It has been said many times that the South West of England enjoys a milder climate and last week it really lived up to its claims. Waking up to views along the amazing Devon coastline was enough to make any stress I'd bought with me vanish instantly.
We arrived on the Friday evening and I was immediately impressed with how easy access to our apartment was - excellent instructions by the owner. The apartments have been built inside the shell of an old hotel and while a contemporary style greets you instantly, the building still retains much character including a grand staircase in the communal hallway.
The attention to detail was consistent throughout, and the apartment we stayed in (No. 11) was welcoming and homely right down to the cushions and throws; so much so in fact, that we decided to stay in and watch TV on the large wall mounted TV!
Although the light was fading when we arrived, you could still appreciate the amazing views along the 3 mile beach of Slapton Sands and out to sea - absolutely outstanding!
Saturday morning was a sheer delight as I pulled back the curtains to a brilliant blue sky and a tranquil sea. Smiling and relaxed after a hearty breakfast, we donned our walking boots and headed off to Start Point for a morning of exploring. The coastline was simply breathtaking and the weather was definitely on our side (it was difficult to believe the rest of the country was stuck in snow!). If you are into photography, bird watching, fishing or just enjoying the scenery this really is the place to appreciate it at its best.
Although 'At the Beach' is situated in a peaceful location there are still plenty of activities to ensure the entire party is catered for. Slapton Ley, which sits parallel to the beach and is only separated by the road, is a National Nature reserve and is bursting with wildlife and birdlife. Slapton Ley visitor centre runs regular guided walks giving you the added pleasure of learning a bit out the area and the wild life that inhabits it.
'At the Beach' is in the perfect location between Dartmouth and Salcombe with many quaint villages in-between. Each town and village holds a unique draw; Dartmouth with the Royal Naval College and Royal Regatta, Salcombe is famous for its sailing and Kingsbridge offers many independent shops and cafes.
Following an afternoon of watching the rugby, we took a stroll along the sea front and retired to the 'Start Bay Inn' for a hearty dinner of Fish and Chips that definitely lived up to their famous reputation - it was something quite special and one not to be missed!
Sunday was again a day filled with excitement. We started off in Salcombe, the Southernmost town in the South Hams, famous for its sailing. As it was February the town was fairly quiet but most of the shops and cafes were still open providing the ideal break for a full fry up. The views Salcombe boasts are second to none and in the summer months is a haven of activity. Personally I prefer the quieter out of season visits which allow you to relax and take in the views without jostling for position.
Next on the agenda was Plymouth's historic Barbican (a 30 minute drive away), where Sir Francis Drake set sail from and where the Pilgrim Fathers departed to settle the New World. It really is one of the most interesting places to visit and oozes history - too much to mention in this blog but maybe on my next one! The Barbican itself is home to some outstanding artists with galleries galore to peruse independent shops, cafes where you can dine alfresco and public houses not forgetting the famous Plymouth Gin Factory which is well worth a visit. It dates back to 1793 and still supplies the world with its inimitable blend of Gin today.
With the day quickly coming to an end we headed back home (after a quick G&T) feeling suitably refreshed and like we'd been away for much longer. I really can't recommend enough the relaxing qualities of the sea air and 'At the Beach' really does meet the criteria for a fantastic high quality break.
Torcross also bares an important memorial to the lives that were lost during World War II. It was made famous as the training ground for US Army forces preparing for the D-Day invasion in World War II. An American Sherman tank which was lost at sea in 1944 and recovered in 1984, and memorials, stand beside the visitor parking lot as a reminder of the lives that were lost.
'At the Beach' is a collection of contemporary apartments that will not disappoint even the most discerning holiday maker. Each apartment has been finished to an extremely high standard with motion sensor lighting, Jacuzzi baths (a great relaxer after a long walk!), Bosch & Neff appliances, flatscreen TVs with FreeSat, DVD players - there was even a hair dryer! In short it really was a home-from-home with a location and views that you'll want to revisit year after year.
Find out more about AtThe Beach.
Michelle Roberts, Blue Chip Holidays Marketing Team