This West Country county is as varied as it is beautiful, comprising ruggedly beautiful moorland, extensive beaches, towering cliffs, pretty harbours, sleepy villages, cathedral cities and the only town to include an exclamation mark in its name: Westward Ho! With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that holidaymakers fall in love with it and return year after year. From cute cottages to elegant self-catering town houses, your Devonshire holiday is just a few clicks away.
North and south coasts
Devon’s southern shore is an attractive mixture of unspoilt cliffs and picturesque harbour towns. The cliffs and coves of the Jurassic Coast are crammed with ancient fossils. Contrast that with the oh-so-English charm of resorts like Torquay and you get a sense of this area’s unique qualities.
To the north, beaches such as Saunton Sands and Woolacombe offer miles of golden sand perfect for summer holidays. If you’ve brought your sea legs, take a day trip to Lundy Island: it’s just a few hours away by boat and is home to a wonderful wealth of wildlife, despite being just 3 miles long. If you prefer to stay on dry land, explore the towns of Barnstaple and Bideford.
River estuaries are another feature of Devon’s beautiful coastline. The River Dart flows in a series of twists and turns towards the sea, creating a stunning environment rich with marine life from otters and seals to crabs and fish.
Cities & towns
The historic city of Exeter is another must-see; its delightful streets are dominated by the fine Gothic cathedral. Plymouth is perhaps the place to go for history buffs, given its famous association with Sir Francis Drake and the battle with the Spanish Armada. The bay of Plymouth Sound is as picturesque as it gets, with the red and white stripes of Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse and impressive geology of the rocks and cliffs.
National Parks and ponies
Dartmoor National Park is a patchwork of woodland, granite tors and wild, heather-covered moorland crisscrossed by fast-flowing rivers. It’s perhaps best-known for the native Dartmoor ponies which have been roaming the wild landscape for over 3,500 years. But the terrain provides challenging treks for avid walkers as well as relaxing routes for those seeking a more sedate kind of stay.
Whatever you do, don’t miss this county’s iconic (and delicious) Devon cream tea: there are pretty tea rooms and quaint cafes aplenty to provide refreshment.