Things to do in Devon holiday cottages

Things to do in Devon

Simon L 19 December 2018

There are so many things to do in Devon throughout the year, no matter the weather, that you’ll be spoilt for choice wherever you choose to base yourself during your holiday. From great outdoor activities to days out for the entire family, you certainly won't get bored.


Devon National Parks

With two National Parks: Dartmoor and Exmoor, a variety of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and an abundance of beautiful coastline, you’ll find spectacular scenery wherever you look, giving plenty of opportunities to make the most of the fresh air. Take to the hilly moorland for long, refreshing walks and relaxing picnics alongside meandering rivers, whilst also marvelling at the lively wildlife and spectacular views. From lesser known hidden coves to bustling seaside resorts, you’ll also find much to do at the seaside. Whether you're in the north, south or in the middle of the county, you will find something to keep you occupied.

Outdoor activities

Surfer in Devon

Active and outdoor activities are aplenty in Devon, so if you have a favourite sport or would like to try your hand at something new, then you’re sure to find a location to do so in the county. You’ll find beaches renowned for their excellent surfing conditions and activity centres dedicated to extreme sports such as rock climbing and off-road cycling. The moors are also perfect for geocaching and letterboxing, which is a great way to explore the area whilst puzzle solving and orienteering. If you fancy a round a golf, there are plenty of golf courses in Devon to choose from. Teignmouth Golf Club is a course designed by legendary Dr Alistair MacKenzie and is a particular gem. Opened in 1924, it is situated near to the South Devon coast and commands spectacular views of the sea and nearby moors.

Family days out

Girl and sheep

For those who want to visit Devon with children, there are numerous family days out that will keep all ages entertained. In North Devon, family-friendly attractions such as The Milky Way Adventure Park and The Big Sheep, both near Bideford, offer days of fun, while animal attractions such as Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park and Exmoor Zoo allow visitors to get up close to a whole host of furry friends; including lions, wolves and leopards. Meanwhile,

South and Mid Devon have equally fantastic attractions, including Paignton Zoo, Dartmoor Zoo, the National Marine Aquarium (Plymouth) and Living Coasts on the English Riviera for animal-lovers, and Babbacombe Model Village and Woodlands Family Theme Park for excellent family days out.


Devon castle

Devon has a wealth of heritage and this can be witnessed throughout the grand stately homes, fascinating museums and magnificent gardens dotted all over the county. The National Trust has several attractions in Devon, many of which have a tea room where you can indulge in a delicious cream tea. You can also learn about the local history of the area at one of the heritage experience centres or expand your knowledge of the past at one of the interesting museums showcasing everything from maritime past times to ancient world cultures.


Couple shopping at market

Traditional market towns are very common in Devon and the majority of these still have markets running today. Whether you’d like to try local fresh produce or wish to pick up some handmade souvenirs for your relatives at home, a trip to one of the colourful markets should be a must during your stay. With a couple of cities such as Plymouth and Exeter in the county, you can rest assured that there are locations for a spot of retail therapy, as well as a variety of shopping experiences elsewhere. Discover gift shops, galleries and clearance outlets in the pretty towns throughout Devon, a wonderful way to while away a morning or afternoon. Visit during the festive period and you'll be greeted with a fantastic range of Christmas markets across the county.


Rapparee Cove

North Devon is an idyllic setting for the perfect break. It’s also a beautiful region to visit outside the bustle of the summer holidays. It’s here you’ll enjoy stunning scenery, charming towns and exhilarating landscapes in the beautiful hues of the season. If you’re looking for an ideal base for an autumn getaway Stowford Farm Meadows is a great choice. The park is equipped with everything you could need for a relaxing stay including an indoor swimming pool, pitch and putt golf course and evening entertainment. You don’t have to leave your furry friends at home either, treat them to over 70 acres of woodland for fantastic walks and lots of space to stretch those legs. There are plenty of things to do in North Devon to offer you a peaceful break, take a look at our top picks to enjoy this autumn.

No visit to Devon would be complete without a stop at the sandy shores of the Devon coastline. Treat yourself to breathtaking landscapes and the glorious glistening waters of nearby beaches at Woolacombe and Hele Bay. The same can also be said for a visit to the beautiful National Park of Exmoor. Basing yourself at Stowford Farm Meadows gives you easy access to the rugged and dramatic landscapes of the moorlands. Autumn is a great time to witness this location in all its natural glory whilst wandering the many paths and bridleways.

With the buzz of the busy summer period left behind, North Devon offers a tranquil spot to explore. There are a number of charming harbour towns and coastal villages to discover including the popular destination of Ilfracombe. Known for its picture-perfect pastel-coloured cottages and pretty harbour, you’ll enjoy a traditional seaside experience with a twist of modern influence. Well-known sculpture Verity is homed here and is the work of artist Damien Hirst. It’s certainly a must-see on your stay.


Spring is the ideal time to get away on a family holiday. There are plenty of things to do in North Devon to keep everyone entertained and a range of attractions to suit all ages. North Devon is home to some of the best activities and attractions in the region and provides an adventure for everyone.  With the warmer weather starting to peek through, it’s the perfect time to head to the coast for a family holiday. You’ll find a host of beaches with stunning sandy shores and fabulous surf to catch the next wave. For families looking to soak up the country air, take to your bike or enjoy a stroll through the nearby National Park of Exmoor for beautiful scenery and a range of charming villages to explore.

There are popular attractions and things to do in North Devon if you’re looking for an exciting and interactive adventure. Take a look at some of the best things to do in the region.

Discover nearby attractions

Children and adults alike will love the variety of attractions on offer in North Devon. A popular choice for a mix of excitement and adventure is the Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park. With animal experiences, the Dino Express Train ride and an indoor play zone, it is perfect for family fun whatever the weather.

If you’re looking for some hair-raising rides, a visit to The Big Sheep is an ideal spot to enjoy fun come rain or shine. Enjoy a range of rides and activities including the Eweston Train Ride, the amazing jumping pillows and Ewetopia Indoor Playground.

Explore charming locations


Combe Martin is nestled within a lush valley and is right on the cusp of Exmoor National Park which is an ideal location for those wishing to explore this rugged destination. Combe Martin’s picturesque sheltered bay is perfect for the whole family with outstanding water quality that is great for paddling, water sports and exploring clusters of rock pools with the kids.

Ilfracombe provides the whole family with a traditional seaside holiday where you can spend the day building sandcastles at the beach, visiting attractions such as the popular Watermouth Castle, devouring a Devon Cream Tea or taking a trek along plenty of great walking routes in this area of ‘Outstanding Natural Beauty’.

North Devon is packed with top things to do and places to see during a stay this autumn. Enjoy the region’s natural beauty topped with charming locations whilst relaxing in one of North Devon’s top holiday spots.

The options really are endless during a holiday in Devon and, with our guide, you’ll be able to create a jam-packed itinerary of things to do to ensure it’s a holiday to remember. For more information about Devon, be sure to take a look at our guide to Devon food and drink, our map of Devon, and our guide to Devon beaches! Then, once you're ready to book your holiday, find your perfect home-from-home by browsing our selection of self-catering holiday cottages.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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