Tuesday, 6 December 2011 9:28 AM
If you are looking for a UK destination for a break in a holiday cottage, locations in the West Country are bound to pop up time and time again – and with very good reason. The counties in this region are beautiful and boast a vast array of attractions.
There is no standard definition of the West Country, but generally speaking it encompasses the majority of the south-west of England, with Devon, Cornwall and Dorset among the most popular places to visit.
Here are just a few of the reasons why a trip to any one of these counties will give you a holiday to remember.
The rugged coastlines, breathtaking moorlands and picturesque villages make Cornwall a delight to discover.
If you book holiday cottages in Cornwall, you will find plenty to keep you occupied, whether you are hoping to explore the great outdoors, try some new activities or visit some of the county's top attractions.
One place that stands out is the Eden Project – the ideal place for an educational daytrip. Here, you can view plants from all over the world in its biodomes and learn more about the flora and fauna found in the UK.
Tintagel – renowned thanks to the legend of King Arthur and Merlin – as well as Land's End and Bodmin Moor are just a few of the other famous places you can visit in the county.
Of course, no trip to this part of the country would be complete without spending at least one day on the beach – and you will be spoilt for choice.
There are many family-friendly stretches of sand where little ones can build castles and play in rock pools, while there are also plenty of bays ideal for surfing – Fistral Beach, Constantine Bay and Harlyn are just a few of the best places to catch some waves.
The neighbouring county is equally blessed when it comes to natural landscapes and beaches – with lots of fantastic locations for holiday cottages in Devon.
From picturesque seaside towns such as Torquay and Brixham to the wild expanses of Dartmoor and Exmoor, there are some stunning locations for a range of outdoor activities.
If you really want to get away from it all, why not stay in one of Dartmoor's villages and explore the area on foot or by bike? There are numerous walking trails throughout the national park and you will feel a long way from the stresses and strains of everyday life as you stroll along and breathe in the fresh air.
Surfing is also a popular pastime in Devon and locations such as Croyde Bay are frequented by people keen to ride the waves.
One of the wonderful things about many seaside towns and villages in Devon is their proximity to the stretches of sand on the coast – so you will never be far from the beach if you stay in a cottage in Salcombe or Seaton, for example.
Dorset is peppered with picturesque villages, both inland and along its coastline.
Seaside resorts such as Weymouth are perfect for families seeking Dorset holiday cottages, as the long expanse of sand and shallow bay make them ideal for children.
Nearby, you will find the historic market town of Dorchester – once an important part of the Roman Empire, whose influence can still be seen today at Maiden Castle, a hill fort dating from this period.
Dorset is also part of the Jurassic Coast – a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for the fossils that have been found as the cliffs are eroded.
Why not spend a day fossil hunting with the kids at Lyme Regis? Alternatively, you could tackle a section of the coast path if you feel like being active – and there are plenty of beautiful sights to see, including Durdle Door, a stone arch carved by the sea.