The West Country – Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire – has long been a popular holiday destination thanks to its favourable weather, outstanding natural beauty, and rural atmosphere. With several national parks, hundreds of miles of stunning coastline, and an endless supply of charming villages and towns, it’s easy to see why the West Country has perennial appeal. The region caters to outdoor adventurers, families, and couples of all ages.
HomeAway has a wide selection of holiday cottages in the West Country to choose from. Varying from one to six or more bedrooms in size, there is something to suit the needs of all types of holidaymakers. Each West Country holiday cottage comes fully furnished and many even have added amenities including sea views, access to walking trails, and the ability to bring pets along. Whilst every part of the West Country offers something unique, holiday homes in South Devon and holiday cottages in North Cornwall tend to attract the most visitors.
-Beaches: The UK’s most fabulous beaches belong to the West Country. Surfers, windsurfers and other watersport enthusiasts will find plenty of wind and waves in North Cornwall. The seaside town of Bude, which is 50 miles north of Plymouth, is especially renowned for its surfing beaches. When it comes to sunbathing and building sandcastles, however, visitors may prefer South Devon, which has the highest concentration of Blue Flag beaches in the UK.
-Golf: Tourists staying in a holiday cottage in the West Country are almost guaranteed to be within striking distance of a golf course. Burnham & Berrow is a championship course located in Somerset that dates back to 1890 and is one of the top golf destinations in the UK. On the border of Cornwall and Devon, St. Mellion Golf Club is the destination of choice, whilst North Devon has Saunton Golf Club amongst many others.
-Outdoor activities: The West Country is full of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is ripe with outdoor activity possibilities. The South West Coast Path offers visitors 630 miles of beautiful walking trails ranging from easy to challenging. Other popular activities in the West Country include horse riding, cycling, and wildlife watching. Nature lovers can head to Exmoor and Dartmoor National Park, both of which are full of natural splendour and opportunities to spend time outdoors.
-Family attractions: Families staying in a West Country holiday cottage can enjoy an itinerary full of trips to world-class attractions such as the Eden Project in Cornwall and the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. There are also a number of steam railways, zoos, farms, and theme parks located throughout Cornwall and Devon especially.
Because the West Country covers such a large area, the weather varies from region to region. In general though, visitors can expect the summer months to be warm and relatively dry. This is followed by a chilly autumn, and a wet winter. Things dry out a bit in the spring, but temperatures tend not to heat up again until around May.
Drivers can follow the M5 down to Exeter. From there, a series of A-roads connect most of the major holiday and seaside resort towns with holiday homes in the West Country. Holidaymakers travelling by rail will find that major cities and towns such as Exeter, Newquay, and Plymouth are well connected. It is also possible to reach the West Country by air, as there is an airport in Newquay that receives flights from throughout the UK.