8. Go theatrical: Plymouth Theatre Royal, and its avante guarde side-arm The Drum have a well-deserved reputation of quality, but Devon is punctuated by performance arts venues. One that is especially worth a mention is the up-and-coming Bike Shed Theatre, which is not only home to some excellent new performances, but has an award-winning bar tender too. To find out more, exeunt stage left to the Devon Theatre site, hopefully not pursued by a bear.
9. Beach bonanza: Devon is remarkable in the UK because it has two separate sections of coastline. Add to this the nook and cranny changes along the coast and varied personalities of each beach and you have endless days of exploration ahead of you. Of course they are too numerous to mention, but for starters try the hidden beaches of Ness Cove in Shaldon, South Devon or Tunnels Beach near Ilfracombe. Then there’s Blackpool Sands, or Torrey Abbey Sands, Torquay, which, according to Bournemouth University, has the best sand for building sandcastles.
10. Letterboxing: If you want to spice up your Dartmoor experience, try a bit of letterboxing, and maybe join the 100 club. Letterboxing involves finding boxes hidden throughout Dartmoor which contain a visitors’ book and a rubber stamp. Take a stamp in a book or a postcard, sign the visitors’ book and away you go – if you can collect 100, you can join the 100 club, but there’s no formal structure, just see if you can find them on the more famous tors to start with. Simple, fun and great for kids! Find out more at the Letterboxing site
11. Get eating: Devon is home to some fabulous food. There’s fruit (pick your own at Shutefruit), even chilies (at the South Devon Chillie Farm), but where can you sample them all? Well, for us, there’s the Deli Shack at Tiverton Pannier Market (Iain of the Deli Shack is a regular contributor to the Devon Week)
12. Market towns: farmers markets have been becoming increasingly popular – Newton Abbot increased its farmers market from once to twice a week (Tuesday and Friday), with its market day remaining on Wednesday (which is also the town’s livestock market), but there are plenty of farmers markets to choose from for the hustle and bustle and the fine, locally produced food and drink. Find your nearest farmers’ market.
13. Walk this way: Making your way up the moors just to walk might seem like a bit of a trudge, but there are plenty of other walking experiences to enjoy, oftening combing history as well as nature for a full day of fun at footspeed. Here’s just three to get you started: The Templar Way, in Teignbridge; the Devon section of the South West Coastal Path; and the Tarka Trail in North Devon.
14. Myth-taken: as you might expect, Devon is filled with myths, legends and ghost stories, on Dartmoor there’s the sad tale of Jay’s Grave; Cuckoo Rock, where the piskies play; there’s a home to the piskie king on West Dartmoor, and there are the Hairy Hands near Two Bridges, and the Devil’s Carriage in the mystical Whistman’s Wood, to name but a few…