Devon or Devonshire is a county in South West England. Much of the land in Devon is given over to the Dartmoor National Park. It has an attractive coastline and this makes it a popular holiday destination for many Britons. In fact, Devon is the only county in Great Britain to have two completely separate coastlines (North and South).
Unlike its neighbouring county, Cornwall, Devon is generally relatively prosperous despite the decline of many traditional industries such as fishing and farming. The epidemic of Foot and Mouth (Hoof and Mouth) disease in 2001 harmed much of the farming community severely and had knock-on effects on the rest of the county. The attractive lifestyle of the area is drawing in many new industries which are not heavily dependent upon geographical location; Dartmoor, for instance, has recently seen a significant rise in the percentage of its inhabitants involved in the financial services sector. Devon is one of the rural counties, with the advantages and problems characteristic of these.
The inner harbour, Brixham, south Devon,
at low tide.
See also http://www.puffins-brixham.velnet.co.uk
The landscape of the south coast consists of rolling hills dotted with small towns, such as Dartmouth, Salcombe, Totnes etc. 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, Torrington and Bideford. Devon is also the name of a variety of ham, which (presumably) comes from Devon. The Devon Rex cat breed originated here.