This colourful town is set in a hilltop overlooking the River Torridge with unspoilt views of the countryside. Famous for its role in the English Civil War, today there are regular re-enactments, festivals and celebrations to mark the towns 17th century heritage.
A favourite with walking enthusiasts, the town is surrounded by common land of over 300 acres with plenty of trails to choose from. The Heritage Museum has local railway memorabilia, agricultural artefacts and forging tools. The Victorian Pannier Market has a selection of shops and cafes, and The Plough Arts Centre has various film screenings, live shows and workshops to take part in. No visit to the area is complete without visiting the Dartington Crystal Experience where you can watch the craftsmen at work and even take part in a glass blowing course.
The beautiful gardens at Rosemoor are lovely for a walk or a picnic, with a mix of ornamental gardens and woodland walks. For an adrenaline packed day, try the Southdown Adventure centre which offers archery, clay pigeon shooting and quad biking. The Survival Paintball site is a fun day out and then just a short drive to the coast for surfing opportunities, there is also cycle hire available locally for exploring the surrounding countryside.
From Tavistock and the rivers Tavy and Tamar to the English Riviera of Torbay, and the nautical town of Dartmouth north across Dartmoor (with its famous miniature ponies) to the surfing beaches of Croyde and Woolacombe, there can be few counties in England that offer such a broad spectrum of experiences to the visitor.
Located in the South Westerly reaches of England, Devon shares a southerly border with Cornwall, and an easterly border with Somerset and Dorset. To the north and south the Bristol and English channels provide miles of beautiful coastline, and numerous attractions to the county.
Areas of Oustanding Natural Beauty (5), National Parks (2) and many other parks and reserves make it very easy to get off the beaten track, but the cities of Plymouth and Exeter are as modern and vibrant as they come.
Inland are a number of country landscapes to explore; Tarka Country to the north, taking its name from a famous novel, offering the Tarka Trail; a fantastic cycle route through the beautiful country landscapes. Centrally, Dartmoor National Park is the largest open space in South England, and offers miles of rugged and wild moorland for keen walkers to explore.
Dartmoor Zoological Park is situated on the edge of the moor. The zoo is the inspiration behind a Hollywood film, and home to an impressive range of exotic animals. Along the south coast is the spectacular Jurrasic Coast World Heritage Site, reaching from Exmouth along into Dorset, and offering a spectacular coastline to discover.
Further south along the coast is the borough of Torbay, home to some of Devon’s most popular seaside resorts and tourist spots, and known as the English Riviera. Devon’s county town is the attractive city of Exeter, offering a mix of historical and modern architecture and culture. To the south is the University City of Plymouth, a historic port, and home to The Hoe, a popular public open space offering a range of attractions.
Devon is the third biggest county in the UK by area, but it's quite easy to get around. In population, it is only the twelfth largest, so it's really not very crowded! Geographically and in spirit quite unlike the neighbouring counties, Devon is characterised by the granite structure that forms Dartmoor rising out of its distinctive red soil, and the very different Devonian rock structure underlying Exmoor. The Devonian geological period was actually named after Devon since it was here that these rocks were first studied.
England’s peninsula incorporates the counties of Cornwall and Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Bristol. This region is mostly rural so is perfect to escape the everyday hustle and bustle, whether relaxing with the family by the seaside or exploring the wild moors and rugged coastline. The area boasts hundreds of beautiful sandy bays to choose from and fantastic surfing opportunities. The historic cities of Exeter, Bath and Gloucester are definitely worth a visit, and with transport links all the way down to Penzance even the famous Lands End and remote Isles of Scilly can be reached.