I’m a huge fan of self-catering holidays and the freedom they give you to explore destinations at your own pace. However, some accommodation options are better suited to families than others. A romantic bolthole in the middle of nowhere sounds dreamy pre-kids. But it’s probably not the ideal setting for a break with your 2.4 children. So, where’s the best places for self-catering holidays in Devon when you add ankle-biters or even teens to the mix?
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In this post I’m sharing a handful of the best family-friendly places to stay in Devon including:
- luxury cottages by the sea
- log cabins with hot tubs
- farm holidays
- a holiday let for city breaks
- a family-friendly holiday park
- and where to go camping in Devon.
Each place listed ticks all the right boxes when it comes to accommodation, facilities and location. Unsurprisingly, they’re all family run!
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Luxury cottages by the sea
Luxury and family-friendly? You read that right. Here’s some fabulous luxury cottages in Devon that welcome families and put you in the perfect spot for days by the sea.
Barrington House, South Devon
It has oodles of space for socialising including a huge open plan kitchen and play room.
The lounge is perfect for movie nights with a big screen TV, huge sofa and beanbags. And you’re spoilt for choice for spaces to eat together with a formal dining room, patio and large enclosed garden.
Back inside there are six bedrooms sleeping 12 people plus cots for babies. Each room has a luxurious ensuite or views towards the mouth of the River Dart and is stylishly decorated.
And if you need more beds you can book the neighbouring two and three bedroom holiday properties, The Penthouse and The Glasshouse. Altogether they can sleep 24 people. Each property comes with its own parking.
And for the kids? There’s a massive dressing up box, high chairs, child-friendly crockery and cutlery, buckets and spades, crab lines and loads of toys to entertain them.
This is a plug in and play holiday property. Just add you!
Check availability for Barrington House.
Barrington House is a short down hill walk from Dartmouth town centre, a 10 minute drive from the Blue Flag beach of Blackpool Sands and a short distance from lots of South Devon family attractions.
If you’d like to find out more about all the things to do while staying at Barrington House check out the Dartmouth Colouring Book for Kids, which was inspired by family holidays here at Barrington House.
Check availability for Barrington House*.
Get a while to stay? Check out my full guide to family holidays in Devon.
Hot tub holidays in Devon
Having your own private hot tub adds a touch of luxury to any holiday. Here’s a family-sized one that comes with a cosy cabin nestled in the beautiful South Hams in Devon:
Erme log cabin with hot tub in Kingsbridge
This unique luxury log cabin is the perfect place for a relaxed family getaway, tucked away in a valley overlooking the South Hams countryside.
Inside you’ll find a stylish living space with a kitchenette, shower room and two mezzanine bedrooms to sleep up to four people. Families of five can also use the sofa bed downstairs.
The hot tub is heated by a wood burner, and there’s a barbecue and fire pit to complete the outdoor living space.
The charming rural towns and impossibly pretty beaches of the South Hams are just a short drive away from your log cabin, making this the ideal base for enjoying the very best a Devon holiday can offer.
Walk around the harbour in Salcombe and enjoy one of the town’s famous ice creams or hit the surf at Bantham Beach – both are within five miles of your cabin.
A little further a field there are family attractions like Woodlands Family Theme Park and Pennywell Farm, and historic houses like Agatha Christie’s holiday home Greenway. Reach the house by boat from Dartmouth for a full day out.
Steam train enthusiasts have two to choose: Dartmouth Steam Railway and the South Devon Railway leaving from Totnes. Riding either or both is a fun way to immerse yourselves in countryside views without the leg work.
For lots more ideas take a look at my guide to things to do in the South Hams.
Check availability at Erme.
Farm holidays in Devon
If you want fresh air, rolling countryside views and animal encounters then check out these family-friendly farm holidays in Devon:
Nethway Farm Holiday Cottages, Kingswear
Nethway Farm has a small collection of holiday cottages that make quite an impact on its guests. In fact, they have won several awards for their family-friendly accommodation and facilities.
So, what’s so special about them?
Take your pick of five holiday cottages at Nethway Farm – all converted farm buildings that have been finished to a very high standard with beautiful furnishings and practical living spaces. Each comes with its own patio or terrace.
The cottages sleep between four and six people plus a cot. Three are also dog-friendly so you can bring along your four-legged family member.
Check availability for Nethway Farm Holiday Cottages.
These award-winning holiday cottages in the South Hams Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty come with everything you could expect of a farm stay resort: they’re surrounded by open space, have plenty of rural charm and there’s loads of animals to meet.
Add to that a heated indoor pool, play barn, soft play, trim trail and a quiet beach within a mile and it’s the kind of place you’ll never want to leave. No wonder families book again and again.
The closest place to visit is the National Trust’s Coleton Fishacre estate, which has sub tropical gardens and an art deco house. From here you can also walk the South West Coast to Kingswear.
Hop on the dinky car ferry or passenger ferry at Kingswear and you’ll be wandering the picturesque streets of Dartmouth a few minutes later.
The quirky fishing town of Brixham is a few minutes drive away from Nethway Farm. Here you’ll find a pirate ship, fish market, forts and an outdoor pool with spectacular views. That’s not to mention plenty of great places to eat. Don’t miss the tasty treats at the Curious Kitchen.
Find more things to do in Brixham.
Check availability for Nethway Farm Holiday Cottages.
Lower Campscott Farm, near Woolacombe
If you’d like a farm holiday on the North Devon coast then take a look at Lower Campscott Farm. It is nestled between the popular beaches of Woolacombe and the International Dark Sky Reserve of Exmoor National Park.
Lower Campscott has eight 4* self-catering holiday cottages and lodges sleeping between three and eight people.
Each cottage has a high chair, cot and a stair gate. You can also borrow changing mats, potties, a baby bath, loo seat or socket covers if you need them.
Families with pets are welcome to book into any of the lodges, which come with dog-friendly enclosed gardens or decked areas.
Check availability for Lower Scottcamp Farm.
This holiday destination in North Devon gives you a hands-on farm experience.
There are daily activities for guests like feeding the animals, collecting eggs and hopping on the tractor and trailer ride. Your kids can also have the run of the indoor and outdoor play areas.
Need to top up your fridge? Lower Campscott has its own farm shop selling local produce and all your holiday essentials.
And if you are staying with family and friends you can also book the function room for gatherings and celebrations.
Lower Campscott Farm is located within three designated areas of natural beauty and sits just a few miles outside Exmoor National Park. It’s a dream location for outdoor loving families.
You can start countryside walks straight from the farm, which has public footpaths running through it. The South West Coast Path is also not far away and you can walk to the beach at Lee Bay. The North Devon surfing and body boarding hot spot of Woolacombe Beach is a 15 minute drive away.
If your kids would like to try horse riding Woolacombe Riding Stables is 10 minutes down the road.
Here’s some more things to do in North Devon with Kids.
Or why not visit nearby Ilfracombe to see Damien Hirst’s Verity? She’s in one of the a few North Devon scenes featured in the Devon Colouring Book for Kids.
Check availability for Lower Scottcamp Farm.
Download the 101 Days out in Devon with kids ebook
Grab your copy of this guide to family-friendly things to do across the county, from coast to coast, in the cities, on the moors and whatever the weather.
Holiday let in Exeter
Taking a city break needn’t mean checking into a hotel. Here’s a family-friendly holiday let in Exeter – Devon’s capital city:
Chute House, Exeter city centre
City breaks are all about being at the heart of the action. That’s why Chute House is such a good choice for families wanting to explore Exeter.
This self-catering city pad was completely refurbished in 2021. It’s ideal for a couple of families to stay together or for a multi-generation family holiday in Devon.
The three storey house sleeps eight people in four bedrooms that can be easily switched from king sized beds to twins depending on who’s staying. The master suite in the loft even has its own ensuite.
Downstairs there’s a light and airy kitchen and living space where you can gather, cook and catch up on your favourite Netflix shows. And when the sun is shining throw open the patio doors to enjoy the private garden.
Chute House is close to city centre car parks and transport links.
Check availability for Chute House.
Whether you arrive by car, train or bus, you’ll find it really easy to see the sights from Chute House.
Popular Exeter attractions like RAMM, Exeter Cathedral and Exeter Quay are all within walking distance. If your kids care less about the sights and more about leisure, you can also reach shops, local theatres, cinemas and Exeter City Football Club on foot.
Here’s loads more ideas for things to do in Exeter with kids.
Check availability for Chute House*.
Holiday parks in Devon
If you want a choice of accommodation styles with access to family-friendly facilities then a Devon holiday park might be more up your street.
Andrewshayes Holiday Park, Axminster
Another family-run self-catering holiday provider that has won multiple awards is Andrewshayes Holiday Park. It’s located in East Devon and has a family-friendly vibe without the busyness of a large commercial resort.
Whether you are looking for a lodge with a hot sub, a bijou camping pod, luxury mobile home or you want to bring your own tent or camper, Andrewshayes offers all kinds of self-catering holidays.
In the exclusive Orchard Retreat you’ll find luxury lodges with hot tubs overlooking the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
On the main holiday park there’s a variety of modern holiday homes for hire, as well as low key glamping pods with countryside views and pitches for tents, campers and caravans.
Whichever accommodation you choose to stay in at Andrewshayes you have access to lots of family-friendly facilities including a covered, heated swimming pool, a bar and cafe with takeaway, an arcade and games room, soft play, playing field and playground.
Dogs are welcome at this holiday park and have their own walking area as well as a woodland walk to explore. The team can also recommend a local kennel or approved dog lovers who will help you with doggie day care if your pooch can’t accompany you at a local attraction.
Speaking of attractions, there’s plenty of outdoor fun to be had locally.
Here’s my guide to places to visit in East Devon including learning about rare and endangered animals at Wildwood Escot, meeting the residents of The Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth, spotting wildlife at Seaton Wetlands and enjoying some train-themed fun at Pecorama at Beer.
You’re also a short drive from the Jurassic Coast. If you want to find fossils, the best beaches are at Charmouth and Lyme Regis just over the border in Dorset. You might also have luck at Hooken Beach between Branscombe and Beer Head.
Check availability at Andrewshayes Holiday Park.
Camping in Devon
If you want to check out more campsites and holiday parks for self-catering holidays in Devon, take a look at my round up of family-friendly sites.
You might also like my guide to glamping in Devon.
More places to stay in Devon
If you want more information about destinations, accommodation and breaks here in the South West of England check out my full guide to family holidays in Devon.
You might also like to add the Devon Colouring Book for Kids to your pre-holiday shopping list – it’s a fun and fact-filled guide for kids.
*Disclosure: this post contains paid listings and affiliate links. If you click on a link marked with * and make a booking I may earn some commission. This does not affect the price you pay.