Devon: Top Staycation Destination
Devon has a mild climate with parts of its South East coastline some of the sunniest spots in Britain. Even in winter it is one of the mildest places on its latitude, with average January highs of 10 degrees Celsius. Throw in countless amazing beaches, the ‘English Riviera’, some interesting towns and excellent seafood and you have a superb holiday destination.
In the current financial climate holidaying in the UK, the so-called ‘staycation’, is increasingly popular and Devon holidays have so much to offer. Surfing fans can head to North Devon, where the world class waves (possibly a slight exaggeration on our part!) of Croyde Bay are ideal for intermediate surfers. The beach is almost a kilometre long, with large dunes in a sheltered bay and Croyde itself is home to an annual surfing and music festival taking place around the summer solstice, which is great for those who want the vibes without the chilly Atlantic waves.
A few miles North of Croyde is Woolacombe where you can find some of the best campsites in Devon and the Best British Beach (according to the Mail on Sunday). Woolacombe won an ‘England for Excellence Gold Award’ for best family resort and is an excellent base from which to explore the area. As well as the great beach you have some excellent cycle trails, horse riding and a whole host of other outdoor activities, including fishing charters, wildlife coastal cruises, coasteering, kayaking and climbing.
Within easy reach of Woolacombe you also have foodie Barnstaple, home to the North Devon Food Festival, as well as a plethora of artisanal bakers, butchers and speciality shops. If history is more your thing, why not go to nearby Mortehoe, a pleasant one mile walk away? Mortehoe is listed in the Doomsday book and has a fascinating museum that looks into the village’s past when smuggling was rife. Ilfracombe is also just a stone’s throw away and culture fans will enjoy the local theatre productions in the delightful Victorian resort, as well as the Victorian Week in June and the firework display that marks its end.
Moving away from the coast you have the brooding magnificence of Dartmoor National park. This huge park was formed 250 million years ago and is eerily beautiful with its unusual rocky outcrops, tombs and standing stones. On a misty day, of which there are many, it is easy to picture yourself in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of The Baskervilles’.
There are several small but interesting villages in Dartmoor, too many to list, although Dartmeet, Moretonhampstead and Buckland are among the finest.
However, moving on South again and Devon has yet more to offer, with the beautiful Torbay on the South coast. Here you will find three fine towns, Paignton, Torquay and Brixham. Each has their own charm and appeal, with Torquay the largest, most established resort and Brixham being the least tourist-orientated, whilst Paignton is best know for its golden beaches.
We could go on yet further but suffice to say, for such a relatively small area, Devon has something for everyone and is a great destination for a staycation to remember.