Devon Attractions

Devon offers visitors a choice of local attractions in the county, visitors can see a range of interesting and charming places to discover. Devon has long been one of England’s favourite holiday destinations, the county includes a number of historic houses and buildings, world heritage sites, scenic beaches and coastline, gardens and parks, galleries, theatre, concerts and events. Devon’s location in south west England means the tranquil English countryside and the great outdoors are all within reach located close to local cities, towns and villages with a range of things to see and do in the county.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to Devon, these include:

Exeter Cathedral located in the town of Exeter is the seat of the Bishop of Exeter. Most of the cathedral we see today is the result of rebuilding between 1275-1375. It is thought that Bishop Bronescombe was suitably impressed with the new cathedral at Salisbury that he decided to his own church at Exeter in the new Gothic style. Whilst the Norman towers were retained from that first church, there is little else. Indeed the Lady Chapel and retro choir were added, these were followed by the presbytery and the choir. The cathedral vaulting extends for an amazing 300 feet, this makes it currently the longest uninterrupted stone vault in the UK. There are great carvings to admire in the Minstrel's gallery. Guided tours are available for visitors to learn more about the fascinating cathedral.

Devon has a world heritage at the Cornwall & West Devon Mining Landscape. The site is located primarily across West Devon and neighbouring Cornwall and contains mining landscapes that are historically significant. The technological advances brought the area to the fore in both the 18th and 19th centuries, there are a number of interesting sites visitors can explore further.

Among the sites to see is Morwellham Quay is located close to Tavistock in Devon that includes a museum and visitor centre. Visitors can see the past brought back to life with staff dressed from the 1860s period will help transport visitors back to the era. The site is located between hills and cliffs with some fine scenery for visitors to enjoy. The narrow-gauge Mine Railway allowing visitors to travel along the banks of the River Tamar and then go deep underground in the George & Charlotte copper mine. Inside the mine there are displays illustrating the harsh and difficult conditions workers once faced here.

Dartmouth Castle was built with as the first English castle built with artillery in mind. Work on Dartmouth Castle began back in 1388 but it was not until about 1403 that it has actually completed. Located in Dartmouth in Devon the Grade I listed castle is among the most picturesque and scenic castles in the UK. There is only one round tower that survives today, with a section of wall and a deep moat. There are exhibitions on the site that take visitors through the long history of the castle. The castle is now under the guardianship of English Heritage and can be reached by a pedestrian-only ferry from the town between Easter and the end of October. It is popular as a picnic spot for visitors in pleasant surroundings. Given the visiting months outlined it is best check forehand to ensure the ferry trip is in operation when visiting the area.

Powderham Castle is a historic castle located in a scenic setting. The best known attraction here is the castle and visitors can take a guided tour with the knowledgeable guides giving more information on the long history with plenty of interesting stories. The Secret Garden is currently home to the pets at Powderham these include sheep, chickens, goats and pot-bellied pigs among others.

The Birds of Prey displays offers a chance to see the various birds up close overseen by experts, the birds include owls and falcons. The Deer Park Safari offers visitors the opportunity to ride on a tractor trailer in to the deer park to see the deer in the park along with lots of other wildlife up close. With an array of attractions a visit to Powderham offers something for the whole family.

There are also two national parks that lie in Devon namely Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks. Exmoor National Park is established back in 1954 and covers some 692 square kilometres across Somerset and north Deon. Both national parks present a great opportunity for nature lovers as well as those seeking thrills with activities and those interested in country walks in the countryside to indulge in their passions. There are a number of small towns and villages each with its own history and character for visitors to explore along with conservation areas, scheduled monuments and coastal and in land attractions. Exmoor boasts some of the UK's finest and most varied scenery,

Dartmoor National Park is located in south Devon covering an area of 954 square kilometres. The park boasts an extraordinary landscape, namely the tall granite 'tors' stand out atop two high plateaus that are split by the valley of the River Dart. It is on these plateaus the Dartmoor ponies graze. Dartmoor has some prehistoric remains, with standing stones and hill forts seen on the landscape of the moor. Remains of tin mining are still visible in certain places, Dartmoor is a favourite walking centre among walking enthusiasts and there are a number of paths both on the High Moor and in the valleys.

When visiting Dartmoor it is worth seeing Bellever Wood, a conifer plantation with two nature trails. Castle Drogo, there are walks close to the river and along parkland here. Grimspound is a bronze age settlement with other prehistoric monuments nearby. There are plenty of activities visitors can enjoy, walking, cycling, canoeing, camping, horse riding as just some of the many activities to be enjoyed here and the park really is a haven for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors.

Kents Cavern has plenty of history in it, it is among the oldest recognisable human dwelling in Britain. It boasts some spectacular geological formations and significant prehistoric finds, some of these are thought to be over 700,000 years old. Visitors can learn more about the Palaeolithic period and history associated with these caves. Kents Cavern is located in the heart of Torquay on the wonderful south coast of Devon. The caves make for a great attraction for visitors and with so much history there is much to see and do here.

Babbacombe Model Village is located in Babbacombe in Torquay, Devon. The model village is well known for its beauty, tranquillity and humorous originality. Tom Dobbins has created a place to mirror everyday life & experience. In the village you can see the English way of life & culture in a unique compact form. The village initially started as a representation of the quintessential English countryside at its best, over the years with the project growing it has incorporated a wide range of buildings and styles, along with streams, waterfalls and lakes. In fact there are new features being added all the time, making for a fascinating visit.

Devon boasts a number of gardens for visitors to explore these include Docton Mills Wild Flower Gardens located in North Devon in a stunning valley. The Garden began in the 1930’s but by the 1970’s were somewhat neglected. The mill and garden has since been renovated and the creation of a new Bog Garden and borders, large numbers of trees were planted. Further developments have seen a new Magnolia Garden with large herbaceous borders, a Woodland Garden and a Greenhouse. The Wild Flower Gardens aim is to make everything as natural as possible. There are many displays to enjoy here, in summer the garden is full of roses, and there is a rose bank of Felicia and Pax. There are some 25 varieties of magnolia to see too, the garden offers something in all seasons.

It is recommended that prior to visiting Devon; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming. The transport is also worth checking as maintenance and engineering works can mean a restricted service on public transport and the road network.

Devon is a county that offers visitors with a mix of towns, historic market villages and a choice of seaside resorts including a number of picturesque locations in the rural Devon countryside. The cities of Exeter and Plymouth along with Torquay offer an ideal place from which to explore the county, local attractions and charming market towns and villages ensuring visitors can enjoy both the urban and rural when visiting the county.

The county includes a number of well known attractions including the city attractions in Exeter and Plymouth, Cornwall & West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site and Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks. Devon’s attractions ensure visitors can enjoy a short break, weekend away or a longer stay here.

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