Devon is one of the Western counties of England. It is a county of beautiful and spectacular landscapes and a host of attractions which make this county one of the most popular tourist destination in the British Isles. A bed and breakfast stay is one of the best ways to see the attractions and sights of this county. You will find bed and breakfast and self catering properties in all regions of the county and in Exeter, the administrative centre of Devon.

Devon is a county that is located on the South Western Peninsular of England and it is the only county in England with two separate coastlines. It covers an area of 2,590 square miles (6,707 square Kilometers), making it the third largest county in England, and has a resident population of 1,135,000. The county shares borders with Cornwall to the west and Dorset and Somerset to the east. Its coastline to the south is the English Channel and to the north, the Bristol Channel. The county town is Exeter. Devon has seaside resorts and historic towns and cities, and a mild climate.

Geography: The Dartmoor National Park lies wholly in Devon, and the Exmoor National Park lies in both Devon and Somerset. Apart from these areas of high moorland the county boasts beautiful rolling hills and stunning rural scenery. The county has many small villages with chocolate box thatched cottages. The north of the county is very rural with few major towns except Barnstaple, Great Torrington, Bideford and Ilfracombe. Devon’s Exmoor coast has the highest cliffs in southern Britain, which include Great Hangman, with a drop of 1043 feet (318 metres). The beaches of Bideford Bay are amongst the main centres of surfing in Britain. In South Devon the landscape has rolling hills and the towns are smaller. The towns of Torquay and Paignton are the principal seaside resorts on the south coast and much of the industry of the county is based on these..

History: Dartmoor was settled by about 6000 BC. In the Neolithic era there is evidence of people farming on the moor, and also building and the erection of stone monuments. There are over 500 Neolithic sites on the moor. These include burial mounds, stone rows and circles and ancient settlements. The name Devon derives from the tribe of Celtic people who inhabited the south-western peninsula of Britain at the time of the Roman invasion in 43 AD. Devon was not as Romanised as Somerset and Dorset, with evidence of occupation mainly being around Exeter, where the Roman walls can still be seen. After the departure of the Romans around 410, a Celtic kingdom, known in Latin from as Dumnonia, emerged in the West Country based on Exeter and included modern Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. It was called ‘Dewnans’ in Cornish and this was eventually corrupted to ‘Devon’. The conquest of Devon by the Kingdom of Wessex was a gradual process which took several generations to complete and the Kings of Dumnonia retreated beyond the River Tamar, to what became the Kingdom of Cornwall but they were finally defeated in 825 AD. The British certainly survived in Devon beyond this date and the Britons and Saxons inhabited Exeter as equals in 927. An area within Exeter was known as Brittayne until the 18th Century. The Normans secured the city and divided the county amongst the leading Norman families. Exeter has been the scene of many battles and has been a crucial strategic city for many centuries. In 1140 during the reign of King Stephen, Exeter was held for Queen Matilda against the king; in 1497, the Royal pretender, Perkin Warbeck, besieged Exeter; in 1643 during the Civil War, Devon favoured the Parliamentarian cause; in 1685 after the Monmouth Rebellion , Judge Jefferies held one of his assizes at Exeter.

Industry: Formerly, fishing, mining and farming were the core industries of Devon. However, both fishing and mining have seriously declined and like Cornwall, Devon is one of the poorest counties in the south of England. Tourism is a growing sector and the designation of the Dartmoor and and Exmoor national parks have boosted this industry considerably.

Tourism: Without doubt, the major industry is tourism and the spin off industries from the National Parks and other visitor attractions.

Accommodation is not a problem and there are a large number of Bed and Breakfast and self catering properties right across the area, although you should book well in advance if you intend to arrive in one of the more popular destinations. Prices also reflect the popularity of the location and can be quite high. Self catering is probably the more popular form of accommodation but there are many bed and breakfast properties and a wide range of hotels and holiday parks.

Tony Lucas has spent many years in the travel and tourism market, has travelled in many parts of the world. He has lectured and worked freelance for many of the major Hotel corporations. He writes extensively on all matters to do with Britain and tourism in the British Isles.

More information on http://www.stayinbritain.co.uk

By: Tony Lucas