WHERE TO GO
SOUTH WEST The counties of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset are picturepostcard perfect with sandy beaches, rock pools and soft surf for splashing. However, there’s more to the area than traditional seaside; think dramatic cliffs, ghostly moors, and half-hidden ancient monuments to explore.
The wide sandy beaches of the north coast are perfect for paddling, swimming and bucket-and-spading. We like Watergate Bay, Widemouth Bay and Braunton Sands. However, the south coast has a wilder appeal, and fewer crowds. Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula is heart-
stoppingly beautiful, with sapphire seas, white sands and dramatic rocks and cliffs (nationaltrust. org.uk/lizard-pointand-kynance-cove). It’s a wee step from the car park, and only has a solitary beach cafe, which keeps it unspoiled and special. Walk for a couple of hours along the South West Coastal Path to The Marconi Centre in Poldhu (marconi-centrepoldhu.org.uk/), and find out all about the birth of transatlantic radio.
TAMAR TRAILS CENTRE
For more organised fun, head to one of the area’s best-kept secrets, the Tamar Valley. At the Tamar Trails Centre (tamartrails.co.uk), you’ll find a network of bike trails (bring your own cycles or hire some at the Centre), canoeing down the River Tamar (you might spot a kingfisher or even otters and seals), and opportunities for tree-top adventures, with high ropes, zip wires and a ‘leap of faith’.
If you’re craving wide-open spaces and peace (and some very sweet wild ponies), head to the wild stretches of Dartmoor (dartmoor. gov.uk). The area is home to one of the best collections of prehistoric remains anywhere in Europe,
and it’s a lot of fun to track them down (there are resources to help you at dartmoorwalks.org. uk). Pack a picnic, a pocket kite, and a map ( just in case the infamous Dartmoor fog descends) and spend the day exploring.
FAMILY HOLIDAY GUIDE 2016