A Guide to Seaside Holidays in Devon in 2021

It’s hard to find somewhere that embodies Blake’s “green and pleasant land” motif more than Devon. From the rugged moorland swathes of Dartmoor to the county’s greenery cloaked countryside to the amazing golden sand beaches of the coast, there is truly something for everyone. Particularly popular for those looking to escape the clutches of cities and revel in an outdoor break, Devon’s huge stretch of coastline provides the perfect base to enjoy holidays by the sea with day trips inland.

With foreign restrictions making staycations even more appealing, cottages in Devon sold out in record time in 2020. Looking ahead, 2021 is set to be another bumper year with seaside cottages already being booked to capacity. If you have been dreaming about a relaxing weekend break or well-deserved week away by the sea, now is the time to secure yourself a self-catering cottage in Devon. With many of our boltholes affording beautiful sea views and great access to local amenities, you can seize the chance to get ahead of the game and book your favourite now.

To keep you busy during your coastal getaway in the South West, here are just some of the things to look forward to during your seaside holiday in Devon 2021.

What’s New for Devon 2021

If you can’t wait for your holiday in Devon to start and are already researching some of the things you can see and do during your stay, you may be interested to hear that the county has some big plans for 2021…

Exmouth Waterfront

The proposed cafe for the Exmouth seafront development. Image by Hemingway Design

Exmouth seafront is undergoing exciting new developments that will transform visitors’ experience in 2021. Taking centre stage is a brand-new water-sports centre which will tempt aqua fans with the chance to get involved in kitesurfing, paddle boarding, pebble yoga and endurance sea swimming. Other much-anticipated features will include dining facilities run by local celebrity chef, Michael Caines. Proffering a range of waterfront eateries to cater for all tastes, multi-award-winning Caines will open a casual dining restaurant, a dog-friendly café and a beach bar.

St Sidwells Point

The UK’s first Passivhaus construction is set to be opened in 2021 in the centre of Exeter. An ultra-low carbon leisure centre, St Sidwells Point has been modelled with climate change in mind and designed to save up to 70% of annual energy costs. Among its many features, the new state-of the-art complex will include two swimming pools and a spa for visitors to indulge in some hard-earned TLC after shopping trips and walks along the coast path.

Seaton Tramway

A new tramstop will allow walkers and wildlife-lovers to access Seaton Wetlands in 2021. On a tram line currently running directly between Seaton and Colyton, the new tramway stop will enable passengers to alight the tram and immediately explore the wetlands nature reserve. As well as its stunning setting and peaceful tranquillity, one of the area’s primary attractions is its extensive birdlife, home to all sorts of beautiful resident species and host to rare and migratory visitors.

Devon’s Largest Multiplex Cinema

If you are looking for a rainy-day activity in Devon, the opening of the county’s largest multiplex cinema in 2021 may capture your imagination. Part of the Merlin chain, the 13-screen cinema complex in Torquay will offer audiences a chance to disappear for a few hours into worlds of action, adventure and romance.

Devon’s Must-Seas

For reviving seaside sojourns, Devon is the place to go for lovers of the sea. With hundreds of miles of coastline, it is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches and picturesque coves. Whether you can’t wait to dip your toes into cooling water, lay back on the sand feeling the sun on your face or simply sit and gaze at the horizon from a clifftop pew, the county’s ‘must-seas’ are not to be missed in 2021…

Valley of the Rocks

For a real sense of drama, the Valley of Rocks on the Exmoor coast looks like something plucked from a novel. A U-shaped dry valley with striking rock formations that stand high over the sea below, it boasts some of the most incredible scenery in the UK. The only thing that might distract you from the unique geology and open vistas, though, are the feral goats that live here and occasionally pop up to make a surreal appearance!

Start Point

For an unforgettable oceanic portrait, it’s hard to beat Start Point with its lighthouse and sweeping panoramas. Bundle up a picnic on a tranquil day for lunch – or a bottle of wine for a romantic alfresco date – and lose yourself to the sapphire horizon. Another day, contrast coastal colours with Salcombe’s Mediterranean-esque vibes and blue ‘lagoon’ with the reddish hues of Jacob’s Ladder’s cliffs – the ideal places to admire Devon’s diverse seascapes and practice your photography.

Devon’s Festivals and Fairs 2021

Coronavirus restrictions permitting, 2021 will see the return of many of the county’s much-loved festivals, as well as some fun one-off events that will appeal to all generations…

Food Festivals

What better way to whet your appetite during a seaside holiday in Devon than with a good ol’ food festival? Famed for its abundant natural larder, Devon’s fertile soils and plentiful seas produce a wealth of delicious goods. Coincide your visit with the Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival (28th – 30th May 2021), the AbbFest Food and Drink Festival (17th – 19th September 2021) or the Dartmouth Food Festival (22nd – 24th October 2021) for a real taste of the South West.

Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival

Music Festivals

A guaranteed way to liven up your seaside retreat, Devon’s array of music festivals in 2021 is sure to put a spring in your step. Starting with the Dart Music Festival (7th – 9th May 2021), you can then flow with the rhythm of Glas-Denbury Festival (2nd – 3rd July 2021), Chagstock Music Festival (23rd – 24th July 2021) and Sidmouth Folk Festival (30th July – 6th August 2021), enjoying gorgeous settings with a euphonious soundtrack.

Events by the Sea

Celebrate the sea, food and music over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend with Brixfest (28th – 31st May 2021) and be entertained by the much-anticipated dragon boat challenge. Ease your way into Salcombe’s week-long Town Regatta (7th – 14th August 2021), watching dozens of rafts take part in sailing competitions and taking on the locals with the greasy pole climbing challenge. For a fun-filled August weekend, book a cottage in Dartmouth for the Dartmouth Royal Regatta (26th – 28th August 2021), where sailing and sports events will take place alongside live music, family activities and a celebratory ball.

Unmissable Dates

For something a little different during your stay in a Devon sea-view cottage, why not pencil in some of the unique events hopefully being held throughout the year? For crime fiction fanatics, the International Agatha Christie Festival (11th – 18th September 2021) will be a must, while the Brixham Pirate Festival (1st – 3rd May 2021) will lure salt-kissed picaroons and seasoned seafarers.

During February, the Illuminate Festival at the Royal William Yard (18th – 21st February 2021) will present projection mapping, playful light art installations and energetic performances, and later in August Bear Grylls’ Gone Wild Festival (26th – 29th August 2021) at Powderham Castle will host outdoor activities for families as well as headline music acts. A big date for the calendar, the 125th Devon County Show is set to take place between Friday 2nd and Sunday 4th July 2021.

Top Things to Do in Devon in 2021

Whether this is your first visit to Devon or you are revisiting for the umpteenth time, there are always new gems to discover and old favourites to fall in love with, time and time again…

Moorland Exploration

The largest of the South West’s moorland parks, Dartmoor’s 386 square miles provides an unrivalled space for wilderness adventures and is a must-visit for walkers, nature-enthusiasts and history-buffs. Peppered with ancient relics, stone rows, castle ruins and rocky cairns that mark the peaks of craggy tors, Dartmoor is steeped in history. Explore the area’s prehistoric monuments and later, if you feel like you are missing watery vibes, head to Becky Falls or Burrator Reservoir to satisfy your inner thalassophile.

Epic Walking Trails

Should you fancy some invigorating hikes or leisurely strolls during your seaside holiday in Devon, there are plenty of places where you can stretch your legs and admire beautiful scenery. As well as the numerous beaches, Devon is home to large tracts of the South West Coast Path, running for 90 miles in the north and 115 miles in the south. Lace up your boots and enjoy hearty walks along the coast, or switch it up with miles along the Tarka Trail, the Tamar Trails, the Exe Estuary Trail or the Dart Valley Trail.

Beautiful Sights

See the coast from a different point of view in 2021 with Dartmouth’s steam railway and riverboat tours or stick to the beach and walk for miles along the sugary sands of Saunton Sands. Perfect for Agatha Christie fans is a trip to her former home, Greenway, as well as a sea tractor ride to Burgh Island, the inspiration for Evil Under the Sun and And Then There Were None. Wander beneath the gnarled trees of Wistman’s Wood, and fly kites on the open plains of Bantham Beach. And, to momentarily swap Atlantic scenes for Pacific island dreams, head to Broadsands Beach and be over-awed by its crystalline waters and towering islands draped in lush vegetation.

Book Now for Seaside Holidays in Devon in 2021

If dreams of Devon are getting under your skin, have a browse of our sea-view cottages and book yourself a holiday in Devon for 2021.

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