Skip to service updates Skip to content Skip to footer

CrossCountry’s Favourite Things to do in Devon

Friday 20 March 2020

Your Journey

  • Choose up to 3 different Railcards

Choose date & time

Close ✕

Your journey

Going departing after

Station Finder

Devon has been a popular holiday destination for generations, with people flocking to the seaside each summer. It’s easy to see why people love to holiday in Devon – there’s so much to see and do, even if the notoriously changeable UK weather doesn’t hold out. We’ve pulled together a list of our favourite things to do in Devon which are easily accessible from the CrossCountry Network.

Greenway Estate

This imposing whitewashed building, set in manicured gardens, was once the holiday home of Agatha Christie.

How to get there: 10–15-minute taxi from Paigton station or take the steam train to Greenway Halt. From here you can walk to Greenway in about 30 minutes.

Greenway Estate is one of our favourite National Trust Properties near our network. It’s easy to see why Agatha Christie chose to spend her holidays in this charming estate. Feel closer to this iconic British writer by visiting the historic property. Even if you’re not an avid reader, there’s loads of history to explore. The gardens are also incredible and well worth a visit in their own rights, with a particularly impressive camellia collection.

Plymouth Aquarium

How to get there: It’s a 25-minute walk from the station, or alternatively, take the 2 or 51 bus to Friary Park and walk from there.

Plymouth is right on the border between Cornwall and Devon, but we love a good aquarium (we’ve suggested visiting them in Bournemouth, Weston-Super-Mare, Bristol and Newquay already). At CrossCountry we truly believe you’re never too old, or too young, to visit the aquarium, and Plymouth Aquarium is one of the best in the country. The National Marine Aquarium has boatloads of fascinating fish, as well as interesting exhibits to explore.

Crealy Theme Park

How to get there: Take the number 9 bus from Exeter City Centre, which takes less than half an hour.

Crealy Theme Park is a family favourite – the Southwest’s biggest theme park is home to over 60 rides and attractions, not to mention a zoo! With plenty of fun for kids of all ages (even the very big ones) this is a great day out no matter what your age. Of course, the kids will love the games and activities, meeting the critters, and all the water park fun! The park also offers family holiday accommodation for those wanting to spend a bit more time enjoying everything on offer. 


Spending time at the beautiful Torquay marina, pictured here at sunset with boats in the foreground and attractions and the town behind, is a popular thing to do in Devon.

How to get there: Torquay is easy to explore from Torquay station.

A pretty little seaside town, Torquay is the perfect destination for a summer day out. Choose to visit one of the nearby beaches like Babbacombe beach or settle down at Torquay Harbour to enjoy watching boats come in and out from one of the many cafes around the marina. There are also independent shops and galleries in and around the town waiting to be explored. It’s so easy to spend a day or longer enjoying Torquay that you may want to extend your stay.

Babbacombe Model Village

How to get there: Babbacombe Model Village is across town from Torquay station, so it’s worth taking the number 22 bus to United Reformed Church and then walking from there. In total this journey takes about half an hour.

There’s something very nostalgic about visiting a model village which makes us think of holidays from our childhood. Whether you choose to bring the kids or not, this impressive model village is a fun way to spend an afternoon. With 4 acres to explore and a nice on-site café, there’s plenty to keep you busy. We particularly love the puns used to name various locations in the model village, so keep your eyes peeled.

Paignton beach

How to get there: The beach is just an 11-minute walk from the station.

Alongside Corbyn Beach in Torquay, Paignton beach is one of our favourite beaches in the UK. Punctuated by Paignton Pier, this pretty sand beach is lined with places to grab a bite to eat and watch the world go by. If you’re looking for some more hands-on activity, Paignton Pier has some excellent attractions, or try the Geoplay Park or Pirates Bay Adventure Golf, right on the waterfront if you’re in town with the family.

Paignton Zoo

The red pandas at Paignton Zoo are a popular attraction in Devon.

How to get there: The number 22 or Gold bus take you to the Zoo within 10 minutes.

Paignton Zoo is bigger than you might think! Although it’s on the edge of Paignton, there’s loads to explore, spread across 80 acres, so you can certainly make a day of it. Animal lovers of all ages will enjoy seeing all the various animals, with feeding times particularly popular. Many of the animals who have found a home at Paignton are endangered in the wild and the zoo is doing important conservation work, so by visiting, you’re supporting vital sustainability efforts!

Dartmoor National Park

A visit to Dartmoor National Park is one of the best things to do in Devon, with stunning views and amazing wildlife, like this expansive vista over rocky and grassy scrubland and a black wild pony in the foreground.

How to get there: Take the train into Newton Abbot, and then the 193 bus from Sherborne Road in the centre of town to Rock Inn, which takes about half an hour. From here it’s a 10-minute walk to Haytor Visitor Centre.

Although getting a train into Dartmoor National Park isn’t the easiest option, it’s worth it to help protect our national parks from excessive cars and pollution. Dartmoor is perhaps best known for its ponies, which you may see wandering around from the bus as you wind your way into the park. Once you arrive in Dartmoor National Park there’s plenty to do. Explore by foot or by bike (find out more about bringing a bike on our trains), or go rock climbing, twitching or try letter boxing or geocaching.

If you’re planning your next holiday, exploring Devon via train is an excellent option, or why not check out our UK Holidays hub? CrossCountry has services to many of your favourite holiday destinations running from all over the country. You can buy tickets on our website or Train Tickets app, and remember to check out our cheap tickets page to see how you can save money on your travel with CrossCountry.

Written by Julia

Find us on Facebook and Twitter

/CrosscountryTrains @crosscountryuk


Did you find this page useful?

Your feedback will help us to improve this page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.