From north to south, through wild moors and quaint country hamlets, Devon stretches across a seriously beautiful corner of the South West. It's got holiday rentals of all sorts, though arguably none more enticing than luxury cottages in Devon. These are the pads that come with swimming facilities, panoramic coastal views, hot tubs – the list goes on. This guide will help you pinpoint where to find them and offer other insights into their style.
Finding a stay in south Devon
The long stretch of shoreline that covers the county's southernmost reaches is famed for its pretty bays of shingle and sand, its rocky cliffs and its vibrant resorts. Inland a little, the countryside is claimed by a stunning national park. Where will you seek out your luxury cottage in Devon?
Something to look forward to in Torquay
Torquay has been drawing holidaymakers since the days of the Victorians. It's now high on the list for staycationers for its fusion of British seaside charms, beaches and vintage attractions. To see what we mean, check out the menagerie of 18th-century trinkets and tools at the Torquay Museum before hopping the rock pools of Meadfoot and Oddicombe.
Dartmoor National Park for rural escapes
While the luxurious rentals of Dartmoor might not match the grandiosity of the Neo-Gothic Castle Drogo that rises from the moors themselves, they will offer a taste of Devon's more rural side. When you're not warming your toes by the fireplace, you could clamber up the curious Haytor Rocks or delve into the sumptuous Tudor halls of Cotehele manor.
Dartmouth is for sailors
Yacht clubs abound along the quays of salt-washed Dartmouth, while forests of sails sway to and fro on the estuary waters of the River Dart. There's no time of the year better for budding sailors to seek out their plush pads than in late August, when the prestigious Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta comes to town – a whirlwind of steamboats and street markets and more.
Be pampered in north Devon
A visit to north Devon might just call for a little luxury on the side. Coming here means braving some of the wilder beaches, where roaring surf and lashing winds imbue the cliffs and dunes with a truly primeval air. Of course, clotted cream teas and an upscale place to stay can help balance all that out.
Adventures await in Ilfracombe
There are plenty of refined pursuits in the venerable coastal retreat of Ilfracombe. Those with the clubs in tow can hit a round of 18 in a particularly dramatic clifftop golf course. Families are bound to love the displays of multicoloured starfish down in Ilfracombe Aquarium. And then there's the Tarka Trail cycling path, for rides when the sun comes out.
Hit the rollers of Woolacombe
Wide Woolacombe is one of the jewels in the crown of north Devon's beach-fringed coast. It's long, wide and washed with sculpted waves. Surf shacks and rentals all cluster at its northern end, which means, with a little private tuition, you could be carving your way over the swells of the Celtic Sea by the end of your stay.
Luxury near wildlife in Westward Ho!
Any holiday in the vicinity of Westward Ho! is a holiday close to some of the richest coastal wildlife reserves Devonshire has to offer. If you can pull yourself away from your cosy lounge or swimming pool, a jaunt to Northam Burrows Country Park with the binoculars is a must. It's got elegant waders like curlews and oystercatchers aplenty.
What sort of features come with luxury cottages in Devon?
Luxury cottages in Devon come in all shapes and sizes. They might be small and cosy or large and ready for big families. The upshot is that they also have different amenities. Some of the things you could consider adding to your stay are listed below.
There are swimming pools in Devon
You don't have to be content swimming in the salty seas of the South West. There are plenty of Devonshire cottages that have pools right on site. Some will be outdoors, to make the most of the fresh country airs and – of course – the views, while others will be inside, covered and possibly even heated.
Hot tub-ready luxury cottages in Devon
Peel off the wetsuit and drop the board, because a 40-degree session in your own private hot tub awaits back at the cottage. There's really no more indulgent a way to warm the muscles after breezy cliff walks or dips in the Devon sea.
Interesting interiors and architecture
This county fuses the nautical and the rural in an artful way. Many luxury cottages in Devon are imbued with endearing vernacular features that showcase just that. There are stone-faced seaside homes with salt-washed wooden doors, country barns that have long histories and venerable longhouses with whitewashed exteriors and roaring fires.