County Devon Top Things to Do

7 Awesome Things to do in Devon

Devon is a fantastic all-year-round destination where there is something for everyone.

It is a stunning county with 2 beautiful coastlines, 5 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and 2 National Parks. Here is our suggestions of 7 truly awesome activities to do while in Devonshire.

1. Discover Devon’s Beautiful Beaches

Famous for its stunning coastline, you will find sandy family-friendly beaches, secluded coves and wild sweeping bays with breath-taking views. Enjoy days out on the golden sands, playing in the rock pools and swimming in the crystal clear waters.

South Devon boasts over 50 beaches from Seaton to Plymouth while the north coast is a dramatic mix of tranquil coves and large sandy expanses just waiting to be explored. Devon is an international mecca for all types of watersports from swimming, canoeing, paddleboard, windsurfing and surfing.

Blackpool Sands beach in Devon UK
Blackpool Sands beach

2. Walk the Amazing South West Coast Path

Considered one of the best coastal paths in the world, the South West Coast Path stretches for 630 miles. It offers easy access to wild and windswept cliffs, passes sheltered sandy coves and takes in picturesque harbours and hamlets.

The rich local culture and heritage, geology, wildlife and scenery along the route are inspirational. There are plenty of great places to stop on route, and with regular local bus services you can dip in and out as you please.

On the south coast, the Bantham to Salcombe path has spectacular beaches and dramatic headlands. On the north coast, the walk from Clovelly to Hartland Point is simply sensational.

Coastal path sign in Devon England
Devon Coastal Path

3. World-Renowned National Parks

Dartmoor has 365 square-miles of wilderness to explore. There are vast open moorlands, awe inspiring granite tors, wooded glades, pre-historic ruins, ancient hamlets and characterful country pubs. See the famous wild ponies and if you are very lucky catch a glimpse of a wild otter. With plenty of easy to follow trails for strolling, hiking and cycling, plus lots of safe, quiet areas suitable for family picnics.

Exmoor is the coastal version of Dartmoor, its wilder, quieter and more diverse. This heather-covered moorland, once a former royal hunting ground, has ancient woodlands, beautiful rivers and distinctive craggy shores. The sheer drama and loveliness of Exmoor is totally inspiring.

Pony and Wimbleball Lake Exmoor National Park
Exmoor National Park

4. Castles and Historic Houses Galore!

Visit magical Powderham Castle, dating back over 600 years, and its surrounding deer park. There are guided tours, woodland and rose gardens, play areas and a pets corner.

Dramatic Compton Castle, owned by the National Trust, has a history spanning back to medieval times with towers, battlements, spiral staircases, Great Hall and Guard Rooms. Other National Trust properties include Agatha Christie’s Greenway House, Coleton Fishacre House, delightful Bradley Manor and Fursdon House.

Powderham Castle near Exeter UK
Powderham Castle

5. Escape to Lundy Island

Often referred to as Britain’s Galapagos, Lundy Island is a marine reserve where seals, puffins and basking sharks can be spotted. This peaceful and unspoiled island is 3 miles long and half a mile wide, it lies off the North Devon coast with views out over the Atlantic ocean with nothing between it and America.

Lundy has a real sense of tranquillity and feels like an escape for the hubbub of modern life, even during the busy summer tourist season when the MS Oldenburg brings daily visitors it never feels crowded. The ferry sails over from Bideford and Ilfracombe and offers a very special day out.

Lundy Island Seal playing
Lundy Island

6. Indulge In a Traditional Cream Tea

Devon is world famous for its delicious cream teas and they are not to be missed. There are some wonderful places to sample a traditional cream tea from small intimate tearooms tucked away in the Devonshire countryside and plush upmarket hotels serving teas in elegant drawing rooms.

Try the award winning Hele Corn Mill Tea Room in North Devon that offers traditional fare as well as the Thunder and Lightning cream teas where strawberry jam is replaced by golden syrup. The Otterton Mill Tearoom, situated on the peaceful River Otter, makes fine organic scones and are reputed to serve the best cream teas in the West Country.

Cream Tea
Cream Tea

7. Cycle the Granite Way

This new National Cycle NetworkDevon Coast to Coast‘ Route 27 skirts the edge of Dartmoor and is truly spectacular.

Covering 11 miles, it is mostly a traffic-free track from Okehampton to Lydford. The track passes close to the Museum of Dartmoor, Okehampton Castle, Lydford Gorge and Meldon Viaduct from where there are great views of Meldon Dam and the wilds of Dartmoor.

The Dartmoor Inn is perfectly located at the end of the trail and offers awarding winning gastro-pub food. A well deserved treat for those completing the Granite Way.

Dartmoor National Park forest stream
Dartmoor National Park