Pick up your hire car in Devon and head for the cream tea of quintessential English holidays.
"You want coasts? We've got two of them! Not to mention the rolling hills of our spectacular countryside. We're the playground of England!"
Yep, Devon has got two coasts - all the more to rain on. Just kidding - if you're lucky with the weather the county is a fantastic destination for lovers of the great outdoors.
Though no longer just the preserve of bungalow-dwelling retirees, Devon remains a peaceful and relaxed place.
Generally a friendly bunch, though sometimes a bit suspicious of outsiders. They even have a local word for the summer hordes - 'grockles' - which roughly translates as 'idiots trying to tow a caravan down a tiny country lane while I'm in a hurry to get to market'.
Warmed by the Gulf Stream, Devon enjoys warmer summers and milder winters than the rest of England.
As befits one of England's most rural counties, there are endless farm shops and village stores stocked with local produce. But nothing beats freshly-landed seafood - head to the quayside in Brixham or Appledore to get your hands on the day's catch.
Teenage soul star Joss Stone might sing like she's from Motor City, USA, but she's actually from Ashill, a small village just outside Tiverton. Apart from that, you need to go back to Sir Francis Drake.
The village of Ottery St Mary has an annual Pixie Day in June, to commemorate the day when pixies were banished from the town for causing havoc.
"I sometimes had the impression that the whole of southern England was full of deaf people talking much too loudly." - travel writer Paul Theroux in Kingdom by the Sea
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Exeter's magnificent Gothic cathedral was completed around 1400, though the imposing Norman towers date from the early 12th century. Pop inside to admire the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England.
The Cathedral itself does not have a car park, but the Cathedral and Quay car park, adjacent to the river is only a few minutes walk away, situated just off Western Way Road.
If the sun is shining, grab your Speedos and head for Tinside Pool, Plymouth's recently restored Art Deco lido. It's situated on the Hoe with sweeping views over Plymouth Sound.
Parking is limited nearby. The nearest car parks are in Pier Street, Lambhay Hill and the city centre. There is some on metered parking on the surrounding roads.
Barnstaple's Pannier Market offers everything you could want from an English market town and more. Head to Butcher's Row for meat so fresh you can still hear it mooing.
The nearest car park is just off Vicarage Street and is only a few minutes' walk away from the central hub of the market.
The Barbican was the only part of Plymouth which survived the twin assaults of the Luftwaffe and post-war British town planners. The narrow streets are home to cosy pubs, trendy cafes and independent shops.
Barbican (Coxside) and Lambhay Hill car parks are the best options when visiting the Barbican. Both are spacious and within walking distance.
Exeter's suburbs have all but enveloped the sleepy fishing port of Topsham, but this charming town makes a refreshing change from the identikit High St of its bigger and better known neighbour.
The best option is to take advantge of the free street parking, which can be found both on the High Street and Fore Street, but watch out for the time limitations. The street parking on Holman way, however, is unlimited.
At 360 square miles, Dartmoor National Park offers plenty of scope to find your own little piece of windswept solitude - head for the quieter northern flanks of the moor near Okehampton.
Head southwest out of Exeter on the A30. It should take about half an hour to drive there.
A hikers' paradise, the 630-mile South West Coast Path hugs both coasts of Devon en route from Minehead to Poole. For some great beaches, head for the stretch between Teignmouth and Babbacombe.
Go south out of Exeter along the A38, then the A380. The journey to Teignmouth should take around 30 minutes.
Stroll along the beach in east Devon and millions of years of geology lies exposed before you. Keep an eye out for fossils amid the debris at the foot of the cliffs.
Just a 30-minute drive from Exeter, head southwest on the A376. Follow the B3176 until you reach the Jurassic Coast.
Whitewashed cottages draped in geraniums line the single cobbled street which runs from the top of the hill down to the harbour - this is the kind of idyllic village that downsizing dreams are made of.
Head south out of Exeter on the A38, then just after Heathfield, turn onto the A382. It should take about half an hour.
" The expansive and winding roads are a real treat for those used to driving in the city, although it is important to drive with care as the roads tend to be extremely narrow and often have high hedges. There may even be a cow around the bend! There is obviously a seasonal influx of tourists and traffic during the summer months, making roads and parking more congested, especially along the smaller coastal areas. "