If you’re considering a weekend trip to Devon - be warned, you will go back with a nagging feeling that you’ve left so much unseen. It’s true, the list of things to do in Devon is exhaustive and mind-fumbling. A place that is perhaps too good to be true, Devon is an exciting mix of history, nature, beaches and vibrant city life. From surfing to cycling and beachcombing too, Devon is the active person’s ultimate dream. Flanked by the fantastic Exmoor and Dartmoor national parks and the world heritage site Jurassic Coast, Devon encompasses a gamut of activities and places to visit.
Although picking Devon’s best attractions is an extremely challenging task, here are our favorite things to do in this county:
1. Powderham Castle
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A great family attraction, Powderham Castle was made over some painstaking 30 years by Sir Phillip Courtenay. It dates back to 1390 but still stands proud and tall like a young horse. The Victorian facade and Georgian interiors will take your breath away. The views from here are truly mesmerizing too. Great for a fun day out!
2. Seaton Tramway
A brilliant way to discover the Axe estuary, Seaton Tramway is incredibly cute and fun. On your way from Seaton to Colyton, travel through the glorious Axe valley in this beautiful time machine that passes wetlands and beautiful scenery. You can enjoy some scones and muffins while you enjoy the vintage ambiance and postcard perfect vistas.
Check out: Road Trips in UK
3. Haldon Forest Park
You will absolutely love spending time amidst the 3500 acres of woodland that makes up Haldon Forest Park. Where nature has its way, this park is a glorious area that is perfect for those who are nature-lovers and action junkies. There are walking paths, cycling paths and horse riding paths that are a wonderful way to explore this impossibly beautiful heartland.
4. Tamar Trails
Another great outdoor activity, The Tamar trails are a great way to discover the treasures of Tamar Valley that lies on the Devon and Cornwall border. There are a number of things to do here- from monkeying around on trees to paddling along the Tamar river, this valley offers a wealth of activities for the whole family. Whether you bike, hike or canoe, you will find that Tamar Valley’s beauty is a real treat for sore eyes. Here are some more places for camping in UK.
5. RHS Garden Rosemoor
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The most stunning colors of nature are all bundled up for you at the Rosemoor garden. There are seasonal varieties of flowers and plants and those that are in bloom throughout the year too. This makes the garden interesting in every season. A stroll along the flower lined pathway reminds you that life can truly be beautiful if we just stop and look around us.
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6. Plymouth Gin Distillery
Also called the Black Friars Distillery, this is the oldest working gin distillery in England. Needless to say, the gin made here has great fanbase for its crisp, sweet and refreshing taste. Visit the legendary place where this Gin is produced and learn about the processes that are involved in making it. Of course, sampling will be the highlight of your visit for sure.
7. Yearlstone Vineyard
Set in a spectacular spot in the Exe valley, the Yearlstone Vineyard produces award winning wine that tastes as good as the surroundings it is grown in. A perfect day outing, there isn’t a better setting to sip wine at than facing this picturesque landscape. Take a self guided tour to explore at your own pace or book an experience with an expert winemaker, you are sure to go back with a happy high.
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This 18th century house and estate makes for a great spot for a picnic and day out with family. Visitors can also checkout the displays at the house which include 18th century costumes and original items that were once used by Sir Richard Acland and his family. Between the lush greens and the Rhododendrons and Magnolias, you will stumble upon an extinct volcano and a fort that dates back to the Iron Age.
9. Arlington Court
This regency house is set in 2700 acres of expansive gardens, woodlands, streams and fields. There is much to explore here and you can do it by walking or strolling around the estate. There is also a carriage museum that has an interesting display of carriages that date back hundreds of years ago. At the house, you can witness the Chichester family’s extensive collection of art, costumes and furniture that throws light upon how a regal family lived in that era.
10. Morwellham Quay
Bordering the River Tamar, Morwellham Quay is a working village that is part historic port, part copper mine . This world heritage site has a host of things to do and is a living display of a historic settlement. You can indulge in a vintage train ride, pottery lessons or board the Garlandstone for a peek in how life at sea would have been during those times. The tour of the mine highlights the harsh living conditions and struggles of miners in the 19th century.
11. Kent’s cavern
Discover stone age secrets at this fascinating site that has been at the core of many archaeological discoveries over the years. There have been groundbreaking excavations at this site that have shaped how scientists perceived pre historic human beings. A tour of the cave and the outdoor trail surrounding it makes for an interesting day out for the whole family.
Check out: Caves In England
12. Becky Falls
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Becky Falls is definitely one of the not-to-be-missed attractions of Devon. The falls themselves date back to 100 years and are set in a spectacular ancient valley. You can indulge in waterfall walks or explore the surrounding woodlands that harbor a unique ecosystem of flora and fauna. The sight of the falls is truly out of this world.
13. Tunnels beaches
Tunnels beaches are not your regular sand and sea haven. They carry unique historic stories and events that have led to their discovery and fame. A set of four tunnels that were hand carved by miners in the 1820s lead up to these gorgeous beaches that are too beautiful to describe. All across the beach, one will find extensive historic information that is both humorous and educative in today’s context. Discover more such unique places in Britain on your next trip!
14. Riverford Field Kitchen
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Farm-to-table takes a whole new meaning at the picturesque Devon farm that has been filling organic happiness in the kitchens of hundreds of people since long. What started as vegetable boxes, has since grown in an organic movement that aims to serve, deliver and promote the fresh and healthy eating culture. Eating at the restaurant at this farm is a whole new experience altogether. Food here is made from produce picked from the farm and is rustic and wholesome.
Salutation is an Inn cum restaurant that serves up some fine food in a charming setting. Whether you’re going there for afternoon tea or a full fledged meal, expect a burst of flavors and textures that will delight the most seasoned gourmand. A meal here is highly recommended. The adjoining patisserie serves some delicious baked items.
Devon offers a plethora of activities for the discerning traveler. Open spaces, heritage architecture and expansive woodlands are all a part of this county’s charm. It makes for a perfect holiday spot for families and friends. Which is your favorite part of Devon?