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13th January 2016 | Regional News, UK Holidays

5 Places to Propose in Devon

Heart of Devon

Nowhere beats Devon for romance. From long walks on its idyllic beaches to the wild beauty of Exmoor and Dartmoor, it makes a perfect backdrop to a true love story. So this Valentine’s Day, ramp up the romance factor with the five top places to propose in Devon.

Branscombe Beach

This mile-long beach on Devon’s stunning Jurassic Coast is a perfect spot to propose. It has a real picture-postcard feel to it, with bright green grass giving way to a golden shingle and sand beach dotted with upturned blue and red fishing boats. At this time of year, you may even have it to yourself as it’s an out-of-the-way spot, even though it’s just a 40-mile drive from Torquay Holiday Park. Like we say, perfect. To make a real occasion of it, walk along the beach to the idyllic village of Beer, via the steep steps at Hooken Cliffs, known locally as the Stairway to Heaven. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that.

Dartmeet

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Celebrate two lives coming together at Dartmeet, a beauty spot in Dartmoor, near Torquay Holiday Park. It’s where the two major tributaries of the River Dart meet – the East Dart and the West Dart, but if that isn’t symbolic enough for you, this tiny hamlet has plenty more to inspire romance. It’s an area associated with mythical creatures, probably because of its rugged and remote beauty, and the nearby Pixieland celebrates this with its quirky shop. There are lots of lovely walks over the moors and by the rivers and when you’ve worked up a thirst, toast your happiness at Badger’s Holt, a riverside restaurant at the foot of the 1300 feet-high Yar Tor. It’s famous for its Devonshire Cream Teas, made with a secret scone recipe that they’ve used for more than 60 years. If you have a ‘yes I’ll marry you’ to celebrate, though, they’ll be quite happy to upgrade a pot of tea to flutes of Champagne!

Croyde Bay

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Understated Croyde Bay is only a few minutes’ walk away from Ruda Holiday Park. Surrounded by grassy sand dunes, this unspoilt beach makes for a romantic site to propose whether the tide is in or out. Walk down to the water’s edge to take in the crashing waves, as Croyde is known as one of Devon’s best surfing spots. But don’t worry, this bay is sheltered enough for you to get down on one knee without being buffeted by winds or getting a mouthful of sand. When you’ve had your fill of the rugged coastline and roaring surf, wander to picturesque Croyde Village. Here you can celebrate with fish and chips, or a more upmarket meal at The Thatch, a lovely local pub with – you’ve guessed it – a thatched roof.

Doone Valley

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Also close to Ruda Holiday Park is the Doone Valley in Exmoor. For lovers of literature or history, it’s an ideal place to propose as it’s the setting for one of our greatest love stories, Lorna Doone by R D Blackmore. The heart of the valley is in the village of Malmsmead, which is where Lorna Doone’s Farm and Oare Church are, both of which featured in the book. But a great place to pop the question is Badgworthy Water, an idyllic river with stepping stones, or Brendon Common, which has dramatic views over the moor to the Bristol Channel and Wales on a clear day. On the 30-minute drive back to Ruda, it’s worth popping in to Watersmeet, a National Trust property just outside the seaside town of Lynmouth, much beloved by the Romantic poets Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley.

Bigbury beach

The main problem you’ll face at Bigbury Beach, just around the bay from Challaborough Bay Holiday Park, is exactly which spot to choose to pop the question. This pretty little resort is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so there are lots of contenders. Will it be on the walk out to Burgh Island, linked to the resort by a causeway that’s accessible at low tide (don’t worry – you can hitch a lift back on the sea tractor later on!) Or will it be in the Art Deco glamour of the Burgh Island Hotel restaurant, which serves up classic British gastronomy with a modern twist? Alternatively, there’s a beautiful spot on top of the hill overlooking the island, where you can watch the surf slowly covering up the causeway. Or there’s the soft sands of the beach itself, so packed with surfers and swimmers in summer, but nicely quiet in winter.

Wherever you choose, you can be sure of one thing – Devon’s beauty will make the happy memories of your brand new engagement all the more special.

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