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With its seafront lido, busy international port, and waterfront Barbican district, Plymouth’s maritime heritage takes centre stage, but head inland and the numerous museums, shopping malls, and arts venues reveal why it’s earned the title of Devon’s cultural capital.
<div id="VR_GEO_BLURB_TITLE">Devon Cottages - The Ultimate in Relaxing Breaks </div><div id="VR_GEO_BLURB_CONTENT"><p>From the wilds of Dartmoor to the wooded hillsides of the Lyn Valley, Devon is undoubtedly one of England's most beautiful counties. Its overwhelmingly rural landscape means that catered accommodation is restricted to over-subscribed Bed and Breakfasts and hotels which are mostly concentrated in towns like Exeter and Barnstaple. </p><p>Devon is a great location for a family holiday in the great outdoors, with everything from beach resorts at Ilfracombe to rambling in the hills of Exmoor and tors of Dartmoor. It is a large county, but whether you want to follow the Tarka Trail, or walk down the Doone Valley, you can be sure there will be cottages open for holiday rentals nearby. </p><div>Devon's Cottages, All Mod Cons </div><p>Most of Devon's holiday rental cottages started as farm buildings of some sort, and planning restrictions mean that many of them retain their rural charm on the outside. However, the cottages are generally renovated to 21st Century standards inside, with double glazing, TV, washing machines and fully-equipped kitchens. Families are well catered for in the higher end properties with games rooms, sometimes including full-size pool tables and large gardens for children to explore. </p><p>Despite the unpredictability of Devon's weather even during the summer months, the comfort of these properties gives great peace of mind. Moreover, a week's holiday rental of a cottage in Devon can cost as little as £300 - £400. During the peak season you can spend as much as £900 a month for one of the larger or more luxurious cottages, which still works out to be cheaper than a lot of hotels, especially if you have to book several rooms to accommodate a family of four or five. </p><div>Town Mouse or Country Mouse </div><p>To get the best of Devon's startling countryside and its friendly communities, renting a holiday cottage near Lynton and Lynmouth can be a good start. It is a useful base from which to explore North Devon, and is within walking distance of several beauty spots, such as Watersmeet (complete with a small but impressive waterfall) and the Valley of the Rocks. Separated by a steep cliff, you can travel up a funicular railway from coastal Lynmouth to clifftop Lynton, with plenty of stunning walks, shopping opportunities and several beaches and boat trips to nearby coastal attractions. </p><p>The twin villages also boast a concentration of well-equipped holiday cottages, from modest fisherman's cottages on the path to Watersmeet to grander hillside houses on the way to the Valley of the Rocks. Whatever your budget, Lynton and Lynmouth can provide some tempting accommodation options for your first Devon holiday. </p></div>
Mild ocean breezes, sandy beaches and swaying Torbay Palms give the small English town of Torquay a distinctively Mediterranean feel. More than just a beach spot, Torquay boasts an enormous coastal aviary and the famous Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves. Agatha Christie spent most of her life here, and the city is now home to multiple film companies. With such a rich literary history, Torquay may be the perfect place to finish writing that novel or screenplay, or just to relax with a good mystery.
Set against a backdrop of Devon’s rolling hills and rocky coastline, Exeter is the county’s historic showpiece. Roman ruins, medieval buildings, and Georgian façades dot the modern town, contrasting with the quayside pubs and glass-fronted shopping malls.
The Welsh capital may have begun its life as a Roman fort, but it's since become a bustling city. Where the fort once stood, Cardiff Castle has held court since the 11th century. It remains a central presence in the city, now full of lively art and music venues, hip boutiques, fun bars and modern hotels. Even with so many new and exciting things to see, the National History Museum is still the most visited attraction in Wales. Don't be the only visitor who plays hooky!
From Shoreditch’s swaggering style to Camden’s punky vibe and chic Portobello Road, London is many worlds in one. The city’s energy means that no two days are the same. Explore royal or historic sites, tick off landmarks from your bucket list, eat and drink in exclusive Michelin-starred restaurants, enjoy a pint in a traditional pub, or get lost down winding cobbled streets and see what you stumble across – when it comes to London, the possibilities are endless.
Liverpool's fortunes have historically been tied to shipping. But imports and exports like sugar, spice and tobacco pale in comparison with Liverpool's most famous export of all — The Beatles. Relive the hysteria at The Beatles Story Experience, and check out Paul's childhood home, but also leave time for exploring Liverpool Cathedral and the Walker Art Gallery.
With a population of almost 300,000 in the city proper, Belfast has grown into a cosmopolitan destination and become a popular weekend break spot. With feelings of optimism and life pulsing through the city, Belfast makes for an energising getaway. It's never been easier to tour the city, thanks to a number of intriguing bus, taxi, boat and pedestrian options. Don't miss the Ulster Folk Museum or the Belfast Cathedral, and make sure to experience some of the award-winning restaurants, bars, clubs, galleries and theatres.
Once a shipbuilding city, Newcastle's flashier claim to fame is nightlife. Throw in a heap of premium restaurants serving foods from all over the world and it's no wonder young partiers choose to blow their hard-earned (or not-so-hard-earned) cash in Newcastle. While these amenities are certainly a draw for the hipsters and culture-seekers, it's the locals that make Newcastle a truly special place to visit. "Geordies," as they are often called, embody the pride, industriousness and resilient spirit of their city.
As Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow is famed for its culture, shopping and people. Spend your day exploring a wide range of fascinating free museums and galleries, enjoying the UK’s best shopping outside of London, and taking advantage of tips from friendly local people on the city’s hidden gems — then choose from 130+ weekly musical events for a special night out. Glasgow is also the perfect base for exploring more of Scotland, with great connections to the Highlands and the islands.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city, renowned for its heritage, culture and festivals.
Take a long walk around the centre to explore the World Heritage Sites of the Old Town and New Town, as well as all the area’s museums and galleries. Then stop for a delicious meal made from fresh Scottish produce before heading out to take in one of Edinburgh’s many events — including the famous summer festivals of culture, or the Winter Festivals of music, light and ceilidhs.
The first time you go to New York, go ahead and be a sight-seer—everyone should visit the Statue of Liberty, the Met, Times Square, etc. But on a return trip, pick a neighbourhood and go deep. You’ll find hole-in-the-wall bars, great delis, quirky shops… exploring the non-touristy side of New York is an incredibly rewarding experience for a traveller.
Dubai is a destination that mixes modern culture with history, adventure with world-class shopping and entertainment. Catch a show at the Dubai Opera, see downtown from atop the Burj Khalifa and spend an afternoon along Dubai Creek exploring the gold, textile and spice souks. If you’re looking for thrills, you can float above the desert dunes in a hot air balloon, climb aboard a high-speed ride at IMG Worlds of Adventure or skydive over the Palm Jumeirah.
From the Magic Kingdom to magical spa treatments, Orlando sparkles with the promise of adventure. Spend a day exploring the world-famous Disney theme parks or screaming your head off on a Universal Studios roller coaster. For a less adrenaline-pumping afternoon, enjoy the quiet natural beauty of the Harry P. Leu Gardens or enjoy a seaweed scrub at a luxury day spa. Savour fresh and local ingredients at one of Orlando’s James Beard-nominated restaurants.