Boasting beautiful beaches and some of the most rural landscapes in the UK, East Devon may just be the ideal spot for a country break.
With its rolling hills, picturesque villages, big bold ridges, forests and clear fast-flowing streams, the region is open again and accessible within a three-hour drive of key cities in the south of England.
Ruud Jansen Venneboer, co-founder of East Devon Excellence, gives his tips on where to go, the hotels to stay at, the best food and the attractions to visit.
Walking and hiking: take the less travelled path
Enjoy breathtaking scenes along the South West Coast Path from beautiful Branscombe to Beer, or venture further along the Jurassic Coast to Exmouth.
Take the short walk from Colyton to Smallicombe Farm, where all manner of rural pursuits are on hand to enjoy.
Explore Fire Beacon Hill – one of ten East Devon nature reserves. It’s a ten-minute stroll between Sidmouth and Sidbury and those who make it are rewarded with stunning panoramas from the place where the ridge terminates in a dramatic summit. This was the ideal place to light warning beacons in times of yore. Managed with nature conservation as a priority, the nature reserves are free to visit and explore and range from ancient woodlands to stunning heathland and wetland havens.
Located inland of Exmouth and neighbouring Budleigh, you’ll find the beautiful and unique East Devon Pebblebed Heaths. These scenic heathlands offer superb walking opportunities – try one of
Hundreds of you sent us tips on riverside walks, ranging from city strolls to hikes to be tackled over several days. Here are some of the best
Winning tip: Ouse source to sea, Sussex
If you have a long weekend to spare, track the River Ouse from source to sea. Starting near Horsham in West Sussex, the 42-mile Sussex Ouse Valley Way passes through both the High Weald Area of Natural Beauty and the South Downs national park. You will cross fields and walk through woodland as well as the extensive Nymans Garden, owned by the National Trust. The route passes under an impressive Victorian railway viaduct near Balcombe and takes in the historic county town of Lewes before a stretch of flat riverside walking as you approach the coast and the finish at Seaford Bay in East Sussex.
Quiet flows the Don, Sheffield
The “five weirs” route along the River Don from Lady’s Bridge in Sheffield to Meadowhall is a lovely six-mile walk (see gpsroutes.co.uk). At Meadowhall you can head back to town along the canal, or continue to Rotherham along the river (three miles). The path is mostly flat and wide, so is suitable for different levels of ability and there are public transport options (tram, train, bus) to easily return back to your starting point. Lots of options for food and drink at either end. It’s surprisingly quiet given its location, with herons, kingfishers and even