Who doesn’t love to watch a beautiful sunset? There are many amazing spots in Devon where you can sit back and watch the sun go down.

Plymouth Hoe

Smeaton’s Tower on the historic Plymouth Hoe, is one of the most famous views in Devon, but gets even better with a beautiful sunset as a backdrop, as demonstrated in this photo taken on a December afternoon for my next Devon book. As a good sunset needs a bit of cloud, I wasn’t hopeful as I drove down a cloudless A38. However, every photographer needs a little bit of luck, and as I arrived at The Hoe, one patch of cloud turned up above the river to add some awesome colours to the sky and make the golden light from the setting sun look even more beautiful behind the lighthouse.


Great British Life: Princetown to Yelverton, above Burrator (c) Gary HolpinPrincetown to Yelverton, above Burrator (c) Gary Holpin

Above Burrator, Dartmoor

As you drive along the B3212 from Princetown to Yelverton you come to the edge of Dartmoor, and an amazing vista is revealed, with views all the way across the Tamar to Cornwall. It's the perfect place to pull off the road and just chill while you wait for the sky to put on a show. One afternoon in December 2019 I had planned to take some pictures from Leather Tor, but gave up because it looked like clouds were going to ruin the sunset. However, just as I was heading back to the car, the sky suddenly burst into colour and Mother Nature put on a light show that lasted for a whole hour after the sun went down.


Great British Life: Great Hangman (c) Gary HolpinGreat Hangman (c) Gary Holpin

Great Hangman, above Combe Martin

There can’t be many better places to watch the sunset than Great Hangman on the north coast of Devon. It’s 318m above Combe Martin, the highest point on the South West Coast Path, and has amazing views along the rugged Exmoor coast. This particular sunset was taken on a September evening back in 2021, when I mis-read the distance on my map and literally had to run (along with my 13kg camera bag!) to get to the top before sunset. The effort was definitely worth it for this beautiful orange sunset, enhanced by Saharan dust, above the rolling heather covered hills of Exmoor.


Great British Life: Culmstock Beacon (c) Gary HolpinCulmstock Beacon (c) Gary Holpin

Culmstock Beacon, Blackdown Hills

One of my favourite places to watch sunset is Culmstock Beacon, on the northern edge of the Blackdown Hills, high above the village of Culmstock, The Elizabethan beacon was originally part of the chain of fire beacons which signalled the arrival of the Spanish Armada, and has amazing views over the Exe Valley towards both Dartmoor and Exmoor. Usually, I just chill out and enjoy the view while I wait for the perfect moment to take a picture. But for some reason, on this one winter day, I decided to set a timer on my camera and be in the picture too!


Great British Life: Roundball Hill (c) Gary HolpinRoundball Hill (c) Gary Holpin

Roundball Hill, Honiton

Just to prove that in Devon you’re never far from a beautiful spot to watch sunset, this one is literally a mile from my home in Honiton. Roundball Hill sits high above the town, with views of the Blackdown Hills to the east, ancient Iron Age hillforts to the north, and the Otter Valley to the west. It’s especially good for summer sunsets, is easy to get to being just south of the town, and is a fabulous vantage point to watch the sun set. The photo was taken on an April evening, with the sun setting over the Otter Valley towards Exeter, and lighting up the clouds left behind after some April showers.


Great British Life: Topsham (c) Gary HolpinTopsham (c) Gary Holpin


The small village of Topsham sits on the River Exe not far from Exeter and, with clear views to the west towards Dartmoor, is a perfect location for a Devon sunset. As an added bonus, Topsham has some great pubs by the river where you can enjoy your favourite drink while you wait. As a professional photographer, one thing I’ve learned, is that you have to be patient with sunsets and not give up too early. On the October evening when this photo was taken, there was no colour in the sky at all until a few minutes after the sunset, when the sky suddenly lit up and gave one of the best sunsets I've seen in a long time.


Great British Life: Brent Tor (c) Gary HolpinBrent Tor (c) Gary Holpin

Brent Tor, Dartmoor

With its church perched high on a rocky outcrop on the western side of Dartmoor, Brent Tor is an iconic Devon landmark. With panoramic views across Dartmoor and West Devon, it’s a peaceful spot to sit and take in the beauty of nature at any time, but with its ancient and timeless feel I find it a particularly special place to sit and watch a sunset. The photo was taken on a late winter’s afternoon, when I called in after giving a photography talk nearby. There was little obvious cloud in the sky to provide some sunset colour, but a small amount of wispy cloud and some added Saharan dust eventually gave some beautiful pastel colours, just a short while after the sun had set.


Great British Life: East Hill, Okehampton (c) Gary HolpinEast Hill, Okehampton (c) Gary Holpin

East Hill, Okehampton

I visited East Hill for the first time this spring after seeing photos of its stunning display of bluebells on social media. It’s easy to get to, just off the road to Okehampton Camp from the town centre, and with its high vantage point on the edge of Dartmoor, it’s a perfect location to watch a Devon sunset. As a professional photographer, a field of bluebells, a lone tree, and a beautiful sunset, is my idea of heaven, and hopefully from the photo you can see why! East Hill is now a firm favourite to visit during bluebell season and is the one place that I would most recommend that you visit next year. I guarantee it will immediately be a favourite of yours too.

Do you have a favourite Devon sunset spot? Post them and tag Gary on Instagram @garyholpinphoto, Facebook @GaryHolpinPhotography or Twitter @GaryHolpin