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Devon and Cornwall Guide

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Your guide to having a great time in Devon and Cornwall.

Looking to discover somewhere truly magical in the UK? Pack your bags for a trip to the captivating English counties of Devon and Cornwall! With picture-perfect coastlines, romantic ruins, lively cities and quaint villages, this beautiful region promises adventure for all interests.

Salcombe Devon

Devon


From wild moorlands to charming seaside towns, Devon delights visitors with picturesque landscapes, delicious local food, family attractions, outdoor adventures, and centuries of history waiting to be uncovered around every corner.

Padstow Cornwall

Cornwall


With captivating coastlines, artistic culture, and Celtic charm, Cornwall entices visitors to uncover pirates and smugglers, quaint fishing villages, thrilling surf beaches, and the mystical Arthurian legends lingering around every windswept headland.

nick profile

About Me and the Devon and Cornwall Guide

Hi there! I’m Hector, a Devon native for over 25 years. I love living in the South West with my family. Entranced by its landscapes and warm communities, I have started the Devon and Cornwall Guide and am really enjoying it. Dive into handpicked recommendations for the best experiences, from serene beaches to hidden gems. Let’s make your visit unforgettable together!


Whether you seek relaxation or adventure, culture or nature, history or cuisine, the Westcountry has it in spades. That special sense of magic lingers around every corner, waiting to be uncovered. Your own tales are ready to be written on the beaches, moors and in the lively hubs of Devon and Cornwall. So what are you waiting for? Come and visit us in the Westcountry today!

slides at crealy theme park

Adventure Parks

There are loads of thrilling adventure parks with ziplines, high ropes courses, and exhilarating rides amidst stunning natural landscapes, perfect for family fun and outdoor enthusiasts.

Donkey Sanctuary

Animals

Devon and Cornwall boast wonderful animal attractions, featuring wildlife sanctuaries, farm parks, and aquariums, providing engaging experiences for animal lovers of all ages.

Eden Project bio

Attractions

The South West has some captivating tourist attractions, from historic castles and picturesque coastal villages to scenic beaches and charming gardens, promising unforgettable experiences for visitors.


totnes castle with flag

Castles

The area can boast a rich tapestry of castles steeped in history and legend. From the imposing walls of Dartmouth Castle to the romantic ruins of Tintagel, each stronghold tells a story of battles, royalty, and intrigue.

kents cavern

Caves

Discover mesmerizing caves etched with ancient tales and geological wonders. Delve into Kent’s Cavern to uncover prehistoric secrets or explore the subterranean chambers of Beer Quarry, captivating adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Borlase Window St Neot Church

Churches

Devon and Cornwall are full of with centuries-old churches, each a testament to spiritual devotion and architectural splendor. These sacred sites offer glimpses into the region’s religious heritage, drawing visitors with their intricate details and serene atmospheres.


boy cycling at haldon forest park

Cycling

Devon and Cornwall’s trails offer coastal cruises, moorland climbs, and traffic-free paths for every cyclist’s adventure.

english heritage

English Heritage

Visit the historic English Heritage sites: explore medieval castles, prehistoric settlements, and forts guarding stunning coastlines.

Pennywell Farm

Farms

Local farms delight with fresh produce, rare breeds, hands-on experiences, and charming countryside escapes.


dog at haldon forest park

Forests

Discover enchanting forests, perfect for peaceful hikes or adventurous explorations. Explore ancient woodlands, mythical trails, and a diverse range of wildlife beneath the canopy.

glendurgan gardens

Gardens

Devon & Cornwall bloom with vibrant gardens – explore grand estates, hidden valleys bursting with exotic plants, and coastal havens.

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History

The South West is full of great historical places to visit including Roman ruins, medieval castles, and fascinating museums


nat maritime museum

Museums

Devon and Cornwall host a myriad of museums showcasing diverse collections, from maritime heritage at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall to interactive exhibits at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

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National Trust


Visit scenic National Trust sites preserving historic estates, rugged coastlines, and picturesque gardens, offering visitors unparalleled opportunities to explore and connect with nature and heritage.

stover country park

Nature

Devon and Cornwall’s natural beauty captivates with rolling hills, dramatic coastlines, and lush countryside. From Dartmoor’s wild moors to Cornwall’s sandy beaches, nature enthusiasts find endless wonders to explore and cherish in this idyllic region.


dartmouth steam railway

Railways

Explore Devon & Cornwall’s scenic landscapes on historic railways! Ride steam trains, enjoy cream teas, and discover charming villages.

best bookshops in exeter

Rainy Days

indulge in indoor activities like exploring museums, visiting cozy cafes, or enjoying cultural events, ensuring delightful experiences despite the weather.

roller coaster at crealy theme park

Theme Parks

Devon and Cornwall offer a delightful mix of theme parks perfect for family adventures! Get your thrills on rollercoasters, meet friendly animals, and enjoy exciting shows.


walk at otterton

Walks

Devon and Cornwall’s walks cater to all paces. Explore dramatic coastlines, charming villages, mystical moors, and hidden coves.

dog at lydford gorge waterfall

Waterfalls

Explore enchanting waterfalls amidst picturesque landscapes. Discover cascades like Lydford Gorge offering serene spots for contemplation and scenic treks.

Lions at Newquay Zoo

Zoos

Devon and Cornwall offer a delightful selection of zoos where you can encounter amazing creatures


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fayre at exeter cathedral

Exeter and East Devon

The historic city of Exeter and the surrounding East Devon region offer a rich tapestry of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and vibrant urban life. Exeter, with its iconic cathedral, medieval city walls, and charming cobblestone streets, is a hub of activity, boasting a thriving arts scene, diverse dining options, and a lively university campus. Beyond the city limits, East Devon unveils a stunning landscape of rolling hills, verdant valleys, and dramatic coastlines. The Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stretches along the region’s shores, offering ample opportunities for hiking, fossil hunting, and soaking in the area’s geological wonders. Dotting the countryside are quaint villages, bustling market towns, and stately manor houses, each with their own unique character and stories to tell.


rough tor bodmin moor

Dartmoor

Dartmoor, the vast national park that spans the heart of Devon, is a rugged landscape that has long captured the imagination of artists, writers, and adventurers. Characterized by its towering granite tors, deep wooded valleys, and mysterious moorland, Dartmoor offers a sense of wilderness that is unparalleled in southern England. Hikers, rock climbers, and horseback riders flock to its trails, exploring ancient stone circles, abandoned tin mines, and the haunting presence of the legendary Dartmoor ponies. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply a chance to immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature, Dartmoor is a truly magical destination that promises to leave an indelible mark on all who venture into its wild and untamed heart.


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Croyde Bay

North Devon and Exmoor

Exmoor is a rugged moorland dotted with ancient woodlands, rushing rivers, and the iconic wild Exmoor ponies. Along the coast, North Devon’s dramatic cliffs, secluded beaches, and charming fishing villages create a breathtaking backdrop for endless outdoor adventures. This area is a mecca for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike. With its timeless beauty and abundant wildlife, North Devon and Exmoor promise an unforgettable experience for all.


dartmouth castle

Torbay Coast

The Torbay Coast is a picturesque stretch of coastline that has long been a beloved destination for holidaymakers. Boasting mild temperatures, sheltered beaches, and a charming, Mediterranean-inspired ambiance, this region is a true oasis along the southern coast of Devon. The three main towns – Torquay, Paignton, and Brixham – each offer their own unique character and attractions, from the bustling marina and vibrant nightlife of Torquay to the traditional seaside charm of Paignton and the historic fishing port of Brixham. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach getaway or an active outdoor adventure, the Torbay Coast promises an unforgettable experience.


plymouth hoe smeaton's tower

South Devon

Plymouth and the surrounding region of South Devon offer a captivating blend of maritime history, natural beauty, and vibrant urban energy. Plymouth, a major port city, boasts a rich naval heritage, from the Mayflower Steps where the Pilgrims set sail to the iconic Citadel that has guarded the coast for centuries. Beyond the city limits, South Devon unveils a landscape of rolling countryside, quaint villages, and stunning coastlines. Whether you’re drawn to Plymouth’s seafaring legacy or the serene charms of South Devon, this corner of England promises an unforgettable experience.


East Cornwall & Bodmin

East Cornwall, encompassing the picturesque town of Bodmin, is full of historical richness and natural beauty. Bodmin, nestled amidst rolling hills and lush valleys, boasts a tapestry of medieval streets adorned with charming architecture. East Cornwall’s coastline, with its dramatic cliffs and sandy beaches, offers serene retreats and exhilarating coastal walks. Visitors are enchanted by the region’s diverse landscapes, from the windswept moors to the idyllic fishing villages along the coast, making East Cornwall and Bodmin a haven for explorers and nature enthusiasts alike.

bodmin moor

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West Cornwall

Tucked away in the far southwest corner of England, West Cornwall is a land of dramatic coastlines, enchanting villages, and a unique cultural heritage. At the region’s heart lies the iconic Land’s End, the westernmost point of mainland Britain, where towering cliffs plunge into the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Nearby, the picturesque town of St. Ives draws visitors with its pristine beaches, winding streets, and thriving arts scene, while the historic town of Penzance offers a glimpse into Cornwall’s seafaring past.


North Cornwall

Stretching along the dramatic northern coastline of Cornwall, the region of North Cornwall is a land of breathtaking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Rugged cliffs, secluded coves, and pristine sandy beaches define the coastline, drawing adventurous souls seeking thrilling surfing, hiking, and rock climbing opportunities. Inland, the landscape transforms into a patchwork of rolling green hills, ancient woodlands, and mystical moorlands, dotted with charming villages and historic sites that showcase Cornwall’s deep-rooted Celtic traditions. From the postcard-perfect fishing port of Padstow to the surfers’ paradise of Newquay, North Cornwall offers a truly unique and captivating experience for all who visit this captivating corner of England.

tintagel castle in ruins

harbour at charlestown in cornwall

South Cornwall

South Cornwall is a land of stunning coastlines, idyllic villages, and a rich maritime heritage. Rugged cliffs and hidden coves line the region’s shores, offering ample opportunities for coastal walks, swimming, and wildlife spotting. From the subtropical gardens of the Roseland Peninsula to the historic town of St Austell, South Cornwall captivates visitors with its unique blend of natural beauty, architectural gems, and timeless tradition. This corner of England promises an unforgettable experience for all who


Isles of Scilly

Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean, the Isles of Scilly are a captivating archipelago that offer a truly unique and enchanting experience. Situated just 28 miles off the southwestern tip of Cornwall, this cluster of pristine islands is a world unto itself, with a subtropical microclimate, crystal-clear waters, and a rich tapestry of natural and cultural wonders. Visitors can explore the diverse landscapes, from the sweeping sandy beaches and lush coastal paths of Tresco to the dramatic granite cliffs and secluded coves of St. Agnes. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, a thrilling outdoor adventure, or a chance to immerse yourself in the islands’ captivating history, the Isles of Scilly promise an unforgettable journey.

cromwell's castle isles of scilly

The 20 Best Guidebooks for Devon and Cornwall

In this post, we’ve curated the 20 best guidebooks for Devon and Cornwall. From comprehensive guides covering the region in its entirety, to those focused on individual counties, cities and villages, you’ll find recommendations to suit your travel style and interests. Click here to find out more.


best guidebooks for devon and cornwall
dog at lydford gorge waterfall

12 Best Waterfalls in Devon

The sight and sound of water cascading down rocks means that a walk to a waterfall is always and exciting experience. The power and constant nature of the flow is often captivating.

Find our guide to the 12 best waterfalls in Devon here.


cream tea

The Great Cream Tea Debate

Jam first or cream first? You decide, but find out more about the different methods in Devon and Cornwall