9 Unmissable South Devon Towns


Devon as a county is famous for lots of lovely things, including (but not limited to) the cream tea, the Jack Russell and Plymouth Gin. But these things aside, one major draw for holidaymakers has to be the gorgeous scenery, where visitors can enjoy beautiful beaches, quaint villages and striking countryside.

If you’re in search of a UK break and want to explore some of what south Devon has to offer, we’re here to help. We know the area like the back of our hand and love helping our guests discover many a quintessential South Devon town or village.

So, here’s a roundup of some of our favourites for your holiday-planning pleasure.


If you’re planning to explore Dartmoor National Park (which we highly recommend!), Lustleigh is worth a stop. There’s a traditional thatched pub, tea rooms (to get your hands on one of those famous cream teas) and a local shop to peruse. Although there’s not loads to physically do here, if you like a relaxed and charming atmosphere with plenty of pretty scenery to take in, it’s one to seriously consider.


Located just inland fairly close to Torquay, Cockington is like taking a step back in time with its gorgeous stone thatched cottages. As you soak up the history (some of the buildings date back to the 16th century), you can grab a cream tea, take a picturesque walk amongst medieval carp lakes and water meadows before exploring the gift shops manor house.

Thatched cottages at Cockington
Credit: Visit Devon


Nestled in nicely next to the River Dart, Dittisham is a true picture postcard South Devon town. Colourful bobbing fishing boats meet characterful cottages and plush greenery, so it’s no wonder this is a popular spot especially during the summer months. Go crabbing at the pontoon, indulge in a traditional pub lunch, hop in a kayak or wander the quayside, the choice is yours. One thing’s guaranteed – gorgeous vistas from every angle!


As part of the Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage site, Beer is another must-visit if you’re looking into South Devon towns. It’s known for its fabulous walks as it’s on the edge of the South West Coast Path, and its shingle beach and caves are certainly worth exploring too. The town has a wonderful fishing heritage so if you love seafood you’ll be impressed with the offerings at the local cafes and restaurants.

Credit: Visit Devon


Following a similar theme to that of Lustleigh, Dunsford is a beautiful, quaint South Devon village, known for its nature reserves, where you can wander amongst striking daffodil woods and follow the River Teign, crossing the 19th century Steps Bridge. This is the ideal location for walking, and if you’re feeling a little more energetic, make your way up to the hilltop church for unrivalled views across the rolling Devon hills.


A place where sweeping countryside melts into the Teign Estuary, Shaldon is a gem for those in search of unspoilt villages to visit in South Devon. The sandy beach is geared up for families as it’s safe for swimming, great for water sports and you can even go in search of ocean critters with some rock pooling when the tide’s out. Other activities include the Shaldon Wildlife Trust Zoo, Shaldon Approach golf course and the South West Coast Path.

Shaldon Beach
Credit: Visit Devon


Located next to the River Avon and the coast, it’s perhaps no surprise that Bantham is home to a wonderful South Devon beach, ready for a bucket and spade, sea swimming, surfing and lazing on the sand. The beach also holds a sought-after Blue Flag, so you know it’s a good one. The beach is the main draw for visitors, however the town itself has a lovely quay, and is close to the South West Coast Path for lots of memorable walking opportunities.

Bovey Tracey

Bovey Tracey is a South Devon town located just on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. If you love to watch the world go by with a coffee, or sample local cuisine, there are ample opportunities to do so in this charming town. There are also lots of independent retailers to peruse and you can buy local produce from the many farm shops, butchers and delicatessens. If the sleepy villages are not quite for you and you need a little more to do, Bovey Tracey is a great place to start.

Bovey Tracey
Credit: Visit Devon


We couldn’t write a post about South Devon towns and not include our neighbour. Dawlish is a beautiful seaside town, with a sandy beach, bird watching opportunities, shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can bring your bike and cycle the Exe Estuary Trail, or pick up the South West Coast Path for a picturesque morning walk. You can also visit the Brook that runs through the town and see the unique black swans.


If you’re looking for a base to explore the wonderful sights that South Devon has to offer, why not choose to stay with award-winning Cofton Holidays? We offer everything from tent and caravan pitches through to static caravans, luxury lodges, cottages and apartments. Much of our accommodation is also dog friendly so your four-legged friends can come along too. One thing’s for sure – you’re guaranteed a memorable holiday in Devon with us.

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