Devon is full of holiday cottages. Recent reports from the national press show that there are about 169,000 second homes in the UK, that are used for private use. It is estimated that 69,000 of these are holiday homes used for self catering purposes and rented for holidays.
With the South West seeing 38% of all visitors then we have our fair share of holiday cottages. We estimate that there are probably 8,000 cottages, apartments or holiday homes of any description in Devon. There are a lot more if you include caravans and other accommodation, such as yurts etc.
This may sound a little daunting when it comes to finding the ideal place for you and your family. There are plenty of agencies around and lots of online booking sites who will take your money. We have provided you with a list of questions and ideas to help you through this maze:-
- Ask if the person you are speaking to is local (why would you book a Torquay or Devon property with a person in London, as they will have little or knowledge of the property or place.
- When booking ask if you can pay by credit card. Section 75 of the Consumer Protection Act, covers you incase of any fraudulent activity. If cards are not accepted and a wire transfer is requested, maybe ask a few more questions.
- Ensure you have access to a lot of photographs of the property and can see all aspects of it.
- Do not be fooled by continual “Discounts and Offers”, it either means the places are not popular or they are marked up by the discount amount.
- Do not expect to stay for 1 or 2 days at most times of the year as the costs to manage the property, plus utlities and wear and tear mean the owner will be out of pocket or in peak season may well miss a full weeks booking.
- Using sites such as Booking.com, Airbnb, HomeAway, OwnersDirect, TripAdvisor, Villas.com, Holidaylettings etc all take a large percentage of the booking value that you pay. This can be up to 20%. If you find a property on one of these sites, then search the name on Google or some of the description text. Call them direct and see if they will pass some of this back to you. You will also be able to communicate directly and freely asking questions, which is not possible on airbn or booking.com.
PETS: Many more people travel with their pets these days but not all properties accept pets and most will add a small surcharge for the extra cleaning etc. If you want to find pet friendly cottages in Devon and all over the UK please click here.
BEACHES: 38% of people who holiday in the UK in cottages choose the seaside and 41% the Countryside. In and around Torquay we have some of the best beaches in the UK with lots of blue flags. There are not many that actually are on the beach, but all are close enough to get there without too much fuss.
If however you do want to stay on the beach itself, maybe try a 5 star beach hut over in Shaldon. These beach huts as seen on TV (Amazing spaces) are extremely popular for short breaks and celebrations. Click on the photo to see more.