South Devon is an area of the UK that has a wealth of attractions, including beaches, castles, museums and activities for everyone. Age is no barrier here as many of the activities are suitable for all ages from the very young to those enjoying their retirement. We visited South Devon recently and were blown away by the beauty of the area too. So here are our top activities to do in South Devon.
Eat Fish & Chips In Torquay
“Well may I ask what you expected to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically…
” – Basil Fawlty.
￼Torquay is a town in the English Riveria which is a firm favourite with the British and was made famous by the TV series Fawlty Towers, they actually have the Basil Fawlty quote on one of the tourist information signs. With a picturesque marina, shops and the Living Coasts Aquarium right in the town, you can easily spend a day here, maybe stop for fish and chips if you are passing through and then explore the neighbouring towns of Brixham and Paignton.
Cheese & Wine Tasting At Sharpham Vineyard
Sharpham Vineyard is on the banks of the River Dart, near Totnes. They do a number of activities including a self-guided vineyard walk, guided tours of the vineyards and wine tasting. We enjoyed our visit where we tried some of the fantastic wines they produce as well as the locally made cheese they make on the premises. Definitely, a place to check out if you love your wine. Unfortunately, one of you will have to be the designated driver so make sure you make up for it later with a glass or two.
Paddleboarding With Exe Adventures
Exe Adventures is a brilliant adventure and training centre based in the Dawlish area. Mr W was picked up by Sam, the owner to do the social paddle. Marcus enjoyed paddling down the canal to the Waterside pub were they stopped for a drink. Perfect for beginners this activity was a highlight of our stay in the South Devon area. Yes, Mr W did fall in after bragging how good his balance was and what a great windsurfer he used to be, the only injury was to his dignity.
A Trip On The South Devon Steam Railway
The South Devon Steam Railway is a seven-mile former Great Western Railway branch line, built in 1872. We took a trip between Totnes and Buckfastleigh and saw the beautiful countryside whilst enjoying the surroundings and quirks of the old steam train. This type of trip appeals to old and young and we saw little ones with their parents as well as grandparents too. Definitely an experience for all the family , Mr W was happy as they did sell chocolate and coffee onboard.
Find Out About Life As A Monk At Buckfast Abbey
Buckfast Abbey is a monastery that is home to Benedictine monks in Buckfastleigh. The first abbey was built in 1018 so there is a lot of history here. The monastery is free to look around and we were really impressed with the small museum that looks at the day in a life of a monk, which is also free. Just be careful if you buy the Buckfast Wine (Rab C Nesbitt’s favourite) as it’s strong and caffeine packed, like a traditional vodka Redbull.
Behave Like Royalty At Powderham Castle
Powderham Castle is a fortified manor house that has been in the same family for the past six hundred years. You can only go on a guided tour of the house as it is still the family home of Charlie the current Earl of Devon, and unfortunately, we were too late for that but it looks very grand in the photos I have seen online. It also has lovely grounds and activities throughout the year including a food festival in October and a very good petting zoo with donkeys, chickens, pigs and lots of other animals and which we were seriously impressed with. Mr W was pleased as he got to hold a chicken!
Afternoon Tea And People Watching In Dartmouth
Dartmouth is a beautiful little seaside town at the mouth of the River Dart and is well worth a visit. A popular tourist destination it is a class act with its scenic river location. Sit in a cafe and people watch or take a trip on the River Dart. We enjoyed a beautifully presented afternoon tea at the Dart Marina Hotel and can highly recommend stopping here if you are visiting the area.
So these are our top activities in South Devon, a great area of the UK to explore. If you want to check out what else is in the area, visit the Visit South Devon website for more information.