Many of us entered 2021 with a feeling of optimism, only to have it dashed in the first week of January as another lockdown descended. With the latest news it would be very easy to disappear under a cloud of doom and gloom. But no. Resist!

While the midwinter skies are cold and dark, they do serve as a reminder that nothing lasts forever. Just as it’s very hard to imagine a lush, verdant landscape and summer sunshine on your face, the seasons keep turning and that time will surely come. Just the same, these dark and horrible times ushered in by the pandemic will also eventually pass.

2021 Year of the Summer Staycation

For this reason it’s important to keep positive and fix an eye on the horizon for the first glimmer of blue sky. What you need is a holiday in North Devon in the diary! With all the uncertainty caused by local covid flare ups abroad and the travel restrictions resulting from them, 2021 will be the year of the staycation. And why not? Sometimes the Brits are so keen to jet off to a foreign holiday destination that they forget what their own backyard has to offer.

And within that back yard there is a particularly splendid patch, North Devon, which has the makings of a great holiday for all ages. With 30 ensuite rooms, and crammed with modern comforts, The Carlton in Ilfracombe is the perfect starting place for a North Devon summer staycation in 2021 for any size of party – with a selection of single, double/twin and family rooms available and  optimum covid compliancy measures throughout.

The in-house Brasserie is a restaurant renowned for its local dishes that make the best of seasonal produce, and its selection of libations (many brewed in the area). Beyond what the hotel offers, a North Devon staycation offers options for all holiday palates – from gourmet dining to traditional seaside fish and chips and ice creams to slurp away on a warm summer’s day.     

North Devon: Staycation Heaven

So why a North Devon staycation? After the confines of lockdown, the great outdoors will hold more of an allure than ever before and this is a part of the world which offers its benefits better than most. Put simply, summers were made for North Devon!

Let’s start with the lush green landscape with its rolling hills, which provides a picturesque backdrop to any summer staycation. The region is criss-crossed by a network of footpaths and bridleways, some of which begin a stone’s throw from The Carlton itself, allowing visitors to get an instant feel for the great outdoors. The town of Ilfracombe sits between two sections of wonderful Southwest coast path which winds its way across cliff tops, with views of Wales across the Bristol Channel, and down to hidden rocky beaches.

For those seeking a more traditional beach scene, North Devon has sandy beaches by the bucket and spadeful! Within a 10 mile radius of Ilfracombe are three of the most popular beach destinations in the county – Woolacombe/Putsborough, Croyde and dog friendly Saunton Sands. All three offer a paradise for sandcastle artisans and serve as a mecca for surfers. Experienced surfers opt for Croyde while the more easy going waves of Woolacombe and Saunton are perfect for beginners with all three offering surf schools and surf/body board hire facilities to help newbies wet their feet!

For those who find the rigours of the great outdoors rather less appealing, Ilfracombe itself is a perfect canvas on which to spread some holiday colour. From the delightful harbour and the town’s own network of small beaches to the gift shops, galleries and tea rooms which dot the narrow streets, everything is accessible within a 15 minute stroll from The Carlton. All local businesses have adopted rigorous covid policies to ensure customer safety, and at the time of writing North Devon remains one of the areas of England least affected by covid.

Having previewed the trailer (!) this is a great month to book that North Devon staycation trip! For peace of mind, The Carlton offers a flexible booking policy during these unpredictable times with free changes and cancellations up until 48 hours before the start of any stay. To find out more about summer staycation options, contact The Carlton.