Discover Devon

Days out, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Sam on 19th June 2023

Devon is a truly spectacular UK holiday destination, fit to rival many far-flung locations with its superb landscapes, stunning coastlines and labyrinthine paths and trails from which you may stumble upon some hidden gems. Devon really is the place that dreams are made of; a perfect setting in which to embrace the great outdoors by traversing moorland, exploring quaint villages or more vibrant towns and cities, or simply losing yourself for a while to sands, shorelines and sea.

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Devon is a county to fall in love with and a location people rarely visit just once. Whether you seek the salty Atlantic rollers sweeping in on the north shore, the wild open spaces of Dartmoor or Exmoor – a place of stark beauty and pure nature, or the gentle hubbub of charming seaside towns on the south coast, Devon will not fail to delight. With pockets of uniqueness and charm dotted all over this county, and a superb range of holiday cottages to warmly welcome you when the sun sets, there really is no better place to make more memories.

10 best places to stay

Devon locations collage

Coastal Devon

Sand, sea and surf

With miles upon miles of coastline to explore, Devon has more than its fair share of beautiful beaches. Whether you’re looking for the best beaches to surf in Devon, wanting to visit a secluded cove for some rest and relaxation, or dream of roaming along one of the county's top coastal walks where you can soak up the waterside views, there’s a beach for you in Devon.

Best Devon beaches

Devon beaches

Dog-friendly Devon

Enjoy a holiday with your salty sea dog

It’s not just two-legged visitors who enjoy being beside the seaside; Devon is extremely popular with holidaymakers of the four-legged variety too. And Devon loves them right back – there is a wide range of things to do with your dog in Devon, from long walks together across beaches or moorland, many fantastic days out to go on, and plenty of pubs where you can both enjoy some refreshment - as well as a wide range of dog-friendly cottages available too. 

Lead your dog to Devon

Devon dogs


Find your escape

Blessed with two national parks, Dartmoor and Exmoor, a variety of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as miles of gorgeous coastline, visitors will be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing activities to fill their days, whether that be on land, sea or even in the air.

The north coast is renowned for its excellent surfing, with the mellow waves of Woolacombe, the wide bay of Saunton Sands or the A-frame barrels generated at Croyde, although the south coast also has a few worthy of mention, not least Bantham. You’ll also find an abundance of other water sports on offer too, including kite surfing, sea kayaking, wakeboarding and stand up paddleboarding. You can even hitch a ride on a sea tractor to Burgh Island or find an inland river for a spot of wild swimming. 

If water isn’t really your thing, there are plenty of land-based activities to keep you entertained too. Try your hand at extreme sports such as trail biking, climbing or even a quad bike safari near Dawlish. If you love roaming the moors, they are a perfect place for geocaching; or why not while away the hours with a round or two of golf – the views from some of the courses are incredible.

For something completely different, take an alpaca for a walk through woodland, traverse the treetops at Go Ape, Haldon Forest, or go on a Segway tour. Or, lovers of the more serene will enjoy the wealth of heritage on offer: explore Castle Drogo, the youngest castle in England, or visit one of the historic tors dotted around the moors.

Fun-packed activities

Devon activities collage

Food and drink

Pasties, picnics and a pint

When it comes to food and drink, Devon can cater for every need. From fantastic farm shops and markets where you can source some amazing local produce to create your own al fresco feast on a blanket in the sun to the three Michelin-star restaurants that Devon has to offer, and everything in between, you can find a wealth of foodie delights. Check out some of Devon's top restaurants.

There are also gastropubs and tearooms aplenty, fudge shops and ice cream parlours for those with a sweet tooth, as well as quaint cafes which specialise in two of the county’s most famous treats: pasties and cream teas … cream first in Devon (ssssh, don’t tell Cornwall!).

But that’s not all. Whether you need a restorative pint in front of a crackling fire after a long countryside walk, a thirst-quenching cider when you’ve spent the day surfing or just a place to catch up with friends over a few rounds of drinks – you can’t beat a good pub, and Devon is fit to bursting with them. What could be better than watching the sun set over the ocean as you indulge in a cold beer or two, or enjoying nature in the beer garden of a country pub with your four-pawed pal at your feet?

The Devon food and drink guide

Where to stay

Find your little slice of Devon heaven

In a county as beautifully varied as Devon, it goes without saying that our range of self-catering holiday cottages is also wide enough to cater for every need.

If your idea of the perfect location is a seaside cottage with real coastal chic where you can enjoy stunning sea views, we have an amazing selection of properties right by the ocean where you can be on the sand in minutes. Choose from chic apartments in Westward Ho!, cottages with inspired designer interiors in Hartland or cosy cottages with harbour views in Brixham, and everything in between.

Or perhaps you’re looking for a holiday home with that quintessential country charm set amongst acres of rural landscape or woodland – choose from barn conversions, shepherds’ huts or farmhouses for that perfect rural retreat.

And of course, no holiday is complete without all of the family so we can also give you the pick of dog-friendly pads or large properties across Devon too.

All Devon cottages

Devon property collage

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.