However Exeter is only a small part of the story in relation to what the wider areas of Devon, Cornwall and West Somerset have to offer:
Devon is the third largest county in England and has a population of 1.1 million. It has two superb coastlines. The north is famous for its sandy beaches and wonderful surfing, while the south is for sailing, with its deep water estuaries. Dartmouth, Salcombe, Newton Ferrers and Plymouth, are all ideal as bases for coastal cruising or longer voyages.
Dartmoor National Park is the wonderful open area between the two coast lines and west of Exeter. Exmoor is to the north on the Devon/Somerset borders and both combine to provide almost unlimited opportunities for riding, walking, fishing and hunting and some of the finest shooting in the UK.
Cornwall has over 400 miles of coastline and is world renowned as a holiday destination. The main centre is Truro which is one of the smallest cathedral cities in the UK.
The rugged cliffs of the north and west coasts are home to some of the best surfing in Europe, while the Fal, Helford, Fowey and Camel estuaries are havens for sailing and boating.
The small unspoilt villages and coves of the south add another dimension to this diverse county, and much of the coastline is owned by the National Trust, and is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
West Somerset incorporates the fantastic Quantock and Brendon Hills and the majority of Exmoor National Park, all to the west of Taunton, the county town of Somerset. The rolling green valleys and steep combes provide dramatic scenery and tranquillity, all within easy reach of the major transport links to the rest of the UK.
Food is a major part of the experience in the West Country, with fresh, locally produced food prepared with flair and imagination; it is no wonder the area is famous for its award-winning restaurants, food festivals, markets and vineyards. The mild climate, long seasons and fertile soil provide perfect conditions for growing grapes and there are several vineyards in the area where you can taste and buy the local wine.
There is an outstanding selection of high quality private and state schools in the West Country with most villages throughout the region having excellent primary schools.
Places of interest
- The only English county to have two separate coastlines – both a northern one and southern one.
- The World Heritage Jurassic Coast in East Devon
- Dartmoor National Park – one of the last great wildernesses of Southern England
- Exmoor National Park
- National Trust properties at Castle Drogo, Knightshayes Court, Buckland Abbey, Saltram House and Coleton Fishacre amongst many more
- Lands End – the most southerly point of the United Kingdom
- Bodmin Moor – home of the famous Jamaica Inn and the ruins of numerous tin and copper mines
- The Eden Project
- The Lost Gardens of Heligan
- The internationally famous surfing beaches of North Cornwall and the deep estuaries on the south coast
- Exmoor & The Quantocks
- Dunster Castle – an ancient castle with sub-tropical gardens
- Wimberball Lake – a majestic lake on Exmoor offering sailing, walking and fishing