7 Reasons to Visit Devon this Autumn
Whether you are one of the people fortunate enough to call Devon home or if you are planning to visit this autumn, Devon always has new things to discover.
From wild moorland to stunning coastline, Devon really does have it all. If you want to enjoy a real taste of Devon, here are 7 ideas to give you a glimpse of what makes this beautiful county so unique.
1. Discover the history
Exeter Cathedral is one of the oldest and most beautiful cathedrals in England. Right in the city centre, the imposing towers of the cathedral date back to the 12th century. Surrounded by shops and restaurants, it’s a great place to start exploring Exeter.
The Prison Museum at Princetown is set just across form Dartmoor Prison on a bleak and remote part of the moor. Refreshments are available at the nearby Plume of Feathers, completed in 1875, the inn is one of Dartmoor’s oldest buildings.
Bygones in Torquay houses a museum of wartime Britain, a Victorian Street and 3 floors of interactive displays and quirky memorabilia. Just off the seafront at Babbacombe, it’s great to combine with a visit to the award winning Hanburys for the best fish and chips in Devon.
2. Learn something new
You can learn how to make your own gin!
Sounds too good to be true but at Devon Gin School you can do exactly that. Guided by experts you get to take home your very own 35cl labelled bottle of gin.
You’ll definitely want to keep a clear head if you decide to head to Escot for a driving lesson with a difference. Set among woodland is a secret treasure trove at Tank Land, a company organising mini-tank adventures.
Any driving-enthusiast can experience time behind the controls of the vehicle with experienced instructors overseeing the session. A drive through the woodland and its muddy hills and dips adds a touch of authenticity to the ride.
3. Experience a Farmers Market
Devon is a great place for local produce and excellent food and drink. Where better to experience this than at a Farmers Market.
Tavistock Farmers’ Market is a treasure trove of fresh, local food, drink and plants direct from the producer. It’s an environmentally friendly way to shop, offering low food miles, and benefits the local economy.
On the third Sunday of each month, Totnes hosts more than 60 food and craft stalls at the Totnes Good Food Sunday Market.
Combine it with a walk around this historic town with its Norman motte and Bailey Castle.
4. Visit an attraction
Being a tourist destination, Devon has a huge range of attractions, many of which reflect the Devon culture. At Quince Honey Farm in South Molton you can experience a 40 acre, family run, working honey farm.
If you enjoy animals it may surprise you to know that Exmoor has the only pair of black leopards on show in the UK. Tucked away in the North Devon Countryside, Exmoor Zoo has hundreds of animals to enjoy in a leafy, remote location.
5. Get out into nature
For coast and countryside walks, Devon really does have it all. Rugged moorland, long windswept beaches and picturesque villages can be found in abundance.
If you want to try something a bit different, Exeter’s Green Circle, a 12 mile walk which can be broken down into sections of 12 miles is a bit ambitious in one go. It takes in all the city’s highlights but you will also discover the surrounding countryside and parks.
6. Visit a Festival
You may not fancy getting the tent out but festivals aren’t always about camping in the mud. Devon has a whole range of food, art, craft and literary festivals to be found.
There are Apple Day festivals and events throughout the county during October. The National Trust at Killerton hold an Apple Day Weekend where you can take your own apples to press using their 2000 year old press.
7. Only in Devon
Finally, if you want to immerse yourself in something very uniquely Devon, it doesn’t get any better than, Tar Barrels at Ottery St Mary.
Devon has a history of torchlight processions and burning barrels, including rolling burning barrels in the street on 5 Nov. Somewhere along the line, someone decided carrying burning barrels on your back was the way forward and the present tradition was born. Ottery is the only town, not just in Devon but in the whole country, to carry full sized flaming barrels through the streets.
You get to pick the winners in each round, ready for the ‘Best in Show’ finale.
This story appeared on October 7, 2019