Devon has long been one of the top holiday destination and it’s clear to see why! From the rugged cliffs of the Jurassic Coast to the vast expanses of Dartmoor National Park, Devon offers a diverse tapestry of landscapes, each with its own unique allure.
Thanks to of the county’s wide variety of destinations, there are so many different types of holidays to experience. Whether you seek the rhythmic lull of ocean waves, the tranquillity of rolling hills, or the energy of a bustling city, Devon has something extraordinary to offer you. We’ve put together this guide to help you narrow down your dream Devonshire destination; read on to find out more.
Devon is the only English county to boast two separate coastlines. Bathed in the timeless embrace of the English Channel, both the South and North Devon coastlines beckon with their breathtaking beauty, where rugged cliffs and serene beaches coalesce to create a mesmerising tapestry of maritime wonders.
Nestled along the stunning Jurassic Coast, Sidmouth is a picturesque seaside town that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and classic charm. The town's elegant Regency architecture and scenic esplanade make it an ideal coastal retreat. Consider staying at the Royal Glen Hotel for close access to the town centre, or perhaps a stay at Hotel Riviera, or Sidmouth Harbour Hotel for a touch of luxury and breathtaking sea views.
For those seeking a seaside escapade, Dawlish Warren is a haven of sandy shores and family-friendly attractions. The Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve is an absolute must if you’re a nature enthusiast as it backs on to the Exe Estuary which is home to hundreds of migratory birds, especially in the winter. The Langstone Cliff Hotel provides a comfortable stay with easy access to the beach and the renowned Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve.
A gem on the South Devon coast, Salcombe is known for its turquoise waters, golden beaches, and a thriving maritime atmosphere. It’s one of the most popular destinations in Devon with thousands of people flocking here in the summer to take advantage of the warm micro-climate and the spectacular scenery. The Salcombe Harbour Hotel, situated right on the waterfront, adds a touch of sophistication to your seaside experience, offering a blend of modern luxury and coastal charm.
Famed for its palm-lined promenade, beautiful beaches and vibrant marina, Torquay is the epitome of the English Riviera. It’s long been a holiday destination for tourists, gaining popularity, and its name, in the early 1900s when people would visit here instead of the French Riviera. Indulge in a stay at the luxurious inn on the beach, Cary Arms and Spa, where you can enjoy stunning sea views, excellent cuisine, and a rejuvenating spa experience.
Situated where the River Exe meets the sea and the gateway for the UNESCO Jurassic Coast, Exmouth boasts long sandy beaches, and a lively waterfront. Exmouth is the town for watersports enthusiast with perfect waters to enjoy kayaking and paddleboarding, or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not give windsurfing or sailing a go. Devoncourt Resort and Apartments provides a comfortable base for exploring the town and its surrounding natural wonders.
For beach enthusiasts, Woolacombe offers some of the finest stretches of golden sand and rolling waves. Located on the North Devon coast, Woolacombe beach is almost three-miles long, perfect for building sandcastles, playing beach games and exploring rockpools. Plus, its renowned for its cleanliness, water quality and top notch facilities so it’s a great place if you simply just love to swim or surf. The Watersmeet Hotel is a charming seaside retreat, providing a tranquil escape with easy access to the beach and coastal walks.
Devonshire's countryside, a tranquil expanse of rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, invites travellers to embrace the serenity of country life, with Dartmoor National Park standing as a majestic centrepiece in the heart of the county, its rugged moorland offering a haven for nature lovers and hikers alike. Aside from Dartmoor, Devon is lucky to be partially situated in Exmoor National Park, as well as five National Landscapes (previously known as AONBs).
Nestled in the East Devon countryside, Honiton is a market town with a rich history dating back centuries. Its highstreets is lined with some fantastic independent businesses; from antique shops and clothing boutiques to cosy cafes. As the town is situated in the East Devon National Landscape it offers stunning landscapes for nature lovers and plenty of walks. Immerse yourself in the rural charm by staying at The PIG at Combe, a country house hotel that combines luxury with a rustic ambiance.
The rugged beauty of Dartmoor National Park is a magnet for nature lovers and hikers. The vast and varied landscape offers tourists the chance to amble along rivers, climb tall granite peaks, bask in the historic allure and cycle along winding county roads. Choose from a range of excellent accommodations such as Bovey Castle a luxurious retreat near Moretonhampstead, Mill End Hotel in the quintessential market town of Chagford, Two Bridges Hotel in the heart of the moors, Ilsington Country House Hotel & Spa in the quaint village of Ilsington, or Dartmoor Lodge Hotel in Ashburton, another vibrant town on the edge of the moors, to make the most of your Dartmoor experience.
On the western edge of Dartmoor National Park, Tavistock is a charming market town that exudes historical charm and natural beauty. Renowned for its bustling Pannier Market and medieval architecture, Tavistock provides a delightful blend of cultural richness and scenic surroundings. The town's heart is adorned with cobbled streets and quaint shops, creating a warm atmosphere that invites exploration. The Bedford Hotel stands as an inviting haven within Tavistock. With its elegant facade and classic charm, The Bedford Hotel offers a comfortable retreat, allowing guests to unwind in a setting that reflects the town's unique character.
Surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, Tiverton is a market town with a relaxed atmosphere. Located in Mid Devon, Tiverton sits on the banks of the River Exe and the River Lowman with a rich history and picturesque surroundings. It’s home to a Pannier market and a historic castle. The Grand Western Canal is a highlight with the chance to venture on a horse-drawn barge. Just outside of the town centre, The Hartnoll Hotel is an elegant country house with modern amenities, perfect for a rural getaway.
For a tranquil countryside retreat, Umberleigh in North Devon offers a peaceful setting for those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Situated along the River Taw, Umberleigh is surrounded by rolling green hills and scenic landscapes, creating a picturesque setting that embodies the quintessential charm of rural Devon. Experience the charm of rural Devon at The Mole Resort which offers a unique blend of countryside charm and modern amenities, or indulge in the refined elegance of Northcote Manor Country House Hotel, surrounded by lush gardens.
A historic market town, Chulmleigh is a hidden gem in the North Devon countryside. Surrounded by rolling hills and lush greenery, this quaint town boasts a rich history that is reflected in its well-preserved architecture and traditional atmosphere. Chulmleigh's narrow winding streets, lined with centuries-old buildings and charming thatched cottages, create a postcard-perfect setting that transports visitors back in time. Unwind in the warmth of rural hospitality at The Fox and Hounds. This historic hotel, with its ivy-clad facade, offers a cosy and welcoming atmosphere.
Resting between the rugged South Devon coastline and Dartmoor National Park, Newton Abbot is a market town with a lively atmosphere and beautiful surrounding countryside. The centre of town boasts a great mix of high street and independent shops with several cafes and cosy pubs dotted in between. As the River Teign flows through the town, there’s also plenty of great riverside walks to embark on, and some fantastic country parks at which to spend the day. The Passage House Hotel sits on the bank of the Rive Teign and provides a comfortable base for exploring both the town and the nearby countryside.
As the capital city of Devon, Exeter blends historical charm with a vibrant urban atmosphere. For those who like to indulge in a spot of retail therapy, Exeter will surely fulfil your wishes with Princesshay and The Guildhall offering some great high street names, plus Fore Street and Gandy Street are renowned for their independents. Enjoy a stay at the heart of the city in hotels such Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel, Hotel Du Vin Exeter, Leonardo Hotel Exeter, or Mercure Exeter Rougemont Hotel for a convenient and stylish urban experience. If you prefer a quieter setting just outside Exeter, consider hotels like The Devon Hotel, conveniently situated just three-miles from the M5 , Courtyard by Marriot Exeter Sandy Park Hotel which is perfect for Rugby enthusiasts as it’s close to Sandy Park Stadium, or Woodbury Park Hotel & Golf Club for a peaceful stay with golfing opportunities and easy access to both the city and the countryside.
For a taste of maritime history and contemporary culture, Plymouth is an excellent choice. Known as Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth has the perfect blend of city life and seaside escapades. It’s got some fantastic shops and eateries at Drakes Circus, The Barbican and Royal William Yard, plus the city is also home to the UK’s largest aquarium. Set just outside Plymouth, enjoy a stay in the historic Boringdon Hall, a luxurious manor house hotel that combines elegance with modern amenities for a truly memorable stay.
Devon offers a diverse range of experiences, from coastal relaxation to countryside charm and city exploration. Whichever destination you choose; these handpicked hotels ensure a delightful Devonshire getaway tailored to your preferences.