My 7 reasons why spend 7 days (at least, please) on the Southernmost mainland of the UK! Devon and Cornwall.
Pack a backpack, travel-guide, camera and adventure can start!
Devon, also known as Devonshire is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the North to the English Channel in the South. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall county to the West.
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The city of Exeter is the county town of Devon. The River Tamar forms most of the border between Devon and Cornwall.
No.1 To see Rosamunde Pilcher’s sceneries from her romance TV films with one’s own eyes.
Do you know that she was awarded by the British Tourism Award for the positive effect on Devon and Cornwall tourism? Well, OK, but forget on Rosamunde and her simple love stories, but look forward to spectacular coastal views, wild Atlantic Ocean and nature. I was hiking from Bude to Tintagel for two days on the north coast. It is more exposed and therefore has a wilder nature. Such a beautiful path for long walks, almost alone. And thanks God for blackberries. Besides heather in violet bloom, they were everywhere and saved my life from hunger. If you hike there, please, don’t miss the highest sheer-drop cliff in Cornwall prosaically named High Cliff and amazing Crackington Haven beach nearby.
No.2 To stay in the midst of nowhere with amazing views for miles up and down the rugged coast.
Yes, it is possible. I can recommend the Higher Tresmorn Farm, quiet and relaxing place. Staying in the mediaeval Farmhouse is a unique experience in itself. A fresh pot of tea and a plate of hot buttered cake await you on arrival together with warm Cornish hospitality. Magic stay and highlight of accommodation.
No.3 To visit bleak landscape in moor during rainy day cut out like from Jamaica Inn, a novel by the English writer Daphne du Maurier.
Well, OK, I couldn’t find wet and dark moor like from the novel, because I visited the dry Dartmoor National Park during very hot and sunny summer day, so abnormal for this part of the England. It is a landscape of contrasts. From its striking tors and steep wooded river valleys, to heather-covered moorland and prehistoric stone circles. I felt here like Alice in Wonderland, lost in old forest somewhere behind the charming tiny town Okehampton. Don’t miss stay at White Hart Hotel and its delicious meal. So nice pleasure after hiking in the moor.
No.4 To be hungry for visiting stylish manor houses of the old British upper class and misty ruins of mediaeval castles.
You are in the right place to satisfy your needs and come up your expectations. Tintagel castle links with the legend of King Arthur is a spectacular site over the Atlantic Ocean. Don’t miss the sunset behind it. Totnes Castle is one of the best-preserved examples of a Norman Motte and bailey castle in England. Lanhydrock House near Bodmin surrounded by estate with wonderful architecture and beautiful gardens is calmer place for cream tea and a picnic. But I was enchanted by the Dartington Hall Trust mainly. Connection of the history and music festival was unexpectedly beautiful.
No.5 To enjoy a perfect summer holiday in the English Riviera.
According to last decades it has now been classified as having a subtropical climate with mildest and sunniest climate in the United Kingdom. It is a secret known to the holidaymakers who flock to sunny beaches of the English Riviera. Besides, it is lucky to be a UNESCO accredited English Riviera Global Geopark. I was walking from Dartmouth to coast and searching for small beaches hidden in the rocks, always with an eye-catching display of yachts and boats with a backdrop of Victorian buildings and old stone houses across its coastline. Don’t miss the tiny and sleepy Dawlish, with red sandstone rocks and long beaches.
No.6 To find a spiritual place and a masterpiece of architecture on one place.
Yes, please, visit the Exeter Cathedral. The founding of the cathedral, dedicated to Saint Peter, dates from 1050, rebuilt in the Gothic style. However, much of the Norman building was kept, including the two massive square towers and walls. Therefore, you feel it is more castle, then church. But inside it is spectacular! How amazing is the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling? It is glorious and epic.
No.7 To feel good vibes in the city.
Yes, you can find it in Exeter’s Historic Quayside, one of the most attractive areas of the city. It is the ideal place for an evening walk, take a relaxing boat trip or find something good to eat. Take a pint of amazing, refreshing ale and sit on the waterfront, the charming mix of good vibes.
My road trip in the UK took me from the Exeter to the landscapes of the Devon and Cornwall and back.
If you are interested, there is some of useful information how to get to these spots without a car.
London → Exeter
- by TRAIN: it runs from London Paddington station (company: GWR), it takes 2 and half hours, price: ca. 50£
- by BUS: low cost possibility, company Megabus, the bus sets off from Victoria Coach Station in London and drops you off at Sidwell Street in Exeter, it takes 4 and half hours, price: ca. 7£
Exeter → Okehampton, gate to Dartmoor National Park
- by BUS: No.6A from Exeter Coach Station or Exeter St Davis Station, it takes almost 1 hour, price: ca. 5£
Okehampton → Bude, start of the coast path
- by BUS: No.6 from Okehampton West St., it takes almost 1 hour, price: ca. 5£
Bude → Tresmorn farm, Crackington Haven
- by WALK: on the South West Coast Path, ca. 10 miles, it takes 6 hours of slow walking with the breaks on the beaches
Tresmorn farm → Tintagel
- by WALK: on the South West Coast Path, ca. 11 miles, whole day walk, be careful on elevation, strenuous terrain
Tintagel → Wadebridge → Bodmin Parkway Railway Station → Totnes
- well, to get from Tintagel to Totnes is a bit complicated. You can take a bus to Wadebridge (No. 95 or 96, duration: 1 and half hour) and change another one (No. 11A, 30 minutes) to Bodmin Parkway Railway Station. And then it is very easy to take a train directly to Totnes (GWR, duration: 1 hour 10 minutes)
- thanks to this not so easy transport lines I discovered charming Lanhydrock House. 30 minutes walk from Bodmin Parkway
Totnes → Dartmouth
- by BOAT: on a river Dart cruise, it sails only 4 times per day during the summer season (90 minutes relaxing cruise, price: return ticket 14,50£)
- by BUS: directly from the train station (No. X64, 45 minutes, price: 4£)
- nice walk along the river from Dartmouth to the Dartmouth Castle and Sugary Cove beach (4 miles)
Totnes → Newton Abott → Dawlish → Exeter
- by TRAIN: to Dawlish, with a transfer in Newton Abott (duration: 30 minutes, price: 5£)
- then by a walk along the coast path, from Dawlish to Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve (5.6 miles)
- by TRAIN: from Dawlish Warren to Exeter (15 minutes)