According to a recent survey we conducted here at The Tourist Trail, Devon is the UK’s second favourite staycation destination. This county in the south west of England boasts 450 miles of beaches and cliffs across its northern and southern coastlines. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful spots in the country if you’re looking for a seaside staycation, especially along the English Riviera.
But Devon offers a lot more than just coastline. You’ll find beautiful countryside as well as the bustling cities of Plymouth and Exeter. Devon is also home to two National Parks – Dartmoor National Park and Exmoor National Park. So whether it’s exciting attractions, the great outdoors, or some rest and relaxation, you’re bound to find it in Devon. Keep reading for more information on this diverse part of the country.
Types of accommodation
At The Tourist Trail, we feature a whole range of accommodation in Devon. One of our favourite ways to take a staycation is by staying outdoors. Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy nature and make the most of Devon’s mild climate. We have plenty of camping options in Devon, whether it’s in a basic field or a holiday park.
Another way to do it is glamping. Glamping is a step up from traditional camping, where you can enjoy all the comforts like a real bed, kitchen, heating and electricity. It’s a great way to relax properly, which is what a staycation is all about. Check out our range of glamping options here.
Of course, you can always stay at a B&B, inn or hotel if you prefer more service. There are plenty of options to suit all kinds of tastes and budgets. For longer stays or large families, we recommend staying at a holiday home or cottage. You have much more freedom, and people find that the self-catering aspect is useful and hassle-free when it comes to young kids! Whether you’re looking for a luxurious penthouse, a farmhouse building or a cosy cottage for two, you’re spoilt for choice in Devon.
Devon boasts all kinds of attractions, from outdoor to indoor activities. One of our favourite attractions is the Dartmouth Steam Railway, as it’s a fun way to enjoy the stunning coastal views that Devon has to offer. Starting at Paignton, the railway runs for seven miles along the Torbay coast to Kingswear, which lies opposite the picturesque port of Dartmouth. Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boats also have a range of boat trips and paddle steamers to explore the coast.
Fancy yourself as a bit of a gardener? Check out Devon’s many gardens, many of which have children’s play areas and garden centres, making them a place for fun and relaxation for the whole family. RHS Garden Rosemoor is a lovely spot for unique plants and flowers, and even has a heritage apple orchard. Another beautiful garden is Burrow Farm Gardens which stretches over 13 acres. It has different themed areas with quaint decorations. Stop by Bicton Park Botanical Gardens which spans nearly 300 years of gardening history and showcases rare plants from around the world.
If you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids for the day, Paignton Zoo is always a good option. With over 2,500 animals spread across 80 acres, there is a lot to see here. Meet some of the most amazing animals from around the world at the specially designed habitats – from crocodiles and snakes in the Tropical Forest House, to big cats and gorillas at the Forest Animals area.
Although rainy days are rare in Devon, they do happen from time to time. But not to worry, there are still many things you can do even when it’s wet outside. One of the most exciting indoor activities are escape rooms, where you solve clues and puzzles to break out of different themed rooms on time. There are plenty to choose from around Devon, including Red House Mysteries and Escape Down The Rabbit Hole.
Places of interest
Devon is filled with beautiful areas and landmarks. There are five AONBs – North Devon Coasts, East Devon, South Devon, Tamar Valley and Blackdown Hills. With such beauty all around, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular holiday spot. Devon’s AONBs and National Parks are great places for outdoor activities like water sports, walking, hiking, climbing, cycling, mountain biking and horse riding.
If you’re looking for a city break, the cities of Exeter and Plymouth have plenty of exciting things to do and see. Exeter is an ancient city on the River Exe. Dating back to the Roman era, there is tons of history to explore like Exeter Cathedral and the underground passages. Make sure to visit Exeter Quay, one of the most attractive areas of the city featuring shops, historic buildings and boat trips.
Plymouth is a port city known for its maritime heritage and historic Barbican district. Known as Britain’s Ocean City, it’s packed with attractions, activities, shopping, entertainment and good food and drink.