If you’re looking for the best towns to stay in Devon, you’ve come to the right place. Devon is one of the nation’s go-to destinations for sun, sea and British sands. Devon’s beautiful countryside is sandwiched between a vast array of sunny beaches on its north and south borders which make it the ideal choice for your cottage getaway. With ample opportunities for walking, climbing, golf, horse riding and even more adventurous pursuits such as rock climbing and kayaking, Devon is an excellent region in which to get outdoors. And for the less sporty among you? There’s enough city-life and coffee culture to keep everyone happy.
Totnes, the South West’s hippie paradise. Known for its alternative vibe, Totnes leads by organic example, with a big focus on fairtrade and ethical produce. And where can you find these wholesome goods? Luckily, Totnes has become Cornwall’s boutique sweet spot, boasting a concentrated buzz of independent shops and cafes. Check out the famed Riverford Field Kitchen and time your visit with the third Sunday of the month, where you’ll find Totnes’ market square transformed into Devon’s largest Good Food Market! The town boasts its very own castle and backs onto the River Dart, so expect a range of riverside leisure activities laid out at your feet.
Ilfracombe, smugly positioned in the North Devon Coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has a reputation as the culinary and cultural hub of North Devon, and the reputation has been well earned. Some have even hailed Ilfracombe as the new St Ives, which was once all the range as the South West’s culture capital. Backed by the rugged cliffs of the Atlantic coast, there is also a lot of beauty to be found in Ilfracombe, with its charming natural harbour and elegant Victorian architecture all around. For the foodies out there, check out Fore Street and around the Harbour for high quality menus starring local goods. And for those wanted a slice of culture, pop by the Landmark Theatre overlooking the seafront.
With its back to the scenic River Dart and the English Channel further beyond, this riverside town is a real Devon gem. Inland you can explore winding Elizabethan streets and explore the vast amount of shopping opportunity Dartmouth lays at your feet, and then jump on over to the water for boat trips and fishing. The River Dart is a haven for watersports; you can try your hand at kayaking or paddle boarding. Dartmouth is also the perfect base for the South West Coast Path, meaning a good old fashioned hike has never been easier or more accessible.
Based in the South Hams district of Devon, Salcombe is as near to a tropical English seaside as you’re going to get. If you want your waters from azure, to turquoise and pale gold sands – you’ve found it! Salcombe is Devon’s sailing capital and is perfect for those of you with a professional edge seeking likeminded yachties. Unsurprisingly, it’s within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has superb local food with a number of beach-view restaurants. You can take a walk along the South West Coast Path but don’t feel bad if you don’t end up getting your hike-on, Salcombe is the perfect resting stop to sit down and enjoy the sunshine. We recommend a visit down to Hope Cove Beach – great for exploring rock pools and having a pleasant dog-walk on the sands.