Adventures in Devon with Great Western Railway
Within the county of Devon, as well as operating mainline train services towards Cornwall and London, Great Western Railway operate several scenic railway lines. Radiating across the Devon countryside you can reach castles, boat rides, steam trains, family attractions and epic walks all by train.
The Devon Day Ranger ticket* provides the ultimate flexibility when exploring the county.
It gives 1 day of unlimited off-peak travel within Devon at a cost of £15 for an adult, and £7.50 for a child (5-15 years). Save a further 1/3 with a railcard, and children under 5 travel free.
We’ve picked out just some of the great fun things to do in Devon this Summer by train.
The 180-mile walking and cycling path in North Devon is a figure-of-eight loop, with Barnstaple at its centre. The northern loop takes travellers through small villages with thatched-roof cottages, over rugged Exmoor, and along to Ilfracombe and beyond. The southern loop goes via Okehampton, which you can reach by train from Exeter along the newly reopened Dartmoor Line and incorporates the UK’s longest continuous off-road cycle path.
Plymouth Waterfront Walkway
Taking this gentle route along the Plymouth waterfront is one of the best ways to discover the city’s rich history. Along this nine-mile section of the larger South West Coast Path, walkers can learn about some of the colourful characters associated with Plymouth, including Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Francis Drake and the popular painter Beryl Cook.
The Agatha Christie Mile
Discover the queen of crime’s favourite hangouts when she was a young woman living in Torquay. Follow the mile-long route and explore the cove where she bathed, her favoured roller-skating spot, and the Imperial Hotel, which featured in several of Christie’s novels.
Copyright: Rob Thomas
Exmouth Beach is a two-mile arc of golden sand south of the town centre. It’s a perfect spot for walking, playing in the sand and sampling the many water-sports on offer, including kayaking, windsurfing and paddle boarding. It’s also regarded as the gateway to the UNESCO Jurassic Coast World Heritage site, which continues east along the coast and into neighbouring Dorset.
Teignmouth Town Beach
This long sandy beach, with its Victorian promenade and pier, is a popular destination in the summer months, with holiday-makers coming in their droves to sample the traditional seaside holiday experience. There’s a playpark, crazy golf and ice cream huts, as well as plenty of cafes and fish and chip shops. Teignmouth itself makes for an excellent base, if you’re staying a while in the area, with Georgian buildings and art galleries and a nice high street for a touch of shopping.
Babbacombe Model Village
Babbacombe Model Village in Torquay spans an impressive four acres and is home to 426 miniature buildings, with an estimated population of over 13,000 tiny people. The models include railways, vehicles and well-known monuments and landmarks, incorporating a variety of different architectural styles, making for a fun day out with the family on the English Riviera.
Discover giraffes, cheetahs, crocodiles, red pandas, rhinos and loads more mesmerising wildlife at Paignton Zoo. It’s home to 2,000 animals across 80 acres and boasts botanical gardens that are home to plants from around the world, including the colossal titan arum. This is the ideal place to visit if you’re looking for outdoor activities with kids.
*The Devon Day Ranger is available from 09:00 (Monday to Fridays) and all day Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Terms apply. Visit https://www.gwr.com/your-tickets/choosing-your-ticket/rangers-and-rovers
Published July 2023.