Crashing waves, open moorland and oodles of history: Devon may well be the English county with it all. Whether you’re looking to lie lazily by the sea, go on an adventurous hike, or enjoy a cream tea in a cute little pub, this region of South West England will have you covered. Here are 10 reasons to visit Devon
Castle ruins can be found all over the place…
Devon has one of the highest concentration Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements, showing that man has inhabited the county for thousands of years- well before ‘Devon’ even gained its name! As a result, fortifications, ancient castles, and medieval homes can be found dotted across the region.
And of course, there are also plenty of castles to be found that aren’t yet in ruins! Head to the ruins of Berry Pomeroy if you want to experience the most haunted Castle in the UK, or alternatively visit Powderham castle if you want to experience a grand family home!
There are fantastic walks, pretty much across the county!
From hidden waterfalls to epic hiking trails, you’ll find all sorts of terrain if you head to Devon. Walk on Dartmoor to see incredible views, open moorland and climb the ancient rocks that are the Tors for yourself. Alternatively, if being by the sea is your cup of tea, then Devon is home to a large stretch of the South West Coastal Path; the longest National Trail in the UK.
Read more: Where to find Venford Falls.
You’ll find two amazing stretches of coastline
Devon is the only county with two coastlines, making it a unique destination full of secret coves, empty beaches and expansive stretches of coastline. As a result, you’ll find great hiking routes, the opportunity to swim (if you’re feeling brave enough) and a real chance to connect with nature…
There are plenty of historic houses, abbeys, pubs, and churches
If you love history, then you’ve come to the right place. After all, people have been living, working and enjoying life in Devon for thousands of years. From the Neolithic settlement of Grimspound to the invasion of the Vikings to Norman churches to medieval castles, you’ll find oodles of history- and you don’t have to look far to find it when you visit this stunning region in the British countryside. Oh, and if you’re looking to enjoy a pint in a historic pub, then there are plenty dotted around, with many dating back Centuries.
Read more: The house that LITERALLY moved!
Dartmoor is one of the most beautiful national parks in the UK
Wild open moorland, plenty of ponies and rocky granite outcrops known as ‘tors’: it can only be Dartmoor. This vast open landscape is perfect for hiking, visiting Neolithic villages and even wild camping. Head here if you love nature, adventure activities and truly unique scenery you won’t find anywhere else in the United Kingdom (and maybe even the world).
Read more: Best things to do in Dartmoor National Park.
The local food is incredible (just make sure to try a cream tea)
When it comes to eating local in Devon, it doesn’t get fresher than this. And there are a whole load of food stuffs on offer. From local beer to traditional cheese to the more unusuachilili chocolate, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Just make sure you try a cream tea, a local specialty (putting the cream on the scone before the jam, of course!- Applying the jam before the cream is the Cornish way!!)
There are ancient market towns that are just like stepping back in time
Plenty of the towns in Devon (Ashburton, Tavistock, Okehampton and Chagford to name but a few) date back hundreds of years. Each has its own unique feel and was important to the region at some point or another. While Ashburton was once designated a ‘stannary town’ (vital for the sorting and assessment of Tin production- a major local industry), other towns were important in the Saxon wool trade a few centuries prior.
Cute little villages are dotted around the countryside, often in the middle of nowhere!
Of all the reasons to visit Devon, heading to the cute little villages that are dotted around the landscape has to be high on the list. After all, you’ll find a whole variety of settlements in the region. From the abandoned medieval Village at Hound Tor on Dartmoor, to the charming little village of East Prawle, there’s something to interest everyone.
The two cities, Exeter and Plymouth are full of fun, quirky and unusual things to do
As cities go, Exeter and Plymouth couldn’t be more different. While Plymouth is located right by the sea and is pretty modern in its architecture, Exeter is an ancient town dating all the way back to the Roman Era (it’s also a little-known fact that there’s even a complex of Bath Houses under the Cathedral Green that are almost expansive as those found at Bath). Both cities are full of museums, theatres, award-winning restaurants and other cultural activities.
And as if all of that wasn’t enough… In Exeter, you can even follow the harry potter trail!
For avid fans of the wildly popular Harry Potter series, author JK Rowling will need no introduction. Well, the writer of the wizarding books attended Exeter University (where she studied Classics and went abroad for some time in Paris). Of all the reasons to visit Devon, if you’re a Harry Potter fan then you need no more excuses.
After all, plenty of Exeter elements can be found in the magical world (as well as its muggle counterpart). For example, the inspiration for the Room of Requirement door can be found at 10 Cathedral Close, while many speculate that Gandy Street inspired ‘Diagon Alley’.
Read more: A Harry Potter tour of Exeter.
But maybe you shouldn’t visit Devon…
Because you’ll never want to leave!