Places of Interest

National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth
An interesting place in all weathers. Visit the UK's largest aquarium and be amazed by our fascinating underwater world. The National Marine Aquarium is a registered charity committed to promoting a sympathetic understanding of the sea through programmes of education, conservation and research. They have over 70 sharks from more than ten different species. The sharks on display range in size from the small dogfish to the large Sand Tiger Sharks.
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Dartington Hall Estate, Dartington
Dartington Hall Estate is well worth a visit. In 1925, Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst purchased the neglected 14th century Dartington estate. The Elmhirsts were pioneers, inspired by many innovative thinkers of the time and Dorothy had inherited considerable wealth, which she devoted to founding the Dartington Hall Trust. Dartington rapidly became a magnet for artists, architects, writers, philosophers and musicians from around the world, creating an exceptional centre of creative activity. It is also the base for the “Ways with Words” literary festival held in July each year. It is a festival of words and ideas and is a vibrant and joyful 10-day event, a chance for those who read books to meet those who write them. The setting is glorious, the atmosphere is invigorating. People come together in spectacular surroundings to share the pleasure and power of language and ideas. The warmth and energy of this lively gathering make it a memorable occasion. There is a beautiful garden with wonderful herbaceous borders and a tilt yard where jousting took place. In spring, there are camellias, magnolias, azaleas and numerous colourful bulbs. Also, the witch hazel walk is a sight to behold, filling the air with perfume and being under-planted with pretty blue chinodoxas. The Great Hall is a magnificent medieval building with huge fireplaces and vast beamed ceilings. There is a very good pub/restaurant there too, the White Hart, with a wonderful ambience and excellent food. There is also a unique cinema there “The Barn” and the Roundhouse Cafe, serving mouth-watering home-made cakes, teas, coffees etc.
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Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh
Buckfast Abbey was founded by Earl Aylward in 1018. In 1147 it became a Cistercian abbey and was rebuilt in stone. Today you can visit this tranquil place. There are shops where it is possible to buy the Buckfast Tonic Wine made by the Benedictine monks, and honey which is produced there.
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Kents Cavern, Torquay
Ancient caves. Good for wet weather!
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Totnes Castle, Totnes (English Heritage)
A classic Norman motte and bailey castle, founded soon after the Conquest to overawe the Saxon town. A later stone shell-keep crowns its steep mound, giving sweeping views across the town rooftops to the River Dart.
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South Devon Railway
The South Devon Railway is one of Devon’s and the West Country’s best loved tourist attractions and is the longest established steam railway in the south west. It is a seven mile former Great Western Railway branch line, built in 1872, which runs along the stunning valley of the River Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. They run steam trains with heritage rolling stock and offer a wonderful all day attraction for families and people of all ages. If you happen to visit at Christmas, they run “Santa Specials” with mince pies for adults and sweets and presents for the children.
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Paignton Zoo, Paignton
With three thousand animals, five different habitats and many different activities. Cafe. Free parking. Paignton Zoo was founded by Herbert Whitley, a shy, eccentric, millionaire, and was opened to the public in 1923. Torbay Zoological Gardens, as it was known, included monkeys, bison, zebras, baboons and many birds. Entry was one shilling for adults and sixpence for children. From the earliest times education, conservation and botanical themes were important. The Zoo is now an education and scientific charity dedicated to conserving our global wildlife heritage and inspiring in its many visitors a life long respect for animals and the environment.
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Dartmouth Castle, Dartmouth (English Heritage)
One of the most picturesquely-sited fortresses in England. For over 600 years Dartmouth Castle has guarded the narrow entrance to the Dart Estuary and the busy, vibrant port of Dartmouth. This fascinating complex of defences was begun in 1388 by John Hawley.
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