Waterside Pubs in Devon

Discovering Some of Devon’s Best Waterside Inns

The West Country prides itself on its warm and friendly hospitality and nowhere more so than its delightful collection of countryside pubs. There’s no better journey’s end to your seaside stroll than a sunny spot in a pub garden. Toad Hall Cottages has thrown the spotlight on a few of these much-loved coastal and riverside pubs waiting to be discovered along the sparkling shores and peaceful waters of Devon.

The Steam Packet, Totnes

We begin our waterside pub tour in the historic market town of Totnes on the banks of the River Dart. The Steam Packet Inn is a popular watering hole not far from the bustling centre of Totnes, which boasts a fine selection of locally brewed ales and award-winning wines, plus a sumptuous menu to satisfy even the most discerning of palates.


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The Start Bay Inn, Torcross

As if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetites, we’re headed for the South Hams coast, home to some of the region’s most spectacular beaches. Serving the charming fishing village of Torcross since the 14th century, the Start Bay Inn stands right on the esplanade with far-reaching views of Start Bay. Flying the flag for locally sourced fayre, the inn’s speciality dish remains the traditional seaside favourite, fish ‘n’ chips. It’s the perfect setting to while away an hour or two on a sunny afternoon.

The Pilchard Inn, Burgh Island

Further along this spectacular stretch of coast, following the South West Coast Path as it winds its way along the clifftops past Salcombe, lies one of South Devon’s most characterful pubs. Standing just above the rocky shoreline of Burgh Island – the tidal outcrop famous for its iconic art deco hotel – The Pilchard Inn dates all the way back to the 1300s when it was well-known as a haunt for fishermen, wreckers and smugglers. During the winter months walkers can warm their cockles by the roaring fire, and when the barometers turn fair there’s no better place to admire the beautiful Bantham estuary and lush green hills of the Avon Valley. A sea tractor is on hand to ferry passengers along the sand bar at times of high water.


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The Ferry Inn, Salcombe

With captivating views of turquoise estuary waters from its terraced garden, The Ferry Inn remains one of Salcombe’s most popular pubs. Tucked away from the hustle ‘n’ bustle of Fore Street, next to the Jubilee Ferryboat Pier, this traditional yachtsman’s haunt boasts a gorgeous panorama that takes in the honey-coloured shores of Mill Bay, Sunny Cove and the wooded hillside beyond. Sit back and watch the boats bobbing by while tucking into an ample dish from the pub’s inviting menu. Surely one of the most memorable waterside settings in the whole of the South Hams!


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The Waterman’s Arms, Ashprington

Tucked away in the South Devon countryside near the enchanting, rural village of Ashprington (near Totnes), and with lovely riverside views, you’ll find the The Waterman’s Arms. This delightful inn is one of the area’s best kept secrets, the perfect place for all those looking to savour the tranquillity of the South Hams’ countryside. Whether you’re in need of a ‘swift half’ to quench your thirst or a romantic candle-lit dinner, expect a warm welcome when you cross the threshold of this gorgeous pub (voted amongst the country’s best watering holes by The Times 2016). During the summer months, a shady spot on the riverside garden terrace is certain to make your heart sing.


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The Sloop Inn, Bantham

The Sloop Inn remains one of the most popular coastal pubs in sunny South Devon. Set in the idyllic village of Bantham, and only a short stroll from one of the region’s best surfing beaches, this rustic 14th Century free house on the mouth of the River Avon is surrounded by scintillating coastal walks. With its old flagstones, traditional bar and low beamed ceiling, The Sloop has lovingly maintained many of its original features. It’s also one of county’s many dog-friendly establishments. You can expect to find local ales on tap and a tip-top menu full of sensational seafood and locally grown ingredients whenever you visit.

The Millbrook Inn, South Pool

As tranquil waterside settings go, the quiet shores of South Pool Creek take some beating. It’s here you’ll find The Millbrook Inn, an award-winning country pub tucked away along the backwaters of the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary. Winners of ‘Devon County Dining Pub 2019’, this popular pub is a haunt for country lane walkers and sailors alike. Where better to wait for the incoming tide than sat in the dappled shade of The Millbrook’s lovely pub garden with a pint of something cool and fizzy to sip on and the plat de jour winging its way to your table.

The Thatch, Croyde

The picturesque seaside village of Croyde in North Devon provides the scenic setting for our next waterside pub. The Thatch is a characterful cottage inn in the heart of a North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With its incredible clifftop views and encompassed by sleepy hamlets and quaint fishing villages, this much-loved pub is a welcome sight for coastal ramblers and countryside wayfarers in need of some respite. Expect a hearty welcome and wholesome meals at this thriving pub on the sparkling North Devon coast.


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The Beaver Inn, Appledore

On the banks of the Taw Torridge Estuary, a place where the rivers Taw and Torridge meet in eddies and swirls, you’ll find The Beaver Inn. Serving both locals and visitors to the historic fishing village of Appledore, this harbourside hostelry offers stunning estuary views from its sheltered waterside terrace. The menu is crammed full of locally caught sea food and the bar is jostling with a varied selection of craft beers, real ales, sparkling ciders, wines and spirits. Soak up the relaxed atmosphere and rest your weary legs after a day spent exploring the magnificent Tarka Trail as it follows the waterways towards the wilds of Dartmoor. The Beaver Inn is another of Devon’s many dog-friendly pubs.

With hundreds of beautiful holiday cottages, it’s no wonder Toad Hall Cottages remains the agency of choice for holiday makers looking to discover and explore the idyllic West Country. Take your pick from our impressive list of holiday properties and start planning your South West getaway.