It is little wonder Devon has been such a popular holiday destination for so long.
Britain’s third largest county, Devon is unique – for it can boast two separate coastlines along with two National Parks, Dartmoor and Exmoor.
When you factor in the English Riviera, miles of rolling rural landscapes, charming cities, picturesque market towns and just about the mildest climate in the UK, a holiday in Devon makes for a pretty alluring prospect.
Visions of Devon
Most areas in Britain suffer from at least one outdated, negative stereotype or perception. Devon is different, as - for this writer at least - the word alone conjures romantic visions of leisurely-slurped clotted cream tea on some of Britain’s cleanest beaches, as the odd bronzed surfer dude rides the gnarly waves to a backdrop of baroque tea rooms and thatched cottages.
Flanked by Cornwall to the west and Somerset to the east, Devon nestles snugly in Britain’s most continental corner.
The north and south coastlines contrast nicely – the expansive, Atlantic-facing beaches of the north coast, juxtaposed with the quaint coves and pretty harbours of the south.
North Devon is home to some of the country’s finest sandy beaches, perhaps most notably Woolacombe, one of Devon’s many blue flag beaches and recently voted in the world’s top ten.
The famous Atlantic swell guarantees excellent surfing conditions off the north coast all-year round, and presents a sterner test than the gentler, more novice-friendly waters of the south coast.
The English Riviera
Along the south coast runs the English Riviera (aka Torbay), comprising the towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, where life busily revolves around the lively waterfronts and harbours. Torbay is an internationally-recognised Geopark – an area with ‘geological heritage and of international significance’ – and one of only eight in the UK and fifty three worldwide.
Okay, its delights stop short of herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plains, but the Riviera is a broad church. It certainly offers more than your regular seaside stretch. Torbay’s biodiversity, geological and archaeological heritage, marine biology and pre-historic caverns regularly attract a range of visitors beyond day-trippers armed with buckets and spades.
Devon accommodation - the cream of UK holidays
Holiday accommodation in the heart of the Devon countryside or down by the beach - it's hard to beat this part of the world for a short break or family holiday. Imagine yourself by the fireside in a quiet Devon Cottage - blissful! And if it's dog friendly accommodation you're interested in there's no shortage of that too.
A short retreat inland, from the bustling promenades, brings you to the desolate wilderness of Dartmoor.
Dartmoor National Park, in the heart of Devon, covers more than 365 square miles of stark moorland and granite hilltops, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Immortalised by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his novel ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, Dartmoor’s rugged terrain has long been used as a military training ground – indicative of its remote, unforgiving and exposed-to-the-elements nature.
One may think two coastlines and two National Parks is a bit greedy, but Devon shares the wealth. In fact over 70% of the untamed moorlands of the Exmoor National Park actually lay in Somerset. It also shares the Jurassic Coast– the famous World Heritage Site - with Dorset, extending west from Exmouth in East Devon.
From picture-postcard waterfronts to stark ‘n’ spooky moorland, the variety on offer in Devon is unsurpassed.
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