Group travel can sometimes be tough to coordinate. When people have different tastes, expectations and budgets, organizing a trip with your family and friends can feel like a chore. However, if you spend some days at sunny Soar Mill Cove in Devon, UK, all the stress will quickly melt away. This gorgeous seaside property is perfect for multi-generational groups, girlfriend getaways and quick escapes, as there’s plenty of amenities that will cater to your whole crew.
From London it can be a little tricky to get there, so have a game plan in advance. You can take the train from London to Exeter and then hire a taxi for the last 30-minute leg. Or, rent a car from Exeter if you want to have room for additional luggage and have a vehicle to explore more of Devon during your stay. You can also drive straight there from the city in a few hours.
All the perfect perks
The main hotel at Soar Mill Cove has several luxurious rooms to choose from, idea for couples or small families. Plush bedding, huge windows and top-of-the-line toiletries are offered. Not only is there a massive dining area and small coffee/ice cream café, there’s a sitting and lounge space with sweeping views and several comfy couches for an afternoon read.
However, just a minute down the hill from the main property is the two free-standing, self-catering villas. This can hold up to 12 people combined, or be split into two separate villas. So no matter your group size it works well. Inside there’s access to full bedrooms with king-size beds, flat screen TVs and several large bathrooms (my favorite had a rainfall shower). The full kitchen and dining area is great for prepping meals onsite, and there’s also a grill out back for barbeques. Don’t forget to take a peek in the basket on the counter for homemade scones, clotted cream and homemade jams. Speaking of the outside space, have a glass of bubbly in your private hot tub overlooking the hills and sea – a highlight of our tranquil experience.
Afterwards, have a memorable meal at the restaurant in the main building. The chefs at Soar Mill source much of their dishes from several local Devon farms, so everything is seasonal and super fresh. Ask the smart staff about wine pairings and specials on the menu to get an authentic experience. Enjoy a full English breakfast made to order in the morning as well. There’s also a cafe onsite with a tasty selection of ice creams and lunch bites.
Location by the sea
While it might be tempting to stay inside your seaside home-away-from-home the whole trip, there’s lots to do outside just steps from your front door. It’s a short walk through a gated path past sheep-covered fields down to the water. Guests have access to a sandy, pebbly beach surrounded by Devon cliffs and gentle waves. Instead of turning down the dirt road to the sea, you can head to the left and up the hill where you’ll reach the long path that winds along the coast for many miles. This can be a walking way toward neighboring villages for a pint or simply enjoying the pristine views. In the opposite direction by the access road to soar mill will bring you to some nearby markets and grocery stories in a few minutes by car.
A little something extra at Soar Mill Cove
Besides endless walking trails, tasty dining options onsite and lush accommodations, Soar Mill Cove has some special features that make it stand out among the rest.
One fantastic aspect of life at Soar Mill is your pets are welcome to stay with you. The owners’ dogs greet you at check-in so you know your pooch is at the right place. The villas especially have extra space to spread out and easy access to places for walking your dog along the beautiful English coastline. Do bring your own bedding and accessories so man’s best friend is extra comfy in the self-catering villa.
We happened to do a bunch of walking up and down the green hills on our trip. Not to mention, one member of the crew was training for a marathon this summer in Brighton and conquered 13 miles along the coast, which is easily accessible from Soar Mill Cove. You can visit the beach, say hi to the sheep, walk along the coast or run forever to earn that pint at the end of the day.
An afternoon of pampering at the deluxe spa on property was well deserved after our afternoon exercise. Book a service in advance and be whisked away in the sauna room and treatment spaces. I indulged in a hour-long massage that was catered to my own needs and made me feel wonderfully refreshed at the end. I was even given some complimentary sunblock to help my skin that was starting to turn a little pink from all the spring sunshine.
It was personal touches like those that made our stay at Soar Mill Cove in South Devon special. It’s the perfect weekend away from London or extended escape from anywhere else in the world for the sea, sun and exceptional service.