Welcome to Devon, a country that has been invaded which influenced and changed the geography of the country and impact the way the local population were able to live off the land. A country that battle wartime changes and found great levels of growth from tourism which has increased in popularity in recent years.
Exeter is one of the products of the Roman invasion, but there is little evidence that the Romans settled in Devon for long. Many other settlers made their way to the South West over the years including Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans. Some of the oldest buildings in the UK can be found on Dartmoor, which was an old forest before it was burnt and cleared to make way for new growth and farming.
The third largest county, Devon encompasses a number of significant locations and historical landmarks, from the 10 Tors of Dartmoor to the fishing villages along the Jurassic Coast.
Dartmoor and Exmoor stretch for miles but beneath the green fields of Dartmoor were once a number of tin mines that helped the ports of Exeter, Plymouth and Barnstaple thrive dating back as far as mediaeval times. Nowadays much of Devon is used for agriculture, thanks for the luscious lands and large open fields perfect for grazing or farming.
In 1944 American troops landed on Saunton beach and Braunton Burrows to train in a realistic environment ready for an assault on the French beaches. Today evidence of the training camps can be found in the burrows such as large concrete landing docs and a number of concrete blocks scattered throughout the burrows left from military debris. After the war there was little need for American military training here and many of the troops left, in 1992 a memorial was erected in memory of the soldiers who trained here. The area has long had a military connection, the Royal Air Force base in Chivenor was in use from 1940 - 1995, now the camp is used by Royal Marines.
It seems obvious now that the South West would be a tourist destination but due to its geographical location and distance from the buzzing cities on the east and north of England, many towns and villages in Devon were not introduced to tourists until the 19th Century. Once the South West Railway was built tourists began to flock to the beaches in their thousands, thus creating an opportunity for local shops to boom and begin to experience the benefit of tourism.
Now tourism touches most parts of Devon and continues to support local communities across the county with seasonal interest in coastal, country, and remote holidays in Devon.