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A Guide to Southern Devon

By Edited May 14, 2015 0 0

The south coast of Devon, in England, has many highlights. South Devon includes Plymouth beside the River Tamar, Dartmouth on the River Dart and Torbay. Southern Devon is a great destination for a holiday in England.


The city of Plymouth is the largest in Devon, and includes a Royal Navy base which is located on the River Tamar. Among the main highlights of Plymouth is the Plymouth Hoe on the seafront which includes Smeaton’s Tower, a land based light house which is now open to visitors. At the bottom of the Hoe cliff there is the Tinside Lido open swimming pool which has recently been renovated and reopened.

The Barbican is an older part of the city which includes the Plymouth Gin Distillery. The Plymouth Gin Distillery is a distillery of Plymouth Gin, and is also open to tours. It includes a cocktail bar where Plymouth Gin is mixed with a variety of liquors for some fruity cocktails, and you can have a free cocktail if you go on one of the distillery tours.

Above all else, the city is famous for the Mayflower Steps, a memorial point for the voyages of the Pilgrim Fathers. This is located at Plymouth’s Marina, just beyond the Barbican. Other highlights of Plymouth, such as the large National Marine Aquarium are also near to the Mayflower Steps.


Further eastwards, Dartmouth is located on the River Dart. The River Dart separates Dartmouth from Kingswear on the eastern side of the river. At the opening of the river lies Dartmouth Castle which overlooks the Dart Estuary.

Dartmouth’s river is one of the town’s highlights. From Dartmouth you can take a variety of river cruises up the River Dart towards Totnes. Or alternatively, you can take boat cruises out from the river around the southern coastline towards the towns of Torbay.

As mentioned, across the river there is Kingswear. It is here that the Paignton and Dartmouth steam railway is located which links Dartmouth to Torbay via Paignton. A small railway museum is located at Kingswear’s station which covers the history of steam railways in Devon.

During the summer Dartmouth’s river fills with boats of various sizes during the Dartmouth Royal Regatta weekend. This is great time to visit Dartmouth as there are Red Arrow displays as well as fireworks in the evening. Aside from the Red Arrows, the Dartmouth Royal Regatta is entirely water-related with rowing contests, yacht racing and waterborne tug of war on the river.


Torbay is stretch of coastline that includes three towns: Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Torquay is the largest of these towns, a seaside resort that has a marina and promenade with numerous highlights. For starters, at the marina there is the coastal zoo of Living Coasts. In addition to this, there is the Torquay Pavilion, a mix of art nouveau and classical architectural styles that was formerly a theatre. Today, it’s one of Torquay’s more historic buildings, with shops and cafes, that is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012.

Beyond Torquay’s promenade you can also visit Babbicombe which includes the Babbicombe Model Village. The Babbicombe Model Village has a variety of miniature buildings set among acres of colorful landscaped gardens. A more recent addition to Babbicombe is its 4-D theatre which includes films that have the latest advances in high-resolution digital 3-D projection.

Or alternatively, you can visit Cockington Court which is just a short walk away from Torquay’s seafront. Cockington Court includes Cockington Village, and a manor house that is set 460 acres of country park. 

Beyond Torquay, you can also reach Paignton and Brixham via short boat trips from the marina. As mentioned, Paignton has the Paignton and Dartmouth steam railway. It also includes a variety of beaches that stretch along its promenade up to Goodrington Sands on the west side of Paignton.

In Brixham you can visit Berry Head in the south-east of Brixham. These coastal cliffs have a seabird colony with a variety of seabirds such as Razorbills and Guillemots. It also includes the remains of an old hill fort which has a former artillery house which documents the history of the Berry Head area.


As a classic seaside resort, Teignmouth is also worth noting in south Devon. It includes a few beaches along its promenade, and a Victorian pier situated at the middle of the seafront. Among its beaches there are Teignmouth Town Beach, and Shaldon Beach that is located at the mouth of the River Teign which is a good beach for watersports such as rowing and canoeing.

These are a few of the great destinations in south Devon. For a holidays in Devon, they are hard to beat. 



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