Things to do in Devon
Our pick of the top things to do in Devon...
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HIT THE BEACH
Woolacombe beach is one of the best in Britain. Dunes and cliffs provide shelter – and also give you the chance to take a walk and stand back, elevated above the beach, to appreciate its beauty. The vast expanse of sand means it never feels crowded, no matter how busy it gets, and the sea is welcoming for all ages, especially on a hot day.
TAKE A TRIP BACK IN TIME
North Devon’s unique traffic-free, cobble-paved fishing village Clovelly is privately owned but free to visit. Clovelly has one steep main street and no cars are allowed, so the 200 residents use sledges made of robust plastic boxes lashed to wooden frames to drag everything from the top of the hill where they park their cars. You leave with a clear idea of what life was once like here.
EXPERIENCE ISLAND LIFE
For a real chance to get away from it all, take a boat trip out to Lundy, a tiny, tranquil island off the Devon coast, owned by the National Trust. Birdwatching and walking are the number one activities here – and to be honest there’s not a lot else on the island. But it’s a truly memorable experience nonetheless. Image: dianamower/stock.adobe.com
There’s lots to do in Ilfracombe. Start with the small-but-perfectly-formed Aquarium, where a wide-range of aquatic life is well presented. Likewise, Ilfracombe Museum presents an eclectic mix of local curiosities to intrigue old and young visitors for an hour or two. Don’t forget to head to the harbour to see the unique stainless steel sculpture, Verity. Opinions are divided about the sculpture but there’s no denying it catches your attention and it’s well worth seeing. Image: VisitEngland/Visit Devon/Neville Stannikk
GO FOR A WALK
One of our favourite walks in East Devon is the four-mile circular route that starts and ends at the seaside town of Budleigh Salterton. The 250 million-year-old red sandstone cliffs give the coastal stretch a spectacular backdrop. Follow the path through the woods in the direction of Exmouth where the surrounding trees and hedges are home to an abundance of wildlife.
Exeter is full of great character and ancient history. The Roman city walls surround the centre and Gothic Exeter Cathedral is magnificent. Exeter Castle, overlooks leafy Northernhay and Rougemont Gardens. To their west, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery displays fine art and costumes. There are vaulted, medieval underground passages snaking beneath the city too. The historic Exeter Quayside is a lovely place to enjoy food and drink. Image: PIxabay
HEAD TO THE MOORS
For a change of scenery, visit Dartmoor National Park, just beyond Exeter. It’s home to the highest point in Southern England – the 2,037ft High Willhays – and a beautiful and wild area to explore. A three-hour wildlife safari is a great way to discover this dramatic landscape. Image: istockphoto/cschoter
WALK THE COAST
For ramblers, photographers and birdwatchers, a brilliant section of the South West Coast Path starts three miles to the east of Ilfracombe at Combe Martin and winds its way past Wild Pear Beach, on a near 14-mile route to Lynmouth. The views it offers are staggering, but it does include some challenging climbs including the summit of Great Hangman, which, at 1,043ft is the highest point on the entire path.
Honiton is known as one of the best places to buy antiques in the south west. The genteel resorts of Seaton and Sidmouth are a delightful attraction of this region. From Seaton you can take a traditional tramway inland and explore the Seaton Marshes Nature Reserve.
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