With a stunning landscape that includes miles of cliff-lined coastline, verdant hill-strewn countryside, small rural villages and seaside towns, Mid and East Devon is a place where you’ll discover the perfect holiday for you and your family.
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Take in the rugged cliffs of the Jurassic Coast or wander through quaint towns steeped in maritime history. Beautiful beaches invite the whole clan to unwind on the sand or play in the waves. There are coast paths to stroll, nature reserves to explore, and foodie spots to discover – all within easy reach of your holiday cottage.
Dive into museums showcasing prehistoric wonders or enjoy family-friendly activities like a visit to the Donkey Sanctuary. Discover scenic hiking routes through gorgeous countryside, traditional pubs and pretty tearooms, lakes, rivers and moorland. Whether adventure or relaxation, coast or countryside, Mid and East Devon has it all!
This vibrant city has plenty to offer like its stunning 11th Century Cathedral, and Royal Albert Memorial Museum. The Quayside area along the River Exe bursts with cafes, shops and restaurants and the picturesque Exeter Quay is a lovely spot for leisurely walks. Foodies can take their pick of traditional British pubs serving hearty meals and trendy eateries serving up global cuisine. The city’s atmosphere is lively and welcoming, with a bustling city center filled with high street brands like the collection at Princess Hay, as well as independent shops like those that line Gandy Street.
Hunt for fossils
If you love the thrill of treasure hunting, then why not head to Sidmouth for your very own Indiana Jones experience. Situated on the Jurassic Coast, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is well known for its fossils particularly around areas like East Beach and the cliffs near the town’s eastern end, where ammonites, belemnites, and even fossilized reptile remains have been found. Make sure you check tide times and be mindful of safety as the cliffs can be unstable.
Walks from Sidmouth to nearby towns such as Branscombe or Beer offer stunning coastal views and opportunities to discover hidden coves and beaches along the way. The Sidmouth to Branscombe walk, in particular, is known for its scenic beauty, with panoramic views of the Jurassic Coast and the surrounding countryside. The South West Coast Path winds all along the coast past places like Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth too, taking in nature reserves, wetlands and far-reaching sea views.
While Mid Devon’s coastline isn’t as rugged as other parts of Devon, there are still lovely coastal paths to explore. One example is the Tiverton Canal and Country Park, where you can enjoy walks by the Grand Western Canal. It’s not right by the sea, but it’s still scenic and peaceful.
Exploor a moor
Covering 267 square miles, Exmoor National Park is a comparatively small yet very beautiful national park that offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in nature with moorland, rivers, woodland and coastline to explore.
Its most famous landmarks include Valley of Rocks, a dramatic valley near Lynton and Lynmouth known for its towering cliffs and unique rock formations, and the ancient Tarr Steps, a clapper bridge spanning the River Barle, surrounded by lush woodlands. Among its many countryside pubs, The Luttrell Arms Hotel in Dunster stands out, offering a cozy atmosphere, locally sourced cuisine, and a wide selection of drinks to enjoy after a day of exploring.
The bigger of the two at 368 square miles, Dartmoor is one of Devon’s best known and loved attractions. Characterised by its vast open moorland and granite tors, the most iconic of its landmarks include Haytor, which offers stunning views of the surrounding moorland and grazing Dartmoor ponies below, Fingle Bridge which is a 17th-century stone arch, Becky Falls and Avon Dam Reservoir.
There are also many wonderful pubs for stopping in for lunch including the Warren House Inn, a historic pub situated in the heart of the landscape, Fingle Bridge Inn, The Rock Inn, The Rugglestone Inn and The Tors Inn.
Backed by its old worldly promenade and period architecture, this beautiful sandy beach is characterized by its backdrop of dramatic red cliffs and stunning views of the Jurassic Coast. Calm, clean water make it ideal for swimming and water sports.
This large sandy beach rests at the mouth of the River Exe, offering far-reaching views of the estuary and the sea. It’s a Blue Flag beach with safe swimming and a vibrant atmosphere which makes it especially good for families. This part of the coast is great for windsurfing and kiteboarding too, and there are water sports equipment hire companies for anyone who wants to take to the sea.
This picturesque shingle beach in the fishing village of Beer is also surrounded by cliffs and is a tranquil and unspoiled spot for swimming, fishing, and enjoying the coastal scenery. Visitors can explore the nearby Beer Quarry Caves or relax with a drink at one of the beachside cafes.
An idyllic atmosphere and beautiful pebble beach located in the quaint seaside town of Budleigh Salterton. Backed by striking red cliffs and with stunning views of the surrounding coastline and landscape, it’s a lovely place for paddleboarding, swimming and relaxation.
World of Country Life
This is a super way to spend the day with the kids! Situated near Exmouth and with activities based on rural life and agriculture, youngsters will have tremendous fun watching live animal demonstrations, enjoying tractor rides around the park, hopping aboard the Deer Train Safari, and interacting with a collection of vintage vehicles and machinery. There are of course cafes and picnic areas, along with indoor and outdoor play facilities and a maze!
The Donkey Sanctuary
If you’re in Sidmouth, a visit to the Donkey Sanctuary is a must! Founded in 1969 by Dr. Elisabeth Svendsen, this incredible charity has been helping donkeys in need both locally and globally ever since. The sanctuary, with its beautiful gardens and stone buildings, offers a peaceful setting. You can enjoy a picnic overlooking the paddocks and explore three walking trails to meet the resident donkeys. Best of all, admission is free, but donations or adoptions are welcomed to support the charity’s work. If you’re moved by their cause, you can learn more on their website.
The Bear Trail
Situated between Exeter and Cullompton, The Bear Trail is the most fun you can have in the rain!! Devon’s award-winning family assault course, there are 30 obstacles and unlimited mud set over a 10 acre site. If you think that’s all there is to it, you’re wrong! Scramble over bear nets, zip down the zip wire and tumble through the tunnels. Tackle the assault course together then relax at the Bear Cave Cafe. Whether you’re 2 or 82, The Bear Trail is a perfect day out for all ages!
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