Things to do in Devon
It’s home to Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse and Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles. It’s home to the Legio II Augusta, Shakespeare’s Second Folio and JK Rowling’s English Degree.
Overflowing in history, culture and literature, we’ve complied a list of the best things to do in Devon.
We’ve got your weekend planned out, whether you’re a fan of city livin’ or strive to be at one with nature. From famous film sets to historical phenomena like the Exon Domesday, Devon has a little something for everyone to do.
The Devon countryside was at the heart of Stephen Spielberg’s War Horse, and he claimed he’s never seen such natural beauty.
Dartmoor has always drawn a huge attraction from far and wide, it’s atmospheric beauty has stunned us for generations. It’s said to have inspired J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings, but more importantly, it’s the set of Hound of the Baskervilles.
If you’re a Sherlock fan, this one’s for you! Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock had an entire episode set in the backdrop of Dartmoor…surrounded by genetically engineered wolves. Arthur Conan Doyle based his story on an old Devon legend, and 117 years later it’s still in pop culture today.
We’re right in the heart of rural Cullompton, next to Diggerlakes and our own Diggerland campsite. The ultimate Digger Theme Park in Devon is so easy to get to, and we’ve made it even easier by giving you the opportunity to camp right next to us!
The only place where adults and children can ride and operate real diggers, and get a small glimpse into the world of construction. Operate a JCB 8065 and see if you can get to grips with it like a professional! Let the little one’s steer the wheel and beep the horn in their own little cart, on the Diggerland Train. The JCB Robots are an absolute blast to race around the course – throw in some healthy competition and you’ve got yourself hours of fun!
For more things to do in Devon, keep reading and see what’s going on at our campsite!
Historical sights to see in Devon
Exeter Cathedral has seen over 900 years of history! It’s original Saxon build was replaced by Norman architecture in 1107, and it took its final Gothic form in 1258. The West Screen is still as iconic today as it was in Medieval England. The screen is filled with stone carvings of Apostles, Kings, Prophets and a very out of place King Richard II!
Inside the Cathedral Library is a pretty impressive collection of Medieval, Anglo-Saxon and Renaissance literature. It’s a treasure trove for all history buffs.
20 years after William the Conqueror invaded Britain, he commissioned the beginning of the Domesday Book. An extensive record of everything he now owned in Britain after the invasion, including land, tax, livestock and materials.
Exon Domesday is the South-West’s own version from 1086. Somehow, this precious piece of history has been preserved and survived for over 900 years. It’s there for you to see in the heart of it’s homeland, to experience a slice of William the Conqueror’s terrifying Norman Reign!
Shakespeare’s Second Folio
Almost everyone has read one of Billy Shakespeare’s plays – but did you know you could buy the whole collection in 1632? The rights to Shakespeare’s plays belonged to different publishers all throughout London, but they decided to collaborate. Twice – for the first edition in 1623, and the Second in 1632.
The famous Second Folio in Exeter Cathedral is an original published by Robert Allot – he owned sixteen of the rights! From The Battle of Actium in Antony and Cleopatra to the Scottish Kings of Macbeth, the Folio has everything.
With 36 plays in total, the manuscript is a landmark for Renaissance Literature – it’s an absolute must see!
The Exeter Book
Another literary rarity is held at the Cathedral too – The Exeter Book. Written in 970, most probably by a Monk, it’s amazingly scripted entirely in Anglo-Saxon. It’s a rare Old English creative work, full of poems such as the famous Wulf and Eadwacer, prose and riddles.
This makes it one of only four of its kind in the world, and the oldest surviving work of Old English verse in the world! A rare piece of Medieval literature that you cannot pass up on!
Places to stay when you’re not ready to leave Devon
Devon has something for everyone to do. Something for those who can’t stand mud and dirt and those who want to pitch a tent on the stuff.
At Diggerland Devon we have our very own campsite, and it’s only a 2 minute walk away.
Take your tent, motorhome or campervan and stay in the stunning grounds of Verbeer Manor, and surround yourself with the picturesque Devon countryside.
Time away from technology is scarce nowadays, so get out there and find your rural side! Build a fire with the kids, roast some sausages and get the marshmallows toasting.
There’s even a special treat for avid anglers – Diggerlakes! If Carp fishing is your thing, come and see what’s swimming down in the Culm Valley. Catch a big one and you may even end up on Ben’s Catch of the Day Facebook page!
If you’ve decided to camp at Diggerland, there’s so many old cosy pubs nearby, with real ales and ciders. Visit The Pony and Trap or The Weary Traveller for a real pub lunch and a pint!
Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel
If you can’t think of anything worse than sleeping among the bugs and beetles – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
The Mercure Southgate Hotel is perfect for those who love to be in the middle of all the excitement. Right in the heart of Exeter and just a half hour drive to Diggerland Devon, everything is on your doorstep.
The perfect chance to tick some things off of our Historical To-Do List!
Being in the City centre, your classic Nandos and Wagamama are easy to find, but we’re all about supporting your local community! Try Circa 1924, an independant speakeasy style restaurant, only serving locally sourced ingredients.
Now this is luxury! Bovey Castle is a beautiful Grade II Listed building in the valleys of Dartmoor National Park – and it’s all yours to stay in.
With a Spa, 18-Hole golf course and a Boutique Shopping experience, it’s perfect for some down time away from the kids. As much we know you want to – please don’t leave them unsupervised, we’re not sure the staff would appreciate it.
If your Diggerland Devon visit is over and you still have one more sleep, Bovey Castle offers loads of family activities. Feed the deer of Dartmoor, collects chicken eggs or watch the Falcon display!
So there you have it! The perfect guide to Devon, we do hope you visit soon!