Devon boast a rich legacy of market towns. Across the county these towns are working hard to promote their wonderful histories that make them so special. Whether surrounded by coast or countryside, each one provides a fantastic day out, plentiful in ancient heritage and the perfect excuse for a poke around some lovely independent shops and cafes.Find below a list of some of our favourite Devon market towns, ranging in size but all with a wealth of unique reasons to visit:
The largest town in North Devon is Barnstaple, located alongside the River Taw. This ancient town was granted its charter in 930 AD by King Aethelstan – the grandson of Alfred the Great. It provides access to the popular Tarka Trail and is located next to some stunning beaches.
Bideford was once Britain’s third largest port and while it still has maritime connections, these days it is more widely known as being a thriving shopping centre. With a historic Pannier Market as well as being the home to the Atlantic Village outlet, where you can find your favourite brands at bargain prices Bideford is a great place to shop until you drop!
Crediton is a lively market town with an unusually magnificent church and a famous saint. It was once a wealthy woollen town, but even more important was its rich spiritual heritage as St. Boniface was born here in 680 AD.
Cullompton is a town full of charm and history. It is known locally as the gateway to the Culm Valley, much of which falls within the Blackdown Hills AONB and really does live up to this status. Walkers and those that love being outdoors will find a real haven in this part of Devon with the myriad of footpaths, cycle tracks and bridleways that meander across the surrounding countryside.
With stunning places to explore and some fabulous and iconic festivals and events all year round, Dartmouth provides so many wonderful memories and experiences for all its visitors. Enjoy the scenic river cruises, learn the fascinating history of the beautiful town, and explore the local and surrounding areas.
Exmouth is a lively town, situated on the east coast of Devon where the River Exe meets the sea. The town offers a diverse selection of shops, places to eat and things to do.
Great Torrington is a friendly, welcoming town set amidst rolling, unspoilt green countryside. This ancient settlement is sited on an inland clifftop with steep drops down to the River Torridge below, offering visitors spectacular views.
Honiton is a bustling market town famous for its lace and pottery and being regarded as the antiques capital of the south west. Set in the East Devon AONB, and on the banks of the River Otter, Honiton is a beautiful country town with a long industrial history.
If you love the hustle and bustle of a traditional English market town, you’ll love the South Devon estuary town of Kingsbridge. Kingsbridge sits on the Kingsbridge Estuary and is surrounded by lush, green rolling countryside, making it a popular destination for walking and sailing all year round.
Newton Abbot is a historic market town surrounded by beautiful Devon countryside. If you like shopping, there are a number of markets held throughout the week including an Outdoor Market held on a Wednesday and Saturday, a popular Indoor Pannier Market open Monday to Saturday and a weekly Produce Market held every Friday in Courtenay Street.
Easy to reach from anywhere in the UK now that the Dartmoor Line connects the town to Exeter, Okehampton is superbly placed. A cheerful market town on the very edge of Dartmoor National Park with great shops and places to eat, plus direct access onto the moor.
Seaton is the home of year-round outdoor adventure and offers active people an astonishing wealth of opportunities and terrain to explore. The town is a natural playground for water sports fans.
With an array of individual shops and a wonderful community feel, South Molton has a charm all of its own. The Country Market hosts 70 local businesses selling a wide range of locally produced goods and runs every Thursday and Saturday.
Tavistock is a thriving, beautifully friendly market town that is worthy of any visitor. An ancient stannary town and home of the cream tea, Tavistock is the only town in Devon to hold world heritage status.
Teignmouth is a stunning coastal town with historic Georgian buildings, long sandy beaches, and fresh local food. Located on the main South West train line, Teignmouth offers one of the most spectacular coastal train routes in the country.
Settled in the Mid Devon countryside, the town of Tiverton is brimming with history and heritage just waiting to be discovered; with romantic castles, historic houses, and horse drawn barges.
Dating back to 907 AD, Totnes is a fascinating historical town which combines stunning countryside with independent shopping, local food & drink and interesting attractions. Located on the banks of the River Dart, this unique and charming town has an international reputation for its buoyant and diverse community and relaxed atmosphere.