5 reasons Devon is a great holiday destination for families
Alongside neighbouring Cornwall, Devon is one of the most popular counties in the UK with domestic holidaymakers. Boasting two stunning coastlines, amazing beaches, lively cities and wild national parks, it has a bit of everything. Throw in the (somewhat unreliable) southern British summer weather and you have the makings of a great staycation. In this article, we’ll explain five reasons why Devon is a great holiday destination for families.
1. There are too many great days out to count
Seriously, we don’t know where to start. Animal lovers can visit Exmoor Zoo, home to the only black leopard in the UK. Or the fantastic National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, the largest aquarium in the country. There’s family-friendly theme and amusement parks like The Big Sheep (yes it’s sheep themed) in Bideford or the sprawling Woodlands Leisure Park in Totnes, boasting more than 60 acres of rides, pottery studios, play areas and even a small zoo. Or for those interested in history, there are plenty of castles and other historic attractions. Powederham Castle is easily reached from Exeter and is surrounded by its own deer park. And there’s an exciting family trail to follow at Greenway, the former home of Agatha Christie. Whatever kind of day out you are planning as part of your holiday, Devon is sure to offer something suitable.
2. It has some of the UK’s best beaches
There’s a reason families flock to Devon in their thousands during the summer holidays. The county boasts some of the best beaches in the UK, on both its northern and southern coastline. Places such as Woolacombe have done all they can to appeal to tourists, with all manner of cafes, restaurants, bars and public amenities springing up along its three miles of beach. A quieter option is nearby Barricane beach, whilst in south Devon you’ll want to visit Bantham beach in Bigbury-on-Sea. And aside from the beaches, there are plenty of charming coastal towns and villages to explore, such as Hope Cove. Much of Devon’s coastline offers reliable surfing conditions too, making it a great place for kids to have their first lessons.
3. It’s home to Dartmoor National Park
Spanning 368 square miles, Dartmoor takes up a sizeable chunk of the Devon landscape. And no holiday to Devon would be complete without spending at least a day or two exploring this rolling countryside. This is especially true in summer, when the weather is better. A patchwork of moorland, granite tors and rushing rivers, the national park is home to a variety of native wildlife, including species such as the otter, adder and cuckoo. It is perfect hiking or cycling territory, with a network of well-connected trails to help you explore the park safely and whilst seeing as much of it as possible.
4. There are two amazing cities to explore
Exeter and Plymouth are by far the two biggest settlements in Devon, and both are worthy of a bit of exploration. In Exeter, families will want to get a glimpse of the famous cathedral, enjoy the rides at Crealy Great Adventure Park or take a stroll in the peaceful Rougemont Gardens, which once formed a part of the defences of Exeter Castle. And in coastal Plymouth, things are centred much more around the sea. There are several great marinas, where visitors can enjoy a meal or a drink surrounded by pretty yachts in the harbour. Or there’s the South West Coast Path, which winds all along the Devon coastline, including a significant stretch along the Plymouth coast. Both cities are worth visiting for the day, or Plymouth in particular can be a great base for exploring more of the county’s beaches and attractions.
5. The weather is (normally) better than elsewhere
Now this is the UK, where our summer weather is famously unreliable and unpredictable. But we’re going to go out on a limb and say that if you’re planning a family holiday in the UK, weather-wise Devon is your best bet. As one of the most southern places in the country, it tends to be much warmer than northern parts of the UK, with days frequently tipping into the mid-20s centigrade during June, July and August. Yes, you are highly unlikely to completely escape the rain, but that’s what the county’s museums, aquariums and galleries are for! All in all, the weather tends to be favourable to other parts of the UK, making it a great place for a summer staycation.
Devon has earned its reputation as a popular summer destination for domestic British tourists. It has the infrastructure, the attractions, the beaches and (mostly) the weather to offer a great deal to families looking to plan a holiday.