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Getting to and around South Devon

By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

Travel to and around South Devon with ease with a number of different options.


Getting here

By air

There are flights from many UK airports to Exeter Airport including Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and the Channel Islands. There are also flights from international airports – major hubs such as Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Dublin, and regional airports including Geneva, Brest, Dubrovnik, Faro and Salzburg. There are also long-haul flights from Toronto.

By train

Devon is well served by trains from all over the country. The two main lines into the county are the Paddington line and Waterloo line served by First Great Western and South West Trains respectively. Main stations include Tiverton, Exeter St. Davids and Plymouth.

Getting to South Devon by train is easy and, once there, getting around by steam train is a lot of fun

Getting to South Devon by train is easy and, once there, getting around by steam train is a lot of fun

By coach or bus

Devon is easily reached by bus or coach – National Express services arrive from all over the country. Main National Express stops in Devon are Exeter, Tiverton and Plymouth in the southern half of the county and Bideford, Barnstaple, Westward Ho! and Ilfracombe in the northern half.

By car

Devon is easy to reach by road – the M5 runs into Exeter and has excellent links with other major motorways including the M4 which can be joined at Bristol. Major A roads linking the M5 include the North Devon link road (A361) serving North Devon from junction 27, the A30 serving Okehampton and West Devon from junction 31 and the A38 and A380 serving Plymouth and Torbay respectively (a continuation of the M5 at junction 31). If you are travelling from the south east and prefer a more scenic route, you can follow the M25/M3, then the A303/A30.

Getting around

Public transport

To plan a day out by bus, coach or train visit the Traveline website for more information including an interactive bus map, visit traveldevon.info/bus, the guide to public transport in Devon.

Bus services

The main bus services within Devon are operated by Stagecoach and First Group. There are also Park & Ride services in Exeter, Barnstaple, Dartmouth and Plymouth.

Railways

The railways are a wonderfully scenic way to travel around Devon, linking its picturesque villages and historic market towns and offering uncompromised views of the coastline. Special one-day tickets offer a great deal for visitors: ranger tickets give the freedom of Devon’s rail network for a day; branch line rangers give the freedom of one of the delightful local lines, such as the Tarka Line, Tamar Valley Line and Avocet Line.

Taxis

Taxis are easily available from all the major railway stations and airports in the county.

Cycling

Cycling is a great way to see Devon at its best and will provide you with easy access to some of the best of the county’s natural heritage. Devon is renowned not only for its peace and unspoilt beauty but also for the wide range and superb network of cycle routes that are available. Ranging in length and difficulty, there are routes to suit every level of cycling experience and ability, each with its own special attractions. You will discover exciting off-road cycling, leisurely afternoon rides and challenging long distance routes. There’s wonderful scenery, unspoilt villages, urban routes – feel the sun on your back, the wind in your hair. For more information on cycling in Devon visit traveldevon.info/cycle.

The scenic route

On summer Saturdays try Dartmoor’s Haytor Hoppa, running every Saturday from the end of May to September. This scenic bus service costs from just £3 per adult and gives you the freedom to explore the moor by visiting tors such as Haytor and Houndtor, going on a variety of walks and lunching in scenic spots such as Widecombe-in-the-Moor and Manaton.

Read more about South Devon

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Image credits: ©Jacek Chabraszewski/stock.adobe.com; Roy Smallpage/South Devon Railway; VisitBritain/David Clapp

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