Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Winter is closing in on us, and with the days getting shorter, the nights getting colder, and the temptation to visit the beach for a dip in the sea probably starting to fade, what is there to do with your loved ones in South Devon this winter? The answer is simple - throw on a coat, grab those hats and scarves, and get yourself walking through the winter wonderland that is Devon!
Here are some of our favourite places to get up and go walking this winter...
1. Dartmoor National Park
It may sound crazy, but actually this time of year is perfect for walking across vast expanses of what was probably green and pleasant land in the summer! Dartmoor National Park is stooped with wildlife to explore, and is a key spot for the sport of letterboxing - a great chance for kids to get out and search in the cold. Look under rocks, inside nooks and crannies, and explore the vast expanses of the countryside. Of course, catching Dartmoor on a frosty day may not sound totally appealing, but it's renowned as one of the places in Devon that's pretty much guaranteed snow this winter, so perfect for building your own Olaf from Frozen, or for making snow angels with your significant other. And if you get too cold, don't worry! Hop into one of the scattering of truly local country pubs for a spot of Sunday lunch or a refreshing hot drink.
2. The South West Coastal Path
South Devon is known mainly for its coast. Sure, there's plenty of countryside to explore, fields to run across, and visitor attractions galore inside and out, but nobody can resist the true beauty of the rugged coastline that the proud citizens of Torbay, Shaldon, Dawlish and the South Hams are proud to boast about - and rightly so! Perfect for a long walk with the dog (whilst staying in one of our fabulous selection of pet-friendly properties, of course) is the ideal way to see the sights, and no matter where you're staying, there's always coastline nearby. Whether it's a clear day looking out over the Bay in Torquay, or a windy afternoon watching the waves crash against the coastal walls at Dawlish, a walk along the South West Coastal Path is a great way to enjoy family days out.
3. Cockington Village
A hidden gem in the crown of Torbay, Cockington is a pretty countryside village in Torquay. Home to the famous Cockington Manor, many Discovery's guests have commented on the beauty of this complete contrast to the traditional coastline. If the choppy seas aren't your thing, then why not walk the miles of country tracks, nature trails, and along past the ponds and lakes that span this outstandingly beautiful village! A fabulous location, summer or winter, and perfect for romantic walks through the crisp countryside. And since it's just a mile from Torquay's seafront, you can enjoy the best of coast and country all in one go!
4. Piddledown Common
Located just a short distance from Castle Drogo, a top Devon countryside landmark supported by the National Trust, this spectacular pet-friendly walk takes you along the edge of the dramatic Teign Gorge. Bare oak trees will line your way as you immerse yourself in breathtaking views. Why is this for the winter you may ask - and you're right! This is a great walk come rain or shine, for summer or winter holidays, but we love it in the winter because the unpredictable weather makes things that bit more exciting when you're out in the sticks!
5. Thurlestone Bay
The winter season is a great time for bird watching, and nowhere does bird watching better than canals, rivers and bays. One of our favourite places for this has to be Thurlestone Bay, a rich and ripe area of the South Hams. After a spot of lunch in Dartmouth and a walk through the gardens, hop along and see who can spot the highest number of different species of birds - they come in all shapes, sizes and colours! Take a camera along with you and enjoy the sea and the coastline as well as the wildlife - and send us your pictures! We'd love to see what you've found!
6. Little Dartmouth
Everyone who knows South Devon knows Dartmouth. Known for its naval history and proud to be the destination of choice for many in South Devon, Dartmouth is a great day out. But did you know that just to the west sits one of the National Trust's top four winter walks in Devon?! A gentle landscape offering a simple circular walk, perfect for those of you who want o get out and about this winter and take in the ruggedness of the South Devon coastline, but with detours to the secluded Compass Cove, and just a short drive from Crownley woods, you're never too far from a new and exciting location!