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RV TRIP PLANNER>TOURING DEVON
 

TOURING DEVON

 

Thinking of touring Devon? Read what fellow travelers have to say. Get the truth - then go.

Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral

Touring Devon - a fantastic taste of rural England

Touring Devon is a delight. Rolling hills and narrow twisting roads. Sprawling moors and sandy beaches. Traditional village life reminiscent of a time gone by intermingles in complete harmony with the 21st century, bringing you about as far from the hustle and bustle of big city life as you can get, without ever forgoing the conveniences of today.

Situated in southwest England, sandwiched between Cornwall to the southwest and Dorset and Somerset to the northeast, the county of Devon (or Devonshire as it is sometimes called, although there seems to be a dispute regarding the correct terminology) is unique in that it is has two separate coastlines, one on the Bristol Channel, the other on the English Channel.

Exeter, a delightful cathedral city, is the county capital. A large portion of the county is rural or National Park land and has a relatively low population density. The many seaside resorts, places of historic interest and breathtaking landscapes designated areas of outstanding natural beauty account for the droves of tourists attracted to the area.

Whatever you do or do not do - don't even think of foregoing scones and clotted cream with your tea. No matter if you're on the strictest diet of all time, or if cakes are not your cup of tea, you just have to give them a try. You may gain a few pounds, but you won't be sorry. Badger's Holt, Devon

Try Badger's Holt, in Dartmoor for fantastic tea and scones with clotted cream

Touring Devon by motorhome is a great way to relax, especially if you're a city boy, like me. Ther is absolutely a myriad of great things you can do, and I'm not talking about just lounging around your campsite either. The names of the towns chime in your ears, seemingly beckoning you to visit - Ottery St. Mary, Morchard Bishop, Luffincott and others all come to mind.

Devon's capital, Exeter, is a must-see. The cathedral is magnificent and a stroll through the streets of the old town are a delight. We were there on a warm summer's day, and the many grassy public areas were filled with people sunbathing or just taking a break. It's fun to stroll through the winding streets of the tiny towns along the way, too.

If you love nature, and if you're touring Devon that's pretty much a prerequisite, Dartmoor, now a National Park, is a place where you could easily spend a week. I actually found that Arthur Conan-Doyle's rather morbid depiction of the moors in the Sherlock Holmes classic 'Hound of the Baskervilles' to have no bearing on the sunny reality of these sprawling moors- but then maybe it's different in winter.

Dartmooe ponies The moors are home to many types of wildlife, including a unique and special breed of ponies known as 'Dartmoor Ponies'. These midget horses wander the moors freely, and are much admired by visitors. A stroll along the banks of the pristine rivers that flow through the park is a relaxing delight.

Dartmoor ponies

The Park authorities have done a very intelligent job of blending the natural beauty of the park with modern day living and commerce. There are a few towns and farms within the boundaries of the park, but these blend in so beautifully and naturally they seem as if they have been there forever - come to think of it, perhaps they have. Of special interest was a horse-riding stable situated in one of the corners of Dartmoor. The other was the delightful Badger's Holt - previously an old fishing lodge, it is now a tearoom/restaurant situated at the famous beauty spot where the east and west tributaries of the River Dart meet. Back to a previous topic, they serve the most amazing Devonshire Cream Teas with scones made according to what they claim is a secret recipe they have had in the family for over 50 years. Secret or not - absolutely outstanding! And to think we stumbled across them completely by accident.

If you crave sea and beaches, the town of Paignton is a pastel-colored delight, with fine, sprawling beaches. My daughter, though, opted to spend the time in the great water park.

A boat ride on the river Dart, originating from the picturesque little town of Dartmouth was fun too. We got off at Totnes and returned by train. On this line, the trains run on steam! Steam railways - imagine that. While the ride was a trifle slow, it proved to be the highlight of our excursion.

If you aren't convinced yet that a touring Devon by motorhome vacation is well worth your time, I recommend this site - stumbling upon it was what convinced me to visit this wonderful part of the world in the first place.

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River Dart, Dartmouth Dartmoor National Park
River Dart, Dartmouth, Devon Dartmoor National Park, Devon

All photos on this page by Dan Rosen

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