Devon | United Kingdom (UK)
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Whitnage Cottage, Whitnage, Tiverton, Devon EX16 7DS
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Visit Devon and you’ll find that there is more to this spectacular and diverse county than you might have thought. In addition to beautiful beaches and stunning scenery, you’ll find National Parks, rustic villages and towns, historic buildings and ruins, extreme sports and the best in food and drink. With plenty of places to stay in Devon, the most difficult decision you’ll have to make is where in this unique area of the UK you want to visit first.
Areas to Visit
Heart of Devon
Plymouth and Exeter both might be situated in Devon, but they each have distinctive characters of their own. Plymouth is a city for family holidays in Devon. Steeped in history and the scene of Sir Francis Drake’s legendary game of bowls, Plymouth is also hailed as the cultural centre of the county. With great theatre, live music and art galleries, it’s full of excitement and entertainment for the whole family and one of the best places to go in Devon. Exeter also has its fair share of history, with parts of the city dating back to Roman times. However, it also boasts a superb high street with cobbled streets and squares housing high street and independent shops and boutiques. If you’re looking for a relaxing cultural getaway with plenty of opportunity for retail therapy, then Exeter’s the place for you. However, it is also close enough to the sea and surrounding countryside that you can base yourself in the city and still enjoy the rest of the Heart of Devon.
The summer brings with it days on the beach, a chance to explore the local countryside and balmy nights where you can while away the evening in sophisticated cafés and stylish restaurants. Exeter and the surrounding area offers a bounty of Devon attractions, perfect for families, couples and even backpackers. The majority of the area, such as East Devon and the imposing Blackdown Hills, has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, along with the Jurassic Coast, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So if you’re looking for wildlife, sites of historical interest or simply a chance to lose yourself in some of the UK’s most stunning countryside then the Heart of Devon is an absolute must.
You’ll find Exeter at the heart of Devon - a beautiful Roman walled city that seamlessly mixes ancient and modern. Wander through the cobbled streets and squares that surround the 15th Century cathedral and you’ll suddenly find yourself in a stylish, modern high street, with cutting-edge designer boutiques, award-wining restaurants and art galleries dotted amongst all the shops you’d expect from a 21st Century shopping centre. The recently-improved and extended Exeter Royal Albert Memorial Museum can take you on a guided tour through the city’s history, and you can even explore life below the city by visiting Exeter’s Underground Passages. Less than 10 miles away, you can find yourself on miles of unspoilt sands at Exmouth Beach, or enjoy an ice cream, or Devon Cream Tea in the chocolate-box town of Budleigh Salterton.
The warm weather also brings with it a chance to enjoy outdoor things to do in Devon, such as the famous Sidmouth Folk Festival, the arts and crafts of the Devon County Show, or sample Devon food and drink at the annual Exeter Food Festival. Wherever you decide to explore, you won’t be short of places to stay in Devon. The Heart of Devon has an astonishing range of accommodation to choose from such as family-friendly B&Bs, luxury self-catering cottages for hire and discreet luxury hotels, of which some have played host to many visiting celebrities.
The chillier weather offers the opportunity to get cosy in rustic pubs serving Devon food and drink. In addition to snuggling up in front of real fires and enjoying local food, autumn and winter bring with them a host of festivals and fairs. Visit Ottery St Mary on November the 5th and you could find yourself caught up in the 17th Century spectacular tradition of tar-barrel rolling, or visit Beer for their annual Rhythm and Blues Festival. Wrap up and enjoy a brisk coastal walk along the award winning South West Coast Path, your chance to view stunning Sidmouth and Branscombe from great heights. The weather doesn’t have to determine when you take your holidays in Devon. Our website can tell you when you can see the events that will make your holiday one to remember.
The English Riviera
Torquay is the gateway to the English Riviera - an area that is packed with things to do in Devon, England. Torquay is steeped in maritime history and plays host to a number of sporting events and festivals, including the Riviera’s own regatta. It also has its own UNESCO-stamped Geopark, where visitors can explore a unique ecosystem and take part in a variety of unusual activities such as Coasteering, Canoeing the Coves and catching and cooking your own dinner, under the supervision of the sous-chef at the Elephant Restaurant. However, if the last option sounds too much like hard work, the area is stacked with some of the best places to eat in Devon.
South Devon offers the best of countryside and coastline, whichever way you choose to enjoy it. The area is packed with water sports and gentle walks and there are plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy. South Devon is a landscape of gentle rolling hills backdropped by the drama and wildness of Dartmoor, making it a region of contrasts. Its unique character has encouraged artists and musicians to make South Devon their home, and you’ll find plenty of galleries, music festivals and alternative livestyle centres in this part of Devon.
North Devon is home to a number of stunning stately homes set in glorious grounds, and some of the county’s best surfing beaches for adrenaline junkies. It too has its own distinct character, and the dramatic beauty of Exmoor is the perfect location to go hiking or mountain biking. North Devon’s dramatic coastline has given birth to a new pastime for the more adventurous – Coasteering. If you want to get up close and personal with both the craggy landscape and some of the local wildlife, then Coasteering is a great way to experience the drama and thrill of North Devon.