Whether you’re sun-drenched or wind-swept, the welcome sight of a traditional country pub is guaranteed to lift your spirits after a good old ‘yomp’ in the glorious back of beyond.
Here in South Devon, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to great walks and exceptional watering holes. Mr Toad has picked out five memorable pub walks for you to try…
The Avon Valley
This stunning walk through the Avon Valley, downstream from the picturesque Devonshire village of Aveton Gifford, follows the river as it wends its way to Bantham. It’s a must for all wildlife lovers who’ll enjoy the rich diversity of bird life deep in the heart of these quiet backwaters. The walk itself is eight miles long and covers moderate terrain, and is also listed on the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty walks and trails.
The Avon Valley route takes in two gorgeous and characterful pubs; the 14th century Sloop Inn in Bantham, with its award-winning seafood menu, and The Fishermen’s Rest in Aveton Gifford, set on banks of a stream and surrounded by green acres. Expect a very warm welcome at both of these much-loved hostelries which also extends to your doggy companions.
Take a look at Toad Hall Cottages’ long list of properties in beautiful Bantham…
Step back in time when you walk this magnificent stretch of coastline with its smugglers’ coves and Saxon trails. The views towards Bigbury Bay are spectacular, as is the drama of the rugged cliffs and gathering swells. This is a three mile trek over a moderate gradient with six stiles and one steep hill climb and descent. For more information visit the AONB’s information page.
After such an invigorating clifftop walk, it’s time for a well-earned pint and a spot of lunch, and where better than The Village Inn, Thurlestone; a cheerful gastropub with history in its rafters (the pub’s beams were salvaged from the wreckage of the Spanish Armada). This is another of South Devon’s dog-friendly pubs and has a bar full of real ale and craft beers.
We’ve got some gorgeous holiday cottages available to let throughout the year in sunny Thurlestone…
Set off from the historic coastal village of Beesands, with its shingle shoreline and verdant slopes, and follow the coastal path around the peninsula to the lost village of Hallsands enjoying the breathtaking views of Start Bay before following the green lanes back from whence you came. This popular walk is about four miles long across varied terrain.
With it’s delicious menu and fine selection of locally brewed beer, The Cricket Inn is the ideal place to warm your cockles and rest your bones after a day spent exploring the South Hams countryside. Your four-legged chum is also most welcome.
Explore ‘bonnie’ Beesands, the village on the shingle beach, when you book a stay with Toad Hall Cottages…
Picking Up The Dart Valley Trail: Dartmouth-to-Greenway
Spend the day wandering the banks of the gorgeous river Dart as it meanders past the wooded banks of the Dart Valley. There’s so much to learn along this much-cherished and ancient way. The route is nine miles along leafy trails and permissive footpaths and the terrain is moderate to strenuous; there are also two ferryboat crossings to enjoy. For a detailed map and information visit the AONB’s website.
With its award-winning ales and delicious menu, The Ferry Boat Inn at Dittisham is a popular and refreshing interlude for any walking party exploring this beautiful corner of the South Hams – another one of our many dog-friendly pubs.
Loddiswell & The Middle Avon Valley
This delightful, quiet walk takes you through the heart of the Avon Valley, across old railway bridges, along leafy trails and riverbanks, and through bluebell woods. The route is three-and-a-half miles long and covers a moderate terrain with a handful of stiles and also some steps.
With its delicious breakfast and brunches, The Avon Mill Garden Centre Café is the ideal place to rest and recharge after your walk; expect homemade cakes and seasonal delights. But, if all that walking has built up your thirst and you fancy a crisp jug of local ale, then make a beeline for the Loddiswell Inn; a friendly village pub on the green with a laid-back attitude and where doggy companions are also most welcome guests.
Enjoy quiet starry nights and blissful days when you unlock the door to one of our lovely holiday cottages in Loddiswell…