There are many places to visit in England, so why should one choose the county of Devon over all the others? Known for its mild weather, stunning cliffs, incredible coastlines, and dedication to the preservation of nature and its inhabitants, Devon is a beautiful county that is waiting to be explored.
Devon, or Devonshire as it is commonly called, was originally named for the Celtic word “Dumnonii”, which when roughly translated means deep valley dwellers. Located in southwest England, Devon shares borders with the counties of Cornwall, Dorsett, and Somerset, and is the only county in England with two coastlines (the English Channel to the south and the Bristol Channel to the north).
Things to do in Devon
There are many types of activities to keep you busy while staying in Devon. Just visiting the many towns and villages is a treat, that there are also many other sights. With two major national Parks you can get your fill of flora and fauna, or if you want a physical challenge head to Bideford Bay where you will find excellent surfing conditions.
Where to visit
The major cities in Devon include Exeter, Plymouth, and Torbay. The majority of Devon County consists of small rural villages, and national park land. When travelling through this beautiful county you will encounter many beautiful scenes – including lush rolling green hills, waves crashing against jagged cliffs, and gorgeous stretches of coastline.
There are many interesting towns to visit or stay in – just take a look at the following featured cities and towns:
- Barnstaple and Bideford – located on the north coast, which was a port. Commissioned back in 930 A.D. and offers many interesting sights.
- Brixham – a beautiful fishing port located on the English Riviera. Funky cottages and tons of fresh seafood make for a fun and interesting holiday.
- Dartmoor – features a rich history, castles and abbys, and a gorgeous countryside as bagging to be explored.
- Dartmouth and Kingswear – a charming duo of seaside villages connected by a road and ferry service, featuring fun shops, and great food.
- Dawlish – home to Carnival week in late August, three gorgeous beaches, flower gardens, black swans and a waterfall.
- Exemoor – located on the Bristol Channel, boasts a large national park that covers 265 square miles and tons of coastline.
- Exeter – once a Roman stronghold and boasts a large cathedral as well as underground passages.
- Hartland & Clovelly – located on the rugged Northern Coast, a fisherman’s village with quaint cottages, cobbled streets, and a 12th century abbey.
- Holsworthy – this little market town offers a bit of everything: history, scenery, fresh seafood, and close to beaches this is an ideal place to relax.
- Kingsbridge – features amazing buildings and churches from as far back as the 15th century.
- Paignton – a fabulous place to take your family, with many sandy beaches, a zoo, and the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway for a tour of the coast.
- Plymouth – city plus coastline and a number of beaches make for an excellent vacation destination, and home to many popular family resorts.
- Salcombe and South Hams – 60 miles of coastline, award-winning beaches, and quaint English scenery as well as funky bohemian towns make this a perfect place to visit, and will have you coming back again and again.
- Saunton and Braunton – visit the gorgeous Saunton Sands beach and explore Braunton, the largest village in England. Discover some excellent hiking trails and golf courses as you travel through the area.
- Sidmouth – featuring red cliffs set below green hillsides, amazing floral gardens and a dedication to traditional English architecture this is a jewel of a town, and should not be missed.
- Teignmouth and Shaldon – located on the river Teign, these two quaint villages offer many fun activities, as well as plenty of rest and relaxation.
- Topsham and Exmouth – situated where the River Exe meets the sea on the south coast, this is a great place to start your exploration of the many picturesque villages along the coast and inland.
- Torquay – Devon’s most popular tourist destination, with penguins, a model village, and tons of charm – it’s not hard to see why so many people come here to visit.
- Westward Ho! – two miles of sandy beaches offer open sea swimming, kitesurfing, and surfing, as well as England’s oldest golf course and the famous Tarka Trail.
In short, Devon offers something for everyone – incredible coastlines, natural beauty, and plenty of historical significance. Whether you are looking for a weekend stay, or a summer holiday Devon is an excellent choice.