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Visit Devon and you’ll find that there is more to this spectacular and diverse county than you might have thought. In addition to beautiful beaches and stunning scenery, you’ll find National Parks, rustic villages and towns, historic buildings and ruins, extreme sports and the best in food and drink. With plenty of places to stay in Devon, the most difficult decision you’ll have to make is where in this unique area of the UK you want to visit first.
Devon boasts five areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO Geopark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and two National Parks. Perhaps the most famous of the National Parks is Dartmoor. Its rugged beauty inspired Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, and has been used as the backdrop for Hollywood blockbusters. With 368 square miles to explore, you can walk for miles without seeing another soul or visit some of the Devon attractions to be found on the moors such as Haytor and the fascinating Dartmoor Prison Museum. Feeling a little more energetic? Then why not cycle the Drake’s Trail or encounter the herds of pure-breed Dartmoor ponies that wander the wilds? And when you need a little sustenance, be sure to check out the hospitality of the moorland pubs and restaurants, such as the wonderfully named Nobody Inn. Find out more about Dartmoor
Plymouth and Exeter both might be situated in Devon, but they each have distinctive characters of their own. Plymouth is a city for family holidays in Devon. Steeped in history and the scene of Sir Francis Drake’s legendary game of bowls, Plymouth is also hailed as the cultural centre of the county. With great theatre, live music and art galleries, it’s full of excitement and entertainment for the whole family and one of the best places to go in Devon.
Exeter also has its fair share of history, with parts of the city dating back to Roman times. However, it also boasts a superb high street with cobbled streets and squares housing high street and independent shops and boutiques. If you’re looking for a relaxing cultural getaway with plenty of opportunity for retail therapy, then Exeter’s the place for you. However, it is also close enough to the sea and surrounding countryside that you can base yourself in the city and still enjoy the rest of the Heart of Devon. Find out more about Exeter and surrounds: the Heart of Devon
Torquay is the gateway to the English Riviera - an area that is packed with things to do in Devon, England. Torquay is steeped in maritime history and plays host to a number of sporting events and festivals, including the Riviera’s own regatta. It also has its own UNESCO-stamped Geopark, where visitors can explore a unique ecosystem and take part in a variety of unusual activities such as Coasteering, Canoeing the Coves and catching and cooking your own dinner, under the supervision of the sous-chef at the Elephant Restaurant. However, if the last option sounds too much like hard work, the area is stacked with some of the best places to eat in Devon. Find out more about Torquay, Paignton and Brixham: the English Riviera
South Devon offers the best of countryside and coastline, whichever way you choose to enjoy it. The area is packed with water sports and gentle walks and there are plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy. South Devon is a landscape of gentle rolling hills backdropped by the drama and wildness of Dartmoor, making it a region of contrasts. Its unique character has encouraged artists and musicians to make South Devon their home, and you’ll find plenty of galleries, music festivals and alternative livestyle centres in this part of Devon. Find out more about South Devon.
North Devon is home to a number of stunning stately homes set in glorious grounds, and some of the county’s best surfing beaches for adrenaline junkies. It too has its own distinct character, and the dramatic beauty of Exmoor is the perfect location to go hiking or mountain biking. North Devon’s dramatic coastline has given birth to a new pastime for the more adventurous – Coasteering. If you want to get up close and personal with both the craggy landscape and some of the local wildlife, then Coasteering is a great way to experience the drama and thrill of North Devon. Find out more about North Devon and Exmoor
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