12 Destinations to Discover in the South West in 2019
Insider guide to the best 2019 holiday destinations in the South West
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.
A desirable holiday spot for a family retreat or a romantic seaside getaway, Mevagissey is a thriving village in South Cornwall. Home to one of the county’s longest surviving festivals – Mevagissey Feast Week – the village’s pretty fishing harbour will be decorated with locals, colourful banners and great Cornish seafood from 23rd-29th June 2019 as the event sweeps through the town.
Local’s top tip: Surrounded by sparkling Cornish seas, Mevagissey is perfectly situated to explore the nearby area on a mild morning or a sunny afternoon. Gorran Haven, Pentewan and Fowey can all be reached within an hour by boat, while hiring kayaks and heading out to Looe is the perfect opportunity to discover the ins and outs of the Cornish coastline.
Nearest property: Ocean View
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.
Nearest property: Kirrin
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.
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
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
A Somerset town bursting with fabulous foodie hotspots, upmarket boutiques and its very own world-renowned art gallery, Bruton will make an idyllic addition to your list of must-visit places for 2019. Surrounded by verdant countryside, the town is home to the Hauser and Wirth gallery and in-house Roth Bar and Grill – combining gastronomy with contemporary art. Also in the high street is Caro, a hub of Scandinavian design flaunting a slick selection of sheepskin rugs and Danish artwork sure to catch the eye of the trend-conscious.
Local’s top tip: For a unique lunch spot, head to At The Chapel. A converted 17th-century former chapel, the Grade II listed building is a bright and beautiful space to enjoy a cocktail, or to indulge in the menu of British-Mediterranean food.
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
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.
Nearest property: Bass Cottage
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 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
From the 120 year-old Marine Theatre that once served as a sea water bath, to the iconic fossil-hunting scene, there’s plenty to explore in Lyme Regis. The Wessex Ridgeway and the Liberty Trail provide mile after mile of coast path to walk along, while the prestigious River Cottage Kitchen and Deli is only a fifteen minute drive away – famed for its locally sourced produce and hearty Sunday lunches.
Local’s top tip: If you’re looking for some of the best artisan ice cream in the South West, head to Baboo Gelato on Marine Parade. From pear sorbet to maple and pralined walnut, you’ll find a whole host of inventive flavours by the waterfront.
Nearest property: The Water Tower
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
Whether you’re considering a summer getaway by the sea, an action-packed half term break or a special celebration, our exclusive holiday homes are available to book for the whole of 2019. View all properties here.