Devon makes for the perfect rural escape. With its lush green rolling hills, dramatic landscapes, quaint villages and towns, stately homes, vast history and clean crisp air make it the ideal place to venture for a staycation. Whether you drive there or take the train, it is definitely a fantastic destination for a bit of relaxation away from the hustle and bustle and busyness of daily life.
I recently visited Devon twice in one month and here are my top 10 suggestions of things to do there. I am a food and travel blogger so don’t be surprised that the majority of my suggestions revolve around food!
Devonshire Cream Tea
Now you cannot complete a trip to Devon without trying the famous Devonshire Cream Tea. The great debate is whether you have your scones with the cream first the Devonshire way or with jam first, the Cornish way. Either way it is utterly scrumptious!
I tried the Cream Tea at a cute tea room in Plymouth, called The Strand Tea Rooms which had fabulous quirky decor inside and it was a really delightful experience.
There is also an award winning Cream Tea, as awarded by the Cream Tea Club available at the Moorland Garden Hotel. I tried this too and can see exactly why it is award winning!
Drink Unicorn Hot Chocolate
Unicorn Hot Chocolate is a MUST have, in my opinion at the ocean town of Plymouth. It is available at the most adorable cafe called The Flower Cafe and what shocked me was that there were no queues! If this was available in London I can guarantee the queue would be round the block! In addition to hot chocolates they also offer coffees, teas, cakes and sandwiches so do pop in!
They can be found on 46 Southside Street | The Barbican, Plymouth PL1 2LD, England
A Gin Distillery Tour at Plymouth Gin Distillery
We had a wonderful tour of Plymouth Gin with a lovely guide called Naomi, who talked us through the history of the site and how the majority of the Gin was bought by the Navy and had to be a Navy strength so that it didn’t mess up the gunpowder on the ship.
She talked us through the process of how the Gin is distilled as well as gave us some Gin to taste as well as some very delicious Sloe Gin, which we were so glad to purchase and take home with us too.
The tour is really interesting, especially if you have an interest in naval history as well as love Gin. They do still sell the Navy Strength Gin on site too!
Address: Black Friars Distillery, 60 Southside Street, Plymouth PL1 2LQ
Eat Cornish Pasties
Whilst in the area, in Plymouth, a stop for a Cornish Pasty is a must and we loved the ones we had from a cute shop called The Barbican Pasty Co so much so that we even took some home with us to have later.
Address: The Barbican, 22 Southside St, Plymouth PL1 2LD
Go for walks and be at one with nature
Devon is so beautiful and you’d be mad not to get your best shoes for walking on and venturing outside to soak in the beautiful views and breathe in that fresh country air!
If you’ve got a car, there is so much to see and explore and we loved going to Buckland Abbey, which is currently owned by the National Trust. It is a 700-year-old house in Buckland Monachorum, near Yelverton, Devon, England. It is connected with Sir Richard Grenville the Younger and Sir Francis Drake. If you love naval history you will thoroughly enjoy visiting this house.
Not only does it have gorgeous grounds, it is full of history and artefacts and very interesting!
In the house at present is an extremely valuable Rembrandt painting, estimated to be worth at least £30M!
It is so fascinating to see and highly recommend a visit to Buckland Abbey.
Address: Tamar Valley AONB Centre, Yelverton PL20 6EY
Dinner at Bovey Castle
You could dine like royalty with some amazing food at The Great Western restaurant in Bovey Castle, which can be found near North Bovey. It is the ultimate fine dining experience and the hotel itself is luxurious and has magnificent grandeur.
I did stay at Bovey Castle and you can read about both my stay and the dining experience here.
Address: Dartmoor National Park, North Bovey, Newton Abbot TQ13 8RE
Dine at the award winning Wildflower Restaurant at the Moorland Garden Hotel
Have you ever walked into a restaurant where the decor has just taken your breath away? That’s how I felt when I walked into the award winning Wildflower Restaurant at the Moorland Garden Hotel. It has been awarded an AA Rosettes and the food is just as incredible as the decor and made using local and regional produce.
You can read about my dining experience and stay here.
Visit a Farmshop
When you are an Urbanite, you crave good farm shops and thanks to a recommendation we came across Ben’s Farm Shop in Yealmpton which was just amazing. From fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and breads to fabulous condiments, wines and healthy food, it is a goldmine for any foodie!
We came back armed with Cornish Yarg, which is a cheese wrapped in nettle leaves, which I cannot recommend enough!
Address: Yealmpton, Plymouthm Devon, PL8 2LT
Eat and buy Fudge
To end on a sweet note, you must must try the fudge and take some away as you will crave it! Trust me. You get all sorts of wonderful flavours and it is kind of enchanting watching it being made too. There are lots of fudge shops but this one, that we found in Plymouth, was our favourite one.
Address: Rolys Fudge Pantry Plymouth Ltd, 29 Southside Street, The Barbican, Plymouth
Tip: The Plymouth Gin Distillery, Flower Cafe, Fudge Shop, Pasty Shop and Tea rooms are all really close to each other so ideal to do in one day.