Why Devon is the best place to go this summer
What makes Devon one of our favourite locations for a summer get-away?
Here are our 5 top reasons:
1. The weather
Located down in the south of England, Devon has an enviable climate where summers are sunny and mild. Those looking for a bit of warmth during their summer escape will find the Devonshire countryside and beaches perfect for a lazy afternoon. Though the county may experience the occasional rainy spell, this just makes the countryside that much greener and more beautiful. Explore one of the many walking routes to experience Devon in all its glory. Find a list of trails here.
2. Two National Parks
Devon sits between Cornwall and Somerset towards the south west of the UK. Within its borders you will find both the Dartmoor National Park and the Exmoor National Park; two extremely rich, and wonderfully unique areas protected for their beauty and nature.
Great for the outdoorsy visitors, these national parks offer walking routes through some of Britain’s most iconic scenery. Dartmoor, with its instantly recognisable Dartmoor Ponies is an atmospheric and wild landscape characterised by the rough terrain of granite upland and choppy rivers. Exmoor is an open moorland loved for its undulating hills, lowland heath and ancient woodland habitat.
If it’s a beach holiday that you’re after then you’ve come to the right place! Devon has coast to its north and to its south.
Along the south coast, Devon is home to the famous English Riviera which consists of several coastal towns settled around the large natural harbour of Torbay. It’s a tourist hotspot with sandy beaches and a naturally warm, sheltered climate. It’s so mild that palm-like trees are a familiar sight growing along the coastline.
The Jurassic Coast
This world-famous stretch of coastline is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its rugged rock face comprises layers and layers of sedimentary rock that are being slowly eroded to reveal 185 million years’ worth of geological processes from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. It’s pretty impressive! The huge quantity of fossils found in this area and along the beaches is one of its biggest selling points. Find out more here.
The northern coast of Devon is rocky and less sheltered, but it’s excellent for sports. The large Bideford Bay and its surrounding peninsulas are west-facing, meaning they get the Atlantic currents coming in from one direction and off-shore winds sweeping in from the east. It’s perfect for surfers.
The north and south coasts of Devon may be a significant distance from each other, but the famous South West Coast Path National Trail runs the full length of both, hugging England’s south-western coastline for a huge 630 miles. It’s a great trail to pick up and drop as and when you like, and is adaptable to whichever part of the coast you want to explore.
Devon’s history is a long and interesting one; from the Jurassic coastline at Sidmouth to the Prehistoric Kents Cavern in Torquay, through to the Neolithic remains that are scattered throughout Dartmoor, and Exeter’s old Roman walls. More recent history can be seen all around you in the medieval towns and villages, old churches and impressive fortifications.
A medieval castle that was built close to the banks of the River Exe by Sir Philip Courtenay in 1391. The Courtenays carried the title of the Earl of Devon and have occupied the stunning castle for 28 generations. Visit the website.
Now cared for by English Heritage, this castle is one of the most beautifully located fortresses in England. This 14th century structure was built for defence and is located right on the water’s edge at the mouth of the Dart Estuary. Visit the website.
An excellent example of medieval motte and bailey design, Okehampton Castle dates from as early as 1068 and stands in dramatic ruins high above the West Okement River. Visit the website.
Thanks to Devon’s rich agricultural heritage, there are always a number of shows and fairs taking place throughout the countryside to get involved in. The summer months bring all sorts of events but the rest of the year is just as jam-packed!
There’s an Exeter food festival in April; The Dart Music Festival takes place in Dartmouth in May; a Devon county show in June; The Blackdown Hills Music & Beer Festival takes place in August; Powderham Castle puts on a country show later the same month; Dartmouth hosts its food festival in October; various Christmas markets take place through December such as the one hosted at Exeter Cathedral.
Keep up to date with all the events on the Visit Devon website, where they’ll be constantly updated.
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