Undecided on where to spend the festive season this year? Why not make the most of the extra days off, skip the family politics and give yourself the gift of a winter escape to the West Country?
You’ll feel a world away from the highs and lows of hosting Christmas at home. Whether you’re after a quaint coastal cottage to give the kids a traditional Christmas by the sea, a spacious country house for a large family gathering on neutral territory, or a relaxing romantic retreat-for-two just a stone’s throw from the beach – a festively decorated holiday cottage provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable Christmas with your loved ones.
Christmas in the West Country can be a luxuriously laid-back affair. Lazy lie-ins, bracing beach walks, and cosy country pubs replace the usual hectic home schedule, allowing you to slow down and properly appreciate your time together, and your picturesque surroundings.
If the weather isn’t kind, brave the elements for an invigorating outdoor adventure, then huddle up afterwards in your new favourite snug spot in front of the crackling fire.
Here are a few cosy West Country holiday cottages that still have Christmas availability (at time of writing)…
May’s Cottage, Beesands, South Devon (sleeps 4)
This recently refurbished fisherman’s cottage is an idyllic hideaway for couples or small families looking for a relaxing retreat by the sea. With its tasteful décor, cosy log fire and the constant murmur of crashing waves that will even permeate your dreams – it’s the perfect seaside escape. Located on the seafront at Beesands, just a stone’s throw from a great pub with restaurant and an excellent café serving locally caught seafood, if you can drag yourself away from your cosy cottage, it’s ideally situated for breathtaking coastal walks and easy access to the market town of Kingsbridge and historic Dartmouth.
Fairyfield, Stoke Fleming, South Devon (sleeps 8)
A luxury detached 4 bedroom house set in a private spot on the cliffs overlooking the South Devon coast, offering stunning sea views from most rooms, reaching across Start Bay to the lighthouse. High quality, contemporary yet cosy accommodation with a log burner, on the outskirts of the thriving village of Stoke Fleming which has a historic church, village shop and popular pub, Fairyfield is the perfect place for a truly memorable Christmas. Just a short drive from the beautiful beach at Blackpool Sands and the maritime town of Dartmouth beyond.
Hay Cottage, Wadebridge, North Cornwall (sleeps 7)
A delightful, refurbished detached 3 bedroom period stone cottage in a peaceful hamlet in a wooded valley just outside the market town of Wadebridge. With charming, cosy rooms, comfortable furnishings and a wood burner inside, and large enclosed landscaped gardens teaming with wildlife outdoors – it’s the perfect rural haven. Hay Cottage is ideally placed for exploring the magnificent North Cornish coast with its popular sandy beaches, bracing cliff top walks and opportunities for surfing.
Alarra, Polperro, South Cornwall (sleeps 7)
This spacious ground floor 3 bedroom apartment overlooking stunning terraced gardens is just a 5 minute walk from the pretty Polperro harbour and is a great base for discovering the quirky shops, pubs and restaurants of this picturesque traditional fishing village, and for exploring the beaches, coves and cliffs of the stunning South Cornish coastline.
Find the rest of our cottages to rent for Christmas here.
There are plenty of amazing things to do in the West Country at Christmastime…
1. Christmas Day/Boxing Day Swim
If you’re staying near the sea it would be rude not to partake in this festive West Country tradition! Even if you just run in for a quick dip in your underwear, it’s a hilarious way to work up your appetite for the seemingly endless feasting, and makes for a great ‘crazy holiday story’ to share when you get back home.
2. Coastal and Rural Walks
The West Country offers miles of beautiful walks along stunning coastline, rugged moorland and through idyllic countryside. There’s no better way to get a dose of fresh air, soak up the scenery and walk off the festive feasting.
3. Christmas Lights
Twinkling in dark skies, unblemished by light pollution, and reflecting in harbour waters – there’s no doubt that festive illuminations are more magical by the sea.
4. Eden Project Ice Skating & Winter Festival, Cornwall
Christmas is a wonderful time to visit the Eden Project. Meet Father Christmas, go ice skating, listen to magical story telling – and of course don’t forget to explore the famous biomes for a fun and fascinating day out.
5. Santa By Steam, South Devon Railway
Bring the little ones to meet Father Christmas on a steam train at South Devon Railway, before he takes to the skies for his busiest night of the year.
Magical Christmas markets on Tuesday evenings throughout December. Featuring crafts and gift stalls lining the streets, music, mince pies and mulled wine – guaranteed to get you into the festive spirit.
7. Coleton Aglow, Kingswear, South Devon
Explore the beautiful gardens at Coleton Fishacre National Trust (near Dartmouth) at night as they are transformed by fairy lights into an opulent 1920s Christmas party. Warm up afterwards in the gazebo with a festive mulled wine.