There are approximately 1.1 million people living in Devon. The county has a relatively low population density in comparison to other regions in the UK.
Devon is a very rural county, made up of hilly landscapes, coastal cliffs and sandy shores. As mentioned above, there are two National Parks in Devon, one being Dartmoor, which is the largest open space in Southern England. Here you’ll find granite tors, which entice walkers of all abilities to the area. The second is Exmoor, which lies in both Devon and Somerset, and is a large stretch of open moorland.
65% of Devon’s coastline is recognised as Heritage Coast, with the South West Coast Path running the entirety, offering an extensive selection of beautiful walks beside the sea. The coastal town of Exmouth marks the western end of the Jurassic Coast, a section of coastline known for its impressive landforms and discovery of fossils.
Human remains have previously been discovered in Kents Cavern in Torquay, dating back an estimated 30,000-40,000 years and it is thought that Dartmoor was inhabited by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers as far back as 6000 BC.
Devon’s name comes from the word Dumnonia, as it was once home to the Dumnonni Celts during the British Iron Age and Roman Britain, and is thought to mean ‘deep valley dwellers’. The Celtic region flourished for almost 500 years, although there were constant threats of invasions from the Anglo-Saxons, with many battles taking place against the West Saxons.
Although located in one of the most southern areas of the UK, Devon is still easily reached through various means. The train service in the area is mainly provided by First Great Western and Cross Country, with most major train routes passing through the city of Exeter. These include trains to London Paddington, Manchester Piccadilly, Aberdeen and Penzance.
If arriving by car, the county is also reachable via the M5, with five junctions leading into different areas of the region.