We know a huge chunk of your Devon holiday will be spent firmly planted on the nearest beach, but there’s plenty to see and do when you’re not in flip flops. Down on the South Coast you’ll find Paignton Zoo, one of our favourite Devon attractions. In neighbouring Torquay, Living Coasts is home to the friendliest penguins you’ll ever meet, and you’ll also find Kents Cavern, Babbacombe Model Village and the delightfully nostalgic Bygones.
Up on the windswept but ever-so-beautiful Dartmoor, you’ll find Dartmoor Zoo. The zoo that inspired the book and film ‘We Bought a Zoo’, Dartmoor Zoo is a unique attraction with a story behind it. While you’re on Dartmoor, pop into Dartmoor Jail and experience the bleaker side of the moor’s history. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, Go Ape near Exeter is a great way to entertain the whole family (and you’ll get gorgeous views of the countryside from the tree tops!).
We’re pretty certain the beaches in Devon are some of the best in the UK, so make sure you check out some of those stretches of sand while you’re self-catering in Devon. Up on the north coast, Woolacombe Beach rolls on for three blissful sandy miles. Dogs are welcome between April and November, and there are lifeguards on patrol throughout the summer.
And then there’s Saunton Sands. The backdrop to many a film and music video (including Angels by Robbie Williams and Pink Floyd’s Brick in the Wall), this is one of the prettiest stretches of coastline we think you’ll ever come across. Down in South Devon, Torbay’s famous for its family-friendly series of beaches. Choose from Torre Sands, Meadfoot and Paignton Beach, or head over to neighbouring Brixham and find a quiet cove for that barbeque or those family games.
We have to say, there’s nowhere quite like the West Country for foodies. The restaurants in Devon showcase the region’s produce to perfection, so prepare to tuck in. Needless to say, the seafood scene’s thriving. Mitch Tonks owns Rockfish in Dartmoor and Torquay, so if you fancy good old fashioned fish and chips with a little flair then they’re the places to start. For that special meal for two, The Orange Tree restaurant in Torquay strikes an elegant note, and it serves up the flavours of the season.
Tucked in the countryside not far from Exmoor, The Mason’s Arms serves up Michelin food in a gorgeous 13th century thatched pub. The perfect combination of good food and charming surroundings, this one’s a firm favourite with foodies on the Devon restaurant scene. Over in Buckfastleigh, the Riverford Field Kitchen is an organic farm, so expect hearty homemade meals served in a friendly kitchen-style restaurant.
If you think Devon’s a dream come true, just imagine how it looks to our four-legged friends. Dog friendly Devon holidays involve days out on the beach, long walks in the fresh air and guaranteed head scratches wherever you go! Yes, the folk in Devon love our dogs almost as much as we do, so it’s the perfect spot for a dog friendly break.
The Milky Way Adventure Park welcomes dogs on leads, so your pet can enjoy a wander while the kids let off steam. Becky Falls Woodland Park on Dartmoor welcomes dogs along too, and with a spectacular waterfall tumbling down the cliff face it’s a beautiful area for a wander with your best friend. Dogs are also welcome aboard the Dartmouth River Cruise, and they’re even welcome (on leads) at Babbacombe Model Village.