Our time is short -- we are letting a flat in London until the morning of the 7th and my husband has to be at Heathrow the afternoon of the 10th for a conference in the US. (I will spend a few days in Bath whilst he's gone.) We wish we could see both Cornwall and Devon, but we realize it's a busy holiday week and that's not practical, so one county will have to wait for a future trip.
We will take the train from London to somewhere in the SW of England... then we would prefer to take a coach or local buses, but could rent a car if that's the only good way to get around.
We want to spend a day at a beach on the north coast and a day on Dartmoor to visit the Gidleigh Stone Circle, since we're going to skip Stonehenge. We enjoy walking, both in wild places and in villages, and we dislike tourist traps. We expect to stay in a B&B. We are not seeking luxury and want to spend less than 100 GBP / night on lodging and breakfast for 2.
Recommendations for an itinerary are very welcome. Specific questions are: where to get off the train and switch to other transport, whether roads will be too crowded for driving to be a good idea, whether Devon (esp. the beaches) will be any less busy than Cornwall, and where would be a good base of operations (Lynton / Lynmouth was one suggestion, Penzance was another). Thanks in advance for your thoughts.