By James Starkey
Welcome to Devon; two spectacular coastlines, two glorious National Parks and a huge range of quirky and interesting locations to explore; it’s no wonder in my eyes why this large county in the South West of England has been a favourite of mine since I was a child.
For anyone who’s not familiar with Devon, it’s a sleepy, mostly unspoilt county that’s hidden away in corner of the UK. If you’re travelling from London, it’ll take a few hours to arrive by either car or train, but I’m sure that after a visit you’ll agree with me that it’s most certainly worth it!
Whether it’s the vast expanses of open countryside, the views that go on forever whilst stop at the top of Dartmoor or the miles upon miles of beach (perhaps the traditionally made ice-cream plays a part here; my personal favourite is a Hockings found in North Devon), you’re bound to find something that will inspire one of the most memorable holidays you’ll ever enjoy.
So, you’ve planned a holiday to Devon… What are you going to do when you get there? My first recommendation would be a trip to Dartmoor. The ruggedness of the landscape shows just what a beautiful, untouched wilderness this part of the world can be. While you can discover it on foot, I’d definitely say that my favourite way to trek across the moors is on horseback. If you do some research, then I’m sure you can find a pony-centre that’ll provide you with a trusty steed upon which to explore!
One of my favourite destinations in the north of the county would be the small fishing village of Appledore. Not only is there a huge selection of great pubs (I know that’s what a lot of people will enjoy!), but you can also browse the many galleries and craft shops that line the narrow, colourful streets. (It’s worth noting that this is the best place to find one of my Hockings ice-creams as well!)
The beaches of Devon are certainly worth spending some time on. With Croyde and Woolacombe the two favourites in the north, on the south coast there’s a great choice with anywhere from Beer to Torquay sure to inspire sandcastle building and hours of fun playing in the water.
Devon’s also a superb place to enjoy walking. My personal recommendation would have to be the Valley of the Rocks on Exmoor. With amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and an incredible café (Laceys) in the nearby village of Lynton where you can enjoy a traditional Devon cream tea, which is a must if for anyone taking any trip to Devon, it really is the perfect way to round off a day exploring the coast-path.
Perhaps the best way to discover the beautiful Devon countryside is by staying in one of the traditional holiday cottages, with so many different locations on offer it means that whatever plan you have for your holiday, it’s kept flexible and allows you to come and go as you please.
The author, James Starkey, is a travel writer for a number of different publications across the UK including holidaycottages.co.uk. He writes on a wide range of different topics covering locations as well as things to do and what to see across the globe.