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Holiday Cottages Devon – Choosing is the hardest thing

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When you think of Devon you probably picture the quintessential English village, with enchanting cottages, cream teas and glorious scenery.  In actual fact this is exactly what Devon is like, and it’s hard to imagine a better place for a UK cottage holiday. 

If you are thinking of looking at holiday cottages in Devon, you may find you are overwhelmed by the choices available.  To narrow down your choice, you may need to decide what aspect of beautiful Devon appeals to you most, and what kind of holiday you are looking for.

Perhaps you are interested in a walking holiday.  One of the most spectacular areas in the whole country is Lynton and Lynmouth on the north Devon coast.  Not only does it have the most magnificent coastal views and a wealth of exciting coastal paths and nature trails through awe-inspiring scenery.  It is also adjacent to the glorious Exmoor National Park, which has an incredible variety of walking from strenuous to gentle – including high wild moorland, riverside paths, the Two Moors way and the South West coastal path.  There is a wonderful selection of holiday homes including fisherman’s cottages near secluded coves, charming little village hideaways close to ancient pubs, or former farmhouses with only the Exmoor ponies to disturb you.

If you are thinking of a less energetic holiday amid the picturesque beauty of quaint towns and villages, try looking at holiday cottages in South Devon.  You would enjoy the lovely old towns of Salcombe and Dartmouth with their quaint streets and busy marinas.  You can find gorgeous luxury apartments and town houses there, as well as pretty cottages in the outlying villages.  There are all sorts of water activities from sailing and rowing to a pleasure boat on the River Dart.  And with Dartmouth’s seemingly infinite variety of unique shops and galleries, you will almost welcome a wet day to give you more chance to explore!

You may be searching for holiday cottages in Devon with the idea of a more traditional seaside holiday.  You can hardly fail to find what you want in Torbay, surrounding its gloriously beautiful bay.  You can choose from exotic Torquay with its marinas and palm trees, Brixham with its fishing harbour and tiers of coloured houses and fisherman’s cottages rising up from the water’s edge, Paignton with its beaches and zoo, or Teignmouth high up with its wonderful views over the estuary.  Whatever kind of seaside holiday you like you can find it in Torbay with its wonderful sandy beaches, watersports, and little hidden coves.  You can also find all sorts of holiday accommodation here, including comfortable modern bungalows with all amenities and well-appointed holiday flats, as well as traditional cottages.

Devon really does have everything – no matter what sort of holiday you want, you won’t be disappointed.  What’s more it has one of the best climates in the British Isles. That doesn’t mean it never rains! Of course it does sometimes and that’s what makes it so lush, luxuriant and leafy.  Holiday cottages in Devon provide you with your best chance to enjoy and explore this very special part of England – and somewhere to stay when it rains as well!


Holiday Cottages Cornwall – Where Do You Start?

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If you have already spent a holiday in Cornwall, you may well wonder why anyone would choose anywhere else!  Magical Cornwall seems to have everything you might look for in a holiday destination.

However, you may have decided to go to Cornwall for the first time and be wondering whether to rent a holiday cottage in Cornwall, or stay in a hotel.  There are some lovely hotels in Cornwall.  Sadly, however, the UK hotel industry as a whole still has some way to go in providing value for money and really good service.  Renting holiday cottages in Cornwall can cost you less and free you up from the limitations of staying in a hotel.

So if you are looking at holiday cottages in Cornwall, how do you go about making a choice?  The range and selection is awe-inspiring!  How do you know where to start?

First of all, decide whether you want to go through a lettings agency or rent direct from the owner.  The latter may be cheaper but you don’t get the quality checks that you get from an agency, so you take more of a chance. 

Consider what you are looking for in a Cornish holiday.  Are you specially attracted by the enchanting creeks like the Helford River?  the beautiful little sandy, rocky coves all round the coast?  the superb beaches and surfing facilities in places like Newquay and Perranporth? or the steep coastal villages like Port Isaac with phenomenal views?  Of course, in Cornwall, especially in the west, distances are short, so you can get anywhere in less than an hour.

What kind of accommodation are you interested in?  Holiday rental in Cornwall is big business, and at the top end of the market you can find houses and apartments with five-star amenities including private beach access, swimming pools, jacuzzis, hot tubs etc.  But if your tastes or your budget are more modest, it’s not a problem – there is a range of cottages and flats to suit every taste.  If you want to keep costs down, properties not directly by the sea are cheaper – remember you can still get to the sea pretty quickly from anywhere.  If you can possibly avoid the peak season, do try to do so as prices in Cornwall get quite inflated at peak holiday times.

Holiday cottages in Cornwall get snapped up very fast, so do book early. For a summer holiday booking you should start looking in January at the latest.  Remember that many people go back to the same cottage year after year and book their next holiday at the time of the previous one.  So really, the earlier the better.  You are very unlikely to get discounts for last-minute booking!  You will simply find you have a very limited choice.

Nowadays most people take a car to a holiday letting, but some people still prefer to use public transport.  Some holiday cottages in Cornwall are pretty remote and a car is essential.  If you are not taking a car, you must check proximity to shops, pubs, restaurants and transport links. 

There is such an incredible variety of holiday cottages in Cornwall that whatever your tastes and preferences, you can find one to suit you.  Just be careful not to get swept away with the beauty of a particular property without giving thought to  what kind of holiday you want, and what your family requirements are.  Choose carefully, and you can be sure of a truly magical holiday.


Holiday Homes To Rent – How Do You Know Which To Choose?

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Finding holiday homes to rent in UK makes a lot of sense just now.  There are fewer and fewer reasons to go abroad.  Tour operators and airlines are struggling or even collapsing – everyone’s worst nightmare is to be stranded in a foreign country because their holiday company has folded.  And, of course, most people have less money to spare and want to make the most of their holiday budget.

So staying in the UK makes perfect sense – and finding holiday homes to rent makes even more.  Unfortunately, the UK hotel industry in general doesn’t match up to its overseas competitors for either accommodation or service.  If you are a family, the restrictions on your movements in an hotel can be quite irksome.  A holiday home gives you perfect freedom to do, and eat, whatever you like whenever you like.

In fact, the only problem with finding holiday homes to rent is knowing how to choose!   The choice is absolutely stunning, whichever part of the country you look in.  Your only hope is to try to narrow it down a bit, by thinking carefully what sort of holiday you are looking for.

Holidays with children.   Holiday homes to rent are either suitable for children, or they are not.  If you are taking a family you must check very carefully whether a property is child-friendly.  Location is all-important.  Most children want to be near a beach.  But even if the property is near a beach, you must check that the beach is a safe bathing area and has lifeguard cover during the time you want to be there.  Check also that there are plenty of pubs, restaurants and cafes nearby that specifically state that children are welcome – unless you want to spend half your holiday preparing meals.

Holidays with teenagers.  Your offspring may have reached the stage where you have to cajole or bribe them to come on a family holiday.  So you need to make sure you choose a location that isn’t in the back of beyond, and where there is access to the kind of entertainment they like – whether it’s bowling, water-sports, amusement arcades, cinemas or whatever.  Many coastal towns have charming holiday homes to rent in areas that are attractive and reasonably quiet, yet with easy access to the town’s amenities.  Of course, you need to make sure it’s a pleasant holiday for the adults too – after all, if you play your cards right you may not see much of the young ones!

Energetic holidays.  Your idea of a perfect holiday may be to set off with a rucksack and sandwiches every morning, and arrive back exhausted just in time for a shower and an evening meal.  If so, you would be better not to look for a beach property, unless it’s close to several miles of cliff paths.  There are lots of truly gorgeous holiday homes to rent in places like the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales or the Derbyshire Peak District, where your walk or climb starts right outside your door.  But do check that there are some good eating places within reasonably easy reach, as you may not feel like cooking dinner when you get back.

Non-energetic holidays.  You may be a bit older or have someone in the party with limited mobility.  Or you may just feel like relaxing and taking it easy after a hard time at work.   You may find the ideal kind of holiday home in a forest park with beautiful woodland trails starting outside your door.  Many of these holiday park homes are purpose-built and superbly appointed, so there is very little work involved.  Or you may fancy a riverside or canalside holiday cottage, where you can just gaze at the water or potter along the towpath to the riverside pub.  There are plenty of holiday homes to rent amid peaceful and tranquil surroundings in areas like Norfolk, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Once you’ve identified what sort of holiday you want, it’s much easier to narrow down your search.  You will still find you’re spoilt for choice – but at least you know where to start!


Holiday Lettings – How To Avoid Disappointment

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If you are experienced in booking holiday lettings, you probably won’t need telling what to look out for.  However, as the trend increases for taking holidays in the UK, more and more people are coming into the holiday lettings market for the first time.  If you’re new to the process, it’s probably helpful to have some tips on how to avoid disappointment.

The main thing you need to keep in mind is that you don’t see your holiday let until you actually arrive to start your holiday – probably late at night.  So that’s when you get to find out what it’s actually like.  If there is anything that’s not to your liking, it’s really too late to do anything about it.  The pictures in the brochure or on the Web site are designed to make you fall in love with the property, not to alert you to problems.

So what kind of thing do you need to check in order to avoid disappointment?  Here are a few – old hands can probably supply more!

Parking.  Quite a lot of very pretty cottages in the middle of small country villages don’t actually have any space for car parking.  In many cases you have to park in the village car park some distance away – though you can usually unload your baggage at the door/gate.  If this is important to you, do make sure that the particulars explicitly state that there is parking available – either off-street or right outside.  If this isn’t actually stated, check it out.

Walking distance.  Often a brochure description will state that the beach, pub, shops etc. are “within walking distance.”   However, when you get there, you could find that “walking distance” is a very long way. If you have a toddler with you, or someone with walking difficulties, this could prove a problem and could actually spoil your holiday.   If this vague and meaningless term is used, you are quite within your rights to check with the advertiser what the actual distances are.  Sometimes, unfortunately, the description is designed to be deliberately misleading.

Dogs/children.  If you are going on holiday with dog(s) and/or children, you should check in advance what facilities are actually provided.  You have presumably ascertained that dogs are in fact allowed – the particulars will usually state YES or NO.  And the description will usually – though not always – make it clear whether there are children’s beds, bunk beds, high chairs etc.  But you would still be well advised to check how dog/child-friendly the property actually is.  Is there a garden?  This can make an enormous difference.  Does the door open straight out on to a road?  Is there a washing machine?  Are there eating-places nearby that explicitly welcome children?  Are there games provided for wet weather? And what is the layout of the property?  If you find that the rooms with the child beds are on the second floor, up two steep flights of stairs, while the only bathroom is on the ground floor, this can make things complicated – though the children may consider it fun!

Seclusion.  A property described as “secluded” may be very tempting, especially if you lead a hectic life and want some peace and quiet.  However you may not realise until you get there that it’s literally miles from anywhere, including places to eat.

Descriptions of holiday lettings can be very seductive and once you’ve booked, you spend months looking forward to your break.  It would be such a pity if your enjoyment  was spoilt because you hadn’t checked out the details.  Holiday lettings can provide the most delightful holidays imaginable – just make sure you get the holiday you are looking for.


Dartmouth House Holiday Home, Dartmouth, Devon

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Dartmouth House is a four bedroom self-catering holiday home set over three floors with a huge 50 square meter deck overlooking the Dart Estuary.

The property has been recently renovated and is brand new throughout – furniture, flooring, kitchen, bathrooms, linen, etc. Located in the centre of Dartmouth, South Devon, the property makes an ideal base for exploring the local coast and countryside while remaining a few minutes walk from all local amenities.

Apart from the stunning house itself the beauty of Dartmouth House is it’s position, 3 minutes walk from the heart of Dartmouth, the house is set in an elevated position with panoramic views of the Dart Estuary, Kingswear and surrounding countryside and out to sea. There is a garden over three levels giving uninterrupted vistas for miles both upstream toward the ocean and downstream toward Dittisham.