Fancy A Winter Escape?
There's still time to get away for an unforgettable festive break, at one of these top Devon destinations.
Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming about spending Christmas or the New Year somewhere else, with someone else doing all the cooking, cleaning and entertaining? Yep, me too. Or how about a mini escape in the run-up, as the perfect moment of calm before the festive storm? You might think you’ve left it too late, but we love a bit of spontaneity at Muddy, so we’ve been on the blower to some of the top Devon retreats, from the cosiest cottages, to the the most glam hotels, still with some availability over the festive period and beyond. My advice? Grab the weekend bag and do it – life’s for living!
Cosy up in a cottage on the South Devon coast for a pre-Christmas getaway
Who fancies a cheeky pre-Chrimbo gathering in Teignmouth? Picture it, a little last-minute shopping, hot chocolates by the sea, a pub lunch or two after a coastal walk. Tempting? Just a smidge. Choose from one of these two lovely, roomy properties in cracking positions, that are both ready to rent in the run-up to Christmas. You just have to decide if you want the cosy and characterful Sunny Mount or contemporary Orestone – and then who to invite to the party. And that’s as tough as the decisions get, promise!
Have a piggy pre-Christmas break
Ooh, if you can swing a night or two here then you’ll be on to a total winner. Festive cocktails, indulgent dinners and swanky seclusion in a country setting near Dittisham, while everyone else frantically pounds the high streets and supermarkets (mwah haaa), will give you the boost of energy you need to see you through yuletide. Trust me i’ve been, read my review here.
Rooms available from 11-14 & 18-20 Dec, thepighotel.com
Leave the mainland for some R&R at Burgh Island
Take two days out with your love at this iconic Art Deco destination on the south coast before 23 Dec and you’ll get the second night half price. And let’s face it, with the prospect of waking up to a wild and stormy scene very likely – one night cosying up at this super-luxe hotel just won’t cut it.
Sleep Under Thatch
How idyllic is The Barn at Cotleigh, near Honiton? It’s like a scene out of The Holiday – we just need Jude Law to rock up, drunk. This one-bedroom totally secluded bolthole is available for a few nights before Christmas, between 18 – 21 Dec, so snap it up quick if you want to be somewhere snuggly with your nearest and dearest.
Make like Alice and disappear to Wonderland this Christmas
Oh now this is exciting. The super-glam Glazebrook House at South Brent still has a little availability throughout the festive period, PLUS some fantastic deals. Ready? If you can get there before 21 Dec then snaffle a deal in the Festive Flash Sale: dinner, bed & breakfast, festive cream teas and cocktails from £179 per couple (I feel like I’ve gone all Martin Lewis). For those wishing they could spend the big day elsewhere, there are just a few rooms left over Christmas and space for lunch too. And if a Twixmas break is your best time to escape, there are also a few rooms available, so just call to see what’s free and when. I stayed just before Christmas last year and you can read all about it here.
Call directly on: 01364 73322, or visit: glazebrookhouse.com
Get set for the most relaxing family Christmas, like, ever.
We stayed at dreamy West Charleton Grange near Kingsbridge just before Christmas last year and it was the best decision. Talk about the perfect prelude to a stressful, noisy time ahead. With a small selection of super-luxe self-catering cottages still available for both Christmas and New Year breaks, snap one up quickly if you fancy festive fun on the south coast, with Salcombe, Dartmouth and Kingsbridge all within easy reach. Kids (and you!) will love the heated indoor pool and the super family-friendly chilled-out vibe. Take me back with you, I’m no trouble!
Have a Paschoe House Christmas
If you’re looking for a seriously indulgent treat (and why the hell not), look no further than this Muddy favourite, which still has some availability, just – huzzah! You’ll enjoy the quintessential English country house Christmas experience, blended with the inimitable twinkle of Paschoe House. Think cosy log fires, crisp white bed linen, warm fluffy towels, country walks and incredible food and drink.
Arrive on Christmas Eve, in time for cheese and port by the fire and carols around the grand piano. Feast on a Christmas day breakfast, served with a glass of fizz, but save room for the five-course lunch, both traditional and with a few culinary surprises. And, like all good Christmas days, there will be a buffet in the evening. If you can manage it, you’ll also be able to fit in a Christmas cream tea, Boxing Day buffet, along with lots of fine wine and gifts. How does that sound? Race you to the phone!
Need a base for a multi-generational festive break?
Make for the South Hams countryside and check in to 3 The Drive, a beautiful bolthole for 10 guests, just 3 miles from Dartmouth. As part of the Hillfield Village development, it’s brilliantly positioned for family trips, with an all-weather tennis court, children’s play area, plus members rates on offer at nearby Dartmouth Hotel, Golf & Spa. And for the hangovers? The good news is that the award-winning Blackpool Sands beach is a mere ten minute drive away. Need more tempting? How about £400 off the Christmas week booking?
3 The Drive, Hillfield Village, sleeping 10 – £400 off Christmas week, coastandcountry.co.uk
See in the New Year on the North Devon coast
By the time Christmas is done and dusted, you’ll no doubt be suffering a bit of cabin fever and, generally flagging. Scoop up the family and head to the north Devon coast for a bracing blast of fresh air and fresh fun, before the new year begins. The Saunton Sands Hotel still has some availability for its 2 and 3 night New Year packages. Snaffle a room with breakfast, dinner, plus a ticket to a glam New Years Eve party. If you’re bringing kids, they’ll be well entertained, too, with a whole programme of events for all ages, from crafty calendar-making sessions to pyjama parties. Wake up on the first day of the year and hit the sand – all 3 miles of it – for a walk to blow away the cobwebs and you’ll be ready for 2018.
Prices start at £700 for a 2-night package, sauntonsands.co.uk
Descend on Hope Cove for Christmas or New Year
Fancy pitching up at Drake House and cooking a feast on the Rangemaster this year? This stylish pad, sleeping 10, will have the Christmas tree up to welcome you for long, lazy days looking out to the sea, catching up with family and playing the odd board game. It also happens to be a mere 2 minute stroll from the beach and has the South West Coast Path on its doorstep, so the views are spectacular.
Drake House, Hope Cove, Sleeps 10, £500 off Christmas and New Year weeks, coastandcountry.co.uk
Send Santa to Salcombe this year
How gorgeous is this house, available to rent for you and up to 15 guests over Christmas? Nestled in an elevated woodland spot by the sea, Oversteps House is just 100 metres from one of South Devon’s best beaches, South Sands in Salcombe. There’s a unique, private beach house, ‘Hobbit House’, to relax in, with a glass of something nice from the beer fridge; and when the post-Christmas sales hit, along with the need to stretch your legs, you’re only a 15 minute walk or short hop on the passenger ferry to the centre of Salcombe. If that doesn’t sound like a spot-on Christmas, then I give up!
Oversteps House, Salcombe (sleeps 16) £500 off Christmas weeks coastandcountry.co.uk