Make this Year’s Holiday a Family Staycation in South West England


April 21, 2015

Toad Hall Cottages

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Are you planning a family holiday? Consider making this year’s holiday a family Staycation in South West England. Home to rolling green countryside, wooded valleys, picturesque villages, wild moors, rugged coastlines and hundreds of family friendly beaches.

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and embrace all that this wonderful part of the world has to offer, you certainly won’t want to stay indoors!

Uncover an ancient fossil on Dorset’s World Heritage Jurassic coast, explore the craggy wilderness of Dartmoor, stroll around a pretty seaside village, go surfing, sailing, crabbing, take a hike along a stretch of the glorious South West Coast Path, and at the end of the day, when everyone is nicely tired, kick back and relax in a cosy holiday cottage.

Family Friendly Activities in the UK’s South West

Devon Belle TrainThere’s an amazing variety of family activities, to suit all ages, based in the South West of England.

  • Get close to the animals at Pennywell Farm, Paignton Zoo, or Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary;
  • Spend an unforgettable day at the Eden Project
  • Ride a heritage steam train on the South Devon Railway
  • Learn about sea life at the Plymouth National Marine Aquarium
  • Go wild at Crealy Great Adventure Park
  • Go surfing at Bantham
  • Lose yourself in the stunning gardens at Overbecks National Trust
  • Hunt for fossils at Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre
  • Or simply build sandcastles and watch the waves take them away when the tide comes in at one of the countless family friendly beaches that dot the South West coast.


Dorset Jurassic CoastDorset is renowned for its stunning World Heritage Jurassic Coastline that tells the story of over 185 million years of history with its dramatic cliffs and sweeping barrier beaches.

Further inland, the scenic countryside is laced with winding country lanes and footpaths, making it a haven for walkers, and anyone looking to unwind, relax and reconnect with nature.

For those seeking traditional seaside fun, look no further than Lyme Regis, a stylish coastal resort with an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, and a family-friendly sandy beach.


DevonDevon is where you’ll find all the ingredients you need for a classic family holiday: turquoise seas, exotic vegetation, steep cliffs and sandy coves are in abundance.

Bigbury-on-Sea is a popular choice, with its vast stretch of sandy beach and the iconic Burgh Island in the distance. Bantham is one of the South West’s best surfing beaches, whilst stunning Salcombe is a mecca for sailors, and shoppers alike!

Further inland the extensive countryside is magnificent, and Dartmoor National Park is one of the last remaining wildernesses in the South of England.


CornwallCornwall may be a little further to go, but its staggeringly beautiful coastline makes it well worth the extra effort.

Wherever you are in Cornwall you are never more than 20 minutes or so from the coast. Here you’ll find crystal blue seas, beautiful sandy beaches, quaint fishing villages, and dramatic cliffs – you’ll soon understand why it’s one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations.

Family Friendly Accommodation in the UK’s South West

A holiday cottage makes the perfect base from which to explore this picturesque region, and there is a vast selection to choose from, suitable for families of all ages. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some of our top picks…

The Cider House, Honiton, Dorset Area

Toad Hall Cottages The Cider HouseThe Cider House is a stunning barn conversion is nestled in the glorious countryside on the border of Dorset and East Devon, in 17 acres of idyllic farmland, beautiful meadows and a small river, where guests can make use of the riverside campfire and barbecue.

Children will love collecting the hens’ eggs every day and helping the owners to feed the resident pigs and other small farm animals. The owners provide a wide range of equipment for babies and toddlers.

The spacious yet cosy accommodation provides an excellent base from which to explore the bustling market town of Honiton which is just 2 miles walk away, and the traditional seaside towns of Sidmouth and Lyme Regis which are both less than 30 minutes’ drive away.

Swan Haven, Torcross, South Devon

Toad Hall Cottages Swan HavenSwan Haven is tucked away in the popular seaside village of Torcross on the Devon coast, this lovely holiday home enjoys wonderful sea views across Start Bay, and offers spacious accommodation including an indoor swimming pool, games room, large garden and sun terrace to keep children of all ages amused.

Slapton Sands shingle beach is just a few minutes’ walk away, as is the Slapton Ley bird sanctuary, where you can feed the ducks, and the South West Coast Path, where you can go for a bracing cliff top walk. Nearby Dartmouth and Kingsbridge both have an abundance of independent shops, and restaurants, and numerous sandy beaches, and Dartmoor, are all within easy reach by car.

Talland Bay, near Polperrro, South Cornwall

Toad Hall Cottages Talland BayTalland Bay, a luxurious development of holiday homes, enjoys magnificent uninterrupted sea views and excellent luxury facilities, including private hot tubs and a communal indoor heated pool.

Situated on the south Cornwall coastline, within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s the perfect spot to relax, unwind and soak up the stunning scenery.

When you eventually manage to drag yourself away from this idyllic spot, the popular seaside destinations of Looe and Polperro are both nearby with plenty of amenities to keep the family entertained, as is the glorious South West Coast Path, the famous Eden Project and the award-winning Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Sea Campion, Thurlestone, South Devon

Toad Hall Cottages Sea CampionSea Campion is a charming, bright, airy, and completely refurbished luxury cottage is set in an outstanding headland position between Hope Cove and Thurlestone Sands.

The property enjoys superb, far-reaching views across the sea, towards Burgh Island, and is perfect for families of all ages due to its communal facilities shared with a small group of similar properties (including an indoor swimming pool, games room and large lawned garden), and its proximity to beaches, surfing, golf, Thurlestone village (with its Post Office and friendly Village Inn), and the glorious South West Coast Path – all just a few minutes’ walk away.

Getting to South West England

It’s easy to get to the South West of England. If you are arriving by plane, there are airports at Exeter, Bristol and Newquay. The mainline rail links train stations all along the South West Peninsula, and the M5 runs to Exeter, after which the A38 serves South Devon and Cornwall.
For a holiday destination that will appeal to the whole family, look no further than the South West of England, the only danger is that you might never want to leave.

For further cottages in the South West of England, please do have a look at what Toad Hall Cottages have on offer.

Have you holidayed in the South West of England? Let us know your highlights in the comment box below.

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Published On: April 21st, 2015 / Categories: Travel / Last Updated: March 30th, 2021 / Tags: , /

About the Author: Michelle

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Michelle is a Mum to 2 girls and co-founded Mykidstime.

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