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Things to do in Southampton

On a glorious spring day last year, we did two things of note. We looked at the sky. Then we gazed at the sea. Then we enjoyed many of the things to do in Southampton that make for a great family holiday.

Things to do in Torquay

Torquay has been a fashionable seaside resort since the early 19th century with some fabulous beaches and many interesting historical houses alongside its shops and cafes.

Making the most of Cornwall's April showers

Don't forget your coat as spring brings April showers to Cornwall. But stay positive, there are plenty of things you can do when the skies turn grey.

Easter activities in Devon

With plenty of Easter activities to choose from, Devon has a good mix of indoor and outdoor events to keep little ones busy over the school holidays, come rain or shine.

Easter activities in Dorset

While away the school holidays in Dorset with our pick of Easter events across the county to keep kids entertained and get them outside in the fresh air.

Easter activities in Hampshire

Keep all the family entertained with our choice of events in Hampshire and the New Forest this Easter. Our list of family friendly things to do will be sure to fill up your holiday itinerary.

Easter activities in Somerset

Planning a family holiday to Somerset over Easter? Cast your eyes over our eggcellent list of events that are perfect for keeping kids engaged. You might even enjoy a couple of them yourself.

Easter activities on the Isle of Wight

With Easter not far away, it’s time to start planning what you’ll be doing with the kids. Make the most of the school holidays with some egg-citing events on the Isle of Wight.

Easter activities in Cornwall

Give the kids an eggs-hilarating holiday this Easter with survival skill days and Easter egg hunts in some of Cornwall’s most beautiful places.

Things to do in Weymouth

I wonder if Weymouth is actually rather overlooked and under-rated, with visitors flocking more to other Dorset locations such as Bournemouth, but Weymouth has some brilliant hidden gems that I want to share with you.

Things to do in Seaview

On the east of the Isle of Wight, Seaview is a great spot for family holidays on the beach, romantic ocean vistas and maybe even an ice cream or two.

Things to do in a forest

Any time of year is always great for resurrecting some of the simple pleasures of yesteryear. Forests become wonderlands of fun, discovery and adventure. Here’s a round-up of some simple forest fun ideas to try.

April events in Hampshire

From canoeing egg hunts to a classic car rally, soak up the spring sunshine with Easter holiday activities and early bank holiday fun in Hampshire this April.

4 Holiday cottages with swimming pools for Easter

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, most people tend to make the school holidays a family occasion. Choose a holiday cottage with a pool as an added luxury to your holiday in the South and West.

Queen for a day: A visit to Osborne House

Kayleigh Hardy spent a day exploring the gardens and house at Osborne. A truly regal experience to round off her visit to the Isle of Wight.

A day out to Brading Roman Villa

Liz Arnell visited Brading Roman Villa on the Isle of Wight and discovered more than just a bit of Roman pottery.

Holiday cottages with hot tubs

Perfect for a winter's warm up, not just a summer sunset! A pick of our holiday cottages with hot tubs in the South and West.

January events on the Isle of Wight

If you're heading to the Isle of Wight to beat the January blues, here are some events from across the island to keep you busy during your holiday.

Things to do in February Half Term in Cornwall

From rescuing aliens to terrific tudors, Cornwall has plenty to do this February half term. Make the most of the county with our selection of events worth visiting while you're away.

Decorated cottages for Christmas and New Year

Still looking for a place to stay over Christmas and New Year? These cottages are still available and have the added bonus of Christmas decorations to keep your festive spirits high.

Catering for Christmas with hampers

Food is always a tough one to get organised over Christmas. With most shops now delivering, go for something a little more local to add a touch of the west country to your festivities.

New Year in Dorset

Explore Dorset during your down time over Christmas and New Year. A much better use of your holiday time than staying in and watching TV - that's what catch up is for.

New Year in Somerset

See the sights of Somerset this Christmas and New Year by exploring some of the best bits the county has to offer in the winter.

New Year in Hampshire

Spend that time between Christmas and New Year making the most of your holiday in Hampshire. Here are some ideas to get you started on things to do to relax over the festive period.

New Year in Devon

Christmas and New Year in Devon is a wonderful time to get out and explore all that the county has to offer. Here are some of our favourite activities for that quiet time between partying and socialising.

New Year in Cornwall

The festivities have come to a close but there are still plenty of places to explore across Cornwall. Make the most of your stay in the county with some of our favourite activities to do at New Year.

Simple Christmas biscuit recipes for kids

Enjoy the freedom of a self catering cottage by letting the kids loose in the kitchen with these festive (and easy) recipes. Just be prepared for the amount of sweet treats you'll have to try.

December events in Hampshire

From winter walks in the New Forest to lantern parades in Winchester, there's plenty of festive fun to be had in Hampshire this December.

December events in Devon

Enjoy festive events across Devon this December with my pick of some of the best for all the family.

School Holiday Dates

Whether you are looking for a small, quiet bolt hole during the holidays or a place for an extended family get-together, we have over 900 lovely places in the South West to choose from.

Things to do in Penzance

Relax and take it easy on your Cornwall cottage holiday with a lungful of salty sea air on the Penzance promenade or an adventure through the shopping arcades filled with Cornish treasures.

Trerice by Candlelight - ghost hunting in Cornwall

I had never visited a stately home by candlelight before. So when I noticed that Trerice House in Cornwall was one of a handful of National Trust properties which organised night time ghost walks I was truly excited by the idea.

Child friendly recipes for self catering holidays

Unless you eat out every time, one or two meals are going to be cooked in the holiday cottage kitchen. Get the little ones involved with these child friendly food ideas as voted for by Classic staff.

Things to do in Falmouth

A holiday in Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without a day out in the historic harbour town of Falmouth. Sitting just south of Truro, Falmouth isn’t too far off the beaten track and makes for a great day out.

Top five Devon Christmas markets

Our top five Christmas markets and festivals in Devon. Perfect for getting started on finding ideas and gifts for the big day.

Top five Dorset Christmas markets

Get into the festive spirit in Dorset this Christmas with our top five Christmas markets from across the county.

Top five Somerset Christmas markets

Soak up everything Somerset has to offer in the festive season with our top pick of Christmas markets and fairs from across the county.

October events in Cornwall

Wild food walks in the Lost Gardens of Heligan, the county’s best brews at Falmouth Beer Festival, feast nights to tantalise the tastebuds and some frighteningly good Halloween events – it’s all happening in Cornwall this October.

October events in Dorset

Check out the autumnal festivals and events in Dorset this October. There are plenty of exhibitions and activities to keep you busy.

October events in Somerset

As the weather cools down, find some spectacular Somerset events to make the most of your October.

Best 3 National Trust properties in Devon

There are many great National Trust places to visit in Devon and I go regularly with my three children aged 5, 7 and 9. This is a list of our personal favourites and a quick explanation of why we love them.

A day tour of Longleat

The beauty of Longleat is that as an attraction, it never gets old, with something new to delight you with every visit, so it is well worth going back again and again when on holiday in Somerset.

Slipping back in time at Corfe Castle

Despite being prolific sightseers, my family and I have discovered few views as awe-inspiring in the UK as our first glimpse of Corfe Castle.

Exploring Lostwithiel

But it’s not just the lively shopping scene that draws the crowds, there are beautiful riverside walks to enjoy, brilliant play parks for kids and plenty of excellent pubs, cafes and restaurants ready for when hunger strikes.

Cardinham Woods family walk

My wife is a city girl; she is happy in these maintained woodlands to know that there are toilets nearby, places to buy good coffee, and well-maintained paths, while I’m happy that we don’t have to actually stay on the paths at all.

Charlestown harbour

Charlestown is immediately recognisable to fans of Poldark as the harbour in the series. The joy of it as a location is that they’ve hardly had to change much at all.

Healey's Cyder Farm

There are some places that only get discovered on rainy Wednesdays and we stumbled onto one of them. I’m sure that a visit to a cider farm isn’t a top priority for many families but the destination delivered.

August events in Cornwall

It’s the height of summer in Cornwall and also the height of activities with so many things to do in August you won’t know where to start, so we’ve put a selection together for you.

August events in Devon

Devon is a big county packed full of things to do in August. Here’s our quick pick to keep you entertained but wherever you are in the county make sure to keep your eyes open for…rhinos?!

August events in Somerset

Holidays in Somerset have even more appeal when you get under the skin of local communities and eke out all the events going on throughout the county this August. Fun fairs and train rides, secret gardens and outdoor activities, there’s fun for all the family including the four-legged variety.

St Michael's Mount day trip

You really wonder at the enterprise and sheer foolishness of building a stately home on a huge chuck of rock 500 meters out to sea

July events in Devon

If you’ve been on holiday to Devon before but have never checked out the local shows or celebrations, or even if you’re new to the area, why not get involved this July?

July events in Dorset

Festivals and celebrations in Dorset bring together both the local community and guests alike, and are brilliant for showcasing local produce, goods and traditions.

July events in Somerset

From the seaside to the city, a summer in Somerset is packed full of culture, food and drink, entertainment and something to suit everyone.

Spontaneous short breaks in Somerset

When did you last do something impromptu? Sometimes, being spontaneous is exactly what you need - and Somerset offers the perfect playground.

Paddle Boarding with SUP in a Bag

Favoured with glassy waters, calm enveloped the morning and as we looked out to sea our excitement grew – this was a perfect day to go paddle boarding.

Top 5 best things to do in the New Forest

We know because we've been there, but we're also backed up by our guests and Owners - here's some of the best things to do in the New Forest.

Moors Valley Country Park

I cannot recommend Moors Valley Country Park highly enough, in fact I've already sent a number of friends and family along and hope to go back again myself soon.

Black Prince Flower Boat Procession

The historic Black Prince Flower Boat Procession traditionally took place to bid farewell to the winter cold and welcome spring sunshine – little wonder it’s so popular!

Beaches of the New Forest

We decided to work our way back along the beaches of the south coast despite it being a somewhat dreary looking February day

Lyndhurst and the New Forest ponies

We had driven through the town of Lyndhurst earlier in the day and made a note to stop off on our way back to our holiday cottage in Lymington, not least because of the large number of New Forest ponies we had seen just on the outskirts of the town.

New Forest Wildlife Park

The wolves and chatty giant otters were a big hit, the stories of their conservation making for heart-warming reading and the friendly deer that were free to roam around the park added a magical touch.

Family fun day at Bucklers Hard

Considering it wasn't our location of choice we really surprised ourselves with how enjoyable it was and would highly recommend a visit.

Discovering Saltram House, Plymouth

The house itself is impressive with fantastic period furnishings and beautifully decorated rooms, but the grounds are the star of the show.

A day in Kingsand and Cawsand

Kingsand and Cawsand are twin seafront villages on The Rame Peninsula in Cornwall. They have a rich fishing (and smuggling!) heritage and you can still spot the old fish cellars and stores along the coast.

A Family Trip to Dartmoor Zoo

Famously remembered as the inspiration behind the Hollywood film ‘We Bought a Zoo’, Dartmoor Zoo has a charm all of its own.

Our holiday in the New Forest

Do I really only get to stay here for the weekend? Perhaps I will call in sick on Monday and stay just a little longer.

5 Family Easter Days out

Wherever you end up in the South West this Easter there are things to do that will entertain all.

Piskies, Devils and Gubbins at Lydford Gorge

When we saw The Devil’s Cauldron in all its primeval glory we stood agog for a full ten minutes as the waters roared and the mist swirled around us.

Den building at Coleton Fishacre

Coleton Fishacre is a hidden gem. It’s been one of my family’s top ten favourite day’s out for years and it’s just got a whole lot better...

10 reasons to Christmas in Cornwall

With temperature dropping and the nights drawing in, it’s easy to lust after summer. But our sights are set firmly on the good stuff: a return to decent telly, wintry comfort food (hello Shepherd’s Pie, we’ve missed you) and most exciting of all - Christmas!

Goat walking in Exmouth

The World of Country Life is a great day out for young children. Even though we went on a Saturday it was surprisingly quiet and we didn’t have to queue for anything which made it all the more enjoyable.

Becky Falls family day out

I read on the leaflet that Becky Falls has been open to the public since 1903. A lot of small feet must have walked its trails in that time but my children really did feel like explorers discovering a strange and magical land for the first time.

A winning holiday at Winnie's Cottage

The winner of our holiday competition with Classic Cottages and JojoMamanBebe tells us all about her fab baby-friendly holiday in Winnie's Cottage (1822)

Family friendly Things To Do for Free in Devon

We are quite a frugal family so the more free things that we can fill our days with, the better. Since we have lived in the West Country we have discovered all sorts of new, free, places to visit and I thought I would share a few of them with you.

An American in Cornwall: A Cornish bus ride

I read a good deal more books in a year than I previously thought possible. I did a lot of walking. I learned how to slow down and wait. I learned the hard way that buses in rural places don't stop unless you hail them.

Feast your eyes on the Hidden Hut

Finally, we are given the signal and – in true British fashion – the hordes of hardcore carnivores form an orderly queue: mouths watering, plates in hand.

A trip back in time at Tyneham

The reassuring flutter of the green flag announces that the road is open (and free from military practice) to wind down the Dorset valley into the lost village of Tyneham. The village appears casually into view and it is only up close that you realise the eeriness of this place.

Lanhydrock Cycling

I was headed to the new cycling mecca: Lanhydrock - where there would be no cars, only trees, the rumour of cake and other lycra-clad illuminous beings.

Devon’s Top Ten Best Fish and Chips

Devon, a part of Britain where the grass genuinely is greener than anywhere else , and you're spoilt for choice about where to go for your fish-and-chip fix

Family Holidays: Crabbing at Stoke Gabriel

On most crabbing adventures at other sites we feel the familiar tug on the line and gingerly start to pull the string up, but halfway up the wall the crab wisely lets go of the bag and jumps back into the water. Not so at Stoke Gabriel.

Sampling the River Cottage Food Festival

Itʼs not what you would call a ʻhugeʼ festival, but itʼs all the more special because of that. If anything it feels like a huge family garden party, if only I had that garden!

The best family friendly beach in south Devon

I hesitate to write this because I don’t want too many people to know about THE perfect family friendly beach, but just between you and me, I think I’ve found it.

An American in Cornwall: The Minack in the rain

It began to rain, and then it began to pour. The wind started gusting. Backdrops blew over and props flew away. The players had to grip their costumes to themselves and shout to be heard over the whistle of wind in their mics. But there can be no better place in the world to experience Shakespeare.

WIN goodies for the kiddies this summer

NOW CLOSED Great summers make great childhood memories and our Great Little Trading Company competition gives you the chance to win the toys to play with.

A magical afternoon at Dartington Hall

They say Dartington is situated on a ley line – now I’m not sure about all that hippy stuff, but one thing I do know is I always feel an incredible sense of calm and beauty when I visit.

Fossil hunting in Lyme Regis

Even my twelve-year-old son was soon bashing away at rocks with his hammer and proudly announcing his discovery of belemnites, crinoid stems and an ammonite

Learning to surf in Cornwall

In a county hemmed by stunning, Atlantic-pounded beaches, it’s hardly surprising that surfing is such a popular pastime

Bluebells at Blackbury Camp in Devon

The flowers are short-lived, and so once they are out, you should grab the opportunity to see them at their best...

The Best Secret Beaches in Cornwall

If you’re looking for somewhere a little more romantic and peaceful, there are plenty of lesser-known beaches where you couples can bag your own patch of pearly sands.

A shipwreck adventure on the coast of north Cornwall

‘From Pentire Point to Hartland light, a watery grave by day and night’, so goes the local saying. It’s one of the UK’s most notorious stretches of coastline for shipwrecks...ripe for adventure.

9 Great Games for Next to Nothing

3 Games... to spice up a dull car journey 3 Games...your grandparents might teach you 3 Games...to play after a bottle or two of wine

Christmas ideas for all the family

Here’s a fistful of Christmassey ideas for all the family to enjoy - events, lights, markets and much more in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta 2014

Falmouth is making history with a joint event that sees over 30 tall ships between Cornwall and London.

£500 celebration competition

NOW CLOSED Book a cottage with 8 or more people and be in with the chance of winning £500 of stuff you need for that perfect meal for your special occasion.

Yoga at Lanyon Quoit

Driving along yet more winding, narrow hedged roads the landscape was familiar with far reaching views over fields sectioned with stone walls and gorse hedges. An earlier signpost had indicated ‘Lanyon Quoit’ was along here somewhere, but what was a ‘lanyon’? Or a ‘quoit’ for that matter.

The Magical Mystery Tour of far west Cornwall

We went at the wrong time of day to stumble across the locals. But we still picked up a few tips that sparked a Magical Mystery Tour of the Penwith peninsula.

Picnic on the Quay

A mid-July, mid-week, mid-afternoon picnic on Tremayne quay off the Helford River. We picked our way through the best bits of the local farm shops on our Tour of the Lizard to create an enviable hamper full of goodies.

The Magic of Mount's Bay

Not just for those with a Bus Pass... this journey is best taken on an open top bus!