Devon is delightful year-round – naturally. But autumn holds a special place in many a visitor’s heart. The urgency of summer has gone and the wilder weather ensures exploring outside is exhilarating and fun. Your visit is even better when you know you have a gorgeous, cosy home from home to snuggle up in at the end of the day. Feeling tempted? Then read on for our six top things to do in Devon this autumn.
Things to do in Devon with kids
Devon is pretty much made for children. From sweeps of soft sand and tawny moors to attractions aplenty – there’s a wealth of things to do in North Devon this autumn for kids. One of our favourites is to explore Exmoor and the surrounding coastline. Rattle down the 4 mile stretch of Saunton sands and round the corner to quaint seaside town of Croyde bay where cream teas and luxurious hot chocolate await at the local beach cafe.
Next, motor 9 miles along the coast to beautiful Ilfracombe, where fudge shops, amusement parks, aquariums, skate parks and tea rooms aplenty await with hoards to keep kids entertained.
Round the day off with some of the freshest fish n’ chips you’ve ever had at the Esplanade fish bar at Lynmouth harbour, before taking the kids back to the retreat – blissfully worn out.
Things to do in Devon for couples
Romantic coast path hikes and intimate restaurants – there are almost endless things to do in Devon for couples. Salcombe is a prime destination. This pretty yachting town has designer shops, great cafes and snug pubs. Walking south from town leads to the sandy bays of North Sands and South Sands, heading out further along the coast path opens up some spectacularly scenic, circular, cliff-top hikes. Or hop on the historic East Portlemouth Ferry for a short ride to even more sandy beaches and tucked away bays. After a slap-up supper in a top-notch eatery, head back to your holiday home to snuggle up beside the fire.
Rainy day ideas
It’s hard to believe but occasionally it does rain in Devon. But even then there are plenty of memorable things to do.. for kids the BIG Sheep farm and theme park is the perfect way to tire our both kids and adults, you’ll adore the animal magic plus a brilliant selection of indoor and outdoor play areas. Ilfracombe Aquarium located in the Old Lifeboat House on the harbour, the aquarium gives a fascinating insight into the marine life of North Devon.
Arlington Court is an unexpected jewel on the edge of Exmoor, a complete family estate held by the Chichester family for over five hundred years. Explore the house built in 1823, aswell as the Carriage Museum in the stables boasting over 40 carriages in the collection, Arlington Court has events going on throughout the year, from outdoor cinema and theatre to family crafts, there is something for everyone.
When it’s raining Dartington Crystal is the place to be, not only offering a fantastic new visitor experience but also a great shopping destination aswell as a self guided tour viewing the heart of the factory where you can experience the skills, quality and care that makes Dartington Crystal one of the world’s leading glass producers, there is an Audio Visual Theatre providing details of the history and heritage of Dartington Crystal. Take part in the creative activities for both kids and adults together by painting glasses as a souvenir of their visit, fun for the whole family..
Getting out and about even if the weather is a little damp is one of the most satisfying things to do in Devon, and in the autumn you also have glorious leaf displays. One of the most memorable Devon walks is the low-tide stroll from Bigbury on Sea, across the sandy beach to Burgh Island. Once there you can hike around the pint-sized rocky outcrop, past the art deco hotel and up to a hilltop with wrap-around views. You can only walk across at low tide – so check the times before you head out. Or go to the east side of the same estuary, and walk from the beach car park at Bantham up over the headland, beside the coast to Thurlestone, about 3 miles away. It’s a hike you can extend by heading 1.3 miles further east, when you walk beside a beautiful stretch of coast to Hope Cove, where a pub and cafes sit beside a brace of sandy bays.
Autumnal Wildlife Spotting
Autumn’s spectacular leaf displays look pretty stunning in the west country, making spotting wildlife and exploring nature some of the best seasonal things to do in Devon. Exmoor is in fact so important for wildlife that almost a third of the National Park is protected under UK and European law, with its spectacular moorland, rich oak woodland, clear streams and dramatic coastline, Exmoor has a great variety of habitats that provide homes for a vast array of species, including majestic red deer, elusive otters and some of the UK’s rarest butterflies and bats.
It’s a superb place to hike among the free-roaming ponies, sheep and cows. Or make it a more managed wildlife spotting trip with Exmoor Zoo, home of the Exmoor beast, the only black leopard on display in the UK, is this the cat that has been spotted roaming Exmoor’s moorland? The myth of the Beast of Exmoor is as alive now as back in medieval times, why not make a trip to the Zoo and make up your own minds..
Finding your perfect home from home
And having that welcoming, comfortable, holiday home to come back to is – actually – one of the very best things you can do in North Devon this autumn. Somewhere to enjoy being in, to cosy up in and chill out. The shorter, cooler days make it even more important to pick a place with all the home comforts, which is what makes our Lynmouth Holiday Retreat in North Devon so special. Or why not hop across to neighbouring Cornwall where we have holiday homes available at both Tamar View and Notter Bridge, two more parks in stunning rural locations on the Devon/Cornwall border.