Ever since the rise of seaside resorts and the arrival of the railways in the late 1900s, Devon has been one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK. Famed for its fantastic beaches, Landscape World Heritage Sites and quaint villages and towns, Devon is a great holiday destination for the whole family.
Holiday cottage specialists have compiled a list of their top days out for the whole family to enjoy in Devon.
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The English Riviera – Torquay, Paignton and Brixham
This string of family-friendly seaside resorts host an array of attractions to explore and places to stay on the east coast of Devon. Steeped in maritime history and surrounded by stunning coastlines and countryside, the English Riviera’s main hubs of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham are the perfect starting points to explore the area.
The English Riviera has an array of top quality attractions including underground caverns, world-class zoos, water parks and unique marine aviaries. Whether you want to discover the history and heritage of the area, relax on the beach or try your hand at water sports, the English Riviera has it all.
Situated 12 miles off the west coast of Devon, Lundy Island is a totally unique experience and is perfect for those who like wildlife. Due to its unique combination of environmental conditions with rugged cliffs on the west and a sheltered and calm east coast, Lundy Island provides shelter and sanctuary to migrating birds including Puffins, Skylarks and Pied wagtails.
With some 140 different bird species recorded each year, Lundy Island is a great destination for birdwatchers, while the sea is home to an array of marine wildlife such as Grey seals, Dolphins, whales and jellyfish.
Tourists can visit the island via ferry which runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from March through to October.
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Dartmoor National Park
Situated in the heart of Devon, Dartmoor National Park is home to ancient landscapes, stunning views, wooded valleys and rugged open spaces ideal for those who like the great outdoors.
Spanning 368 square miles, Dartmoor is an ideal location for walkers and cyclists looking for wide open spaces to explore, while those who want something a bit different can learn about the art of sculpting at the Sculpture School in North Tawton, explore vintage fairground rides at the Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre or walk around the medieval monastery Buckfast Abbey.
Built in 1825, Watermouth Castle is now one of the top attractions in Devon and houses an array of underground tunnels and fortifications to explore, relics from Victorian times to discover and a variety of amusements to enjoy.
See what life was like in Victorian times as you walk through various exhibits with artefacts from the past, or explore the castle dungeon featuring craft shops from a bygone age, the Hall of Mirror and vintage arcade machines.
Watermouth Castle also features a 9-hole crazy golf course, adventure playground and a fantastic water show featuring music, water and lights in perfect synchronisation.
With an array of things to explore, rides to enjoy and with great views of the Devon countryside, Watermouth Castle is a great day out for the whole family.
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The North Devon Surf School
A holiday in Devon would not be complete without experiencing some of the great water sports available on the coastline. Sailing, windsurfing and swimming are some of the more popular beach activities, but surfing what Devon is known for.
Awarded a Centre of Excellence by Surfing England, the North Devon Surf School has a purpose-built facility located on Westward Ho! Beach on the west coast of Devon and specialises in surfing and paddleboard lessons. Whatever your skill level, the dedicated staff provide training for those who are looking to learn to surfers who want to improve their technique.
The facilities include heated changing rooms, hot showers, a surf shop and café, as well as a large collection of boards and wetsuits for hire. Whether you want to learn, practice or improve your surfing technique, the North Devon Surf School is well worth checking out.