Occupying the most south-westerly corner of England, the seaside
holiday resorts of Devon are amongst the most popular summer
holiday destinations to be found in the UK. With two separate
sea-facing coasts and an interior that is home to Dartmoor - the most
southerly and arguably one of Britain's most wild National
Parks - much of Devon's appeal lies in its contrasting charms.
Sykes Cottages offers a wide choice of holiday accommodation, from
coastal Devon cottages to rural holiday homes in quintessentially
English villages seemingly little changed over centuries.
The tourism offering is varied and vast; from all the contemporary water sports associated with the coastline to ancient monuments; from vibrant cities such as Exeter, on the Jurassic coast, and Plymouth, with its proud maritime history, to historic houses and stately homes. From museums and culture to all manner of outdoor activities, most notably some superb walking and cycling opportunities.
Devon's twin coasts offer contrasting holiday options. The south coast is known as the English Riviera; a Devon cottage in bustling Torquay, or the neighbouring seaside towns of Brixham and Peignton, offers all the charm of elegant Victorian British seaside resorts with a thoroughly modern twist. By contrast, the north coast is peppered with charming, hidden coves and some excellent surfing beaches, such as Ilfracombe and Woolacombe. The regency town of Sidmouth, and traditional resorts such as Westward Ho and Teignmouth, remain firm favourites in the east of the county. Smaller villages also abound; historic fishing villages such as Clovelly and Beer cling to the cliffs making picturesque places to while away a sunny day.
Devon's larger towns and cities also offer much to detain the visitor. In Plymouth, scale the ninety three steps of Smeaton's tower on the town's famous seafront, Plymouth Ho; step back in time to the heyday of Francis Drake and the Spanish Armada and visit the Elizabethan merchants' houses, or wander among the boats tied up in the old Barbican dock area and sit on the quay from where the Mayflower left for the Americas with the Pilgrim Father's on board. Enjoy the superb ultra-modern special effects at the National Marine Aquarium with the deepest tank in Europe.
Exmouth offers superb walks along the striking red cliffs of the Jurassic Coast, a designated World Heritage Site, a pleasant seafront promenade and wildlife in abundance along the Exe estuary, while Exeter, one of the UK's smallest cities, has a fine cathedral and a re-vitalised quayside. Smaller inland towns such as Honiton and Tavistock are well worth an afternoon's visit, and trendy Totnes, the self-styled 'Glastonbury of the West', offers a relaxed, chilled out atmosphere and heritage and history by the bucket load.
Explore Dartmoor: 365 square miles of stunningly beautiful moorland accented with wooded valleys and wind swept Tors and populated with sheep, cattle, ponies and a few people. The largest expanse of open space in England south of the Pennines and the most southerly of the National Parks, Dartmoor is a walker's and nature lover's paradise. The setting for the Sherlock Holmes' novel 'The Hound of the Baskervilles,' based upon a local legend, this isolated landscape with weather conditions (mist, rain and snow) that can change in minutes, creates a truly natural spectacle - 'nature' at its best!
A Devon holiday cottage break will undoubtedly appeal to those searching for an active break. Choose a South West of England cottage as a base for tackling the Tarka Trail in inland Devon, or enjoy rambling sections of the vast South West Coastal path; a six hundred mile stretch of uninterrupted footpath, which hugs the stunningly beautiful Devon coastline. Cyclists will appreciate Devon's quiet inland lanes, whilst those preferring four legs to two wheels will find plenty of opportunity for horse riding, particularly in the towns and villages bordering on Exmoor and Dartmoor.
For those who revel in the history of extraordinary houses, gardens and parklands, Devon has more than its fair share. Visit Edward Lutyen's Castle Drogo, the 'last castle to be built in England', set above the Teign Gorge with dramatic views over Dartmoor and home to the highest National Trust gardens in the country at 900 feet. Enjoy Coleton Fishacre with its elegant Art Deco influenced interiors and spectacular coastal setting or the Regency style of Arlington Court. Explore the magnificent Georgian splendour of Saltram with its Adam interiors and landscaped parkland (as seen in 1995's Sense and Sensibility) or 700 year old Buckland Abbey, home to Sir Francis Drake. Finally for the gardening enthusiast, there's Rosemoor RHS Garden, the Garden House and the 'secret' gardens at Greenway, a glorious woodland garden on the banks of the Dart estuary.
Whether you are looking for a rural Devon cottage with character for a weekend retreat or a cottage close to a blue flag beach resort for your main summer holiday, our selection of Devon cottages represent excellent value and choice.