There are a couple of very good reasons as to why the county of Devon, in the south-west of England, is ranked as the top destination for tourists in the whole of the United Kingdom. With two separate coastlines, a plethora of quaint and tranquil fishing villages and towns, and a climate that is known to be milder here than the rest of the country, these attractions and qualities also extend to people looking for an ideal place to retire.
In terms of land area, Devon is the third largest county in England and has a population approaching 1.1 million inhabitants. The county town is Exeter and this in itself will rank as our first choice of perfectly idyllic Devon towns to retire to as it offers its citizens everything they could possibly need.
After Plymouth, Exeter is the second largest city in Devon, but by far the most preferred choice when it comes to places to retire to. The city offers absolutely everything from an historic and world-famous cathedral, to great shopping, sporting facilities and you are also never more than a half-hour drive from the gorgeous South Devon coastline.
Easily the busiest tourist resort in the whole of Devon and gracing the mild English Riviera coast. Torquay has everything going on and will appeal to people who wish to retire in a vibrant and extremely lively seaside town. There is a glorious sandy beach to be found here, plus many people of retirement age to socialize with and make new friends.
Totnes is a delightful and historic market town to be found in the South Hams district of the county. This is where you will find a good number of ‘arty’ people living and the town may not be huge in size, but it spoils its inhabitants with the amount of things going on in the area. A particularly affluent town and this therefore means that property prices are high in and around the South Hams.
In manyways, Dartmouth is quite similar to Totnes, however, this town lies on the coast itself and this certainly gives Dartmouth an advantage. This, too, is a very ‘arty’ town and there are some fantastic galleries to explore in the area. You are able to enjoy a good number of tea rooms, fish and chip cafes and other restaurants in Dartmouth and the specialist shops are always well worth a browse.
Moving up to the north coast of Devon—on the Bristol Channel—the quaint fishing town of Ilfracombe is an absolute delight and easily one of the best in the area. Again, this is a very self-contained town with everything around you could ever need. Fish restaurants abound here and there is also an excellent town centre.
Tavistock really is the jewel in West Devon’s crown. This is an historic market town that is no more than a half-hour drive from Devon and Cornwall’s largest city of Plymouth. The quaint town centre has a number of specialist shops to enjoy and this is an ideal place to retire to if you would like to be just a stone’s throw away from the beautiful Dartmoor National Park—the largest parkland of natural moorlands in the Southwest.
Oh my goodness! Devon towns really do not come any more idyllic and beautiful than Clovelly, which lies in the north of the county. Much of the settlement lies on rather steep hills—which may not be great for anyone with walking difficulties, but if you are nimble enough on your feet, the sheer beauty of this part of the world will make the hills seem totally worthwhile. This is also an ideal town for exploring the nearby Exmoor National Park.
This is one of the best choices for people looking to retire to the east of the county. Sidmouth offers its inhabitants everything they could ever possibly need, plus there are some great beaches within a short driving distance of the town. You are also very close to what is known as the Jurassic Coast: which stretches into neighboring Dorset and is where you will find copious numbers of fossils dating back from this ancient period in the Earth’s history—to the time of the dinosaurs, no less!
To be honest with you, we have only scraped the surface of the idyllic Devon towns to retire to: there really are dozens for you to choose between. Nevertheless, hopefully the choices above have whetted your appetite to investigate this most popular of England’s counties further.