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There’s something about straying from the well-beaten path and discovering the unexpected that just can’t be beaten. It’s an echo of how those great explorers must once have felt, albeit on a much, much smaller scale.

Here in Devon, alongside our world-class attractions, history and restaurants, we’re famed for two things: our beaches and our scenery.

Award-winning loved and renowned, they draw in visitors from around the world, regardless of the weather. But those big-name beaches and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty aren’t the only things to see, there’s a whole world of secret spots out there for you to discover.

Here are some of our favourite hidden Devon spots you can get to from our Devon rental properties.

Soar Mill Cove

This tiny, remote beach is amongst the most beautiful in all of Devon. Accessible on foot via the South West Coastal Path or by boat or canoe from Salcombe, it’s the ideal place to get away from the bustle of Devon’s most popular beaches.

Golden sand, beautiful calm waters and shelter from the wind makes Soar Mill Cove an absolute must-visit, especially for those with dogs. Your four-legged pals are they’re welcomed all year round, and with no roads to worry about, you can let them roam off the leash!

Parson’s Tunnel

Brunel is remembered for his towering engineering successes, but not everything he did went to plan. His ingenious but flawed “atmospheric railway” was one such idea. Designed for the south coast in 1843, it used suction to power the movement of the trains, but with no long-distance communications available the stations had to operate to a strict timetable, relying on trains to arrive exactly on time.

However, the sea air played havoc on the system, causing numerous breakdowns which regularly meant third-class travellers had to push the trains along the track.

A walk along the South West Coast Path takes you along the South Devon Railway sea wall and through the tunnel, which was dug especially for the failed railway.

Lannacombe Beach

The road to Lannacombe Beach might not be in the best condition (expect potholes, steep hills and narrow lanes), but arriving at the beach makes it all worth it.

One of Devon’s best-kept secrets, it’s located south of Torquay, making it a little drive from our cottages, but this quiet, secluded sandy beach offers spectacular views and easy parking, offering a wonderful way to get away from the tourist traffic.

Brownstone Battery

Get a glimpse of World War 2 history at Brownestone Battery in Coleton. One of the many structures built on the south coast in a response to Hitler’s 1940 ‘Operation Sealion’ plan, this battery was manned by up to 300 soldiers and many of the buildings here are still in place amongst the dramatic and gorgeous scenery.

Get up close to history and marvel at the miniature railway that was built to carry ammunition down in this superb, National Trust managed property.