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TOP 18 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN DEVON

 

18 STUNNING PLACES TO VISIT IN DEVON IN 2021

Devon, with its stunning Dartmoor National Park, Beautiful Rolling Hills, and Sweeping Never Ending Coastline make for some truly beautiful locations to explore. Here our 18 great locations to visit from around the county for a fun day out.

 

 

1. Exmoor National Park - From moor to coast

When was the last time you took a stroll just because you felt like it? Or went horseback riding? Have you taken your canoe out lately? In Exmoor National Park, you can take your pick of which one you would like to do. One of Devon's most appealing destinations, especially for a family outing.

Exmoor is a national park full of contrasts, where the sweeping heather filled moorland meets the rugged North Devon coast. Remember to take your walking boots and your camera to photograph the many scenic hot-spots along the way

And Exmoor is wheelchair accessible, too!

Especially Be Sure to Visit

  • The Valley of the Rocks 
 

 

 

 

2. Salcombe - England's Mediterranean Escape

Have you been craving palm trees? Are you seeking to try distillery samples? How about trying this Salcombe distillery in south Devon? Accessible by boat, you can have fun getting there, then have fun again sampling their delicious libations. Often compared to Santorini, Greece, this is one way to stay closer to home and just pretend you are in the Mediterranean.

Salcombe Gin is a favourite among devon goers to make sure to stock up or visit the many shops along the town with its narrow streets full of charm, you can easily spend a day exploring Salcombe.

Especially Be Sure to Visit

  • The huge number of cafes and cute shops

 

 

 

3. Clovelly - Rich in History

A unique village that began with ownership by a king, it was given as a gift to his wife. Today, the main street is not accessible to vehicles due to it narrow and steep nature. When you say "village", Clovelly fills the bill. And speaking of bill, be sure to bring some money with you. It costs money to visit this charming place.

Clovelly is a beautiful cobbled streets village that sits on a pretty steep hill running down to the picturesque harbour below.

Especially Be Sure to Visit

  • The steep cliffs where you can take unbelievable walks.
  • The picturesque harbor

 

 

 

4. Appledore - The old harboured village

The first thing you might notice when you enter this town is the vibrant color. Appledore is an area known for its artists, and you can tell. The houses are painted in different attractive colors, even the boats seem to blossom as they skid on the water.

Appledore village with its history and industry of fishing has lots to be seen in the town or why not head a little further out and you will enjoy some incredible coastal scenery.

Especially Be Sure to Visit

  • The Appledore Book Festival. It happens in September and writers from around the world attend.

  



5. Watermouth - Watermouth Castle Rides

Watermouth is a sheltered bay and hamlet between Hele Bay and Combe Martin on the North Devon coast and if you decide the visit the castle which has now been turned into theme park you will be a hit with the kids as well.

The rides are so fun, the whole family can leave smiling. If theme parks arnt your thing, the Devon coast, in the north, is lush and sheltered at the same time so you can have some great walks here.

Also make sure to visit the very picturesque Broadsands Beach and why not have a stroll up the coast path for some great photographic shots of the headland and beach - remember your camera with this one. 

Especially Be Sure to Visit 

 

 

 

 

6. Lundy Island - Go Natural

Fancy an island trip? Try North Devon's amazing Lundy Island. The Bristol Channel's biggest island, it offers sweeping coastal views you will never forget, combined with a climate you won't want to leave (well in the summer)

If you like history, Lundy Island has it in bucket loads, like many gravesites of early Christians pilgrimage's, as well as Bronze Age settlement remnants.

Especially Be Sure to Visit

 

 

 

 

7. Croyde - The surfers paradise, Go grab a Board

At first glance, Croyde looks just like what it is: fresh air, sand sea and high waves; a place to meet nature and live off the grid and while this is all true, many people don't know the importance of this North Devon area was in World War II, when troops used it as a practice landing site so be sure to visit many parts of the town to discover more of its history.

Croyde, simply is outstanding for its beauty, and of course its large beach, more and more people are coming here to enjoy relax around the town, but they aren't coming alone. They are bringing their surf boards, because the waves are "off the hook".

Especially Be Sure to Visit

  • Try coasteering on Croyde's beautiful coast.

 

 

 

 

8. Ilfracombe - Sweeping beaches of the North

Another great beach or collection of beaches, rather, is Ilfracombe. In North Devon, you have your choice of connection with the ocean.

Ilfracombe is another surfers paradise with great waves from the North Coast, be sure to bring your board or hire one from on the of local surf hire shops. Fancy something a bit different, Ilfracombe is also a great location for wind or kite surfing.  

Especially Be Sure to Visit

  • Visit the beaches - This won't be a where, it will be a how long. Because there are so many fabulous beaches to explore. 
  • Ilfracombe harbour for some great history and photo opportunities.

 

 

 


9. Dartmoor - Explore, Meditate or Activate

Living in Devon a short throw away from the Dartmoor national park, im lucky to be able to visit it on a weekly basis, in fact I often go to Dartmoor for my Landscape Photography, you can see my Photography by clicking here.

With its notoriously changeable weather, to the stage where you can experience four seasons of weather in just one day, windswept landscapes and weather that can vary from crisp and sunny to damp and misty.

The Dartmoor National Park is one of the wildest and largest open areas in England, featuring vast sweeping moorland and high granite Tors interspersed with ancient woodlands.

Why not visit for a spot of photography, a relaxing picnic or a good hike or bike ride. See the Dartmoor ponies or climb tors such as the famous Haytor rocks. 

Especially Be Sure to Visit

  • Haytor rocks - to see one of the many tors.
  • Bellever forest to smell the fresh pine air and see the old clapper bridges.

 

 


10. Woolacombe - The beach town

Woolacombe has some of the best beaches in the United Kingdom and they are all located within easy reach on the north Devon coast. So pack your walking boots for a stroll along the beautiful North Devon coastal path or for a walk along the beach.

Since its on the North Coast you can have a great time surfing, bodybuilding, windsurfing or kitesurfing due to the bigger swell and waves that the North Coast receives, so make sure to bring your board or hire one locally.

Especially Be Sure to Visit

  • St. Sabinus Church established in 1909 and the only one in the UK dedicated to St. Sabinus.
  • The incredible beaches of course




    11. Beer - Coast and Country

    With a fantastic name like that, how can you miss it! If you are in the mood for being in the countryside, Beer, in East Devon has lots to offer with its beautiful countryside surrounding the village, but of course it also has a great coast line and an amazing beach that backs onto the straight onto the village aswell.

    Beer is famous for its photographs of the many vibrant boats that rest on beer beach framed against the beautiful headland, so be sure to visit with your camera.

    Especially Be Sure to Visit

    • The Beer Quarry Caves. Mostly quarried in the Middle Ages, beer stone was used in church windows and doors. These caves were man made so people could quarry beer stone.
    • Photographing the vibrant boats on beer beach.
    • Walk the beautiful Hooke cliff coastal path

     




    12. Plymouth - England's coastal city

    Plymouth has almost everything: art, music, theatre, even old, cobbled streets. This is one city that has history, is full of life and the beauty of nature from its coastal location. 

    Plymouth is a large port city on the edge of Devon next to the county of Cornwall, it has many beautiful parts to explore such as the Hoe where Smeaton's lighthouse resides, or the cobbled streets, old pubs and restaurants of the Barbican, its is only a short drive from Dartmoor. 

    Especially Be Sure to Visit

    • The Barbican for a drink or some food by the harbour.
    • The hoe to look across the Plymouth sound.

     

     

     

    13. Bigbury and Burgh Island - Sweeping Sands

    Bigbury is a stunning beach in South Devon, it lies on the South Hams area of outstanding natural beauty and offers a great day out.

    The beach of Bigbury is connected to the small but beautiful Burgh Island via a tidal causeway, which can be accessed during high tide with the sea-tractor carriage.

    Although Burgh Island is a quite small, there is a fair few things to do from visiting the art deco hotel, exploring the ruins on top of the hill or having a drink and a bite to eat at the Pilchard inn.

    The romantic Island has had many a tale or song written about it, such as the song Burgh Island by Ben Howard. So why not sit on Bigbury beach and paint a picture of the island or bring your camera along and get some great pictures. 

    Bigbury and Bentham Bay are great for surfing or body boarding with smaller waves and the South Coast being more sheltered often means calmer waters, as such the area is perfect for SUP Stand up paddle board users or kayakers.

    Especially Be Sure to Visit

    • Take the camera or canvas and paint the beautiful scenery

     



    14. Totnes - The historic town.

    Totnes is one of the oldest towns in Devon dating from as early as AD907. You can feel this history throughout the town, from its medieval street names such as Cistern street to its clock tower and castle.

    Totnes has a vibrant feel with lovely architecture, a bustling marketplace and various shops and emporiums, which can often be independent stores or traders. Visit Totnes those unique gifts, that are hard to find elsewhere.

    When you have enjoyed the town why not head to the castle on the hill or have a walk beside the Dartmouth estuary that makes its way from the sea to Totnes.  

    Especially Be Sure to Visit---

    • Totnes Christmas markets 

     

     



    15. Dartmouth - The vibrant town on the water.

    On the river Dart, lies the town of Dartmouth, who's rich history is heavily linked to its relationship with the sea and the navy. The beautiful naval college still resides today and is a prominent feature of the town.

    Dartmouth is right on the mouth of the river dart and right against the sea which makes it feel as if you are walking on water. The town is full of vibrant houses, colourful boats and a plentiful supply of great shops and restaurants to visit.

    If you have time continue a bit further along and visit Dartmouth Castle of grab a ferry and head over to the small town of Kingswear across the water.


    Especially Be Sure to Visit---

    • Grab a ferry to Kingswear or hire a boat to go down the estuary. 
    • Have a wonder around the harbours and outdoor markets

     

    16. Visit The English Riviera - Torbay

    Do you feel like going to a beach renowned for being clean and warm? Devon has it, with these beaches nicknamed after the French Riviera. But you will find more than water for your sandcastle and some of the best fish and chips you've ever eaten. Famous for the Poirot murder mystery fairs (including costumes of all kinds) as well as a multitude of water sports, the English Riviera is rich in fun and culture.

    The large towns of Torquay and Paignton with a great array of shops, amusements and restaurants, will give you something to do and visit when you have had your time on the beach. 

    Especially Be Sure to Visit

     

     




    17. Exeter - The regions capital

    Probably Devon's oldest city settled during the Roman reign, the capital has plenty of exciting things to do and see. From the vast array of shops and restaurants to explore to Exeter Cathedral and Castle, Exeter has a lot to offer.

    Why not explore the canals down by the waterfront, hire a canoe or kayak and wonder up to turf locks for a meal by the water, or have a pizza in the old firehouse. 

    Especially Be Sure to Visit 

     

     

    18. East Portlemouth - The little town by the sea

    The charming village of East Portlemouth lies not far from Kingsbridge in South Devon, close to the Kingsbridge estuary, the village is a most visit for someone who is after a smaller and quieter rural location to visit, with great walks, and easy access to the coast.

    It would be great for a small family or romantic getaway and why not take the dog for those great Devon walks.

    There are easy links to Salcombe as well due to the ferries in the area, as well as many great locations to visit nearby in South Devon.

    Especially Be Sure to Visit

    • Relax at Mill bay beach
    • Visit Portlemouth beach

     

     

     

    What's your favorite place to visit on Devon? Let us know in the Comments box below!

     

    Meet the Author:

    I am a Devon based photographer, who enjoys travel, hiking, rugby and photographing the beautiful world in which we live in, I see photography as a creative expression upon visiting beautiful places. Each picture often tells a story.

    Thank you for reading this article, Please feel to share it with your friends and please check out all my photography - and Devon Prints for Sale

    Thanks

    Sebastien Coell Photography

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