If you love holidaying in the UK but want to turn up the heat on your next summer break, the South West of England is a great place to book a self-catering getaway. On average, temperatures here can be five degrees warmer than other parts of the UK, making this corner of the country perfect for sun-seekers and adventurers alike.
Whether you choose Cornwall, Devon or Dorset, a self-catering summer holiday in the South West of England offers long sunlight hours, stunning beaches, invigorating countryside, fabulous food, and lots of things to see and do. Here’s a quick look at each of the South West’s unique counties, and what you can look forward to when you arrive.
Cornwall is arguably the most popular summer holiday destination in the British Isles, with millions travelling there each year. The county can be divided into four main areas – North, South, West, Bodmin Moor & Tamar Valley – with each region having its own unique character.
Rent a holiday home in North Cornwall, and look forward to exploring the dramatic Atlantic Seaboard; where breaker-battered beaches attract surfers from around the globe. Places not to be missed in this region include Newquay, Padstow, Boscastle and Watergate Bay.
Opt for a cottage in West Cornwall and you’ll find yourself hip-deep in myth, legend and Cornish folklore. The region is strewn with ancient Iron Age sites and medieval castles, not to mention some of the county’s most sought-after beauty spots. Don’t miss Penzance, St Ives and Marazion.
Head to South Cornwall on your summer break and explore wonderful fishing villages as well as numerous world-class visitor attractions, including the renowned Eden Project. There’s plenty of wonderful destinations to choose from too: try Looe, Falmouth, Polperro or St Austell.
Adventurers, thrill-seekers and fans of the great outdoors should make for Bodmin Moor & Tamar Valley on their Cornish cottage holiday. Bodmin Moor is renowned for its walking and adventure trails, not to mention its dramatic natural beauty. Don’t miss a daytrip to Bodmin, Launceston and Saltash.
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Like its neighbour, Devon is a popular choice among summer sun-seekers thanks to its stunning beaches and popular coastal resorts. Yet, go inland, and you’ll quickly realise the county has more to offer than sun, sea and sand. With two national parks – Exmoor and Dartmoor – and several historic towns and cities including Plymouth, Exeter and Torbay, Devon is the ideal destination for all manner of self-catering breaks.
Outdoor enthusiast? A self-catering getaway to North Devon could be just what you’re looking for! Thanks to the Atlantic Ocean, Devon’s north coast is impressively rugged, with a number of world-renowned surf beaches and a plethora of gnarly clifftops. Then of course, there’s the Exmoor National Park, whose craggy landscape offers a playground for walkers, climbers and mountain bikers alike.
Elsewhere in Devon, things are a little more serene. Unlike the north, the south coast gives way to imposing cliffs and big surf in favour of long, golden beaches and family friendly resorts like Paignton, Sidmouth, and Torquay. Head inland, and you’ll find rolling, green countryside, as well as the spectacular natural beauty of the Dartmoor National Park, famed for its pony treks, walking trails, and fabulous scenic picnic spots.
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Peace and quiet awaits on a 2015 summer holiday in Dorset. This rural county, with its serene landscapes and breath-taking heritage coast, offers a quiet retreat for holiday-ready families or couples in search of much needed alone time together.
Like other counties in the South West of England, tourists travel to Dorset to experience its wonderful blend of both coast and country. Whether you want to walk with dinosaurs on Dorset’s dramatic Jurassic Coast or explore its myriad of time-forgotten villages and towns, there’s a wealth of things to see and do in this sun-drenched and quintessentially English county.
Families in search of the classic seaside summer holiday will love Dorset’s coastal resorts, which include Weymouth, Lyme Regis, Christchurch and Swanage. Though all distinct in their own unique way, each offers great facilities, amenities, and most of all, a stunning beach on which to lay your towel. Other, less-known attractions on the Dorset coast include Arne, a pretty village in the Purbeck District, as well as Chapman’s Pool, whose secluded cove is perfect for couples.
Travel inland during your summer trip to Dorset, and expect delightful villages and charming countryside at every turn. Many of the county’s rural areas are protected due to their rare flora and fauna, making it the ideal destination for wildlife lovers. Don’t miss a trip to Sherbourne, Milton Abbas and Evershot.
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Get-set for a summer holiday in the sunny South West
Wherever you choose to stay in England’s sunny South West, Sykes Cottages offer a wonderful array of self-catering holiday cottages for any party size. Whether you’re planning the quintessential seaside getaway with your kids or a romantic, rural break with your other half, our cottage rentals in South West England are the perfect choice for a memorable summer holiday in 2015.
Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.