lies in south-western England between the English Channel to the south
and the Bristol Channel to
Towns include the county seat of Exeter.
island of Lundy
lies off its northern coastline.
|Areas of Outstanding
Devon AONB was designated in 1959 to protect the county's northern
coast and runs west from the village of Combe
Martin down as far as the neighbouring county of Cornwall taking
in some of the most spectacular coastline in England.
Combe Martin in 1824
Devon AONB was designated in 1960 to protect the coastline in
the south of the county. Stretching from Torbay
in the east to the city of Plymouth
in the west the area includes the Dart
estuaries, the South Hams and famous beauty spots such as Bolt
Head and Slapton
Devon AONB was designated in 1963 covering the distinctive and
largely unspoilt southern coastline stretching east from Exmouth
to near Lyme
Regis in 1812
Hills - a range of hills running along part of the county's eastern
border with Somerset - were designated an AONB in 1991.
Valley AONB includes three river systems: the Tamar
rivers to the north of Plymouth and the Lynher
to the west of the city. All three rivers enter the sea in one of
England's last unspoilt estuaries. The east of the AONB lies in the
neighbouring county of Devon and was designated in 1995.
Francis Drake was born at Crowndale
near Tavistock in 1540. In 1577 he set sail from Plymouth in the Pelican
(later renamed the Golden Hind), returning to Plymouth in 1580 and
becoming the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world. From 1581
he lived at Buckland
Abbey in the county until 1596 when he died of fever off Porto
Bello in Panama. He was buried at sea.
Walter Ralegh was born about 1552 in Hayes Barton, growing
up near the Devon coast.
Martin Frobisher died in Plymouth in 1594.
He set out on the first of three attempts to find the Northwest Passage
round Canada in 1576, the first Englishman to do so since John
and his son had failed to find the elusive route to Asia.
Frobisher had reached as far as Labrador and named the area he found
Frobisher Bay. Later in his life he sailed with
and also fought against the Spanish
It was during a later battle against the Spanish off Brest in France
that Frobisher was mortally wounded, dying on his return to port at
Bligh was born in 1754 in Plymouth. He sailed on Captain
James Cook's third and last world voyage from 1776-80 and in 1787
took command of "The Bounty" to Tahiti. After the infamous
mutiny in 1789 by the ship's first-mate Fletcher Christian and his
men, Bligh was set adrift with 18 other crewmembers in an open boat
on the the Pacific Ocean. They survived, sailing over 5,800 kilometres
to reach land at Timor.
Richard Francis Burton was born in Torquay in 1821. In 1856 he
set out with John Hanning Speke to find the source of the Nile and
in 1858 they became the first Europeans to reach Lake Tanganyika.
Burton, suffering from malaria, had to turn back and it was Speke
travelling on alone who discovered the river's source which he named
Lake Victoria. Burton died in 1890 in Trieste which then lay in the
Austrian Empire, now in Italy.
Richard Francis Burton
Burton's companion John
Hanning Speke was born near Bideford in the county in 1827. In
1856 he set out with Richard Francis Burton to find the source of
the Nile and in 1858 they became the first Europeans to reach Lake
Tanganyika. Burton, suffering from malaria, had to turn back and it
was Speke travelling on alone who discovered the river's source which
he named Lake Victoria. Speke died in 1864 when he accidentally shot
himself during a partridge shoot in Wiltshire.
Falcon Scott was born in Devonport in 1868. He died in 1912 after
reaching the South
Pole after the Norwegian Roald Amundsen. Scott and his team were
caught in a blizzard and died in their tents. Their bodies were not
discovered until eight months later still in their sleeping bags with
diaries recording their last days.
Race to the South Pole
was born in Ottery St Mary in 1772.
The Friends of Coleridge
Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.
Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798)
Christie, creator of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, was born
as Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller in Torquay. Greenway,
a house lying on the banks of the nearby River Dart, was acquired
by the author in 1938 and stayed in her family until 2000 when it
was donated to the National Trust. It was here she wrote many of her
learned... that one can never go back, that one should not ever try
to go back - that the essence of life is going forward. Life is really
a One Way Street.
At Bertram's Hotel (1965)
Fowles, author of The Magus and The French Lieutenant's
Woman, died in 2005 at Axminster in the county, not far from his
home in Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast.
...to realize that life, ... , is not a symbol, is not one riddle
and one failure to guess it, is not to inhabit one face alone or to
be given up after one losing throw of the dice; but is to be, however
inadequately, emptily, hopelessly into the city's iron heart, endured.
And out again, upon the unplumb'd, salt, estranging sea.
The French Lieutenant's Woman - Closing lines of novel