With an abundance of natural attractions and good-value self-catering holiday homes, Devon offers visitors plenty of economical holiday options. The great thing about natural attractions is that many don't have an admission fee! Catch some sun and sand at Torbay, Woolacombe, and Ilfracombe, or go country and coastal hiking at Devon's national parks and along its coastlines.
Dartmoor: In South Devon lies Dartmoor National Park, which boasts expansive moorlands, towering granite hilltops, wooded valleys, fast-flowing rivers, and hiking trails with excellent countryside views. Ride the South Devon Railway's steam train from Buckfastleigh to Totnes to gape at the landscapes, or check out Dartmoor Zoological Park to see jaguars, tigers, monkeys, lions, bears, deer, and cheetahs.
Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery: This notable museum in Exeter, which has free admission, has 16 galleries packed with geological fossils, archaeological artefacts, 16th- to 20th-century paintings, prints, and sculptures. Make sure to see the fascinating decorative arts collection of clocks, watches, pottery, silverware, and glass.
Cockington Country Park: This 460-acre country park in Torquay includes some of Torbay’s most scenic countryside and gardens, all interwoven with circular walking trails. For free, visitors can check out the Cockington Court Craft Centre, a manor house comprising 20 craft studios and a contemporary art gallery. The park is also a venue for Illyria outdoor theatre summer shows, such as Frankenstein, The Merchant of Venice, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and The Tempest.
Blackpool Sands: Blackpool Sands in Dartmouth, primarily a shingle beach, is Blue Flag designated and set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Visitors can hire kayaks and paddle boats at the beach during summer, or take in spectacular coastal views along the Blackpool Sands Circular Walk. The sandpits here are great for keeping the kids busy building sandcastles.
South Milton Sands: At Salcombe, one of southern Devon's foremost seaside resort towns, visitors can bathe at South Milton Sands. The stunning beach's clean water is excellent for surfing, and the area is set alongside wetlands that are of scientific interest. Visitors can hire paddle boats and kayaks at the beach during the summer, or attend The Rock Watersports Festival in June.