The reason why the counties of Devon and Cornwall are so popular with tourists.

The reason why the counties of Devon and Cornwall are so popular with tourists

The counties of Devon and Cornwall have a history of being popular with tourists because the South West peninsula is the most Southern part of the UK. It’s the nearest that we have to a Mediterranean climate. Also, Devon and Cornwall have a plethora of sandy beaches in hidden coves, waiting to be discovered by tourists.

Both the counties of Devon and Cornwall have a selection of good quality sandy beaches. Some of them stretch for miles, for example Woolacombe and Saunton Sands on the North Devon coast. 

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Beyond the huge selection of places to visit, when people come to Devon and Cornwall, some people get a sense that they have left the country without actually leaving it. There is such a choice of places to visit, it’s not possible to see all it in one visit.

When tourists opt for a stay-cation, many tourists gravitate towards the Devon and Cornwall region. One visit is enough to give them an appetite to come back again. This is probably the main reason why Devon and Cornwall is so popular with tourists.

It isn’t just people living in the UK. There’s been a noticeable rise in the number of tourists from overseas visiting the Devon and Cornwall region.

One of the main crowd pullers that’s supremely popular with tourists is the quality of surfing beaches that we have in both Devon and Cornwall. There are some lively Atlantic waves which roll in to both the North Devon and North Cornwall coast, which are popular with both amateurs and professional, competitive, surfers from all over the world.

There are some beaches on the North Devon coast which provide favourable conditions for surfing, for example Woolacombe Beach, Saunton Sands and Croyde Beach but the most popular beaches with surfing tourists appear to be on the North coast of Cornwall.

In good conditions, you can expect to see waves that swell up to 8-ft in places like Newquay at the popular and world-famous Fistral Beach. There is also the Gwithian beach near Hayle. Gwithian is popular with surfing tourists because there’s a lot more room for creative people who descend on the beaches to go surfing.

The length of beach at Gwithian seems to provide waves that vary in height along the length of the beach. Some people say that this particular beach is rather more exposed to strong winds. This seems to go down well with windsurfers.

Other beaches that are popular with surfers include Perranporth Beach, Bude and St Ives.

Devon and Cornwall is almost like an island

The two counties of Devon and Cornwall have a bit of an advantage over most other parts of the UK in that, being a peninsula, there is a very long coastline. Devon and Cornwall is almost like an island. Because there is so much accessibility to the sea from the many small harbours dotted around the extensive coastline, it should come as no surprise that the region is popular with yachtsmen.

You can float a boat around Devon and Cornwall

One such small Harbour, to be found on the south coast of Devon, is that of Salcombe. Here, there is something for those you have experience in sailing small boats and opportunities for those who have no experience whatsoever.

At Salcombe you can learn to sail. There are facilities that provide private sailing lessons. The boats you learn to sail are modest sized dinghies but it’s an ideal way to learn how to manage a sailing boat.

For the more experienced you can hire what’s known as a Salcombe yawl. These are a wooden construction and a bit bigger than a dinghy. They carry up to 8 people and you can hire them for the day. The day being 24-hours. The suppliers of this hire service suggest that this type of boat is ideal for sailing up the creeks in the evenings to visit pubs. However, it should be mentioned that you need to be careful how much you drink because there may be trouble if you’re caught over the limit when sailing a boat.

Coastal paths of Devon and Cornwall

Another attraction that’s popular with tourists who venture to visit the counties of Devon and Cornwall, is to be able to walk along the stunning coastal footpaths that we have.

As part of England’s national footpath, Devon and Cornwall makes up a significant part of the award-winning south West Coast Path. The complete path network comes to around 630 miles of coastal paths around the south West Peninsula. This would include Somerset and Dorset.

If you want to indulge in the full experience of walking the entire path, you can begin by starting at the coastal town of Minehead in Somerset and head West. This part of the walk includes the coastline that is part of Exmoor.

This will take you to the coastal path that runs along the North Devon Coast. You will eventually find your way to the North Cornwall coast. The path around the coast of Cornwall is particularly interesting because you will keep going west until you reach Land’s End, then you will head East along the south coast of Cornwall and, eventually, come back into Devon.

If you’ve been adventurous enough to make the journey all the way down around Cornwall and back into Devon, you may as well complete the set  and continue the walk along the South Devon coast into Dorset where the Southwest coastal path ends at Poole Harbour.

Dartmoor is popular with tourists

If you venture into Devon, at all, you will find it difficult to avoid Dartmoor. This is a huge expanse of moorland which extends to 368 square miles. There are about 33000 people who can say that they live within the boundaries of Dartmoor.

The long walks across this wilderness is very popular with tourists. Annually there are approximately 7 million visits from tourists. Of the many attractions that Dartmoor has, there are the tors of Dartmoor. These are outcrops of granite rock which can be found at high points across the moor.

There is the annual ‘10 tor’ challenge which is a test for competitors who have to walk a distance of some 30 miles, taking in a visit to each of these tors.

There are many other tors on Dartmoor apart from the ten tors involved in the challenge. There are, apparently, a total of 365 tors on Dartmoor. For the keen walker, you could say that there is a tor for each day of the year.

Cornwall has Bodmin Moor

Not to be left out, Cornwall also has a moor. This is Bodmin moor. This is very similar to Dartmoor, in Devon but much smaller. It covers 80 square miles. Both Dartmoor in Devon and Bodmin moor in Cornwall are based on solid granite stone.

If you take a journey from Devon into Cornwall and keep going west on the A30, you won’t be able to avoid Bodmin moor because you will go straight through the middle of it. This is a heather-covered moorland which has been designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Bodmin Moor is popular with people who live in Cornwall and is a natural draw for tourists who visit the South West peninsula. Just like Dartmoor, there are Tors to seek out and walk to. There are other features which have become popular with tourists including a couple of lakes and Cheesewring Quarry, where people go for walks and, appears to be deemed safe for climbing.

Devon has the ‘English Riviera’

It was the Victorians who gave the Torbay area the name English Riviera. It was very popular with tourists at that time and they appreciated the similarities to the French Riviera. Before all this happened, the warm climate of South Devon, and in particular, Torbay, was already a popular part of Devon amongst those who knew about it.

With its palm trees and generally warm climate the English Riviera of Torbay remains one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country. There are a range of award-winning hotels that will fit most budgets and there is a range of bed and breakfast facilities as well.

Cornwall has the Poldark factor

Throughout Cornwall there were at least 20 filming locations which were ideal for presenting the Poldark story. Among the places where filming took place was the port of Charleston near the town of St Austell. Other locations included Bodmin moor where filmed shots could include old granite stone cottages which fitted in with the period.

There are many parts of Cornwall that have become popular as a result of the Poldark series. Tourists are offered the chance to be taken on one-day guided-excursions, to visit many of the locations where filming took place.

You can even stay for a couple of days at a recreated ‘Nampara’ cottage from where you will have a chance to visit other parts of Cornwall.

Visit the Eden project in Cornwall

Tucked away in a disused clay quarry, there is the ‘Eden Project’. This is a botanical garden like no other in the country. If you can manage a trip to Devon and Cornwall you must try and get the ‘Eden Project’ onto your agenda.

The ‘Eden Project’ site has also found fame in the film world. In 2002 the bio-domes were used as the set for part of a ’James Bond’ film.

The Eden domes have been labelled as the eighth wonder of the world. Another reason why this part of Cornwall is popular with tourists from all over the world.

Images sources: Devon landscape

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