The district was formed under the Local Government Act 1972, on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the borough of Tiverton and Crediton urban district together with Tiverton Rural District, and Crediton Rural District. It was originally called Tiverton District, but was renamed in 1978 by resolution of the district council.
The Grand Western Canal stretches from Canal Hill in Tiverton to just outside Greenham in Somerset. It no longer operates for trade purposes, but is a popular tourist location. Visitors are able to walk along its banks or take a trip down the canal in a horse drawn barge. A static barge at the Canal Hill end of the canal offers refreshments. The site is one of two tourism spots owned by Devon County Council.
Exmoor National Park is a national park situated in Mid Devon and Somerset in South West England. The park covers 267 square miles (692 km²) of hilly open moorland. Exmoor is one of the first British National Parks, designated in 1954, and is named after its main river, the River Exe. Several areas of the moor have been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The Devon Railway Centre is located at Bickleigh in Mid Devon, in a restored Victorian railway station on the closed Great Western Railway branch from Exeter to Dulverton. The Centre operates a 2 ft (610mm) gauge passenger railway and has a large collection of narrow gauge rolling stock, a miniature railway and a collection of model railways.
Coldharbour Mill is a Grade II* listed Georgian mill complex in Uffculme, close to junction 27 (Tiverton turnoff) of the M5. The mill has the largest working waterwheel in the south west, and steams up its stationary steam engines most Bank Holidays. It has a number of other collections, such as dolls' houses, a large tapestry showing five local parishes, and a wide range of worsted wool spinning and weaving machines.