West Devon is an absolute dream for nature-lovers and those who enjoy the great outdoors.  The area is home to both an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site so is a fantastic place for all the family to explore.



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A local’s guide to West Devon holidays…

Things to do in West Devon

West Devon’s landscape abounds with market towns, villages, beautiful lakes and rugged moorland so whether it’s outdoor adventure you’re seeking, a dose of culture, a foodie fix or a shopping spree, your holiday agenda will be jam-packed.

Dartmoor National Park

Quite possibly one of Devon’s best-known landmarks and attractions, its wild moorland offers stunning scenery, ‘off the beaten track’ walking routes, flora and fauna. Families with children will love clambering over the rocks at Haytor, witnessing Dartmoor ponies grazing on the heather or having picnics in Belvedere Woods next to the river. There are plenty of lovely pubs and restaurants to visit too whether for a pre-hike brekkie or a lazy weekend lunch.

Roadford Lake

Outdoor adventure at its best, this large man-made lake is where you’ll find a terrific variety of water sports on offer, including sailing, kayaking and SUPing. The lake is surrounded by nature trails and picnic areas, perfect for walking and cycling as well as birdwatching and nature photography.

Lydford Gorge

The deepest river gorge in the South West of England, this spectacular spot is a joy for those who love being close to nature. Enjoy the Waterfall Trail which is a circular walk that passes through ancient woodland as well as the 30m high White Lady waterfall, or The Devil’s Cauldron Trail which passes through the deepest part of the gorge and showcases a huge natural pothole that whirlpools after heavy rainfall. There’s a tearoom at each entrance to the gorge too so you’ll be able to enjoy refreshments at the start and end of your adventure.

Wistmans Woods

Situated on Dartmoor and the remains of an ancient, extensive coppice, it is characterized by stunted, twisted oaks covered in lichens and moss, as well as huge granite boulders which give it a strange and other-worldly beauty.




Attractions in West Devon

This area of the South West is of particular interest to those who are fascinated by the past, with stately homes, abbeys, monasteries a-plenty as well as evidence of ancient pre-historic society and Anglo Saxon and Norman settlements.  Some of the most popular historic attractions include:

Castle Drogo

The last real castle to be built in the UK, this 20th-century home which rests above the Teign Gorge was built by Sir Edwin Lutyens and offers panoramic countryside views, beautiful grounds and a fascinating history. As well as the house and gardens, this site offers one of Dartmoor’s most famous walking routes which follows the stunning Hunters Path high above the River Teign, this walk is filled with chances to spot wildlife and stunning views.

Buckland Abbey

Once a monastery as well as the home of Sir Francis Drake, this historic Abbey is a fascinating peak into the Medieval era as well as the life of Drake with beautifully furnished rooms and exhibits showcasing some of his possessions and art collections. The building is surrounded by a lovely garden which forms a wonderful backdrop and features manicured beds, a lovely central pool, mead meadow and kitchen garden.

Okehampton Castle

With ruins that date back to the Norman Conquest, this was the largest castle in Devon and was built between 1068 and 1086. A fascinating glimpse into Medieval life, parts of the guest lodgings, the great hall, its kitchens, the chapel and priests’ lodgings all still remain intact. The surrounding area and its woodland is brilliant for walking and takes in scenes of wildflowers, bird and wildlife.


This charming market town has a rich history that includes higgledy streets and beautiful architecture. This is a lovely place to spend the day perusing independent shops or enjoying a delicious bite to eat. At its centre you’ll find the ancient Pannier Market which is over 900 years old and offers an amazing selection of artisan wares. Outside, Bedford Square hosts a Farmer’s Market every second and fourth Saturday

Tavistock also hosts an annual street food festival with delectable food and drink from local Westcountry producers as well as live music and a terrific atmosphere.

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