Blissful bays and unspoiled moors
evon is one of England's most visited counties, with a huge array of family attractions, numerous historic sites, iconic caves, verdant gardens, Dartmoor and two coastlines that offer some of the most stunning beaches and bays. No wonder, with Devon’s delights endless and its folk known for their great food and generous hospitality.
History and Heritage
With two coastlines and its strategically important position, Devon has been a focus of maritime history for centuries. Inland, Kents Cavern , a Paleolithic dwelling with spectacular rock formations was the site for the discovery of some of the oldest human remains in northern Europe. Stately homes and castles abound, while Exeter Cathedral and the Tudor dwellings of Totnes stand now as they were built centuries ago.
Food and Drink
Fresh seafood from the Atlantic and Channel, lovingly matured farmhouse cheeses, crusty cottage loaves, local ales, organic apple juice and cider, award-winning wines, and the sheer luxury of traditional ice cream. These are just some of the delicious, first-class food which you'll find everywhere in the cafes, pubs, restaurants and famers’ markets of Devon. Oh and a Devonshire Cream tea can only, truly, be experienced in Devon.
Arts and Culture
The arts and culture flourish in Devon, not only enriching the lives of its local citizens, but also providing a fantastic insight into the Devon way of life for visitors. Devon museums and galleries are a good place to start, featuring everything from steam trains to shipwrecks, farming to factories, boats to battles and local history to lace. Also be sure to check out Torre Abbey on the south coast which houses a locally inspired and extensive art collection.
From craft shops, to independent jewelers and antiques markets, buying something handcrafted or homegrown is what shopping is all about in Devon. Be it in the small streets of Totnes , Drake Circus in Plymouth , down on the quay in Exeter or the local village shops offering a variety of handmade pottery, paintings, photography and furniture, this is the chance to take home a little part of Devon.
Surf the world class waves of Croyde Bay , go deep sea angling off the South Coast, scuba dive the HMS Scylla wreck , watch powerboat racing out of Plymouth or kayak down the clean fresh water of the River Dart. Out of the water the myriad of well marked bridleways make it a horse rider’s paradise, while the South West coastal path covers every inch of the north and south coasts, proving one of the world’s great trails for hikers and cyclists. The Saunton Golf Club is also rated as one of the top ten courses in the UK.
The unique Victorian water powered lift in Lynton & Lynmouth is a good example of the fun families can have in Devon. Penguins, seals and more can be seen at Torquay’s Coastal Zoo , while head to the Dartmoor Zoo to see the famed Exmoor Beast. The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth is Britain's biggest and Europe's deepest aquarium and can keep even the most irritable of teenager wide-eyed and occupied. Then there is the miles of coastline waiting for sandcastles, the actual real castles and numerous adventure parks.
Must See Attractions
The award winning animal centres like Pennywell Farm and Paignton Zoo are a must for the animal lovers. Or if you want to act like one, zip through the treetops at the River Dart Adventure Centre . For time travel, Bygones Victorian Street is an old world experience, as are National Trust properties such as Castle Drogo and the Buckland and Buckfast Abbeys. For those who want to do the locomotion, a ride on the Seaton Tram along the Axe Valley or steam train down the River Dart from Buckfastleigh to Totnes.
Psst... Handy hints
Did you know North Devon is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve because of its blend of special landscapes and wildlife areas?
Prepare for murder, mystery and mayhem on the English Riviera at the annual Agatha Christie Festival held every September in Torquay.
One of the smallest national parks in the UK is also one of the most picturesque.
Take a surfing lesson in Croyde Bay, one of the best beaches in the UK for riding waves.
Delicious local and seasonal produce.Farmers Markets
Sign up to our eNewsletter for the latest travel news, top events and great ideas for holidays and breaks in England.