Rural retreats in Devon

There’s no doubt about it: Devon has it all. With two coastlines, along the English Channel and the Irish Sea, there are dozens of pretty fishing villages where you can really get away from it all. But alongside the old harbours, vast beaches and seaside attractions, there are stunning National Parks where you can also get back to nature. With mature wooded areas and unspoilt, spectacular scenery, Dartmoor and Exmoor are two of the country’s most idyllic, natural parks. Boasting the very best of UK countryside and coast, Devon’s the ultimate destination for that much needed rural retreat. Of course, while it doesn’t matter where you want to stay in this beautiful part of the country, having the right accommodation’s always an important factor. You want privacy and space, as well as great value for money, but luckily that’s where HomeAway comes in, with hundreds of Devon holiday cottages. We have cosy cottages for couples and farmhouses fit for the family, so whatever you budget or brood, you’ll find your home away from home in no time. So what are you waiting for? Read on for a rundown of some of our favourite Devonshire destinations.

  • North Devon

    Home to some of the country’s best surf beaches, North Devon’s sands can easily rival those of Cornwall! Adrenaline junkies will find high waves and crashing rollers, just perfect for honing your board skills. Coasteering is also a popular sport in the area, but of course, those with less adventurous activities in mind will find plenty to appease them too. This is where the scenery of Exmoor has long captured the hearts and minds of famous writers, and it’s a great place for picnic after that relaxing walk, hike or cycle.


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  • East Devon

    Whatever the weather and whatever your interests, East Devon is a winning destination. Its long stretches of sand are perfect on a sunny, summer’s day, while the winter’s easily spent curling up in an old-fashioned pub. There are lots of places to see and countless things to do, but you can just as easily relax: the entire landscape’s an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, after all! Take long walks along the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or enjoy a traditional Devon cream tea in the chocolate-box town of Budleigh Salterton.


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  • West Devon

    West Devon’s a great choice when you want to explore Dartmoor, as it boasts dozens of rural retreats just a short drive, or even walk, away. Wildlife and history experts will love the area alike, but those in search of culture won’t be left wanting either: towns like pretty Tavistock boast magnificent galleries, as well as vibrant street markets selling local arts and crafts. You can take the kids to Dartmoor Zoo, visit historical sites in the Tamar Valley, or simply enjoy some fishing and rambling along the banks of the River Tamar.


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  • Torbay

    Torbay is often regarded as the ‘English Riviera’, and once you’ve seen its pretty towns and harbours, you can’t fail to understand why. Steeped in maritime history and offering a number of seaside activities, it’s a lovely area in which to enjoy that rural retreat. Torquay is possibly the most popular of its destinations, its award-winning beaches fringed by tropical palm trees; but don’t miss out on a trip to the promenade of Babbacombe, from which you can spot seals, dolphins and whales, and enjoy spectacular views over South Devon and beyond.


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  • South Hams

    South Hams is a great spot when you want to experience the contrast between countryside and coast. Offering the best of both, the area is teeming with lovely beaches as well as gentle, rolling hills, not to mention the spectacular, wild landscapes of Dartmoor. Try a range of outdoor sports or simply enjoy a stroll in its woods: South Hams is perfect, whether you have relaxation or recreation in mind. In the evenings, you’ll find an eclectic cultural side to in South Hams too, with artists, musicians and writers gathering to enjoy its vibrant atmosphere.


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