Being outside, exploring the natural world and taking in breathtaking views provides us with a whole host of benefits and – more importantly – it gives us the chance to relax and unwind, two factors that are top of the list when picking a place to go on holiday.
Our caveman ancestors loved a panorama which allowed them to look out for danger and search the landscape for food - we now get to enjoy the peace and serenity of these panoramic vistas. Everything from the extra vitamin D and oxygen that is flooding our systems to the endorphins released from climbing a hill, to whatever it is that lowers our stress hormone levels when we are outdoors, makes our time outside indispensable to our wellbeing and Devon is the obvious place to be. A survey even determined that Devon has the highest levels of wellbeing of any county in England or Wales – perhaps due to the phenomenal open spaces on offer promoting a sense of contentment.
From long award-winning stretches of sandy beaches to breathtaking cliffs, and the ruggedly beautiful green hills in between, we’ve brought together our favourite images to highlight some of the most amazing views in Devon. So it's high time you get packed for a trip to the Westcountry.
Panoramic view from Burgh Island on the South Devon Coast
The views along the Devon coast are extraordinary and there are so many landmarks to discover. This photo was taken on Burgh Island in South Devon, looking back at the shallow waters and sweeping bay of Bantham Beach. Take a ramble across the sandy causeway at low tide to visit the island or take a ride of the sea tractor during high tide times when the causeway is no longer accessible.
Stay in a holiday cottage at nearby Salcombe.
Overlooking the seaside village of Torcross in the South Hams
Another south coast marvel is the village of Torcross, a community surrounded by turquoise ocean and sloping coastline. Slapton Sands is a long stretch of fine shingle beach in Start Bay, and Torcross village can be found at the southern end. See this unique sight before heading down to the beach to dig sandcastles and play in the sea.
Go on holiday to the nearby town of Dartmouth.
Dartmoor National Park in autumn
It’s impossible to not include Dartmoor on this list. With rugged moorland and wide horizons, it’s the perfect terrain for walking and enjoying fantastic views. This photo was taken at the top of Leather Tor and you can see the gleaming waters of Burrator Reservoir in the distance.
Head to Dartmoor for a relaxing trip.
Looking down on the old fishing village of Beer in Devon
A fantastic heritage village, Beer is a coastal fishing village of geological significance as it’s located on the renowned Jurassic Coast. The beach is snugly enclosed by tall white cliffs and often dotted with fishing boats, making it a picturesque seaside spot. As a way to see the best scenic views, take to the coastal trail that runs from Branscombe to Beer.
Take a holiday to the historical village of Beer.
Paraglider over Beesands
Known for its crab and lobster fishing, and more recently as a relaxing holiday destination, Beesands is a great place to visit. Walk the surrounding landscape for some great views of the beach, freshwater lake and sea, perhaps follow a walking route to ensure you find the best and most beautiful rambling spots.
Nearby Salcombe is the perfect place for a holiday.
Wild ponies on Bonehill Down, Dartmoor
We’ve picked out another photo of beautiful Dartmoor, the countryside views here are unparalleled and the ponies that roam the land here make the views that much more interesting. This snap was taken up on Bonehill Down, a stretch of moorland that is home to Honeybag Tor, Chinkwell Tor, Bell Tor and Bonehill Rocks.
Enjoy a stay in a cottage in beautiful Dartmoor.
Overlooking Dartmouth and the River Dart
For a livelier view, take in the stunning town of Dartmouth on the western bank of the River Dart. Combining a wide estuary filled with yachts, open countryside and views of quaint cottages lining the hillsides, it’s a great town to overlook if you want to sit and watch the world go by.
Stay in the town of Dartmouth.
The Valley of the Rocks near Lynmouth, Exmoor National Park
Follow the South West Coast Walk - a trail that always provides great vantage points - from Lynton to the Valley of the Rocks to see the epic coastal views. The sheer cliffs and open ocean create a dramatic landscape which explains why the North Devon coastline has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Pick out a holiday escape in either Lynton or Lynmouth.
A local’s point of view
As an added extra, we wanted to showcase the sights taken in by locals, so here are a few of our favourite breathtaking views taken by photographers in our talented Facebook group: The South West through a lens
Cow train on the South West Coast Path by Sarah Sweet
Go for a stroll along this bit of coastal path between Membland and Noss Mayo to see this extraordinary far-reaching view - you might even run into these lovely ladies along the way!
Relax in a cottage in nearby Salcombe.
Woolacombe Nightscape by Laurence Liddy
Sometimes the night-time landscape can provide a phenomenal view. Head out on a night walk one evening to see Woolacombe illuminated; we can’t promise such a remarkably starry sky though.
Visit the holiday resort of Woolacombe.
Reflections at sunset on Shelly Beach Exmouth by Rob Chidgey
Devon is the only county with two coastlines, providing a whole lot of opportunity for strolls on the beach. This photo was taken down on the tiny dog-friendly Shelly Beach, but we reckon that any view of the ocean is special. Wherever you are in Devon, find your nearest beach and take a trip to marvel at the remarkable views as the sun goes down.
Head down to Exmouth for a Devon holiday.
Explore Devon and the South West
Wherever you choose to travel in this extraordinary county you’re sure to find startling landscape and wide horizons. There are excellent vantage points all over Devon where you can take in fantastic surroundings and plenty of walking and cycling routes that crisscross the region, providing you with ample opportunity to uncover these views. For suggestions of where to start, read our post about the best secret walks in Devon.
If you’re feeling inspired to take a trip down to this beautiful South West county, take a look through our Devon holiday cottages and find a property that’s perfect for you.