Devon

Where is Devon?

When planning your holiday in Devon, take a look at this map of Devon and you will find that the glorious county of Devon is located in the heart of South-West England and borders Dorset, Somerset and Cornwall. 

Devon, also known as Devonshire (formerly the official name), is a county in England, which extends from the English Channel in the South to Bristol and across the English Channel in the North and is bordered by parts of the South-West of England. 

The largest city in Devon was Plymouth Hoe, where Sir Francis Drake played the bowls to defeat the Spanish Armada and the Pilgrim Fathers began their journey to the New World. 

Historical sites in Devon

Devon is home to some of Britain’s most stunning and historic sites, all of which are within walking distance of nearby city centres. Devon has a rich past and heritage, and available to the public are varieties of magnificent old buildings.

The historic town of Dartmouth is situated at the mouth of the Dart River, in the heart of Devon, just a short walk from the city centre. Step into one of the most magnificent houses in Devon and learn its interesting past as you let your kids explore the ruins and mysterious stories around the chateau. There are stunning ruins that were once the seat of a royal court, home to King Edward III and Queen Elizabeth II. There’s so much to do that you won’t have a problem filling your day with fun, so bring a picnic and enjoy the gorgeous scenery, make it the perfect day and finish your trip with a visit to some of Devon’s most popular historic sites.

What Traditions, And Festivals Are There In Devon?

Holiday traditions in Devon include the annual Christmas tree lighting, the annual gingerbread house competition, Christmas and New Year’s Eve party and Christmas party. There are also seasonal activities for children including decorating Christmas pastries with Mrs Claus, writing letters to Santa, making family cards and meeting Santa himself. 

The North Devon Food Fest takes place at the historic Pannier Market in Barnstaple, where visitors have the opportunity to sample a wide range of food and drink, as well as a variety of craft beers and wines. Other festivals are Dartmouth Food Festival, International Agatha Christie Festival, Chagstock Music Festival, Plymouth Seafood Festival, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink that takes place in April, The Contemporary Craft Festival and Armed Forces Day in June, the Mid-Devon Show in July, Literature fans can enjoy the chance to meet and chat with famous authors at the Literary Festival in Salterton and the Book Festivals in Appledore. Both of these events take place in September including but not exclusively the food festivals in Plymouth, Dartmouth and North Devon. 

Devon's Weather and Climate

Anyone that is searching for a typical seaside holiday would have the perfect time of year for a break in North Devon and Cornwall. August is almost like overseas in North Devon as more and more tourists come to the region, the weather (hopefully) stays good and it’s the perfect time for a fast Christmas.

With its stunning beaches, spectacular scenery and fantastic weather, Devon is a perfect place for family holidays, particularly during winter. It is a wonderful place to get out and about, as it is home to some of Britain’s most spectacular beaches

What Are The Best Cities To Stay In Devon?

If you’re looking for the best cities to stay in Devon, this is the place to be. Devon is one of the most popular destinations for beach lovers in the UK, and its beautiful landscape nestles between the coast and the Atlantic Ocean, making it the ideal choice for a rural holiday. 

Plymouth

Since the Mayflower colonists left for the new world in 1620, Plymouth’s extensive history, dating back to the Bronze Age, has seen tremendous development, many prominent people, and has become the hub of merchant shipping, import handling and passengers from America.

Didworthy

Didworthy is a tiny village in Dartmoor National Park and a dog-friendly pub from which to explore this spectacularly beautiful part of Devon. Diddy Films was nominated for an Oscar for Best Feature Film in the UK for his film "The Water is Mine," which is shot on the banks of the Dartmoor River, just a few hundred metres from the village of Didworthy.

Cornwall

Cornwall is surrounded by water on three sides and is a place of character, much of which is concentrated on the sea. Surrounded by the River Devon, and set on 160 hectares of land, it is one of the largest and most beautiful of its kind in the world, with a variety of different types of holiday homes.

Topsham 

Topsham Is a well-to-do village of about 1,000 people. It is a few miles from Didworthy. Topsham is lively and the city is steeped in history, famous for its historic buildings such as St. Margaret’s Church and St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Dutch architecture is found in the older parts of the city, especially on the beach. The London Evening Standard voted it the best place for young people in the South West in 2019 and named it one of the 10 best cities in the UK. 

It also has a vibrant, caring community that has ensured that St Margaret’s Church remains alive and a Grade II listed building.

Ashburton

Ashburton is best known for its activities and relaxation. It is home to Ashburton grove and the Emirates stadium

Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe is certainly a very popular seaside destination, and one of Devon's most stunning places to visit - it is best recognised for its coastal scenery.

Torquay

Devon offers stunning views of beautiful towns, villages and towns where you can experience the beauty of nature, its natural beauty and its vibrant culture. South Devon is home to some pretty unique places to visit, such as the Kents Cavern, which is located in the English Riviera resort of Torquay. Torquay is best known for its seaside and nature. The popular resort town has everything you need for a perfect seaside holiday.

Totnes

Totnes is best known for alternative living and shopping. Totnes has gained a reputation for being more eccentric to a certain level than its typical cream tea and antique shop fare which characterizes a day trip in this part of the world. But, it has also established more prestige and class than its siblings from the south-west in recent years. And yes, back in 2007, Time Magazine celebrated Totnes as the New Age's trendy city, and today's residents of Totnes are definitely a well-heeled group, who are sure to wear their multicoloured festival and a black labrador.

Dartmouth

Dartmouth, best known for water sport, is a tourist centre set on the western bank of the Dart River. The River Dart is a long narrow tidal ria running inland to Totnes. It is home to Dartmouth Castle, Dartmouth museum, Blackpool sands, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Kingswear Castle, Compton Castle, Sugary Cove, Bayard's Cove Fort.

Holiday in Devon for Families With Kids With Special Needs 

Devon is a must-see for those visiting England, with its rolling green hills, gorgeous beaches and stunning views, and there’s plenty for every family member. In Devon, the demand for holiday accommodation for young families with special needs rises each year. There are lettings with large rooms that can hold as many as 4 people and are wheelchair accessible in the heart of Devon. Only a short drive from the city centre is South Worden Farm, a perfect location for families to take a break and allow highly skilled and trained owners to look after their families with special needs.

Devon provides a wide range of lodging and short breaks, as well as a number of downtown events such as sailing, running, kayaking, canoeing, swimming pools and much more. 

Things To Do In Devon

National Park

Without a stop at one of its many National Parks, such as Dots Dunes National Park, no visit to Devon will be complete. The same holds true when exploring the stunning Exmoor National Park, the Dartmoor National Park, and the English Riviera, bordered by Wales, Cornwall, Somerset, North Devon, and South Devon. There are beautiful sceneries and charming cities, villages and towns where you can discover the best of Cornwall, Somerset, West Devon and the spectacular National Park Exmoor. Dartmoor National Park Exmoor National Park South Devon provides a wonderful blend of stunning beaches, gorgeous towns and villages and a wide variety of events. If you're trying to start off on a holiday in the UK, this spot has it all, from South Devon's lovely beaches to Cornwall's spectacular cliffs and mountains. Devon is a truly beautiful place, and the detour from this spectacular area will be incomplete without admiring the county's renowned coastline and rivers creating a lovely stretch of the English coast together.

Hiking, Golfing, Cycling

The town is host to an epic mountain bike ride and also provides a variety of adventure parks and other outdoor events such as mountain biking, camping and riding for those looking for more adrenaline. Cycling in Devon involves skimming over the spectacular countryside on incredible bike paths, through unspoilt towns and rugged moorlands - the National Cycle Network in Devon is about 150 miles long. Take the beautiful trip on the Tarka Trail across North Devon, one of the several paths across Plymouth, or the Exe Estuary Path, a 20-mile bike ride along the magnificent Exe River. Built to give tourists a wealth of memories, these roads are fun and safe for families and cyclists who are amateurs. Tour Bushkill Falls, dubbed the Niagara of Pennsylvania by locals, and spend a relaxing day enjoying one of the many outdoor sports such as climbing, biking or golf.

Golf

If you're the type that doesn’t go anywhere without your golf clubs so South Devon's greens, fairways and even bunkers are the joy of a golf enthusiast. More and more visitors to Devon on summer breaks have a couple of rounds of golf. The region is well suited for golf, with a range of courses providing everything you need including facilities, hire and tuition. Such areas are perfect for Devon golf courses: Torre Abbey Leisure Park, Dartmouth Golf Society, Country Club Spa, Pirates Bay Adventure Golf and Saunton Golf Club.

Fishing

All along Devon's coastlines, rocks, beaches and breakwaters, there are superb spots for reeling in a fine bass or trout. You can fish for trout on the Exe and Tamar by flicking a fly. These two are some of Devon's many rivers solely popular for fly fishing. There are Lakeside fishing lodges located on the banks of the River Devon, just a short drive from the coast, and is a great base for exploring North Devon and Cornwall. There are many attractions in the area, including a number of fishermen's houses and a hostel, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants.

Are There Spas In Devon?

The Gaia Spa is one of the largest and most modern in Devon and features facilities such as a spa, fitness centre, spa bar, massage room and sauna. Gaia Spa’s ever-growing range of wellness services includes massages, acupuncture, yoga, massages, facials, body massages and massage therapy. 

The Cary Arms does not call itself a spa hotel, but it has an excellent spa, known for its wellness services, and I think it is one of the best in the area. This seductive storey is embodied in the modern spa, which is perfect for a Devon spa getaway with stunning views and luxurious amenities. You can enjoy one of your most precious possessions while enjoying a range of spa services such as massages and massage therapy, as well as a private pool and spa.

There are many sights to see in the city centre, such as the Old Town Hall and the Royal Devon Museum, but also, the rest of the North of Devon, including Okehampton and Clovelly, are not to be missed. 

Some Must Visit Beaches in Devon

Which Beaches Are Open To Pets?

There are pet-friendly facilities in Devon if you want to take your pets out for the trip. When going, search to see if the beaches in Devon are open to dogs and if not, which beach and if it is accessible to dogs. South Devon beaches are different from all other Devon beaches in that they are open to dogs throughout the year and are a perfect spot for pet lovers, some of whom are open to pets throughout the year. The dog-friendly North Sands beach is situated in the Outstanding Beauty district where there is a nice sandy beach where dogs can race at low tide and discover a number of nooks and crannies. Your own secluded place is also guaranteed, making these beaches ideal for couples. There are a variety of beaches that have more strict limits than some beaches in some areas during the summer, and dog-free sections.

Devon Cuisine

Although Cornish pies may be more popular, Plymouth's oldest pie recipes, and although Devon and England inspired many British cuisines, they have influenced many areas of the world, such as France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Perhaps the best recipe - well known in England, fish and chips are a popular meal in Devon and you can purchase them at many regular fish & chip shops or buy a reduced version at a local restaurant. Cows in Devon are busy, creating an abundance of fat-filled, fluffy milk, and Devon is, of course, renowned for its curdled butter. For centuries, Devon has been a net exporter of high-quality dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, particularly after the growth of the railway network in the nineteenth century, which allowed fresh goods to be transported quickly to the cities. This tradition continues, and many food items. Quality fish and crab that land in Brixham from Devon, remain highly regarded, particularly in London. Where large cream teas are once again Devon's popular cuisine, scones are still served. Blue cheese dominates all of Devon's traditional dishes, as cheese processing is one of the easiest ways to bake the leftover milk. Therefore, Devon cuisine is distinguished by a wide variety of high-fat dairy products including Devon blue cheese and clotted cream.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest In Devon

Natural England, formerly English Nature is responsible for designating Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in England and selects sites for their fauna, vegetation, geological or physio-graphical characteristics.

As of February 2020, Devon includes 211 of these locations. Of these sites, 71 are listed for their geological importance, 109 for their biological interest and 31 for both. 11 of Devon’s SSSIs are national nature reserves, the Devon Wildlife Trust maintains 17, 3 are wildlife sanctuaries and there are 49 special Wildlife Areas

Is There Anything For A Bridge Enthusiast In Devon?

Dartmoor National Park contains the Watersmeet River and its tributary, the Devon river, as well as a number of other nearby rivers, streams, and canals. The Tamar Canal, which is a tidal river, is the location of a bridge, and that is the greystone bridge, completed in 1439, a grade II listed local stone bridge. It is a four-foot-long, two-story wooden bridge, just nine feet above the linking the towns of Launceston in Cornwall and Tavistock in Devon.

Pet-Friendly Lettings In Devon

What you have to do now is picking your holiday home, pack your car, take your dog and head to your next destination – the fun holiday home in Devon.

If you have selected a hotspot destination, it may be worth taking some time to check out some of Devon’s best pet-friendly holiday homes you can choose from. There is a range of pet-friendly homes to rent in Devon, and even more, can be found.

Devon provides a number of pet-friendly facilities, including pet cafés, dog parks, pet and wildlife stores, and residential homes. When it comes to holidays in Devon, South hams has plenty of dogs and dog owners so you don’t have to think about leaving your pet behind when you holiday in Devon.

You can discover a wide variety of events from woodland walks to dog-friendly parks, not to mention some of the finest pet-friendly holiday homes in Torquay, Devon and the South of England.

Where Are The Best Restaurants in Devon?

Devon is filled with great restaurants and pubs, all competing for tasty food and a wide array of drinks. The Mason Arms provides fine dining in a comfortable refuge on the fringe of Exmoor where you'll find some of the finest food and cocktails in Devon and Cornwall, as well as a fantastic experience. Devon is also known for its deliciously fresh fish and shrimp, meaning you'll find some of Britain's top seafood restaurants too. Millbrook Inn serves tasty meals in a comfortable and relaxing environment in the middle of the city centre of Devon, a short stroll from the city centre and the beach.

Devonshire Cream Tea

Although this dish is little known outside the UK, there is a lot of controversy and confusion regarding how best to prepare cream tea in Devon, Cornwall, and elsewhere in Europe. The precise history of the cream tea is contested, but scholars have noted that the custom of eating cream and jam bread has been in existence since the 11th century at Tavistock Abbey in Devon. Yet, Cornwall's past includes only one 'sweet tea,' and this is the Cornish and Devon Clotted Cream

Breweries and Vineyards in Devon? 

Of course! Devon has a significant number of beer breweries; two well-known breweries are Otter Brewery (located in Luppitt near Honiton) and Dartmoor Brewery, the tallest brewery in England at 1,400 feet (0.43 km) above sea level, situated in Princetown, Dartmoor.

The Heavitree Brewery, based at Heavitree, is a small brewer; its history can be traced back to 1790. This was Exeter’s last brewery to cease production, carrying on until 1970, when the buildings in the brewery were destroyed in 1980. They are now the sole owners of a chain of pubs in South-West England. Heavitree Brewery Plc also continues as a business with an Exeter address. 

After 1793 the Plymouth Gin Distillery began making Plymouth Gin which was exported by the Royal Navy around the world. The Plymouth Gin was the most commonly available gin during the 1930s and has a regulated origin name.There are now a number of vineyards producing white wines in Devon, the oldest being Yearlstone Vineyard, which started at Bickleigh in the River Exe valley in 1976. These include Pebblebed Vineyard, near Topsham and Sharpham Vineyard, close to Totnes. It has been reported in the history books that Buckfast Abbey’s monks also manufacture Buckfast Tonic Wine which in Scotland has gained an unexpected market status.

So, Where and how can I Find the Best Accommodation in Devon ?

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Conclusion

Devon is a truly beautiful place, and the detour from this spectacular area will be incomplete without admiring the county's renowned coastline and rivers creating a lovely stretch of the English coast together. It's the best way to spend a relaxing holiday, whether you stay in one place or move about. With views of the sea and the water, there's a large range of attractions and things to do for everyone to have fun and entertain! Totnes is so nice, with a market town at Dartmoor's edge, and only a short walk from the city’s centre. If you're trying to start off your holiday in the UK, the North and South coast of Devon, has it all, from the gorgeous south Devon beaches to Cornwall's breathtaking cliffs and mountains.

FAQs

Devon is known for a range of things including its stunning coastline, gorgeous beaches, and of course Devonshire cream tea, all making it a popular destination for holidays.

Devon is part of Great Britain’s South West (or Cornish) Region, which is bordered by Cornwall to the West and Dorset and Somerset to the East. To the North lies the Bristol Channel, and to the South, the English Channel abuts. 

There are 5 National Parks in Devon to pick from. If you want to visit the Devon National Parks, Beaford is a perfect location for visiting or to take a day trip, a week – or even longer. Amidst the trees, reservoirs and wetlands surrounding the Devon landscape, you’ll find more detail about the numerous springs, fed pools, rivers, ponds, streams and beaches, as well as a list of some of the most popular attractions.