Devon

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Devon's countryside is as impressive as its two very different coasts, with Dartmoor and Exmoor rising from a landscape of patchwork fields, thatched whitewashed cottages and traditional stone longhouses.

South Devon is something of a hippy enclave which has become home to a host of music festivals and alternative lifestyle centres. North Devon is home to many grand stately homes set in glorious grounds, a contrast with the dramatic natural beauty of Exmoor.

There are many appealing properties here and our pick of the best places to stay in Devon are either dramatically sited on the coast or deep in the countryside further inland. Many of them reflect the region's chic new image, others are cosy old favourites.

Best Places to Stay in Devon - Rural

Devon boasts no fewer than two National Parks and FIVE areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO Geopark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and two National Parks; Exmoor on the North Coast and Dartmoor towards the South.

Nobody who has been to the county would be surprised at this embarassment of UNESCO conferred riches. Perhaps the more famous of the National Parks is Dartmoor. Its rugged beauty inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Cyclists can enjoy the Drake's Trail and on both Exmoor and Dartmoor, herds of attractive wild ponies can be found roaming.

Our favourites amongst the best places to stay in Devon for a rural getaway include The Arundell Arms, The Horn of Plenty, Combe House Hotel, Percy's Country Hotel and Restaurant and The Endsleigh.

  • The Arundell Arms is a traditional hotel with its roots firmly in country pursuits. But it still comes up trumps with comfortable rooms, a really warm welcome and fab food. Come here for fishing on the Tamar or shooting in season.
  • The Horn of Plenty is a Georgian country house located on the edge of Dartmoor. If peace and quiet are what you're after, look no further. Plus it has great food, super comfy beds and glorious views.
  • Combe House Hotel is an Elizabethan manor house turned luxury hotel. Romance is the byword here, with luxurious rooms, beautiful gardens and fantastic food. If you're feeling flush book the thatched cottage for two with its own private walled garden.
  • Percy's Country Hotel is an eco friendly, organic restaurant with rooms in the heart of Devon, between Dartmoor and the North coast. Come here for a total chill out, great walks and fantastic food.
  • The Endsleigh is Olga Polizzi's stylish Devon pad. As you would expect the interiors are stunning, but the property has retained the air of an old hunting or fishing lodge as per its original incarnation. Book it simply for its stunning location in a hidden valley, surrounded by gardens designed by Humphrey Repton.

Best Places to Stay in Devon - Coastal

But Devon is more than just a pretty face. A haven for outdoor activites and extreme sports, its north coast beaches with their vast expanses of sand are as popular with surfers as they are with walkers and dogs.

The South coast too has much to recommend it. Dartmouth and the surrounding area are quite simply stunning and an increasingly popular summer holiday destination for those who prefer not to rack up the air miles.

There are a plethora of hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses along both coasts, but from our pick of the best places to stay in Devon, we'd suggest you try Nonsuch House, Fingals or The Henley.

  • Nonsuch House is a charming guesthouse in Kingswear, across the estuary from Dartmouth. With only four bedrooms, it can be hard to get availability. But it's certainly worth it if you can: charming bedrooms with sensational views plus award winning brekkie and delicious dinners on offer four nights a week.
  • Fingals is a quirky property a few miles inland from Dartmouth. Run along house party lines, it is incredibly laid back. The beautifully restored farmhouse offers eleven bedrooms with plenty of room for families. A swimming pool and grass tennis court make it ideal for the warmer months.
  • The Henley probably boasts one of the best views on the South coast: a panoramic vista stretching from the Avon Estuary to Burgh Island. The five bedrooms are spacious and simple and make for an ideal seaside bolthole.

Best Places to Stay in Devon - Towns

There are plenty of good places to stay in and around the Devon towns of Plymouth and Exeter. Plymouth, site of Sir Francis Drake's famous game of bowls feels steeped in history, maritime and otherwise.

Parts of the university town of Exeter date back to Roman times. It also boasts an atmospheric high street with cobbled streets and squares housing high street and independent shops.

For urban sojourns we reckon the best place to stay in Devon would have to be the ABode in Exeter. Bang in the city centre and with wonderful views of the cathedral this old townhouse has had a good makeover and now offers a selection of rooms (ranging from Comfortable to Fabulous) depending on your budget. Food too is good here with everything overseen by Michael Caines.

Browse through our list of the best places to stay in Devon and start to plan your stay. Please feel free to call or email a friendly guru for advice Contact

 
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The best hotels in Devon

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  • Hamptons Hotel

    Ilfracombe, Devon

    Stylish seaside boutique B&B, owned and run by a hotel designer, in an idiosyncratic Victorian villa. Themed rooms and sweeping views of the coast. Walks and surfing nearby.

    6 rooms from $113
    Surfing  -  Croyde, Saunton and Woolacombe beaches, and lessons can be arranged
    Sights nearby  -  Ilfracombe, and Lundy Island close by
    Great walks  -  The coast path or nearby Exmoor
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Johansens
  • Kilbury Manor

    Buckfastleigh, Devon

    Friendly, comfortable B&B in the Dart valley. Gardens and meadows. Large stylish rooms. Breakfast included.

    4 rooms from $121
    Garden  -  Attractive outside space.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Arundell Arms Hotel

    Lifton, Devon

    Traditional, long-established fishing hotel, with a pretty garden and good food. Easily accessible, with fishing courses for beginners. Shooting also available.

    21 rooms from $129
    Exclusive offer  -  Arundell Arms Summer Break
    Fishing  -  On a 20 mile stretch of the River Tamar
    Great walks  -  On nearby Dartmoor
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • Masons Arms

    Branscombe, Devon

    Traditional country pub in a pretty coastal village for a cheap seaside holiday. Boutique style rooms, fine ales and food and a great beach a short walk away.

    21 rooms from $137
    Restaurant  -  Features lobster and crab landed on Branscombe beach.
    Beach nearby  -  Branscombe Beach a 10 minute walk
    Great walks  -  Explore the Jurassic coast
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Fingals Hotel

    Dittisham, Devon

    Quirky and delightfully informal hotel run on house party lines, near the River Dart - 'quintessentially English' - full of art, a fine lawn, with an indoor pool, gym and grass tennis.

    11 rooms from $145
    Quirky  -  You never know who you will meet
    Library  -  Overflowing with books
    Garden  -  Attractive outside space.
    House party feel  -  Communal dining often hosted by the owners
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Horn of Plenty Hotel

    Tavistock, Devon

    Elegant country house hotel with fine dining in rural Tamar Valley on edge of Dartmoor - peace, quiet and nice grounds

    16 rooms from $153
    Exclusive offer  -  Summer Offer
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Great walks  -  Dartmoor on the doorstep
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Johansens
  • Strete Barton House

    nr Dartmouth, Devon

    High standards of interior decor, comfort and hospitality in top-notch B&B, with fine views and in a lovely coastal village, close to the beach.

    6 rooms from $169
    Views  -  Panoramic views across Start Bay from Start Point light-house to the mouth of the river Dart
    Great walks  -  Just off the south west coast path
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 8 years
    Birdwatching  -  Good birding near the hotel.
  • Nonsuch House

    Kingswear, Devon

    Delightful guesthouse overlooking Dartmouth with great estuary views, and gourmet dinners offered four nights a week

    4 rooms from $177
    Views  -  Lovely views of the river and Dartmouth
    Sailing  -  Local sailing club close by
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 12
    Outstanding location
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • The Henley

    Bigbury-on-Sea, South Devon

    Small and friendly seaside bolthole of just 5 rooms, with a beach house feel, close to Burgh Island - great views, fine cooking, with its own private beach access.

    5 rooms from $193
    Exclusive offer  -  From £60
    Views  -  Superb views spanning the Avon Estuary, Burgh Island and beyond.
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 12
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Outstanding location
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Weeke Barton

    Bridford, Devon

    One of the finest b+bs in Devon - small thatched country house on Dartmoor, eco friendly with organic produce and lovely views and walks. Ride, walk, fish or just chill out.

    5 rooms from $193
    Great walks  -  Dartmoor rambling
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Sawdays
  • Watersmeet Hotel

    Woolacombe, Devon

    Classic seaside hotel with fabulous views over the North Devon coast. Tastefully refurbished rooms reflect the beach side location and the restaurant offers delicious food sourced from local ingredients. An romantic hotel for a seaside break and ideal for a family holiday too.

    25 rooms from $216
    Views  -  Amazing sea views from all but two of the bedrooms
    On the beach  -  Direct access to a sandy beach below the hotel
    Great walks  -  South West coastal path on the doorstep
    Spa  -  In room treatments available
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Johansens
  • Blagdon Manor

    Beaworthy, Devon

    Quiet and secluded country house hotel overlooking peaceful rural landscape, ideal for a quiet and relaxing weekend. More of a restaurant with (7) rooms, in Grade 11 listed Manor.

    7 rooms from $217
    Garden  -  3 acre garden in larger grounds
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 12
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • Orestone Manor Hotel

    Torquay, Devon

    Colonial-style and elegant hotel with Mediterranean views across Torbay from most rooms, spacious and furnished with antiques. Excellent food, secluded lawns and uniformed staff - a haven.

    11 rooms from $217
    Garden  -  Attractive outside space.
    Views  -  Overlooking Lyme Bay
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
  • ABode Exeter

    Exeter, Devon

    If you need to be in Exeter, this hotel is bright, slickly designed and central, with great food supervised by Gidleigh's Michael Caines.

    53 rooms from $217
    Restaurant  -  Award winning food, supervised by Michael Caines
    Sights nearby  -  Situated in the heart of Exeter's Cathedral Yard
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
  • Kaywana Hall

    Dartmouth, Devon

    Modern design, Californian style boutique B+B with a pool, close to the River Dart. Rooms have their own entrances and sit out terraces, so ideal if you don't want to be disturbed.

    3 rooms from $226
    Great walks  -  Down to the river Dart or through the valley
    Cooking classes  -  Next door at Manna from Devon
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays
  • Percy's Country Hotel

    Virginstow, Devon

    Eco friendly, organic restaurant with rooms in the heart of rural Devon, between Dartmoor and the North coast. Spacious well appointed bedrooms and fabulous organic food, much of it produced on site. Wonderful spot for total relaxation after a day exploring the area.

    7 rooms from $226
    Great walks  -  Both Dartmoor and the South West Coast Paths are within easy reach.
    Sights nearby  -  Plenty of National Trust Houses and gardens in the vicinity.
    Cooking classes  -  Courses available year round.
    Restrictions on children  -  Over 10s only.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • South Sands

    Salcombe, Devon

    Ideal for families, this boutique beach hotel is a paradise for watersport addicts. Contemporary styling, right on the beach, with good brasserie food.

    22 rooms from $242
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Views  -  Wonderful views over Salcombe Estuary
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Good Hotel Guide
  • Heasley House

    South Molton, Devon

    Highly rated and stylish 'house hotel' in a sleepy Exmoor valley, for log fires, bracing walks and delicious food. Ideal for a quiet country escape.

    7 rooms from $242
    Restaurant  -  Delicious locally sourced food
    Riding  -  Pony trekking on Exmoor
    Great walks  -  Exmoor on the doorstep
    Birdwatching  -  Good birding near the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays
  • Cary Arms

    Babbacombe, Devon

    Mills & Boon meets the Famous Five meets New England in this interior designed boutique gastropub in a good seaside location. Young staff, on the beach, plenty to do.

    8 rooms from $250
    Seaside  -  A seaside classic
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Fishing  -  The Inn provides rods for the pier, and nets for fishing in rock pools
    Lively  -  This is still a pub!
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Johansens
  • Northcote Manor

    Burrington, Devon

    Offers the simple pleasures of good food, lovely views and peace and quiet. Old fashioned.

    16 rooms from $258
    Views  -  Fine views over the Taw Valley
    Garden  -  20 acres of lawn and woodland
    Fishing  -  Game fishing on the River Taw
    Recommended by  -  Johansens, Sawdays
  • Hotel Endsleigh

    Milton Abbot, Devon

    Historic shooting lodge, surprisingly intimate, with stylish interiors by Olga Polizzi. Lovely grounds, wonderfully sited in its own valley and stretch of river. Good for outdoor types and families.

    16 rooms from $298
    Garden  -  Set in 110 acres, with a stretch of river
    Fishing  -  Private stretch of the River Tamar
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
  • Whitehouse

    Chillington, Devon

    Small but beautifully designed coastal village hotel - a boutique of real style with just six rooms, one mile from the beach, with chic rooms and a screening room for movies.

    6 rooms from $306
    Spa  -  House membership to the Dart Marina Spa
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
  • The Old Rectory Hotel

    Martinhoe, Devon

    A simple, very relaxed hotel on Exmoor yards from the sea. Quiet, ideal for walkers or if you are looking for a secluded escape, with well styled rooms and excellent food.

    11 rooms from $322
    Great walks  -  500 yds from the coastal path on Exmoor
    Quiet  -  Nothing but birdsong
    Kayaking  -  Can be arranged locally
    Surfing  -  Can be organised nearby
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • The Combe House Hotel

    Gittisham, Devon

    Easily accessible yet tranquil Elizabethan manor hotel with romantic lived-in country house style interiors, extensive grounds for walking, and excellent food.

    15 rooms from $346
    Restaurant  -  One of Top Foodie Hotels in SW 2013 as voted by Food Magazine readers
    Romantic Break  -  The thatched cottage is the perfect romantic hideaway
    Garden  -  Restored Victorian kitchen garden
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
  • Gidleigh Park Hotel

    Chagford, Devon

    Super luxurious and pampering Dartmoor retreat with top notch service, very comfortable rooms, extensive grounds (with fine views) and excellent gourmet cooking. Spa, tennis etc.

    24 rooms from $435
    Fishing  -  Fly fishing on the River Teign - licenses and tuition provided
    Restaurant  -  Michael Caines award-winning restaurant
    Garden  -  Beautiful landscaped garden
    Great walks  -  On nearby Dartmoor
  • Burgh Island

    Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon

    Full of character, this seaside art deco hotel on an island is a true 'experience' hotel. It offers the fun of pretending it’s still 1930 (and that you are well-off). Half board only, because the tide locks you in at night.

    25 rooms from $628
    Weddings
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Restrictions on children  -  No under 5s, no under 12s at dinner
    Secluded setting  -  Cut off at high tide
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

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