From a very rare surviving monastery, to grand country houses with spectacular gardens and days out on a steam train South Devon will open up a world of heritage and culture for everyone.


Get a chance to see how knights used to live by exploring a castle.  South Devon has a number of fortresses and castles where you can explore the ruins and examine the defences. Some examples are Totnes Castle, Dartmouth Castle and Berry Pomeroy Castle near Totnes.

Country Houses and Abbeys

South Devon has some beautiful Country Houses which are open to the public, so you can take time exploring the history or wonder through the grounds. An entertaining guided tour through secret doors and across haunted landings is available at Powderham Castle. There is also plenty to keep the kids amused including a nature trail, arts and crafts and a deer park.
Dartington Hall offers you a chance to explore its Grade 2 listed gardens which lay at the heart of over 1,000 acres of woodland trails. While you are there don’t forget to visit their cinema, browse in a wide range of shops or relax in the restaurant.   
At Buckfast Abbey visitors can see the great Abbey church with its many art treasures, rebuilt on its medieval foundations by the monks themselves. As well as the Abbey church, there are the grounds, which are open throughout the year and also 3 unusual shops selling Abbey products.


If you like your historical attractions to come with added steam there’s plenty to choose from. There are two working heritage lines operating within South Devon running trains daily throughout the summer months. The South Devon Railway runs from Buckfastleigh to Totnes and the line passes through some of Devon’s most beautiful countryside, hugging the River Dart along almost all of its length.
The Dartmouth Steam railway and River Boat Company runs from Paignton to Kingswear, just across the river from Dartmouth, passing along the spectacular Geopark coastline and through the glorious, wooded slopes along the Dart estuary.

Museum and Heritage centres

If it’s a more informative experience you are after South Devon has many museums and heritage centres allowing you to learn while you enjoy your day out. Enjoy a guided tour of Britannia Royal Naval College and get an insight into the history of the Royal Navy, the College and its present day role delivering training for today’s young Officers serving in the modern fleet.
In Teignmouth stop by the Teign Heritage Centre which contains a range of interesting exhibits in two wonderful new permanent galleries. While you are there visit the Teignmouth and Shaldon Museum and discover the fascinating history of the area, from a mysterious shipwreck and the amazing story of naval hero Admiral Pellew to local band Muse.

Click here to see all the historical attractions that South Devon has to offer.




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