I think I’ve been neglecting my own back garden on my blog, despite being at home for the best part of a year now and exploring a lot of it.
I’m stoked to live in Devon, England – it’s a beautiful place and there’s heaps to do. Despite this it’s somewhat overlooked by international backpackers in my experience, which is a shame as they’re a lot more welcome down here than all the ‘grockles’ towing caravans! Devon and it’s neighbour Cornwall should definitely on your hit list if your heading to the UK, I’m still miffed why everyone wants to stay in London or head up North. I openly admit that I dislike London ALOT – the whole city scene and the people that inhabit it stress me out.
So come to the South West where the suns shinning (usually), the people are relaxed, the air is clean and the fields are green – and while you’re at it try and tick off some of my Top 10 Places to Visit in Devon and Cornwall.
1. North Devon Coast – My top place to spend my spare time is on the coast of North Devon, usually hitting the beach for a surf. Check out Saunton, Croyde and Woolacombe if you want some beach life, these quiet little towns boast some world class surf. And on your way through grab some chips at Squires in Braunton – epic food from an award winning restaurant…without a massive price tag!
2. Paignton Zoo – Out of all the zoos/wildlife parks I’ve been too Paignton is top notch. It’s a solid day out and well worth the money. They’ve recently revamped a lot of it to include a walk through Lemur enclosure, crocodile swamp and massive elephant and giraffe habitat.
3. Dartmoor – Covering a large part of Devon, Dartmoor is a gorgeous place to spend some time exploring. From walking around the ‘Tors’, relaxing in the woodlands or swimming in the rivers at places such as Fingle Glen. Get outside and go for a wander – don’t forget to pack a picnic!
4. Newquay – Another place I spend quite a bit of time. Newquay has got a bit of a bad rap in recent years for being a mecca for stag and hen parties. Sure it’s got a great party scene (I highly recommend Belushi’s and Chy Bar!) but it’s main pull is the gorgeous beaches. Hit up Fistral for a surf lesson or to watch some surf comps and then enjoy a sunset with an ice cold pint of Rattlers at the beach bar.
5. Lands End – If you can get down to Lands End it’s a pretty nice place to check out, and the drive to get there is full of winding roads and quaint little villages strewn with thatched cottages. They even have a firework display twice a week!
6. Exeter – The closest town to where I live, and the place I work, Exeter is pretty under rated. It’s got heaps of culture and a good nightlife. Relax on Cathedral green, stroll along the Quay or even go underground to check out the network of passage that run underneath the city.
7. The Jurassic Coast – If you like a bit of history then the Jurassic Coast has it, in fact it’s famed for the amount of fossils being uncovered by coastal erosion, so much so that it’s a World Heritage Site. So grab a bucket and have a look around – you’re almost guaranteed to head home with a piece of history.
8. Old school country pubs – If you want a true slice of life in the South West then you’ve got to head to a proper country pub. Not a Spoons or a chain pub but an old school pub, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. You’ll find all manor of odd characters, walls chock a block with random clutter and a nice cold pint – proper job!
9. The Eden Project – One of the more prominant attractions in Cornwall is the Eden project. It’s easily described as a giant dome greenhouse – but it’s so much more than that! Walking through it is having a slice of Amazon rainforest or Sahara desert in the UK. They also put on some great gigs throughout the summer, attracting bands such as Jack Johnson and Muse.
10. For a roulette drive! – If you’ve got a lust for adventure and some time to kill then roulette driving around country lanes will lead you to some random and entertaining things. The concept is simple – drive to a random place and from then on at every junction flip a coin; heads you turn left, tails you turn right! Might be wise to keep a sat nav on hand just incase you get a bit stuck!