Budget Holiday in South Devon

After the few years that we’ve had we think that everyone deserves to have a nice holiday, and one that doesn’t have to break the bank! South Devon can cater for all types of budgets, from those looking for luxurious getaways to others who simply want a short break that costs as little as possible. Here’s how you can have a low-cost holiday in South Devon. 


If you’re after a low-cost accommodation, camping is typically the cheapest option. If you own a caravan, many holiday parks and campsites have the means to provide you with water and electricity to enjoy your holiday with similar comforts that you’re used to at home. If you’re happy to embrace the great outdoors a bit more, camping in a tent and sleeping under the stars can be a truly memorable experience.  

 We’re lucky enough to boast one of the only places that you can legally and freely wild camp in the UK, and it just so happens to be one of the most beautiful parts of the region; Dartmoor National Park. Prior to January 2023 it was legal to wild camp almost anywhere on Dartmoor, but due to new legislations, only some landowners have granted permission to allow the public to camp, providing you follow the code of conduct and leave no trace. You can find out more about wild camping on Dartmoor here.  

If you’re travelling as part of a larger group, renting a large, self-catered home can also save you money compared to staying in a hotel. Often these homes will contain kitchen and cooking facilities so you can make breakfast, lunch and dinner at your accommodation and choose to eat out just a handful of times whilst you’re away. You still have the option of trying some of our wonderful food and drink producers in your home away from home by picking up these goods at local farm shops, delis, butchers and greengrocers.  

If hotels or B&B's are much more your vibe and you’re flexible with when you go such as being able to visit mid-week and during off-peak times (i.e. not during the school holidays), you can often find great deals for hotels, even boutique ones!  

We often have special deals and discounts for visitors so check out our special offers page here.  


The best way to save money is to book your travel in advance. Many trains and coaches can offer cheap tickets to Exeter and Plymouth from a wide range of locations in the UK. Embarking on a car-free holiday can not only save you money, but it’s also more environmentally friendly too – double win! 

Travelling via Train is quite the spectacle once you enter Devon, it’s argued that we boast some of the most scenic railway lines in the UK. Bright green hills, sheep aplenty, quaint towns and the stunning coastline can be seen from the train, just try to find yourself a window seat, sit back and bask in the beautiful landscape. If you do decide to travel by train, take a look at the various split ticketing apps and websites. You might be able to find yourself a cheaper deal if you split your tickets, and they do all the leg work for you, so you don’t have to try and scout out the cheapest prices yourself.  

Coach travel can often be the cheapest way to travel in the UK, however the journeys are typically a lot longer than trains. These days most coaches have free Wi-Fi so you’re able to watch a film on your phone or listen to a podcast if you don’t mind the wait. You can also lose yourself in a good book, or perhaps start planning what you’ll do once you touch base in South Devon. 

Find out more about car-free travel in South Devon here.

Things to do 

There are plenty of things to do in South Devon that won’t cost you a penny. We boast miles upon miles of footpaths and walking trails or bring your bike and cycle your way around the region on our many cycle paths. You could spend days exploring Dartmoor at no cost, especially if you decide to wild camp in one of its designated areas. 

One of the best things about the region is the choice of beaches waiting to be explored. Spend the day by the sea and pack up a picnic for an even cheaper day out. If you own a kayak or SUP you can spend hours and hours exploring hidden coves and secluded beaches. If you’re visiting East Devon, try fossil hunting for the day along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Rock pooling, crabbing and sandcastle building are all excellent free or low cost activities to spend some time with your little ones.  

We’ve got some wonderful free attractions in South Devon too. Please note that whilst some of these attractions are free to enter, a couple of the activities they provide may incur a small fee. 

For animal lovers, take a trip to the Donkey Sanctuary, this free-to-visit attraction is home to hundreds of rescue donkeys. There’s plenty of great activities and trails to take part in and even our four-legged friends are permitted! You can find this excellent attraction in East Devon, nestled within the Sidmouth countryside.  

House of Marbles is a unique, free attraction situated on the edge of Dartmoor National Park in Bovey Tracey. Home to Teign Valley Glass, witness the in-house artist creating beautiful glasswork before your very eyes, or visit their epic marble runs; they even boast possibly one of the largest runs in the UK!  

South Devon is home to a wonderful number of country parks. Situated in Newton Abbot, Decoy Country Park is a Green Flag award-winning park and nature reserve, containing a large children’s play park and water play feature. Spend the day feeding the ducks, enjoying a picnic or simply relaxing in the sun whilst your little ones burn off some energy. Find more parks here

If you enjoy learning about history and heritage, you can embark on an Exeter Red Coats Guided Tour for free! These tours operate daily throughout the year with a range of different walks to explore the city. Discover Medieval Exeter, or the Tudor era. Perhaps you’re interested in ghosts and haunted tales – there’s a tour for that too! Check out their timetable to see which ones pique your interest.  


South Devon is home to a number of exciting events throughout the year and some of them are free to attend. Carnivals, festivals, regattas and markets are all on offer here in the region. In May we have Plymouth Pirate Weekend and Dart Music Fest. In June and July, the Red Arrows come to the English Riviera and Teignmouth whilst August is the month of regattas in Dartmouth, Salcombe and Shaldon. Head to our What’s On page here to discover what events are happening during your visit.  

No matter where you go in South Devon, we’re sure you’ll have a wonderful time. We love seeing your holiday photos so feel free to tag us using @VisitSouthDevon. Stay up to date with Visit South Devon by signing up to our e-newsletter where we’ll update you with the latest blog posts, competitions and more! 




Comments are disabled for this post.