Two hours and eight minutes is the time it takes to swap the fast-pace of central London for the tranquility of East Devon. With miles of spectacular coastline and countryside, East Devon has beaches, UNESCO Heritage Sites, two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a food lovers destination.
East Devon is uniquely placed with prized food treasures to discover across the region. It’s one of the only counties that has access to the best fresh seafood from the coast; its own native Ruby Red Devon Cattle; unique topography and climates that enable sheep farming to thrive; ancient, traditional orchards and beautiful coastal fields providing the perfect positioning for heritage vineyards. East Devon has been home to, and inspired generations of farmers and artisan producers for centuries and remains the perfect destination for all food lovers.
What to do
For the perfect antidote to city life, visit for Taste East Devon during the 3rd – 18th September. This 16-day multi-location food and drink celebration is founded by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Darts Farm, THE PIG at Combe, Michael Caines MBE, Otter Brewery, Deer Park Country House, the Donkey Sanctuary, Mazzard Farm and Jack in the Green.
The food festival is packed full of events from farm feasts to seaweed foraging, brewery open days to flour milling, seafood tasting experiences to BBQs, parties and bike rides down the stunning Exe Estuary; it’s a unique festival not to be missed. The programme of events is available to view at www.tasteeastdevon.co.uk
Whether you’re travelling on your own, with a partner or having a family road trip, here’s our guide to help you discover the world-class food and drink, reconnect with nature and experience the beautiful landscapes the region is famous for:
How to get there
Planes, trains and automobiles serve East Devon for very easy access. A direct train from London Paddington to Exeter Central can take 2 hours and 8 minutes. The direct drive from the capital to Exeter (197 miles) should have a drive time of just over three hours in normal traffic. There’s also Exeter Airport, which is served by Skybus routes from across the UK.
Trains serve much of the region, with the East Devon line connecting Exeter to Axminster along the Jurassic Coast, and the Avocet Line snaking along the breathtaking River Exe coastline from Topsham to Exmouth.
The cycle network offers a range of dedicated paths that range in complexity. There are plenty of places to rent a bike in East Devon, while on-demand electric bike points are readily available in Exeter and Topsham. www.co-bikes.co.uk.
Five bus services operate along the Jurassic Coast, allowing you to absorb the dramatic scenery as you travel. The Jurassic Coaster is ideal if you’re planning on walking a section of the South West Coast Path. The Sidmouth Hopper is a circular route from Sidmouth to Salcombe Regis with the Donkey Sanctuary en route. Stagecoach allows you to buy a discounted bundle of single or day tickets which can be used over a number of weeks. Perfect for a flexible hop on and off option if you’re looking to hike across the countryside.
Eco places to stay
When you’re in East Devon you’re only ever 30 minutes from the coast. For those who love to travel and are environmentally conscious, take a look at the array of eco-friendly places to stay in and around East Devon. Every aspect is covered from country cottages to seaside hotels found on the website Here.
Mazzard Farm – A variety of delightful cottages surrounded by 17 acres of private woodland, orchards, gardens and fields, Mazzard Farm is a haven of peace and tranquility. They look to preserve the countryside from biomass heating boilers to solar panels which has been recognised in their Gold Sustainable Tourism Award.
The Granary, Larkbeare Grange – Bursting with incredible views, this self-catering eco-escape is a hidden gem. Their biomass boiler provides underfloor heating and hot water, while energy is generated from their solar array. They shop locally, use eco-friendly products and plant trees to offset carbon emissions.
THE PIG-at Combe – This charming manor house is your home from home in the countryside. Adventure-seekers, countryside hikers, equestrians and those seeking an oasis to punctuate busy city life with something delicious close to hand, will find THE PIG kitted out for every whim or desire. Don’t forget to explore the kitchen garden, enjoy the 25-mile radius menu and discover the vast cocktail list.
Michael Caines’ flagship hotel, Lympstone Manor, offers the ultimate glamping from its coastal location along the River Exe – Shepherd’s Huts with all the luxuries you can imagine. Complete with a king size bed, rolltop golden bathtub at the foot of the bed, outdoor fire pit, Hikki wood-fired tub. There’s a little private beach at the bottom of Lympstone Manor, a vineyard to explore and the most beautiful gardens to roam.