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Written by Savi, 50 Comments

There is something special about English seaside towns and beaches and it has nothing to do with sunbathing or perfectly-tanned bodies. Instead, it’s about wrapping warm, nibbling on fish & chips out of a newspaper cone, and finishing off days with rich dairy ice-cream. A road trip from London to Devon offers the perfect opportunity to sample the best that the English countryside has to offer – there are fields laden with flowers, quaint villages  by the dozen, beaches, UNESCO Heritage Sites, stunning drives, and working farms that boast of orchards laden with fresh fruits.

 

It’s the perfect long weekend away from London. Here’s how you can plan an amazing trip to Devon in 4 easy steps.

 

Road trip London Devon English countryside
A sneak peak of the views on our road trip from London 🙂

 

I) Rent a car

It’s no secret that we love road trips. We’ve rented cars and driven in more than 25 countries – driving is often the easiest and best way to explore a new country. In this case, a car is necessary if you truly want to explore the English countryside. That way, you can stop at a working farm for a quick meal, linger over a field full of wild flowers, chance on a picturesque village hidden from plain sight,  or just picnic in the middle of nowhere on your road trip from London to Devon.

 

It’s easy to rent a car in London as long as you have a valid driving licence. On this occasion we chose Sixt. We’ve rented a car with Sixt dozens of times (Iceland, Northern Ireland, Portugal – you name it!), so it was a no-brainer. They have a number of collection centres in London – make sure you choose one that’s closest to your place because it’s no fun navigating rush-hour traffic in London just to return the car at the end of your road trip 🙂

 

Road trip London Devon rental car
Renting a car gives you the flexibility of stopping at gorgeous places such as this one 🙂

 

II) Do the country-side thing

Now that you have a shiny car at your disposal, stock it with your favourite tuck-shop treats and get going. You’ll sense a change in atmosphere almost as soon as you leave London. Once you reach Devon, let your body adjust to the relaxed rhythm of the countryside. Go for long walks, feed baby lambs on working farms, pick apples or berries at a pick-your-own farm, or simply indulge in a langurous picnic. Truly a glorious beginning to your holiday in the English Countryside 🙂

 

If you want some ideas for pit-stops on the drive from London to Devon, check out our article on 5 Offbeat Day Trips from London (opens in a new tab).

 

Road trip London Devon picnic
Languorous picnics are a must if you’re planning a road-trip from London

 

Road trip London Devon daffodils english countryside
A field of daffodils in Devon

 

III) Find the perfect accommodation

As always, accommodation can make or break a holiday. Make sure you choose accommodation that does justice to the unique rural nature of the English countryside. In fact, we would go so far as to say that hotels in some of the larger towns and cities are a complete no no.  Look for cottages, farms, or refurbished barns. Think cobbled alleys, thatched roofs, fireplaces, and locally-sourced produce – you get the idea! 🙂

 

We stayed at a gorgeous cottage nestled deep in the countryside. The drive to countryside cottages in Devon takes visitors through winding country roads, idyllic farms dotted with sheep, and ancient woods that wouldn’t be out of place in an Enid Blyton novel. Vid was driving and I spent the entire drive peering out of the window at entire stretches of farmland covered with daffodils and marvelling at glistening trees swaying in the gentle breeze. I’m not ashamed to admit that I almost convinced myself that pixies and gnomes could probably be found hiding in the lush meadows in the area 🙂

 

road trip from London to Devon
The English countryside is perfect for dreamers 🙂

 

Make sure you pick up supplies at a supermarket along the way because chances are, there won’t be too many restaurants or shops around your cottage. A starter kit, with tea, coffee, snacks, and milk will help you settle in quicker.

 

Kick off your holiday with a spot of Devon Cream Tea – home-baked scones, clotted cream, and jam. Nom! Spend your days savouring breakfasts with freshly-plucked berries, sampling locally-produced cheeses, BBQing, reading books, and trying to spy an enchanted wood or two. Countryside life in England is truly sprinkled with fairy dust – I love it!!

 

road-trip-from-London-to-devon
What’s Devon without cream tea, cupcakes, and dozens of little treats

 

Road trip London Devon
Views on the roadtrip from London to Devon

 

English summer - aah perfection!!
English summer – aah perfection!!

 

A countryside cottage in Devon provides the perfect base to explore the immediate area and neighbouring Dorset. We would head out in a different direction everyday. There are countless panoramic spots in the area, so you will want to stop your car every 5 minutes 🙂

 

Info 

We booked our cottage with oneoffplaces.co.uk, an amazing website that curates quirky offbeat accommodation from around the world (we love it so!). Check out their selection of cottages in Devon here: www.oneoffplaces.co.uk

 

IV) Explore (obviously!) 

Devon boasts of rolling hills, numerous areas of outstanding natural beauty, the English Riviera, rugged moors, and tranquil wilderness. Here are some of our favourite things to do in the area:

 

  • Take a walk at Ladram Bay

Ladram Bay overlooks the scenic Jurassic Coast and offers gorgeous sea-views. The blue waters of the sea compliment the majestic red-coloured rock formations and provide dozens of photo opportunities. Thousands of campers and holiday-makers stay at Ladram Bay Holiday Park every year. However you can visit Ladram Bay for a few hours too. There is no entry fee and parking costs £5.

 

Road trip London Devon-ladrum--bay
Red-sandstone formations at Ladram Bay, Devon

 

  • Wolf down ice-cream in Sidmouth

A bustling town, there is no dearth of shops in Sidmouth. Fish & chip takeaways line the seaside promenade but we have a soft spot (pun fully intended!) for the amazing ice-cream at Taste of Sidmouth. There are dozens of flavours to choose from but we loved the devilishly decadent Ferrero Rocher ice-cream. Beware of the huge portions – a single scoop of ice-cream at at Taste of Sidmouth can probably feed two 😉

 

Road trip London Devon-taste-of-sidmouth
Ice-cream at taste of Sidmouth – YES!

 

  • Escape to the 18th Century at Branscombe

Tucked away in the scenic Devon countryside, Branscombe is definitely one of the most picturesque villages (if not THE most picturesque) in the area. There are quaint old buildings weighed down with colourful flowers at every corner. You’re bound to feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you admire the thatched roofs of the houses and pay a visit to Branscombe’s 400-year old mill. If you’re a keen photographer, Branscombe will be the highlight of your road-trip to Devon.

 

Road trip London Devon-branscombe
Branscombe is a photographer’s delight

 

  • Get a photo clicked at Beer

You know you need to pull over when a place is called Beer. Sheer novelty of the name apart, Beer is a cute fishing village in Devon. The ancient village boasts of arresting views of white chalk cliffs, charming sea-side walks, and fishing boats by the dozen.

 

Road trip London Devon-beer-fishing-village
A place called Beer? Of course you need to stop there 🙂

 

  • Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove

Now this is a bit controversial because Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, in neighbouring Dorset, are a two hour drive away from Devon. But we love them. These are two stops that need to feature on every road trip from London to Devon. This drive takes visitors along the Jurassic Coast, England’s first natural UNESCO Heritage Site. The stunning drive is littered with majestic panoramas, so it’s completely worth it!

 

Lulworth Cove is a crescent-shaped cove that boasts of turquoise waters and handsome cliffs in the background. Durdle Door, a natural limestone arch, is one of the most photographed locations in UK and one of the prettiest geological wonders in the entire world. We will let photos do the talking because words just can’t do justice to the beauty of these natural wonders. Pack a picnic and wrap warm because it can get really windy – make sure you stay back at Durdle Door for sunset. It’s all kinds of amazing.

 

Road trip London Devon-durdle-door-at-sunset
Gorgeous sunset at Durdle Door

 

That’s it – everything you need to know about planning the perfect road trip from London to Devon. Devon has everything from meandering streams, secret coves, and magical woods to rugged moors, secluded beaches, and the wild Atlantic Ocean and we couldn’t love it more if we tried! 🙂

 

Road trip London Devon
You can feed little lambs with tiny bottles of milk 🙂

 

 

Road trip London Devon
One last look at the roads you will encounter on your road trip from London to Devon

 

Do you love the English countryside as much as we do? 🙂  If you have more time on your hands, you should definitely continue the road trip to Cornwall.

 

Planning a trip to London?

We have everything you need to plan your trip to London, including all our favourite things to do in London, what to pack (and what not to pack ;-) ) in our Guide to London.

50 thoughts on “Road Trip from London To Devon: An Enchanted Getaway

  1. Hi Savi/Vid,

    Im your newest fan, puhhhhleeez count me in 😉
    You have such a wonderful blog and the pics are breathtaking, and so are you guys 🙂
    I hope to travel to at least a couple of places you have listed, someday!!!
    God bless and wish you get to travel more and more!!!

    1. Hey Anika – so good to hear from you. We’re SO happy to hear you enjoy Bruised Passports and hope you’ll continue to follow our adventures around the world. Hugs 🙂

    1. You’ll definitely love it Shilpa – the best time to visit Devon is between June & September, when the flowers are in full bloom 🙂

  2. Such awesome pictures Vid.. and Savi.. you, my lady, look soooooo beautiful and charming. You have added one more item to my bucket list. 😀

    Which lens was this?

    1. Thanks a million Surabhi – always love hearing from you. We used a Nikkor 28-300mm f3.5 – 5.6 VR lens for these photos 🙂

  3. this place looks like heaven in these photos !! amazing photography guys !! this place seems soo tempting !!! 😀 i wanna bee theree !! ehh ehh eehh !!!!

  4. This sounds like the PERFECT weekend getaway! Love the freedom of having your own car, the cottage looks absolutely adorable and you cannot go wrong with fields full of daffodils, rolling hills and gorgeous sunsets. I am very, very jealous right now!

    1. Thanks Catherine – there’s nothing quite like having your own car and the English countryside at your disposal 🙂

  5. I grew up reading Enid Blyton and you just brought the books alive to me! I just spent a very lovely quarter of an hour reminiscing about them 😉 Your accommodation looks so delightfully cosy. I am reminded of a recent trip to Coorg (karnataka) where we stayed at a homestay on a large coffee estate. I so agree with you about finding the accommodation that does justice to the place 🙂
    Savi, you look adorable. I loved reading your description as much as I enjoyed drooling over Vid’s photography. Perhaps a tad more 🙂

    1. I always think of you when I pen a Blyton-inspired reverie Ramya – I remember you left a comment about being a fellow Blyton fan on one of our very first blog posts (about Northern Ireland)! What was the name of the coffee estate? Would love to look it up and stay there 🙂

      1. Sorry for the late reply guys. There are a lot of estates in Coorg I’ve been to but I think Eco Habitat and Kedakal Estate are worth a try. They won’t be like the luxurious resorts (Tamara, Orange County, Vivanta are some great ones). But for a true taste of the delicious Kodagu food and culture, nothing is quite like a cozy homestay! 🙂

  6. I just found your blog and I LOVE it. What beautiful pictures, the envy is oozing out! I love England and the English country side is just beautiful. you did a great job at capturing it and exploring 🙂

    1. Yay – I’m so glad you discovered Bruised Passports and you enjoy following our adventures around the world Rebecca 🙂

  7. This place looks so blissful! You’ve definitely inspired me to check out these little country towns during my next visit. LOVE those cute gumboots by the way!

  8. So funny! Thanks to the holiday weekend last weekend, we recently did a similar trip. Oh us Londoners heading out of town. It’s the best thing to do ever.

  9. Hiya S&V :),
    ~ what speed one should drive on UK highways? I am not a fast driver! 80+ is too much for me! So is it safe driving 60 to 80 mph on this route without being bothered by other vehicles?
    ~ And does the trafic flows both sides? or there are two separate roads built for travelling back and forth?
    ~ Any security, safety issues one should be aware of?
    ~ Is it ok to take a 2yr old rockstar and a 6yr old queen on a UK highway self -driving experience?

    FYI – I have been to UK twice and traveled to Wiltshire, Bath, London by car but never self-driven!

    1. Hi Jitendra,

      You can drive slow but drive in the left most lane in that case. I’m not sure what you mean by safety issues – as long as you drive properly and stay in your lane, there shouldn’t be any issue. It’s absolutely ok to take your children – be sure to have proper seats for them.

      Have a great time.

  10. just reading through and catching up on all your blogs and all the ones ive not seen yet, and I must say that the picture of Durdle door is absolutely amazing and the best pic i’ve ever seen of it xx love it

  11. Hi! Hope you are having a blast wherever you are in the world! So happy I stumbled on your blog while checking roadtrips around London! Tons of cool things to do while around here! (Just moved!) Though most of it looks is better to do in spring/summer…!

    Any roadtrip destination you would recommend for end March/beginning of April for around 5 days from London??

    Have a happy time!

    1. Hey Maria – London’s a great city and you’ll have an incredible time there. Unfortunately the weather during March/April can be extremely unpredictable. Both Cornwall and Devon are amazing for an Easter getaway but do consult the weather forecast before you book the hotel/car rental 🙂

  12. Hi Guys,

    Love this post ! we are planning to do a road trip to Devon coming weekend. after being inspired yet again ( and lanzarote end of march 🙂 )

    Its not spring yet, but we need a break !

    And of course are going to copy your itinerary coz we love your planning !

    Any chance you could share your itinerary – all the places in above page look right next to each other in south east devon ?

    Did you do them all in a day or you split them across a weekend ? Also did you cover other parts of Devon.

    Cheers
    Amar

    1. Hey Amar – a winter/spring break in Devon sounds perfect. You’re right – we spent all our time in South East Devon. It was quite a lazy break because we just relaxed, picnicked, and crammed our faces with cream tea 😉 We split all this across a weekend and didn’t cover any other part of Devon

  13. Hi Guys, do you have article on a trip to Scotland? If not, what would be the best places to visit in 3-4 days in Scotland?

    1. Hey Kavitha,

      No we haven’t written an article on Scotland yet. If you have only 3-4 days, we’d suggest spending those in Edinburgh – we love that city 🙂

  14. Thank you for all the info. We’re droning there now – at Easter, though it’s cold & cloudy we intend to have a great time despite the weather! We are really looking forward to this break!

  15. Hey guys! The pictures are drool worthy. How many days would you suggest for a road trip from London to Devon? We would be in the U.K. in August.

  16. hi guys, i like most your posts on instagram. You guys are absolutely wonderful couple travelling together and seems to be enjoying a lot. Keep it up!!!

    I’m planning a road trip for 4 days with my family members (includes elders also) from london. Durdle door is one of location we chose, but if you guys can suggest me few more places to cover within those four days apart from london, i would be very thankful to you.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hey Vijay – as suggested above you can go onto Devon, rent a cottage there, and stay for a few days 🙂

  17. This is such an amazing blog and came across it just at the most appropriate time. I am visiting London in mid of July . Can you please share the trip route from London to Devon and thereon as mentioned in this article. My friends and I would very much like to do this trip as we were planning to stay in London for 10 days. Thanks

    1. Hey just look up google maps for the exact route – stop at Durdle Door and spend a few days in a cottage in Devon 🙂

  18. A really nice article. The pictures are simply beautiful. Been to Devon before and would love to go again & i agree renting a car is a must to enjoy the Britsh countryside.

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