TRAVEL REVIEW: Discover the delights of Devon and Cornwall

What's the best way to enjoy a jam and cream scone?

Saturday, 7th May 2016, 6:00 am
The fishing town of Looe in Cornwall
The fishing town of Looe in Cornwall

Do you lather on the cream and top it with a dollop of jam, or spread a generous helping of jam and finish it off with a cream topping?

Depending on whether you are in Devon or Cornwall, the answer you will get to this controversial question will be different.

The Rainforest Biome at the Eden Project

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And that’s not the only difference between these two beautiful regions, tucked away in the south west corner of England. Both have their own unique landscapes, heritage and culture that are waiting to be discovered by visitors.

We explored them by coach. Often associated with the older generation, coach travel is in fact a great choice for any age group eager to get a taste of a destination without the stress of doing it yourself. There’s no need to worry about map reading, finding a parking space, booking tickets or storing luggage. It’s all done for you – and if you fancy a glass of wine or two with your lunch, you can go ahead in the knowledge the only person getting behind the wheel in the afternoon is your driver.

A number of coach firms, including Wilfreda and Johnson Bros, pick up passengers in Sheffield and the surrounding areas.

First stop – Cornwall.

Our transport from Buckfastleigh to Totnes with the South Devon Railway

The base for our trip was The Portbyhan hotel in the charming fishing town of Looe. The newly-refurbished hotel is situated directly on the quayside, and if you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of the chic, glass balcony rooms you can look out at the colourful boats anchored in the harbour.

From Looe, you can easily access a whole host of the attractions on offer in Cornwall, including the iconic Biomes of the Eden Project. Inside these futuristic domes you are transported to other worlds filled with weird and wonderful plants from the Rainforest or colourful blankets of tulips from the Mediterranean.

Green-fingered visitors may wish to continue their botanical adventures among the flowering rhodedendrons of the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Alternatively, if you’re worn out there are plenty of Cornish beauty spots in which to relax, such as Charlestown – a preserved late Georgian port famed for its use as a filming location for drama series Poldark.

Now to Devon. Here we explored not only by coach but also by boat, with a wonderful scenic coastal cruise with Stuart Line Cruises in Exmouth, and by train, with a picturesque ride from Buckfastleigh to Totnes with the South Devon Railway. Our welcoming hosts for both excursions were incredibly proud of Devon and all it has to offer – and they should be. Devon boasts countless other must-see attractions including Powderham Castle and deer park, home to the Earl of Devon and his young family, as well as the Dartmoor national park, an adventure playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

The Rainforest Biome at the Eden Project

Whether you have two days to spare or two weeks, neither Devon not Cornwall will leave you disappointed – nor will they leave you hungry.

For the record, the Cornish enjoy their scones with jam first and then cream – while in Devon the locals are adamant the opposite way is best. And which did we prefer? Well, we’ve decided we’ll have to go back and sample both again, just to make sure.


Wilfreda/Eagre: From £349pp for 4 nights DBB at the Portbyhan Hotel departing June 20, 2016 with visits to Plymouth and Polperro included.

Our transport from Buckfastleigh to Totnes with the South Devon Railway

For visits to the Eden Project it offers 4 nights DBB from £289pp in Newquay, also departing June 20.

For south Devon it has a tour to Sidmouth which visits Exmouth.

Johnson Bros to the Portbyhan: Click here from £359pp departing September 19, 2016 and featuring Plymouth and Mevagissey.

To South Devon Click here from £349pp departing September 21.