Devon County – unique, glorious, wild and wonderful, rich in history – a really special place, whatever the time of year.
Unique with two different coastlines – bare rugged cliffs, surf washed sands, white pebble beaches, stunning resorts, hidden wooded estuaries and the Jurassic Coast – England’s first natural World Heritage Site.
Wonderful quiet countryside – green rolling hills, patchwork fields, steep wooded valley sides and gorges, high-sided lanes, wild flowers galore, bustling market towns and quiet villages, thatched cottages and traditional Devon longhouses.
Wild and wonderful moorland – Dartmoor, in the south, embraces wild landscapes and picture postcard villages. Exmoor, lies in the north and combines breathtaking rugged coastline with wild heather moorland where the red deer roam and Exmoor ponies graze. Wildlife is in abundance due to low population and a real rural feel to the county, all manner of birdlife can be viewed every day and otters, badgers, foxes and deer are common place.
Rich in history and heritage – where you can step back in time and explore historic cities, or discover seafaring characters like Drake, the settings for novels by Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle, myths and legends. Plenty to see and do.
Local Attractions and Places to visit;
Tiverton Castle, Pannier market, Museum of Mid Devon rural life, Horse drawn barge trips on the Grand Western Canal.
Exeter Cathedral, the Underground Passages, Red Coat guided city tours, Quay House Visitor centre, St Nicholas Priory, Rougemont Castle and Gardens, Exe estuary RSPB reserve, Princesshay Shopping quarter, Exeter festival throughout June.
National Trust Properties
Knightshayes Court, Tiverton, Arlington Court and carriage museum, Exmoor, Killerton Estate, nr Cullompton, Castle Drogo, Dartmoor.
There are many castles throughout Devon and Somerset, from rustic remains, to extravagant homes, here are a few of our favourites; Tiverton, Dunster, Okehampton, Dartmouth, Powderham & Berry Pomeroy.
Haldon Forest Park
Great place for horse riding, cycling, walking or swinging through the canopy. Haldon park has great facilities for all the family with marked trails and also home to one of the “Go Ape” sites which has a tree top agility course with zip wires and other tree top fun!
Escot Gardens, Maze and Forest Adventure is 220 acres of parkland with beautiful gardens, trails, birds of prey, red squirrels, otters and wild boar, play areas and a world class beech maze.
Experience Devon’s love for the steam engine. South Devon Railway takes you from Buckfastleigh to Totnes through beautiful countryside, West Somerset Railway includes 20 miles of steam travel by coast and country with many special events including murder mysteries and Dunster by candlelight.
Woody Bay Station is a restored railway line which was lost until 2004. Now re opened train travellers can enjoy unspoilt views across Exmoor and across the Bristol channel to South Wales.
The Cliff Railway is a green, no emissions line powered by water and is the best way to travel between Lynton and Lynmouth. Pecorama is home to a passenger carrying mini railway, model railways and beautiful gardens located on the South Coast at Beer.
Golfers are spoilt for choice with courses at Tiverton, Saunton, Woolacombe, Westward Ho!, Ilfracombe, Umberleigh, Chulmleigh, Taunton, Bovey Castle, Hartland Forest, Budleigh Salterton and Minehead to name but a few!
Fishermen have a great choice of fishing from rivers to sea fishing there are many places to buy permits and hire tackle. For Trout farms there’s a good choice very close by; Bellbrook valley trout fishery, Exe Valley Fly fishing and Four ponds fishery.
Two companies can offer 4×4 safari tours around Exmoor National Park to take in the moorland with its ever changing scenery, the wildlife and the small villages using tracks and routes inaccessible to normal cars. Some tours take in day break and sunsets and also to view the stags during rut season. Exmoor Safari departs from Exford and Barle Valley Safaris from Dulverton, Dunster and Minehead.
Climbers can go the The Mill Adventure Centre for indoor, outdoor and coasteering!Other companies include The Calvert Trust, Exmoor Adventures and also check out the “Hard Rock Fest” in August!
Wimbleball lake has all kinds of lake travel including the hire and tuition in canoes also Exmoor Adventures take canoeists out on both Wimbleball Lake and also white water canoeing and sea kayaking Canoe Adventures take all ages out on 12 seat canoes along the river Dart in South Devon with also special events like canoe by moonlight, BBQ or pub trips.
Quad World near Cullompton offer fun for all the family as do Keypits at Ilfracombe along with various trails for different skill base, Off roading in 4x4s and trail biking. At Woodbury Salterton you can also go to Raceworld Indoor Karting and never have to face the elements!
Surfers can enjoy the waves all along the West Coast with many popular beaches for surfing. For tuition you can go to Surf South West at Croyde and Saunton.
Ferries depart from both Bideford and Ilfracombe to this enchanting island which gives the opportunity to see basking sharks, dolphins, seals, ponies and deer along with so many rare birds it’s a bird watchers paradise. A wonderful place to visit for walking, nature watching, rock climbing and diving.
Just over 11/2hrs drive away is the historic city of Bath. Nourished by hot water springs with its stunning architecture, great shopping and iconic attractions, not to mention wonderful spas. A great day out for those wanting a rest from the saddle or non riding friends!
I know, it’s not in the South West of England, but only 2hrs on the train from Tiverton Parkway actually does make it a feasible day trip, especially for you overseas visitors to West Steart Farm who want the peace and quiet and adventure of a riding holiday, but also want to tick off England’s capital whilst here and see some of the attractions the great city has to offer.