Devon boasts a selection of idyllic villages waiting to be discovered. The county in South West England is a holiday destination best known for its unique coastline views and beautiful beaches, many of which are within a short distance of these villages.

    Whether you’re looking for historic walks down charming cobblestoned streets or just a village with picturesque sights to relax in, there’s bound to be a spot in Devon for you. Here are our picks of the most beautiful villages in Devon, all of which are worth a visit to fill up your Instagram feed.

    1

    Bigbury-on-Sea

    A coastal village above South Devon's largest beach

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    Bigbury-on-Sea is close by Devon’s south coast, overlooking Bigbury Bay and Burgh Island. It was set up as a fishermen's village at the beginning of the 20th century but has since become a popular spot for holidaymakers hoping to trade bustling cityscapes for a seaside vacation.

    The village sits above the Bigbury-on-Sea Beach, the largest in South Devon. Adrenaline seekers can enjoy an array of water sports here. Visit the famous Pilchard’s Hut for some fresh bakes and handcrafted drinks. When the tide is low, you’ll even be able to walk over to Burgh Island.

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    2

    Clovelly

    Try spotting a donkey trotting along the cobblestone streets

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    Clovelly is a historic harbour village in Torridge of North Devon. A small fee is required to explore this working fishing village, though it’s free for children below 7. This fee includes a visit to 2 museums in the village and entrance to the Clovelly Court Gardens.

    Its pedestrianised streets are covered in cobblestones – you’re welcome to explore on foot without worries thanks to its car-free environment. Clifftop walks are popular here, where you can take in breathtaking views of the village and the coastline from above.

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    3

    Beer

    See the village that’s a part of England’s first World Heritage site

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    The village of Beer in East Devon is a popular holiday spot offering beautiful beachside views and unique white cliffs. Not to be confused with the popular beverage, the name Beer was actually derived from the Old English word bearu – meaning grove.

    Within the village, you’ll be able to visit the Beer Quarry Caves or explore the picturesque Jurassic Coast – part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you’d like to further immerse yourself in the culture of Beer then you’ll want to visit in August, when the week-long Beer Regatta celebration takes place.

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    photo by Andreas Trepte (CC BY-SA 2.5) modified

    4

    Appledore

    An old fishing village with colourful cottages and homes

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    Appledore is an old fishing village known for its shipbuilding traditions that's still in operation today. Located on the North Devon coast, it has 2 sandy-gold beaches – the livelier Instow Beach is ideal for families and young couples, while the quieter Westward Ho! Beach is where you can find pubs and restaurants. Be sure to stop and marvel at the colourful cottages that fishermen once called home.

    On rainy days, you’re welcome to seek shelter in the North Devon Maritime Museum. Be taken back in time to the history of Appledore and its shipbuilding techniques as well as tales from World War II.

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    photo by Ethan Doyle White (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    5

    Dittisham

    Visit Darthmouth’s peaceful riverside village

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    Dittisham, or Ditsum as the locals call it, is a yachting village across Greenway. It's especially known for its quaint riverside lifestyle, ideal for anyone looking for a peaceful break in Devon.

    Beyond taking in views of boats sailing by the River Dart, you can visit many historical sites like St. George's Church. A must-see here is the coat of arms of King Charles II, which hangs over the door. Come mealtimes, do pop into the famous Ferry Boat Inn Dittisham – you can dine alfresco by the water while enjoying delicious pub classics.

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    6

    Cockington

    See Devon’s Hobbit-like village

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    Cockington is a picturesque village in Devon, about 2.5 miles west of Torquay. It’s most popular for its thatched houses lining its narrow lanes, which look like something out of The Lord of the Rings.

    Historically, the village is believed to have been around for over 2,500 years due to the findings of 2 Iron Age forts around Cockington Valley. There are also almshouses built during the reign of King James I, while Cockington Church dates back to 1069. You may want to drop by the Cockington Visitor Centre for an in-depth guide to exploring the village.

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    7

    Braunton

    Combining historic village charms with bustling nightlife experiences

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    Braunton is just 10 minutes away from the town of Barnstaple in Devon. It’s one of Devon’s busiest villages as it sits between Barnstaple and several tourist hideouts such as the sandy beaches of Saunton, Croyde, and Woolacombe.

    Most will find Braunton unique as the Caen Stream runs through the middle of the village. After sunset, you’ll find plenty of pubs and restaurants that open till late. If you’re looking for a memorable evening out, SQ Bar and Restaurant offers handcrafted cocktails and live music on its rooftop.

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    8

    Lynton and Lynmouth

    Explore Devon’s most popular twin villages

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    Lynton and Lynmouth are twin villages in North Devon. Set by the heritage coast of the Exmoor National Park, it’s often regarded as England’s very own Little Switzerland. A unique way to visit both villages is by hopping on the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway – you’ll be ferried between the villages on the world’s only water-powered train.

    Situated on the top of the cliff, Lynton is best known for its picturesque bird’s-eye views of the sea. You’re welcome to explore old fishermen cottages lining the harbour of Lynmouth at the bottom of the cliff.

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    9

    Lustleigh

    A great spot for picturesque countryside views

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    Lustleigh is a small village nestled within the Dartmoor National Park in Devon. Thatched cottages line the lanes of this triangular village, earning it the nickname "The Prettiest Village in Dartmoor".

    At the heart of the village, you’ll come across the Church of St John the Baptist, believed to have been around since 1250. Inside, you’ll be greeted with beautiful stained-glass windows and a historic Celtic carved stone. Complete your experience in Lustleigh with a visit to the village’s only pub. Called The Cleave, you can enjoy some locally brewed beer and have a chat with friendly locals.

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    10

    Lee Bay

    Relax by this hidden beachside village

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    Lee Bay is a small village between the coasts of Ilfracombe and Woolacombe. Located in a Designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s one of Devon’s most picturesque beachside attractions. You can enjoy a swim in its clear water, though take extra caution as there are no lifeguards in the area. When the tide is low, the beach has many rock pools for kids to explore.

    Come springtime, Lee becomes what the locals call the "Fuschia Valley". Hundreds of scarlet flowers bloom on the hedgerows lining the village, resulting in excellent photo opportunities.

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    Elie Lam | Contributing Writer

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