With St. George’s Day imminent, what better time to reflect on the things that give our corner of England its unique character? Aside from beautiful scenery and a climate that is often anything but typically English, it’s also fair to say that visitors love the area’s old school charm.
Life is relaxed and more traditional in East Devon and Dorset. Communities are friendly and close, while thatched cottages, old churches and traditional pubs remain reassuringly unchanged.
“Quintessentially English” is a phrase often overused, but in the case of the Jurassic Coast, a simpler and more idyllic way of life is not a mere postcard image but a reality. Perhaps we should celebrate this a little louder; European tourists certainly love the romance and sleepy elegance of England’s small towns and villages. Equally, much of our self-catering accommodation in Dorset and Devon reflects this too, whether it’s one of our converted barns or a pretty cottage.
Which England will you discover on your next trip? Here are some of those typically, gloriously English things to look out for around St. George’s Day, or indeed any time you spend holidays in East Devon and Dorset:
All decked out for the beach:
In terms of gorgeous coastline, the Jurassic Coast has some of England’s most beautiful beaches. For a perfectly laid back day trip, head to one of our classic seaside towns and you could hardly be anywhere on the planet but Southwest England. As easy on the eye as they are on the backside, deck chairs are a typically nostalgic staple of so many resorts. Colourful, comfortable and rarely more than a pound or two to use, they are an elegant way to loaf. Deck chair hire in East Devon and Dorset is available at many beaches: try Sidmouth, Beer or Lyme Regis for plenty of availability and lots to see besides.
Ale and atmosphere:
Always welcoming and very often quaintly historic, no trip to the Jurassic Coast would be complete without a trip to one of the region’s classic English pubs and inns. We love the wooden beams, thatched roofs and centuries of history, not to mention the delicious home-cooked food and real ales. CAMRA has many Jurassic coast pubs on their recommended list, which gives you a brief history and lists ales too, in many cases. Local breweries are booming at present too, producing some excellent beers that fly the flag for the Southwest: Ales from the like of Otter, Dartmoor and Exeter Brewery make some wonderful traditional style ales, while others, such as the Lyme Regis Brewery (www.townmillbrewery.com) have visitors centres to find your new favourite tipple.
Bells, music and Morris Men:
Other magical parts of Devon and Dorset life are not experienced through the eyes or tastebuds, but the ears. Whether it is the chiming of church bells or the strains of folk music from a local pub, the sounds of old England are alive and ringing in the southwest’s coastal towns (try www.eastdevonfolk.org for folk gig listings).
Another traditional presence, especially during the current week of St. George’s Day, are the Morris Dancers. The tradition still thrives in Devon and Dorset, and Exmouth’s Bicton Inn is one gathering place to find them at this year’s St. George’s Day celebrations, which continue right through the weekend. For the record, any fans of folk music or folk dancing simply must also put Sidmouth Folk Week on their “must see” list for later in the year. You’d struggle to find a greater gathering of folk musicians and dancers in the whole of England!
Last but not least, for anyone looking for holiday accommodation that epitomises the southwest of England, we have a fantastic range of perfect self-catering lets bursting with character. From cute cottages to stunning barn conversions, there is no more relaxing way to enjoy the region in comfort and at your own pace.
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