When planning a much-needed family getaway, it is almost certain that a fair amount of number-crunching will be involved. How much will the holiday cost, how long will be spent travelling and of course, how many times will someone ask ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ Thankfully when preparing for a trip to Devon, there are some numbers that really make for pleasant reading.
The region has two fantastic coastlines, two national parks and no less than five breathtaking official areas of natural beauty. These numbers make for an easy sell even before taking into account Devon’s iconic clotted cream, jam and scones – both armies and holidaymakers indeed march on their stomachs.
Of course, Devon has more to offer than just clotted cream (Although I must stress again – it is very good) and visitors should be prepared to experience golden sands and fantastic views; exciting outdoor activities and relaxed hideaways; as well as a rich selection of unique holiday cottages.
A colourful horizon
Devon’s golden sands, rugged moors and green rolling hills are framed by two coastlines that combine to create some of the most beautiful scenes in England, especially on a sunny day. On such occasions Devon is easily able to rival more exotic destinations around the world and the region is also home to several shopping centres and seaside resorts. These include the ancient city of Exeter and the pastel-coloured towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, which form what is regarded as the English Riviera.
Taking it all in
The English Riviera is renowned for its family atmosphere, which makes the area a fantastic place to discover for visitors of all ages. Local attractions include the Splashdown Quaywest outdoor waterpark, which is situated in the town of Paignton and offers no less than eight spectacular slides and wides, as well as an opportunity to simply cool down and watch the world go by. The park is located just next to a golden beach at Goodrington, which is the perfect setting for family picnics and a great place for children (and grownups) to play and go rock pooling when the tide is low.
Moving further inland Devon also offers plenty of attractions that can be enjoyed at a more relaxed pace, or even when the weather turns nasty. The House of Marbles for example, is situated at the eastern edge of the Dartmoor National Park, in ‘The Gateway to the Moor’,Bovey Tracey, and provides a world famous range of glass marbles, board games, classic toys, puzzles and pastimes. The charming array of items on offer also includes a selection of decorations and accessories for gardens, making House of Marbles a unique attraction that truly offers something for everyone.
With so much to take in and enjoy, naturally a spot to rest and savour the day’s activities can sometimes be greatly appreciated. Luckily, Devon is home to a broad selection of holiday cottages that provide the ideal base from which to explore the region and recharge in the evenings. These include seaside locations such as Cock Rock Cottage, Corner Cottage and Seaview Apartment, which are all situated within stunning surroundings and offer fully inviting comfort.
And to wash it down with… Salcombe Gin
Found on the stunning shores of Salcombe in Devon, a port once known primarily for smuggling, is the Salcombe Distilling Company and their affectionately named distillery, The Boathouse.
It sits in the Boat Building Quarter, and so is very aptly named.
Salcombe is a picturesque little town, and is where the distillery’s founders met whilest teaching sailing as teenagers. Howard Davis and Angus Lugsdin shared a passion for two things, sailing and Gin. Life took them both away from Devon, but they maintained their friendship and eventually moved back at the same time. They rekindled their passion for Gin and Tonic, and with it came a burgeoning business idea.
They followed their hearts and were lead to Salcombe and Gin, two things they loved and when they got down to it, went pretty well together.
The fascinating thing about these is that they were not chosen at random or simply for taste, many of the botanicals used in Salcombe Gin have historically been imported into Salcombe by the “Salcombe Fruiters”. These were very fast ships that would transport fruit in the hopes of getting to port before it went off.
This is exactly the character and flavour of Salcombe Gin. From the very beginning of the nose, it is full of citrus zest and tang.
There is a lovely life to this Gin, as the fruit is fresh and clean. It sits well with the earthiness of the juniper and sweetness of the coriander.
These flavours melt together on the palate, which is soft and easygoing. There is plenty of lemon and line to give a nice crisp edge to the mouth feel.
The spicier botanicals brighten up here as well and add a great depth to the Gin.
The finish is strong, with lots of citrus and juniper.