The county of Devon is packed with culture and is a great destination for an interesting and fascinating break.

The region of South Devon has two fantastic cities which are crammed with art and culture for you to discover during your stay. But it’s not just our cities which are great for cultural visits, throughout the towns and villages of South Devon there are galleries and museums which are full of exciting exhibitions and displays charting the region’s history.  

Museums

With coastal and countryside communities, and landscapes which have been shaped by millions of years of the earth history, the whole of South Devon has a fascinating and wonderful past. This captivating history can be discovered in the fabulous museums which can be found throughout the region.   

The Teign Heritage, Teignmouth and Shaldon Museum in Teignmouth lets you uncover the areas maritime roots from mysterious shipwrecks and navel heroes. Whilst Seaton Jurassic takes you on a journey back in time to 200 million years ago, when prehistoric creatures ruled the land along the Jurassic Coast.

On Exeter’s historic quay the Custom House Visitor Centre, which was built in 1680 is a fascinating visitor centre and the meeting point for Exeter Red Coat Guided Tours.

If you would rather explore the regions more recent past the Teignbridge War Memorial Heritage Trail guides you around the areas war memorials.

There are also a number of English Heritage and National Trust properties located throughout South Devon including the English Heritage managed Dartmouth Castle, Bayards Cove Fort, Berry Pomeroy Castle and Totnes Castle and the National Trust’s owned Greenway House, Coleton Fisharce, Compton Castle and Bradley Manor.  

Above are just some of the museums and historical attractions which South Devon has to offer, but you’ll find an intriguing museum or fascinating historical building in all of South Devon’s marvellous villages and towns.

Galleries

A great place to get a feel of the local cultural scene is in the many art galleries and craft centres which can be found throughout the region.

In Bovey Tracey, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, you can find two great cultural destinations. The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, located in a Grade II listed mill, regularly hosts changing exhibitions of local craft and artwork, the Guild is also a leading charity for craft education. A short distance away from The Devon Guild of Craftsmen you’ll find the House of Marbles; a shop, working glassworks and museum based on the site of a historic pottery. Here you can watch the glassmakers at work and purchase the beautiful creations.  

In the countryside town of Honiton, The Thelma Hulbert Gallery is an award winning public art gallery which hosts a programme of contemporary arts and craft exhibitions as well as community workshops.

There are many towns in South Devon where you’ll be able to while away a morning or afternoon browsing art galleries and discovering artworks which have been inspired by the stunning South Devon coast and countryside. Dartmouth, Salcombe, Sidmouth and Totnes are just a few, but in every town and many of the regions villages you’re sure to find at least one art gallery, exhibiting and selling creations by local artists and craftspeople.

City Breaks

Devon is lucky to have two cosmopolitan cities which offer everything you could wish for in a city destination but with very different environments.   

Exeter

Rich in history, the cathedral city of Exeter lies in the heart of South Devon and is surrounded by rolling South Devon countryside. The city is a vibrant hub of entertainment and great shopping; there is a diverse cultural scene with theatres, shows, museums and art installations surrounded by more than 2,000 years of history dating back to the Romans.

Plymouth

Known as the Ocean City, Plymouth’s waterfront hugs the coastline and the banks of the River Tamar providing a fantastic location and backdrop for a great range of events. The bustling city centre, lively night life and fascinating maritime history offer a wealth of cultural experiences. The city is also a key location in the 2020 commemoration of the 400 year anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower on their journey to America.    

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