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Off Season in the West Country

Off Season in the West Country




Devon and Cornwall have long been the quintessential bucket and spade summer holiday destinations (anyone who has experienced the August tailbacks on the A303 will vouch for that) but we love them most off-season.

Autumn and winter in the South West offer a completely different kind of holiday. Crunching through the brilliant red and yellow leaves at beautiful Landhydrock House, a late Victorian National Trust manor house with woodlands and formal gardens, the perfect place for bike rides, kite flying and tree climbing.

Wind-blown walks along the coastal path, try our favourite Beer to Branscombe in South Devon, a heart-stopping hike rewarded with a half of cider at the Mason’s Arms afterwards.  

New Year’s Day is best spent on a Cornish or Devon beach, blowing away the previous night’s cobwebs and watching other braver folk swim, wetsuitless, in the sea. One of our best New Years was spent doing exactly that on Gyllyngvase Beach followed by hot chocolates at the wonderful Gylly Beach Café.

Both Devon and Cornwall do out of season tourism well – for something more offbeat we like the Virtual Jet Centre near Exeter, where you can have a go at flying your own 747 and the Quay Climbing Centre, the South West’s largest climbing wall - not for the faint hearted.

Mostly though West Country winters are all about wrapping up and getting out there to see dramatic landscapes, often at their best at this time of year – such as Dartmoor, described by Steven Spielberg (who shot Warhorse there) “such an abundance of natural beauty” or our favourite, Bodmin Moor, first farmed by Bronze Age settlers 4000 years ago and much of it completely untouched since that time.

Where to stay? For a brilliant listing of hotels from boutique to family friendly to budget as well as cosy cottages complete with logburners try Stayincornwall.co.uk/hotels or Stayindevon.co.uk/hotels 
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https://www.facebook.com/stayindevon and on Twitter @stayinuk


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