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From the Blog

12 destinations to discover in the South West in 2019

Posted by Sophie Hesp on Jan 13, 2019

Your insider guide to the best holiday destinations


From Dorset’s iconic coastline to fashionable Somerset towns and picturesque Cornish fishing villages, take a look at our local recommendations on the best places to visit in the South West this year. With insider tips on where to find the finest award-winning seafood, most breath-taking coastal walks and exquisite holiday homes nearby, start planning your 2019 escape with a difference.

Marazion

A desirable holiday spot for a family retreat or a romantic seaside getaway, Marazion is a charming town on the shore of Mount's Bay in West Cornwall. Home to the iconic landmark of St Michael's Mount, there are exceptional views to be enjoyed, be it from the sea or the sand. From horse riding along the beach to kayaking in crystal clear waters, the many holiday activities on offer mean Marazion is loved by children and adults alike.

Local’s top tip: We love the walk from St Michael's Mount to Penzance, set along the South West Coast Path. There's a dog-friendly beach along the way and some great ice cream shops to greet you at the other end.

Nearest property: Ednovean House

Studland

Famed for its beautiful beaches, sweeping nature reserve and extensive list of notable residents, Studland is a village on the coveted Isle of Purbeck. With an impressive Jurassic Coast backdrop and plenty of walking trails on its doorstep, Studland is an adventurer’s dream. Take to the headland to enjoy panoramic sea views as you trample the coast path towards iconic Dorset landmarks like Old Harry Rocks, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.

Local’s top tip: Follow the National Trust Studland Beach trail and the iconic purple heather will lead you towards the sea, where you can sit and watch the tides change. In the summer months, keep an eye out for dragonflies overhead and reptiles basking on the boardwalk.

Dulverton

Fondly nicknamed ‘the gateway to Somerset’, Dulverton is a picturesque civil parish lying right on the edge of Exmoor. Surrounded by wildlife-rich nature reserves, idyllic countryside walks and charming tearooms, it’s a lovely spot to see the iconic Exmoor ponies or discover your new favourite artisan gin.

Local’s top tip: A visit to Dulverton isn’t complete without stopping by for a Michelin Star meal at The Masons Arms. A characterful low beamed bar with a roaring log fire and a pretty courtyard garden, this award-winning restaurant is the perfect spot for a hearty lunch after a long walk over Exmoor.

Nearest properties: Nightjar and Willow’s Rest (part of the Upcott Farm estate)

Coverack

With a lovely village harbour, dramatic clifftop walks and attractions that children will love, Coverack is a beachy Cornish gem on the beautiful west coast. Sit and watch as the boats bob along the water as gulls swoop overhead, or explore the thriving foodie scene with a visit to The Lifeboat House Restaurant for authentic Cornish cuisine.

Local’s top tip: After a day on the beach, take a stroll around the meadows at Roskilly’s Farm Shop and sample some of the farm’s award-winning ice cream in the parlour.

Nearest property: Compass Point

Downderry

A seaside village nestled between Seaton and Portwrinkle, Downderry is one of Cornwall’s hidden gems on the south coast. With a long shingle beach and a small number of local shops and restaurants, the sleepy destination enjoys panoramic views out towards Rame Head and Eddystone Lighthouse. Downderry is also ideally located to explore its surrounding areas – pack a picnic and take a boat trip to Looe Island for a day’s seal spotting, or walk along the coast path to the sandy beaches at Whitsand Bay and Talland.

Local’s top tip: Pay a visit to the Blue Plate restaurant to sip exquisite cocktails, sample the delicious tapas menu and browse a selection of local Cornish creations in the café delicatessen shop.

Nearest property: Sea Edge

Newlyn

Filled with first-class restaurants and boutique shops, the small fishing town of Newlyn in south west Cornwall is steeped in history. Wander through narrow streets and watch the fishing boats bob on the water, or enjoy a seafood lunch at The Tolcarne Inn, where a friendly welcome and a menu of fantastic local produce await. A characterful town bursting with life, colour and beautiful views, Newlyn is also a must-visit for keen artists, with its picturesque coastal landscapes and bustling Cornish atmosphere providing plenty of inspiration for photographers and painters alike.

Local’s top tip: For a true taste of Cornwall, we recommend stopping by Newlyn Cheese and Charcuterie – an upmarket deli selling a great selection of cold cuts and speciality cheeses. Sample the Cornish Blue or Garlic Yarg with a fresh slice of homemade bread to enjoy by the sea and you’ll be embracing Cornish life in no time.

Nearest property: Blue Elvin

St Mawes

Home to the exotic Lamorran Gardens, an abundance of stunning coastal walks and a striking castle once belonging to Henry VIII, St Mawes is a small town with a big personality. Situated on the bucolic Roseland Peninsula and with traditional chocolate-box cottages lining its streets, St Mawes is one of Cornwall’s growing foodie hotspots.

Local’s top tip: After a morning exploring the town’s independent shops and art galleries, pop into The Watch House for a lunch of roasted shellfish or poached pear and goats’ cheese salad, then round off the afternoon by following the snaking streets down to the harbour to enjoy the swing on Summers Beach.

Bigbury-on-Sea

Set within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and boasting a spectacular seafood scene, Bigbury-on-Sea is an idyllic location for a traditional holiday by the sea. With safe sandy beaches for the children to explore, famous literary links for bookworms to uncover and the world’s only sea tractor for a bit of fun, the attractive South Devon town has plenty going on.

Local’s top tip: Set off from Bigbury-on-Sea beach and climb aboard the sea tractor to the iconic Burgh Island. Once frequented by the likes of Agatha Christie, the island is steeped in historical and literary history, and enjoys beautiful coastal views over Bigbury.

Nearest property: Beachfront

Constantine Bay

Constantine Bay is a pretty village and beach on Cornwall’s picturesque Atlantic coast. Sitting three miles west of Padstow, Constantine Bay is a popular spot for surfers, with its clean waves making it a great place for beginners. At low tide, Constantine connects with its sister beach, Booby’s Bay, creating a beautiful crescent that stretches almost half a mile. In nearby St Merryn, you’ll find a collection of lovely local shops and eateries, including Rick Stein’s coveted pub, The Cornish Arms. 

Local’s top tip: Hiding behind the unsuspecting exterior of a day-to-day convenience store, Constantine Bay Stores is a treasure trove of fresh local produce and Cornish home interiors. Selling everything from elegant glassware to stylish soft furnishings, pop in to gather some coastal design inspiration and support a great local Cornish business.

Nearest property: Tregully

Trebarwith

A secluded coastal settlement on the north coast of Cornwall, Trebarwith has beautiful natural caves, a long sandy beach and great links to some nearby towns and villages. Uncover the myths and legends of King Arthur’s supposed birthplace in nearby Tintagel, and see the cave where Merlin the wizard once lived.

Local’s top tip: Make a trip to see the natural waterfall at St Nectan’s Glen – less than a fifteen minute drive from Trebarwith. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and with the sound of the rushing waterfall echoing through the valley, St Nectan’s Glen is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a magical setting for a peaceful woodland wander on your next visit to Cornwall.

Nearest property: The Yellow Cottage

Porthcothan

Situated within Cornwall's much-loved Seven Bays, you'll be spoilt for choice with beautiful beaches to explore near Porthcothan. The bay itself is popular among families and surfers alike, and famed locally for the great surf at low tide. Porthcothan is also ideally placed for indulgent foodie getaways, with Paul Ainsworth's Number 6 and Rick Stein's The Cornish Arms sitting just around the bay.

Local's top tip: Pack your beach gear, arrive early and find a good spot on the beach. Dotted with caves and pools deep enough for swimming, it's a fail safe option for family-friendly days on the sand, especially if you're holidaying with little ones by your side.

Nearest property: Roscarrock

Instow

Surrounded by lush green pastures and miles of coastline, enjoy the best of both worlds with a North Devon day trip to Instow. The pretty village is surrounded by lovely beaches, including the surfer-approved Saunton Sands and the sprawling Westward Ho! Whether you walk along the coast or hire bikes and cycle the Tarka Trail, you'll have a good choice of foodie options come dinner time, from The Boathouse to the popular Memories Restaurant, a short drive away in Bideford.

Local's top tip: We recommend a spa day at the Saunton Sands Hotel, which offers midweek treats and twilight sessions that promise to soothe the soul.

Posted by Sophie Hesp

When she's not out for brunch, Sophie loves exploring the coast path with her partner and their golden retriever pup, Obi. She writes about all things Cornwall and is a strong believer that there’s no such thing as too many house plants.

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