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<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.
Amsterdam is truly a biker’s city, although pedaling along the labyrinthine streets can get a little chaotic. Stick to walking and you won’t be disappointed. The gentle canals make a perfect backdrop for exploring the Jordaan and Rembrandtplein square. Pop into the Red Light District if you must—if only so you can say you’ve been there. The Anne Frank House is one of the most moving experiences a traveller can have, and the Van Gogh Museum boasts a sensational collection of works.
Attracting visitors from all parts of the world, Majorca is a dreamy island destination in the Mediterranean Sea, just off the southeast coast of Spain. There's something for every taste—beaches and coves, a spectacular mountain range, romantic fishing villages and a rustic countryside dotted with almond and olive groves.
Bask on four miles of golden beaches, hit the Mediterranean Sea on water skis or stroll along Benidorm's promenade and revel in its seaside charms; it's a true Spanish beauty of the Costa Blanca. Originally a fishing town, the city's historic center wows with its blue-domed 18th-century church and picturesque alleyways. Panoramic views reward those who climb into the surrounding Canfali hills, and nearby rocky coves reveal underwater riches for scuba enthusiasts. End a day in the sun with a feast of local seafood.
The Madeira Islands are a stunning archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic — a place of lush greenery and rugged mountains 1,000km from the European mainland. where you can hike in the morning, surf in the afternoon, and finish your day in a fine restaurant where the breathtaking view is complemented by unforgettable Mediterranean or traditional Madeira cuisine.
If your kids are sick of the same old beach holiday you take every year, consider taking them to Lanzarote. There are great beaches, to be sure, but this UNESCO World Biosphere reserve has unique attractions and activities. We're talking camel rides on volcanoes (at Timanfaya National Park), or eating at a restaurant in a volcanic cave (at Jameos del Agua). Even the most jaded teens will be impressed.
The sun-drenched Canary Islands lie close to North Africa and have an exotic flavour of their own. Hundreds of volcanoes, rolling sand dunes, rich forests and rugged cliffs dapple these seven Atlantic gems. Catch a ferry to Lanzarote. Ride a camel through volcanic Timanfaya National Park. Take on Tenerife, home of Mount Teide, Spain's tallest peak. Romp Grand Canary's beaches or hike La Gomera's Garajonay National Park. More adventures await on tiny El Hierro, verdant La Palma and peaceful Fuerteventura.
Strongly influenced by the tribal culture of the Guanches (the original inhabitants), Tenerife was conquered by the Spanish 500 years ago. It's home to Mount Teide, Spain's tallest peak, and to the popular beach resort of Los Gigantes. Today visitors flock to Loro Park to see tropical birds, to Tenerife Zoo Monkey Park and to Parque Nacional Las Canadas del Teide's volcanic rock formations. Explore by car or with a "bono bus" ticket, which offers reductions on regular prices.
The shining jewel of Qatar, Doha is a multicultural city, home to most of the country's population as well as expatriate communities from a range of origins. Shopping abounds in the city's plentiful malls, while the Corniche impresses visitors with picturesque architecture and dazzling views of the harbour. Doha boasts myriad cultural facilities, including the futuristic Education City and the National Museum.
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.