From the vast, open moorlands of Dartmoor National Park, to the golden sands and dramatic cliff drops of the southern coastline, South Devon and natural beauty go hand in hand. What’s more, the picture-postcard landscapes are also complemented by a wide range of historical abbeys, country manors and cottages. Touring the grounds of these old structures can be fascinating, but if you fancy a truly unique experience, why not spend a night or two in them?
Here at Europcar, we’re always on the lookout for an excuse to head off on a road trip. We’ve therefore compiled a list of some of South Devon’s most stunning holiday lets, from old forts to B&Bs. So pick up a car hire and head off on your very own historic adventure…
Located in the quintessential English village of Gittisham, the Combe House hotel and restaurant offers you the ultimate country retreat. Set over 3,500 acres amidst rolling tree-lined hills, this Elizabethan-style manor is renowned for its luxurious rooms, spectacular views and irresistible food.
If you’re looking for a romantic weekend escape, or simply a spot of luxury in between outdoor pursuits, you’ve come to the right place. Unwind in the elegant surroundings of your master suite or savour the cuisine from the in-house restaurant, recently voted the best restaurant in South West England.
Higher Westcott Farm
Have you always quite fancied the idea of living on a farm, provided you don’t have to muck in and get your hands dirty? If so, a night or two at Higher Westcott Farm could be just the ticket. Set in the stunning surroundings of Dartmoor National Park, this delightful stone farmhouse dates back more than 300 years – but don’t worry, it comes with a fully modernised interior.
The house boasts five double bedrooms, so makes for the perfect escape with a group of friends. The surrounding area, meanwhile, is ideal for hiking, cycling, fishing and horse riding, whilst local amenities can be found in the nearby village of Moretonhampstead.
The East Devon town of Ottery St Mary oozes charm and history, offering a delightful mix of riverside walking trails, independent boutiques and markets. So, if you’re looking for accommodation befitting the location, the historic Cadhay house is a standout candidate. Sleeping up to 22 people, this Elizabethan manor house was originally built in 1550 and is today surrounded by lavish gardens and gorgeous countryside. The elegant interior has been fully restored and features everything from burning wood stoves to four-poster beds and a library.
If you simply fancy stopping by for a look around, then schedule in a visit on any Friday afternoon between May and September, when Cadhay opens to the public. Don’t forget to stop by the Tea Room for some heavenly Devon cream teas…
The ultimate Dartmoor experience awaits you at Bovey Castle, where visitors have been living it up in style since the 1930s. Best of all, it’s just a half hour drive from Exeter, so if you find yourself in the area then simply book your Exeter car hire and head west.
Luxury is the name of the game here, with the mesmerising interior complemented by eye-catching views of Dartmoor National Park. If you’ve come
from further afield, then unwind after your drive with a couple of spa treatments before heading for a soak in the pool. Oh, and there’s also an 18-hole championship golf course on your door step.
Sparkford Hall is the ultimate entertainment venue – be it for a wedding celebration, birthday party, family gathering or just a good time among friends. The dining room seats up to 70 people, whilst bigger parties can make use of the huge American-style barn. A total of 11 bedrooms and nine bathrooms are located within the property, but the best feature is undoubtedly the basement – which has been converted into a fabulous nightclub, complete with your own bar, dance floor, sound system and disco lights.
Admittedly, it’s located in Somerset, not Devon, but how can you let geography get in the way of such a glamorous venue? In addition to the property itself, you’ll be free to roam across 23 acres of gardens and parkland – perfect for blowing away any post-party cobwebs.
River Exe Cafe
Welcome to Devon’s only floating café! Unfortunately, you can’t spend the night here, but be sure to set aside a good few hours for your visit to the River Exe Café. Accessible only by water taxi from Exmouth Marina, this award-winning floating restaurant offers you a dining experience like no other. So whether you fancy a slap-up meal, light lunch or simply a quiet drink, you best take to the river!
The menu boasts everything from fresh seafood (delivered directly to the restaurant by local fishing boats), to meat, salads and more. And don’t be put off by chilly weather – the seating area is well covered by heaters, keeping the cold at bay while you enjoy the marvellous views. (Opens for the new season on April 1st).
Do you ever think of your home as your fortress? You may view it differently once you’ve spent a night or two within the confines of a full-fledged 19th century fort. Crownhill Fort was built in the 1860s for the initial purpose of protecting Plymouth from attack by enemy forces. Thankfully such a threat has significantly diminished, enabling it to be transformed into a truly unique holiday property. Located just a few miles outside Plymouth city centre, the restored fort’s former Officer Quarters sleep up to eight people and boast a fully modernised interior, with three bedrooms, a kitchen and generous living space.
And of course, you’ll enjoy easy access to the city of Plymouth, where you can check out the National Marine Aquarium, the city’s charming quayside and more.
If you prefer to stay in the heart of Plymouth, make a reservation at The Tudor House – ideally located within a short walk of the marina and a stone’s throw from the much-loved Hoe Park. This cosy B&B offers everything from single rooms to family rooms, with a hearty homemade breakfast included.
Make the most of your close proximity to the waterfront by exploring the historic Barbican and Sutton Harbour areas. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of listed buildings, great restaurants and attractions such as the famous Plymouth Gin Distillery.