Devon is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK and it is easy to see why...
Perhaps one of the greatest features of Devon is its excellent blend of urban and rural life. Although it is famed for its countryside and coastline, the county also has some delightful towns and cities, such as Exeter and Plymouth. The former has an excellent shopping centre as well as a world-renowned university, while the latter has a delightful seaside setting as well as a rich sense of history, including links to early English settlers in America. Elsewhere there are plenty of smaller towns that attract visitors, keeping their holidays filled with great activities and things to see and do.
Finding accommodation in Devon is easy, with a huge number of hotels, guest houses and holiday cottages on offer...
Along the south coast, places of interest include Brixham, Paignton and Dartmouth, all of which see a real boom in the summer holiday season, in no small part thanks to their idyllic coastal location and access to the splendid golden beaches that make Devon famous. Torquay is another prime example of a great Devon seaside resort; its sheer size means it has plenty on offer for holidaymakers, including smaller communities like Babbacombe, which boasts its own attractions.
Away from the coastline of Devon, hotels can be found in a number of pleasant inland towns. Barnstaple is a charming town which claims to be the oldest borough in England, boasting ruins of a castle dating back to the 11th century. For a sense of more recent history, Newton Abbot, to the south of the county, is a town that really expanded in the Victorian era as it was home to many of the railway works taking place in Devon. Further to the south west lies Kingsbridge, which is a popular tourist hub and offers impressive views across the estuary that shares its name. Of course, no account of Devon's visitor's attractions would be complete without mention of Exmoor. A landscape like no other and with a much starker beauty than that of the rolling hills in the south of the county, Exmoor has been a National Park since 1954 and covers an area of around 270 square miles.
For those looking for a livelier holiday, the larger towns and cities like Plymouth and Exeter may be the best choice, while Torquay or Paignton are ideal for those seeking the quintessential seaside resort. Guest houses and holiday cottages on Exmoor or in the South Hams district will give visitors a prime location amongst the outstanding natural beauty that Devon has in true abundance. Other attractions in Devon, which has a superb maritime history, include Buckfast Abbey, Dartington Crystal and Burgh Island.
It's wise to book hotels in Devon as far in advance as possible, especially if you plan to visit during the popular summer season.
Be captivated by Devon as you tour the highlights of the pretty coastal county...
What will you see and do during your break in Devon? Here are a few ideas to begin your adventures:
Top five attractions
Also known as Torbay and encompassing the south-coast resorts of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, this large bay offers traditional treats such as dips in the sea and fish and chips as well as glamorous aspects that has it compared with the French Riviera. The mild climate is also a big draw.
Bigbury on Sea, on the south coast of Devon, attracts families looking for a splash about in the waves and explorations of the rock pools, but Burgh Island also induces smiles. This tidal island can be reached on foot, though the little ones love the sea tractor that makes the journey at any time.
Exmoor National Park
Straddling the north of Devon and part of Somerset, this park is made up of mile upon mile of moorland, farmland, woodland and beautiful valleys. See the Exmoor ponies during long walks and stop for a refreshing cup of tea every now and then.
Exmoor's bigger sister is in the south of the county and offers a more dramatic look at the English countryside.
South West Coast Path
This excellent coastal walking route runs from Somerset to Dorset and wraps around the delights of Devon and Cornwall. Both the north and south coast of Devon is therefore covered by the walk. Pick a starting point and do as much or as little as you like; even the smallest effort is richly rewarded by terrific views and new discoveries.
Devon hosts a lively round up of annual events that give visitors a glimpse into county life...
From the sea to the land and the air, you can see the real Devon in all sorts of ways when you attend any of these annual events.
Devon County Show; May: With a programme packed full of agricultural pursuits and displays, visitors get a taste for rural life at this event in Exeter.
GoldCoast Oceanfest; June: Surf spot Croyde becomes the stage for a three-day extravaganza of music and high-octane sports when midsummer arrives. Watch competitors fight it out in disciplines such as volleyball, surfing and Frisbee before dancing the night away to the likes of Bastille and Ben Howard.
Tiverton Hot Air Balloon Festival; July: If you only make it to one part of this ballooning event, make sure it's the night glow on either the Friday or Saturday evening of the three-day show. The balloons soar into the dusky sky and fire up and it's all choreographed to music. It's a beautiful sight to behold.