Your Days out in Devon Guide
Famous for sunshine, palm trees and beach, Torquay is the ideal spot for a couples getaway with plenty to do for all budgets. Not to mention local band, Metronomy, added an element of cool to the area after naming one of their successful albums, The English Riveria. Now it really is the place to be and a perfect base to explore all South Devon has to offer.
Whether you’re on holiday or looking for great things to do, our handy "Summer Days out in Devon" guide will have you covered from town highlights to countryside and beach delights.
Ferry to Brixham - 30 minute ferry
This short journey across Tor Bay to the busy fishing port of Brixham makes for a great day out in Devon. The Western Lady ferry service has been running for over 70 years and it’s a lovely crossing where you can look back to see Torquay in all its glory.
As well as being famous its fleet of small fishing boats, Brixham is well known for its charming and colourful houses that line the harbour. Take the morning to stroll the narrow streets, then visit the replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship, the Golden Hind. Whether you see Drake as a pirate, explorer or slave trader, it's undisputed he was a Devon boy, born and bred.
If you want to sample the morning’s catch, there are some great fresh fish shops and plenty of takeaways offering the freshest fish and chips, your're likely to taste anywhere. Eat them sat on the harbour wall and enjoy the sea view.
Dartmoor Llama Walk - 40 minute drive
While most people visit Dartmoor for the walking, few will know that you can be accompanied by a llama, if you so wish.
Dartmoor Llama Walks have five llamas you can escort across the moor, Bella and Leo being firm favourites who charm people back again and again. The wellbeing benefits of these charming and gentle creatures have been documented but you can only real understand with a first hand experience.
If you feel thirsty after your walk, pop to the nearby village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor, nestled in a dip amongst Dartmoor’s rolling hills. The Cafe on the Green does a classic afternoon tea with West Country clotted cream - topped with jam of course, Devon-style.
Beach Pub Lunch. Slapton Sands - 55 minute drive
Beach pub lunch. Three words to make anyone smile. Slapton Sands’ three mile stretch of golden sand with crystal clear and calm waters makes it the perfect spot for a day out in Devon kayaking, snorkelling or paddle boarding.
The Start Bay Inn is on the sea wall so you can have your pint or pinot and watch the kids and dads trying to catch mackeral. The Start Bay Inn is very popular for its fish and chips, but its Crab sandwiches are also superb – it’s a hard choice.
Visiting Slapton is a great day out in Devon for anyone who loves a spot of history. During WWII, it was used by American troops for the D-Day landing rehearsals, and there's still a commemorative tank to visit. If you walk further up the beach, there’s an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with a nature reserve just over the sea wall.
Haldon Forest Cycle - 33 minute drive
Haldon Forest is a beautiful 3500 acre forest that offers something for everyone. For cycling enthusiasts, there's a series of routes ranging from a gentle 2.4k forest path for beginners to the expert black trail with obstacles and jumps.
No Bike? No problem, you can hire a range of bikes from Forest Cycle Hire to suit the trail you want to tackle.
There are many flat walking routes too, making it an accessible day out in Devon for those who need an easy path.
For something a little different, swing from the trees with Go Ape or take a Segway tour through the forest.
Shopping in Totnes - 25 minute drive/1 hour train
Totnes has a lot to offer on a day out in Devon. As well as being a pretty, historic town with its own castle, its well known for its bohemian vibe, with a plethora of independent shops, quaint cafes and regular markets to walk around aimlessly.
Take a ferry cruise along the River Dart from Totnes and spot wildlife like seals, herons and kingfishers, or make your own way along the river with a kayak or paddleboard.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head back to town for your choice of lunch. Whether you’re veggie, vegan, gluten-free or anything in between, there’ll be the perfect café, restaurant or bistro for you.
After lunch, explore Totnes’s arcaded high street and little alleyways, or perhaps pick up that bargain you never knew you needed at the market. There’s a lot of history here so make sure to look up when walking around to take in the fine buildings.
Antiques and Eats in Ashburton - 40 minute drive
Ashburton is pretty small Devon town that swiftly becoming the place to be. It’s well known for its antique shops with with everything from Roman coins to 1960s toys as well as classic furniture.
But more recently, it's become a haven for foodies with its well regarded Fish Deli and a new Italian restaurant, Emilia, with sister eateries already firmly established in Soho and Dalston.
The town is a good option for a rainy day visit too as it’s relatively sheltered with a couple of great coffee shops. Try Cafe Latino for some of the best coffee in Devon or Rafikes which has a Middle Eastern flavour.
Ness Cove Secret Beach - 20 minute drive
Psst. There's a secret cove, just near Shaldon that's one of Devon's best kept secrets. Ness Cove is a sheltered beach perfect for paddling, swimming, kayaking and paddleboarding.
Park at Ness Cove car park (TQ14 OHP) and look for signs to the Smugglers Tunnel. Venture down the dark tunnel through the cliffs and you’ll pop out on a beautiful red sand beach. The beach is sheltered by the cliff behind, so it's a bit warmer on a changeable day.
Upon returning up the tunnel, walk down into the town of Shaldon and enjoy a nice cold pint and a spot of lunch looking towards Teignmouth.
Country House Glamour at Castle Drogo – 55 minute drive
This stunning building was the last castle to be constructed in England and the first 20th century property to be bought by the National Trust. Despite the castle tag, its always been a home rather than a fortress and was built by Edwin Lutyens, the famous architect, for Julius Drewe, the founder of the Home and Colonial stores. The gardens were designed by Gertrude Jekyll and there are wonderful views over Dartmoor.
The neighbouring village of Drewsteington is also worth a visit during your day out in Devon, particularly for its pub the Drewe Arms. This was run by Mabel Mudge for 75 years until she retired at the grand age of 99, then offically the oldest landlady in the country, the new owners largely kept it in the way she left it.
Back to Lincombe Hall
Days out in Devon are great, but they can be exhausting, which is why you need somewhere exceptional to spa, dine and rest before continuing your adventures.
A stay at Lincombe Hall in Torquay will never disappoint. Enjoy a great night’s sleep in Torquay's only four star hotel with fully air-conditioned rooms. Should the weather turn or you need a relaxing break from your days out in Devon, our award-winning spa is the perfect sanctuary with luxury treatments all the indulgence you could wish for.