Holiday Cottages in the West Country - a Guide to Holidays in South West England

Regional Guide to South West England

The West Country in the south west of England has warm and sunny climate, sandy beaches, long dramatic coastal paths and beautiful countryside that have made it the foremost family cottage holiday destination in the UK.

The region, commonly known as the Westcountry, is steeped in history from those iconic stone circles in Wiltshire to the Roman Baths in Somerset. And, there is no shortage of romanticism or drama in the wonderful castles and cathedrals that dot the landscape throughout the south west.  Of course, there is a fair amount of mythology too, not least at King Arthur’s Tintagel. 

Westcounty and South West England Cottage Holiday Guide

So, it will come as no surprise that the West Country has inspired so many of Britain’s greatest writers and authors including Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen and Daphne du Maurier.

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The South West is not just about looking back on its proud heritage, you will also find at some of the UK’s leading attractions such as the Eden Project and some major water sports events and music festivals each year.

However, it is the natural beauty that is the true star of the south west including two of Britain’s National Parks (Dartmoor and Exmoor) and the Jurassic coastline.

Seeing the West Country and the South West in all its Glory

The ever changing landscape is full of wonder all year round but undoubtedly it is full of vibrant colour and warmth from Spring to Autumn. During this period all the attractions are fully open and the gardens are in full bloom.

natural beauty is the true star of the West Country including two of Britain’s National Parks (Dartmoor and Exmoor) and the Dorset Jurassic coastline

Beware that during the school holidays (typically late July through August) the south west and all its family attractions are very busy and so if you are looking to avoid the crowds then we recommend heading there in September when you can still enjoy the late summer weather, but benefit from cheaper accommodation and a more leisurely pace.

For the more serious surfers heading to the south west, hitting the beaches in late autumn (Sept-Oct) will ensure more space on the water as well as some of the best swells and waves of the year.

Top of your Westcountry Holiday Itinerary

There is no shortage of things to see and do in the West Country but here are a few things that should be on your holiday itinerary.

  • Be in awe and wonder at Stonehenge, the famous stone ring on the Salisbury Plain (or why not check out the just as mysterious Avebury Ring which you can get closer to)
  • Visit the wonderful Georgian town of Bath and soak in the warm spa waters from the natural spring
  • Explore Dorset’s Jurassic coast and help the children find 200 million year old fossils on the beach
  • Be swept up by the romanticism and mysticism of Corfe Castle and Tintagel
  • Check out the splendour of Salisbury and Winchester Cathedrals
  • Eat locally caught sea food in Padstow
  • from the awe and wonder of Stonehenge to the wildlife, wilderness and solitude of Dartmoor, what a treat
  • Be inspired by the eco world of the Eden Project
  • Enjoy the wildlife, wilderness and solitude of Dartmoor and the beauty of the Exmoor coast
  • Cross the famous causeway at St Michaels Mount

As you would expect from a popular tourist area, the south west is not short of attractions and activities to keep everyone in your family or group entertained. Whether you are looking for wildlife and zoos, theme parks and excitement or simply gardens and castles to visit you will find it in the south west. 

Check out our activities and attractions guides to Cornwall, Dorset, Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire.

 

Cycling in the West Country

Whether you are looking for a day out on your bike or wish to explore the south west on a bike holiday there are some great routes to get you going.  A great place to start is the National Cycle Network routes, a number of which cross the region including:

  • Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route which winds its way between the National Parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor.
  • West Country Way which weaves its way from Bristol to Barnstaple.

There is also the Wiltshire Cycle way that will take you around the county border.

Of course if you are looking for something a little more adventurous and off-road you will find lots on the region especially around the National Parks and Cornwall’s popular Camel Trail.  You can find lots more great cycle trails to cycle via the Sustrans website.

 

Walking in the Westcountry and the South West

It will comes as no surprise that the south west is a walkers’ paradise.  With two National Parks you are not short of great walks to get away from it all. Of the two, Dartmoor is bigger and certainly more remote, it is ideal for serious hiking, where as Exmoor with its coastline is popular for day trips.

the South West Coast Path is over 600 miles long from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset

If you want to walk the wonderful south Westcountry coast then the South West Coast Path is the place to head – as it is over 600 miles long you can choose where to start and stop! In fact you can pick up the path anywhere on the coast between Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset - covering the Cornwall and Devon coastlines too.  

 

Water sports in the West Country and the South West

With so much fabulous Atlantic coastline the south west is the place to head for water sports and activities in the UK.  The National UK Surfing is based at Newquay but you will find great surfing locations throughout Cornwall, Devon and Dorset – including the man-made surfing reef at Bournemouth.  However, the waves aren’t just for the surfers, it is the perfect place for family fun whether it be body boarding or jumping in the great waves. If you want to know more about surfing or where to get lessons or hire equipment please check out Go Surfing.

Sailing is obviously hugely popular in the south west with a popular yachting haven being at Weymouth.

 

Blue Flag beaches in the Westcountry and South West

If you are looking for a clean and safe beach for family or friends then it is worth looking out for the Blue Flag beaches (reviewed annually against tough standards, only the best beaches get the Blue Flag Award). The south west has more Blue Flag beaches than any other part of the UK, with Dorset, Devon and Cornwall all having beaches with the Awards. Check out our Blue Flag beach list.

 

Golfing in the Westcountry

There is one English Championship Golf Course in Cornwall, St Mellion, but there are plenty of other good golf courses in the south west of England to choose from.

 

Start your Westcountry Cottage search right here

Blackpitt Farm Holiday Cottages in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, South West England

Blackpitt Farm Holiday Cottages, Stow-on-the-Wold

Self catering in GloucestershireSouth West England

Blackpitt Farm Holiday Cottages self catering accommodation in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire sleeps 5. This 2 bedroom Cottage is ideal as a holiday base or for a fun short break and features include: Garden Open Fire/woodburner . It also has Internet access. Activities close by include golf horse riding fishing . Prices at Blackpitt Farm Holiday Cottages start from £225 for a weeks stay but this will depend upon length of stay and time of year. ... more about Blackpitt Farm Holiday Cottages

Phone enquiries: 01451 831 855


Sleeps 4 Fishing close by Golf close by Garden Internet WIFI available Ideal for a romantic break Open fire or wood burner Easy walking close by

Bellbrook Valley in Tiverton, Devon, South West England

Bellbrook Valley, Tiverton

Self catering in DevonSouth West England

Bellbrook Valley self catering accommodation in Tiverton, Devon sleeps 4. This 2 bedroom Cottage is ideal as a holiday base or for a fun short break and features include: Garden Hot Tub . It also has Internet access. Activities close by include fishing . Bellbrook Valley does allow pet dogs although this may be limited, so please check direct prior to booking. Prices at Bellbrook Valley start from £375 for a weeks stay but this will depend upon length of stay and time of year. ... more about Bellbrook Valley

Phone enquiries: 01398 351 292/07967 335 159


Sleeps 4 Pet friendly Fishing close by Garden Internet WIFI available Ideal for a romantic break Hot tub Easy walking close by

The Coach House (Bantham) in Bantham, Devon, South West England

The Coach House (Bantham), Bantham

Self catering in DevonSouth West England

The Coach House (Bantham) self catering accommodation in Bantham, Devon sleeps 5. This Cottage is a perfect base for your holidays and features include: Open Fire/woodburner . The Coach House (Bantham) does allow pet dogs although this may be limited, so please check direct prior to booking. Prices at The Coach House (Bantham) start from £368 for a weeks stay but this will depend upon length of stay and time of year. ... more about The Coach House (Bantham)


Sleeps 4 Pet friendly Open fire or wood burner Games room

Mowhay Barn in St John, Cornwall, South West England

Mowhay Barn, St John

Self catering in CornwallSouth West England

Mowhay Barn in South West England has a 4 star rating and can sleep up to 6. This 3 bedroom luxury House is a perfect base for your holidays and features include: Garden . It also has Internet access. Prices at Mowhay Barn start from £588 3 night stay from but this will depend upon length of stay and time of year. See selected Mowhay Barn customer reviews/feedback by clicking More Info button. ... more about Mowhay Barn

Phone enquiries: 0844 704 4966


Sleeps 6 Garden Internet WIFI available Luxury self catering Mowhay Barn Customer Feedback and Reviews

Marshwood Manor Cottages - The Hayloft in Bettiscombe, Dorset, South West England

Marshwood Manor Cottages - The Hayloft, Bettiscombe

Self catering in DorsetSouth West England

Marshwood Manor Cottages - The Hayloft in South West England has a 4 star rating and can sleep up to 8. This 4 bedroom luxury Cottage is ideal as a holiday base or for a fun short break and features include: Garden Swimming Pool . It also has Internet access. Activities close by include golf . Marshwood Manor Cottages - The Hayloft does allow pet dogs although this may be limited, so please check direct prior to booking. Prices at Marshwood Manor Cottages - The Hayloft start from £606 for a weeks stay but this will depend upon length of stay and time of year. See selected Marshwood Manor Cottages - The Hayloft customer reviews/feedback by clicking More Info button. ... more about Marshwood Manor Cottages - The Hayloft


Sleeps 8 Indoor pool Pet friendly Golf close by Garden Internet WIFI available Games room Luxury self catering Marshwood Manor Cottages - The Hayloft Customer Feedback and Reviews

Mount Cottages - Hobbits in Penzance, Cornwall, South West England

Mount Cottages - Hobbits, Penzance

Self catering in CornwallSouth West England

Mount Cottages - Hobbits in South West England has a 4 star rating and can sleep up to 4. This 2 bedroom luxury Cottage is a perfect base for your holidays and features include: Garden Open Fire/woodburner . It also has Internet access. Prices at Mount Cottages - Hobbits start from £292 for a weeks stay but this will depend upon length of stay and time of year. See selected Mount Cottages - Hobbits customer reviews/feedback by clicking More Info button. ... more about Mount Cottages - Hobbits


Sleeps 4 Garden Internet WIFI available Open fire or wood burner Games room Luxury self catering Mount Cottages - Hobbits Customer Feedback and Reviews

Palm Leas in Ilfracombe, Devon, South West England

Palm Leas, Ilfracombe

Self catering in DevonSouth West England

Palm Leas self catering accommodation in Ilfracombe, Devon sleeps 3. This 2 bedroom Cottage is ideal as a holiday base or for a fun short break and features include: Open Fire/woodburner . Palm Leas does allow pet dogs although this may be limited, so please check direct prior to booking. Prices at Palm Leas start from £347 for a weeks stay but this will depend upon length of stay and time of year. See selected Palm Leas customer reviews/feedback by clicking More Info button. ... more about Palm Leas

Phone enquiries: 0345 498 6152


Sleeps 2 Pet friendly Open fire or wood burner Easy walking close by Games room Palm Leas Customer Feedback and Reviews

New Cottage in Hope Cove, Devon, South West England

New Cottage, Hope Cove

Self catering in DevonSouth West England

New Cottage self catering accommodation in Hope Cove, Devon sleeps 4. This Cottage is a perfect base for your holidays and features include: Open Fire/woodburner . New Cottage is close to the beach. Prices at New Cottage start from £345 for a weeks stay but this will depend upon length of stay and time of year. ... more about New Cottage


Sleeps 4 Close to the Beach Open fire or wood burner Games room

Royal Oak Farm in Winsford, Somerset, South West England

Royal Oak Farm, Winsford

Self catering in SomersetSouth West England

Royal Oak Farm self catering accommodation in Winsford, Somerset sleeps 9. This 5 bedroom luxury Cottage is ideal as a holiday base or for a fun short break and features include: Detached Garden . It also has Internet access. Royal Oak Farm does allow pet dogs although this may be limited, so please check direct prior to booking. Prices at Royal Oak Farm start from £624 for a weeks stay but this will depend upon length of stay and time of year. See selected Royal Oak Farm customer reviews/feedback by clicking More Info button. ... more about Royal Oak Farm


Sleeps 8 Pet friendly Garden Internet WIFI available Games room Luxury self catering Royal Oak Farm Customer Feedback and Reviews

Keepers Cottage 3 in Hillfield, Devon, South West England

Keepers Cottage 3, Hillfield

Self catering in DevonSouth West England

Keepers Cottage 3 self catering accommodation in Hillfield, Devon sleeps 4. This 2 bedroom luxury Cottage is a perfect base for your holidays and features include: Swimming Pool Open Fire/woodburner . It also has Internet access. Prices at Keepers Cottage 3 start from £390 for a weeks stay but this will depend upon length of stay and time of year. See selected Keepers Cottage 3 customer reviews/feedback by clicking More Info button. ... more about Keepers Cottage 3


Sleeps 4 Indoor pool Internet WIFI available Open fire or wood burner Games room Luxury self catering Keepers Cottage 3 Customer Feedback and Reviews

 

Refine your West Country cottage search

We have 5679 cottages, apartments, lodges and bungalows listed in the Westcountry which is a huge choice. So if that is feeling a little overwhelming, why not narrow down your search.

Search by county in South West England

Probably the quickest way to reduce your search is to look at specific counties in the West Country. So why not look for cottages and apartments in:

Of course you can also search by town, simply click on one of the town names in the listings above and you will go to a page with all our listings in that town.

 

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Find Cottage Holidays mission is to promote the very best of the UK and Ireland's wonderful self catering accommodation, whether it be cottages, apartments, lodges, chalets, houses, villas or bungalows. But, it's not just about the cottages, we also try and bring you some helpful guides and information on the places to go, things to see and activities to do while you enjoy your break in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland. In fact, we are adding to our list daily but if you think we have missed somewhere special tell us via our Facebook page. With wonderful countryside and superb coastlines to explore the UK and Ireland has so much to offer.

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