Best places to stay in Devon

South Sands Hotel, Devon
View from restaurant at the South Sands Hotel

With two coastlines and countless sandy beaches, Devon is an ideal summer destination but before you book have a look at some of our favourite places to stay.

South Sands Hotel, Devon
View from restaurant at the South Sands Hotel

There are many beaches to choose from in South Devon, from the tucked away South Sands Hotel, where a boutique hotel creeps onto the shore (see above), offering privacy and comfort in equal doses, to the more traditional South Milton Sands, where shallow waters and rock pools encourage children to explore.

It was these beautiful beaches, framed by sleepy villages and glamorous hotels, that inspired many of the mysteries of writer Agatha Christie and which earned the area the moniker The English Riviera.

Of course, the county of Devon stretches much further than its south coast. On its north coast you will find intriguing ancient villages, such as Clovelly, where smugglers once plied their trade, while to appreciate the natural beauty of the county you should visit one of its two national parks: Exmoor or Dartmoor. The former is a lush landscape of valleys, farms and woodland, with lots of cosy pubs and tearooms to stop in for refreshment, while in the latter you can discover Neolithic and Bronze Age villages that prove this area has attracted people for millennia.

Here are three of our favourite places to stay in Devon

The Angel, Ugborough, Devon

The pub

The Anchor Inn Ugborough is a charming B&B in a tiny village on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. Downstairs, the cosy beamed bar area with its oak tables and cute window seats is a great place for pre-dinner drinks, while the pub’s restaurant has a seasonal menu offering hearty traditional dishes such as fish and chips and sausage and mash. This is no ordinary pub with rooms though – upstairs the bedrooms are palatial and are impeccably finished in a contemporary style, with furniture that plays homage to the building’s antiquity that was crafted by local tradespeople. There are also cabin rooms, to the rear of the main building, for added privacy.

South Sands Hotel, Devon

The boutique hotel

If there’s a better located hotel in Britain than South Sands then we’d like to see it, perched as it is on the edge of the lovely beach of the same name and cut off from the world by winding country lanes. Gorgeous rooms and suites overlook the sandy bay, which feels like your own private enclave, offering sea views from the comfort of your bed. The rooms are decked out in seaside chic and offer all the home comforts you could wish for, while downstairs the restaurant and bar offer panoramic views and serve up traditional British cuisine, with an onus on fresh seafood.

Burgh Hotel, Devon. Credit: Barry Lewis/Alamy
Burgh Hotel, Devon. Credit: Barry Lewis/Alamy

The luxury hotel

The Art Deco Burgh Island Hotel has been entertaining socialites since the late 1920s, including Noel Coward and Agatha Christie herself, and is a delightful throwback to the romance of the era. Located on its own tidal island, access must be planned carefully, but this only adds to the allure.

Each room bears the name of a past guest and comes with bespoke toiletries, while fresh tea or coffee is brought to your room each morning at your preferred time. You can also book an appointment with the on-site beautician/masseuse or just take a seat in the glamorous Palm Court Bar and imagine the liaisons of old.

Guests at Burgh Island can also gain access to the upstairs bar at the nearby Pilchard Inn – it’s off limits to other visitors to the island – a bona fide smugglers’ tavern. Oh the intrigue.

View our gallery of gorgeous DEVON images

Read our full feature on Devon in the July/August 2015 issue of BRITAIN

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