With its charming harbour towns, quaint fishing villages, vast green landscapes and two incredible coastlines, Devon makes an idyllic holiday all year round. Planning a trip there? We’ve teamed up with Stay In Devon to bring you a guide of all the best things to see and do in Devon…
Devon’s beaches are renowned for their excellent surfing conditions, with plenty of spots to catch some waves on both the southern and northern coasts. Croyde, Woolacombe and Saunton are well-known surfing beaches, and there are plenty of surf schools if you’re a beginner or just need a refresher. If that doesn’t float your boat, why not try your hand at sailing, kayaking or canoeing? Or if you want someone else to do the work for you, just hop in a jet ski or power boat and cruise around the coastline – a great way to see the Devon sights.
Explore green spaces
Devon is home to two National Parks: Exmoor and Dartmoor, both of which boast spectacular scenery. Take to the hilly moorland for a long, refreshing walk, and be sure to take supplies for a riverside picnic.
Get up close to a whole host of furry friends in North Devon at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, or Exmoor Zoo, where you’ll meet lions, wolves and leopards. Meanwhile South and Mid Devon are home to Paignton Zoo, Dartmoor Zoo, and the National Marine Aquarium.
Shop at a market
Traditional market towns are common in Devon, and many have lovely, colourful markets to explore, selling everything from local fresh produce to handmade souvenirs. Find the best ones in Exeter, Tiverton, and Killerton.
Go to the beach
No visit to Devon would be complete without a trip to its sandy shores, particularly as the warm weather begins to peek through. Head to Salcombe for a beach day – a place which could be mistaken for the Mediterranean thanks to its blue lagoon-like water. If lying in the sun all day doesn’t take your fancy, why not go for a walk along the South West Coast Path? Pass through East Porlemouth, Mill Bay, and Elender Cove to reach the beautiful Gara Rock Beach.
Golfers will be spoilt for choice in Devon. There are a huge number of courses across the region, some on the seafront like Thurlestone Golf Club, others – like Tiverton Golf Club, set inland within the luscious countryside.
Visit a stately home
Grand stately homes with picturesque gardens are dotted all around the county. A trip to one of the many National Trust attractions in the region makes a great family day out, with tea rooms and opportunities to learn about the history of the local area. Some of the best are Saltram House, Castle Drogo, Buckland Abbey, Coleton Fishacre and Arlington Court.
Where to stay in Devon
Stay In Devon have a wide selection of cottages to book across the region. Quayfield House, for example, is a lovely detached house overlooking Ilfracombe seafront, with prime views of the Bristol Channel over to Wales. Sleeping up to 10 guests with 5 bedrooms, two separate lounges and a terrace and balcony for wining and dining, this is perfect for big families or groups of friends. Enjoy lazy days on Ilfracombe’s beach, which is just 160 metres away from the cottage, or venture slightly further to Wollacombe Beach, a 3-mile stretch of picture-perfect sands. There’s plenty to do and see in the area, including a trip to see Damien Hirst’s famed sculpture Verity, boat trips around Lundy Island, and the Ilfracombe Aquarium.