Transport yourself to the past with heritage attractions
Discovering more about how our ancestors used to get from A to B is one of the most fascinating ways to connect with the past.
And a visit to the National Trust's Arlington Court, near Barnstaple, is a great way to find out more about how we used to travel before the invention of the car.
It is home to the renowned National Trust Carriage Museum and has more than 10,000 artefacts for you to admire.
Heralded as the Ferraris of their day, carriages were made to reflect their owner's tastes and status and Arlington Court is home to many fine examples, including the Speaker's State Coach which is on loan from the Houses of Parliament. The Gold Coach is a gem of engineering and design and will be housed at Arlington until 2016.
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There are activities on offer most days for youngsters and this Saturday the Arlington Court characters will be on site to bring alive the history of the estate. The costumed volunteers are ready to answer your questions about what life was like on the estate back in the 1880s.
Meanwhile, you have a choice of modes of transport to get to Greenway at Galmpton, the beloved holiday home of Agatha Christie.
Evoke the golden age of steam by travelling from Paignton or Kingswear by steam train to Greenway Halt – from there a 30-minute woodland walk brings you to Greenway.
Or you could choose to come by ferry from Dartmouth, Totnes, Brixham or Torquay to enjoy a day out at the relaxed and atmospheric house.
You can also explore the large, romantic woodland garden which leads down the hillside towards the Dart estuary. Agatha Christie called it "the loveliest place in the world", so why not pay a visit and see if you agree.
You can also journey back in time courtesy of a trip on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway – Cornwall's only full-size railway still operated by steam locomotives. It's a 13-mile round trip through beautiful countryside, taking in the sights, sound and smells of a bygone age and giving travellers a taste of how a Cornish branch line operated in the 1950s. Scooby Doo will also be paying a visit on Sunday and Monday.
Transport of another kind can be found on the quay at Cotehele near Saltash. Shamrock is a restored sailing barge built in 1899 in Plymouth which used to spend its working days carrying goods up and down the river Tamar. Now the vessel spends its retirement on Cotehele Quay, undergoing constant restoration and occasionally the hardy crew of staff and volunteers visits other ports down the river to show it off. A chance to inspect the Shamrock inside and out is a fascinating part of any trip to Cotehele – there's an opportunity to explore the hold each Sunday from 1-4pm.
Or why not try a totally different way of travelling by giving the Lynton and Lynmouth funicular a try.
The unique Victorian water-powered lift takes you along 862-feet of track as you glide up and down the cliff from Lynmouth, nestling at the foot of the cliffs, to Lynton, perched 500 feet above. You will be treated to stunning views out across Exmoor.
Babbacombe Cliff Railway has been transporting passengers up and down the cliffs at Oddicombe beach since 1926 and is another impressive example of a working funicular railway. In its heyday it used to carry up to 250,00 people a year.
The carriage has now been extensively overhauled and refurbished and it's a truly civilised way to travel to the beach below while affording the occupants wonderful views across some of the most spectacular scenery in Devon.
To find out more about National Trust sites in the South West visit nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/south-west; The Lynton and Lynmouth Railway website is cliffrailwaylynton.co.uk; the Babbacombe Cliff railway site is at babbacombecliffrailway.co.uk and more information about the Bodmin & Wenford Railway can be found at bodminrailway.co.uk.