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Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

Denver, Colorado
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Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

Our time is short -- we are letting a flat in London until the morning of the 7th and my husband has to be at Heathrow the afternoon of the 10th for a conference in the US. (I will spend a few days in Bath whilst he's gone.) We wish we could see both Cornwall and Devon, but we realize it's a busy holiday week and that's not practical, so one county will have to wait for a future trip.

We will take the train from London to somewhere in the SW of England... then we would prefer to take a coach or local buses, but could rent a car if that's the only good way to get around.

We want to spend a day at a beach on the north coast and a day on Dartmoor to visit the Gidleigh Stone Circle, since we're going to skip Stonehenge. We enjoy walking, both in wild places and in villages, and we dislike tourist traps. We expect to stay in a B&B. We are not seeking luxury and want to spend less than 100 GBP / night on lodging and breakfast for 2.

Recommendations for an itinerary are very welcome. Specific questions are: where to get off the train and switch to other transport, whether roads will be too crowded for driving to be a good idea, whether Devon (esp. the beaches) will be any less busy than Cornwall, and where would be a good base of operations (Lynton / Lynmouth was one suggestion, Penzance was another). Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

London, United...
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1. Re: Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

You aren't travelling at the height of the tourist season as the kids will still be at school so I wouldn't worry too much about the busy roads. It would be much easier if you were hiring a car. You can get a train to Exeter from London Paddington (via Reading and Taunton) which is much quicker than taking the London Waterloo to Exeter route. I'd hire a car in Exeter and get out and about. You don't have much time so driving would be a wiser use of your limited time than hanging around, waiting for buses and trains.

I'm an East Devon man but if you want rugged landscapes etc then it'd be best to head to North Devon and Exmoor, and spend an afternoon on Dartmoor. There are lots of stone circles on both moors but nothing to rival Stonehenge. If you were to hire a car in London then you could come down on the A303 and stop off at Stonehenge for an hour, it would break up your journey nicely and give you a chance to stretch your legs (entrance to Stonehenge is 15 GBP each though - a bit expensive if you ask me!).

If it were up to me I'd hire a car on the 6th, leave London early on the 7th, stop at Stonehenge (or you could do that from Bath after your hubby goes back to the US) and head to North Devon/Cornwall for the majority of your holiday.

If you were in North Devon, you can always go to Tingagel (the supposed home of King Arthur) for a day which is just over the border into Cornwall. The surrounding area is stunning (for Cornwall ;-) )

Porlock, Dunster area is lovely too - these are in North Somerset.

Just giving you some more ideas to juggle with! I don't know if you've driven in the SW of England before but they are nothing like the roads in Colorado! They are very narrow (often 1 lane only) and very bendy. Go slowly , take care and you'll be fine!!

England, United...
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2. Re: Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

As faceman says, it should be a perfect time, not too busy.

Porlock & Dunster are beautiful and in WEST Somerset FM! Easily acessible by train or coach from London to Taunton then there are lots of buses out & about with tours round the moor or along the coast on a double decker. These go over Exmoor and into Devon.

The cliff railway www.cliffrailwaylynton.co.uk make sure you take your camera, the views are spectacular.

the entrance to the river has an interesting museum with great jets of water that might interest a young boy.

Boat trips along the coast

visitlynton.co.uk/attractions/lynmouth-boat-…

Open top bus across the moors runs from the big car park quantockmotorservices.co.uk/scheduled-servic…

tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g186369-c158858/Som…

Lots of villages and harbours, thatched cottages & tearooms, with red deer & unique Exmoor ponies - you can get a safari over the moors.

http://redstagsafari.co.uk/index.html

Devizes, United...
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3. Re: Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

Morning faceman

I just checked the Stonehenge website and it says it's £7.50 each to enter the site.

http://www.stonehenge.co.uk/Times.php

Slough,Berks
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4. Re: Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

Hi there,but just to let people know that this time WILL be a school holiday for children.It's the May half term (usually the last week of May),which has now moved to June because of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Kids finish school on Fri. 1st June and return back on Mon.11th June.Mon.4th June being the new moved spring bank hol and Tues.5th June bank hol for the jubilee,so long weekend for most people and week off for the kids.........

Exeter GB
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5. Re: Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

As Jesseche says, every school in England will be on holiday for the whole of that week. The South West being our most popular holiday area, you can expect busy roads, accommodation and trains, particularly at mass exodus time on the Saturday and Sunday at the end. This need not put you off but means you'll need to plan ahead quite carefully to get what you want. Example: book early train tickets with thetrainline.com to get best prices/choice.

Because of possible heavy traffic on the main roads to/from London I would caution against hiring a car from London. Also, if I understand you right, you are ending up in two different places Bath/Heathrow so this again suggests using the train for you main journeys. There are good rail links between, say, Exeter and both Bath and Heathrow, the latter using a bus link from Reading.

So say you caught the train to Exeter St Davids, arriving early afternoon on day one. Here you could pick up a hire car and drive off to spend the night at a pub or bb on the edge of Dartmoor. For instance you could try the Church House Inn at Holne, a proper pub in a proper village.

The following day there would be a multitude of walks/tour you could do, either in the wooded valleys, like that of the Dart, on the edge of the moor, or on the high moor. If you like prehistoric remains, I would suggest finding Grimspound north of Widecombe. This is a hugely atmospheric Bronze Age village, complete with retaining wall and huts. It is a pleasant short uphill walk from the road and is completely unsignposted and unmarked, so you really feel you have discovered it yourself. (If you want full instructions, let me know - otherwise the locals can direct you there). Further east, close to the road from Princetown to Tavistock, there is a series of stone rows and standing stones. at Merivale None of these, of course, match Stonehenge in any way, but in some ways they are more moving because they don't have the tourist circuit around them. (in this respect Stonehenge is a national disgrace).

That night stay near Tavistock or head back towards Totnes; both are distinctive and interesting little town.

Next day could be beach day. Although the North Devon beaches are great, especialy if you want to go surfing at, eg, Woolocombe, there are many other great unspoilt spots along the S coast in the area called the South Hams. Most are at the end of a narrow road, so you'd be best choosing one to concentrate on rather than dashing around the lanes repeatedly. If you get a good map you should be able to find, for instance, Bigbury on Sea and Burgh island, Thurestone and my favourite, Mothecombe at the mouth of the Erme. There will be accommodation near all of these but, again, I suggest you plan ahead. The coastal walks here are all lovely.

From the South Hams it is at least an hour back to Exeter to deliver your car the following day, but allow extra. Almost everything could be done by bus instead but with massively less flexibility, given you short time scale. And you could also use Plymouth as your starting point but this is further from London on the train and if anything the traffic getting out is worse than Exeter.

Above all, my advice would be choose a few places and concentate on them. Get out of the car and walk. June is the best month in Devon but it can rain on the best of days so take a waterproof.

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6. Re: Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

Go for North Devon! You could head over through Somerset and see the lovely village and castle at Dunster, head on to Exmoor and to Porlock or Tarr Steps perhaps and then on to Lynton and Lynmouth.

The Rising Sun hotel is popular in Lynmouth:

risingsunlynmouth.co.uk/pg/2/lynmouth-hotels…

Okehampton, United...
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7. Re: Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

As others have already posted, this will be the school half-term holidays, but it is the last weekend, rather than the first weekend, so traffic will be more focussed on leaving Devon at the end of the week.

If you want to use the train, do book in advance, as the trains will be busy all week.

Check out Dartmoor Tourists official Discover Dartmoor's website, as it lists both accommodation options as well as dining and things to do on Dartmoor. There are many different standing stones scattered over the region, and as one poster has said, whilst it is not Stonehenge (the scale is vastly different), it is possible to combine a walk that does stone rows, large Megaliths, stone circles, There are also 'twinned' stone circles. You have the delight of finding them yourselves, no barriers around them, and open moorland. Chagford (an old stannery town) or Mannaton on the edge of Dartmoor have small B & B's and give a flavour of Dartmoor. There are some good accommodation places in Tavistock, as well as some good dining places that are also Inns.

The North Devon/Cornwall coast has many wonderful places between Tintagel and Clovelly, so worth a drive. There are many good garden's such as RHA Rosemoor in the region, often the National Trust properties have gardens, as well as interesting stately homes, to give a flavour of life in the past (Arlington Court, Killerton, Knighthayes Court, Lanhydrock) nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/…

Denver, Colorado
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8. Re: Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

I very much appreciate all the great ideas.

Right now we are considering going by train to Taunton, renting a car there, and concentrating on the north coast (Somerset through Exmoor to the beaches of north Devon). I think we'll B&B in Lynton.

We are inclined to see a smaller area at a slower pace, and just promise ourselves a trip to Cornwall some other time!

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9. Re: Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

Sounds a good plan treeskier_11, any further queries get back to us and have a wonderful visit to Somerset and North Devon :-)

10. Re: Devon or Cornwall, June 7-10?

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