Visitors Guide- South devon houses, castles, gardens and National Trust properties.

South devon Places of Interest

South devon is great for vacations with so many interesting places to visit. Attractions include historic houses, castles, gardens, old villages and several National Trust properties. Along with the beautiful scenery, wonderful beaches and excellent accommodation these varied attractions will ensure a UK vacation to remember.

Okehampton Castle

Okehampton Castle - Okehampton
The ruins of the largest castle in Devon stand above a river surrounded by splendid woodland. There is still plenty to see, including the Norman motte and the jagged remains of the keep. There is a picnic area and lovely woodland walks. The aristocratic Courtenay family owned Okehampton for over 350 years, from 1172 to 1539. Their main residence was at Tiverton, north of Exeter. The family probably only visited Okehampton a few times a year for special occasions and to hunt.
Tel: 01837 52844
Open : April - Oct 10-6 (dusk in Oct)


Knighshayes Court

Knightshayes Court - Tiverton
Designed for the grandson of lace-making pioneer John Heathcoat, by William Burges in 1869, Knightshayes is a rare survival of his work. The rich interiors combine medieval romanticism with lavish Victorian decoration, giving an atmospheric insight into grand country house life. The celebrated garden features a water lily pool and topiary, fine specimen trees, rare shrubs and delightful seasonal colours. Attractive woodland walks lead through the grounds.
Tel: 01884 254665 -
Open: 27 March to 30 Sept: daily except Fri. Oct: daily except Thurs & Fri.
Fully licensed restaurant, tea room, shop and plant centre, disabled facilities.


Combe Martin

Arlington Court - Exeter
The plain exterior of this house, built in neo-classical style in 1822, does little to prepare the visitor for the astonishing rooms inside. Full of collections for every taste, many of them amassed by the eccentric and widely travelled Miss Rosalie Chichester, including displays of model ships, costume, pewter, shells and other fascinating objects. The Trust's large collection of horse-drawn carriages provide carriage rides in the grounds, starting at the house. Walks lead through attractive gardens into extensive parkland.
Tel: 01271 850296
Open: April - Oct: daily except Sat 11.00am - 5.30pm. Footpaths March - Nov.

Licensed restaurant


Finch Foundry Museum

Finch Foundry Museum - Okehampton
Harnessing the fast-flowing waters of the River Taw, 19th century Sticklepath became a village of water wheels providing power for a variety of mills and rural industries. Among these was the foundry run by the Finch family, which from 1814 to 1960 produced agricultural hand tools and tools for the tin and copper mines and china clay industry of Devon and Cornwall. In 1966 a trust was set up to preserve the foundry, and today its buildings and machinery, mill leat (watercourse) and launder (a wooden aqueduct used to wash out debris), have all been restored to working order.
Tel: 01837 840046
Open: April to Oct: daily except Tues 11 - 5.30


Lundy Island

Lundy Island
A unique and unspoilt island, undisturbed by cars and home to a fascinating array of wildlife amidst dramatic scenery. There is a small village with an inn and Victorian church, and nearby the 13th-century Marisco Castle keeps guard The Ms Oldenburg departs from Ilfracombe carrying daytrip and staying passengers to Lundy from March to November. November to March you can fly by helicopter to this unique destination for winter breaks.
Departures are Monday and Friday from Hartland Point. Tel 01271 863636  Email :

Torrington 1646
Civil War heritage centre, a unique new indoor/outdoor family attraction located at the heart of Great Torrington. The entrance is in South Street Car Park, a few steps from the wonderful panoramic view over the River Torridge valley.

At Torrington 1646 you will meet colourful 17th Century characters. Dressed in period costume and speaking and acting as though they were living in Great Torrington at the time of the civil war. They will guide you to safety through the streets of the town on the night of the 1646 battle. Afterwards they will show you around the physic garden with many herbs for cooking and healing, and in the Royalist encampment you can try your hand at some of the games they used to play, or perhaps try on some armour!
Tel: 01805 622373 Open: Daily from Easter

Dartington Crystal

Dartington Crystal - Torrington
Molten glass, red-hot from the furnace, is transformed into fragile goblets, vases, jugs and many other kinds of lead crystal glassware, under the gaze of visitors in the viewing galleries of Dartington Glass. It takes as many as 11 glassblowers to shape an intricate piece, but even the simplest tumbler requires the labours of a team of six under the supervision of a master blower. Visitors can see all stages of the process, then view and buy the finished glassware. The Glass Centre includes a video theatre, a re-creation of an 18th century glass-making workshop and displays on the history of glass.
Tel: 01805 626244
Open: Factory Tours -Mon-Fri 9.30-3.30 - Factory Shops and restaurant Mon - Sat 9.30 - 5.00 Sun10.30-4.00


Hartland Quay

Childhood home to Victorian author, Charles Kingsley, and the place which inspired him to write, The Water Babies. The village is the last of its kind in England - a small but ancient community which stems from a settlement which was old before the Domesday book was written. It is as a consequence a close-knit one, but its people are warm hearted and welcoming and know the importance of visitors in helping them preserve this precious place for the future. Discover for yourself the magic that attracts visitors from all over the world to this historic, unspoilt South devon village where quaint, flower-strewn cottages seem to tumble over one another down to the tiny 14th Century harbour below.
And to enhance the enjoyment of your visit, you will find the award winning Clovelly Centre, gift shops, picnic area, self service restaurant, Fisherman's Museum, Charles Kingsley Exhibition. The Clovelly Pottery and The Silk Shop are open seasonally

Lydford Gorge

Lydford George - Nr Okehampton
This famous gorge is 1½ml long and can be viewed from a circular walk, which starts high above the river and passes through attractive oakwoods before dropping down to the spectacular 30m-high White Lady waterfall. The path then proceeds along an enchanting riverside walk through the steeply sided ravine, scooped out by the River Lyd as it plunges into a series of whirlpools, including the thrilling Devil's Cauldron. Note: The walk is arduous in places; visitors should wear stout footwear. Unsuitable for visitors with heart complaints or walking difficulties.
Tel: 01822 820441
Open: April - Sept: 10--5.30; Oct: 10-4; Nov to March 10.30-3. (waterfall only)
Picnic area, shop and tea-room

Glen Lyn Gorge

Glen Lyn Gorge - Lynmouth
Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, you should not miss a visit to this spectacular gorge, through which poured the waters of the 1952 Lymouth Flood Disaster. There are lovely woodland walks by the waterfalls and well made paths climb this beautiful unspoilt valley. Ideal spot to bring a picnic and sit beside the river. Also Power of Water exhibition showing how some of the water from West Lyn River now produces environmemtally friendly hydro-electricity. Children can operate the giant waterwheels and water cannons. Collections of steam engines and water operated models
Tel: Tel 01598 753207 
Glen Lyn Gorge is open all year. Power of Water Exhibition - Easter to October

Hartland Quay

Castle Drogo - Nr Okehampton
This granite castle, built between 1910 and 1930 for the self-made millionaire Julius Drewe, is one of the most remarkable works of Sir Edwin Lutyens. Perched on a moorland spur above the River Teign, it commands spectacular views of Dartmoor. The interior is designed for comfortable and elegant living, with an interesting kitchen and scullery, and elaborately appointed bathrooms. There is a delightful formal garden with roses and herbaceous borders, spring flowers, and many fine walks in the estate.

Tel: 01647 433306
Open: 27 March to 31 Oct: daily except Fri 11--5.30. Garden: all year: daily 10.30 to dusk. Shop & plant centre

South Devon Tourist Information Queen Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4