We root about the garden on cocoa-scouting pilgrimages, herding foraged chocolates into baskets and keeping watch for bunnies darting between the daffodils. We return indoors only to turn boiled eggs into pastel Fabergés, and to make ice cream sandwiches out of hot cross buns. While Easter brings familiar foil-wrapped traditions by the pitcher, it's one of the sweetest times to come out of your shell; with little ones on a break from phonics and numeracy, there's days to be filled under the West Country sun. If you’re scavenging about for things to do in Devon this Easter, these spring sashays are all they're cracked up to be.


See The English Riviera

An English harbour with boats in the foreground and houses up the hillsidePictured: Brixham Harbour, south Devon 

Tell the French Riviera it can keep its croissants and cognac. Here in the English Riviera, fires are stoked with salted caramel fudge and wheels are greased with cider; it’s Britain’s humble retort to the Côte d'Azur. A south Devon crescent that encompasses 22 miles of coast from Torquay to Brixham, the English Riviera is a Victorian-era stomping ground that beckons warm climes in on the Atlantic jet stream.

In Babbacombe, dander along the highest clifftop promenade in England before riding the historic cliff railway down to Oddicombe Beach for tapas and elderflower tonic. In Brixham Harbour, the coastal town that’s almost Dickensian in feeling, bob under arched alleyways that lead to taverns and lamplit eateries, stopping to admire the ocean-hued oil paintings that wink from art gallery windows. Despite being the birthplace of Agatha Christie, the author of Miss Marple and Poirot, you won’t need to be much of a sleuth to unearth the little gems that line its sun-splashed coastline. To stay nearby, find a luxury holiday home in Totnes or Dartmouth.


Live like a local on the coast

A beautiful green cliff coastline that drops down to blue sea, with trees in the foregroundPictured: Clovelly, north Devon 

From Ilfracombe to Newton Ferrers, the Devon coastline has something of “Jurassic Park meets shortbread tin” about it. On one hand, there’s resplendent cliffs that burst from sapphire seas. On the other (we're talking about you, Clovelly), there’s cobblestone townlets so utopian that even cars are substituted for donkeys. If you're looking for quintessentially British things to do in Devon this Easter, you'll want to hole up in a cottage by the sea.

Life on the Devon seafront brings a gentler ocean-going experience than what’s to be found in busier coastal counties; think stone-skimming tournaments, sky-high sandcastles, and even the possibility of paddle boarding with none other than dolphins for company. Landlubbers will hole up in local eateries like John’s in Appledore, stocking up on rosemary focaccia and pastel de nata before setting off on the South West Coast Path. At the day’s end, cob cottages await on pebble beaches and rippling rivers beckon bathers to the foot of the garden.


Wild swim on Dartmoor

A clear lake in the middle of a quarry on rugged Dartmoor in EnglandPictured: Foggintor Quarry, Dartmoor 

Enter at your own risk, or so say the signs. Unlike most of the abandoned quarries on Dartmoor, Foggintor Quarry (one of the largest on the moor) remains open to the public. The site that provided granite for landmarks like Nelsons Column and London Bridge, Foggintor has been reclaimed by nature since its closure in 1938. These days, it’s home to none but sheep and wild ponies, and the occasional wild swimmer.

Get here along an old railway track from Princeton — a two-mile walk that’s a little rubbly — and expect deep water, craggy edges, and slippery stones. What’s more, this off-grid quarry comes with a dose of folklore that will send the whole group dashing off before dark; rumour has it that eerie humanoid figures, The Shadow Men, gather around the quarry at night. But fear not, bootnecks are known to descend upon Dartmoor for training missions, so you'll be in safe company. One of those places that goes so well before a Sunday roast in one of the nearby villages, Foggintor Quarry guarantees a remote adventure in one of Britain’s wildest segments.


Put the original cream tea to the test

On the left, a table in front of a window with a cake; on the right, homemade scones

A cream tea is a Devon right of passage, and a contentious one at that. Here, clotted cream comes first, then those saccharine local jams are spooned on top. Supposed to have originated from Devon’s Tavistock Abbey during the 11th century, this is the county to visit for the original cream tea experience. While there’s more tea rooms than almost anything else in these parts, the best cream teas are often the ones had around your own supper table.

Have the whole family gather in the kitchen to grate butter, sprinkle sugar, and clock-watch as those homespun cakelets turn to gold ingots in the Aga. Then gather a pot of Earl Grey, a bowl or two of clotted cream, and a jar of pink peppercorn and vanilla preserve to sweeten the unorthodox deal. Whether you're in a cottage in lesser-visited Noss Mayo or a miniature castle in Exmoor National Park, there’ll be hours spent perfecting the pour.


Browse our full collection of luxury holiday homes in Devon.