12 Things You Miss When You Leave Devon

Ferry from Salcombe to East Portlemouth
Ferry from Salcombe to East Portlemouth | © Andrew/Flickr

Freelance Travel Journalist

Devon is a special place and once you have spent time there it is difficult to prize yourself away without bits of staying with you forever. You long for the moors and the coast, the food and the overwhelming communities which shower you with wellbeing. Here are just 12 things you miss when you leave the mighty county of Devon.

Proper fish and chips

There ain’t no fish and chips like the fish and chips in Devon, and that’s not just because the best chippie in the country is just outside of Plymouth. No, fish and chips in Devon taste so good because they come straight from the sea and into the frier, meaning they don’t spend days in storage losing all of their taste.

All of the views

Devon is by no means lacking in spectacular views. Wherever you go you are rewarded with beauty; the leafy rolling hills of the South Hams, the dramatic cliffs of North Devon, picture-perfect beaches along the south coast and that Middle Earth-esque view atop a tor on Dartmoor, there is nothing quite the same anywhere else.

Beautiful beaches

Beaches in Devon are a thing of beauty. There are hundreds of them that you have to scramble down cliffs for, hike to and clamber over giant sand dunes to discover. You can walk for miles across flat sand with the surf lapping your feet or simply sit throw down a towel, lie back and soak up that Devonshire sunshine without a care in the world. You can’t get that in London now, can you?

Roly’s fudge

Roly’s is the sweetest, crumbliest fudge on the planet and it’s based in Plymouth. You can buy it online of course, but it’s just not the same as stuffing your face while sat on a while on the Hoe.

Local Markets

Most towns in Devon have, if not a weekly, then a monthly local market for food, bits and bobs, or furniture. But the beauty of a Devon local market is in the locality of the local market; everything is from down the road, from the farm round the corner or from Mary-from-downstairs’ workshop. Handmade is in the name and feeding the local economy is the game. Totnes hold a market every Saturday morning, and it is excellent.

Community wellness and sustainability

Nowhere else in England is there such a community for sustainability and the good life than in Devon. Yoga classes take place in sunny parks, you can pick your own veg at Riverford Farm; and learn all about crafting your own tools, foraging for food and different kinds of art at Dartington Estate.


Of course, Dartmoor. This huge, barren, windswept land takes up the centre of Devon between its two coasts and is the location of many an adventure, pub lunch and wintery walk in the rain. Without Dartmoor, journeys between the two coasts would be much shorter, weekends would be much less fun and walking boots would be much less muddy!

Big night skies

Built up areas are pretty limited in the south west, which means that there is less light pollution and more space to look up and see the stars on a clear night. When you leave Devon, these big skies disappear behind buildings and street lamps, making the world that little bit smaller and the sky a whole lot closer.

Cosy pubs

Everyone loves their local pub, don’t they? But in Devon every pub is like walking into your local. The bar staff are friendly, the old men propping up the bar are as much a part of the furniture as the furniture itself, fires are always roaring throughout the winter and good, local ale is always on tap.

Friendly people

Everyone says hello in Devon. Always. There’s no ignoring people on your commute to work here.

Indy businesses

There’s been a huge backlash to big companies and conglomerates in Devon and the rise of the independent business is an almighty revolution. Foodies host supper clubs in their homes, small breweries include local drinkers in growing hops and artists takeover pubs and bars to bring people together. It’s all about keeping the love in.

Trago Mills

Trago is terrible, awful and the complete opposite of everything that the above point makes, but you haven’t really been to Devon until you’ve lost your partner/mum/brother/senses in Trago Mills and wandered the aisles of tat for what seems like hours looking for them.

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