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Devon + Cornwall see + do

Cornwall's Gulf Stream–warmed microclimate makes its beaches quite feasible as summer vacation destinations, and these waters, as well as Devon's, are good for surfing too. But beyond the beach, Cornwall's rugged coastline and leafy north Devon's thatched-roof villages, Georgian towns, and remote harbors are definitely worth a look. There's hiking, horse riding, and cycling in the moorlands, fishing and yachting in the rivers and estuaries, and subtropical gardens and castles all over. This area has always drawn artists, and the thriving arts scene continues, especially with the St. Ives painters of Cornwall and the Tate Gallery.

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Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden, St. Ives, Cornwall

Barbara Hepworth was one of a group of influential 20th-century abstract avant-garde artists who settled in and around St. Ives. Hepworth's studio has been...more

Editors' Pick
Big Sheep, Bideford, Devon

Surely this is the world's only theme park dedicated to sheep. There are sheep races (they're ridden by toy lambs in racing colors), mini sheepdog trials (an...more

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Eden Project, St. Austell, Cornwall

In 2001, this exhausted 34-acre china clay pit became a kind of geodesic dome eco-theater, a global garden illustrating the relationship between plants and...more

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Exeter Cathedral, Exeter, Devon

The center of a cobbled square lined with bars, cafés, and shops is quite the cosmopolitan place for a 12th-century cathedral. Originally built of pale...more

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Falmouth Art Gallery, Falmouth, Cornwall

One of the Southwest's premier museums, Falmouth Art Gallery houses an impressive permanent collection, including works by the Victorian British Impressionists...more

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Gardens, Cornwall

The subtropical Trevarno Gardens are at the center of a 750-acre estate that dates to 1246—grounds that also encompass a lake with a Victorian boathouse,...more

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Literary Devon + Cornwall

Soft light and dramatic landscapes have long drawn artists to Devon and Cornwall, but these counties have a strong literary heritage, too. A number of English...more

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Minack Theatre, Penzance, Cornwall

It's unlikely you've ever experienced a theater quite like this one. Situated 200 feet above the sea, these 750 open-air seats were carved out of a cliff edge...more

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National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth, Cornwall

Devoted to all things maritime, the NMM gives context to Cornwall's boating and fishing heritage. Don't dismiss it, even if seafaring lore isn't your thing; the...more

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National Parks

Devon's two national parks both have native wild ponies and granite outcrops called "tors," and are excellent places for horse riding, hiking, and cycling....more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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