D on’t bother with itineraries and to do lists; the finest way to experience Devon is to be spontaneous and do as the state of mind (and weather) takes you.
Take a hike on Britain’s longest path
The South West Coast Course, Britain’s longest walkway, traces the both coasts of Devon, offering simple access to wild and windswept cliffs, remote sandy coves and remote hamlets.
Expert pointer: Clovelly to Hartland Point is the most significant section, while Bantham to Salcombe has a string of postcard-pretty beaches. The more away you are from a parking area, the most likely you are to find a cove to yourself.
Go bird-watching on Britain’s Galapagos
L undy Island is a three-mile long granite outcrop off Hartland Point in north Devon. Dating from 1958, the stylish Oldenburg cruises several times a week from Bideford and Ilfracombe.
Insider suggestion: If you wish to spot a particular species, drop in at the Marisco Pub, the island’s only dining establishment, where locals will offer you guidance on where to discover it. Referral books will help you recognize local plants and animals.
Contact: 01271 863636; landmarktrust.org.uk
Opening times: See site for sailing times
Freewheel along Britain’s longest traffic-free cycle route
F ollowing a disused railway line from Braunton to Meeth, the Tarka Trail still has colourful Thomas the Tank Engine-style signal boxes and carriages on the sidings. The 180- mile route takes in ancient towns, wooded valleys, rivers and moorland, with the northerly section following the journey of Tarka the Otter, from Henry Williamson’s timeless book. Largely flat, the path is perfect for kids, with a lot of cafés en route.
I nsider tip: A day-trip between Excellent Torrington to Meeth (11 miles) provides a great taster, with stunning Dartmoor views and a routine bus service to take you back. Bike hire is offered at Great Torrington.
Opening times: Daily, 24 hours
Stock up at a farmers’ market or farm shop
D evon’s market towns come alive at weekends with local manufacturers offering fresh vegetables, artisan cheeses, preserves and meats on market stalls. Exeter Street Grocery Store is among the very best, dishing out delicacies from Friday to Sunday in the city centre. Ullacombe Farm Shop, near Haytor, sells conventional scrumpy, English red wine, excellent meat, fresh fish, handcrafted cheeses and even Devon-grown chillies, while Dart’s Farm, near Topsham, is another excellent alternative.
Expert pointer: Wherever you travel and consume in Devon, look out for the ‘Love the Flavour’ logo on menus and in store windows– this affiliation of food suppliers and producers is dedicated to quality Devon food and drink.
Indulge in a standard cream tea
D on’t even think of leaving Devon without indulging in this tea-time tradition. With a lot of offerings, it’s hard to select a favourite location, however the Guardhouse Café, housed in an 1802 Napoleonic fortress at the Berry Head Nature Reserve, near the pastel-painted fishing town of Brixham, regularly tops our list for its scrumptious offerings and dramatic clifftop place.
I nsider tip: Heated dispute surrounds whether the jam or cream ought to go on first, but a current research study revealed that the Devon method of putting the jam on first ensures a more even spread of toppings.
Contact: 01803 855 778; guardhousecafe.com
Opening times: Daily, 9am-5pm
Blow away the cobwebs in Dartmoor National Park
T here’s no much better location in Devon to get some headspace than the wide open spaces of Dartmoor National Park, a 365 square-mile wilderness of wild moors, woody glades, fairy-tale castles, adorable towns and ancient hamlets.
Insider pointer: Dartmoor’s single-track narrow nation lanes have few passing locations so don’t try them unless you’re positive at reversing fars away and around corners. If you get stuck, nicely ask the other motorist politely to reverse rather (and hope they’re much better at it than you).
Contact: 01626832093; dartmoor.gov.uk
Opening times: Daily, 24 hours
Visit Agatha Christie’s holiday home
A gatha Christie’s private holiday house, Greenway, on the River Dart is much as it was when the criminal offense writer stayed here when looking for inspiration for her books.
I nsider pointer: The most scenic method to get to Greenway is by ferryboat or steam train from Dartmouth. You can drive, however parking is limited so you’ll require to reserve it ahead of your arrival.
Contact: 01083842382; nationaltrust.org.uk
Opening times: Apr-Oct, daily, 10.30 am-5pm
Prices: ₤ ₤
See how the other half live
P owderham Castle is among the oldest household seats in Devon, belonging to the Earl of Devon. Embed in its own deer park, it has been contributed to and modified consistently over its 600- year history. Trips take in the medieval core, neo-classical areas and the Victorian kitchen area. There are beautiful increased beds and a walled garden with a Victorian glasshouse.
Insider suggestion: You’ll need to hunt for it, however the working blacksmith’s forge(03333350 125) in the grounds is a highlight. Opening times vary from Powderham’s so examine ahead.
Contact: 01626890243; powderham.co.uk
Opening times: Mar-Nov, Sun-Fri, 10 am-5pm
Rates: ₤ ₤
Check out a harbour town
S et on the River Dart, the harbour town of Dartmouth is a gem, with ancient narrow streets, boutique shops and trendy art galleries. Emphasizes consist of breakfast at legendary café Alf Resco, a visit to Dartmouth Castle and Bayards Cove, a trip of Dartmouth Naval College, wine-tasting at neighboring Sharpham Estate and a meal The Seahorse
Hang ten with the internet users
R egarded as one of the very best place in the nation to go surfing, Croyde Bay has mild breaks for beginners and bigger swells for more skilled internet users. There’s a handful of local browse schools providing lessons with board and wetsuit hire included, along with coasteering expeditions for non-surfers.
Insider idea: For a full-grown surfing break, stay at the Old Rectory(01598763 368), a high-end hotel on Exmoor that’s well worth the 45 minute drive from Croyde. Saunton Sands Hotel(01271890212) is another good, budget choice.
Contact: 07875676757; croydedevon.co.uk(visitor’s centre)
Opening times: Daily, 24 hours