How to get to Devon
Devon is a popular holiday destination accessible by train, by car and coach and by air. For general information to help with planning your journey to the West Country, visit www.traveline.org.uk. Using public transport is an environmentally friendly way of visiting and getting around Devon. It is possible to holiday in Devon without bringing your car.
From London and the East, the quickest way to get to Devon is to take the M4 motorway to Bristol then take the M5 to Exeter. For a more scenic route, follow the M3 from London and then join the A303, which will take you through many villages and towns, as well as past Stonehenge, to Exeter. From the north of the country, take the M6 followed by the M5 to Exeter.
To reach North and West Devon, you can take the scenic coastal route on the A39 from Bridgwater to Barnstaple via the northern edge of Exmoor, after which is continues to Bude and Cornwall. If you prefer a quicker route, you can take the A361 from Tiverton.
East Devon and the Jurassic Coast is just a short journey from Exeter.
For mid (central) Devon, join the A30 at Exeter, which goes past the northern tip of Dartmoor to Launceston.
For south Devon, join the A38 at Exeter, which goes past the southern edge of Dartmoor to Plymouth.
From London, First Great Western runs direct train services from Paddington to Exeter and Plymouth, where you can get connecting services to many towns throughout Devon.
From the north of the country, Cross Country runs direct train services from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh via Newcastle, York, Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol all the way to Exeter and Plymouth, calling at various stations in between.
For all rail enquiries and timetables go to www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 08457 484950.
National Express runs coach services from the South Coast, the north of the country from Bradford, London and Heathrow Airport to the main towns of Devon. For more information on fares and timetable call 08717 81 81 81.
You can find useful information on public transport in Devon by visiting the local government website www.devon.gov.uk and visiting the ‘Transport and Travel’ section which has information on local bus services, timetables and train lines.
Devon's ferry port is at Plymouth, but the ports of Portsmouth and Poole are also reasonably close. A number of ferry companies run services from Europe to these ports.
Brittany Ferries runs services from France (Roscoff, St. Malo, Caen, Cherbourg) to Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth. There is also a service from Spain (Santander) to Plymouth.
P&O Ferries run services from France (Cherbourg, Le Havre) to Portsmouth and Spain (Bilbao) to Portsmouth.
Devon's airport is Exeter International Airport, which has direct flights from Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jersey, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Newscatle and Norwich, as well as Amsterdam, Dusseldorf (summer only), Paris, Dublin, Geneva (winter only) and other international destinations. Stagecoach bus service 56 links Exeter Airport with Exeter St David's train station and Exeter bus station. From Exeter St David's you can catch Cross Country and First Great Western train services to towns throughout Devon. There are 4 car hire companies based at the airport and a taxi service.
Bristol Airport has direct flights from Leeds-Bradford, Newcastle, Isle of Man, Scotland and Belfast, as well as many cities in Europe. Once you have arrived at the airport, you can catch the Airport Flyer, an express coach to Bristol Temple Meads train station (where you can take a Cross Country or First Great Western train to Devon) or Bristol Bus Station (where you can take a National Express coach to Devon). There are also 6 national car hire companies based at the airport if you would prefer to drive to Devon, and taxi comapnies.
Once you get there
It can be a liberating experience to leave the car at home for a day, allowing visitors to take the time to appreciate the beautiful scenery around them. For a wealth of inspiring ideas for ‘car free’ excursions in Devon and Cornwall, including lovely old railway lines, open top buses, walks and cycle routes, go to www.carfreedaysout.com.
For those wishing to visit Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks using public transport go to www.countrygoer.org/dartmoor.htm and www.countrygoer.org/exmoor.htm where you will find information on scenic railway lines, bus routes and special ticket deals.
For those wishing to explore the World Heritage Jurassic coastline, visit www.jurassiccoast.com/index.jsp?articleid=3402 for information on the award winning public transport which connects the towns, coast and countryside from Dorset to Devon.