Devon Accommodation Guide
Like many other counties in Britain, Devon’s name is an evolution of the Roman name given to the people who lived in the region when they invaded Britain in 43 AD. The Romans called Devon “Dumnonii” which refers to the Celtic tribe who lived in the area. Dumnonii’s literal translation is “a person who lives in a deep valley” as was the case where the local population mostly lived in Devon’s rolling hills and valleys.
The county of Devon (also known as Devonshire) is a constituent part of South West England. Devon shares a boundary with Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north-east and Dorset to the east. The city of Exeter is its principal or county town.
Devon is one of the most visited counties in Britain and its economy is driven mainly by farming and tourism. People from all over the world visit Devon for its two National Parks (Exmoor and Dartmoor) and also for its long coastlines which flank the county to both the North and South.
Devon’s northern shoreline has greater expanses of sandy beaches and taller cliffs. By contrast, the county’s southern coast is more indented and has many more estuaries, secluded coves and quaint fishing villages.
Devon’s seaside resort towns along the south coast are known collectively as the ‘English Riviera’. Many are situated on the famous ‘Jurassic Coast’ where many famous fossils have been found. Visitors to the North will find Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which is the largest protected sand dune system in England.
Key Facts Of Devon
- County Town: Exeter
- Land Area: 6,564 km2 (2,534 square miles)
- Population: 802,375 (2019)
- Average Temperature: (Summer 21 °C)
- Days Of Rain: Dry for 164 days a year
Best Attractions In Devon
Dartmoor: Dartmoor National Park is the largest open space in southern England covering 954 km2 (368 square miles). A haven for wildlife and nature lovers alike, Dartmoor is arguably Devon’s principal attraction. There are hundreds of walking and hiking trails to the park’s 160 tors (dramatic outcrops of granite which usually stand on the top of a hill). The highest point is High Willhays at 621 metres (2,037 feet) above sea level.
Clovelly: Situated in North Devon, Clovelly is probably Britain’s most scenic fishing village. Being privately owned, this has ensured that is has been beautifully preserved. Clinging to a 400 foot cliff, cars are not allowed to enter Clovelly. Instead people transport goods by donkey and sleds. So why not spend a day here exploring Clovelly’s steep cobbled streets and winding lanes… you will not be disappointed!
The Jurassic Coast: The Jurassic Coast begins in Exmouth and continues for nearly 100 miles until you reach Old Harry Rocks (near Swanage in Dorset). Collectively, the Jurassic Coast is England’s only natural World Heritage Site and formally received its UNESCO protected status in 2001. The area around Lulworth Cove is situated in a fossil forest and many fascinating fossils can still be found today after storms or unusually high tides.
North Devon Biosphere Reserve: North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO biosphere reserve in North Devon. The reserve covers 140 km2 (55 square miles) and is centred around Braunton Burrows which is the largest system of sand dunes (psammosere) in England. Walkers and hikers find this area particularly appealing as the South West Coast Path stretches along the whole of the north coast of the reserve from Welcombe to Lynton.
Best Accommodation In Devon
Alston Hall (Battisborough Cross): If you are looking for a special venue in Devon to host a large family group or business event, look no further than Alston Hall! This former luxury hotel provides accommodation for up 38 people and benefits from some incredible features such as two swimming pools (one indoor and one outdoor) and a full sized snooker table!
Villa 8, Estura (Salcombe): Salcombe is one of the UK’s premier boating destinations and when you arrive here you can see why! Estura is an exclusive waterside development that is just a five minute walk from Salcombe’s pretty waterfront. This wonderful holiday villa provides accommodation for up to 8 people and the views from this incredible holiday villa are simply stunning!
22 Dart Marina (Dartmouth): Located on the second floor of this exclusive apartment complex, this incredible holiday rental affords incredible views of the marina and along the River Dart. Sleeping 4 people across 2 bedrooms, this is one of the best apartments in the complex thanks to its elevated position.
Bight Boathouse (Dartmouth): Bight Boathouse is rated as one of Devon’s best holiday houses thanks to the incredible views which are on offer from the house’s large balcony. It also has an amazing list of amenities which the whole family can enjoy including an indoor swimming pool, full sized pool table and indoor gym! There are 4 bedrooms within the house sleeping up to 11 people.
Burgh Island Causeway (Bigbury-On-Sea): Quite literally, this incredible holiday apartment is situated right on Bigbury Beach and the views from the terrace can only be described as sublime! Sleeping 5 people across 2 bedrooms, guests can also enjoy full access to the shared amenites within the wider complex which include a club house, pool and gym.
The Bath House (Ilfracombe): The Bath House is a Grade II listed house build in 1836. One of the most architecturally important buildings in the town, The Bath House has been tastfully restored and made into a self-catering holiday house that sleeps up to 18 people in 9 en-suite bedrooms. Guests also enjoy free access to Tunnels Beaches throughout their stay (during opening hours).
Yard Cottage (Lyme Regis): Yard Cottage is located in Rousdon which is very close to Lyme Regis and a great base from which to explore the Jurassic Coast. This quaint holiday home has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. If you are looking for self-catering in or around Lyme Regis, Yard Cottage is a fantastic choice.
Bovey Castle (Dartmoor): From personal experience, we can say with confidence that Bovey Castle is one of Devon’s finest hotels. A converted mansion from the early 20th century, Bovey Castle is situated on the edge of Dartmoor National Park near Moretonhampstead and has 59 individually designed bedrooms plus and 22 three-storey lodges situated in the grounds of the main house. The Great Western Restaurant (situated within the hotel) is one of Devon’s premier fine dining restaurants.
Kentisbury Grange (Kentisbury): This elegantly restored Victorian country house near Kentisbury in North Devon. The Grange hosts a wide selection of luxury rooms and bungalows plus a fantastic restaurant. Our advice would be to opt for one of the self-catering bungalows which all feature a decked terrace overlooking the ponds and gardens. There is free parking onsite and also free Wi-Fi.
Stay In Britain is the ultimate guide to places to stay and things to do in Great Britain. Whether you are looking for a luxury self-catering cottage, a cheap B&B for a weekend stay, a short break in a caravan park or a business-friendly hotel in the Devonshire area, we have everything you need. Enjoy your stay in Britain!