With half term coming up and the Summer holidays on the horizon, we thought we’d share some of the county’s oldest attractions and historic landmarks to add to your itineraries.

Devon is a county steeped in history. With settlements across the county dating back to the Iron Age, the English Civil War and even further back, there’s plenty to see here, including the following.

Buckfast Abbey

Located on the edge of Dartmoor and still home to a community of Roman Catholic Benedictine Monks, Buckfast Abbey is one of the most tranquil and peaceful places you can visit in Devon.  The abbey has been here since the 11th century and although it was dissolved during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, it was reinstated in the 19th century and has continued ever since.

As well as being a working monastery, Buckfast Abbey is also one of the region’s premier attractions, boasting an exhibition centre, some beautiful gardens and some lovely places to eat, including their own pizzeria. There are even chances to stay here, with self catering options and their Northgate Hotel.


Buckfast Abbey Church is open from 7.45am - 8.20pm (7.00pm on Saturday), the gardens, and Visitor Welcome Centre are open 10am - 4.30pm daily;  on Sundays open 11.30am - 4.30pm. The Abbey Church, car park & gardens are free to the public. Located at the centre of a picturesque valley on the…

Hartland Abbey

In North Devon among the beautiful and rugged scenery of Hartland is Hartland Abbey, which continues to be a family home. Founded in the 12th century by someone who fought at the Battle of Hastings, it became a private residence in the 16th century and is now a favourite among visitors. You might recognise it from TV and film as it is a popular filming location.

Open throughout the rest of the year until October, Hartland Abbey has a number of exhibitions on display, as well as beautiful gardens.

There are even some animals to befriend, including donkeys, peacocks, guinea fowl, sheep and chickens. It’s one of the best places in the region for a traditional cream tea in stunning surroundings!

A day out at Hartland Abbey, a stately home and popular film location in a stunning valley a mile from Hartland Quay on the N W Devon coast, is to step back in time. Currently the film location for Enid Blyton’s ‘Malory Towers’, the award-winning house, with its fascinating…

Exeter Cathedral

We can’t talk about five of the best historical attractions without mentioning Exeter Cathedral, arguably one of  Devon’s most famous heritage attractions. It’s one of the most impressive cathedrals in England and is instantly recognisable. Founded in 1050 in the presence of King Edward the Confessor and inspiring other churches around the area, including Ottery St Mary’s St Mary’s Church, Exeter Cathedral is not just a working house of worship, but has plenty of other activities to offer you throughout your visit.

There are regular exhibitions and performances, alongside the usual church services taking place throughout the year and if that wasn’t enough, the cathedral is also home to several important historical documents.


Step inside Exeter Cathedral and discover one thousand years of wonder. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of one of Europe’s most magnificent cathedrals and find endless opportunities to explore its amazing architecture, clandestine corners and hidden histories. Choose one of our…

Blackbury Camp

Managed by English Heritage, Blackbury Camp is a hill fort that dates back to the 4th century. Though there isn’t much there to indicate that an Iron Age fort sat here, it was in use by local tribes for hundreds of years.

Located in Colyton, near Honiton, Blackbury Camp was also at one time known as Blackbury Castle and you can see the uneven ground where the original Iron Age settlement once stood. This is a great place to visit during the later spring months as the whole area becomes carpeted in blue bells! The summer months are also a popular time to visit for families, especially those looking for a scenic walk and somewhere to have a picnic!

Looking for more historical attractions to visit while in Devon? You can find more suggestions here.