Looking for the perfect Devon destination for your summer break? Why not book a stay in East Devon? This region, famous for the Jurassic Coast which stretches through the region from neighbouring Dorset offers plenty of beaches, rural fun and lots of family-friendly attractions and adventures.
This part of Devon is one of the most ecologically fascinating, so much so that it’s illegal to take pebbles from the beaches in some areas! To help you find the ideal accommodation to suit you, take a look at some of what is on offer across East Devon.
On the outskirts of Exeter, you’ll find Alpine Park, an award-winning complex of 11 modern self-catering cottages that are in the heart of East Devon, giving you easy access to the popular towns and cities, an array of beaches and picturesque nature reserves, as well as being close to the city and the region’s top attractions. Each of the cottages benefits from superfast broadband so you can keep up to date with what’s going on at home and are a real home from home. For families, there are Premier lodges that can sleep up to six and some of them are even pet friendly! Full of everything you need for a comfortable self-catering break, Alpine Park is a great option for families, groups or even couples looking to get away.
Image: Alpine Park
Alternatively, if you want home comforts, why not check out one of the many cottages that are available for hire?
Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays specialise in cottages across East Devon, with properties in picturesque areas including Sidmouth, Exmouth and Beer. Whether you want a sea view or somewhere hidden away in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are plenty to choose from and with their experience of providing hand picked holidays, you can be sure of a cottage that suits your needs perfectly.
Sykes Holiday Cottages have properties across Devon, so you can easily choose somewhere that suits your needs. While Luxury Coastal features a range of luxurious options all situated along the coast, including the Jurassic Coast with properties in Exmouth. With a cottage holiday, like most self-catering options, you have complete freedom which is why they are so popular among families. Many of them are dog friendly, have their own enclosed gardens and private parking, allowing you to come and go as you please and enjoy all the home comforts with privacy while still being close to all the top attractions and amenities.
Another option for those that like the sound of self-catering is Higher Wiscombe which can be found nestled within the AONB. The cottages are just a short distance from the Jurassic Coast and South West Coast Path, allowing you to easily visit places like Beer and Branscombe whilst also giving you plenty of space and facilities should you want to relax and stay in.
Higher Wiscombe is something special as it was designed with sustainability in mind and frequently wins accolades for its commitment to Green Tourism. It’s the perfect destination for anyone who wants to enjoy their holiday without having to feel guilty about the carbon footprint. The converted barns can sleep from 6 to 32 guests and are all dog friendly, so if you were looking for an excuse for a family get together or special occasion, here is your opportunity!
For those who want to keep things simple, book a stay with Oakdown Touring and Holiday Caravan Park. This award-winning, family-friendly park is on the outskirts of Sidmouth, making it easy to explore the Sid Valley and enjoy everything that Sidmouth’s busy town centre has to offer. There are a wide range of holiday homes available, including cosy glamping units, camping pitches and just about everything in between!
This is the perfect spot for those that have to compromise between coast and country. With rural surroundings that make you feel as though you are in the middle of nowhere, but with the coast and several towns and villages on your doorstep, it really does give you the best of both worlds. Like Higher Wiscombe, Oakdown are also committed to being as carbon neutral as possible and you’ll find plenty of ways that you can help preserve this beautiful part of the world during your stay. Not only that, but there is a games room onsite to keep you entertained and a 9 hole golf course too!
Image: Ladram Bay
One of the best options for a holiday with the family is to stay at a holiday park and there are plenty across East Devon to enjoy including Ladram Bay, which can be found in the charming town of Budleigh Salterton. With a host of facilities including a Splash Zone, Climbing Wall and a whole host of other activities, you’ll have as much fun on site as you will offsite. Ladram Bay sits right on the coast and has its own private beach where you can swim, relax or explore the rock pools. The coastal path will even lead you into the nearby towns and villages so you can discover more of what East Devon has to offer.
There are a host of popular resorts around East Devon, including Sidmouth which is full of accommodation options, eateries and things to do. You’ll find several luxury hotels, including some of the Brend group here with unrivalled views of the Jurassic Coast and Lyme Bay like the Belmont Hotel which sits right on the Esplanade. You can find more places to stay in East Devon and beyond here.
Finding somewhere to stay is the easy bit – trying to narrow down what you want to do during your visit is harder! This particular part of Devon has a host of things to see and do, covering a variety of budgets and interests.
From coastal walks following the South West Coast Path to bike rides across the East Devon Way, there are plenty of options for getting out and about.
For families on a budget, check out the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth which features free entry and is a lovely way to spend the day. Get to know some of the rescue donkeys and if you visit during the school holidays, enjoy additional activities and trails, at a small charge. We also hugely recommend checking out their Kitchen – the food is incredible! The adventurous among you will want to spend some time at the Devon Activity Centre which is based in Ottery St Mary where you can embark on a range of adventures like axe throwing, Segway safaris, footgolf and more. While you’re in the area, why not check out Wildwood Devon which is packed full of cute animals to befriend and fun heritage attractions, including an authentic Saxon village! If you like the idea of spending time with animals, Little Orchard Alpacas is a must visit. Home to a friendly and inquisitive herd where you can get up close and personal by taking them on a trek around the beautiful East Devon countryside.
Image: Little Orchard Alpacas
One of the biggest draws to this area is the heritage, which you can experience by enjoying a tram ride with Seaton Tramway or at the historic Bicton Park, where you can explore the Botanical gardens, learn something at the onsite museum or let the kids go wild with their children’s activities. Or, if you’re visiting without the children, take a trip to River Cottage HQ where you can learn more about seasonal local produce, enjoy a meal or a cookery course.
A great way to see more of the Jurassic Coast is by sea. If you spend time at the coast, you’ll be able to take on some watersports like kayaking, paddle boarding or surfing, with tuition and equipment hire available around the shore. If you fancy something a bit more leisurely, Stuart Line Cruises offer a variety of courses around the coast, some of them are even themed, making them a great day out for a special occasion.
Of course, this is just a small sample of what you can see and do in East Devon, find out more to help you plan your itineraries here.
For more family friendly attractions across Devon, check out Devon’s Top Attractions where you can find a host of them all in one place! If you’re coming to East Devon this summer, make sure to share your experiences and photos with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.