Our guide to East Devon holiday cottages

The gateway to the Jurassic Coast, East Devon is home to 185 million years of history, and it has a character that’s unlike any other destination. Thousands flock to the Devon County Show near Exeter every May, and the event’s a celebration of everything we love about Devon. Heavy horses clip clop, the smell of the flavours of the county hang heavy in the air and visitors, locals and even royals make their way to the showground to enjoy three days of action.

Don’t be fooled by the region’s sleepy beauty – things are just as eventful during the winter. In fact, the annual Tar Barrels event sees the eyes of the nation fall on Ottery St Mary every Bonfire Night, and if you haven’t stood back and watched grown men race through the streets with blazing barrels on their backs then you haven’t lived! The event’s been a tradition since the seventeenth century and grows in popularity every year, and part of the fun is following the action through the winding streets of the town along with the rest of the crowds.

Cycle your way along the Exe estuary and you’ll pass chocolate box resort after chocolate box resort. The reflections of Georgian buildings shimmer in the estuary in the historic port of Topsham, and the flavours and smells of the county waft from the delis that line the water. Neighbouring Exmouth is home to a two mile sandy beach, and if you fancy seeing more of the region during your holiday you can hop aboard one of the cruises that take visitors along the Jurassic Coast and in search of the area’s wildlife.

Wherever you stay, make sure you visit the city of Exeter while you’re in East Devon. With the elegant ruins of a Roman past dotted around the main shopping hub, the city has a unique character and plenty of shops for those of you keen to spend the holiday budget! Exeter Cathedral is open to visitors throughout the year, and the cobbled streets and low-beamed pubs make the perfect backdrop to a day exploring.

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