How you can celebrate Devon Day this June 4
PUBLISHED: 16:46 13 May 2019
It's Devon Day this month - a chance to celebrate all that's great about our beautiful county. And there's a whole lotta love out there, as CHRISSY HARRIS discovers
Okay. We're slightly biased at Devon Life. We already know what a special place we have here.
Stunning countryside, golden beaches, a Jurassic coastline, rugged moorland, buzzing cities - why would you want to be anywhere else?
It seems only right then that we set aside a day of the year to shout about it all.
The idea for Devon Day started back in 2014 when Rick Turner, one of Visit Devon's directors, decided it was time we had a date in the calendar.
On 4 June it is St Petroc's Day - the patron saint of the county. "We thought that would fit," says Rick Turner, who is also director of The Big Sheep theme park in Abbotsham, North Devon. "Then it just took off from there."
Since becoming official in 2016, Devon Day has attracted a massive online following, with people sharing their love for the county on social media.
In 2017, more than 2.4million Twitter followers saw #DevonDay and last year, the subject was trending on Twitter nationally for more than eight hours.
This year, we want it to be even bigger. We want you to shout from the rooftops about how great Devon is and what you love about being here.
There will be lots of events and promotions, organised to inspire people to visit our county.
"I'm just hugely proud of how well it's been received, but I knew it would be," says Rick. "Devonians are so proud of what we have and what we do here."
To prove it, we've asked a handful of proud locals to tell us how they would spend their ideal 'Devon Day'. They reveal some of the best places to see, explore, eat and drink…
Starting with Rick Turner himself, he says: "The sunsets from along the North Devon coast are truly spectacular and places like the Valley of the Rocks near Lynmouth - where Exmoor meets the sea - are immense.
"I do like to get away from the crowds, to walk along the more remote stretches of the coast path, especially when the bluebells are in full bloom, or find a near deserted stretch of the miles of golden sands at Saunton to just enjoy the raw beauty of the natural world. The Unesco Biosphere which surrounds the golf course here is magical."
Mitch Tonks is a chef, seafood ambassador, food writer and restauranteur. He says: "My top Devon Day would start with a morning walk with my dogs to the end of breakwater in Brixham, ponder my thoughts and "chat" with my dad, who used to walk this walk with me.
"I'll take a coffee and brandy at Rockfish and pop in to the fish room and see what's in the day's catch. Then I would go out on my boat. It's all stocked up and ready to go anywhere.
"I'd sail to just round to Dittisham and moor up by the Anchorstone café then ashore for a few beers in the pub and a cracked crab with friends in the Anchorstone. Then it would be back to the boat for a sleep in the sun, cook and listen to an audio book then fall asleep and wake up and sail to the next place I fancy."
Seth Lakeman is a world famous folk singer and songwriter who grew up near Buckland Monachorum, near Yelverton.
He says: "I would visit Buckland Abbey, the National Trust House owned by Sir Francis Drake, then my favourite walk is up to Peek Hill (on Dartmoor) and back. To eat, it would have to be The Game Larder in Yelverton."
Jemma and Gavin Doyle run Fisherton Farm in Umberleigh, a 100-acre, 16th Century farm which also has an off-grid eco glamping site with vintage gypsy caravans. Jemma says her family's favourite day out is usually Putsborough beach.
"It's great for watching sunsets and having a barbecue with lots of kids and beach cricket," she says. "We also love a wild swim in the river Taw or Torridge and RHS Rosemoor is a wonderful relaxing experience.
"We REALLY love Watermouth Castle. It's absolutely bonkers, privately owned and full of mad stuff (especially the musical water fountain)."
Alec Collyer MBE is one of the founding members of Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton. His day would be spent in South Devon and involve a motorbike ride.
"I'd go to Dartmouth for a Rockfish lunch, then along Slapton Sands with an ice cream stop. I would possibly then head to Start Point lighthouse and then go for an evening beer in Hope Cove."
Andy Breare is a presenter on BBC's Spotlight news programme. His ideal day would start in Plymouth: "I'd start the day with a coffee at the excellent Hutong Café (just outside the Royal William Yard). Then I'd catch the Cremyll ferry over to Mount Edgcumbe for a picnic."
The Unmumsy Mum, Sarah Turner, is a bestselling author and blogger who lives in Exeter with her husband and three children. She says: For a perfect 'Devon Day,' I'd take the family up to Haytor for a nice walk and then pop in to Ullacombe Farm for a cream tea on our way home."
Alex Graeme runs Unique Devon Tours, based in Newton Abbot. He says: "My ideal day is to celebrate the diversity of the county, so I would spend half a day on Dartmoor National Park.
"Following lunch, which would be at the ever excellent Rugglestone Inn at Widecombe, I'd head down to the South Devon coast and drive along some of the beautiful coast road, perhaps from Torcross to Dartmouth."
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN
Tell us how you would spend Devon Day and what you love about this county. Send us your photographs and comments via our Facebook and Twitter pages, using the #DevonDay