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East Devon Holiday Cottages

A holiday cottage in East Devon is an ideal place for any range of holidaymakers. Whether you want to relax with the nature or take on adventure activities, you will find something for everyone with a holiday cottage in East Devon. The cottages vary immensely, from converted farmhouses to medieval castles, so there is again, something for everyone. Whether you want a long holiday or a short break, there is nothing better than a country cottage to enjoy the countryside in East Devon.

East Devon includes the towns of Axminster, Axmouth, Branscombe, Colaton Raleigh, Colyton, Combpyne Rousdon, Exeter, Beer, Sidmouth, Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Seaton.

Beer was once famous for smuggling and was reliant on fishing and quarrying. The harbour is a natural cove below the chalk cliffs. Historically, the fishermen's wives would work fine lace, so fine they were commissioned to produce Queen Victoria's wedding dress. Many miles of the surrounding coast are designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and are part of the World Heritage Site the Jurassic Coast, stretching all the way from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset. East Devon's Beer Quarry contains some amazing caves created as a result of centuries of stone quarrying.

Due to Devon's mild climate, especially in the South, there is an immense show of nature to be seen. There are many gardens and nature trails to be enjoyed.

There are many places where you can buy local food produce, which you can take back to prepare and eat in your holiday cottage in Devon. There are also many highly recommended restaurants in Devon.

East Devon has two long distance walks in the East Devon Way and part of the South West Coast Path. There are also many excellent circular walks and cycle routes.

In East Devon, they have Heath Week, during which there are several activities, such as willowcraft, an easy mountain bike ride on Mutter's Moor, a nightjar walk, a walk on Blackhill quarry and the Bystock 'practical task' on the Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve.

There is an exciting new trail spotlighting 14 enterprises, organisations or individual properties, in and around the Axe Valley, that are opening their doors to enable you to find out more about renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative transport, recycling and land management that benefits landscape and biodiversity. This trail won the 'Greening Devon' category at the 2005 DEBI awards.

Traditional hay meadows at Blacklake & Gays Farms can boast over 50 varieties of flower and grasses while modern rye grass meadows may only support 2 or 3 varieties. Flowers in hay meadows also support a large number of butterflies and other insects that are not found within the rye grass meadows.

There are many projects going on to help the biodiversity of East Devon, including:

  • A pond construction at Bicton;
  • Orchard planting at Otterton Mill;
  • Planting a copse of native silver birch at East Budleigh;
  • Various conservation tasks on heathland;
  • Hedgelaying at Southleigh;
  • Tree planting at Tipton St.John.

Places to go

There are various animal and wildlife places to visit, including:

  • Donkey Sanctuary at Salcombe Regis;
  • Farway Countryside Park;
  • Sea Discovery Centre at Seaton;
  • World of Country Life at Sandy Bay.

Southey Moor. Here, you can partake in a guided walk looking at wet heath and mixed woodland in the Bolham valley, which is straightforward and more or less level., for a small charge.

Another guided walk incorporating a stroll along the East Devon Way, over Nunford Bridge before looking for invertebrates in the Axe, again straighforward and more or less level, is available, again for a small charge.

There are 8 main beaches, most of which are pebble beaches, but there is a sandy beach, Exmouth beach, which extends for two miles, where you can partake in watersports and boat trips, and you can hire beach huts and deck chairs. There are also a couple of part sandy beaches - Sidmouth Jacobs Ladder beach, with sand and pebbles extending for about a mile, as with Sidmouth Town beach. The Jubilee walkway joins Jacobs Ladder beach and Sidmouth Town beach, where you can partake in watersports and boat trips.

Bicton Park Botanical Gardens are magnificent gardens set in East Devon's picturesque Otter Valley. They are made up of an 18th century Italian Garden, Palm House, Mediterranean Garden, Arboretum, Orangery, railway, museum and children's indoor and outdoor play areas.

At Beer, Pecorama is a picturesque garden with fascinating Model Railway Exhibition, home to the Beer Heights Light Railway with views of Beer and Lyme Bay.

There are also some fairs and festivals in East Devon to enjoy too.

Historic Sights

At Sidbury, there is the Sand historic house with tranquil valley garden. It is a lived-in home and guided tours are carried out by members of the family.

At Shute there is the Shute Barton historic house, one of the most important surviving non-fortified manor houses of the Middle Ages with a Tudor gatehouse.

East Devon has several historic mills open to the public, including:

  • Kingfisher Gallery and Windmill, an art gallery, watermill and tearooms set in the beautiful Sid Valley;
  • Old Bakery, Manor Mill and Forge, a traditional bakery serving as a tea-room, water-powered mill and forge with blacksmith;
  • Otterton Mill, a historic working watermill with shops and artists studios, a superb gallery, craft centre, restaurant, bakery, artist's studio, outside picnic area and wildlife area beside the River Otter.

There are various museums, which bring local history to life, including:

  • Axe Valley Heritage Museum, which houses a large collection of photographs and documents illustrating the history of Seaton and the surrounding area;
  • Fairlynch Museum, which reflects aspects of Budleigh Salterton and the villages of the Lower Otter Valley;
  • Sidmouth Museum, reflecting the history of Sidmouth and the Sid Valley.

The Axe Valley Tramway and Jurassic Coast cruises are great ways to see East Devon.

So, whatever you are looking for from a UK holiday, you will be able to find it with a holiday cottage in East Devon.