Devon is one of the UK's most popular destinations for holidays and for good reason. With two amazing coastlines, fascinating historic cities and miles of striking countryside, it's ideal for staycations. Located in Southwest England, Devon enjoys one of the best local climates in the country and, best of all, it's easy to get to by train from London and elsewhere.
Trains to Devon are ideal for family holidays or romantic breaks in idyllic surroundings. As it's so close to London, it's easy to understand why so many holidaymakers choose the region for their breaks.
Take a train to Devon and experience the beauty of a sprawling and gorgeous county. From historic Exeter to scenic Newton Abbot, you'll be spoilt for choice... and we haven't even mentioned the many miles of beautiful coastline yet!
Getting to Devon couldn't be easier by train. You can travel from London to Exeter in around 2 hours and 50 minutes without any changes. Other major destinations include Exmouth, Barnstaple, Cranbrook, Newtown Abbot and Torquay. Some of the highlights of a trip to Devon include Exeter Cathedral, The Royal Albert Memorial Museum, the quirky A La Ronde, a stately home in Exmouth, and cycling the Tarpa Trail in Barnstaple. Paddington Station is the gateway to Devon from London, but access from other areas is straightforward enough. For example, you can get from Bristol to Devon in just 1 hour and 27 minutes.
The county town of Devon is full of exciting history and beautiful old streets to wander through. You will almost certainly arrive at Exeter Central station, although some services pull into Exeter St Davids and Exeter St Thomas. As well as the cathedral and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, be sure to check out the Medieval underground passages. This hidden side of the city is truly fascinating.
Trains to Devon can also take you to a world of nature while remaining conveniently close to towns. As well as being a charming place with a colourful port, Exmouth is a superb base for nature holidays. You can head out to the Exe Estuary, which is particularly great for cyclists. Alternatively, you can go for a walk to Orcombe Point, a World Heritage coastal point. The World of Country Life is a nature park with a petting zoo and farming museum, well worth a visit.
A quintessential British holiday resort, Torquay is fantastic for family holidays. Admire the grounds and interior of the grand Torre Abbey, paddle at the beach of Meadfoot and visit the prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern. This may be the setting of Fawlty Towers, but the hotels here are anything but chaotic! You and your family will soon be having an unforgettable holiday eating ice cream and strolling along this most dazzling of coastlines.
History buffs are in for a particular treat in Dartmouth with the 14th-century Dartmouth Castle offering splendid views out across the estuary. You can also take a ride on the iconic Dartmouth Steam Railway and tour the local countryside. The beaches here are excellent too, with Blackpool Sands being a top place to spend the day. You can even rent kayaks and take to the water if you’re feeling active.
This is the perfect place to get away from it all in Devon, in peaceful surroundings that still offer authentic local pubs. Hike along the Hackney Marshes or kick back and enjoy a picnic at the lake of Stover Country Park. For an exhilarating group activity, check out the escape room experience at Devon Escape.
The most popular route into the county is from London Paddington to Exeter. This service's key calling points include Reading, Swindon (Wells) and Taunton. Alternatively, from Bristol Temple Meads it takes a mere 30 minutes to reach Taunton with a direct service. You can get from Southampton to Exeter in just 2 hours and 30 minutes, usually changing at Westbury.
Great Western Railway operates the majority of train journeys into Devon. If you are travelling through London from elsewhere, say East Anglia or the South Coast (for example, Brighton), your Tube fare through London is usually included in your ticket. Wherever your starting point or destination is, getting trains to Devon is a convenient and efficient way to arrive. As it's so close to London and other towns, you can head there for day trips or a long weekend away from the bustle of the city!
Here are the major calling points in Devon, which will give you an idea of the brilliant destinations just waiting to be discovered by train. As it's such a large county with a lot to discover, you could well be inspired to return again and again.
With so many types of train tickets available, why not check out our UK ticket types page? We'll help you get the best possible deal for you when it comes to trains to Devon.