Top 5 fabulous day trips from Exeter, Devon, UK
While you’re at the BSN Annual Meeting 2023 in Exeter this September, extend your stay to immerse yourself in the British Science Festival hosted by the University of Exeter this year and enjoy a day trip to explore these stunning places in Devon and Cornwall:
1. Dartmoor National Park - Best for nature enthusiasts
Distance from Exeter: 38 miles
How to get there: Bike, Car, Bus (Dartmoor Explorer) and Train (The Dartmoor Line)
Time to get there: 40 minutes by train and car
Plan your visit: www.dartmoor.gov.uk
Dartmoor National Park is a unique landscape of wild, open moorlands and deep river valleys, with a rich history and rare wildlife. Dartmoor is known for its Tors – large freestanding rock formations that rise up out of the surrounding smooth rolling hills of the moor. Enjoy a walk around the moor followed by a visit to a local village pub. There are also a host of outdoor activities to get you active after the meeting.
Top 10 Tors of Dartmoor
2. Jurassic Coast - Best for sun worshipers and fossil hunters
Distance from Exeter: 15 miles
How to get there: Car, Bus (Jurassic Coaster route X54), Train (South Western Railway)
Time to get there: 35 minute drive
Plan your visit: https://www.jurassiccoast.org/
The Jurassic Coast is a 95-mile long stretch of coastline in southern England. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognised for being the only place on Earth where rocks from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods can be seen in one place, representing 185 million years of Earth’s history. Take a walk along this beautiful stretch of coastline, hunt for fossils or spend time on the beach marvelling at the rocks that tell stories of continents colliding, landscapes being formed and shaped by time and tide, and extraordinary creatures living, dying and evolving across millions of years.
3. Eden Project, Cornwall - Best for families, nature enthusiasts and the climate conscious
Distance from Exeter: 75 miles
How to get there: Car, Train and Bus (Great Western Railway and No 28 Bus)
Time to get there: 1 hour 30 minutes by car, 2 hours 40 min by train and bus
Plan your visit: https://www.edenproject.com/
The Eden Project transformed a barren landscape – a former clay mine with no soil or plants – into a beautiful global garden where you’ll rediscover the natural world as you've never experienced it before. Explore massive, covered Biomes to trek through the world’s largest indoor rainforest and immerse yourself in the calm fragrance of the Mediterranean Biome. Children will also be able to be themselves in the incredible Nature’s Playground opening in July 2023.
At the Eden Project you can enjoy extensive Outdoor Gardens, contemporary artworks, performance and storytelling. Discover places to rest, play and eat, and pick up inspiring ideas to take home on how to care for the planet that cares for you.
4. Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall - Best for explorers, gardeners and romantics
Distance from Exeter: 82 miles
How to get there: Car
Time to get there: 1 hour 41 minutes
Plan your visit: https://www.heligan.com/
Spend the day exploring 200 acres of garden history, mystery and romance. Although a longer trip out of Exeter, if you are unlikely to be in this part of the world again Heligan is not to be missed!
Heligan is one of the most mysterious estates in England. Once a grand estate, Heligan’s gardens were lost under brambles and ivy for decades following WW1. In the 1990s the new owners discovered a tiny room, buried under fallen masonry in the corner of one of the walled gardens. A motto etched into the limestone walls in barely legible pencil still reads “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber”, with the names of those who worked there signed under the date – August 1914. The restoration of this Sleeping Beauty tells the stories of the ‘ordinary’ people who had made the gardens great before being enlisted to fight in the Great War. Today Heligan’s 200 acres are a paradise for the explorer, wildlife, plant lover and garden romantic.
5. Darts Farm and Pebblebed Vineyard - Best for foodies
Distance from Exeter: 6 miles
How to get there: Car
Time to get there: 20 minutes by car
Plan your visit: https://www.dartsfarm.co.uk/ and https://www.dartsfarm.co.uk/farm-vineyards/pebblebed-vineyards
Fifty years ago Darts Farm in Topsham started out as a pioneering ‘pick your own’ working farm shop hut. Today Darts Farm has organically evolved in to the unique lifestyle shopping destination with an Aladdin’s Cave of a food hall to satisfy any foodie’s desires.
Darts Farm includes master butchers, a drinks cellar and tasting bar, restaurant, deli bar and a fish shop offering fresh fish from the sea. Children can enjoy the playground and you can also reconnect with nature by visiting the animals, winding your way through the vegetable fields on the farm walk, or wildlife spotting in the bird hide overlooking the wetlands.
Pebblebed Vinyard was founded in 1999 as a sustainable, small vineyard just over the hedge from Darts Farm. Thanks to its unique terroir and warmer summers, Devon is now thriving as a wine growing region. Tours around the vineyard and winery can be booked for Thursdays and Saturdays until the end of September.