What to expect: A combination of sheltered coastal bays, craggy cliffs leading down to the sea and wild, remote Dartmoor defines this diverting 120-mile trip. Meander past picturesque piers, historic harbours and rows of colourful beach huts with the tang of the sea in your nostrils, then feel the wind in your face as you speed across the empty moors.
The route: The quaint, buzzy quayside town of Topsham is the perfect launch pad for your trip, initially along the A379, dipping and climbing through Dawlish with its sandy beach, Teignmouth with its spires and towers, unspoilt Shaldon village and grand Torquay, before this beguiling road speeds you towards Paignton. Kingswear Lower Ferry carries you to Dartmouth, with its dazzling harbour views. Then the A379 delivers its biggest punch of all as it climbs and narrows, offering dizzying vistas across Blackpool Sands and then Slapton Sands. It’s at Torcross that you turn left for Start Point and its lighthouse, the southernmost point on this drive, before heading back into Dartmoor where – after a night’s rest – you can enjoy long views across the moors from the B3212 as you swoop, cross-country, to Moretonhampstead.
Top tip: Some of the minor roads on Dartmoor make it slow-going, so break your trip with a night at the quirky but sumptuous Glazebrook House, in South Brent, on the southern edge of Dartmoor National Park. The theme is 19th-century collector’s house meets Alice in Wonderland, and the food is exquisite. Rooms from £199; read our expert review. More information: visitdevon.co.uk