Best things to do in Mid Devon: culture and countryside

If you’re looking for things to do in Mid Devon, I’ve put together a full list! 

I’m a Devon local, and I decided to cover the entire county with helpful things to-do lists, so you know exactly what attractions to not miss in all of Devon’s different areas. 

Here, you’ll find the best Mid Devon attractions, which are perfect for summer holidays when the beaches are busy or if you just want to check out the finest gardens in the West Country! 

Where is Mid Devon? 

River Exe at Tiverton Mid Devon England UK Europe

Mid Devon is a lesser-visited part of the county of Devon, sandwiched between East Devon to the south and North Devon to the north. 

North Devon continues all the way up to the Cornwall border, and Dartmoor sits to the west of Mid Devon, with South Devon below that (there are some more specific regions, but I find this definition works as a general description). 

It comprises the parts of Devon that are neither coastal or moorland, which means that it doesn’t see anywhere near as many visitors as other parts of the county. 

But Mid Devon is a place of rich history, with lots of market towns and large manor houses, many of which are now owned by the National Trust. 

It’s somewhere where you can really experience everyday life, away from all the hustle and bustle of Devon’s top tourist attractions. 

Best things to do in Mid Devon

Explore the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

The overshot Waterwheel on dispaly outside of Tiverton museum

This interesting museum goes into Tiverton and Mid Devon’s history.

Beginning as a museum that was created by townspeople who were concerned that the heritage of the town could be lost if nothing was done to preserve it, it exhibits the town’s wool trade, the surrounding farming industry of Mid Devon, its war history and modern culture. 

If you want to visit somewhere to get a full understanding of the region of Mid Devon, this museum is a fantastic first call! 

Go back in time at Tiverton Castle

Once you’ve finished in the museum, head to Tiverton Castle which is one of the most historically important places in this part of Devon. 

There’s been a building on-site since 885, although the manor was eventually taken over by William the Conqueror in 1066. 

However, the castle that you’ll see today dates back to 1106; when it was built by Henry I. 

Either visit it independently or do a guided tour around the castle, where you’ll learn all about its fascinating history! 

Learn about Devon’s industry in Coldharbour Mill

Dating back to 1797, Coldharbour Mill is located in Uffculme and acts as a working wool museum where you can learn all about Devon’s most important historical industry.

With the mill, boilers and steam engines and information all about Devon’s woolen cloth industry, there’s a lot to learn about here and it’s a great place to get involved with the culture of Mid Devon!

See the grandeur of Knightshayes Court

View across the rolling hills of Devon at Knightshayes Court

The entire area of Mid Devon has a rich heritage, and you can experience this by a walk around Knightshayes Court and its country park. 

One of the best places in Devon to learn about Victorian life, Knightshayes Court has beautiful gardens, a Medieval Hall with a minstrel’s gallery and a historic drawing room and library and lots of information about Victorian life in the area. 

Crediton Saint Boniface Church

The twelth century parish church at Crediton in Devon, formerly known as the Church of the Holy Cross and the Mother of Him who Hung Thereon

The St Boniface Catholic Church in Crediton houses the national shrine to St. Boniface.

If you’re interested in religious history, then the church is a significant place to visit – St. Boniface was an English Benedictine monk turned missionary, alive between the years of 675 to 754 AD, and was born in Devon.

He played a significant part in setting up the foundations of the German religious system, which makes him an incredibly famous and popular character with German people today.

The shrine is devoted to St. Boniface, and you can learn all about this interesting religious character.

Walks in the Blackdown Hills

View west to Dartmoor from the top of Hembury hill fort on the Blackdown Hills Devon west of England UK

The Blackdown Hills are a gorgeous area that runs across the Devon/ Somerset border.

There’s a range of walks that you can do in this area.

In particular, check out this Culmstock six-mile loop walk that takes in some of the best views of the western part of the hills.

Walk around Killerton House

Killerton House is an 18th-century manor that’s surrounded by manicured gardens and 2,600 hectares of further gorgeous parkland, which is perfect for a nature stroll.

There’s a variety of flowers including magnolias and rhododendrons, along with the chance to climb up an ancient volcano, from the top of which you can take in views to Dartmoor.

Explore the estate and its parkland and farmland, with lots of independent cottages, or explore its fascinating history in the rooms themselves.

The house was the family home of Sir Richard Acland, but he donated it to the National Trust in 1944.

Take a look at my National Trust vs English Heritage post to see a comparison between the two!

Visit Bear Town with kids

If you’re searching for things to do in Mid Devon with kids, look no further than Bear Town

Suitable for kids aged 1-7, this exhibit has themed rooms based on the real world, with post offices, banks and a police station. 

It’s a fantastic chance for your kids to learn about the world around them in a safe environment.

Attend the Mid Devon show

Honiton.Devon.United Kingdom.July 2nd 2021.A restored vintage Fordson Major tractor is on display at the Devon County Show.

If you want to learn all about Mid Devon and its rural culture, head to the Mid Devon show. 

This usually takes place on the third weekend of July every year. 

Check out a local steam engine and learn about history through the ages and shop for locally-grown products!

You can read more about the Mid Devon show on their website.

Admire Castle Drogo 

Drewsteignton.Devon.United Kingdom.July 31st 2021.View of castle Drogo in Devon

The last castle to be built in England, Castle Drogo dates back to 1910. 

Sitting just outside of Mid Devon, this house was home of the Drewe Family. 

However, it was given to the National Trust after they didn’t liv there for too long and nowadays it is a fantastic exhibition of life in the 20th century! 

On a tour around Castle Drogo, you can explore all of the rooms including the memorial to a son who was lost in WW1 and servant halls with 20th century decor, enjoy the gardens and walk around the country trails. 

If you’re a National Trust member you’ll get free entry to Castle Drogo – click here to see my full review of membership.

See the beautiful Stone Lane Gardens

Stone Lane Gardens is a beautiful sculpture garden located on the edge of Dartmoor. 

Consisting of five-acre gardens dotted with beautiful sculptures made by local artists, this is an outdoor art gallery where you can enjoy nature and culture in one! 

Walks in the Teign Valley

Landscape depicting the River Teign and Teign Valley on an overcast Autumn day, Nr Lower Ashton, Dartmoor National Park, Devon, England

The Teign Valley runs through Mid Devon and is the steepest wooded valley in the county. 

The Teign Gorge Walk runs by Castle Drogo and is a 4.1 mile loop walk that takes around 2 hours 30 minutes. 

Running through one of Dartmoor’s temperate rainforests, this trail encompasses the babbling River Teign, with some steep slopes and lovely views. 

Explore Exmoor National Park 

Exmoor, UK - November 15, 2019: The medieval clapper bridge over the river Barle known as Tarr Steps, Exmoor, UK

Technically, Mid Devon sits just below Exmoor National Park – part of the park’s boundary is the northern boundary of Mid Devon. 

So it’s worth visiting as it’s so close!

Highlights include the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, the Valley of Rocks, Porlcok and Porlock Weir and Dunkery Beacon, which is the highest peak in Somerset.

See my full travel guide to Exmoor National Park here.

Explore Dartmoor National Park 

Hay Tor Dartmoor Devon England Sunrise over the rocks at Hay Tor

Devon’s lucky enough to have two epic national parks, and while Exmoor sits to the north of Mid Devon, Dartmoor sits to the south. 

A place of mystery and intrigue, Dartmoor is the largest national park in England and boasts tors with sweeping views from the top, beautiful reservoirs, Medieval clapper bridges, enchanting waterfalls and a few museums and attractions like the Dartmoor Prison Museum. 

It’s also worth checking out all of the best things to do in Okehampton, including Okehampton Castle and the Museum of Dartmoor Life. 


House that moved and church exter

Exeter really sits on a crossroads between Mid, South and East Devon – and I’ve included it in all three of my posts, as it’s worth checking out Devon’s capital city while you’re in the county!

Exeter is underrated. It has the centuries-old Exeter Cathedral, impressive buildings like the House that Moved (a house that literally moved – read my post to read why), a beautiful Quay and even the narrowest street in the UK, Parliament Street

See all of the best things to do in Exeter here.

Exeter Cathedral Nave, Devon

I’d recommend doing a Red Coat Walking Tour to see the city’s highlights, checking out the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (perfect on a rainy day!) to learn about Devon a little more and working through this list of the best restaurants in Exeter

Oh, and do you want to see the sea while you’re in Devon?

Exmouth is another 30 minutes on from Exeter, sitting at the end of the Exe Estuary, and boasts activities like Stuart Line Cruises and, on the other side of the estuary, Powderham Castle.

Taken on a short walk towards the mammoth caravan site.

Read about all of the best things to do in Exmouth there.

See my other Devon things to do guides!

If you’re interested in what the other things to do in Devon are, here’s my list for other parts of the county: 

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