Devon Travel Guide

Brixham in Devon

The Devon Travel Guide highlights leading local attractions and places of interest for visitors along with providing useful tourist information for travellers. The area guide includes travel information on local entertainment, sites, transport and travel, events, facts & figures, maps and accommodation.

The county is located in the South West of England, a firm favourite holiday destination in the UK.

Devon has a reputation as a great place to go when looking for a break, it is well connected by road to the rest of the south of the UK making it possible for many short breaks and long weekend breaks to be enjoyed here. Its reputation as a rather relaxed place with a gentle pace of life attracts many visitors looking for rest and relaxation.

Devon is a county known for its relaxed pace of life; however visitors can take part in many activities, such as cycling, golf and water sports for those that like to live life in the fast lane. Devon offers an intriguing mix of seaside resorts, countryside walks, and bustling town.

The one major centre in the area is Exeter; the county town that is both the administrative centre of the county and home to Exeter Cathedral. There is also the Guildhall that dates back to the 11th century, it is at present the oldest municipal building in England still in use. Close to Exeter is Powderham Castle, a fine stately home.

Exeter is a city located in the heart of Devon, the central location and good access to local amenities make it a popular place for visitors to base themselves whilst exploring Devon.

The city is located on the River Exe, the city has a notable Roman history and has been a notable market town since the 13th century. The advent of the railways and expansion of canals helped the city to grow. The city is home to a number of historic attractions and has some noted architecture.

Exeter has a choice of shopping facilities in the Princesshay shopping precinct and the High Street where visitors will find a choice of high Street names and local amenities. There are a number of smaller independent shops located on the street of the High Street.

Local attractions include the 15th century Exeter Cathedral noted for its features including an astronomical clock, the minstrels' gallery and misericords. The cathedral is regarded as a prime example of gothic architecture in the UK; guided tours are available.

Rougemont Castle also known as Exeter Castle are located in the city as are Northernhay Gardens, the oldest public open space in England, the garden offer fine views over the city and host a number of events each year.

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum is housed inside a gothic revival building showcasing local history, archaeology, arts, zoology, geology, botany with a number of collections and exhibits.

The other major city in the region is Plymouth located 45 miles south west of Exeter on the Devon coast.

Plymouth has been a maritime centre for many years, from Plymouth Sir Francis Drake embarked on his round the world voyage in 1577. The city is synonymous with Sir Francis Drake and the best views over Plymouth Sound can be viewed from the Plymouth Hoe, where there is a statue of Drake.

Plymouth is the largest settlement in the county of Devon and has a long history dating back to the Bronze age, in 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers left from Plymouth for the New World and set up Plymouth Colony in the USA. Plymouth grew during the industrial revolution establishing itself as an important naval trading port.

Local shopping facilities include the Drake Circus Shopping Centre located in the city centre, here visitors can find over 70 shops to choose from. The city centre includes a range of shops and amenities making Plymouth one of the premier shopping destinations in Devon.

Local attractions include the historic 12th century St Andrews Church, and the 17th century Royal Citadel and the Grade I listed Smeaton's Tower.

Other attractions include the National Marine Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the UK with over 400 marine species on display.

The Torbay coast is also known as the English Riviera made up of three lovely villages/towns in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. They offer visitors a huge range of options for visitors.

Torquay is the quintessential Devon seaside town and the best known of the three. Paignton located right next to Torquay is known as a fun place for the whole family. Brixham is a charming fishing village with a laid back, relaxed feel to it that visitors find so appealing.

Those after relaxation and wishing to get away from it all can try Salcombe, a great secluded escape on Devon's famous coast. The English Riviera is a fun place and extremely popular in the summer months where visitors flock from around the UK and beyond to the mild climate, wonderful beaches and great rural countryside.

Torquay is located on the English Riviera just over 20 miles south of Exeter. Historically the local economy was based on agriculture and fishing; during the 19th century the town began to develop further and became a fashionable seaside resort.

Torquay is one of the best known seaside resorts in Devon and attracts a large number of visitors during the peak summer season.

Torquay is home to a number of popular beaches including Torre Abbey Sands, Oddicombe Beach, Meadfoot Beach, Babbacombe Beach and Institute Beach, some local beaches have achieved blue flag status. The town centre includes a range of shops and amenities along with a choice of eateries, cafes, bars and restaurants serving local and international cuisine.

Local attractions include Kents Cavern, an ancient stone age site noted for its geological and architectural features. Living Coasts is Torquay’s coastal zoo that includes a range of sea birds and coastal wildlife. Babbacombe Model Village is a miniature village located over a 4 acres site showing the English way of life and culture.

Paignton is located close to Torquay on the English Riviera 25 miles from Exeter. Originally a small fishing village up to the 19th century, the coastal town grew with the advent of the railways.

The town includes some fine examples of Victorian architecture with a number of historic buildings in Church Street and Winner Street. By far the main industry in the town is tourism, the town is a popular destination for family holidays. Paignton’s beach along with other local beaches are popular with water sports enthusiasts.

Local attractions include Paignton Pier built in the 19th century, the pier is 240 metres in length, visitors can find an amusement arcade, amusement areas that include slides, carousel and karts.

Paignton Zoo is home to 300 species including crocodiles, giraffes, lions, gorillas, cheetahs, snakes, monkeys and more located in six habitats that mimic the natural environment of the animals.

The Dartmouth Steam Railway is a heritage railway that operates between Paignton and Kingswear in Devon where visitors can enjoy reliving the golden age of the railways.

Barnstaple is located in the north of Devon, 40 miles from Exeter. During the middle ages the town was known for the wool trade and the port in the town brought further expansion of the town during the 16th and 17th centuries. Later on the town was home to manufacturing industries such as lace, gloves and fish nets.

Barnstaple has been a market town since Saxon times, the Pannier Market is located on Butchers Rowe and is known for its high glass and timber roof. Market days are from Monday to Saturday visitors can see crafts, general good, collectables and more.

Barnstaple is one of the primary shopping destinations in the north of Devon, in the town centre are a mix of high street stores and smaller independent shops.

The town includes a number of historic buildings Barnstaple Castle is located in the town centre; once a wooden castle, it is now in ruins with only the motte remaining. Local attractions include the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon with displays and collections on north Devon’s natural and human history.

Devon has long been one of the favourite holiday destinations in the UK. Helped by its mild climate, wonderful landscapes and surroundings it has all the ingredients many people are looking for in a place to go on holiday. The lack of large major cities gives it a warm, rural feel in addition to the relaxed atmosphere.

The English Riviera is sometimes underrated and has much to offer visitors, some charming villages by the coast steeped in history with attractions to explore make it a great place where the whole family can enjoy themselves.

The region is assessable by road, rail and air via Exeter Airport. With the wide range of attractions on offer and things to do for visitors, it is likely Devon will remain a firm favourite among visitors for a long time to come.



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