Devon Things to Do Tips by stevezero
Devon Things to Do: 137 reviews and 195 photos
Plymouth Hoe, referred to locally as the Hoe, is a large public space in Plymouth, adjacent to the seafront, commanding magnificent views across Plymouth Sound, of Drake's Island, and across the Hamoaze to Mount Edgcumbe Park in Cornwall.
Smeaton's Tower, a former Eddystone Lighthouse which was moved here in 1877, is a prominent landmark on the Hoe, overlooking Tinside Pool, a unique 1930's outdoor Lido which sits upon the limestone shoreline at the base of the cliff.
It is on Plymouth Hoe that Sir Francis Drake is believed to have played bowls prior to his famous assault on the Spanish Armada. A statue of Drake is erected on the Hoe for this reason.
The word Hoe is Anglo-Saxon in derivation meaning a high position, referring to the Hoe as one of Plymouth's highest areas of land.
The ground is often used for military displays, as well as a funfair during the summertime and various open-air concerts.
Directions: Plymoth seafront
Totnes is a small town with a commanding position overlooking the river Dart. It is the second oldest borough in England, and is full of interesting diversions for the visitor — museums, a riverside with steamer quay, an ancient Guildhall and Church, a Norman Castle and the North and East Gates. The town is an architectural feast to those interested in historic buildings - with fine examples of properties dating back to Norman, Medieval and Tudor times. The name Totnes derives from the Saxon for a fort or lookout on a ridge. The town is known to have been a fortified Saxon settlement, built to protect the upper reaches of the river from Viking raiding parties.
For some reason the town attracts a lot of shall we say, alternative people, and many of the shops "different" goods. The younger crowd also appear to be very happy with what they are on.
Directions: Near Torquay
Kingswear Castle is a large 15th century stone square artillery tower, which held one end of the Dartmouth chain. Positioned on the opposite bank to Dartmouth Castle it defended the narrow entrance of the Dart Estuary.
Dartmouth Castle is a 14th century stone coastal fortress, which held one end of the Dartmouth chain. Enlarged in the 15th and 16th centuries with large artillery towers and gun emplacements, it defended the narrow entrance of the Dart Estuary.
It is said that Chaucer based the 'Shipman' character in his Canterbury Tales on John Hawley - the colourful merchant and Mayor of Dartmouth who began the first castle. Today, you can enjoy other tales of the castle as you journey through time from the Tudor period and the Civil War to World War II. Displays on the castle's 600-year history add to the experience.
Admission Charge Adults £3.70
Directions: Just south of Dartmouth off Castle Road
The inventor Otto Overbeck lived in Overbecks House until 1937 and the house contains his collections of curios, natural history and nautical artefacts, as well as his most peculiar invention, the 'Rejuvenator'.
A large part of the house is now a youth hostel.
Directions: As previous tip
This beautiful garden offers spectacular views over the Salcombe estuary and surrounding coast. The 2.75-hectare (7-acre) garden has an intimate and informal atmosphere and is filled with rare and exotic plants, flourishing due to the sheltered micro-climate. You can see plants here that are not normally grown outside on the British Isles.
Address: Sharpitor, Salcombe, Devon
Directions: Difficult reach up very narrow lanes.
Salcombe is a pretty little tourist town, in the South of the county. It ovelooks a nice estuary and is popular with the yachting crowd. On the downside it gets too busy, and parking can be a problem (and expensive) in the summer season.
Castle Drogo Gardens
Sir Edward Lutyens designed the 4.9-hectare (12-acre) garden to reflect the architectural vision of the castle, with the wild moor encroaching into the formal areas. Planted by George Dillistone and influenced by Gertrude Jekyll, the garden is undergoing major replanting. Varied walks throughout the surrounding Teign Gorge provide spectacular views. We were there when the azaleas were in full bloom on a glorious day.
Castle Drogo is reputed to be the last castle to be built in England. It set above the Teign Gorge with dramatic views over Dartmoor.
Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and built between 1911 and 1931 for the self-made food retailing millionaire Julius Drewe, the castle is a masterpiece in Dartmoor granite that blends into the landscape to give the appearance of having been there for centuries.
It combines well the grandeur of a medieval castle with the interior of a country house.
While we were there it was fine weather, but it can be very variable in this location - so dress accordingly.
Admission Charge - Adults £7.00
Address: Drewsteignton, nr Exeter
Directions: Not far off A30
Knightshayes Court Grounds
Knightshayes Court was built to impress in an extensive landscaped setting, high on a hill, visible from Tiverton, where the family had their mills.
There are attractive woodland walks which lead through the grounds.
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