Tripadvisor 5* Rated

March 25, 2024

Destination: Devon & Cornwall


In this article

How to Get From London to Devon

Devon is a county located in Southwest England, bordering the county of Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset.

It is the third largest UK county and is home to two National Parks, Dartmoor National Park and Exmoor National Park. 

Similar to Cornwall it provides a variety of scenery to explore, from the stunning Jurassic Coast to quaint market towns, the ‘English Riviera’ at Torquay, Paignton and Devon and the bustling cities of Plymouth and Exeter.

Devon is well connected to Central London and other major cities such as Bristol in the west of the UK. Train and road connections are simple and make both options achievable to travel in under half a day. Traffic is always a consideration, so we’d recommend taking the train for a speedier journey.

Let’s look at these journey options in greater detail.

Ilfracombe Devon

Flying into London

For most international visitors you’ll most likely arrive at London Heathrow Airport. If you are travelling from the East Coast of America, you have the option to fly directly to London Gatwick.

From London Heathrow, the connection into Central London is very simple via the Heathrow Express. Running frequently, it takes just 15 minutes and arrives in London Paddington where you will find your onward connecting train to Devon.

From London Gatwick, you’ll need to make your way into Central London and across to London Paddington where there are multiple departures daily to Exeter.

How far is Devon from London?

Depending on which part of the county you are visiting it is between 173 miles (to Exeter) and 234 miles ( to Dartmouth) to get to Devon.

Car journeys are between 3.5 – 5 hours. Train routes from central London also take just over 3 hours so to avoid traffic on the motorways we would recommend using public transport.

GWR provide trains multiple times per day from London Paddington and stop at Bristol with connecting lines through to various towns throughout Devon.

How to get from London to Devon



The direct service from London Paddington to Devon takes just 2 hours. Sometimes a connection at Bristol Temple Meads station is required. From Bristol, the train passes through various stops in Somerset before heading to Exeter St Davids station. If your time is limited, choose a direct train to get to Devon faster.

From Exeter you can connect to major towns such as Plymouth, Barnstaple and Paignton. The more remote areas such as Ilfracombe on the northern coastline or Salcombe on the southern coast of Devon are slower to reach via public transport as the last legs of the journey will require bus services. It may be advisable to rent a car or use a private hire company for harder to reach locations.

Overnight train

The Night Riviera service (aka the sleeper train to Cornwall) runs six days a week from London to Penzance.

Operated by Great Western Railway (GWR), the Night Riviera calls overnight at Exeter and Plymouth, Devon, before heading on to Cornwall. There is a range of accommodation options on board, from seats to double-berth sleepers. 

Departing at 23:45, the journey to Plymouth takes just over 5 hours.

Car or private transfer

Without traffic it takes between 3.5 – 4 hours to reach Devon. Depending on which area you are travelling to it can take up to 5 hours. The road network beyond Exeter is smaller. Therefore, to get to the far-reaching parts of Devon will take longer.  

It is a reasonably easy drive if you rent a car. The roads are major motorways and A roads from London. But if you’re not sure about ‘driving on the left’ then a private transfer is an option.

Where is Exeter in England?

Exeter is a city located in the county of Devon in southwest England. It sits on the River Exe and is approximately 37 miles (60 kilometres) northeast of Plymouth, the largest city in Devon.

Exeter is known for its historic cathedral, Roman ruins, and vibrant cultural scene. It has a university and despite being a city, it is surrounded by beautiful countryside and green spaces. Places like Northernhay Gardens and Rougemont Gardens offer tranquil retreats within the city.

For guided tours in Devon we offer you a range of walking and cycling options.

Experienced by


Content Marketing Manager

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

England Tours

Scroll to Top

Enquiry Form