Some facts about Devon and the English Riviera

Devon, that wonderful place in the south west of the UK:
HOME of the English Riviera,
RENOUND for the Cream Tea,
POPULAR as a Cider making area.

Mention Devon to anyone and the above are some examples of the things people might associate with it.
This article seeks to take a look at some of the things that you probably do not know about Devon and we assure you of some surprises!

English Riviera

Whilst Devon is known for the English Riviera many people are unaware that the total length of coastline is 22 miles spanning 3 towns. Perfect for a (very long) walk!

  • During the 17th century, a group of people who became known as the Pilgrims left Devon in the UK and colonised a settlement in America, which is known today as Plymouth Massachusetts. Fame across the miles and oceans!
  • Roughly 8 million people visit Devon every year. This is around the same amount that visited Hawaii in 2012. Not bad considering our climate is not so generous!

Dartmouth

The oldest (and still working) steam engine in the world lives in Dartmouth. Originally this was made in the 1700s. Some miles on the clock over the centuries!

Continuing with Dartmouth, the dog that is known today as the Jack Russell is thought to origin from Devon. It was bred for hunting foxes.

Exeter

Dating back to the medieval times, the Devon town of Exeter had a man-made water system which gave the city fresh drinking water. Some of these water tributaries still remain in place today in the high street, and since they date back to the 1300s, they are steeped with history which attracts tourists.

Witchcraft

Back in the days of witchcraft the very last witches to be hung took place in Exeter in August 1692. Once a year on October 31st, the witches are allowed to come out to play!

Many places have their own customs and rituals and Devon is no exception. In Ottery St Mary (located in East Devon,) it is tradition on Bonfire night to set alight barrels covered with tar, and have residents carry them through the streets. Ironically the precise origin and reason for this custom is still not fully known or understood, with estimates believing this practice dates back to the 17th century.

So there you have it. How many of these unusual facts did you know?

Why would you like to visit Devon? To see the old water courses, or maybe find a witch or two? Perhaps the more usual reasons attract you such as holidays and beaches? Whichever it is, Devon is a charming place, full of character, with tranquillity abound, and the county looks forward to welcoming you soon.

For more information on attractions, accommodation and local events as well as booking your B&B stay in Exmoor, get in touch with us at Highcliffe House.

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