Why should I stay in Devon in 2023?

Devon, home to two National Parks, five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, some of the most scenic sections of the South West Coat Path and surf sports to rival neighbouring Cornwall. From exploring rockpools one day to conquering Tors the next, Devon spoils locals and visitors alike with its varied landscape and many many year-round activities.  

If you’re still asking why should I stay in Devon in 2023, read on… 

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Visit some of the UK’s most stunning beaches 

From surfing rolling waves in the North to discovering ancient fossils down South, there are plenty of well-known (and hidden) gems in Devon to explore, you wonder why you didn’t book a longer stay. 

Beaches such as Bude, Saunton and the ‘surfer’s paradise’ Croyde are all popular surf spots, accommodating beginners and pros with surf schools and hire.   

For the history lovers among you, a trip to the East Devon section of the Jurassic Coast is a must. Grab your chisel and hammer, and perhaps you’ll discover an ancient fossil. If you’re unlucky in your search, there are plenty of shops and museums to visit for your fossil fix. 

Four-legged friend in tow? Many Devon beaches are dog-friendly year-round, while others allow dogs during quieter seasons - have a quick Google before you visit to double-check. 

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Discover historic Devon 

Devon offers a hub of history across the county. Take a trip to Dartmoor’s Hound Tor and walk amongst the ruins of a medieval village or visit Grimspound to discover the remains of a Bronze Age settlement. When walking around Dartmoor on your 2023 Devon adventures, you can quickly be transported back to 1450 BC or earlier. 

Should the rain set in and you realise you left your wet walking gear at home, head to Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum to fulfil your history fix. Discover Devon and beyond with its range of exhibitions, talks, collections and performances. Better yet, it’s free to enter (although donations are always greatly appreciated). 

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Adventure along the South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path is a famous coastal route that starts at Minehead and ends in Poole (or starts in Poole, depending on which way you do it). The path takes about 7-8 weeks to complete on foot, quite the accomplishment for anyone who achieves it. But don’t worry, you don’t have to speed walk the whole path during your stay to enjoy its breathtaking views and tranquil beaches.

In fact, Devon arguably boasts some of the most stunning sections of the coast path – and that’s not just us being a bias. Don your t-shirt and shorts during the Summer months and enjoy long days, turquoise waters and sandy beaches. Or brave the cold and storm watch in the Winter. Whether you pack a rucksack for a day-long hike or plan a leisurely afternoon stroll, no Devon 2023 stay will be complete without a walk along (a part of) the South West Coast Path.

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Tuck into the taste of Devon

After your days on the waves, walking the coast path or diving into Devon’s history, you’ll most likely find yourself with a substantial appetite. Instead of reluctantly opening your Tupperware of thrown-together ham sandwiches, why not treat yourself to a taste of Devon? For appetites big and small, there’s something to delight everyone! 

For something on the sweet side, you can’t come to Devon without tucking into a tasty Devonshire cream tea. Warm buttery scones, sweet jam, fresh cream – what could be better? Just remember, in Devon, it’s cream first. 

Along the coast, you’ll find yourself spoilt with seafood restaurants serving the day’s fresh catch. Inland there’s a fine selection of dining options, many of which dedicate their menus to local, seasonal ingredients.

The Horn of Plenty offers gourmet dining in Devon and has been recently awarded 3 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence. With dishes including poached lemon sole with seaweed mousse, roasted cauliflower and mussel sauce, your tastebuds will soon be tingling. Even better? They also offer an utterly delicious afternoon tea. And don’t get us started on the wine list…

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Find something special at a local market 

Tired of copy and paste high streets filled with the same batch-made, fast-fashion shops? During your stay in Devon, you’ll find unique gifts and meaningful handmade presents across several local markets. 

Looking for something a little quirky? You’ll love the Totnes Market, which is strong a part of the town’s identity. Be sure to check the opening times as they vary throughout the year. Going on a day without the market? Don’t worry, the town boasts an impressive amount of independent shops.

If one local market isn’t enough (and it never is), we’d also recommend Tavistock’s Pannier Market. Situated in the heart of the historic town, the indoor market offers a wide range of traders, artists, crafts and local produce. It’s the perfect place to pick up a tasty treat for later or a special gift for a friend (or yourself).

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Stay at a country house hotel 

If you’re visiting Devon in 2023, you can’t get much better than staying at a country house hotel. When you stay at an independent hotel, you know you’re getting the best of Devon. After a day exploring our beautiful county, spend your precious evenings sipping on cocktails while overlooking the famous Tamar Valley. Enjoy luxury, divine dining and, above all, blissful relaxation at The Horn of Plenty. 

Published on Monday 16th January 2023 / By Alice Beresford