Devon offers enough treats for the senses to make a holiday spent in this scenic region a one-of-a-kind experience.
For example, summer 2014 entertainments include The Great Garden Quest at RHS Garden Rosemoor, distinguished South West artists showcased at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, a 100-metre swamp walk at the Ottery St. Mary and the Gara Rock Trail in East Portlemouth, sure to delight the pickiest youngsters. On the other hand, Family Adventure Packages leave the planning to YHA organizers and Devon’s beach schools make sure children are exhausted after days of splashing in water.
But let’s say you’re lucky enough to leave the kids with Gran and you’re off on holiday to Devon for adults only. Take in the International Blacksmiths Festival, tour the Brixham fish market on the Quay, partake of a thoroughly British Ramblers walk on Whitsand Beach or enjoy Whitleigh Arts’ A Bit of a Do if you’re on the plus side of 50–once you’ve explored the Royal Albert Memorial Museum on Queen Street, of course.
There’s so much more to be said about Devon’s diverse menu of entertainments that we’d fill a guide book to describe them all, so use this link to see what’s on the horizon if you’re planning a visit to create a personal itinerary ( Whats On in Devon ). Done?
Luxurious Devon Getaways
Time to explore the real reason you’ve selected Devon as your holiday choice: four luxury hotels offer sensory experiences that are so diverse, you won’t have a problem deciding which most appeals to your sensibilities!
Craving Castles? Bovey Castle staffers know a thing or two about treating guests like royalty, so anticipate being spoiled if you book lodgings at this Devon landmark. Bovey is known for remarkable views of Dartmoor National Park from guest room windows of beautifully-appointed rooms. You won’t have to leave the premises to enjoy world class pampering, dining and amenities, either.
Play the PGA golf course if this is your passion or forget the exercise and choose from the Sundari Spa’s menu of services. Children on premises? Indeed. But our youngest guests are seriously well-behaved! The castle’s Oak Bar is helmed by mixologists so you don’t have to leave Bovey for cocktails, but if you want to explore Devon activities, festivals and sites nicely compete with Bovey’s pool, sauna, sporting courts and manicured grounds and gardens.
The Edwardian Grill–an Art Deco enclave home to classically-trained chefs and a sommelier who never met a vintage bottle of wine he couldn’t identify and pour—features leisurely dining from a menu of seasonal dishes prepared to perfection. If you’re not in the mood to dress for dinner at the Edwardian, you can make the Castle Bistro your home-away-from-home when you get hungry. Don’t miss the daily falconry display.
All Manor of Luxury. When ghosts of years past stroll the grounds of Lewtrenchard Manor, they’re rather benign, but who can blame them for sticking around? This stately hotel offers everything a guest could desire, so whether you choose to book a room or suite, you might decide that there’s too much going on under roof to leave the Manor, no matter what’s going on in Devon.
Awaken to landscapes showcasing the secluded valley beneath Dartmoor’s primitive tors. Explore the building’s historical architecture in the Jacobean style and wander breathtaking gardens designed by Walter Sorel. If you’re hungry, it’s a short distance between your lodging and the stately oak-paneled restaurant situated on premises that’s taken too many culinary awards to list here.
Lewtrenchard offers history (as referenced in the Domesday Book), luxe lobby appointments like stained glass windows and impressive fireplaces and since this is a family run establishment, expect personal attention with classic amenities. By the way, your hosts really won’t mind it if you leave Lewtrenchard long enough to enjoy Devon’s seasonal menu of events, fests, shops and galleries. They know that returning to this landmark hotel at day’s end is one of the most wonderful reasons to stay there.
Sojourn in a Private Valley. Buckland Tout-Saints has all of the charm of a 17th Century manor with the efficiencies of a 21st Century hotel. Gracious guest rooms are beautifully appointed and decorated in traditional woods and textiles.
If you choose to leave your cozy room, make it a point to take tea at Buckland Tout-Saints. Devonshire cream tea, scones, jam, finger sandwiches, cakes and biscuits await—but, if tea isn’t your preference, your hosts will pour the bubbly instead. Dine in the Queen Anne Restaurant without losing your head or alternate between the Queen Anne and the Blue Room, depending upon your appetite and mood. Both restaurants are overseen by world-class chefs, so dine there nightly and never run out of menu options. Once you finish ambling around the environs of this spectacular William and May country house hotel, discover the grounds of the only hotel in Devon that’s tucked into its very own valley.
Over 4.5 acres of gardens and woodland offer opportunities to reconnect with Mother Nature, particularly if your job is your life and down time is infrequent at best. Having toured the nooks and crannies of the gardens, walk the short distance to the sea coast where international sailing events in Salcombe city center draw crowds. Alternately, consult the hotel’s front desk staff of see what’s been planned for visitors and townsfolk during your stay in Devon.
A Stone’s Throw from Heaven. Step inside The Thurleston and you’ll immediately understand why it won a coveted 2010 ‘Large Hotel of the Year’ Enjoy England Award for Excellence. Generations of Grose family members have held the keys to the front door since 1896, but this is no quaint, tea-cozy-littered inn; it’s a landmark hotel with no equal.
Nineteen acres of sub-tropical beauty put traditional English gardens on notice that they’d better mind their reputations. Stroll the Blue Flag sandy beach overlooking the thurled-stone rock that lent this luxury hotel its name. Picture windows in guest suites delight the eye and senses. Given close proximity to the sea, guests can choose Sea View rooms, but be forewarned, these are booked far in advance. The Margaret Amelia Restaurant serves world-class cuisine, or enjoy lighter fare at the al fresco Rock Pool or Terrace Bar in season. Stop by the Village Inn for a pint. The 16th century pub is also owned by the Grose family.
If you’re keen on sports, you’ve found paradise at the Thurleston: badminton, croquet, tennis, squash and golf will entertain you non-stop, but don’t check out until you visit The Voyage Spa, a state-of-the-art respite where all manner of relaxing and beautifying amenities are on the menu. You say you want to see the rest of Devon and enjoy the city’s summer activities? We strongly recommend doing that before you let the reflexologists and masseuses at the Thurleston get their hands on you.