As the temperature drops outside, warm your heart with a romantic winter weekend break in the West Country.
A winter weekend getaway in the English countryside offers the ideal antidote to the stresses of modern life. Simply escape to a picturesque place, immerse yourselves in the beautiful natural surroundings, and take time to slow down and fully appreciate each other’s company.
The West Country landscape provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic winter break. Windswept moors, rugged clifftops, deserted beaches, quiet villages and quaint fishing ports are all just waiting to be explored.
This part of the world is less busy out of season, but no less alluring. Winter is when we’re naturally supposed to unwind and recover from a busy year. Rediscover this lost art and recharge your batteries with a romantic weekend away, just a few hours’ drive from home.
Fill your days with lazy lie-ins, brisk beach walks, and relaxing countryside rambles to make the most of this idyllic destination, followed by hours spent curled up together in front of a fire, in a cosy pub or your snug cottage, putting the world to rights.
Here are 10 of our favourite romantic retreats-for-two in the West Country…
1. Brookhaven, Axminster, East Devon
Brookhaven is a self-contained, modern studio apartment set in a quiet rural location with stunning views over the unspoilt Axe valley, with village amenities and a traditional pub within walking distance. Built over detached outbuildings in the grounds of the welcoming owners’ home, the apartment offers peace and privacy on the outskirts of the village of Musbury, about 2 miles from Axminster, and less than 10 minutes’ drive from the stunning Jurassic coast and beaches at Seaton and Lyme Regis. The surrounding countryside is a tranquil haven for walkers and nature lovers.
2. Honeysuckle, Duloe, South Cornwall
A charming characterful cottage, tastefully refurbished yet retaining original features such as low beams and a cosy fireplace, situated down a quiet lane in the sleepy hamlet of Tredinnick, just a short drive into the countryside from the fishing port of Looe. The nearby village of Duloe is 15 minutes’ walk from the cottage with its local store and popular pub. Walkers will love exploring the nearby South West Coast Path as it follows the breath-taking Cornish coastline. The nearby fishing village of Polperro and many pretty inlets and towns dotted along the South Cornish coast are also within very easy reach.
3. Kowhai Cottage, Charmouth, West Dorset
This modern one bedroom cottage near Lyme Regis boasts stunning countryside views and walks across Marshwood Vale, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The fabulous rural setting can be appreciated from all aspects of this holiday home, as well as the patio and bedroom balcony. Only a 5 minute drive from the sea at Lyme Regis, and situated just north of the Dorset/Devon border, it’s well positioned for exploring the nearby attractive towns, villages and countryside as well as the jaw-dropping Jurassic Coast. Foodies will appreciate proximity to the highly commended HIX restaurant in Lyme Regis and also celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage restaurant, just a short drive away in the market town of Axminster.
4. Duck End, East Allington, South Devon
A charming converted beamed barn tucked away in an idyllic, peaceful valley nestling amongst tall trees ,with a lovely bridle path walk merely a stone’s throw away. Secluded and private, whilst a short drive to the bustle of Kingsbridge, Salcombe, Dartmouth and Totnes, this cosy property is a haven for walkers and wildlife enthusiasts, and the ideal place to get away from it all, whilst being located with a selection of popular beaches and village pubs within a short drive away.
5. Compass Cottage, Dartmoor
Nestled in the pretty hamlet of Higher Brimley within Dartmoor National Park, this idyllic cottage oozes character and charm as well as being a convenient base from which to explore both Dartmoor and the South Devon coastline. Just over a mile from the welcoming market town of Bovey Tracey, Compass Cottage enjoys elevated views across the Teign Valley. From the doorstep numerous walks or bike rides can be enjoyed along the country lanes and across the National Park to several of the most spectacular local Tors (Haytor only 1 mile), or alternatively Widecombe-in-the-Moor or many of the South Hams and Torbay beaches are a short drive away.
6. Anna’s Cottage, Shillingford, Exmoor
Anna’s Cottage is set on a farm and surrounded on all sides by green rolling hills, a lovely lake, public footpaths and a wild-flower meadow. This pretty ground floor cottage with its rose covered façade is traditionally furnished creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, complete with cosy wood burning stove. Wake in the mornings to gentle birdsong and views over the garden from the restful double bedroom. Just 3 mile from the small but thriving town of Bampton, on the edge of Exmoor National Park, this cottage is the perfect base for exploring the varied landscapes of coast, countryside, moorland, woodland, valleys and farmland.
7. Curlew Point, Kingsbridge, South Devon
This superb hideaway, set in a stunning position on its own on a small promontory on the eastern side of the beautiful, tree lined and very tranquil Kingsbridge/Salcombe estuary, is a must for couples who want to escape the world. The property (a wing of the owners’ magnificent contemporary house) is extremely stylish with glorious views through the trees across the tidal reaches of the estuary. Surrounded by seven acres of grounds, the property has its own easy path down to the foreshore, where you can launch a kayak, paddleboard or small dinghy at high tide or go for a walk at low tide. Kingsbridge itself is a lively market town with several bars, cafes and restaurants, many beaches and coast path walks within a short drive.
8. Oystercatchers, Noss Mayo, South Devon
Oystercatchers is the perfect bolthole for a luxurious, relaxing couple’s getaway in the picturesque estuary village of Noss Mayo. Nestled on a pretty hillside in 1.5 acres of gardens and grounds, less than 100 yards from the water, this beautifully presented annexe offers fabulous contemporary accommodation just a short walk from the South West Coast Path, or the water at Bridgend Quay, from where you can launch a small boat. It’s an idyllic location from which to explore the South Devon coastline, with easy access to plenty of sandy beaches, several market towns and the vast beauty of Dartmoor. Noss Mayo is also home to two delightful waterside pubs serving local beers and locally sourced food.
9. Lower Reeds, Tocross, South Devon
Situated right on the seafront at Torcross, Lower Reeds is a comfortable ground floor apartment ideal for couples looking for a relaxing bolt-hole by the sea. With the beach and South West Coast Path on the doorstep, and scenic views across Start Bay towards the iconic lighthouse, Lower Reeds provides a great base for enjoying the beauty of South Devon, coastal and rural walks, and trips to nearby Dartmouth, Kingsbridge and Salcombe for a potter around the shops and markets. The living room extends to a fully glazed dining area where it’s easy to spend hours relaxing and just watching the sea. Behind the village, the stunning Slapton Ley nature reserve is a haven for birds and wildlife. Just along the seafront, the popular Start Bay Inn serves great seafood, and the Seabreeze cafe serves excellent breakfasts and delicious cream teas.
10. Apartment 1, Buller House, Looe, Cornwall
You’ll find Buller House tucked away in one of Looe’s historic little streets and seconds from East Looe Quay. Apartment 1 is a fashionable little bolt-hole that oozes style and sophistication. The sandy beach is no more than a two minute walk away, and there are plenty of interesting walks to choose from, including the South West Coastal Path which runs through Looe. There are also numerous shops, restaurants and pubs within a leisurely stroll and the Cornish fishing village of Polperro is a popular spot to visit and just a short drive away.
Make time to get away from it all with your loved one. Find your perfect winter retreat here.