The gentle rolling countryside of Central Devon contains ancient villages and market towns surrounded by the three moorland areas of Exmoor, Dartmoor and Bodmin. Largely undiscovered, this area is where you’ll find a quintessential Devon scene of beautiful country cottages and village cafes and tearooms serving up delicious Devon Cream Teas. The northern central area of Devon is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offering a peaceful rural base within easy reach of the North Coast.
Beautiful border market towns with traditional Pannier Markets, ancient churches and charming centres dotted with a good choice of craft shops and old inns are great gateways into both Devon and Cornwall. Holsworthy on the Devon and Cornish border is just 8 miles from Bude, in a pretty rural Devon area known as Ruby Country packed with walking trails, agricultural showgrounds and best local produce including locally brewed real ales.
Activities, Heritage & Attractions
Other popular market towns include South Molton, a great gateway into Exmoor and onto the North Coast, with a fantastic range of attractions from a local honey bee farm to numerous year round events and rallies, plus a chocolate factory! This warm Devon interior is where you will find some of Devon’s most beautiful gardens like RHS Rosemoor near Holsworthy and Castle Hill Gardens in the South Molton area.
Popular walking trails in the area include the Tarka Trail, one of Devon’s top traffic free cycling trails. The Coast to Coast Trail also cuts through the region. As for outdoor pursuits, you’re spoilt for choice, with first class golf courses at Holsworthy, Torrington and Chumleigh, superb angling on the River Taw at Umberleigh in the Taw Valley and activities like horse riding easily accessed across the central region. Heritage is rich in Central Devon where you’ll find a host of villages and market towns dating back to the Saxon era – hence their old names ending in worthy (enclosure) and leigh (clearing). Great Torrington is famed as a Cavalier Town (it stood alone in the area on the side of the king in the English Civil War). Find out more on Torrington’s Civil War Town Trail and at the Torrington 1646 cafe.
Where to stay
The Central Devon area offers an outstanding choice of beautiful holiday cottages with stunning rural views. Many are Grade Listed with traditional features including a thatched roof, exposed beams and cosy woodburners. Luxury farm cottage and eco-lodge clusters are great for families featuring onsite games rooms, tennis, nature trails, fishing and swimming pools or stay in a pretty farmhouse B&B around Holsworthy with fishing available and delicious locally sourced Devon cooked breakfasts. Peace, quiet, fine food and fare are all assured in the variety of B&Bs and inns with rooms across this rural area, yet you are within an easy drive of the North Coast beaches and the surrounding moorland National Parks.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.