Places to Visit in Devon
While you are enjoying your holiday here at Carswell Farm Cottages, why not explore some of the wonderful towns, villages, castles and gardens that South Devon has to offer? We have put together a selection of our favourite places to visit – from the seaside towns of Salcombe, Dartmouth and Kingsbridge, to the expansive mystical lands of Dartmoor, the city of Plymouth and great shopping towns of Totnes, Ashburton and Exeter. There are so many great places to see and explore!
Make sure you find time to visit a few quaint country pubs, private beaches, ancient ruins and small seaside towns such as Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo where you will something yummy for lunch – perhaps washed down with a delicious local apple juice or cider!
Noss Mayo/Newton Ferrers
Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers are located just a few miles away, nestled on opposite sides of a small creek off the River Yealm. Just wandering around the charming villages is a pleasure, passing old fisherman’s cottages and creekside pubs sheltered by high wooded hillsides. Go crabbing off the pontoon, mess about on the water (racing and regattas take place in the summer), or take the passenger ferry across the Yealm and walk to nearby Wembury Beach.
Plymouth is the nearest city, a vibrant waterfront city with a wealth of attractions, activities and shops for the whole family to enjoy.
Britain’s Ocean City has a rich maritime heritage including the famous Mayflower steps, the historic Barbican where there are now art galleries and independent shops, and the Plymouth Hoe which is home to Smeaton’s Tower and a renovated Lido. Other places of interest include the National Marine Aquarium (go early to avoid the crowds), the Royal Citadel, the Plymouth Gin Distillery, and the Royal William Yard.
Totnes is a small market town in the heart of beautiful South Devon with a fascinating history and a reputation for being alternative, artistic and eco-friendly. It is a fascinating town to wander around, with plenty of interesting shops and cafes. There are few English towns where the thousand year-old shape of the original borough can be seen so clearly, or where past and present are so closely interwoven. Visit the Norman castle and the weekly market which has been going for hundreds of years. The nearby Dartington Trust is worth a visit, with an artistic heritage, beautiful gardens, tempting dining venues and picturesque walks nearby.
Dartmouth is one of the most popular and picturesque tourist destinations in Devon situated at the mouth of the River Dart and protected from attack from the sea by two castles – Dartmouth and Kingswear. Explore winding Elizabethan streets with independent shops & art galleries and a bustling market. Enjoy gourmet restaurants, bistros, bars and cosy cafes.
From Dartmouth, you can take the small ferry across to Kingswear and from there continue into Torbay.
If you love being on or near the water, you’ll love Salcombe. Salcombe is a popular tourist destination thanks to its waterside location, West Country character and charm and stunning natural environment. Boasting excellent restaurants and bars, Salcombe is a vibrant little town that still manages to retain that unique Devon charm.
Sitting on its own estuary surrounded by rolling countryside, Kingsbridge is a traditional English market town with a tranquil charm and friendly atmosphere. With interesting independent shops and plenty of charming cafes, you can spend a few hours wandering or take the ferry to nearby Salcombe (operating seasonally).
Ashburton is a charming town nestled on the southern side of Dartmoor. Home to many antique shops, galleries, book shops, an artisan bakers, fish deli and a variety of eateries it is the perfect place to while away a few hours!
Most famous of course for its austere and forbidding prison which was built during the Napoleonic Wars, Princetown is also famous for being the place where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle found his inspiration when he wrote the Hound of the Baskervilles. It is the perfect spot from which to explore central Dartmoor.
As Devon’s capital city, Exeter perfectly combines its rich past with modern influences. It boasts an array of historic architecture, including Roman ruins, the historical Guildhall and most notably the magnificent St Peter’s Cathedral which sits at the heart of the city and dominates the skyline. Spend a leisurely afternoon exploring the Historic Quayside, just a ten-minute walk from the Cathedral, and take a stroll along the canal past quaint antique shops, art exhibitions, local bars and lively waterside restaurants.
In 2015 this beautiful and atmospheric Dartmoor town was voted Best Place to Live in England! A bustling and very popular location, Chagford is an old Stannary town, now with a thriving and lively community of artists and musicians, as well as attracting walkers and visitors from all over the world.
Lying on the West Teign river, Bovey is named for the Saxon township of “Bofa” and the medieval landlord William de Tracey, who built the church in 1200 as penance for his part in the murder of Thomas Becket. Next to the river, in a refurbished mill, you will find the home of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen – a centre for cutting edge art and craft work.