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Five fun facts about South Devon

We may be slightly biased, but South Devon is a beautiful place to come and visit, and is steeped in weird and wonderful history.

Before you visit one of our holiday cottages in South Devon and enjoy the beauty of the area, we have taken a look at five fun facts that you might not have known about the area before!

It is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site

There are UNESCO sites in other areas of England, but South Devon is home to the only natural one, the Jurassic Coast. Stretching between Dorset and Devon, it is an important location for fossils and learning more about the natural history of England. You can enjoy stunning views of the Jurassic Coast from Shaldon, with the Homeyards Botanical Gardens offering some particularly beautiful ones.

Weird rituals

Just up the road from us is a place called Ottery St Mary, where a rather odd tradition takes place on Bonfire Night. Residents set fire to barrels covered in tar, where they are then rolled or picked up and run with down the streets!

This practice has been continued by residents since the 17th century, although the exact reason for this custom and location is not clear.

History of witchcraft

In the days of witchcraft, the last “witches” to be hung as punishment in Great Britain hailed from Bideford in North Devon, but were executed in Exeter in 1682.

Three women had been accused of using witchcraft for multiple activities, including causing ill health or death to others, and even conversing with the devil!

Popularity

Not strictly South Devon, but Devon as a whole is a very popular area for holidaymakers, and receives an estimated 8 million visitors a year! This is a very impressive statistic when you take into consideration the size and climate. This figure is similar to the amount of people who visit Hawaii, which just makes the figures that little more impressive.

Famous faces

A number of famous faces have hailed from South Devon, with the band Muse perhaps being one of the most famous exports of the area, having formed in Teignmouth. But did you also know Coldplay singer Chris Martin, actress Miranda Hart and supermodel Lily Cole all hail from our neck of the woods?  

 

Photo courtesy of Yahoo on Flickr, under Creative Commons

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