With over a 60 mile stretch of coast path, where beaches, coves and estuaries skim one side and rolling countryside backs the other, South Devon suits just about everyone, even the dog! From parents and teens, toddlers and babies, aunts, uncles and grandparents, the perfect family holiday is all about striking a balance.
Taking the children away doesn’t mean your break has to solely focus on the kids, make sure the whole family enjoy the playground that is South Devon. Our advice is to spend a lot of time together, but also (drum roll!) a little apart. For some, a spring holiday means having a relaxing spa treatment, whilst for others, it could be racing around the beach in waterproof togs splashing in rock pools. We’re all different, and the best thing about a self-catering property is that your break can cater to everyone.
Here’s our pick of the best family-friendly spring activities in South Devon:
Walk, walk walk
‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes’, so come rain or shine, wrap up warm, and get yourselves outside to explore. The best thing about South Devon is that you don’t have to venture too far before you find yourselves somewhere rather special.
Our favourite family friendly walks;
Torcross Beach: Most recently famed for its recent visit from a humpback whale, Torcross is a great location for all the family. Feed the ducks at the Ley (not forgetting to keep your eyes peeled for the resident otter), skim stones along the shore, scoot along the promenade and enjoy fish and chips at the pub.
East Soar Walkers Hut: If the incentive of decadent cake is a winner with your kids, this walk is for you. Park at East Soar National Trust car park and amble down a mile long track to the walkers hut. You will find a selection of local ice cream, fresh coffee, cream teas and freshly baked cakes – there is even a farm which has pet sheep, a pony, donkeys, pigs, chickens and an adventure trail! On your walk you will pass a former RAF airstrip which is occasionally used by light aircraft and can be quite a spectacle.
South Milton to Hope Cove scramble: At low tide, scramble across the rocks and discover secret coves, abundant driftwood treasures and secluded picnic spots. Be sure to check the tides right as you don’t want to get caught in a cove.
Get on ya’ bike
The Dart Valley Cycleway (Totnes to Sharpham Cycle Path) is a hilly off road riverside route that winds through open farmland with great views of the River Dart. After just three miles, you’ll reach the Sharpham Estate vineyard and Rosie’s Cafe (serving wine and local food) where you can enjoy a cold glass of Sharpham wine, and a locally-sourced cheese board. For ‘littler’ legs, this route is great for walking, and is also buggy friendly.
Free Range Kids
Kids love nothing better than a day outdoors having the freedom to explore the world in a natural environment! If den building, fire making and bushcraft skills tick all the boxes then Forest and Beach is a must. Offering holiday clubs for children aged 5 and upward, you can leave the kids for the day feeling confident that they are in the best hands. Use this day to yourselves to explore the coastline, have a long lazy lunch, or even book yourselves into a South Devon spa.
Paper Bird Island is a friendly art space on Island Street in Salcombe, offering a range of projects to decorate with paint, decopatch paper, coloured sand, paper flowers and bows. With cosy sofas inside, it’s the perfect opportunity for the kids to get crafty, and for mum and dad to relax. Conveniently situated a stones throw from the Salcombe Gin Distillery, grown ups could even tag team a little gin tasting!
Hop across the water on the Greenway Ferry to the private holiday home of the much loved author Agatha Christie. Spring starts early at Greenway, and is renowned for its beautiful spring blooms – set against a backdrop of the Dart, camellias, magnolias, spring bulbs and rhododendrons are rife. Free spring flower walks take place daily from 10th February with a member of the garden team.
Get on, or in the water
Whilst the water may be a bit cold for your little nippers this February, with the right gear and a splash of enthusiasm, you could be riding those waves in no time at all. Wetsuits and boards can be hired locally from Tri Ocean Surf, and you can also book a lesson to help you get started. If surfing the waves in February is a little overwhelming, then try paddle boarding. Stand up paddle boarding is an ideal sport for all the family, and depending on how well balanced you are, you may stay completely dry!
Let the food come to you
Escaping for a sumptuous evening meal is tricky when you have children at the best of times, but even trickier when you’re on holiday and unfamiliar with childcare options. Just because you’re in a self-catering property, it doesn’t mean you have to cook every night – treat yourselves to a luxurious feast, with the ultimate dinner party service. Local companies such as The Galley Girls, will cook, serve and clear away from the comfort of your home.
Put the fire on and bunker down
The weather in spring can at times be a little unpredictable, so enjoy the comfort of your holiday cottage. Spend lazy mornings in your sumptuous King-size bed, sip bubbles in the hot tub, or get cosy by the fire. Whatever the weather, be sure to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures together – share stories, play board games, or catch up on classic movies.
For those looking to enjoy a short break or longer holiday in stunning surroundings during March or April, this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a fabulous destination. Coast & Country Cottages have a fantastic range of properties available for you and your family to enjoy varying spring activities in South Devon!