view-countries.phtml

South Devon & Dartmoor - A view from our expert author


South Devon & Dartmoor

South Devon is the place for messing about in boats, whether on a river or on an estuary.

South Devon & Dartmoor

This part of Devon has some of the best walking country in England.

South Devon & Dartmoor

Dartmoor is one of England’s last true wildernesses, where you can walk for hours without seeing a house or road.

South Devon & Dartmoor

Walk the South West Coast Path and explore the unspoilt beaches and villages South Devon has to offer.

Devons combination of moor, river and sea is an invitation to travel slowly, whether on foot, bicycle, horseback or in a canoe. The less energetic can watch the scenery gently unfold from the comfort of a steam train or riverboat, or potter around a quintessential English village.

Read The author’s take

When I moved to Devon there were two places I was most eager to explore: Dartmoor and the South West Coast Path. I have not been disappointed. Researching this area has opened so many serendipitous doors. The moor and the coastal path are just a small part of what makes this part of my home county so rewarding for a holiday or short break. There are chocolate-box-pretty villages with cafés serving cream teas, wild moorland where you may not see another soul for hours, irresistible fishing villages and the splendid River Dart, often described as England’s most beautiful river.

If asked to name my favourite Devon town I would probably say Dartmouth because it and its nearby countryside epitomises all that is best in the county: boats, mansions, sandy coves, woodland. But many would choose elegant Torquay or the quaint Brixham, or perhaps that perennial favourite, the yachting centre of Salcombe.  Whatever your interests they can be satisfied here. Steam trains?

There are two such railways in the area. Riding? Pony trekking on Dartmoor is superb and you can even combine it with a pub lunch. Walking? A hundred miles of coastal path is at your feet and an equal number of moorland walks. Wild swimming? We give advice on the very best places. Zoos? Devon’s finest (Paignton) is here, plus some charming smaller places. You don’t have to live here – come and see for yourself.

Hilary Bradt & Janice Booth

Bradt on Britain – our Slow Travel approach

Bradt’s coverage of Britain’s regions makes ‘Slow Travel’ its focus. To us, Slow Travel means ditching the tourist ticklists – deciding not to try to see ‘too much’ – and instead taking time to get properly under the skin of a special region. You don’t have to travel at a snail’s pace: you just have to allow yourself to savour the moment, appreciate the local differences that create a sense of place, and celebrate its food, people and traditions.

Back to the top

South Devon & Dartmoor articles

View all

Britain’s best heritage railways

Our pick of the best steam railways in the UK. All aboard! 

Read more...

Wet-weather activities in Devon

Hilary Bradt gives her tips on what to do on a rainy day in Devon.

Read more...

Britain’s best rambles

Whether you're an avid hiker or just fancy a relaxing stroll, the UK has fantastic walking potential. 

Read more...

Related guides and other books

View all