Location guide: Devon attractions
If you're thinking of taking a holiday to Devon or maybe even buying a holiday home or park home in Devon, take a look at what there is to see and do across the county.
There’s a lot to do in Ilfracombe. Start with the 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 20m sculpture, but there’s no denying it catches your attention.
North Devon’s unique traffic-free, cobble-paved fishing village, Clovelly, is privately owned. The village 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. It’s surely the quaintest, most fascinating village in Britain, a place of pretty cottages that cling to a cleft in the ravine that leads down to a tiny harbour where ancient fishermen’s cottages border the shore.
Full of great character and ancient history, Exeter’s Roman city walls surround the centre and the Gothic cathedral is magnificent. Exeter Castle overlooks leafy Northernhay and Rougemont Gardens, and 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.
Dartmoor National Park
A vast outdoor lover’s paradise. Wild open moorland with a rich history and rare wildlife. The area is dotted with pretty villages too – and don’t forget the roaming Dartmoor ponies!
For a real chance to get away from it all, take a boat trip to Lundy, a tiny island, owned by the National Trust. Birdwatching and walking are the activities here. You can sail to Lundy on the island’s own ferry and supply ship, MS Oldenburg, built in 1958. The boat still has many original brass and wooden fittings. It leaves from Bideford or Ilfracombe. The crossing takes two hours, giving visitors four hours in which to explore the island, which is three miles in length and half-a-mile wide.
The South West Coast Path
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.
The Tarka Trail
A 180-mile walking and cycling route through North Devon and Exmoor. There’s a 32-mile section leading from Braunton to Meeth and is so-named as it follows the journey of Tarka the Otter in the classic tale of that name by Henry Williamson.
If you're tempted by Devon for your holiday home or park home location or your next holiday, read more about the county and neighbouring Cornwall in the rest of our regional guide:
Images used in this feature are from Pixabay