Devon Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, Things To Do and Places To Go!
Our Devon Visitor Guide features many Hotels in Devon - including the ones we know many of you like best - Devon Hotels By The Sea!
If you don't yet know Devon, many unexpected delights await you. If you've been before, you'll need no reminders about the beauty and delights that the county holds.
North Devon includes the delightful area of Exmoor and the wonderful North Devon coast. It's an unspoilt area, and relatively unpopulated, with imposing coastline and wide sandy beaches, great for family holidays as well as surfing, sailing and boating. There is a superb range of hotels in Devon, including 5 star luxury, family friendly, bed and breakfast, and Devon hotels by the sea. we aim to list just about every type of Devon hotel in our accommodation section, so you have a wide choice of where to stay.
As for things to do in Devon, well, the choice is practically unlimited. You can visit tranquil Lundy Island, walk across beautiful moorland on Exmoor and explore lush river valleys. Follow the Tarka Trail, based on the locations made famous by Henry Williamson in his book "Tarka the Otter", cycle along miles of peaceful cycle routes and enjoy the superb hospitality of this area.
South Devon is a place of great contrasts, from the World Heritage coastline, where you can enjoy the delights of beaches, cliffs, rock pools and coast paths, through traditional seaside resorts such as Torquay and Paignton to the busy town of Plymouth with so many maritime links. And the charming estuaries and valleys of the South Hams will delight even the most experienced traveller, while the grandeur of Dartmoor National Park thrills all who venture there, its moods changing with the seasons, yet always thrilling with an imposing magnificence.
To begin your exploration of this amazing
county, look at the menu bar to the left and click on the area of interest
which you'd like to explore. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please
let me know: email me, Rod, on the following email address: info"at"devon-visitor-guide.co.uk
These are the areas used in the listings on this website
Things To Do In Devon
The National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth
If you want to see a selection of “everything that lives under the sea” then the National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth, with its three huge tanks (one, the size of a three-storey building and the largest in the UK), over 50 live exhibits and displays of over 4000 animals from 400 species, makes a fascinating day out for the whole family.
The Aquarium comprises of six zones of creative and interactive exhibits - Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Reef, Coral Seas, Weird Creatures, The Shallows and Explorocean. Full of wonderful marine life and incredible facts from the seas of the world, you can find out about fish, sharks, octopi, whales, sea turtles, sea mammals, seahorses, coral and more.
The technologically innovative Explorocean zone is always very popular, featuring over 20 exhibits including the Aqua Theatre, Ocean Energy and Seabed Futures. This zone highlights ocean exploration and the all-important aspects of sustainability.
The Aquarium sets out to be a memorable inspiration for people to learn more about that which covers over 70% of our planet – the oceans and seas. Visitors can take a journey from the local coasts of Britain to the depths of the ocean, learning about marine life, and gaining a valuable insight into the waters surrounding this small island of ours and the magnificent and amazing creatures that inhabit them.
(See more things to do in Devon here...)
The Devon Bird of Prey Centre, Newton Abbot
The Devon Bird of Prey Centre id based at Fermoy's Garden Centre near Newton Abbot and houses an wide-ranging collection of birds of prey from around the world. Here you can see falcons, eagles, kites, vultures and hawks at very close proximity, see them flying free or experience them feeding. It is also possible to try out the ancient art of falconry for yourself. Weather permitting, there are flying displays to thrill and enthral people of all ages.
The centre offers various visitor experiences including the Ultimate Bird of Prey half and full day, falconry and hawk hunting days and detailed experience courses designed for people serious about owning a bid of prey themselves, where the prospective owner can get an appreciation and understanding of the work involved with ownership.
Staff are always on hand to answer any questions you may have. A visit to the Devon Bird of Prey Centre is a truly memorable experience, allowing you to get close to birds you normally only read about or see on television.
(See more things to do in Devon here...)
The Grade 1 conserved Bicton Gardens are 60 acres of horticultural magnificence in the Otter Valley and represent almost 300 years of floral history.
The fabulous gardens include an Italian Garden dating back to 1735, Mediterranean and Rose Gardens, a Hermitage Garden with an incredible collection of dwarf conifers, elegant water features and a magnificent arboretum with over 25 British champion trees.
There is also a most attractive palm house from the
1820’s that is acknowledged as being more spectacular than that of Kew
Gardens, together with tropical, arid and temperate houses, all
featuring magnificent and quite unusual species.
(See more things to do in Devon here...)
The Jurassic Coast
World Heritage Sites are places of "outstanding universal value"' chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. The Dorset and East Devon Coast is one of the most spectacular of England's World Heritage Sites.
The Jurassic Coast, this area comprises more than 90 spectacular miles
of truly beautiful coast which stretches from East Devon to Dorset. The
rocks along this coast encompass a period of more than 185 million years
of the Earth's history.
Dorset and East Devon was somewhere in the desert-like, dry centre of this unimaginable super-continent. The Triassic was a crucial period of the evolution of life on Earth.
Those sea-going animals which were able to survive a mass extinction at the end of the previous geological period evolved and developed; for example, the dinosaurs evolved around this time and later became dominant during the Mesozoic Era.
By the end of the Triassic, most of the groups of four
legged animals which we know today had evolved, including the first true
The Jurassic rocks of Devon and the Dorset coast show these marine conditions as varying from deep to shallow coastal swamps. The geology of this area indicates that sea levels rose and fell in cycles, with the deposition of deep water clays, then sandstones and last of all shallow water limestones.
The oceans were relatively shallow in the middle of the Jurassic, which created a series of islands raised slightly above the shallow shoals, rather like the Caribbean of today.
The oceans deepened as the Jurassic
time period progressed, though they again became shallower at the end of
the Jurassic. This change created a tropical-type swamp environment.
Though you may find that hard to believe right now!
As the shallow seas expanded, there was an explosion of life
during which many animals evolved rapidly. Dinosaurs were abundant on
Earth and the dominant animals in the oceans included ichthyosaurs,
plesiosaurs and crocodiles.
The landscape on the World Heritage Site was somewhat like the Gulf of Arabia today, with lagoons. As the rocks underneath south-west England tilted to the East, the nutrient-rich waters of the Atlantic expanded, allowing huge blooms of microscopic algae to form in these waters.
As their exo-skeletons sank
to the sea floor, they gradually formed the pure, white chalk we see in
the area today.
And so, all the Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous rock history is absent from the geological timeline in this "fault", and the Cretaceous rocks are deposited on the eroded rock surfaces of the Triassic period.
As you walk along the coast, this makes
interpretation of the time line more difficult, because the oldest and
the youngest rocks on the coast are found near each other in East Devon.
Certainly it was around this time that the reign of the reptiles - including dinosaurs - as the predominant life on Earth came to an end; dinosaurs, marine reptiles and ammonites were some of the species which became extinct.
After their time, the present style of life on Earth evolved, dominated by mammals, flowering plants and grasses. The earliest Cretaceous rocks in the World Heritage time line are the Purbeck Beds, which form one of the most complex rock sequences along the entire coast.
They have given us many fossils including dinosaur footprints and the microscopic animal teeth. Chalk - calcium carbonate - is the youngest Cretaceous rock in the Heritage area of the Devon and Dorset coast - it is located all through the area, and usually has millions of fossils of animals such as the sea urchin.
The varied geology of this remarkable coast has formed an intriguing laboratory for geomorphology - the science of the land and the geological processes that made it what it is.
Coastal land is never stable; it changes as the sea and frost mould it, as rain and human activity subtly alters it. But geomorphology is looking at longer time periods than that which represents the hand of man, even though small changes, repeated often enough over long periods of time, can be powerful agents for change as well.
As we all know, storms and landslips have both formed the shape of the coast and revealed millions of fossils, which are abundant and easy to find in this astonishing natural laboratory of geomorphology!