A typically small and sleepy rural village in the part of Devon known as The South Hams which lies betwixt the wilds of Dartmoor and safe, sandy South Devon beaches and coves of Bigbury Bay and Thurleston, making it a great base for a moor-to-sea self catering holiday. Within Sparkwell itself is the Dartmoor Zooalogical Park – lovely for a day out with the kids without having to travel far. The other main village attraction is The Treby Arms, Sparkwell’s popular pub. No ordinary pub this, as it is now run as a is a superb gastro-pub by a Masterchef Winner. If you are taking time out from cooking a meal in your holiday cottage, then this is the place to be. If you are taking the children, there’s a playground opposite the pub where young ones can work up an appetite while your lunch or dinner is prepared in the pub.

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There are plenty of attractions within easy reach of Sparkwell’s holiday cottages. Aside from the beautiful South Devon countryside with flower-filled deep lanes and footpaths, it’s a short drive to safe sandy beaches such as Bigbury-on-Sea and Thurlestone. Burgh Island at Bigbury is the location for an Agatha Christie Whodunit. It’s still possible to dine in the Hotel restaurant dressed in 1930’s attire. When the tide is in, take the ‘sea tractor’ across to the Island and choose from eating at the Hotel of the Pilchard Inn.

Diggerland is a must-visit for families with younger children – a fascinating theme park where adults AND children can ride, drive and even operate genuine diggers – large and small – as well as dumper trucks and other construction machinery. There’s lots of other stuff as well to make it a great day out for the family.

For something a little more sedate, the magnificent Saltram House with is 500 acres of beautiful gardens will appeal. Children can dress up in Regency and Georgian clothing and it’s a great place for picnics. A few miles inland lies Buckfastleigh, with the twin delights of the Butterfly and Otter Sanctuary with the South Devon Steam Railway as its virtual neighbour. Take a train ride to Totnes and spend an hour or so exploring that picturesque Tudor Town, its castle and ancient walls, or go from there down the River Dart to Dartmouth by pleasure boat

For walkers and lovers of the great outdoors, the Dartmoor National Park is just a short drive. Beautiful views, wonderful moorland walks, wild swimming and chunky hilltop granite Tors up which to clamber await those planning to enjoys a holiday burning off a healthy number of calories (before piling them back in again with dinners cooked using local Devon produce back at their holiday cottages. Do you need any more excuse not to book a Devon holiday cottage in Sparkwell?