A Devon holiday by the sea

When I was a child, more moons ago than I care to remember, I spent some idyllic vacations in East Devon, holiday by the sea, with my parents. At the time I didn’t fully appreciate the beautiful scenery that was all around me even though it was so very different than my home in London. It wasn’t until several years later that I began to remember the wonderful tranquility of the Devon countryside and realized why my parents kept returning year after year.

We mostly stayed in the small village of Otterton in a private home where we enjoyed the most marvelous home grown produce – Devon has very rich soil great for gardening. Everything seems to explode out of the ground!

From this village, it’s easy to explore many other pretty hamlets. We found an endless variety of walks to take through stunning countryside hardly ever encountering another soul. We actually preferred taking walks to driving. After living in a busy city all year, the solitude was wonderful. People today pay thousands for this experience at fancy spas. Don’t bother – just have a Devon holiday by the sea.

A very pretty stream ran all the way through the village ending up at a bridge overlooking the River Otter. Evening walks down to the banks of the river were a favorite thing to do after a delicious home cooked dinner. Here we would watch the fish and pick wild watercress, or as kids are want to do – throw rocks in the water.

Another favorite hike was to a secluded beach at Ladram Bay where we would spend the whole day swimming in the very calm waters. This beach is sheltered by tall red cliffs and I remember a café at the top that served great sandwiches and the famous Devon cider.

Otterton is not very far from some other picturesque seaside towns. Most of the beach cities have stunning bays that are a photographer’s paradise. It is one of the few places in England where Palm Trees grow – the climate being influenced by the Gulf Stream. This also has a nice effect on the water temperature at the beaches. We especially enjoyed the beaches at Sidmouth, Paignton, Torquay, Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth. As children, the beach shops were a big attraction to us and we would spend hours mulling over what to buy with the money we saved up all year for our holiday. Since we were expected to take back some little gifts for other family members, my poor dad had to endure many hours waiting for us to make up our minds. But he did get his reward afterwards when we would stop for a yummy Devon Tea, clotted cream and all.

I went back to visit and relive my Devon holiday by the sea not too long ago, this time with my children taking them through the village of Otterton back to the very spot where I had gleefully thrown rocks into the River Otter. Not surprisingly, it was much the same as I remembered. The great part about Devon is its unspoiled beauty – much like many places in England. After reminiscing and taking some pictures of my children repeating my childhood games, we headed over to Ottery St. Mary, another pretty town, for some lunch.

Please remember to tell us about your Devon holiday by the sea.

Article contributed by Valerie of Dog Spoiling Made Easy

For ideas on what to do on your Devon holiday by the sea click here

For places to eat out click here

For museums and other places of interest click here

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