Devon hosts two national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and its south coast dubbed the English Riviera. The multitude of things to do in Devon and the places to visit in Devon has been no secret to locals, who have been flocking to its North and South coast for years. Yet, with so many options, it can be overwhelming to decide on where to go on your day out in the Devon. We have gathered together the top English travel bloggers and Devon locals to help you plan the ultimate itinerary for your Devon escape.
Thing to see in Devon
1. Walk Through the ‘Valley of a Million Bulbs’
There are so many beautiful days out in Devon. However, if you have to choose one, this should be top of your list come spring time.
Via. Instagram: @_cherry_jones_
“If visiting Devon in early spring you must make time to see the daffodils in Sidmouth. Each spring, one million daffodils light up the Devon seaside town to fulfill the dying wish of a millionaire RAF pilot who sought to turn the resort into a floral paradise each spring & left his 2.3 million pound fortune to the town.” – Ali, www.muminanutshell.com
2. Head to Bigbury-on-Sea, the Largest Sandy Beach in South Devon
The bigger the better, which is why Bibury-on-Sea beach is probably on the the best places to visit in Devon. There is enough space that everyone will have their own private bit of sandy beach, rock pools, and tides to splash your toes in.
Via. Instagram: @ilovesouthdevon
“To the right of the beach is a pretty tidal outcrop known as Burgh Island and on the island is the famous Art Deco Burgh Island Hotel. The rich and famous used to hide out here in the 1930s, most famously – Agatha Christie.” – Claire, www.weekendcandy.com
3. Visit a small quaint town
Devon is covered in small villages and towns. It is worth getting out of the bustleling cities and delve into the true heart of Devonshire!
“One of many quaint towns on the south coast, Totnes, is caught in a quirky bohemian twilight. Crystal workshops, organic cafes and gong showers are part and parcel for the hippy capital of the south. Head to the Green Cafe opposite the town square for one of the best fry-ups going. For drinks, wander down to The Waterside Bistro, nestled against the River Dart. Locals and tourists mix together to make a vibrant, bubbling atmosphere.” – Sam, www.overthedune.com
4. Take in the Beauty of Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor is covered in 954 km² of forest, green hills, wetland, rivers, medieval rock formations, trails through the valleys and so much more. There is an abundance of things to do in Devon’s national park that you could spend days there and not get bored.
Via. Instagram: @aliciadellwah
“Walk along the wooded bank of the River Teign at Steps Bridge in Dartmoor National Park. It’s beautiful all year round but you’re in for an extra treat in spring when you’ll see wild daffodils in March, or bluebells in May.” – Clio, www.diaryofadevonmum.co.uk
5. ..and Whilst You’re There Visit Hound Tor
On the topic of Dartmoor… take a break from your sporty activities and immerse yourself into England’s Middle Age history, and learn about the Medieval history from the 5th Century.
Via. Instagram: @jiminyt
“If you are into your history or just like to discover unusual places then Hound Tor Deserted Medieval Village is the place for you. See the remains of this isolated village on the eastern edge of Dartmoor National Park.” – Gina, www.gypsysoul.co.uk
Thing to do Devon
6. Go Wild Swimming
Dartmoor is full of activities, that we actually need 3 separate points, just to even attempt to cover it! Next up on your Dartmoor itinerary, wild swimming followed by a picnic on a scenic hill. What more could you want to finish off your Dartmoor experience!
Via. Instagram: @ufusbuzby
“Like a bit of adventure? Try wild swimming at Spitchwick on Dartmoor. Not a fan of swimming? Take a picnic and enjoy the view whilst listening to the sound of the water.” – Gina, www.gypsysoul.co.uk
7. Visit the Oldest Sweet Shop in Devon
For all those with a sweet-tooth this little old sweet shop will for sure be a highlight on your trip. Journey back to your childhood and beyond and discover all the glorious sweets from the past.
Via. Instagram: @cranches
“Cranch’s Sweetshop in Salcombe. This candyfloss-pink Aladdin’s Cave has been thrilling sweet-tooths for nearly 150 years and is stocked floor-to-ceiling with every kind of traditional treat. Best of all, you order as you would’ve done 100 years ago: from plastic jars measured by the quarter.” – Claire, www.weekendcandy.com
8. Go Crabbing
Whether you’re out on a family holiday, couple holiday or with friends, crabbing is fun at any age and therefore a must on everyone’s itinerary of things to do in Devon!
Via. Instagram: @catherinewalterphotography
“Grab a line, bucket, and bait and go crabbing. We found a quiet spot in Kingswear, across from Dartmouth, but you can drop your line in different places along the coast. If you need a different one from crabbing: Enjoy a picnic, paddle, or even a wild swim at the magical Bellever Forest on Dartmoor.” – Clio, www.diaryofadevonmum.co.uk
9. Go Longboard Surfing
If you are going to Devon for a real adventure make sure to try your hand on surfing! Devon has some of the best waves in the UK that are surfed by pro’s such as Taz Knight, who named Devon as his favourite place to surf in the UK.
“Aside from the slog to Cornwall, Devon is the best place for most surfers below the midlands to find decent conditions. Learners can get into beach breaks at Woolacombe (where I first got going in surfing!), Croyde and Saunton on the north coast, Bentham and a few hidden gems along the south.” – Sam, www.overthedune.com
“If you’re visiting Devon I’d suggest a visit to Braunton to get kitted out for the beach at the Tiki and Saltrock shops. Then roll over to Saunton for miles of golden sands and some of the best longboard surfing waves in the country.” – Tim, www.aboutnorthdevon.com
10. Visit the Jurassic Cliffs
Last but certainly not least, another thing to do in Devon, is to visit the World Heritage Site of the Jurassic cliffs. It is a stretch of cliffs that site on the south coast of Devon and stretches between Exmouth and Studland Bay.
Via. Instagram: @photosofbritain
“And no trip is complete without a walk along the stunning Jurassic cliffs between Beer and Branscombe. You can park your car on the cliff top car park in Beer, follow the coast path into Branscombe beach, stop off for a bite to eat at the beach from cafe then head back again to catch the view from a whole new angle.” – Ali, www.muminanutshell.com
Thing to eat/drink in Devon
11. A must, Fish ‘n’ Chips
If you live in a city, this local seaside fish and chip shop will bring you back to your childhood holidays down at the beach. Make sure to arrive before 6pm to avoid the crowds!
Via. Instagram: @danniimarley
“In the evening head to Braunton for Squires award winning fish and chip restaurant – truly the best of the West”! – Tim, www.aboutnorthdevon.com
12. Venture out to River Exe Café, Exmouth
After strolling along the Jurassic Cliffs, head over to Exmouth and get onto the Puffin Water Taxi to this floating cafe and enjoy a dining experience with views onto the River Exe.
Via. Instagram: @daisywatkiss
“Catch a boat to the floating River Exe Cafe and enjoy delicious Exmouth Mussels as the sun sets. You can only reach the restaurant by water taxi or boat but it’s worth the journey.” – Clio, www.diaryofadevonmum.co.uk
13. Enjoy a Hearty Shepherd’s Pie After a Hard Day of Surfing
This little surf cafe is designed for the hungry surfer. What better place to meet true Devon surfers than in their local hangout spot!
Via. Instagram: @baggylodge
“Half way up the point between Croyde and Woolacombe is Baggy’s Surf Lodge and Cafe. Mike has nailed location, surf hire and guest facilities – it’s all properly geared up for the surfer. If you find yourself in the area, drop by for some food. Mike and his guys make a killer shepherd’s pie!” – Sam, www.overthedune.com
14. Eat and People Watch at The Loft
Locally owned by Katrina and John, the Loft is a popular lunch and dinner place in Devon for both locals and tourists. Hosting a roof garden it makes for the perfect place to spend a summers evening.
“And If food’s your passion, then pay a visit to The Loft in Sidmouth. This gem of a restaurant serves the most amazing brunches, lunches and evening meals alongside the most quirkiest of surroundings and the warmest of welcomes. Blink and you’ll miss it though as its accessible via an unassuming door between 2 shops and commands the top floor, overlooking the high street below. Perfect for people watching too!” – Ali, www.muminanutshell.com
15. Enjoy a Rustic Meal at the Family Run Farm Shop and Barn Cafe
The atmosphere around the meal can break or make your dining experience. Ullacombe Farm will not disappoint, stroll around the farm and browse through their shop to get the ultimate rustic dining experience.
Via. Instagram: @emzy73
“If you are looking for good food in Devon visit Ullacombe Farm. Enjoy tasty rustic treats in their converted barn or sit outside and marvel at the far-reaching views over Devon.” – Gina, www.gypsysoul.co.uk
16. Try Audrey Hepburn’s Favourite Pavlova
Go to Soar Mill Cove Hotel and learn why Audrey Hepburn fell in love with their summer Pavlova!
Via. Instagram: @soarmillcovehotel
“Forgo traditional fudge or fish and chips; instead try the Hepburn Pavlova served at Soar Mill Cove Restaurant. Soar Mill Cove Hotel and Restaurant, near Salcombe, has played host to many starlets in its time, most notably Audrey Hepburn. She fell in love with its summer pavlova during her stay and now it’s the most famous thing on the menu.” – Claire, www.weekendcandy.com