Devon Campsites

Devon Campsites

 

Devon Campsites and Holiday Parks

Today the resorts of South Devon are among the best known and most visited in the country. Those around Torbay -Torquay. Paignton and Brixham are sometimes known collectively as the English Riviera. But 250 years ago these were just simple low-key fishing villages. The principal travellers of the era, the upper classes-rarely holidayed in England. Intead taking themselves off on cultural jaunts to the continent. However the French Revolution and subsequent Napoleonic Wars changed all that, effectively shutting down the continent to leisure travel from 1789 to 1815.

Denied a winter season abroad the aristocracy began searching for a domestic alternative. The South Devon towns’ relatively mild climate at least when compared with the rest of the country,got them the nod. Soon they were catering to an influx of moneyed indolents looking to parade along front in the latest fashions and ‘take the waters’. Sidmouth, Dawlish and Teignmouth all experienced a burst of genteel inspired growth -the latter was so popular it was dubbed by an Exeter newsspaper, ‘the Montpelier of England’. However following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo,  the continental resorts reopened and South Devon became less appealing.

A bit of quick rebranding was needed to prevent the resorts from slipping back into obscurity. The Devon towns began to promote the health benefits of their sea air and water (the colder and more bracing the better) Soon the resorts were thriving following the coming of the railways in the mid-1806 prompting the great British seaside holiday boom.

Axminster

Built on high ground above the River Axe and centred round a tree-shaded green, the busy streets of this small market town are still rich in Georgian and Victorian buildings and it has several fine coaching inns. Its name is synonymous with the manufacture of line carpets, though the factory opened by Thomas Whitty in the 18th century -based on his close study of Turkish methods was in production for only 80 years before being sold out to a Wilton weaver. Devon campsites can be found all around Axminster.

Barnstaple

Barnstaple was an established borough, minting its own coins, as early as the 10th century. The town prospered as a harbour and wool town in the 18th century -its finest buildings date from this period but it suffered from the silting of the Taw estuary and from the development of road and rail transport in the 19th century. Queen Anne’s walk, an 18th-century colonnade, was the town’s exchange; the merchants’ money table, the Tome Stone, is still there and Barnstaple still holds a lively market. The medieval St Anne’s Chapel once housed the grammar school where the poet John Gay (1685-1732), author of The Beggar’s Opera, was educated. The building is now a local museum. Devon campsites can be found all around Barnstaple. Devon campsites can be found all the county and cater for families and groups. Many Devon campsites are pet friendly. For those of you wanting to get away from the masses there are Devon campsites on the moor that allow campfires and are adult only.

Berry Pomeroy

In a wooded valley to the north east of the village stand the impressive ruins of Berry Pomeroy Castle, founded by Ralph de Pomeroy in the late 13th century and destroyed during the Civil Wars of the 17th century. A Wishing tree in the grounds is supposed to grant the requests of anyone walking round it backwards three times. The Village itself is tiny, but it has a fine church of red Devon stone, built 500 years ago on Norman foundations by the Pomeroy family whose coat of arms adorns the porch. In the church is a 42ft long screen with fine tracings of saints.

Bideford

A pleasant town whose 24 arch bridge spans the Torridge estuary. In 1573 Sir Richard Grenville, who was born in nearby Appledore, secured a market charter for the town from Queen Elizabeth I. Bideford became the principal port of North Devon, and b) 1700 drew most of its wealth from tobacco trade with the New World. The grave of an American Indian christened Christian Rawley and brought from Roanoke by Grenville, can be seen in Bideford churchyard. Charles Kingsley wrote Westward Ho! (1835), when staying here in 1854. A statue at the north end of the promenade commemorates Kingsley.

Brixham

Brixham falls into two parts the old village on the slopes of a hill, and the fishing Village half a mile below. The shingle beach of St Mary’s Bay is ‘ popular with holidaymakers, and many artists have painted the picturesque harbour. Brixham Museum at Bolton Cross includes displays of shipbuilding. HM Coastguard National Museum is also here. A fine replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship the Golden Hind is preserved at Brixham Quay. Four miles west on the beautiful wooded bank of the river Dart estuary stands Greenway House which, in the 16th century belonged to Otho Gilbert of Compton Castle. Devon campsites can be found all around Brixham.

Buckfastleigh

Buckfastleigh Station is the northern terminus of the preserved Dart Valley Railway, a steam service operated by enthusiasts. It runs to Totnes can back. At the station locomotives in process of restoration are on show and there is a picnic area. One mile north of the village is. Buckfast Abbey, the work of a successron of teams of French Benedictine monks between 1906 and  1932. Built of limestone with modern stained glass designed and made by the monks . The Abbey stands on the site of an original medieval monastery and incorporates the Gothis mansion that replaced it.

Clovelly

Possibly the prettiest coastal village in Britain, it occupies one cobble street that runs down a steep, wooded slope to the shore. Sleds towed by donkeys were used for carrying loads. Clovelly was restored by Christine Hamlyn (the Hamlyns were lords of the manor) in the early 1920’s. Devon campsites can be found all around Clovelly.

Colyford

Colyford is the birthplace (c 1559) of Sir Thomas Gates, who sailed with Drake in punitive actions against the Spanish in 1585; on this voyage he visited the ailing Roanoke settlement.

Beer, a pretty coastal village beside Seaton on the Roman Road from Lyme Regis to Exeter, 2 miles south of Colyford, was once notorious for smugglers. The Bovey House Hotel there dates from Tudor times its secret hiding places a legacy of smuggling. A splendid cliff walk via Beer Head, a 400ft chalk cliff, leads to Branscombe, 3 miles along the coast.

Compton Castle

Compton Castle is Devon’s most impressive fortified manor house, and has been the home of the Gilbert family and their descendants for 600 years. Sir Humphrey Gilbert (1539-83) founded the Newfoundland Colony in 1583, but was lost in the Atlantic returning to England. He was the half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh and together they played a major part in colonial expansion during the reign of Elizabeth I. Compton is in the parish of Marldon, and the parish church contains many memorials to the Gilberts.

Crediton

Crediton used to be the cathedral city of Devon in Saxon times until Exeter took over its position. Tradition says that St Boniface, who brought Christianity to the Germans, was born there in the 7th century.

 

Dartmoor

The ‘moor’ often conveys a feeling of ill omen, of high moorland, broken by jagged granite tors; of mist-shrouded blanket bog where unwary travellers are sucked to oblivion. Whether this impression comes from the landscape itself, from the grim prison at Princetown, from the Sherlock Holmes adventure related in The Hound of the Baskervilles, or from all three is hard to tell. In 1951 Dartmoor was made a National Park, covering 365 square miles. Its boundaries are, roughly speaking, Okehampton in the north, lvybridge in the south, Tavistock in the west and Bovey Tracey in the east. Most of the land is over 1000ft above sea-level and the highest points are High Willhays (2038ft) and Yes Tor (2030ft). Fourteen rivers rise on Dartmoor, among them the Teign, the Bovey and the Dart. Some of the most beautiful scenery is to be found in the wooded river valleys for example around Dartmeet, where the waters of the East and West Dart join. Here and at Postbridge are fine examples of the ancient clapper bridges rough slabs of granite supported on boulders, many of which date back to medieval times and beyond, when tin was extensively mined here. Human settlement dates back to the Bronze Age, and the area is rich in prehistoric monuments and remains; probably the best-known village site is at Grimspound. Tin-mining flourished throughout the medieval and Tudor periods, when the tinners virtually ruled the moor, with stannary towns at Plympton, Tavistock, Ashburton and Chagford, and their own ‘parliament’, held in the open on Crockern Tor for more than 400 years from 1305 to 1749. Nowadays, apart from the

tourists and the ‘wild’ ponies (which in fact all have owners and are rounded up in the autumn ‘pony drift’), the only business that is carried on by the army who use large parts of the moor as a firing range. Among the most famous beauty spots are Lydford’ Gorge; the ancient Wistman’s Wood, where gnarled oak trees shelter a  nature reserve; Yarner Wood, also a nature in oak woodland; Dunsford  Nature Reserve on the River Teign and finally that famous village Widecombe in the Moor.

Dartmouth

Dartmouth has been an important harbour since Roman times. Many historic naval expeditions sailed from here, including Edward lll‘s fleet which sailed from Dartmouth to assist in the siege of Calais in 1347. Three centuries later in 1620, the Pilgrim ships Mayflower and Speedwell paid an unscheduled call at Dartmouth for repairs. Many passengers were so discouraged by the problems that the captain, Christopher Martin, confined them to quarters to prevent desertion. After a week the ships were able to sail on to Plymouth. A plaque commemorating the Pilgrims is at the entrance to Bayard‘s Cove, where one of Henry Vlll’s defensive castles also stands. A waterside path lending to the sea passes St Petrox Church rebuilt in the Gothic style in 1641-2. Alongside the church are the remains of Dartmouth Castle a l5th century cliff castle, which faces Kingswear Castle. The two castles were built so that a thick chain could be stretched across the estuary hold off enemy ships in time of war. Other notable features of Dartmouth include the Butterwalk. A row of 17th century houses on granite pillars with carved overhanging storeys: the Castle Hotel mostly 19th century incorporates a 17th-century coaching inn; the local Maritime Museum; Agincourt House, which dates from 1380; the Customs House, built in 1739; and beside the river is the first effective steam engine, invented by Dartmouth born inventor Thomas Newcomen. Overlooking the town stands the Britannia Royal Naval College which has trained naval cadets since NUS.

Chaucer spent some time in Dartmouth and possibly used a local man as the model for the shipman in the Canterbury Tales. Flora Thompson, the author of Lark Rise to Candleford, lived for many years in Dartmouth. Nearby Greenway House was the birthplace of Sir Humphrey Gilbert. From 1942-4 Slupton Sands further down the coast was used as a training ground for American soldiers. In 1944 they finally embarked from Dartmouth for France.

A car ferry regularly crosses the River Dart and there are frequent boating trips along the beautiful estuary. Devon campsites can be found all around Dartmouth.

Dawlish

This seaside town, between the Exe and Teign estuaries, is like Lyme Regis but in a lower key. Jane Austen liked both; Dickens made Dawlish the birthplace of Nicholas Nickleby, hero of his novel of the same name. The town is set slightly back from the sea, and the elegant Regency houses on the Strand were built, unusually, facing inland. Also unusual is the fact that the main railway line runs between the town and sands on its lovely route between Exeter and Newton Abbot. It was here that Brunel tried out his experimental atmospheric railway. Dawlish’s deep red cliffs, sandy beaches and colourful, luxuriant vegetation attract as many visitors as anywhere in Devon. The town’s main feature is the Lawn, landscaped gardens created in 1803 round Dawlish Water. On the sand-dune peninsula of Dawlish Warren are a national wildfowl reserve, holiday camps and caravan sites. Devon campsites can be found all around Dawlish.

Exeter

Founded in about AD 50 by the Romans on a Celtic site, Exeter has a long history, though most of the physical evidence was destroyed in an air raid in 1942. Parts of the Roman Walls, much strengthened in the Norman period, still stand. In Anglo Saxon times Exeter flourished, but was sacked several times by the Danes, and was eventually, in 1068, captured by the Normans. William I promptly built a castle, of the distinctive local red sandstone, and the ruins of the walls, gatehouse and Athelstan’s tower now form part of Rougemont (‘red hill’) Gardens. The city was unique in medieval England in having a manmade pure water supply. The underground passages built as conduits can be seen in Princesshay.

Exeter prospered with the proceeds of the wool trade and from Continental trade through its port, until 1290, when the Countess of Devon built a weir across the river, to spite the locals. However, trade was restored in 1563, when Exeter’s early ship canal was opened. The Customs House on the Quay dates from 1681. Nowadays the docks are largely disused, although they were used in a television series ‘The Onedin Line’, as Liverpool’s 19th-century docks. Exeter Cathedral dates from the early medieval period, although the two towers are Norman. Its magnificent west front has tiers of angels and saints. Around the cathedral precinct some of Exeter’s old buildings survived both the air raids and modern development. The best known is the former Mol’s Coffee House, where Drake and Hawkins used to meet. They also drank in The Ship Inn in St Martin’s Lane. St Martin’s Church, consecrated in 1065, has a fine wagon roof and 17th-century gallery. Other interesting churches are the Norman St Mary Arches and St Mary Steps which has a 17th-century clock with moving figures which strike the hour and the quarters. Opposite is an Elizabethan half-timbered building, which was moved from its original site and is consequently known as ‘The House that Moved’. Exeter’s medieval Guildhall is the oldest municipal building still in use in England; its most distinctive feature is its ornate upper storey which dates from 1593. Next to the Guildhall is the Turk’s Head, a 15th-century inn in which Dickens found his original ‘Fat Boy for Pickwick Papers. Devon campsites can be found all around Exeter.

Great Torrington

The town affords exquisite views and its site, high above the River Torridge, is one of the finest in Devon. In 1645, Torrington church and 200 imprisoned Royalists were blown up with gunpowder; it was rebuilt in 1651 and has a fine 17th-century pulpit. The little market square has considerable charm. On the south side of the town there is a roadside conical Waterloo monument, and 3 miles south east lies Great Potheridge, 17th-century home of the Monk family. A tablet records General Monk’s help in the restoration Charles II.

Honiton

An attractive small town, Honiton is known principally for its tradition of lacemaking. The industry flourished from Elizabethan times until the 19th century; Queen Victoria’s wedding veil was made locally. The Allhallows Museum has a fine collection of lace and lacemaking demonstrations also take place here. Today the town is characterised by its pottery industry and its many antique shops

Ilfracombe

A popular holiday resort situated on Devon’s lovely north coast, Ilfracombe was originally just a quiet fishing harbour, but has since evolved, thanks to a 19th-century enterprise, as a thriving seaside centre. The many large Victorian houses and hotels are necessarily built in terraces, because of the steeply shelving hills that meet the shoreline. Public gardens in this area are particularly well kept. Chambercombe Manor, situated 1and a half miles south east of Ilfracombe, is a mansion which, although largely Elizabethan, has parts which are much more ancient. It is one of the oldest inhabited houses in England. A haunted room and a 12th century cider-press are among its interesting relics and furnishings. 1 mile to the east, Hele Mill has been restored to working condition and produces wholemeal flour. Watermouth Castle, 2 and a half miles east of the town, offers varied amusements. Devon campsites can be found all around Ilfracombe.

Kingsbridge 

This market town is situated in the South Hams, at the head of the Kingsbridge estuary. It was the birthplace in 1705 of William Cookworthy, who discovered china clay in Cornwall and made the first porcelain in England. An exhibition commemorating his achievement is contained in one of the galleries of the Cookworthy Museum. Kingsbridge has a late 16th~century arcade, The Shambles, and two interesting churches -St Edmund’s, with its 13th century tower, and 16th-century Dodbrooke.

Lundy

This tiny granite island stands in the Bristol Channel, about 12 miles off Hartland Point and is easily accessible by steamer from Ilfracombe; since 1969 it has been owned by the National Trust, which leases it to the Landmark Trust. The scanty ruins of Marisco Castle, the stronghold of a piratical family who once ruled the island, lie near the quay. The Shutter Rock will be familiar to readers of Kingsley’s Westward Ho! Puffins and other sea birds breed on the rocky coastline, which alos has some of the best sea cliff climbing in England. The word ‘Lundy ‘ is derived from the old Norse word for puffin. Devon campsites can be found all around Lundy.

Lynmouth

Lynmouth is an attractive little resort at the mouth of the East and West Lyn Rivers; it has a small shingle beach, and charming thatched cottages line the narrow street by the harbour. Countisbury Hill, rising over 1000ft to the east, includes some of the steepest cliffs in England and nearby the East Lyn converges with Hoar Oak Waters in wooded Watersmeet Valley. The lighthouse at Foreland Point is also surrounded by exceptionally beautiful scenery. Lynmouth will always be remembered, however, for the floods caused by a freak storm over Exmoor in 1952when 28 bridges were swept away, 100 houses damaged or destroyed and 31 lives lost. Devon campsites can be found all around Lynmouth.

Newton Abbot 

When the railway came to Newton Abbot, the town was transformed from a sleepy little place into an important function and a lively market town. It also served as a centre for the clay mines between Kingsteignton and Bovey Tracey.

The town’s name, incidentally, originated in the 13th century. It was the ‘new town’ of the abbot of Torre Abbey. Nowadays, it is a gathering point for tourists, either bound for the coast or for Dartmoor. Bradley Manor, a 15th century house with an interesting Great Hall, lies in the valley of the River Lemon. Devon campsites can be found all around Newton Abbot.

Okehampton

The high tors of Dartmoor, High Willhays and Yes Tor, brood over this busy market town on the edges of the National Park; its castle, overlooking the river, was once the seat of the Courtenay family, Earls of Devon, until they moved to Powderham Castle near Exeter. East of Okehampton is Sticklepath and the Museum of Rural Industry at the old Finch brothers’ foundry, which operated from 1814 until 1960, generating power with its waterwheels.

Ottery St Mary

The magnificent 14th-century collegiate church is out of all proportion to the size of this small town on the River Otter. The church was originally a dependency of the Cathedral of Rouen in France, and was bought in 1335 by the Bishop of Exeter, who made it into a slightly smaller version of his own cathedral. It contains a rare Tudor clock which shows the phases of the moon. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in Ottery, the son‘of the vicar. Among his works is a sonnet ‘To the River Otter’ . Celebrations in Ottery St Mary on 5 November include a carnival; and the ancient custom of carrying burning tar barrels. North west of the town is Cadhay, one of the finest Tudor manor houses in the country.

Paignton

A Torbay resort, Paignton’s many attractions include a large and interesting zoo, and several historic homes. The most outstanding is Oldway Mansion, built in 1871 by the American sewing machine millionaire, Isaac Merritt Singer. The house, completed in 1875, was known to the family as the ‘Wigwam’. In 1904 Singer’s son, Paris, began making alterations in the style of the Palace of Versailles. During  World War II, Oldway was used as an American women’s hospital. Kirkham House, a priest’s or chantry house, has been restored to its 16th century appearance as a museum of domestic life. At Higher Blagdon is the Torbay Aircraft Museum, with exhibits dating from 1924 to 1954. Steam trains run in summer along a stretch of the old Great Western line from Paignton to Kingswear, where there is a ferry to Dartmouth. Inland is Compton Castle. Devon campsites can be found all around Paignton.

Plymouth

It’s site at the head of Plymouth Sound, between the estuaries of the Rivers, Plym and Tamar, has made Plymouth a maritime city from its earliest days. The Hawkins family, Drake, Humphrey Gilbert, Sir Ferdinando Gorges (a Plymouth man), Martin ‘ Frobisher, Raleigh -all had Plymouth as their base and their exploits helped to bring fame and prosperity to this Devon city. It is said that Gorges, the Governor of Plymouth, was turned to thoughts Of the Americas by the sight of five American Indians brought from Maine  in 1605. Humphrey Gilbert’s Newfoundland voyage is remembered in a plaque on Plymouth Hoe. Martin Frobisher made three voyages to the Canadian coast, seeking the North West Passage. Trade and exploration went hand-in-hand and Plymouth’s prosperity was, in part, built on the Newfoundland fish trade.

Towards the end of the 17th century William III ordered the Devonport marshes to be drained, and the Royal Naval Dockyard to be built, thus giving the Navy an official presence in Plymouth. In World War II German bombs reduced the centre to rubble, but it has since risen again, its many new buildings dominated by the soaring 200ft tower of the Civic Centre, from the top of which there are magnificent views. The Hoe (meaning ‘High Place’) is another excellent vantage point. Here, as every schoolchild knows, Sir Francis Drake, circumnavigator of the world, was enjoying a game of bowls in 1588 when the Armada was sighted, and insisted on finishing his game before setting sail to defeat the Spanish. There is a statue on the Hoe. There are plaques commemorating historic journeys on the Mayflower Steps in Sutton Pool, the ancient harbour which was the nucleus of the modern city. Most famous of all was the voyage of the Pilgrim Fathers, who sailed for New England in the New World in their little ship Mayflower on 6 September 1620. Devon campsites can be found all around Plymouth.

Princetown

The largest and bleakest Dartmoor town. Standing at 1400ft above sealevel, Princetown is dominated by its famous prison. Originally built in 1806 to hold French prisoners during the Napoleonic wars, Princetown also housed more than 2000 American soldiers captured in 1812. The church of St Michael in the town was built by French and American prisoners. The east window was given by American women in memory of 200 of their men who died at Princetown. The moor surrounding the town is rich in prehistoric remains. Notable among these are the Bronze Age hut circles at Merrivale, 2 miles away. Conan Doyle used the bleakness of the moor as a setting for Sherlock Holmes’ adventures in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Salcombe

The broad and placid waters of Kingsbridge estuary, confined by steep, thickly wooded banks, many small sandy bays and, 2 miles away, imposing cliffs around Bolt Head combine to give Salcombe its splendid setting. The town clings to the hillsides, its streets bright with subtropical plants. Overbecks Museum and Garden is an Edwardian house set in lovely gardens 1 mile to the south. The tower of a ruined Tudor castle, Fort Charles, is all that survived a battering by the Roundhead artillery in the Civil War. A passenger ferry connects Salcombe with East Portlemouth on the opposite bank. Devon campsites can be found all around Salcombe.

Sidmouth

Steep wooded hills guard Sidmouth,  a select coastal resort. Its tall Regency houses, with their wrought-iron balconies, recall Sidmouth’s standing in the early 19th century. The pleasant beach is flanked by spectacular red cliffs and the town began life as a fishing village. During the Napoleonic Wars, the well-to-do, unable to visit Europe, went to Sidmouth instead. The Old Manor in Church Street is the museum and is one of the  town’s oldest houses. Devon campsites can be found all around Sidmouth.

Tavistock 

A market town traditionally regarded as the western capital of Dartmoor. Tavistock grew up around a Benedictine abbey, founded in the 10th century and largely destroyed in the Dissolution. Some ruins can still be seen near the parish church. From the 16th century the town belonged to the Dukes of Bedford. During the 19th century its importance grew as a result of the expanding copper industry. The nearby Great Consols mine was one of the largest copper mines in the world. Devon campsites can be found all around Tavistock.

Teignmouth

Writers have long been attracted here: Jane Austen, Keats Fanny Burney all stayed at this elegant Regency and Victorian town situated where the Teign estuary narrows down before entering the sea. Its situation and temperate climate made it a popular holiday resort as early as the 18th century; and it remains so today. Its sandy beach, handsome esplanade, beautifully kept public gardens and golf course 800ft above sea level are complemented by the cheerful pier. A 1700ft  long bridge across the Teign estuary links the town with the village of Shaldon, a charming holiday and yachting centre lying below the wooded headland of The Ness, through which a romantically named ‘smugglers’ cove leads to the beach. Devon campsites can be found all around Teignmouth.

Tiverton

Tiverton Museum, one of the best folk museums in the West Country has a large railway gallery complete with restored GWR tank locomotive, and the restored Grand Western Canal offers trips by horse-drawn barges. Devon campsites can be found all around Tiverton.

Torquay

Famous for its panoramic setting on the wooded hills above Torbay, Torquay is an expansive resort, with a Continental air. This has been Devon’s most popular coastline since the Napoleonic Wars drew first the naval establishment and then tourists. The Devon Riviera is distinguished by its brilliant blue sea, kind climate, and colourful and luxuriant sub-tropical vegetation, notably its palm trees.

Torquay’s focal point is its yachting harbour, protected by huge breakwaters. Above it are the fine 19th-century terraces and crescents, such as Hesketh Crescent and in the suburbs numerous guesthouses. Devon campsites can be found all around Torquay.

 

Torquay has various kinds of attractions: Aqualand, the largest aquarium in the West Country; the Natural History Museum. Ilsham Marine Drive affords fine views, as do the weathered cliffs along which you can walk to Anstey’s Cove and Babbacombe. The model village here is a showpiece; and a cliff railway runs down to the beach. Kent’s Cavern, on the edge of the town, was inhabited during the Ice Age, putting it among the oldest known sites in Britain. The bones of sabre-toothed tigers and bears are preserved, amid red, green and white stalagmites and stalactites, formed by the limestone in the water that drips through the rocks.

Totnes

The old town of Totnes stands on a steep hill above the River Dart, at its highest navigational point. The British Council of Archaeology made it one of its 40 towns of outstanding architectural and historic interest. In the great days of the medieval cloth trade, when it was an important Devon port, Totnes was a walled town, and the lines are still detectable; the 15th-century East Gate has been restored and there are remains of the 12th-century castle. St Mary’s Church is a remarkable relic of the 15th century, with a 120ft tower and a famous stone screen. The Elizabethan and Georgian eras contributed some fine architecture to Totnes, particularly along its steep main street. The four storeys Elizabethan House is now a museum; with a section on computers, which were pioneered by Charles Babbage (1792-1871), a onetime pupil at the King Edward VI Grammar School. The Guildhall, gabled and colonnaded, standing on the site of the medieval Totnes Priory, contains a smaller museum. Devon campsites can be found all around Totnes.

From Totnes you can take a boat downriver to Dartmouth; or a train steam-hauled on the Dart Valley Railway to Buckfastleigh. Totnes still builds boats and imports timber, but is not a port on its medieval scale. On the Quay is now a motor museum of vintage sports and racing cars.

Widecombe on the Moor

Widecombe is famed for its fair, held on the second Tuesday in September; a sign commemorating the well-known song stands on the village green. The large 14th.century church of St Pancras -‘the Cathedral of Dartmoor’ had its tower struck by lightning in 1638, and it is recorded that several people were killed in the incident. Nearby Church House is a picturesque building. The village stands at 800ft, surrounded by the Dartmoor National Park and with Hameldown Beacon rising to 1697ft in the north west. A well-preserved group of Bronze Age barrows lie to the west.

 

This is just a selection of places worth a visit or day out when you go staying at any of the campsites or holiday parks in Devon

 

 

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