For holiday destinations in the UK, you will struggle to find a place that rivals Devon. The county has played host to holidays for generations, and it’s easy to see why. With two contrasting coastlines, two stunning national parks and five (yes, five!) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there is arguably not a prettier county in the whole of the UK.
While Devon is most popular during the summer months when flocks of tourists flood the area to enjoy sunshine on the coast, particularly during the school holidays, it is also great to visit during other times of the year – same beautiful scenery, just with far fewer people.
Spring is a particularly nice time to visit. The crowds haven’t quite arrived yet, but the weather is warming up enough to enjoy a nice stroll along the beach.
Here are some of the best bits of Devon to visit during spring and why you should stay in Devon for your next holiday:
Probably the most attractive aspect of this county are the simply incredible beaches. While the south coast is packed full of small coves and seaside resorts, the north coast is where you’ll find the real gems.
Woolacombe – the most popular destination in North Devon – is home to one of the best beaches in the world. Back in 2016, this location was voted the best beach in the UK, fourth best in Europe and thirteenth best in the world, highlighting its stunning seaside credentials.
3 miles of golden sands provide plenty of space to everyone and are perfect for a long walk. But this isn’t the only fantastic beach in the area: next door is Barricane Beach, a delightful cove where you can try a delicious Sri Lankan curry!
A short drive away is Croyde beach: a perfect spot for surfers, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. Saunton Sands is another impressive beach offering vast swathes of sand with miles of beautiful coastline at your disposal. Just keep your eyes peeled once you’re there; the military often carry out training exercises in the adjoining burrows, while aircraft can be seen landing on the beach from time to time.
Devon is blessed with a number of great seaside towns on both the north and south coast. From historical features to coastline beauty, there are plenty of towns to visit during your stay.
Along the south coast, the highlight is definitely the English Riviera. Made up of the popular towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, this stretch of coastline has everything you need to enjoy a fantastic holiday. Paignton Zoo is one of the county’s premier attractions, while Torquay is home to an international harbour, palm trees and a great choice of bars and restaurants.
Moving back up to the north coast and away from the beaches of Woolacombe and Croyde, there are a number of towns worth visiting. Ilfracombe is home is the Damien Hirst’s famous Verity statue, while further along the coast, Lynton and Lynmouth sit in the stunning Exmoor National Park.
Two National Parks
Not only does Devon have a plethora of world-class beaches, great seaside towns and a host of wonderful things in between, it’s also home to not one, but two national parks.
Dartmoor National Park is the largest area of open country in southern England and is packed full of granite hillsides, expanses of moorland and ancient woodlands, giving you plenty to explore. Walking and cycling trails carve through the area, allowing you to take in every part of this magical place at a slower pace.
You’ll also find a number of traditional pubs and restaurants dotted around the park, so you can tuck into some home-grown food and traditional ales. Take time to discover several Bronze Age sites too, so you can learn more about the history of the National Park.
In the north of the county you will find Exmoor National Park. Coastal cliffs, rugged moorland and deep valleys make up the majority of this park, providing you with plenty of different landscapes to explore.
This park offers a number of great walks for you to go on. Valley of the Rocks, Tarr Steps and Dunkery Beacon are some of the highlights. Don’t forget to try and spot the ‘Exmoor beast’, a black panther rumoured to have escaped from Exmoor Zoo years ago. Failing that, you might be much more likely to spot one of the more traditional Exmoor ponies who make this park their home.
Wherever you choose to visit during your next holiday to Devon, you can be sure that there are plenty of places to go and things to do to make your next holiday a memorable one!