Where to stay in Devon

Taste the glamour of a bygone era at an Art Deco gem set on its own private island, or try a delightful romantic haven clinging to the Devonshire cliffs.

Burgh Island

Agatha Christie set two of her novels at this Art Deco hotel. Its position on a private island means it's only accessible at low tide, making it the perfect location for a murder mystery. Seventy years on, the hotel is still an Art Deco gem offering guests a holiday with the glamour of a bygone era.

How they rate it

"Never worry that you might be overdressed; that is impossible," reads the Burgh Island Hotel's welcome leaflet. The Sunday Express's Adam Fisher certainly found that to be true. "Sitting in the conservatory with a Manhattan and a martini, dressed to the nines... we felt surprisingly at ease." But when you want to escape the grandeur, head to The Pilchard Inn, a "charming smuggler's cove kind of pub", which is also owned by the hotel. It has a residents-only bar and garden overlooking the beach.

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The menu

The hotel has a "large, airy dining room". Jazz is played in the background while you dine on "perfectly cooked" dishes, such as seared scallops and pan-fried halibut.

The cost

A double room costs from £360 per night, including breakfast and dinner. For more information, visit www.burghisland.com, or call 01548-810514.

Cary Arms


For a different experience with a literary slant, book into the Cary Arms. This hotel has more of an Enid Blyton adventure feel to it. The hotel clings to the Devonshire cliffs near Torquay and is accessed via a steep, single-track lane.

How they rate it

The Cary Arms is "a delightful haven, like a setting from a Mills and Boon romance and a Famous Five adventure rolled into one," says Fiona Duncan in The Daily Telegraph. Built in the 1880s, it's a "solid, reassuring building", despite evidence of a recent landslide across the bay. There are eight bedrooms and three self-catering cottages. All are "delightful", with retro red leather bedheads, sticks of rock on the pillows and old posters advertising what Devon has to offer on the walls. The hotel's outside space adds to the attraction. There are "pretty terraces", beautiful views of the ocean and a jetty "where there's always a fisherman or two trying his luck".

The menu

At the heart of the hotel is the stone-walled, slate-floored bar, which serves "superior gastropub dishes", including Lyme Bay lobster and Devon beef.

The cost

Prices start at £145 per night for a double, including breakfast. See www.caryarms.co.uk, or call 01803-327110.

What the travel writers are saying

The sun is shining and apparently it's here to stay. So forget facing the wrath of Icelandic volcanoes and holiday in Britain. The Times has rounded up the best rental properties to choose from. For a beautiful view, book The Cove in Cornwall. There are 15 "sleek, modern" apartments clustered around the hillside pool and a restaurant serving delicious red mullet fillets. It costs from £153 a night for a one-bedroom apartment that sleeps four (www.thecovecornwall.co.uk; 01736-731411).

"If you have the dosh, don't bother looking elsewhere" Bruern Cottages in Oxfordshire are the right choice for you. These 12 cottages near Chipping Norton are so posh that even the Wendy house has two storeys. The cottages have four-poster beds and are sprinkled with antiques. And there are tennis courts, a games room and an indoor pool. A cottage sleeping four costs from £1,170 for three nights (www.bruern.co.uk; 01993-830415).

Get off the mainland with a holiday at Hillside Farm on the Isles of Scilly. This is a working farm with three cottages, each with a terrace offering views of the Atlantic. It's a "quiet, terrific spot". A cottage sleeping four costs from £450 for a week (www.hillsidefarmholidays.co.uk; 01720-423156).

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings accounts and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping, among many other titles both online and offline.