The 4th June is a significant day in Devon. Historically, it is the feast day of the much-venerated Saint Petroc; the Welsh prince who trained as a priest in Ireland and journeyed to Devon (Dewnans) and Cornwall (Kernow) in the 6th century to preach the Christian word.
The 4th June not only marks the life and times of Saint Petroc and his patronage of Devonshire (a relationship honoured by the county’s flag) but it’s also a celebration of the county itself.
Here are a few things we think deserve a special mention on ‘Devon Day’…
Beautiful Beaches and Sparkling Bays
Devon is contoured by two spectacular coastlines, both of which are blessed by golden sandy beaches, secret coves and crystal clear bays. The cliff paths and coastal trails that follow the county’s peninsulas are among the most cherished in the whole of the UK, defined by a series of stunning headlands and playing host to an abundance of rare and beautiful wildlife; from cirl buntings and peregrine falcons to bottlenose dolphins and basking sharks.
The Wilds of Dartmoor
Dartmoor is a huge expanse of upland spanning nearly 400 square miles and is famous for its iconic granite tors. This rugged and beautiful national park is also full of sweeping heathland, ancient woods and dashing riverways, and has been the inspiration for writers and artists for centuries as well as being home to the much-loved Dartmoor pony. These mysterious highlands are brimming with folklore and laden with myths, all adding to the enchanting nature of this truly breath-taking wilderness.
Rivers & Estuaries
The Devonshire landscape is sculpted by the county’s many rivers, valleys and estuaries which make for a stunning contrast to its rolling farmer’s fields and ancient woodlands. Many of Devon’s riverways arise on the hills of Dartmoor and meander through valleys towards the sea before widening into estuary beds to meet the brackish waters and the ebb and flow of the tide. The county’s rivers network supports an abundance of wildlife including rare species of wading bird, whilst providing an idyllic setting for countryside walks, and also, one or two pub gardens to be found along the way.
Market Towns & Fishing Villages
Follow the twists and turns of the pretty Devonshire lanes and you’ll discover some of the lovely rural communities that add so much character to this green and pleasant county. From the narrow, winding streets of its bustling market towns to the thatched cottages and rose gardens of its coastal villages, Devon’s rich history still resonates through its old harbours and slipways. Many of the county’s ‘old ways’ are kept alive by highly skilled artisans and generations of master craftsmen. From crab fishermen to hill farmers, Devon’s relationship with both land and sea remains as ardent as it ever was.
Coast and Countryside Walks
They say the best things in life are free, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to walks around Devon. Throughout the year the spectacular South West Coast Path captivates all those who follow its well-trodden paths, offering a series of breath-taking views and miles of outdoor adventure. Dartmoor remains one of the UK’s most beloved wildernesses and is a haven for both hardened ramblers and pleasure walkers alike. There’s no better way to discover this magnificent county than by putting your best foot forward.
A Haven for Watersports
Devon’s quiet creeks and sparkling bays make it one of the UK’s most appealing destinations for watersports enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to drop in on a gleaming roller or a quiet paddle on the river, the Devon coast and riverways offer up endless opportunities to enjoy the water. Many of the county’s beaches are patrolled by RNLI lifeguards during the summer season, and with expert instructors on hand to offer both coaching, equipment, and advice, there’s nothing stopping both you and the whole family enjoying an exhilarating time in the surf.
Traditional Pubs & Award-winning Restaurants
You cannot beat a good bit of Devonian hospitality, whether it be a traditional farmhouse cream tea (just make sure the jam goes on last), or a sumptuous sea food platter at one of the region’s gourmet restaurants. Many of the county’s chefs rely on quality produce grown or netted by local farmers and fishermen, championing the ‘homegrown’ ethos. Here in Devon, there are some gorgeous delicacies waiting to tickle your taste buds, anything from the famous South Hams chilli peppers to an award-winning splash of Salcombe Gin.
Family Attractions & Fun Days Out
Devon is one of the top destinations for UK holidays, so it goes without saying that there’s always plenty of opportunity to keep the whole family entertained…even on a rainy day. Zoos and amusement parks, National Trust houses and gardens, fascinating museums and guided tours, steam trains, boat trips, butterfly farms, model villages, outdoor adventure centres…just a few of the brilliant attractions from Devon’s very long list.
Fetes, Fairs & Festivals
Every year hundreds of events are laid on in towns and villages across Devon, anything from food and music festivals to sailing regattas and countryside fetes. Devon’s busy festival calendar reaches fever pitch during the summer months with gatherings and shindigs all over the county. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the local community, meet new friends and have a great time.
Have your fill of delightful Devon when you book a stay with Toad Hall Cottages