Explore Devon by car.
December 22, 2015 at 12:24 PM
Drive to the North, South, East and West of Devon - there’s something different to discover in each area. It’s about 70 miles as the crow flies from the north of Devon to the south. There are some pretty roads to drive down, with traditional villages and interesting towns to visit along the way. A great variety of things to do will keep all visitors captivated, from ancient castles, working harbours and spectacular views to adrenalin-pumping climbs, surfing and cycling. Take a slow drive around the region and appreciate all there is to do here.
North Devon offers some of the best surfing in the UK. Croyde has surf schools that will teach newbies the basics and experienced surfers’ new skills. If that isn't enough then there are organised sessions of coasteering (where participants throw themselves into the sea from cliff tops) to join in too. A pleasant 20-mile drive from this coastal town will take you to Lynton & Barnstaple Railway where steam trains head off across the moorlands. Take a ride in one of the restored carriages, and afterwards treat yourself to a toasted sandwich in a station house.
Head into Exeter, the county’s capital, which is in mid Devon. There are plenty of shops, the river Exe offers pleasure cruises and there's a grand cathedral and splendid buildings to take in. The historic quayside is lovely to walk around, and there are museums, a theatre and a gallery to spend time in too.
A visit to Devon wouldn't be complete without spending some time on Dartmoor. This sprawling national park is in the centre of the county and has a dramatic landscape like no other. Swap your car for a bicycle or take off on foot to really explore this rugged wilderness. Of course, plan a route carefully to make sure there is a welcoming pub to stop at for a cool drink and a bite to eat.
At the westerly edge of Dartmoor is Lydford. Here is a ruined castle that dates back to William the Conqueror. Lydford Gorge is a beautiful spot to visit at any time of year and nearby there is Finch Foundry, a water-powered foundry that has events like treasure hunts that the whole family can enjoy.
Torquay and Paignton
Drive down to the south coast of Devon and places like Torquay and Paignton have beaches, cream teas and rock candy on every turn. Reminisce about family holidays from years gone by and enjoy the British beachside at its best. Kents Caverns are nearby and are worth a visit. Here you can go underground and see stalactites and stalagmites up close, and learn about local history too.
The best thing about taking your car to Devon is that you can do things your way. Spend longer in places that are of particular interest to you, and be on your way quickly if the things on offer just aren’t what you enjoy. Your holiday, your way. How lovely.