The evenings are finally drawing out but we are still definitely in the grips of a very grey and wet winter. So what better pick-me-up than to plan a short break away – and the English Riviera must be one of the loveliest places to visit in the springtime. We’ve put together 5 reasons why you should book a short break to the South Devon coast.
1. The Mild Climate
Noted for its mild climate, Torquay and the neighbouring towns of Paignton and Brixham, enjoy higher than average UK temperatures. It’s even warm enough for palm trees to flourish all year round. The Torbay Palm has become the symbol of the English Riviera and has thrived in the area since it was brought over from New Zealand in 1820.
Because of this warmer climate, spring tends to come early, with daffodils famously being in bloom long before more northern regions. In March and April temperatures regularly reach 10-12 degrees centigrade, with an average of 7-9 hours sunshine a day, making the area a perfect springtime destination.
2. The Amazing Gardens
With its milder weather, the sap rises earlier on the English Riviera. If you’re a garden lover then you won’t be disappointed with the selection of beautiful places to visit.
Greenway, better known as the summer home of Agatha Christie, has stunning views over the River Dart and is known for its display of magnolias and camellias. Along the coast is 1920’s retreat, Coleton Fishacre. Its garden has many exotic and tender plants which do well in this most sheltered of spots. A little further inland at Yelverton, Buckland Abbey offers a lovely Elizabethan garden, along with a kitchen garden which the original monks of 1300 would have recognised. And in Torquay itself you have Princess Gardens, Rock Walk and Torre Abbey Gardens, all putting on a lovely early displays in March and April.
For more inspiration on some of Devon’s most interesting gardens, take a look here.
3. The Bay is Quieter
Tourism is hugely important to South Devon which means that July and August are always busy. Avoid the crowds and take a short break in the spring when the weather has started to warm up but the roads will be a lot more peaceful. It means you can get out and about and enjoy more of the English Riviera and the surrounding area. Take a trip to Dartmoor or visit historic Plymouth Hoe and be back in time for a delicious dinner in one of Torquay’s latest dining venues.
Devon is the second largest county in England so offers the visitor a range of landscapes, from moor to sea and everything in between. The South Devon coast is one of contrasts – hidden coves and rock pools nestle between larger sweeping golden sands. The English Riviera alone has a breathtaking choice of 20 beaches and coves and that’s before you explore further along the coast to Dawlish and Exmouth to the east or Salcombe and Dartmouth to the west.
If you tire of the coast, then only a few miles inland you can experience the ‘chocolate box’ Devon of thatched cottages and narrow lanes. Drive a little further and you reach the wilds of Dartmoor with its rugged tors and shaggy ponies. Beautiful at any time of year, but in the spring you may be lucky enough to see young lambs and foals gambolling though the gorse.
4. The Huge Choice of Accommodation
Being a UK holiday hotspot, the English Riviera boasts over 18,000 bed spaces in a wide variety of hotels and bed and breakfasts. Whether you’re looking for budget, boutique, family or self-catering, there will be something to suit you.
March and April are always quieter and usually a bit cheaper so it’s a fantastic time to find a good deal on a short break away. TLH Leisure Resort has weekend breaks in March from only £74pp for 2 nights, and that’s for dinner, bed and breakfast.
5. So Much to See and Do
What makes your the perfect short break? Is it peace and quiet, brisk walks, culture and heritage or just relaxing within easy reach of a pool and a spa? Whichever ticks your boxes, the English Riviera has it. Spring is a lovely time to enjoy the South Devon countryside and quieter beaches. But if it’s fine dining, bars and restaurants you’re after then Torquay has plenty to offer. Renowned chef, Mitch Tonks, opened Rockfish last year and both The Elephant and No7 Fish Bistro offer superb dining experiences. Along with a sprinkling of national chains such as Las Iguanas and Visto Lounge, Torquay has really come into its own dining wise.
Most of the major tourist attractions are open all year round and are well worth a visit, either with or without children. Paignton Zoo has worldwide regard whilst Babbacombe Model Village delivers bucket loads of quaint charm. For ideas of what else to see and do the English Riviera Tourist Board is a good starting point.
So if you’re currently staring outside at the rain, booking a short break on the English Riviera this spring may be just the tonic you need.
Find out more about TLH Leisure Resort’s short breaks and special offers here and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more news and tips.