Exploring Devon’s culture and heritage

This really is a great area for a family holiday. When you need a break from long days on the beach, there are plenty of other options.

Wander round the towns and villages

The combined river-boat and steam railway trip between Totnes and Dartmouth is not to be missed, while both towns offer a fab day out shopping and exploring their castles. Ashburton is a must for antique shops (we sourced a lot of our furniture here) and visiting Salcombe is not to be missed. Up on Dartmoor we like the villages of Widecombe, North Bovey and Lustleigh…as well as ancient churches and thatched cottages they also have great pubs and cream teas!

Explore castles and country houses

You can’t come to Compton without visiting our Castle. It is still lived in by the Gilbert family and the children will love finding the squirrels!

Here are some of our other favourite castles:

  • Further afield there is Berry Head, Brixham (01803 882 619 / TQ5 9AP). The two large Napoleonic fortifications were built to protect the important anchorage of Torbay when England was at war with France. They are now a 100 acre national nature reserve.
  • Tucked away in a deep wooded valley, Berry Pomeroy Castle is the perfect romantic ruin (English Heritage 01803 866 618 / TQ9 6LJ).
  • Dartmouth Castle (English Heritage 01803 833 588 / TQ6 0JN) is one of the most picturesquely-sited fortresses in England. For over 600 years Dartmouth Castle has guarded the narrow entrance to the Dart Estuary and the busy, vibrant port of Dartmouth.
  • Totnes Castle (English Heritage 01803 864 406 / TQ9 5NU) is a classic Norman Motte and Bailey castle, founded soon after the Conquest to overawe the Saxon town. A later stone shell-keep crowns its steep mound, giving sweeping views across the town rooftops to the River Dart.

South Devon is a treasure trove of places to visit. In the ‘English Riviera’ of Torbay alone sit the medieval manor of Bradley; the elegant Arts and Crafts style Coleton Fishacre; Agatha Christie’s holiday home at Greenway and if you are in the Salcombe area then pop into Overbeck’s.

Fancy a spot of culture, we recommend Dartington Hall with its Summer School concerts throughout August as well as its beautiful gardens.