Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Wed August 31 2016

Opinion Home | The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

  • Worldwide Scott | August 31, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    Finding Summerland in South Devon, England

    Finding Summerland in South Devon, England

    PHOTO: Bantham Beach, South Devon. (All photos by Worldwide Scott)

    Being an island in the North Sea definitely has its benefits, and paramount of these for Britain is its seemingly endless stretch of gorgeous coastline.

    If you ask a hundred Brits what the most spectacular stretch is, you’re bound to get a hundred different answers (their opinions tinged with, and swayed by, nostalgia for summer vacations of the past), but almost everyone agrees Devon is heaven.

    Devon’s soft hills and gentle estuaries, beaches and culinary delights are known far and wide as the epitome of seaside delights; and further digging will tell you that South Devon is the creme de la creme of the country.

    So I simply had to go and see it for myself.

    Beaches & Cream

    South Devon is the section of Devon with the best beaches, and in person, they were just as advertised: soft and sweeping with dramatic rocky backdrops. My hands-down favorite was Bantham Beach, recently listed as one of the best beaches in Europe by one of the most popular guidebooks on the “planet.”

    READ MORE: A Few Reasons To Travel To the UK Post-Brexit

    Its brown-sugar sands and pillow-soft dunes were windswept and wonderful, and with Burgh Island and its grand hotel a stone’s throw away, the scene here is idyllic, to say the least. Bantham was the perfect place to laze away a day playing “throw a fuzzy tennis ball and catch it with a velcro disc” and getting my feet wet in the surf. And speaking of surf, surfers love Bantham — even offering lessons.

    I was told that nothing caps a day at the beach like a Devon cream tea, and luckily, South Devon is home to some great spots to indulge. Devon cream teas feature tea of course, but the brew is accompanied by scones (sort of like American biscuits, but even more crumbly and sweet) that you glob with the most gooey and milky indulgence you've ever had in your life: clotted cream. The cream-slathered scone is then topped with fresh jam, and the combo is magic. I had a few of them (for research purposes only), but nothing matched the sheer decadence of Valley View Cafe.

    Scrumptious Seafood

    Fresh-caught-and-fried fish is the name of the game in South Devon, with local chain Rockfish even proudly declaring that “tomorrow night's fish are still in the sea.” I decided to sample, and the regional gurnard was crisped to perfection on the outside, and cooked to perfection on the inside, served with unlimited fries, erm, chips.

    Bottle It Up

    Nothing goes better with fresh fish than a glass of white wine, and you don't even have to import any vino when you're here. That's right, there are multiple vineyards putting out some crisp and refreshing stuff in South Devon, most notably Sharpham.

    And while cider is really having a moment globally, down in Devon, they've been making the stuff for centuries. Locally-made, cloudy natural cider was my drink of choice all week — not too tart, not too effervescent, just right. 

    Where To Stay

    The Royal Castle Hotel in Dartmouth declares that they have been “famous since Drake first sailed” and with its combination of history and shimmering harborside location, it’s easy to see why.

    READ MORE: Our Favorite Souvenirs from England

    The Cottage Hotel overlooks the sea in postcard-perfect Hope Cove, which is so gorgeous, I came straight home from this trip and made it the screensaver on my laptop (and it’s still there).

    We opted for a cottage from Coast & Country, and it ended up stealing our heart. The cozy abode made us feel like we really lived in South Devon for the week, and its location near the aforementioned Valley View Cafe and their scones didn’t hurt either.

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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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