Driving is like marmite. You either love it or you hate it. For those that love it, driving is the best kind of therapy. Good people, good music, good views, air con. If you’re one of those people then hop in your car, whack on the power ballads and get cruising along one of Devon’s best driving routes.
To help you, we’ve put together a list of some of the best drives across our beloved county…
1. Atlantic Highway
The Atlantic Highway, aka. the A39, stretches 70-miles from Barnstable to Fraddon, on the outskirts of Newquay (the Devon section is from Bridgewater to Bude).
So scenic is this route, that GoCompare placed it first on its list of the world’s best road trips. It even has its own website. The Atlantic Highway is rich with stunning coastline and rolling hills with views that stretch for miles.
Here’s just some of what you can expect:
2. Yelverton to Dunsford
Expansive, idyllic and steeped in legend, the B3212 that snakes between Yelverton and Dunsford is about as ‘Dartmoor’ as it gets.
In sunny weather, the views go on for days. But driving on a sodden day is equally worthwhile, if not only for the eeriness. Just don’t break down. The B3212 is renowned as one of the most haunted highways in the UK! Several motorists have described seeing a pair of disembodied hands grabbing their steering wheel and trying to run them off the road! 😱
Here’s a little peak at the drive:
3. Dunsford to Bude
The Dunsford to Bude route starts on the A30, before heading onto the A3079 and finally the A3072 which goes straight to Bude. Along this scenic drive, you will encounter a mishmash of what makes Devon…well…Devon. Moors, villages, twisty country roads. Although Bude is technically Cornwall (just), it still makes for a pretty fab day out.
Get a load of that view:
4. Seaton to Exeter via Ottery St Mary
There are many ways to get to East Devon to Exeter, but this one is by far the most scenic. Starting on the A3052, head onto Seaton Road and finally onto the A30 towards Exeter. This route is notoriously windy and features the well-known Chineway Hill (below) – every cyclist’s worst nightmare. Thankfully, our cars are much better placed to handle the inclines.
5. West Hill to Exmouth
The B3180 stretching from West Hill is the Best of British. It begins with rolling green countryside before crossing Woodbury Common, with views that stretch all the way to Exeter. Throw in a bit of forest to finally tick all the boxes – this short drive has it all. Best of all, it ends in Exmouth, which is perfect for a day trip to the beach!
6. Dartmouth to Kingsbride via Slapton Sands , then onto South Brent
We’ve had some North Devon, West Devon, East Devon, so here’s a bit of South Devon. This scenic route follows the A379 down to Slapton Sands before heading on the A381 towards South Brent. Get ready for an hour of unspoiled coastline, twisty country lanes and hedgerows.
The A379 takes you about as close as its possible to get to the sea in a car without actually being in the sea – it’s brilliant. Case in point:
7. The seven mile straight
We’ve thrown this one in for a bit of fun! The seven mile straight (less commonly known as Stockland Hill) that runs between Shute and the A303 is actually closer to five miles than it is seven. But they did get the straight part right: