Where Can We Go For a Weekend Break?
The weekend forecast is good, it’s been a long week for us both– where to find a holiday cottage just for the two of us is the dilemma. Looking for somewhere peaceful and beautiful with a choice of country walks or relaxing on a beach, we settled on the East Devon for a relaxing holiday. Next question: Where do we go and what do we want to see and do? There are so many options in this idyllic corner of Devon. It quickly became a matter of deciding what would we have to leave out (or save until next time).
As for cottages, using My Favourite Holiday Cottages, we chose Apple Cottage in the tranquil hamlet of Moorhayne just outside Yarcombe near Honiton. It proved to be an ‘easy to reach’ rural paradise from the Home counties and allowed us to plan ‘stop-offs on the outward and return legs of our journey at Cheddar Gorge and Stonehenge. Upon arrival it was quickly apparent as to why Apple Cottage’s location is in a Designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s perfect for walks down green lanes and through bluebell woods in the East Devon countryside. Our cottage turned out to be a beautifully converted traditional cider barn. The press may have gone, but it retains plenty of character while being equipped with all the facilities you’d need for a self-catering holiday.
Seaside Charm in East Devon
For days by the sea, we’d recommend the quaint little resorts of Beer, Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton. In summer, head for Beer or the beach at nearby Branscombe where there are opportunities to rent clinker-built boats for a spot of mackerel fishing in Lyme Bay – or just chuntering along the coastline. Enjoy a cream tea or sandwiches stuffed with fresh-caught crab in Beer’s little tea rooms or take your ‘catch’ home for the BBQ back at the cottage! For a strenuous and picturesque walk – join the South West Coast Path at Beer and walk along the cliff tops to the little beach at Branscombe with is thatched tea rooms.
Sidmouth is one or those ‘regency’ resorts with a splendid Promenade, some lovely shops and splendid flower-filled public gardens with plenty of greensward for picnics. The town usually wins some kind of Britain in Bloom award or another for its fabulous floral displays which make it such a pleasure to wonder through its tiny shopping streets and other retail nooks and crannies in summer.
Antiques and Ice Creams in Honiton
The main town in East Devon is Honiton. What a lovely place it is! The town centre is one long and wide street which still has a twice-weekly market when stall line the roadsides (and passing traffic is bundled comfortably into the centre of the road). Antique lovers will find plenty of shops in which to go hunting for bargains. For a real indulgence, find the Honiton Dairy. Its ice creams are a must, especially If you ask them to add a ‘dollup’ of their clotted cream to the top of your cone. Then go for a walk in the Blackdown Hills that surround most dies of the town to burn off the calories.
Tea Rooms, Trams and Bluebell Woods
Other places that are well worth a day or half-day trip – and definitely on the list for our next trip are the genteel seaside resort of Budleigh Salterton – lovely tea rooms and bookshops in this little ‘Jane Austin’ town – as well as more mackerel fishing boat opportunities from its pebble beach.
We’d also like to ride the tram from Seaton where restored 1930’s trams run at a sedate pace along the old railway line for a few miles to Colyton where no doubt more cream tea rooms lie in wait. We only saw it in passing but it looks wonderful and we were already mentally bagging the top seats on the open decks as we drove by. If we can make it in later April – early May, then we are told that the bluebell woods around Blackbury Camp between Honiton and Sidmouth are spectacular and the perfect place for a picnic – and we’ll be bringing our own picnic basket with us too!
It was a lovely weekend for the two of us discovering a tranquil and quite beautiful corner of Devon and having such a lovely holiday cottage to return to each evening.
Where to Stay
We stayed at Apple Cottage, a delightful cottage for couples in Yarcombe, booking it directly with the owner . For couples with a small child it's equally perfect as it has a second space that works as a bedroom with a cot.
Need a larger cottage in East Devon?
While East Devon is a great destination for a romantic getaway, if you re travelling with your family of friends then you might like to consider one of these options.
Drake Lodge at Lakeview Manor
The Linhay at Boswell Farm