Devon

Devon is picnics and beer gardens, body boarding and surfing, stone skimming and beach strolls and delicious cream teas and light scones. The steep craggy coves are magnificent examples of England’s natural beauty and a simple pleasure can be found in cruising along the coast and watching sun-seekers devouring chips and ice cream. Devon offers an abundance of food to enjoy, activities and adventures to delve into and serene corners of landscape to get lost in. The perfect wholesome summer break.

Exeter Cathedral.
Exeter Cathedral.

Devon’s leading city, Exeter, is a charming, ancient city buzzing with culture. Cobbled streets, impressive medieval buildings, and endless historical attractions are enclosed in the Roman city walls. One of Exeter’s most exciting historical attractions is collection of Underground Passages that snake beneath the city. Built to house the pipes that brought clean drinking water into medieval Exeter, the Underground Passages offer a narrow, dark and unique look at past city life. The award-winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum explores the past 2000 years of the city under one roof and gives a fantastic scope of the history.

Antique Shop, Exeter Quay.
Antique Shop, Exeter Quay.

The Gothic Cathedral dominates the small city. Dating back 900 years, Exeter Cathedral is a stunning example of decorated gothic architecture and one of England’s most beautiful cathedrals. It’s known for its two Norman towers and for having the longest unbroken stretch of Gothic vaulting in the world. A morning spent exploring the historic Cathedral is perfectly finished off by delving into the modern culture of the city.

Wagner 02 Sunglasses in Blonde Havana by Tom Ford.
Wagner 02 Sunglasses in Blonde Havana by Tom Ford.

Explore Exeter in style, wearing Tom Ford’s new striking pair of blonde Havana sunglasses featuring in a bold thick frame.

Exeter has a charming individuality, with a booming culture of independent arts, cafes, bars and a diverse mix of eateries. Take a leisurely stroll along the Quayside past quaint antique shops, art exhibitions, lively bars and excellent waterside restaurants. The large student population gives Exeter a thriving nightlife that ignites the small city until the early hours.

South West Coast Path.
South West Coast Path.

The South West Coast Path is a 630 mile route stretching Minehead and running all the way into Cornwall and back into Devon. Originally created by coastguards, patrolling the south west peninsula looking out or smugglers, the path is now a hot tourist spot today. Whether you challenge yourself to walking the whole 630 miles on your trip, or just take an afternoon amble through your closest part the walking is infused with history and beautiful scenery. As well as the striking views, you can spot the coastguards’ old stone stiles as well as a series of their quaint cottages.

Croyde Beach.
Croyde Beach.

Devon’s coast is vast, wild and beautiful and the craggy cliffs, coves and pebble beaches are rammed with activities. North Devon’s most popular beach is Croyde, a bustling surf spot. Soft sand dunes and crashing waves make Croyde a perfect picnic and photograph spot to watch the sun go down. Family fun can be found at Woolacombe Beach, a vast 3-mile stretch of sand that was voted UK’s number 1 beach in 2015 by Trip Advisor. Charming colourful beach huts line the sand and there are always BBQ’s smoking, bouncing castles being played on and busy surf hire huts for all abilities.

Rania 02 Sunglasses in Shiny Rose Gold Grey by Tom Ford.
Rania 02 Sunglasses in Shiny Rose Gold Grey by Tom Ford.

Tom Ford’s new pair of Rania sunglasses are summery and modern- perfect for relaxing on one of Devon’s sunny beaches.

Rugged and isolated beaches are Moor Sands or Broadsands. Moor Sands is nestled within Prawle Point, a rugged headland and is a serene haven of peace and seclusion. Broadsands offers isolation too, a double-fronted cove with clear turquoise waters and unspoiled sea caves waiting to be explored. In the small town of Sidmouth is Jacobs’ Ladder beach, a pretty pebble beach shadowed by the old Jacobs Ladder that offers sweeping views from climbing up it.

Broadsands Beach.
Broadsands Beach.

Not far from Sidmouth town is The Donkey Sanctuary. Founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen, MBE in order to care for the welfare of donkeys, it easily fills a day. Walk through the fields and visit the well-groomed donkeys who enjoy the company, and stop at the stables to get up close. The Donkey Sanctuary is now an international charity and cares for the largest collection group of mules in England. Entry is free of charge but a memorable purchase is the adoption of one of the gentle donkeys to help the charity to continue their incredible work.

Donkey Sanctuary.
Donkey Sanctuary.
(Photo courtesy of The Donkey Sanctuary).

Moving along the coast, Dartmouth’s Greenway house is a popular choice for visitors. Greenway is the summer home of crime writer Agatha Christie and sits beside the River Dart. Guided tours are on offer through the rooms and the floral waterside gardens. The gardens include features that appear in Christie’s famed mysteries so you get to see locations made notorious by the fictional murders. The surrounding area is beautiful and much of the fun in visiting Greenway is the getting there. The Greenway Ferry runs to the house when its open or you can take the Dartmouth Steam Railway with picturesque views. Dartmouth is historic town with an eclectic mic of specialist shops and little tea rooms for relaxing in. The town also has a lively arts and crafts culture, with an array of inspiring art galleries dotted around  the pretty streets.

Greenway House.
Greenway House.

For the adventurous, Lundy Island in north Devon is a must-visit on your trip. Often nicknamed Britain’s Galapagos, the three-mile granite outcrop is located off Harland Point and is a marine reserve with seals, puffins and basking sharks. Divers and snorkelers are in for a treat getting up close and personal to the wildlife of the area in the wilderness off coast. Unspoiled and mostly quiet, Lundy Island offers peaceful landscape and exciting wildlife. To reach the island, take the MS Oldenburg which sails several times a week.

Lundy Island.
Lundy Island.

Each town in Devon is charming and historic as well as being unique. Relaxation is key to a trip to Devon and whilst you should be sure to enjoy the adventures, walking and wildlife, also take time to put your feet up. Tuck into fish and chips with a sea breeze, put your feet up and read a book on a deck chair and spend an afternoon enjoying a proper cream tea.

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