Saturday 15 August 2020

Relaxing Family Breaks in Devon this Summer

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Everyone loves a holiday right? And after months of lockdown now more than ever, as restrictions lift, people are seeking to get away from the four walls they have been stuck inside for the last few months. For many, the risk of flying abroad right now is pretty high and with quarantine rules changing constantly, a UK break seems like the best solution for those looking for a short family escape.

One destination which always proves to be a popular UK holiday spot for families is Devon, with its beautiful beaches, seaside towns and plenty to see and do in the local area it makes for a great holiday destination. Whether you a looking for a delicious cream tea, a local pint of cider, stunning coastlines or the buzz of amusements and theme parks you will find it all on a family break in Devon. It is somewhere we as a family have visited many times (in fact almost every year I think since we had the kids) and we always come back feeling relaxed, reconnected and ready to book our next trip before we are even home!

There are two different sides to Devon, North Devon and South Devon and both have lots of great reasons to visit, but what are differences? Keep reading to find out...

North Devon is known mostly for its great surf as the North Coast meets with the Atlantic ocean create a wilder, rougher sea with bigger and more powerful waves, perfect for surfing! If action and adventure is something you love then North Devon has plenty to offer. From water activities such as surfing, kayaking and paddle boarding to hikes across the stunning rugged coastline or one of the many walking trails to see all of the local wildlife and perhaps even a famous Exmoor pony or two. Dartmoor offers the perfect space for those who love to explore, picnic in the wild or even a dip in the River Dart during summer months!

Full of quaint and quirky market towns, cobbled streets and traditional cottages there are plenty of options when it comes to somewhere to eat and stay. From holiday parks to quiet cottages in the countryside you can easily find your perfect escape in North Devon. Westward Ho is a popular destination with families, set in a beautiful village with stunning sea views across the pebble beach. It offers a wide range of play equipment and activities such as go karts and crazy golf as well as having some amazing restaurants to stop for a spot to eat. You could even grab a famous Hockings ice cream or enjoy a delicious cake at Tea on the Green.

There is also plenty to do when it comes to activities too. If theme parks are your thing North Devon has several including The Big Sheep and The Milky Way Adventure Park. If you are looking for something a little more relaxed you are spoilt for choice with a huge range of beautiful heritage sites around North Devon including steam railways, stately homes and stunning sprawling gardens, there is even a combat military museum you can explore.

Of course no trip to North Devon would be complete without a trip to one of their blue flag beaches for a spot of rock pooling, crabbing or fossil hunting and perhaps even a dip in the sea too. Ilfracombe is one of those places with plenty of walks around the quay including the harbour which is always a popular spot for families to stop at. You can even catch a boat over to Lundy island from here or spend a few hours exploring the Tunnel Beaches where you can walk through hand carved tunnels from the 1820's. Of course there is still plenty to do here for those who prefer to stay on land too including amusements, shops, restaurants and a whole host of family themed events that happen throughout the year.

(Photo credit Mrs Magovern

South Devon is located along the Jurassic Coast line and whilst the sea in South Devon is often much calmer than that in the North it is far from boring. You can still find plenty of spots to surf in South Devon and lots of the beaches are covered by lifeguards during peak season and are perfect for a dip in the sea for the kids.

Running from Seaton to Plymouth the South Devon coastline offers 125 miles of beautiful coast to explore including 3 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a World Heritage Coastline and a National Park. South Devon offers a great split of rural villages and bustling family resorts meaning you can always find the perfect place for your family in the south of Devon.  If you are looking for a classic seaside resort to visit then Brixham is a beautiful little town based around a harbour with stunning beaches and plenty of classic sweet shops and chip shops for a bite to eat. 

There are a number of theme parks and adventure parks located in South Devon that are perfect for all year round fun including Woodlands Family Theme Park and Crealy Adventure Park. If animals are more your thing though Paignton Zoo is an amazing family attraction that is definitely worth a visit, with over 2500 animals to see you are sure to find some of your favourites. If you are looking for somewhere in Devon that has a lots to do Exeter is probably a great choice as there is always something going on and always something to keep everyone occupied come rain or shine.

Of course if you are looking for a relaxing break away you are spoilt for choice when it comes to the beaches in South Devon. Many of the beaches have won awards for their water and beach quality and it's clear to see why when you step onto the golden sandy beaches and see the clear inviting water. Whether its building a sandcastle, looking for treasures in rock pools or going for a swim you will find everything you need on the beaches here. If you really want to explore the coastline though (and you are happy to do lots of walking!) then the South West Coastal path will guide you along the whole of the stunning south Devon coast with some amazing picturesque views. 

Of course it is worth mentioning that right now the situation is very unknown and whilst lots of us will be planning day trips and short breaks it is worth remembering that the situation, lockdown and restrictions could change at any given moment. If you are planning on booking a break be sure to check out what their policy is if restrictions are put back in place or if you become poorly to put your mind at rest.

If you are looking to visit a particular area or attraction it may also be worth ringing or emailing ahead of your visit to ensure they are open and to ask what restrictions or booking requirements they may have in place. Overall though lots of places are now open and have such great safety measures in place so everyone can feel safe and secure on their trip and there is so much space to enjoy and explore in Devon you never have to feel like you are crowded in either, perfect for families looking to get away without the worry of keeping within restrictions.

Do you have any UK breaks planned this year? Are there any parts of Devon you have visited that you particularly love? Let me know in the comments below. 


**This post is written in collaborations with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.**


  1. I have had many a lovely family holiday in Devon and I love it there, I have not been for a few years now so maybe this year will be the time to go

  2. Devon is one of those places I've always wanted to visit in the UK. South Devon sounds ideal for my family. I wanted to take my kids to the Jurassic Coast to fossil hunt. Good to hear there are theme parks there too.

  3. We've just got back from a week in South Devon and it was amazing, we even saw dolphins!

  4. We have never been to Devon but I would really love to - I think we will have to plan a visit once everything is a little more settled.

  5. Staycations are the way to go now! I have not been to Devon yet so it was informative learning about the difference between North and South Devon and what it offers

  6. Devon is one of the places I look forward to visiting on my next UK break :)

  7. Devon looks like a lovely place to enjoy a relaxing break. Always nice to get some fresh sea air and enjoy time outdoors x

  8. We’ve never been to Devon but it looks a lovely place to have a summer vacation

  9. We love Devon, hoping to book a break in for the Autumn there if it is still okay to book!