We know we’re biased, but to us, Devon is one of those places that is picturesque whatever the season. In the summer, we have those lovely blue skies illuminating the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast or the rugged landscape of Dartmoor, in the spring we are overrun with new lambs in the fields and bluebells covering the meadows and in the autumn, we have those lovely russet colours. Honestly, Devon is somewhere where there are always things to discover, so if you’re planning a trip this autumn, why not spend some time visiting some of our charming villages?
From traditional chocolate box villages to coastal villages, here are five of our favourite villages to visit in the autumn months.
We’re starting off with the sort of village that springs to mind when you think of a traditional West Country village. Cockington is often described as a chocolate box village and features traditional thatched roofs and horse drawn carriages. At the centre of the village you can find Cockington Court, a manor house surrounded by parkland which is perfect for picnics and generally enjoying a mild day. Not only that, but Cockington’s mayor is a Shetland Pony called Patrick and to us, that is reason enough to visit!
In North Devon you’ll find a pastel paradise called Appledore. As a former fishing village, it is right on the harbour and from here and neighbouring Instow you can see some stunning sunsets in the summer and into autumn. The brightly coloured fisherman’s cottages provide some much loved cheer in the autumn when the sky is a little duller and there is a bit of a chill in the air, while the independent shops are everything that makes visiting a village special. In September, the village while host their annual Book Festival, which this year will feature Devon-based bestseller, Michael Morpurgo and West Country poet Pam Ayres as part of the line up.
Also in North Devon and probably the best known village on this list is Clovelly. As a tourist attraction in its own right, Clovelly is one of the most visited places in the region, no cars are allowed to drive through it, instead deliveries are made via a herd of rescue donkeys. Those of you with limited mobility don’t need to worry though, there is also a land rover that ferries visitors to and from the village from a designated parking area. The village is small but has plenty to discover, like the 16th century cottages, the historic harbour and museums.
While we’re in North Devon, we’ll also include Combe Martin on this list. Combe Martin has long been a popular destination for family holidays, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit during the autumn. It is right on the edge of the Exmoor National Park so you can be sure of plenty of walking routes and fascinating scenery, plus it is home to a pub inspired by a pack of cards, pods of dolphins, who, on warmer days, can be spotted in the bay and lots of rock pools which you can explore to your heart’s content during the quieter autumn months.
There are so many villages in North Devon that we could talk about but we’re going to move back to the south of the region and over to the east and the village of Beer to finish off our list. Beer is a another fishing village and falls within the UNESCO World Heritage site that covers the Jurassic Coast. The village has a rich maritime history and was once a haven for smuggler’s though today is well loved by foodies on the hunt for the best seafood Devon has to offer.
Narrowing down our favourites to just five was difficult, so don’t just stick to this list, there are loads of other charming villages you can visit this autumn. Find out more about Devon’s towns and villages here.