North Devon, with its long sandy beaches and little coves, is the favorite of families with small children, while Exmoor's heather-covered moorland and deep, wooded coombes, attract walkers, mountain bikers, and riders. Some of the prettiest villages in the south west are found here, with cream teas aplenty. Much information is unique to this guidebook, blending descriptions of little-known places and country pursuits with portraits of local characters, past and present. The book is geared towards sustainable tourism, with special emphasis on car-free travel, walking, local food, pubs and unusual or special accommodation.
Hilary Bradt's career as an occupational therapist ended when potential employers noticed that the time taken off for travel exceeded the periods of employment. With her former husband George, she self-published her first guidebook in 1974 during an extended journey through South America, thus founding Bradt Travel Guides. She now lives in semi-retirement in Devon, indulging her interest in sculpting as well as writing regular press articles and Bradt books. She has an enthusiasm for the county's landscape, history and village churches and is a keen walker. In 2008 she received an MBE for her contribution to the tourism industry, and in 2009 the Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Guild of Travel Writers.