Eight reasons to visit the South West in 2020
An insider’s guide to what makes the South West so special
Looking forward to 2020, we know that travellers and holidaymakers are starting to look for memorable experiences that shape and stay with them.
Whether you’re seeking a calmer way of life, love supporting independent businesses, are looking to reduce your environmental impact or are keen to lose yourself in stunning nature reserves, there’s a wonderfully understated side to the South West that doesn’t always make it into the guide books.
As proud West Country locals, we’ve reflected on what makes this area of the UK so unique and compiled our eight favourite reasons why the South West is the perfect holiday destination for those in search of something special.
1. Health and wellbeing
Many of our favourite spas are dotted throughout the South West, so be assured that no matter where you stay, there will be a little touch of luxury on your doorstep. Clifftop hot tubs at The Scarlet, balmy outdoor saunas at C Bay, the largest hydrotherapy pool in the South West at St Michaels and completely natural ingredients at Salcombe HarSPA are just a few of the features that are sure to inspire a moment of ‘me’ time.
With spectacular coastal views and wide stretches of countryside, the South West provides a tranquil backdrop for yoga – whether you’d like to try out an invigorating beach session or an uplifting studio class. Take care of mind, body and soul with Yoga by Jo Riley overlooking the sea in St Ives or sign up for a session with Simply Soulful in Salcombe and Kingsbridge, where you can even try your hand at SUP yoga.
Footsteps away from the heart of St Ives, Salubrious House is a serene base for a self-care retreat. Taking its name from the principles of health and wellbeing, enjoy a quiet moment in the studio at the bottom of the garden. Alternatively, if you’re thinking about treating yourself to some time away from everyday life, The Nook near Rock is perfect for solo retreats.
© C Bay Spa
2. Reducing impact
The prospect of a new year inevitably brings the obligatory set of resolutions, with many of us preparing to live a healthier and more sustainable life. Home to a myriad of low-impact activities for the whole family, explore Exmoor’s rugged countryside by horseback, hike along the picturesque Jurassic coastline or cycle along the Camel Trail for far-reaching estuary views.
For an eco-friendly activity, fill an hour of your holiday with a community-led beach clean. Always a hit with the children, collect litter, explore local marine life in rockpools and help to protect the South West’s natural beauty. To find the local beach clean for you and take part in the fight against plastic pollution, click here.
With a love of reclaimed and repurposed materials interweaved into its very architecture, Prennek House embodies the principles of sustainable living. A short distance from Mawgan Porth beach, get the whole family involved in the monthly beach clean on the last Sunday of each month.
3. Pet-friendly destinations
For many, a holiday simply isn’t complete without the company of a much loved pet. From Watergate and Harlyn Bay in North Cornwall to Westward Ho! In North Devon and Lulworth Cove in Dorset, many of the South West’s best beaches welcome dogs all year round.
Explore the local area as a family before retreating into one of the South West’s dog-friendly cafés, restaurants or bars for a well-deserved pick me up. As you browse the local shops, keep an eye out for independent dog boutiques, where you can find extra special treats. A few of our personal favourites include Slickers in Padstow, The Healthy Pet Shop in Teignmouth and Winston James Woof in Frome.
Sleek, modern and incredibly popular with large family groups, Pentyak in Harlyn Bay is perfect for a dog-friendly escape. Head to nearby Paws in Padstow on a sunny afternoon, where you can treat furry friends to a doggie ice cream.
4. Vegan and vegetarian dining
Whether you’re a dedicated vegan or vegetarian, hoping to cut back on animal products or simply want to try Veganuary, the South West is sure to make the switch an easy and delicious one. Varying from rustic bistros to charming cafés, there’s a foodie hotspot for every occasion.
Naturally, a trip to the South West wouldn’t be complete without indulging in a few obligatory sweet treats. Awake with a plant-based coffee at The Curious Kitchen in Brixham, delight in a vibrant falafel bowl at Bliss Food Co in Swanage, before finishing off the day with a sweet treat at The Green HeART Café in Newquay.
Quirky, fun and comfortable, The Hideout makes for a stylish base to explore north Cornwall’s dining scene. With The Scarlet Hotel Restaurant a short distance away, experience an evening of fine dining with their vegan taster menu. Alternatively, a 35 minute drive away will bring you to Cornwall’s capital city, Truro, where fantastic options like The Cornish Vegan, Archie Browns and The Cornish Vegan Pasty Company await.
5. Supporting the locals
So many incredible independent businesses are dotted throughout the South West, with characterful towns like Salcombe, Dartmouth, St Ives, Mevagissey and Padstow leading the way. Varying from artisan patisserie and freshly brewed coffee to handmade gifts and jewellery, there are so many options to explore. Amble into local stores peppered along cobbled streets and secure unique birthday or festive treats for the special ones in your life.
With English drink production becoming more popular each year, it’s always worth exploring the local vineyards, breweries, cider farms and distilleries on holiday. For a taste of Cornwall’s award-winning wine, head to Camel Valley or Trevibban Mill, or try St Austell Brewery for a bespoke tour and tasting. Salcombe Gin, Langham Wine Estate and Sharpham Vineyard are wonderful options for those holidaying in Devon or Dorset.
Home to exceptional views over the River Dart, Phoenix House in Dartmouth offers a moment of quiet away from everyday life. Potter down into the Elizabethan streets where you can discover eclectic boutiques, independent art galleries and plenty of friendly cafés.
6. Reconnecting with nature
Famed for its fantastic surfing conditions, there’s no better place in the UK to ride the waves than the South West. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a complete beginner, get out on the water and feel your stresses melt away with the ebb and flow of the water. Our concierge team can arrange anything from group lessons to one-to-one tuition and guided surfs.
Home to some beautiful nature reserves, moorland and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – including Brownsea Island near Studland, Exmoor National Park and the Roseland Coast – slide on your walking boots and ramble through the great outdoors. Whatever the season, the South West promises an atmospheric afternoon.
Bursting with rustic charm, enjoy a taste of life far from the madding crowds at Nightjar and Willow’s Rest in Somerset, with stable accommodation for horses on site. To experience the rolling North Devon countryside, The Downes is a period home with a difference. Situated on the cusp of the ever popular Tarka Trail, you’re free to walk and cycle to your heart’s content.
7. Immersing yourself in rich cultural experiences
Whether you’re interested in animal conservation, art and sculpture or British aviation, the South West is filled with museums, galleries and conservation centres that promise an enlightening day out. Experience rainforest climates in biomes at The Eden Project, watch an open-air show at Cornwall’s world famous Minack Theatre or volunteer with the Devon Wildlife Trust.
Art fans will be spoilt for choice in the South West, with a range of galleries and sculpture gardens to explore. Discover hidden gems in limited edition exhibitions, analyse the artistry behind unique sculptures and discover your new favourite British artist, all under the inspired roof of Tate St Ives. Or further up the South West coast, Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorchester offers a peaceful oasis for art lovers and collectors alike. Tranquil, scenic and vivid, saunter through the botanic gardens and marvel at the art for a cultural day out.
Boasting views that span across to St Michael’s Mount in West Cornwall, soak up the culture on your doorstep at Ednovean House. Sleek, bright and chic, over a thousand years of history is available to discover just across the water.
8. Special occasions with a difference
For 2020, set aside the worries of travelling long haul in favour of a laid back escape to the South West. There are so many unique experiences in the local area to add the wow-factor to your occasion, whether you’d like to embark on a tour of award-winning vineyards with Cornish Wine Tours, organise a group coasteering day on the Jurassic Coastline or discover the best restaurants in the UK together.
What’s more, our concierge team will take away the hassle out of organising everything. From restaurant reservations to activity bookings, we’ll ensure you can enjoy your home-from-home without the stress of hosting. We’re also in contact with incredibly talented local private chefs who can create a bespoke menu for your in-house celebration.
With a stunning open plan design and brand new to our portfolio, Roscarrock was designed for bringing the whole family together. After breakfast banquets, spill out onto the ocean-view balcony or amble down to Porthcothan Beach in a matter of seconds. Alternatively, get a taste for Dorset’s charm in the beautiful Kirrin. Indulge in seafood feasts, gather in the living area for board games by the fire and raise glasses of champagne under starry-skies on the terrace.
Whether you’re on the lookout for a one-of-a-kind summer holiday, a family-oriented Easter break or an extra special long weekend, our luxury holiday homes are available to book for the whole of 2020. View all properties here.