Dinah Hatch

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Last Easter I packed the family up and decamped to the west country. It was icy cold, we never took our gloves and scarves off and thermal vests became our new best friends. But guess what? We still had our best family break in ages. That's the great thing about Devon and Cornwall – even when the sun's not shining, it's great outdoor territory for the kid to run about, taking long walks in stunning countryside and stumbling over fabulous country pubs along the way. Here's my top six favourite west country getaways…
St Michaels Resort

Loved as much by locals treating themselves as stressed Londoners looking for a rural break, the St Michaels Hotel and Spa on the Cornish coast is a real treat to retreat to. With classic Cornish sub-tropical gardens, the glittering sea beyond and a sandy beach on the doorstep, all the ingredients for a family break or a little bit of couple time are there plus you're two minutes from the South West Coastal Footpath. Chow down on the catch of the day in the award-winning Flying Fish Restaurant (which, of course, has ocean views) or head up to the roof terrace for a sun downer when the evenings are warm. A soothing and tranquil spa and wellness centre also make this an attractive option – the large heated swimming pool overlooks the gardens and looks out to sea across Falmouth Bay and there's also a lovely sun deck, Finnish sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi with sea views.

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