The words “Cottages in Devon” conjures up pictures of thatch, bramble patches, fresh country air, bubbling rivers and sandy beaches. Throw in some cream teas, walks on the moors with pub breaks and exploring the UK’s second largest county and you can see why Devon Cottages are so popular with both holiday makers and home owners.
The term cottage was derived from a word which was the home of a cotter, an agricultural laborer from the Middle Ages and cottages were then the smaller peasant type buildings. Small in those days may however have meant a building more akin to a small farmhouse as land was more easily available.
So what makes a great cottage holiday in Devon. First and foremost its the location. Cottages abound throughout Devon due to its ancient farming and fishing heritage, so there is an abundance of cottages, not all ringed with roses of course but they do exist! Over the hundreds of years many of these cottages were used by farm workers, fishermen, miners, weavers, lifeboat men or coastguards and lighthouse keepers. Many have been knocked down or fallen into ruin, but the last 30 years and the increase in interest in second homes and relocating to Devon has seen a rise in renovations and prices!
As you can see renting a coastguard cottage can be wildly different to renting a cottage tucked away in small Dartmoor hamlet! One is possibly high up on a windswept cliff overlooking sometimes wild seas in a terrace of cottages, the other may be a single building protected by a willow copse.
The term cottage in the context of a holiday home can often be overused and not entirely descriptive! Generally speaking a cottage in modern usage is a modest, often cozy dwelling, typically in a rural or semi-rural location (Wikipedia). This is generally the accepted, but the picture below gives the idyllic version.
Older cottages, especially well renovated ones often retain original features, such as fireplaces, beamed ceilings, thatched roofs and more. Some of this is compulsory now due to properties being Listed. These features can make a holiday home quite attractive due to the different ambiance and change from home life. A word of warning however as ceilings can often be low and rooms small, with tiny windows reducing the light. Most have modern heating, although the windows may be single pane only and open fireplaces are often not used due to a worry about the thatching catching fire. There are however cottages that have contemporary internal designs and may be a better consideration for some or perhaps choose a small barn conversions.
Whatever you are seeking then a good Devon Cottage may be suitable for that holiday away. We have shown a couple of pictures below of these great places in and around Devon.