Glorious Devon

A vintage coach parked outside the house at Greenway © National Trust

A vintage coach parked outside the house at Greenway

Devon is a county of contrasts - from surfing beaches and spectacular cliffs on the north coast to the mellow south Devon countryside, with the wilds of Dartmoor in between. We have a wide range of houses and gardens, coast and countryside places spread throughout the county for you to visit.

North Devon

Walk down to the sea through the beautiful Heddon Valley, a haven for wildlife and gateway to spectacular coastal and woodland walks or catch a ferry to Lundy Island, with its abundant wildlife and dramatic scenery. Explore wooded gorges and enjoy a cream tea at Watersmeet, or discover wild walks along the coast around Morte Point.

For fabulous swimming and surfing, head for nearby Woolacombe and Croyde or discover the romance of the historic carriage collection at tranquil Arlington House.

Dartmoor and mid Devon

Set high above the Teign Gorge, on the northern edge of Dartmoor, Castle Drogo is the last castle to be built in England. Also on Dartmoor can be found steep-sided Lydford Gorge, with its 30-metre-high waterfall; Finch Foundry, the last remaining water-powered forge in England; the 16th-century Church House, in Widecombe; the riverside walks at Parke or family cycling and walking at Plymbridge.

On the western side of Dartmoor, set in its own sheltered valley, is Buckland Abbey, once home to Sir Francis Drake. Whilst on the eastern side of the county explore the garden, estate and fascinating costume collection at Killerton and the Gothic Revival splendour at Knightshayes Court.

South and East Devon

From the magnificent Georgian Saltram, on the edge of Plymouth, to the quirky 16-sided A la Ronde, near Exmouth, South Devon is a treasure trove of places to visit. In the ‘English Riviera’ of Torbay alone sit the medieval manor of Bradley; the elegant Arts and Crafts style Coleton Fishacre; Agatha Christie’s holiday home at Greenway; the medieval fortress of Compton Castle and the modernist gem of High Cross House. If you are in the Salcombe area then pop into Overbeck’s.

If it’s the coast you crave - go rock-pooling or swimming at Wembury beach or South Milton Sands, explore the thatched coastal village of Branscombe or the dramatic cliff top at Bolberry Down.

For peaceful contemplation, pop into Loughwood Meeting House near Axminster and visit the nearby medieval manor house of Shute Barton whilst you are there.