When it comes to escaping for a weekend away, you can’t do any better than Devon. There’s something for every kind of exploration, from sandy coves to cutesy cottages, rolling countryside to wild, wild moors, and an awesome coastline that’s specked with epic walks, vibrant fishing villages, rippling beaches, tasty grub and dramatic cliff top views that are life-affirming and nerve-jangling.
This south west corner of England is freedom - and that’s what makes it an absolute must-explore. Whatever you’re into, there’s so much to do and see and stick on your Insta-stories, whether you’re a massive foodie or a part-time thrillseeker.
And to help you out, here’s the Stubble & Co guide to doing Devon in 48-hours:
Where to stay: Glazebrook House Hotel
Devon boasts loads of competition, but there is no competition. We’re talking about an award-winning boutique hotel found in the southern corner of Dartmoor, surrounded by electrifying countryside and rolling rivers. Funky interiors, quirky furniture, rooms almost inspired by Alice in Wonderland, character, decadence and surprises everywhere you gaze, and food. Good food. Creative food. Food sourced from local legends found within fifty miles: herbs and veggies, fish and cheese, and local meats. You’ve never stayed somewhere so sophisticated but fun, high-end but bold. Never.
Saturday morning: Explore Lydford Gorge
The best sights are the ones you need to tread carefully for - and the deepest gorge in the south west is no exception. Surrounded by thick forests, this National Trust adventure manages to hide a hundred jaw-hits-floor moments. So wake up under the White Lady waterfall, feel the spray of the Devil’s Cauldron and explore the lush woodlands all around you.
Your first long lunch: The Two Bridges
Just a short hop from your morning adventure is one of the most delicious, luxurious and traditional pubs in Devon - and it’s surrounded by the most dramatic scenery, from the Dartmoor wilderness to the ancient Wistman’s Wood. But it’s the grub that will steal the show. There are tasting menus and then there are tasting menus, the kind that win awards after awards. The Two Bridges has the latter.
Saturday afternoon: Stroll Through Dartmoor
After every long lunch comes a long walk, and it doesn’t get much better than the wild heart of Devon. 365 square miles of uncompromising wilderness that looks like something straight out of a Tolkein novel, and the perfect place for an afternoon stomp amongst the honey-coloured heaths, moss-covered rocks, steady streams and ancient granite hills.
Where to do dinner: Riverford Field Kitchen
There’s only one place, and that’s because there’s only one place like this, where the spotlight shines on the perfectly picked and prepared vegetables. There are still fish and meat dishes to choose from, but they aren’t the scene-stealers you're used to. The main event is veggies, organic seasoned and paired by self-confessed veg nerds, and it’s all 100% organic. And that’s not the only thing they do differently. There's no starters or mains either. Just a set menu of six to eight dishes brought to you in one long flow.
Sunday mornings spent at: East Prawle
No wild weekend is complete without clambering down a zigzagging pathway to discover a hidden cove of pristine sand and timeworn rocks - and that’s exactly what is East Prawle is. And if you’re looking for a locally-famous pub to break up your trek, there’s The Pig’s Nose. Although, what’s a weekend spent in Devon without a picnic lunch full of local tidbits to go?
Sunday afternoons are for: Greenway House
If you don’t explore the ‘loveliest place in the world’ and once-home of Agatha Christie, you can’t say you’ve truly explored Devon - it’s as simple as that. Tip-toeing about the eerie rooms and wandering around the waterside gardens where so much mystery was created is as captivating as any crime novel. And it’s barely a pebble toss from the River Dart.
Watch the sunset: Start Point Lighthouse
This is it. The place where unforgettable moments are born and endless views are enjoyed from the top of England’s most exposed peninsula. And you can climb even higher too; up the hundreds of spiralling steps and ladders, before arriving onto the top platform where you get to take in the 360-degree views of the south coast, the sea crashing into the cliffs below. It’s the perfect place to pull a bottle of red from your backpack and watch the sun dip below nature’s straightest line.
Supper on Sunday: The Elephant Restaurant & Brasserie
This is one for the foodies. Real foodies. Those that know that a good meal is more than just good food but a magical dining experience, where the menu-changes more than the seasons and the inspiration comes from local ingredients. Always. That’s why you need to book a table and enjoy your last night in Devon at The Elephant. Not only is it bright and informal, with views that stretch over and around the harbour, it was also the first restaurant in Torquay to be awarded a Michelin star (which it’s kept hold of for 14 years). Welcome to the forget-me-not dinner of your dreams and endless ocean views.