Late summer is the best time for a south Devon break – the beaches are quieter, the sea is warmer and glorious sunsets illuminate the red rocks of the iconic Jurassic Coast.
Tom Seward of Dukes Seaside Inn gives us the low-down on what to in Sidmouth
Find a new hobby or improve existing skills by trying stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking in south Devon . Jurassic Paddle Sports is right on Sidmouth beach and offers a mega paddleboard for ten people – expect a few dips in the sea. (Tip: Dukes’ guests bag a discount.)
No seaside holiday is complete without getting some mementos and there are lots of indie shops to browse in south Devon. From quirky homeware and wholefoods to department stores and bakeries, there’s plenty to peruse. If you need a purchasing pit-stop, there are cafes to duck into for a sweet treat or caffeine fix.
The Jurassic Coast stretches for 96 miles, with a network of walking routes throughout. Fuel up with a hearty brekkie (Tom’s top choices at Dukes are the veggie breakfast or American maple syrup pancakes), then pull on a pair of hiking boots and start exploring.
Head in the direction of Exmouth to encounter woodlands, high cliffs and beautiful open fields, or head towards Seaton for stunning views from Salcombe Hill and the dramatic cliffs at Beer. Hard work can be rewarded with a G&T in Dukes’ bar, then checking into a room above to fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves.
If you’re looking to hit the water, visit watersports school ExeWake on the River Exe Estuary (a short drive away). Adrenaline junkies will love having a go at wakeboarding or waterskiing – but those wanting to stay a little closer to shore will enjoy the group inflatable rides.
After a long day exploring south Devon, settle down for an alfresco dinner on Dukes Seaside Inn’s terrace. Tuck into classic fish and chips, colourful pizzas or something from the grill. Most of the produce on the menu is sourced within a 35 mile radius, so there’s a chance you’ll be dining on the morning’s catch. Afterwards, visit the bar for a cracking selection of local beers, ciders and spirits for sunny sipping.
Sprawling in a pub garden is a summertime ritual – we discover one a pebble's skim from the ocean, which also serves decent food and cracking G&Ts
An unassuming backstreet reveals a rather special under-the-radar restaurant to savour, discovers Kathryn Lewis