With January behind us and (hopefully) warmer, brighter days on the horizon, you might be starting to plan your adventures for the year. Of course, we’re biased and will always recommend visits to Devon, but that doesn’t mean you should discount what we say! No matter how many times you come to Devon, there is always something new to discover, including these hidden gems that will allow you to experience a Devon most tourists won’t get to see.

Here are some of the county’s hidden gems, just keep it on the down low!

Fort Charles, Salcombe

Only accessible at low tide from North Sands in Salcombe, this is somewhere you might have heard rumour of but never seen. Now just ruins, Fort Charles dates back to the 1540s and stands on a rock just off the beach. At one time it was a hugely strategic outpost and saw action, particularly during the English Civil War when it was captured in 1647.

Wistmans Wood, Dartmoor

Whatever the season, a visit to Wistmans Wood is an atmospheric experience. This is the kind of place that makes you believe all the myths and legends of Dartmoor and as one of the oldest wooded areas on the moor, it’s a truly spectacular place to visit. Be aware though that the woods are full of moss covered boulders and twisted branches that can be slippery and tricky underfoot, so make sure you’re wearing suitable shoes.

Ness Cove, Shaldon

If you want to experience life as one of Devon’s historical pirates then you need to take a trip to Ness Cove. Not only is it one of the region’s most secluded and hidden beaches but it is only accessible via a former smuggler’s tunnel. Of course, that means it isn’t suitable for everyone, as it can be challenging to get to. You’ll find it between the Ness Hotel and Shaldon Zoo and as it is completely sheltered, it is much quieter than other beaches in the area.

Heddons Mouth, nr Barnstaple

Heddon Valley is a wooded valley that is managed by the National Trust and can be found a stone’s throw from Barnstaple in North Devon. There are some recommended trails to follow, including one that will take you on to Woody Bay, a secluded pebbled beach and another circular walk that will give you a chance to explore a riverside path, a beach, woodland and cliffs. It’s pretty spectacular however you want to explore it and the diverse landscape makes it an interesting place to wander around.

Intrigued? Make sure to follow us on Instagram where you can have a daily dose of Devon in all its glory, you’ll never know, we might let slip another of our hidden gems!