Free Things to Do in Devon this Summer18 August 2023
There is a wealth of free things to do in Devon this summer, ready to fill happy days with culture, country and coast. Offering the perfect mix of popular and off-the-beaten track activities and attractions, the extensive array of things to do ensures all generations have plenty to look forward to. Naturally, we just had to share some of our favourites.
From bucket-and-spade days on one of Devon’s most beautiful beaches to hopping through time at fascinating historical sites, here’s our pick of some of the best free activities to try in Devon this year.
Head to the Beach
No list of free things to do in Devon this summer would be complete without mentioning a trip to the beach. Famed for its stunning coastline that runs to the north and south of the county, Devon benefits from a spectacular variety of secret coves and sprawling sandy beaches that await in pure picture-perfectness.
Some of our favourite Blue Flag beaches close to Long Barn include Broadsands Beach and Meadfoot Beach. Just 20 minutes away, both beaches boast photo-worthy, tropical-tinged aesthetics that can be enjoyed for free throughout the year. Just remember to pack a picnic to keep you fuelled!
Visit the Donkey Sanctuary
One of our favourite rainy day activities and free things to do in Devon, a visit to The Donkey Sanctuary is a sure way to win you over. A charity devoted to the health, happiness, and safety of donkeys, the sanctuary was first founded in 1969 and continues to strive to promote animal welfare both within the UK and worldwide.
To learn more about what the charity does and to meet some of its super cute resident donkeys, you can head over to its visitor centres in Ivybridge and Sidmouth. Entry is free, and you are welcome to purchase food or a souvenir or make a donation to support their wonderful work.
The wilderness landscapes of Dartmoor are home to all sorts of incredible attractions that offer something for everyone. Particularly popular with nature-lovers, it affords hours of exploration, treading footsteps along a weaving network of waymarked paths and trails that crisscross through moorland and over tors.
For history buffs, the Grey Wethers Stone Circle is an amazing free attraction located on Sittaford Tor, while for ramblers, the Haytor audio walk offers an immersive experience with guided commentary through some of Devon’s most spectacular scenery.
See Buckfast Abbey
Originally founded in 1018, Buckfast Abbey and its foundations boast a thousand years of history. Located near Buckfastleigh, it is still an active monastery to this day and famous for its community of Benedictine monks who live, work and pray there.
Well worth a visit for its history and tranquillity, it promises free entry within select areas of the abbey itself and its grounds. Whilst there, see if you can pick up some of the abbey’s honey, beeswax candles, or tonic wine to sweeten the deal. Crafted to perfection, the tonic wine has been made onsite since the 1800s.
Get Some Instagram-Worthy Pictures
With its showstopping good looks, Devon’s countryside and coast presents a never-ending showreel of ‘gram-worthy scenery. Needless to say, whether you’re a professional photographer, a keen-eyed Instagrammer, or simply want to fill up your photo album with beautiful holiday snaps, you’ll be spoilt for choice with scenes to capture in Devon.
To make the most of the landscapes and enjoy a free day out, head to one of our favourite most ‘Instagrammable’ spots on the south coast and get ready to capture everything from white-sand beaches to wildflower reserves to picturesque villages for an Instagram grid of dreams.
Walk the South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path is a rambling stretch of maintained footpath that traverses both the North and South Devon coastlines. Inviting walkers of all generations to simply place one foot in front of the other and absorb the stunning coastal-scapes of the rugged north and leafy south, it has to be one of our favourite free things to do in Devon this summer.
To make your walk even more memorable, you can plan your route to incorporate jaw-dropping local highlights too, including Berry Head Nature Reserve. Simply pack a bag with water, suncream, a map and lots of treats and enjoy this wonderful pastime, free of charge.
Long Barn Luxury Holiday Cottages
After a long day exploring all that Devon has to offer, make your way back to your luxury Long Barn cottage for a relaxed evening – perhaps with a glass of Buckfast tonic wine! We offer the finest quality accommodation in Devon perfect for families and friends, complete with a heated swimming pool, play barn, private gardens, playhouse, table tennis, table football, a trampoline with a safety net and much more.