The best places to eat, stay, shop and visit in the South West

Last-minute summer breaks in the South West

Swap flight cancellations for a stress-free holiday in the South West
last-minute summer break at St Michaels Resort in Falmouth

Still haven’t booked a summer holiday? Swap airport queues and flight cancellations for a stress-free holiday in the South West with these luxury last-minute summer breaks

St Michaels Resort, Falmouth

This contemporary hotel and spa overlooking Falmouth’s famed Gyllyngvase Beach is an ideal location for those who love to be by – or in – the water. The beach’s calm, crystal clear bathing waters are mere steps from St Michaels Resorts’ beautiful gardens, while the spa is home to the South West’s largest hydrotherapy pool, an icy plunge tank and an alfresco hot tub with sea view (pictured top).

There’s still time to dive into a water-centric stay at St Michaels this summer, and those who book a last-minute break (within 21 days of the start date) enjoy a 15 per cent discount on the room rate. Push the boat out and check into one of the four new spa garden lodges, which feature a private terrace with outdoor copper tub and lounge area.

The Ollerod, Beaminster

If it’s the countryside that’s calling, head inland to this beautiful 14th-century country house hotel in the charming Dorset town of Beaminster. Surrounded by rolling hills but just six miles from the coast if you fancy a seaside jaunt, The Ollerod is a favourite with staycationers who want to unwind in a peaceful setting.

Quote ‘special summer package’ when booking direct this August or September to receive £30 off the advertised bed and breakfast rate, plus a sumptuous Champagne cream tea on arrival. The offer is the perfect excuse to spend a couple days in this tranquil pocket of Dorset and sample the delights of The Ollerod’s established restaurant.

Watergate Bay Hotel, north Cornwall

Fancy rounding off summer with a weekend of family-friendly theatre and aerial performances, plus dance, music and craft workshops? Head to Watergate Bay on the north Cornwall coast to get stuck into its free-to-attend Arts on the Beach celebration of creativity, community and ocean culture on September 9 and 10.

Make a weekend of it by staying the night at Watergate Bay Hotel overlooking the beach. Rooms start from £280 based on two sharing and include breakfast and full use of its amenities including the contemporary sea-view spa.

Read our review of Watergate Bay Hotel here.

The Horn of Plenty, near Tavistock

Those looking for an uber-luxe gourmet experience should take advantage of The Horn of Plenty’s Summer Saver Dine and Stay offer. Available in August and September, the one-night break is ideal for holidaymakers who want to kick back in an idyllic setting and indulge in delicious morsels from arrival till check out.

Once guests have parked up at the hotel located between the undulating hills of the Tamar Valley, they’ll be treated to a Devon cream tea of homemade scones and will find a bottle of Prosecco on ice in their cosy room. A seasonal three-course dinner is included in the break, commencing with canapés and ending with coffee and petits fours. The next morning, guests can fuel up for a day of exploring Dartmoor with a hearty Devon breakfast. Prices start at just £290 per room per night.

Bovey Castle, Dartmoor

Escape the crowds enjoying the last days of summer on the coast by heading inland to the wilds of Dartmoor. The moor comes to life in the warmer months: walks are framed with the lush green tones of the landscape, rivers are an ideal temperature for a post-ramble plunge, and the tors the perfect setting from which to watch the sun slip behind the horizon.

Enjoy all of these natural spoils by booking a last-minute summer break at Bovey Castle in the heart of the National Park. Available until August 31, the hotel’s summer two-night package (£424 per room) is made for foodies and includes £115 toward dinner at its new Great Western Grill restaurant for each person. Seasonal delights from head chef Mark Budd include the likes of wild sea bass and Brixham crab cannelloni with fennel salad and bouillabaisse sauce.

Like 5 of the best last-minute breaks in the South West? Check out our pick of hidden gem hotels.

We choose the companies included in our 5 of the best features based on editorial integrity. Occasionally, some inclusions will be from clients with whom we have a commercial relationship.

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