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North Devon or Cumbria?

(5 Posts)
FreddoBaggyMac Tue 03-Jan-17 12:11:21

We are planning a UK family holiday in August (family of 6 + dog, dcs aged 7- 13). We'll be renting a cottage for a week as we've had a great time over the past few years doing this in different areas of the UK. We've had fabulous weeks in Norfolk, Dorset and North Yorkshire in the past few years. This year we've narrowed it down to either North Devon or Cumbria, and I wondered if anyone could advise on which we should go for?! Also I'd be grateful if you could recommend cottages / areas / things to do if poss.
We loved Dorset and I'm thinking North Devon would be similar with more sandy beaches, but am worried it might be too crowded and busy.
I like the idea of nice long walks in the lake district, but am worried that there won't be enough to do apart from that as we'd like to have a couple of days doing other things (theme parks/ zoos/ visiting towns) rather than a whole week of country walks. Also a bit worried about the weather in Cumbria and obviously we'd be missing out on the seaside...
Any advice and recommendations would be very gratefully received x

Brighteyes27 Sat 14-Jan-17 20:36:19

I live in Cumbria if you get the weather it's lovely. Lots of lovely walks and views. We don't have theme parks but their are various activities on offer aside from these. Go on a boat on the lakes, Keswick has a good children's park and a swimming pool but possibly too tame for your 13 year old, Lowther Castle is lovely and dog friendly (the actual castle has no roof but the building looks fantastic) love walk around the grounds with great rope swings for children and adults, Brockhole is great see Trip Adviser, Various Climbing walls, Rookin House (pony trekking, archery quad bikes etc), Jump Mania out west and Energi trampoline park in Carlisle, paint balling, go carting etc etc. Depends on your interests really.

Foxylass Sun 15-Jan-17 10:36:19

I used to live in Cumbria and now live in North Devon.
The 'popular' beaches in North Devon are often busy in Summer but there are some amazing, dog friendly beaches that are not busy.
Exmoor has so many wonderful walks (with dog and child friendly cafes/pubs), and there are more people walking there in the height of summer but it never feels crowded or uncomfortable.
If the weather is bad there are lots of attractions to keep the children entertained.

When I was in Cumbria the walks seemed similar to Exmoor but I spotted some 'no dogs....no muddy boots' signs in pub doorways. Also there were not so many large indoor attractions for entertaining children on rainy days.

Both areas are great for walking, riding, fishing. Both are great for eating out.

Maybe pick one for this year and the other for next.....?

Look for dog friendly holiday cottages. There are lots about.

Have a great holiday.

zazas Sun 15-Jan-17 11:19:45

That's funny - I have just come on to mumsnet to look for information on holidays in North Devon as we live in Cumbria! So my two pence...

There is of course loads to do in Cumbria / The Lakes - obviously the hikes are fantastic - we especially like the ones which involve a ferry/boat ride to the start with a walk back - The Catbells and Howtown, Ullswater both are great. The forest areas of Grisdale and Whinlatter are fun to explore either on trails or on bikes and there are high rope (Go Ape) courses at both. Although there is a high net course at Brockhole which is fantastic for the whole family.

We swim in the lakes in August - warm enough without a wetsuit and our favourite is a short hike up to High Dam for a late afternoon BBQ and swim in the lake - bliss.

There are also zoos and wildlife parks to visit including an ostrich park and working farms. Plus excellent small museums, castles and galleries that are great for an hour or so visit so pretty family friendly.

We are thinking of North Devon because of the surf beaches which my kids are pretty interested in - but I was there last summer and was pretty amazed at how similar the areas were - just swapping beaches for the mountains! However it is definitely warmer down south - although we do get hot and sunny days!

I guess where to look to stay - around Ambleside / Grasmere puts you right in the middle of the North and South Lakes area and accessible to pretty much everything.

Both are great destinations - enjoy your holidays.

Brighteyes27 Sun 15-Jan-17 17:25:26

Yes Devon and the south is definitely warmer.
I didn't mention South Lakes Animal Park as I wasn't sure the 13 year old would be up for it.
Another area to think of for another year OP aid Northumberland it's beautiful rugged, big skies, fairly flat and dog friendly. Again much cooler than Devon and the South.

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