Top 10 Things to Do in Devon | Explore & Enjoy!

Devon is a versatile destination with a wide range of attractions and activities to suit everyone’s interests. From stunning beaches to historic landmarks, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy in this beautiful county. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities, outdoor adventures, or a relaxing getaway, Devon has it all.

Top 10 Things to Do in Devon

1. Discover the Charm of Exeter’s Historic Quayside

Exeter’s historic quayside is a treasure trove of history and charm. Visitors can explore Exeter Cathedral, a magnificent Gothic masterpiece, and discover the city’s rich heritage by visiting historic buildings such as the Guildhall and Tuckers Hall. The quayside area also offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes, making it a vibrant and enjoyable place to spend a day.

To truly appreciate the beauty of Exeter’s historic quayside, take a relaxing stroll along the riverbank and admire the picturesque views. You can also hop on a boat tour to explore the city from a different perspective and learn fascinating stories about its maritime past.

For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum is a must. This award-winning museum showcases Exeter’s rich cultural heritage through a diverse collection of artifacts and exhibits. From ancient Roman relics to contemporary artworks, there is something to captivate every visitor.

After immersing yourself in history, indulge in some retail therapy at the quayside’s independent boutiques and craft shops. You’ll find unique souvenirs, locally made products, and delightful handmade crafts to take home as a reminder of your visit.

When it comes to dining, Exeter’s historic quayside offers a wide range of culinary delights. From traditional English pubs serving hearty meals to trendy riverside restaurants offering international cuisines, there’s something for every palate. Don’t forget to try some of the local seafood, freshly caught from the nearby coast.

As the sun sets, Exeter’s historic quayside takes on a magical ambiance. The beautifully lit waterfront and the reflection of the historic buildings in the river create a mesmerizing sight. You can end your day with a leisurely drink at one of the quayside’s charming bars or enjoy live music performances at a riverside venue.

Exeter’s historic quayside is a true gem filled with history, culture, and a vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or simply looking for a picturesque place to unwind, Exeter’s quayside offers an experience you won’t want to miss during your visit to Exeter.

2. Relax on the Idyllic Butterscotch Beaches of Salcombe

When it comes to beach destinations in Devon, Salcombe is a true gem. With its idyllic beaches, South Devon offers a slice of coastal paradise that will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated.

Salcombe beaches

Salcombe is famous for its stunning Salcombe beaches, boasting golden sands that stretch as far as the eye can see. These pristine beaches are perfect for sunbathing, building sandcastles, or simply strolling along the shore.

If you’re feeling adventurous, dive into the crystal-clear waters for a refreshing swim. The South Devon coastline is also a haven for water sports enthusiasts, offering activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and windsurfing. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced water sports enthusiast, Salcombe has something to offer everyone.

For those who prefer to stay on dry land, Salcombe’s coastal walks provide a fantastic opportunity to explore the area’s natural beauty. These scenic trails offer breathtaking views of the coastline, with each step revealing a new panorama of South Devon’s splendor.

While the beaches and coastal walks take center stage, Salcombe also boasts a range of other attractions. From charming seaside cafes and restaurants to boutique shops and art galleries, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy in this vibrant coastal town.

So, whether you’re seeking relaxation on the Salcombe beaches, craving outdoor adventures on the South Devon coastline, or looking to immerse yourself in the local attractions, Salcombe is the perfect destination for your next coastal getaway.

3. Uncover Geological Wonders at the English Riviera Global Geopark

The English Riviera Global Geopark, located in South Devon, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its geological significance and Torquay attractions. The Geopark offers visitors the opportunity to uncover remarkable geological wonders in Devon and explore the fascinating history of the area.

One of the main highlights of the Geopark is its fossil-rich beaches, where visitors can discover evidence of ancient marine life that once thrived in the region. From ammonites to belemnites and even the occasional dinosaur footprint, the geological wonders found here provide a unique glimpse into the Earth’s past. Exploring these fossil-rich beaches is like stepping back in time.

English Riviera Global Geopark

In addition to fossil hunting, the English Riviera Global Geopark offers a variety of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. Coasteering allows you to experience the thrill of traversing the stunning coastline, combining swimming, climbing, and cliff jumping for an unforgettable adventure. Wildlife spotting is another popular activity, as the Geopark is home to a diverse range of plants, animals, and bird species.

The Geopark is not only a paradise for nature lovers but also an educational hub. Visitors can immerse themselves in the fascinating geological history by exploring the interpretive centers and interactive exhibits. Learn about the formation of the region’s unique landscapes, from the ancient rock formations to the remnants of drowned forests.

A visit to the English Riviera Global Geopark is a must for anyone with an interest in the Earth’s history and the geological wonders in Devon. Whether you’re a fossil enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply someone looking to appreciate the natural beauty of Torquay attractions, the Geopark offers a wealth of experiences that will leave you in awe of the Earth’s incredible geological heritage.

4. Sail Back in Time with a Trip on the Horse-Drawn Barges of Tiverton

Tiverton, a charming town in Devon, is home to one of England’s last horse-drawn barge companies. Immerse yourself in the nostalgia of a bygone era by embarking on a trip on these traditional barges. Experience the gentle and leisurely pace as the horses gracefully pull the barges along the picturesque canals.

As you sail through the tranquil waters, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the beautiful Devon countryside. The slow and serene journey provides a unique perspective of the landscape, allowing you to soak in the area’s natural beauty.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful escape, a trip on the horse-drawn barges in Tiverton is a must-do. Step back in time, relax, and let the rhythmic sound of hooves transport you to a simpler era.

horse-drawn barges in Devon

5. Admire the Grandeur of Woolacombe Beach

Woolacombe Beach is a stunning stretch of coastline in North Devon. With its golden sands and rolling waves, visitors can truly admire the grandeur of this award-winning beach. As one of the North Devon beaches, Woolacombe Beach offers a range of activities for visitors to indulge in. Whether it’s sunbathing under the clear blue skies or enjoying a picnic with family and friends, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

For those seeking a bit more excitement, Woolacombe Beach is also a hotspot for surfing in Devon. The breaking waves provide the perfect playground for surfers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, the beach offers an exhilarating experience that will leave you wanting more. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own equipment, as there are nearby facilities for hiring everything you need.

Surfing lessons are also available for those looking to improve their skills or try surfing for the first time. Certified instructors are on hand to guide you through the basics and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. So, grab a board, catch a wave, and experience the thrill of surfing at Woolacombe Beach.

North Devon beaches

6. Embrace Outdoor Adventures in Haldon Forest Park

Haldon Forest Park is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to reconnect with nature and enjoy thrilling activities. Located in Devon, this expansive forest is a haven for visitors seeking biking, hiking, and other exciting outdoor adventures.

With miles of cycling trails to explore, Haldon Forest Park offers an exhilarating experience for cyclists of all levels. From leisurely rides through the picturesque woodland to challenging mountain biking trails, there’s something for everyone. So grab your bike, put on your helmet, and get ready to discover the natural beauty of Devon.

Haldon Forest Park

For those who prefer a leisurely stroll, Haldon Forest Park also offers an extensive network of walking trails. Whether you’re looking for a gentle walk to enjoy the tranquil surroundings or a longer hike to immerse yourself in the diverse landscapes, you’ll find a trail suitable for your preferences. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera to capture the breathtaking views along the way.

In addition to cycling and walking, Haldon Forest Park provides a range of other outdoor activities to satisfy your adventurous spirit. Take a thrilling segway ride through the forest, test your navigation skills with orienteering, or challenge yourself on the high ropes adventure course. There’s no shortage of excitement and fun at Haldon Forest Park.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a thrill-seeker, or simply looking to enjoy the great outdoors, Haldon Forest Park has it all. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the forest, breathe in the fresh air, and embrace the outdoor adventures that await you in this stunning Devonian paradise.

7. Experience Exmoor’s Wild Beauty at The Chains

The Chains in Exmoor National Park is a rugged and wild area that offers an exhilarating outdoor adventure in Devon. This hidden gem is perfect for hikers and nature lovers who want to immerse themselves in the untamed beauty of Exmoor.

Traverse the moors, valleys, and rivers as you explore this breathtaking landscape. The Chains is a paradise for hikers, with a network of trails that cater to all skill levels. From leisurely walks to challenging hikes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

As you navigate the rugged terrain, keep an eye out for the rich wildlife that calls this area home. You may spot deer, ponies, and a variety of bird species that add to the enchantment of The Chains.

During your hike, take a moment to appreciate the stunning vistas that the moors provide. With every step, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramas that showcase the wild beauty of Exmoor National Park.

For those with a passion for stargazing, The Chains offers a unique opportunity to witness the night sky in all its glory. With limited light pollution, you can marvel at the celestial wonders above.

outdoor adventures in Devon

Whether you’re seeking a challenging hike, a peaceful nature walk, or a chance to connect with the wilderness, The Chains in Exmoor National Park is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Take in the wild beauty, breathe in the fresh air, and create lasting memories in this untamed corner of Devon.

8. Thrills for All Ages at Devon’s Theme Parks and Attractions

Devon is home to a variety of theme parks and attractions that offer thrills and entertainment for all ages. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping roller coasters or interactive exhibits that will engage your curiosity, Devon has something to offer. Families can create lasting memories and have hours of fun at these exciting destinations.

9. Soak in Serenity at Devon’s Award-Winning Parks and Gardens

Devon is not only renowned for its beautiful coastline and historic landmarks, but also for its stunning parks and gardens that have won prestigious awards for their unparalleled beauty and design. Whether you are a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, these tranquil green spaces offer the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

One of the highlights is the exquisite botanical gardens dotted throughout Devon. These lush havens boast a diverse collection of plant species from around the world, showcasing the region’s commitment to preserving and showcasing botanical marvels. Visitors can meander through these enchanting gardens, immersing themselves in a symphony of colors and intoxicating floral aromas.

In addition to the botanical gardens, Devon’s award-winning parks are a testament to its dedication to maintaining and enhancing natural spaces for public enjoyment. These pristine parks offer a harmonious blend of well-manicured lawns, vibrant flower displays, and tranquil water features. Whether you are taking a leisurely stroll, picnicking with loved ones, or simply unwinding on a park bench, the serene ambiance will envelop you.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you relax and unwind in Devon’s award-winning parks and gardens. Let the sights, smells, and sounds of these tranquil oases rejuvenate your senses and provide a moment of respite amidst the busyness of life.

10. Take a Scenic Boat Trip Along the Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast boat trips are a must-do experience for anyone visiting Devon. This stunning stretch of coastline, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is renowned for its breathtaking cliffs, pristine beaches, and fascinating fossil discoveries. What better way to explore this geological marvel than by taking a scenic boat trip along the Jurassic Coast?

Coastal cruises in Devon offer visitors the opportunity to marvel at the dramatic cliffs that line the coast, providing spectacular views of the rugged landscape and the endless expanse of the sparkling sea. As you sail along, you’ll have the chance to discover hidden coves, remote beaches, and natural sea stacks, which add to the charm and beauty of this iconic coastline.

These scenic tours in Devon allow you to truly appreciate the majesty of the Jurassic Coast. The guided boat trips provide informative commentary about the local geology, history, and wildlife, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of this remarkable area.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique and memorable experience, a boat trip along the Jurassic Coast is not to be missed. You’ll have the opportunity to soak in the stunning scenery, capture incredible photos, and create lasting memories of your visit to Devon.

Conclusion

Devon is a county filled with an abundance of attractions and activities that cater to the diverse interests of visitors. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or someone seeking adventure, Devon has something for everyone.

So, whether you’re planning a family holiday, a romantic getaway, or a solo adventure, pack your bags and get ready to discover the top 10 things to do in Devon. There’s no doubt that this diverse county will leave you with unforgettable memories and a desire to return for more.

FAQs

What are some family-friendly activities in Devon?

Devon has plenty of family-friendly activities, including visiting theme parks and attractions, exploring the coast on boat trips, enjoying the beaches, and experiencing horse-drawn barge trips.

What are some outdoor adventures in Devon?

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Devon won’t disappoint. You can enjoy cycling and walking trails in Haldon Forest Park, hiking in the rugged Chains of Exmoor, and participating in activities like coasteering and wildlife spotting at the English Riviera Global Geopark.

What are some tourist attractions in Devon?

Devon is home to numerous tourist attractions, such as Exeter’s historic quayside, the stunning beaches of Salcombe, the award-winning Woolacombe Beach, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Jurassic Coast.

What are some entertainment options in Devon?

Devon offers a range of entertainment options, including visiting theme parks, taking scenic boat trips along the Jurassic Coast, exploring historic landmarks, and attending events and exhibitions at various venues.

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