Devon is a large county in South WestEngland, bordered by Cornwall to the west, and Dorset and Somerset to the east. It is unique among English counties, in that it has two separated coastlines, on the English Channel and Bristol Channel branches of the Atlantic. Although Devon is the official county name, Devon and Devonshire are commonly used interchangeably in general use, with Devonshire often indicating a traditional or historical context.
With an Area of 6,707 km² (2,589.6 sq mi) Devon is ranked 4th of all English counties by area. The County town is Exeter, while the two major ports are Plymouth and Torbay. Devon has a total population of 1,109,900 with a density of about 165 people per square kilometer.
The climate of south-west England is classed as oceanic (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification. The oceanic climate is typified by cool winters with warmer summers and precipitation all year round, with more experienced in winter. Annual rainfall is about 1,000 millimetres (39 in) and up to 2,000 millimetres (79 in) on higher ground. Summer maxima averages range from 18 °C (64 °F) to 22 °C (72 °F) and winter minima averages range from 1 °C (34 °F) to 4 °C (39 °F) across the south-west. It is the second windiest area of the United Kingdom, the majority of winds coming from the south-west and north-east. Government organisations predict the area will experience a rise in temperature and become the hottest region in the United Kingdom.
Inland areas of low altitude experience the least amount of precipitation. They have the highest summer maxima temperatures, but winter minima are colder than those of the coast. Snowfalls are more frequent in comparison to the coast, but less so in comparison to higher ground. They experience the lowest wind speeds and the total sunshine hours are between those of the coast and the moors. This typical climate of inland areas is more noticeable the further north-east into the region.
In comparison to inland areas, the coast experiences high minimum temperatures, especially in winter, and slightly lower maximum temperatures during the summer. Rainfall is lowest at the coast and snowfall there is rarer than the rest of the region. Coastal areas are the windiest parts of the peninsula and they receive the most sunshine. The general coastal climate becomes more prevalent further south-west into the region.
The south-west has areas of moorland inland such as Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Exmoor. Because of their high altitude they experience lower temperatures and more precipitation than the rest of the south west (approximately twice as much rainfall as lowland areas). Both of these factors also result in the highest levels of snowfall and the lowest levels of sunshine. Exposed areas of the moors are windier than the lowlands and can be almost as windy as the coast.