The Best Birthday Ideas Devon Has to Offer
Heading to Devon to celebrate a special day? You've picked a great place for it...and this guide is about to prove why.
Your birthday should be the most wonderful day of the year (at least for you), but wonderful birthdays require work. Thankfully, Devon has a lot to choose from – from the wholesome to the exhilarating. Naturally, Plum Guide’s hard-to-please travel experts have come up with the best birthday ideas Devon has to offer. From where to make gin to lessons in how to create your own perfume, from driving supercars to where to fine-dine on some of Devon’s top produce – here’s our guide to the best ways to spend your big day in the South West.
Make your own gin in a boathouse
Located in a boathouse overlooking the estuary, Salcombe Gin Distillery is one of the world’s only distilleries you can access by water. And after a dramatic James Bond-style arrival by speedboat (potentially), you can get down to making your own gin. Learn which botanicals make a well-balanced gin, before distilling it yourself in a mini copper pot still and bottling it with a personalised label. You’ll get to take home your 70cl creation, but not before enjoying a G&T in the beautifully light and airy distillery bar.
Dine on local produce at Lympstone Manor
If you can’t justify celebrating your own existence with Michelin-starred fare, then really, what was the point in it all? Michael Caines’ menu at Lympstone Manor should just about fit your high standards for birthday ideas in Devon, with its signature tasting menu filled with local produce. Better yet is the ‘taste of the estuary’ menu, which uses seafood from almost literally right outside the window. All that set in an 18th century, Grade II listed building with views of the River Exe and you’re onto something truly beautiful. If it’s a big birthday – consider booking the private dining room.
Create your own perfume
Too good for a run-of-the-mill, off-the-shelf EDT? Us too. The Perfume Studio in Exeter runs perfume-making masterclasses, where you’ll learn what makes a good scent and how to get your mix right, before being let loose on a plethora of ingredients to concoct into your own signature parfum.
Visit a spa that’s practically on the beach
Source Spa at Saunton Sands makes the most of its beachside setting, with huge windows offering sandy views from the loungers and the massage tables. There are tailored packages for men and women, too, so there’s something in it for everyone when it comes to birthday ideas in Devon. And this may not be everyone’s idea of a wild time, but wellness warriors will enjoy the ice fountain after a visit to the saunas and salt inhalation steam room.
Pretend to be a Formula One driver
Car racing enthusiasts can pick their favourite supercar and take it for a spin on the race track at Smeatharpe, near Honiton. From Aston Martins to Lambourghinis, Porsches and Ferraris, there are many to get revved up over. You just have to make sure your high-speed driving skills are up to scratch (but no practising en route on the M5, please).
Take a pottery class
When it comes to birthday ideas, Devon has plenty – but none are more on-the-nose for a design lover than a pottery class. Tarka Pottery & Ceramics Studio in Little Torrington offers workshops on the wheel and opportunities to glaze and decorate your work. And whether you make a wonderful new set of ceramic dinnerware or a disaster vase that leaks everywhere, it’s the taking part that counts (and everyone will still have to pretend you did a great job, since it’s your birthday).
Try your hand at foraging in the wild
Head out onto the beautiful Devon countryside with a professional forager from Totally Wild. Depending on what you find, you could be cooking up a wild risotto, elderflower cheesecake or orange and hogweed seeds cakes over an open fire. A great one for anyone who fancies themselves as a forager but is too fearful of plucking the wrong mushroom – the course leaders are all government accredited, so you’re in safe hands. There are three locations across the county, from woodland to the coast.
Book a Plum Guide home
At Plum Guide, we’re experts in selecting the best vacation homes for discerning travellers: our meticulous home critics have carefully inspected all the best homes out there, whittling them down to the top 3%. So, for your stay in one of the best areas in Devon, think less mouldy holiday cottage without hot water, and more elegant country bothole whose owner you’ll be tapping up for interiors tips. Happy birthday to you.