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The Best Things to do in Devon

The beautiful county of Devon it was not without its attractions both natural and manmade. Having 2 coasts there is obviously no shortage of beaches in Devon, there are also plenty of picture postcard harbour towns and fishing villages such as Clovelly and Salcombe. The cities of Exeter and Plymouth also provide both visitors and locals with a host of activities and sights ranging from the Norman / mediaeval cathedral in Exeter to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.

Few will disagree that Devon is one of the most beautiful places in England and the sightseeing opportunities offer plenty to do all year round and for people of all ages. However, we realise that it may take a little inside knowledge to discover many of the hidden gems and other great family days out in Devon. So we have taken it upon ourselves to compile a guide of all the top theme parks, wildlife attractions and historic houses, churches and castles of which Devon has more than its fair share.

There are also many things to do beyond the usual tourist attractions. Devon’s history, both industrial and as a seaside holiday destination mean there are many fascinating places of interest for even the most discerning of visitors. These range from the plethora of steam railways to old mills and working craft centres. There are also no shortage of small museums throughout Devon, with virtually every town of any importance having one.

To find somewhere to go, something to do or find an attraction you may have heard of simply select the place and/or type of attraction on the right of the page or just click on the map. Or just enjoy browsing through our selection of over 100 of the best days out and tourist attractions in Devon.

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The Devon Guide Top 10 Attractions

  • Paignton Zoo // Paignton

    Paignton Zoo

    Modern zoo with conservation at heart. Zoo is split into six habitat themed zones with big cats, elephants, primates, snakes, lizards & birds and more


  • Exeter Cathedral // Exeter

    Exeter Cathedral West Front

    13th/15th century Anglican cathedral in the heart of Exeter. Has the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England, and other notable features


  • Powderham Castle // Exeter

    Powderham Castle through arch

    One of England's best known stately homes - the historic home of the Earl of Devon. Open to the public and is available for private and corporate functions, and licensed for Civil Wedding Ceremonies.


  • Buckland Abbey // Yelverton

    Buckland Abbey

    This fine medieval house near Yelverton was once (as the name suggests) an abbey. Originally settled by Cistercian monks, the abbey and its estate were founded in 1278. However, as with virtually all of England's abbeys, Buckland was forced to close in the 1540s by Henry VIII and his Dissolution...


  • Lydford Gorge // Tavistock

    Deep woodland gorge cut by the River Lyd. Features woodland walk, 30 metre waterfall and 'the Devil's Cauldron'


  • A La Ronde // Exmouth

    A La Ronde House - Exeter

    A La Ronde is probably unique in Britain, if not the world for having sixteen sides. In fact there are many quirky features to this 18th century country house.

    The house was built on the instructions of two spinster cousins; Jane and Mary Parminter. Jane was the daughter of a Barnstaple...


  • A vast man-made complex of underground caverns created by centuries of quarrying the famous Beer Stone.


  • Bicton Park Botanical Gardens // Budleigh Salterton

    Set between Exeter and the Jurassic Coast of East Devon Bicton Gardens date back nearly 300 years. The 18th century lanscaped gardens also offer a range of amenities and activities including a mini golf course, museum and train ride.


  • Hartland Abbey

    12th century monastery and family home of the Stucley family. The abbey contains collections of pictures, furniture and porcelain. Gardens and grounds are also open with peacocks and guinea fowl roaming free


  • Plymouth Gin // Plymouth

    Black Friars Distillery - Plymouth

    Take a tour around the oldest working Gin Distillery in the world, then enjoy a gin cocktail in the medieval Refectory hall.