A Devon Tour Guide’s Top 20 Favourite Places to Eat In Devon (Part 1)

18th January 2019

I have always enjoyed eating out, whether at a cafe, a pub, a restaurant or some other kind of establishment.  But I’ve never considered myself to be a ‘foodie’, so would not claim to be able to write an expert blog article on the subject of food as such.  I am, however, very discerning about where I eat, and that has only increased over the last few years since I became a tour guide.  The importance of my guests having the best possible eating experiences is fundamental to their whole impression of the tour, so great care has to be taken to ensure that the places we visit offer the best consistency from one visit to another.  Other attributes that I consider to be essential are:

  • the ingredients should be fresh, and preferably locally sourced
  • the food has to taste great (if it’s been prepared with creativity and expertise, then that is good, but flavour is everything!)
  • the customer service has to be first class – it is a priority that my guests feel cared about, and that they receive a friendly and sincere greeting and service from all members of the staff
  • I really like for there to be some ambience and character about the place – several of my favourite places have a unique aspect about them, which makes them all the more memorable
  • cleanliness is important, however it doesn’t have to be clinically clean – after all, who would expect a several hundred year old inn not to have a cobweb or two in the corner?!
  • an original menu is desirable, although since many of my guests come from abroad, traditional home cooked Devon food is just about perfect
  • it’s great if the location of the place is picturesque and offers good views
  • some might consider this a bit narrow minded, but if I haven’t been to a place before and it hasn’t got at least a very good rating on Tripadvisor, I almost certainly won’t use it for my guests. I have to have a benchmark, and whilst Tripadvisor isn’t fool proof, it is the best reference point I’ve got apart from other people’s local knowledge.  See more

Huge Success at Top Award Ceremonies and a Tribute to Mark!

24th November 2018

As those of you that have been guests of Unique Devon Tours know, we pride ourselves on giving the best service that we can, and we always aim to go beyond the extra mile where possible.  This is well reflected in the Tripadvisor reviews that we have (to date 197 reviews, all of them 5 star – see here!), and the awards that we’ve won, when our efforts have been rewarded with some wonderful accolades at prestigious regional tourism awards, including gold at the Visit Devon Tourism Awards for the last three years running (2015, 2016 and 2017).

 Visit Devon Tourism AwardsWinning Gold at the Visit Devon Tourism Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017  See more

A Devon Tour Guide’s Eight Favourite Cream Tea Haunts

30th June 2017

It’s National Cream Tea Day today, so what better way to celebrate than publishing an update of my cream tea blog (other than having a Devonshire cream tea, of course!).

One of the great pleasures of being a Devon tour guide is that I have a very wide variety of quintessentially local things to introduce my guests to, especially if they haven’t been to the county before.  We really are spoilt for choice in Devon, like no other county in England, when it comes to reasons for why the county is unique.  For instance, we have Dartmoor National Park, with its Dartmoor ponies, its granite Tors, its letterboxes and its incredible amount of Bronze Age remains, more than in any other area of the UK.  Then there are Devon’s lanes, ancient and high sided, that cause my overseas guests any amount of anxiety, especially when they realise that they are not one way!  Devon is the only county in England with two coastlines, and they are both beautiful as well.  And then we have something that can only ever be done properly in Devon, and that is the Devonshire cream tea!

A Devonshire Cream Tea

A traditional Devonshire cream tea…

Cream first, then the jam!

…with cream first, then the jam!  See more

Breaking News – 5 Brand New Tours Announced for 2016 by Unique Devon Tours!

2nd January 2016

After a very busy 2015, the Winter has come and given me the chance to take stock of where Unique Devon Tours has got to, and just how it can make itself even better and more appealing to a wider range of potential guests. Devon has such a broad array of different activities and places to visit that it seems only right to create some new tours, giving guests more choice of things to do in this most wonderful and unique county, with this award winning tour guiding company.

5 New Tours for 2016

I have therefore created five new tours, all of them very appealing, in my mind at least, and all of them playing on the strengths of Devon. So, it’s time to go into a bit more detail and to announce the arrival of these new tours in this blog article, explaining why I’ve created them. Please enjoy reading about them:

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Ten Reasons Why 2015 has been a Great Year for this Devon Tour Guide! (Part 1)

14th December 2015

1 Denbury - Devon

Due to an unexpectedly busy second season I haven’t written a blog post for far too long, but now seems like a good time to kick start my blog, at least for the winter months!  Since it has been such an action packed year, a good start seems to be to reminisce somewhat about the year that I’ve had. There were some early highlights in 2015, quite a few of which I covered in this blog, so it will be a recap of the year from after February. I hope you enjoy it!  See more

Cream Teas Explained – A Wonderful Guest Blog by Devon Heaven Hampers

22nd March 2015

For anyone who hasn’t visited the Westcountry or heard of a cream tea, the name might not do it justice. Taking some cream, leaving it to clot and adding it to tea – sounds disgusting! Thankfully, a cream tea is something much more delicious! Devon Heaven Hampers are cream tea experts, selling cream teas by post across the UK, so they have put together this article to explain about the Devonshire cream tea, its origin and the regional differences that spark a lot of debate!


Cream Tea Pic 1

A traditional Devonshire cream tea in beautiful Devon

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An Unusually Good Week in the Life of a Devon Tour Guide!

22nd February 2015

1 - Days of the Week

This is an article that I’d never thought of writing until the week in question had actually taken place.  It was a week that started with promise, with a two day tour booked and a couple of other potentially useful days in the diary.  But so much unfolded during the week that come the end I just had to write about it.  I pronounced last year as the best working year of my life – this week that I’m about to tell you about, in late January, certainly has to be one of the best working weeks of my life, if not the best!  So, on to the first day…

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Why Americans and Canadians Can Relate to the County of Devon

8th February 2015

USA Devon Canada Flags

Devon is increasingly popular as a destination for both US and Canadian travellers to visit, as word spreads about this beautiful area of the United Kingdom, far away from the crowds of Stonehenge, Bath and London.  This most varied of counties has such an array of wonderful things to see and do, with beautiful and dramatic landscapes, that it’s no surprise that visiting North Americans return home to tell their friends all about how wonderful Devon is.  However, they are saying much more than just the “what gorgeous green hills” and “Dartmoor was amazing” comments.  They are being awakened to just how many strong and intriguing links America and Canada have to Devon, going back over many centuries.  I will go into more detail:

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The Hound of the Baskervilles Photo Shoot

26th December 2014

One of my favourite tours to deliver to guests is my Hound of the Baskervilles Tour.  During the day we visit many different locations, from tranquil villages and burned down churches, to isolated Dartmoor bogs and Bronze Age settlements.  The story behind the story is absolutely intriguing, with many surprises in store for my guests, something I enjoy beholding as they become aware of just how the greatest of all Sherlock stories came about, and who was involved in its creation other than just Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

1 - First edition and Conan Doyle

Our family’s copy of the first edition, and the great man who wrote it

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Review and Highlights of Year One

07th Dec 2014

It is just over a year now since I launched my tour guiding business, so it’s about time that I launch my blog!  I’ve had such a great time getting my business off the ground and trying to reach out to the World, and although it has been challenging and all consuming, it has also been the best working year of my life, without doubt.  So, a good way to start would be to give a summary of how things have been going so far, as well as touching on some of the highlights from the past twelve months.

This was one of the many highlight views of 2014 for me
This was one of the many highlight views of 2014 for me
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