Focus on South West: Devon's Delights
One of Devon’s most famous assets, Dartmoor National Park combines wild open moorlands and deep river valleys, all with rare wildlife and a rich history. From the iconic sight of ponies grazing freely on the moors to ancient stone circles there’s plenty to see here. The National Park also has low levels of light pollution so it’s a perfect place for stargazing.
As well as having a magnificent medieval cathedral, good shops, restaurants and a memorial museum, the bustling city of Exeter also has a historic quayside from where you can take a relaxing boat trip and also cycle alongside the canal, passing RSPB reserves and locks.
Home to artist Damien Hirst’s 20-metre high sculpture, Verity, Ilfracombe is host to a collection of local art galleries and is a picturesque harbour town. There’s also a Victorian castle, an award-winning aquarium and a choice of culinary establishments for foodies.
LYNTON AND LYNMOUTH
Known as ‘Little Switzerland’, the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth are situated on the northern edge of the Exmoor coast. Lynton resides 450 feet above its sister village of Lynmouth, connected by the famous water-powered cliff railway. Lynmouth is a pretty harbour village and, from here, you can walk up the river gorge to the National Trust’s Watersmeet, or along the coast path to the scenic Valley of the Rocks.
This Devon port city is known for its maritime heritage and also The Hoe – a green open space with views across Plymouth Sound’s bay and topped by an iconic striped lighthouse.
Plymouth Harbour Fireworks ©VisitEngland/Visit Plymouth
Complete with sandy coves and plentiful boats in the harbour, this resort town has a Riviera look and feel about it. Spend your days watching the world go by, wandering the pretty streets – or taking part in watersports.
Panorama of Salcombe ©VisitEngland/Andrew Boxall
Perfect for those with a walking or cycling hobby, this is a 180-mile, mainly traffic-free route across north Devon and Exmoor. Along the route you will encounter unspoiled countryside, coastal cliffs and stunning beaches.
Tarka Trail ©VisitBritain/Visit Devon/Neville Stannikk
Main image: Staple Tor