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Art Gallery | © Mark Turner/Flickr
Art Gallery | © Mark Turner/Flickr
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The Best Museums and Art Galleries in Devon

Picture of Lauren Williams
Freelance Travel Journalist
Updated: 23 August 2017
Devon breeds inspiration—two stunning and dramatic coasts, two wild and blustery moors and two contrasting cities which dance to two wildly different beats. With such breath-taking scenery and rich culture, it’s no wonder there are more galleries and museums here than you can shake a stick at. Here are Devon’s best, perfect for a rainy day in one of England’s finest holiday destinations.
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Brook Gallery

Brook is one of Devon’s most famous galleries. Since its opening in 1997, it has gone from strength to strength and has gained an irrefutable reputation up and down the country. The collections at Brook focus on artists who have pushed boundaries in both technicality and aesthetics, all covering a broad spectrum of styles from a huge range of influential artists all over the U.K.

Brook Gallery, Fore St, Budleigh Salterton, Devon, United Kingdom, +44 01395 443003

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White Space Art

Smack bang in the heart of Totnes, White Space Art was established in this beautiful and quirky market town in 2003. The gallery has a rolling exhibit space, which features work by both emerging and established British artists who mostly come from the south-west. There are several changing exhibitions in the gallery, and representatives can almost always be found trading at markets in the area throughout the year.

White Space Art, 72 Fore St, Totnes, Devon, United Kingdom, +44 01803 864088

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Museum of Dartmoor Life

Dartmoor is a mysterious place. With many myths and legends surrounding its stone circles, giant tors and gnarly woodlands, there is plenty reason to dive into the Museum of Dartmoor Life and learn more about it. Set over three stories, this museum houses a collection of objects which showcase life on Dartmoor from the Bronze Age through to the mid-20th century. This is a great museum for children, as there are tons of discovery zones and trails for little hands and minds to explore at their own pace.

Museum of Darmoor Life, 3 West St, Okehampton, Devon, United Kingdom, +44 01837 52295

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Museum of British Surfing

Britain’s self-appointed national surf museum could not be set in a better place, physically and metaphorically. Not only has it grown in popularity, but also some consider the surrounding beaches of Croyde and Braunton to be the true home of British surfing. The majority of the museum is dedicated to the past, present and future of surfing in Britain, including a photo of Devonian Agatha Christie with a board. Whether you’re a hardened, sun-bleached surfing vet or a newbie looking for some inspiration, this is a great way to spend a few hours if the sea is flat and there is no surf.

Museum of British Surfing, The Yard, Caen St, Braunton, Devon, United Kingdom, +44 01271 815155

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Bygones Museum

This independent museum in the heart of Torquay is truly a one-of-a-kind place. In Bygones, you can wander along Victorian streets and step into the homes and shops of history with sounds and smells of the past in every room. Step into a WWI trench, see an Anderson shelter, and dine in the tea rooms to feel as though you’ve travelled back a few hundred years. The tea and cake, however, are absolutely fresh.

Bygones Museum, Fore St, Torquay, Devon, United Kingdom, +44 01803 326108

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Brownston Gallery

The Brownston Gallery is tucked away in the small village of Modbury in the South Hams and is one of Devon’s finest contemporary art galleries. Emerging and established artists who have lived in and been inspired by this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are represented here. There are exhibitions throughout the year that feature different themes or individual artists.

Brownston Gallery, 36 Church St, Modbury, Devon, United Kingdom, +44 01548 831338

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Dart Gallery

Spread over two floors, Dart Gallery is in the harbour-side town of Dartmouth and has a constantly evolving collection of work from a selection of hand-picked British artists. Dart also offers regular solo and mixed shows and has earned a reputation for consistently offering high-quality art in one of the most beautiful settings in England.

Dart Gallery, 4 Lower St, Dartmouth, Devon, United Kingdom, +44 01803 834923