Devon is the third largest county in England with nearly 7, 000 sq. kilometres of land. There is a wide diversity of things to see and do in this beautiful county. Devon boasts the two national Parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor both are excellent for bird watching, cycling, climbing, casual waking or more serious rambling to sightseeing.. Footpaths are marked to give a variety of walking options including the 'Two Moor way' a 100 mile route that links the National Parks. Dartmoor to the south is rich in natural and man made beauty, heather clad hills, granite tors, fast flowing rivers and ancient clapper bridges. Exmoor to the north is justifiably famous for its heather moorlands and beautiful rugged coastline.
Devon has hundreds of beaches ranging from coves and inlets to fishing harbours and all action seaside resorts like the English Riviera of Torquay, The Jurassic coast of East Devon and Dorset has now joined the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef and been granted World Heritage Site status.
Devon has many famous 'sons'. Sir Walter Raleigh was born near Yettington in 1552 and the Raleigh family pew can still be seen in Yettington parish church. Sir John Everett Millais picture 'The Boyhood of Raleigh' was painted on Budleigh Salterton's beach.
Henry Williamson the novelist returned to Devon after the First World War and resucued an orphaned otter cub that he named Tarka. This relationship was the basis for his famous novel 'Tarka the Otter'. Today the land between the River Torridge and Taw are known as 'Tarka country' and a 'Tarka Trail' opened by the Prince of Wales in May 1992 covers many of the villages covered in Williamson's book.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based his book' The Hound of the Baskervilles' on the bleak moorland of Dartmoor. His inspiration for the story is said to have come from the stories related to him about the moors by his guide Harry Baskerville.
Dame Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890. Today the famous crime writer is celebrated with a special exhibition at Torre Abbey in the Agatha Christie Memorial room. Her typewriter and many items of personal memorabilia have been donated by her daughter.
The Pilgrim Fathers left to start a new life in the 'New World' of America from the Mayflower Steps at Plymouth and Francis Drake is remembered for famously finishing his game of bowls before setting sail on the Golden Hinde to beat the Spanish Armada
Devon is a unique county with its own special charm which brings visitors back year after year.