Holiday accommodation Devon
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Devon is one of the rural counties, with the advantages and problems characteristic of these. Despite this, the county's economy is also heavily influenced by its two main urban centres, Plymouth and Exeter.
Like neighbouring Cornwall to the west, Devon is disadvantaged economically compared to other parts of southern England, owing to the decline of a number of core industries, notably fishing, mining and farming. Consequently, most of Devon has qualified for the European Community Objective 2 status, particularly around Exmoor, Bideford Bay and the Hartland Point peninsula which is somewhat cut off from industrial Britain by road and rail transport - although these areas of North Devon are only 20 miles (32 km), by boat from Swansea in Wales. A proposal, which has the backing of both the Welsh Assembly Government and the South West Regional Assembly, as well as Devon County Council is to have a year-round ferry service from either Ilfracombe or Bideford to Swansea which would help stimulate and build economic growth for both South-West Wales and the North coast of Devon and Cornwall.
The 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis harmed the farming community severely. Nearly half of the holdings of the Duchy of Cornwall are in Devon, including a large area of farmland.
Since the rise of seaside resorts with the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, Devon's economy has been heavily reliant on tourism. The county's economy has followed the trend of British seaside resort decline since the mid-20th century, with some recent revival. This revival has been aided by the designation of much of Devon's countryside and coastline as the Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks, and the Jurassic Coast and Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Sites. In 2004 the county's tourist revenue was £1.2 billion.
The attractive lifestyle of the area is drawing in new industries which are not heavily dependent upon geographical location. In 2003, the Met Office, the UK's weather service, moved to Exeter. The 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis harmed the farming community severely. Nearly half of the holdings of the Duchy of Cornwall are in Devon, including a large area of farmland.
Devon is the only county in England to have two separated coastlines; the South West Coast Path runs along the entire length of both, around 65% of which is named as Heritage Coast. Inland, the Dartmoor National Park lies wholly in Devon, and the Exmoor National Park lies in both Devon and Somerset. Apart from these areas of high moorland the county has attractive rolling rural scenery, and villages with thatched cob cottages. All these features make Devon a popular holiday destination. The variety of habitats means that there is a wide range of wildlife. A popular challenge among birders is to find over 100 species in the county in a day. The county's wildlife is protected by the Devon Wildlife Trust, a charity which looks after 40 nature reserves.
The landscape of the south consists of rolling hills dotted with small towns, such as Dartmouth, Salcombe, Totnes amongst others. The towns of Torquay and Paignton are the principal seaside resorts on the south coast. The north of the county is very rural with few major towns except Barnstaple, Great Torrington, Bideford and Ilfracombe. East Devon has the first seaside resort to be developed in the county, Exmouth and the more upmarket Georgian town of Sidmouth, headquarters of the East Devon District Council. Exmouth marks the western end of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Devon gave its name to a geological era: the Devonian era, so named by Adam Sedgwick because the distinctive Old Red Sandstone of Exmoor was studied by geologists here. Devon's other major rock system is the carboniferous sandstone which stretches from Bideford to Bude in Cornwall, and contributes to a gentler, greener, more rounded landscape.
Holiday accommodation Devon