In Active

South Devon is home to miles of footpaths, bridleways and cycle routes as well as coastlines, countryside and rivers, making it the ideal location for an active holiday.

And with oodles of active sports and adventures on offer throughout the county, South Devon is the ideal playground for anyone looking for a holiday that involves getting wet or staying dry, using two feet or two wheels.


With a staggeringly beautiful coastline, South Devon is the perfect destination for a watersports holiday. 

If you fancy trying your hand at a spot of kayaking or canoeing you’ll find a number of companies offering guided day trips along the coastline and river valleys. Sea Kayak Devon will take you on an exciting trip of the Dart Estuary and surrounding coastline, but if you’re looking for a relaxing evening camping trip and sunset paddle join Winding River Canoe as they explore further up the River Dart. For a family fun day out or group trip then join Canoe Adventures on a trip down the River Dart to Dartmouth in a 12 seater canoe.

At the mouth of the River Teign, on the picturesque Teignmouth Back Beach, SeaSports Southwest can help you enjoy wide range of watersports including sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, power boating, personal watercraft (Jet Ski) and ocean rowing. If you would rather feel the wind in your hair as you enjoy a sightseeing trip along the coast line near Teignmouth join Devon Sea Safari in their RIB ‘Whistler’.

On the beautiful Exe Estuary, EXE Adventures offers the chance to canoe, kayak or even try stand up paddleboarding surrounded by some of South Devon’s best scenery and wildlife watching spots.


If you have a head for heights and fancy trying your hand at a spot of climbing whilst you’re on your holidays, South Devon is home to various purpose-built indoor climbing centres. If you’re in or near the city of Plymouth check out the walls and challenges Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth has to offer. Further north in Devon, you’ll find the city of Exeter where Quay Climbing Centre is waiting to meet all of your climbing needs.

As well as indoor walls South Devon can offer the chance to climb in the great outdoor with a couple of sites offering incredible high rope adventures. At Go Ape in Haldon Forest you can swing through the trees and whizz down zip wires, or have a go at the tree top adventure at River Dart Country Park on the edges of Dartmoor National Park and test your nerve and confidence high above the forest floor.  

Hiking & Walking

Wherever you stay in Devon you won’t be far from a footpath, walking or hiking route. With no specialist equipment needed and miles of paths to choose from this is a great outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by all.

To the east of the county running close to the coast, you’ll find the East Devon Way which links Exmouth to Lyme Regis by footpaths, bridleways and quiet country lanes. Slightly further north the footpaths and recreational waterways of the Grand Western Canal, which starts in Tiverton, meander for 11 miles towards the Somerset border.   

For a coastal walk and the chance to explore two popular South Devon towns, you could follow the South West Coast Path from the traditional seaside town of Teignmouth to the bustling harbour at Torquay.

Once you reach Torbay or if you’re staying nearby, join the John Musgrave Heritage Trail, starting in Maidencombe, this 35 mile walking trail which can be broken down into shorter sections, passes through striking countryside between Torquay, Totnes and Brixham

If shorter routes exploring town centres and the local area is more your thing, then take on the challenge of a Treasure Trail. These self guided tours are a fun and imaginative way to discover the towns of Devon whilst you solve sneaky clues.


Nestled between Exeter and Dartmoor National Park is Haldon Forest Park, covering 3,500 acres of woodland the forest is a haven for adventure lovers. Throughout the trees you’ll find 5 cycling trails, which suit all abilities, from the Discovery Trail to the Ridge Ride Trail with its tight corners and lively descents.

As well as cycling a whole host of other activities can be enjoyed at Haldon Forest, among the trees you can enjoy Nordic walking and horse riding or even take a tour on a Segway.

For a flat, mostly traffic free route linking coast, countryside and city with stunning views head to the Exe Estuary Trail. This cycle and walking route links Exmouth with Dawlish Warren via the city of Exeter. Located on Exeter Quay, half way long the route, Saddles and Paddles offers hire of both bikes and kayaks, with its shops and restaurants nearby it’s the perfect place to start a trip along the Exe Estuary by either land or water.  


Come rain or shine, in the summer or winter months swimming is a fun, active, family friendly activity that can be enjoyed by all. So whether you just want somewhere to splash about and have fun, or are looking for somewhere for your regular weekly exercise South Devon has a swimming pool close by.

During the summer months pay a visit to Teignmouth Lido for some outdoors swimming fun close to Teignmouth beach and seafront. If inside pools are more your thing head to Dawlish Leisure Centre or Newton Abbot Leisure Centre, both offer 25 metre pools. At Torbay Leisure Centre you can take the plunge into a 33.3 metre pool. As well as swimming pools South Devon’s leisure centres offer a range of activities from gyms to badminton and squash courts. 

As well as the above pools and leisure clubs, many accommodation providers have pools located on site, making them perfect for a quick dip between activities. Finlake Fitness at Finlake Holiday Park near Chudleigh boasts a 12 metre pool, slides and children’s areas in a brand new complex. If you’re looking to stay in East Devon, then Ladram Bay Swimming Complex at Ladram Bay Holiday Park features a large pool with interactive splash zone for the family. For a more relaxed swimming session take a dive in to the pool at Aztec Spa in the TLH Carlton Hotel, Torquay, where you can bathe in their Aztec themed pool.

But if you want to really get your heart racing, the 8 adrenalin-pumping slides and rides at Splashdown Quaywest in Paignton will do just the trick.   


A slightly more relaxing active activity in South Devon could see you strolling down fairways and testing out your putting skills at one of the regions many golf courses. If you’re staying on Dartmoor, head to Bovey Castle Golf Course and hit a round on their championship golf course.

On the edge of Newton Abbot, Dainton Park is home to an 18 hole, 6,400yd, par 71, parkland golf course set in 125 acres of parkland, with multiple water features and sculpted bunkers. For a great golfing day out near to Exeter, pay a visit to Woodbury Park Golf Club, this world class golf course has a 9 hole Acorn Course and 18 hole championship course. Or if you’re looking for a more relaxed game head to Shaldon Approach Golf, this 18 hole approach course offers stunning views of Teignmouth and the Teign Estuary.

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