With 300 miles of coastline and 60 beaches in Devon, there is plenty of choice. Budleigh beach is great for swimming and safe for children who will enjoy the pebbles more than you think. Exmouth is a traditional seaside resort for ‘bucket and spade' family fun and plenty of watersports on offer (popular for windsurfing and kitesurfing). Sidmouth beach has sand and pebbles with rock pools at the eastern end to explore. Branscombe is a bit further east but definitely worth a visit. The walking, pubs and beach are great. Further west along the coast in the Torbay area there are plenty more popular beaches on offer, including Blackpool Sands and Salcombe. North Devon beaches are long stretches of sand and surf with the easiest to get to being Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton Sands.
Wake boarding, water skiing, kite boarding and windsurfing are available in Exmouth. You can also launch your own boat from there or hire one.
From the cottage front door, you are on the South West Coast Path in a couple of minutes with its fantastic views, flowers and birdlife. Both east towards Sidmouth and west to Exmouth have fantastic views, flowers and birdlife. Dartmoor is about 30 mins away and with 500km of coast and 3,500 miles of footpaths, there is plenty to choose from.
Local sports and leisure
Budleigh Salterton Riding School provides lessons, hacks and treks. This area is also great for off and on road cycling. The Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton Cycle Route is an old railway line and is minutes away. East Devon Golf Club is situated on the cliff top above Budleigh Salterton and is regarded by many as one of the finest courses in the South West. The Budleigh games club is up the hill behind the cottage and has tennis, bowls and croquet. You can fish for mackerel and bass from Budleigh beach or take a deep sea fishing trip from Exmouth.
Families with young children are well catered for in Budleigh with the beach and play park nearby. Bicton Park Botanical Gardens is lovely and just a few minutes away. Boat trips run from Topsham, Exmouth and Sidmouth. Crealy Adventure Theme Park is fun for kids whilst Powderham Castle is in a beautiful setting beside the Exe estuary. There are zoos in Paignton, Sparkwell (Dartmoor Zoological Park) and Exmoor (Exmoor Zoo). Go Ape! is at Haldon Forest if you are into climbing trees, and sliding across high wires and rather tamer are the Plymouth National Aquarium, Pennywell Farm and the Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth (which is free!). There is a Diggerland at Cullompton and fossil hunting at Charmouth or Lyme Regis beaches. The Cathedral City of Exeter has shops, leisure centres, cinemas and lots of restaurant options.
Markets and local food
Fresh seafood, traditional cream teas and local award-winning wines are all here in Budleigh. Local markets run in Budleigh, Topsham and Exeter and Darts Farm is a real haven for ‘foodies'. Fresh fish can be bought direct from the fishermen on the beach and Otterton Mill has great home-made food, live music evenings, artist studios, and bakery.
Budleigh Salterton is on the World Heritage Coast with its beautiful, pebble beach and old fashioned town. The pretty thatched village of Otterton is a walk up the Otter Estuary as is East Budleigh, the birth place of Sir Walter Raleigh. Sidmouth is an attractive Regency seaside resort and the National Trust village of Branscombe is full of attractive thatched buildings. From Branscombe is a lovely coastal walk to the fishing village and sheltered beach at Beer. Honiton in the Blackdown Hills is famous for lace-making, pottery and is a big antiques centre whilst Topsham is a lovely historic estuary port is full of interesting Dutch, Edwardian and Georgian architecture. Exeter itself, is the regional capital with sights such as the cathedral and historic quayside along the River Exe and Exeter Canal.