside and out! Extensively refurbished in 2018, it’s beautiful white washed walls, open fire places and impeccable design come together to give this unique coastal property a lovely ‘beach house’ laidback ambiance. With its TV lounge, generous kitchen/dining area, snug, games room and five large bedrooms, there is plenty of space for everyone. There is even an art room where you can sit and relax or perhaps even unleash the inner artist in you!
The secluded Mediterranean style garden boasts panoramic views of the south coast which can be viewed from a range of terraces and balconies. Unwind in the wood-fired hot tub whilst taking in breath-taking views of the English Channel. If you fancy a stroll, descend the 69 steps from the property down to the picturesque and family friendly Slapton Sands beach and enjoy the clean, calm waters of this area of outstanding beauty.
After a busy day exploring, why not grab a bite to eat in one of the local restaurants or rustle up something in the grand open-plan, fully equipped kitchen at Cliff House.
Whether you are looking for a romantic break away or a family holiday, Cliff House offers you style, sophistication and pure indulgence. Prepare to be blown away by this property – this really is luxury at its very best!
The Hoe Cottage
Nestled into the North Devon coastline, this stunning stone-built cottage is set in an idyllic location on the cliffs overlooking Lynmouth Bay. With two super-king double bedrooms, The Hoe Cottage is perfect for two couples sharing or for a romantic getaway. Each room in this triple level property is exquisitely decorated with finishing touches that will help enhance your stay.
On the lower ground floor, the light and airy kitchen/dining area opens up to a split level garden complete with pizza oven. Select a bottle from the wine cellar and settle down to take in the exceptional views across the Atlantic. And if the outside area isn’t enough, you are treated to two balconies where you can relax and unwind after a hard day’s exploring.
The many coves and family friendly beaches scattered along the north Devon coast are all within easy reach, as is the famous cliff side railway which takes you down into the village of Lynmouth. Close to Exmoor National Park and just a short walk to the pretty villages of Lynton, this cottage is perfectly located to embrace the best of Devon’s charm.
Another gem on the north Devon coast is Brookville, situated in the ever popular Combe Martin. This stylish yet homely property is in a tucked away spot yet is within walking distance to local amenities and a pub. If you are looking for charm, then this property is for you. Wooden beams, traditional wood burner, three king size bedrooms and an attractive open-plan lounge/kitchen/diner make this property desirable for couples and families alike.
Outside to the front of the property is a small patio area and to the rear, there is a wonderful enclosed tiered garden. Complete with a BBQ, this secluded setting makes it a delightful spot for dinner under the stars or a relaxing afternoon with a glass of something bubbly!
For those wanting to get out and about and explore the local area, Brookville is just minutes from Exmoor National Park and the many family friendly sandy beaches that run along with north Devon coast. Croyde bay is a favourite with surfers and offers excellent water sports facilities.
This stunning grade II listed, 17th Century thatched farmhouse cottage, has been designed with large groups in mind. The six bedrooms, two large lounges and enormous gardens are impeccably maintained and you cannot fail to be captivated by the period features such as the leaded light windows, flagstone floors, exposed beams and inglenook fireplaces.
From the moment you arrive at Woodmans Stoup, you will feel like you’ve taken a step back in time. The furnishings are sumptuous yet sympathetic and combine to create a delightful period ambiance. Outside is a cobbled courtyard with BBQ, ideal for alfresco dining after a day of exploring the East Devon coast. A surprise feature of this property is the Linhay barn – traditionally built on two floors, this now houses a games room.
Set in the picturesque village of Colyford, Woodmans Stoop is close to local amenities and the unspoilt seaside towns of Sidmouth and the World Heritage Coastline of Lyme Regis. This location truly is wonderful, with beautiful sandy and pebble beaches meeting rugged cliffs along the Jurassic Coast. A real gem in an unspoilt part of the country, this is a must-do vacation.
Situated in a spectacular position overlooking the South Devon coast, visitors cannot fail to fall in love with this cottage. Originally two properties but now combined into one, Coastguard Cottage is approached via a private road and has an enclosed terraced garden. With it’s outstanding waterside views and sandy coves just a short distance from the property, this really is something special.
The four double bedrooms with plush comfortable furnishings can accommodate up to eight people making it an ideal location for families or friends. The kitchen/diner is fully equipped with a large range cooker and provides ample space for cooking and socialising. The woodburner is distinctively double sided and heats both the kitchen and lounge areas, perfect for those chillier winter evenings. The Games room with large TV, Xbox, PS4, Wii and games will keep the youngsters (and young at heart!) entertained. And for outdoor entertainment, the cottage is perfectly located for meandering along the beach or further inland, walks across Dartmoor National Park. Plymouth Hoe is a short drive away as is Drake’s Circus, should you wish to do a spot of shopping.
And what better way to round off a busy day of exploring than to return to your cosy Devon retreat, watch the boats sail in and out of Plymouth Sound, switch off, kick back and relax…….
The Old Cider Barn
Traditional old wooden beams, exposed brickwork, feature windows, old fireplaces and luxurious yet contemporary furnishings, are just some of the things that will immediately strike you upon entering this grade II listed barn conversation. Situated in the picturesque village of Croyde, The Old Cider Barn has oodles of character and is pure luxury.
The snug (yet quite large!) sitting room is full of charm and even includes parts of an original cider press! It has a cosy feel and is perfect for unwinding and sharing stories of the day’s adventures on the North Devon coast. The four bedrooms (one with a free standing bath) can comfortably accommodate 8 guests and there is even a separate annexe with studio lounge/sleeping area and ensuite wet room which is ideal for those wanting a little privacy.
As well as having its fair share of family-friendly beaches on the doorstep, the stunning coastline is a walker’s paradise and access to the South West Coast Path can be gained from the village. Where luxury and tradition combine, guests cannot fail to fall in love with this unique and exquisite property.
Located on the quayside with stunning views of the estuary and just a stone’s throw from the sand dunes of Instow beach, this spacious period property provides accommodation for up to 15 guests. Bay windows, wooden floorings, decorative cornicing, fresh décor and contemporary fittings, combine to make The Anchorage the perfect blend of old and new. With its double range cooker and slate floors, the kitchen is a large sociable space where you can enjoy views over the river Torridge. Once you’ve finished your meal, retire to one of the two lounges and either take time to breathe in the clean North Devon air from the balcony overlooking the estuary, or relax in front of the TV and choice of games consoles.
The seven bedrooms are exquisitely decorated and are split across the upper three floors. Unique features such as the porthole windows are intriguing and add to this property’s charm.
Outside, the vast garden with its well stocked borders offers ample space for BBQ’s and socialising. And what better way to while away the hours after a day on the beach than by relaxing in the private hot tub. If you are feeling a little more energetic, take a walk or bike ride along The Tarka Trail, a disused railway track which is little more than a few yards from the Anchorage. This property exudes style and elegance and is perfect for exploring the magnificent North Devon coast.
West Wing Retreat
This luxury cottage is set in a beautiful rural location, just a short drive from the delightful resort town of Salcombe in the South Hams area of Devon which is known for its enchanted landscapes and magnificent cliff views. West Wing Retreat is one of six stylish properties sitting within ten acres of landscaped grounds in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This reverse level property sleeps six and boasts fantastic onsite shared facilities including indoor swimming pool, children’s play area, tennis courts and indoor play room.
The lounge is beautifully decorated with exposed beams and stone walls, with the central woodburner being the focal point of the room. Imagine yourself sitting back and relaxing amongst the rich, soft furnishings whilst catching up with friends.
The master bedroom has an exquisitely handcrafted bed frame and for that extra touch of luxury, there is a free standing roll top bath for you to relax in and soak up the magnificent South Devon charm.
For those seeking adventure, Salcombe is renowned for its water sports. Or if you prefer something a little less energetic, why not bathe in the sun on one of the many local beaches. With their golden sand and turquoise waters, this is a must have destination for families and couple alike.
From the moment you arrive at this property, you are immediately captivated by its style and sophistication. The elevated position of Tides, above the historic Tunnels beach, gives it the most amazing vantage point with far reaching sea and North Devon coastal views. This hilltop hideaway has five bedrooms and what feels like endless living space, making this an ideal location for a family break away or a get together with friends.
Set over three storeys, this light and airy property has the most amazing open plan lounge area complete with woodburner and bifold doors on either side of the room that open onto separate balconies. The kitchen is contemporary and fully equipped. Choose to eat at the breakfast bar or at the large dining table where there is room for everyone to feast whilst taking in the spectacular panoramic views. The stylish décor continues as you descend the turret style spiral staircase to access the bedrooms which are a mix of luxurious kings, doubles and a twin room. And if you fancy a spot of al fresco dining, why not fire up the BBQ for a big family dinner in the sun and enjoy the enclosed south facing garden.
A short walk from Tides and you are in the heart of the bustling Victorian seaside town of Ilfracombe which offers an abundance of shops, restaurants, a cinema and theatre. From here you can also take a boat trip across to the beautiful island of Lundy and witness some of the rare wildlife that inhabits its shores. Family friendly beaches with vast stretches of golden sand are a short drive from the property. This is a holiday cottage like no other and one that will capture your imagination and see you returning year after year.
This modern purpose built holiday cottage is elegant and exudes a chic, trendy vibe throughout. As you approach Golf View, you cannot fail to be overwhelmed by its unique position, with spectacular views overlooking the sea and within walking distance to the pebble ridges of Northam Country Park.
With it’s bleached floorboards and cream weatherboard effect, this tranquil reverse level property has a stunning bright and elegant open-plan kitchen/diner/lounge located on the first floor. Bifold doors open up onto a balcony, creating the perfect place to sit and drink your morning coffee and enjoy a read of the local ‘Western Morning News’ paper. Or for those cosy evenings in, light the woodburner and settle down to enjoy a family dinner or romantic meal for two.
On the ground floor, four bedrooms provide accommodation for up to 8 guests and with bunks beds in one of the rooms, this property is versatile enough to accommodate families as well as those wanting a romantic getaway or a fun few days with friends. The second lounge with direct access to the garden with it’s hot tub, BBQ and outdoor hot shower, is a really lovely feature and is great for larger groups.
If you can pull yourself away from this sublime cottage, there is plenty to see and do in the surrounding area. Take a walk along the famous Westward Ho! beach, with it’s two miles of gently sloping soft sand, it’s a favourite with families and water sports enthusiasts. Also close by is the picture postcard village of Clovelly where you can walk down the cobbled streets to the harbour below and meet the resident donkeys (now retired from carrying passengers back up the steep hill).
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.