Days out in Devon
Beach sit beneath the South West Coast Path between Bantham and Salcombe. Photo: VisitEngland/Visit South Devon
The South West Coast Path from Bantham to Salcombe takes in sandy coves, lamb-filled pastures, dramatic headlands and towering pinnacles. Leave time for a crab sandwich at Beachhouse at South Milton Sands (44; beachhousedevon.com; open daily).
The riverside walk from Steps Bridge in Dunsford nature reserve, Dartmoor, weaves through one of most scenic bluebell woods in the county. RHS Rosemoor (0845 265 8072; rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor; admission £8.95; open daily) in Torrington, North Devon, is also looking its best, with tulips, rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias in bloom.
RHS Rosemoor near Torrington. Photo: VisitEngland
Other great days out in Devon
Visit Agatha Christie's home
In her expert guide to Devon, Suzy Bennett also recommends visiting the National Trust property of Greenway, Galmpton (82; nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway), Agatha Christie’s private holiday home on the River Dart, which is "much as it was when the crime-writer stayed here seeking inspiration for her books. " There are first editions on the shelves and collections of china. Adults £10.90; child £5.45.
Cycle along a disused railway line
The Tarka Trail, of which 30 miles is accessible to cyclists, is what was once a railway and has now been upgraded with 21 points where cyclists can find out about the area's history and wildlife. Suzy Bennett recommends a day trip between Meeth and Barnstaple (26 miles) or Great Torrington (16 miles) to give a good taster, with a bus service for the return trip.
Cyclists can use the Tarka Trail for an enjoyable day out. Photo: Alamy
Visit one of the county's oldest castles
Powderham Castle is one of the county's oldest family seats and is surrounded by grounds and a deer park with views over the Exe Estuary. New for 2015 are woodcarving sessions and weekly deer park safaris. Adults £12.50; child £11 in peak season (43 ; powderham.co.uk)
Quiet country towns
Suzy Bennett recommends visiting Totnes for its "smaller, more manageable centre than Exeter" She praises its "fantastic cheese shop, Riverford Organic farm shop and bevy of tea-rooms". Also visit the castle and the city ramparts. Topsham is another alternative.
A murder mystery castle
An English Heritage site, the ruins of Okehampton Castle (4; english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/okehampton-castle) mark a site where “Wicked” Lady Howard is alleged to have murdered all four of her husbands. The traditional motte and bailey castle was transformed into an opulent palace in the 14th century, but when its last owner got on Henry VIII's worse side, it fell into ruin. Adults £4.70; child £2.80