Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor's beautiful moorland landscape with wooded valleys and wind swept Tors is within easy reach. There are 600 miles of public rights of way, ideal to explore by car, foot, cycle or on horseback. Dartmoor is a rich habitat for wildlife and has a wealth of archaeological remains.
Totnes, Dartmouth + Dartington
A few miles away on the beautiful river Dart lie Totnes and Dartmouth, historic towns of great character with a wonderful array of shops, particularly for art, food and drink.
Dartington Hall, near Totnes, is well worth a visit with its lovely gardens and open-air Shakespeare performances during June.
About the same distance away in another direction lies Newton Abbot, where you can visit Tuckers Maltings, the museum, the market, or go shopping or to the races.
Further down the River Teign on its estuary is the seaside town of Teignmouth with its Georgian seafront, fishing port, museum and pier, and on the opposite side of the river the charming fishing village of Shaldon, with its zoo and botanical gardens. Just a few miles up the Exe Estuary from Teignmouth is Dawlish where you can see the famous black swans, potter around the shops and eateries, visit the local museum, and enjoy views of the estuary. Nearby is Dawlish Sands where you can visit the nature reserve or the amusement park.
Exeter and Plymouth
Further afield, yet no more that forty minutes away by car, are the cities of Exeter and Plymouth. One of the best ways to discover Exeter is to join one of the free guided walking tours, which explore different aspects of the city's history. Plymouth is home to the National Maritime Aquariums, Britain's foremost aquarium set up for education, conservation and research. For Gin lovers a visit to Black Friars Distillery, home of Plymouth Gin, is a must.
The national trust has a number of properties in South Devon, with gardens and houses open to the public. These include:
Buckland Abbey- Associated with Sir Francis Drake
Castle Drogo - A 20th century castle
Coleton Fishacre - Arts and Crafts home of Rupert D'Oyly Carte
Compton Castle - a 14th century fortified manor house
Greenway House - holiday home of Agatha Christie
Visit the Official South West Site: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/regions/devoncornwall
One of Torquay's most famous inhabitants was Agatha Christie. As well as visiting Greenway House with its Christie memorabilia and wonderful riverside gardens, you can walk the ¨Agatha Christie Mile¨ starting at the Tourist Info Centre, a must for fans of her books. There is also an Agatha Christie festival in September.