Cornwall borders Devon to the west with Somerset and Dorset to the east. Its southern coast abuts the English Channel and its northern coast the Bristol Channel and Celtic Sea.
Devon is the fourth biggest of the English counties by area and has a population of over one million making it the 11th largest. The county town is the cathedral city of Exeter. In addition to Devon County Council, the county contains two unitary authorities (independent from Devon County Council's control): the port city of Plymouth and Torbay, a conurbation of seaside resorts.
Devon has a low population density compared to most other English counties, largely due to its rural nature and the presence of national parks. The largest open space in southern England, Dartmoor, is located within Devon. Unlike any other English county, Devon has both a northern and southern coastline. The only UNESCO World Heritage Site in England is the Dorset and East Devon Coast.
Devon has been disadvantaged economically compared to other parts of Southern England, due to the decline of a number of core industries, notably fishing, mining and farming. Agriculture has been an important industry in Devon since the 19th century.
The development of the railway mass transit system opened up many seaside towns and villages to tourism, Devon was not an exception. Devon's economy followed the declining trend of British seaside resorts since the mid-20th century, but with some recent revival and regeneration of its resorts, particularly focused around camping; sports such as surfing, cycling, sailing and heritage.
Devon has been home to a number of customs, such as its own style of wrestling. The Devonshire sport of outhurling was played in some regions up till the 20th century. Devon has three professional football teams, based in each of its three most populous towns and cities. Four Rugby League teams play in Devon, the East Devon Eagles, the Exeter Centurions, The Devon Sharks and the Plymouth Titans. All four compete in the Rugby League Conference. Devon also boasts a field hockey club who play in the National Premier League, the University of Exeter Hockey Club.
Famous mariners from Devon include Sir Francis Drake, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Sir Richard Grenville, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Sir Francis Chichester. The painter and founder of the Royal Academy, Sir Joshua Reynolds was born in Devon. Devon's famous residents include the singer Joss Stone, front man Chris Martin from the English rock group Coldplay, Matt Bellamy, Dominic Howard and Christopher Wolstenholme from the English group Muse and Dave Hill of pop band Slade.