Devon in England is a beautiful spot. Did you know it has been rated the highest living quality in all of England and Wales. So if you want to explore its coastlines, ancient forests, medieval castles or stunning moorlands, here’s how to make your Devon trip as easy as possible if have to rely on public transport.
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All Line Rail Rover is valid for 7 consecutive days and you can enjoy unlimited travel on most National Rail services across the Rover area, which covers quite a bit of England. There are a few exceptions of what trains you can’t use from certain stations during the week.
Have a look at them here. This ticket is good if you want to explore big parts of the country and don’t want to just stick to Devon. You can go all the way to London or up to the Cotswolds or Birmingham, for instance.
Just know that the ticket doesn’t include underground and DLR travel in London. The current price for an adult in standard class is £571 and £285 for kids. If you pair it with a railcard, it’s only £376.85. And if you travel as a pair, it’s £376.85 together. (Prices as of March 2023.)
Tourists to Devon can take advantage of the Devon Day Ranger pass for unlimited travel with Great Western Railway. It’s valid anytime on the weekend and after 9am during weekdays with a few exceptions, which you can see here. For adults, the price is £14 and for kids it’s £7. If you travel as a pair, you can get two tickets for £9.20 should you possess the Two Together Railcard.
For a more local Devon railpass – but only for local residents –, try the Devon and Cornwall Railcard. With this, you can travel al lthe way west and into Cornwall. When you’re in the region, it’s a great idea! The pass allows for 1/3 off of the regular off peak return tickets and local line ranger routes.
Train services that are included are Great Western Railway, South Western Railway and CrossCountry. Plus, if you take a travel buddy or child along, they get discounts as well. It’s only £11.00 for one year! Check terms here.
To check schedules and connections, hop on the official train website.
Devon Bus Lines
It’s possible to travel between cities and bigger towns in Devon by bus. Please check the timetables in advance so you don’t get stuck because the last bus back has left. There is an interactive bus map that shows you the different Devon routes.
Single bus tickets cost between £1.20 and £9, depending on the length of the trip. You buy those right on the bus from the driver. Day return tickets also depend on your journey length and can also be gotten from the bus driver.
Bus travel around Dartmoor National Park is tricky. There aren’t any official bus routes through the area, only the volunteer lines operated by Tavistock Country Bus.
They don’t run daily and you need to reserve a seat in advance. Phone them at +44 (0) 7580 260683, use their contact form or shoot them a message at email@example.com up to a month in advance to secure your seat. (There are only 8 available.)
Their services between Tavistock and Bedford Square operate Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Lines from Tavistock to Trago and Newton Abbot (bus 113) leave every first and third Wednesday of the month.
Not entirely public transport, but you always have the option to join a local tours. For instance, while staying in Ashburton, I joined a local hiking group for the day.
There are small group tours, which you can book online and just have to print the ticket or show it on your smartphone. Instant notification! For instance, you can explore two counties, adding Cornwall or the Cotswolds to your Devon itinerary with this 5-Day Tour from London*.
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If push comes to shove and you are left stranded in the countryside due to A) being lost, B) not wanting to walk back or C) having missed the last bus, you can always hitchhike. I did it three times out of necessity and it took me some courage to do it.
One of my female airbnb housemates, however, as well as a few local women recommended trying it out as Devon is a safe place for solo female travellers. I did and it was alright. People around here are seriously nice.
Taxis are quite expensive in the UK, so if you can use public transport, I’d recommend using that where feasible. To give you an idea of prices, you can check online with a taxi calculator. It’s a good idea to ask in advance so you have enough cash on you or else you have to find an ATM, which are sometimes hard to find.
From Newton Abbot to Ashburton, for instance it cost me um die 25 GBP.
Now over to you: Are you planning on visiting Devon in England soon?
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