South Devon

all you need to know

Few areas of the UK, or even Europe, have a lure greater than beautiful South Devon. Dramatic Dartmoor gives way to rolling hills, wooded valleys and stunning coastline that never fails to leave visitors wishing they could stay just that little bit longer. 

About South Devon

The southern half of England's second largest county is synomous with childhood holidays spent splashing in the sea and eating barbeque sausages on one of the regions' many glorious beaches. Aesthetically, little has changed in this pretty corner of the West Country over the years and today visitors continue to fall in love with the gentle countryside and superb coastline.

Recent times have seen something of a gastronomical revolution in South Devon as local foodies caught on to the increased demand for quality local produce and the abundance of fresh food available on their doorstep. Consequently, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing what and where to eat.

Away from the beaches, days can be lost wondering the streets of historic market towns like Dartmouth and Totnes, which retain their traditional charm whilst offering great places to eat and excellent shopping. Or head to Salcombe, South Devon's most popular holiday destination, to spot celebrities, super yachts and sports cars in this glimmering jewel of a coastal town.

Whether you are on a family holiday, a romantic getaway or have your dog in tow, you can't help but fall for the otherworldly pace of life that makes a South Devon holiday the perfect escape from the 9-5.

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Hope Cove

A relatively short coastal walk away from Thurlestone is Hope Cove, another firm favourite and home to some of the finest seaside holiday homes in Devon. Formed around the idyllic twin villages of Inner and Outer Hope, the cove contains two great family-friendly beaches, and a local pub and a couple of cafes, which are conveniently situated within staggering distance of many of our Hope Cove holiday cottages.

Thurlestone

Picturesque Thurlestone, with its thatched cottages and colourful gardens, benefits from its own microclimate and more sunny days per year than neighbouring villages just a mile or two further inland. With a range of sandy beaches to choose from within walking distance of our holiday properties - great for games, splashing about and sunset barbecues - Thurlestone is the perfect destination for those wanting a traditional British coastal holiday.

Kingsbridge

Kingsbridge, the capital of the South Hams and our home, offers an assortment of things to do and see, including an excellent range of shops; from clothing boutiques to delis and a three screen cinema. In addition, two large supermarkets service Kingsbridge and the surrounding villages, and there is a large indoor public pool that is great for those rare (cough) rainy days.

There are a selection of great pubs and restaurants including the brilliantly located Crabshell Inn on the estuary banks and the Creeks End on the town square which becomes the venue for various events throughout the summer including the Toad Hall Cottages sponsored Food and Music Festival!

Salcombe

As one of the region’s most desirable destinations, a holiday cottage in Salcombe is a popular choice for visitors to South Devon. During the summer months the town becomes a playground for the rich and famous, and a mecca for sailors and water sports enthusiast. Salcombe is the UK's answer to Saint-Tropez, offering a wonderful blend of old and new in the most stunning coastal surroundings. Book a break in one of our Salcombe holiday cottages to discover its unique charm and breath-taking scenery for yourself.

Across the water lies quieter East Portlemouth village, which offers exceptional access to the South West Coast Path, and is home to a cluster of small, but beautiful, sandy beaches, each looking across the water to the village’s more prominent neighbour. A year-round ferry service between East Portlemouth and Salcombe allows guests to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Dartmouth

Beyond Slapton, comes the Dart Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that delights visitors with fantastic scenery and pristine waterside villages - like Dittisham, Tuckenhay, Ashprington and Stoke Gabriel - that make this area unique with their country pubs and fabulous settings. For a day out with a difference, a wine and cheese tasting tour at the Sharpham Estate is a must.

Dartmouth itself, like many coastal towns, is built on the side of a steep, wooded valley overlooking the river and is a picture postcard location. The Britannia Royal Naval College stands proudly on the hillside overlooking the town which offers a stunning array of bistros, pubs, restaurants, boutiques, galleries and specialist shops, all lining its narrow streets and passageways. Boat trips make the gentle journey up river to Totnes, another castle town with a bohemian charm and wonderful for shopping, dining and general mooching.


Plymouth Karting

Plymouth Karting & Laser Tag

On an industrial estate close to Plymouth, Plymouth Karting is the ultimate playground for grown ups and nearly grown ups complete with indoor and outdoor karting, combat gaming and laser tag. This is your chance to get involved with the latest in motor-sports with features including challenging circuits, separate adult and children or family sessions, a coffee lounge and spectator area, LCD screening to detail scoring, washroom facilities and free parking, and exclusive booking for birthdays and special events available. You can just turn up but it’s advisable to phone ahead to check availability, particularly in larger groups. All equipment, clothing and safety information is provided but do wear trainers rather than flip-flops or sandals, and remember that children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

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Totnes Rare Breeds Farm

Totnes Rare Breeds Farm

An award-winning, family owned attraction run by a team of volunteers, who aim to preserve endangered species of farm animals and the diversity of British wildlife, Totnes Rare Breeds Farm offers a personal service just outside Totnes. Surrounded by characteristically beautiful Devon countryside you can feed red squirrels, touch a hedgehog and watch the cheeky chipmunks before nipping to the Garden Café for coffees, teas, cakes or a light lunch – it’s a little slice of magic in South Devon. You can combine your ticket to also include the South Devon Steam Railway, as well as the Buckfast Butterfly and Otter Farm for added value, and they are open throughout the summer from 10am until 5pm (last entry at 4.30pm) but are closed for the winter from the end of October.

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Torquay's Dinosaur World

Torquay's Dinosaur World

An exhibition of scaled down and full sized dinosaur models set in realistic scenes, Torquay's Dinosaur World is an opportunity for families to learn about these incredible creatures and what he world was like when they roamed the earth (we can just imagine them scaling the South Devon cliffs). An interactive experience where you can tough the displays and even sit on some of them, there is a Dinosaur Trail to walk, fossilized skulls to discover, and history to get your teeth into. Entry is just £6.95 per person although children under the age of two go for free and entry includes a Paleo Pass which allows named holders unlimited free re-entry for three months from your initial visit.

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The Art Cafe

The Art Café

On Fore Street in Kingsbridge, The Art Café is one of those joyous places where children and adults can enjoy visiting thanks to good coffee, good cake, toasted sandwiches and tea cakes alongside a welcoming, peaceful environment. Here you can paint ceramics to your heart’s content. Open from 10am-5pm daily, they offer pottery parties and takeaway ceramic painting if you want to take the experience home to your South Devon holiday cottage. Prices vary according to what you paint and staff are wonderfully helpful. It’s the perfect place to visit on a rainy day with the kids (they happen occasionally), or for a little peace and quiet after a long day outdoors.

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(2)

Great place for kids and adults on a rainy day

December 2016


Really good place to visit (especially if weather isnt great) that'll keep kids happy for a few hours. Be warned that whatever you make will need firing in the kiln, so will be a day or two until picking it back up usually!

December 2016



Exeter Clip and Climb

Exeter Clip and Cilmb

Europe’s first Clip ‘n Climb climbing centre is one of those activities that welcomes guests of all ages and is a fantastic opportunity to learn, face and overcome the physical and mental challenges of climbing in a safe environment. It also makes for a wonderful rainy day activity when you’re on holiday in South Devon. Climb commando style in the Jungle Gym, reach new heights on the Skyscraper, take the speed climbing challenge or sign up for the Leap of Faith. The centre welcomes families, birthday parties and school trips as well as individuals. Kit is provided along with a safety briefing. Sessions last for 90 minutes, and you’re advised to wear comfortable clothing and trainers, but avoid heels, sandals and open toed shoes. Children must be at least four years old to participate.

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The Durant Arms

A traditional country pub in the heart of pretty Ashprington serving quality pub grub and local beers. Expect classic meals using excellent local ingredients including great Sunday roasts. 

The Durant Arms, Ashprington, Totnes TQ9 7UP (T: 01803 732240)

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(1)

Brilliant country pub, good homemade food, great real ales (listed in the good beer guide 2017) Child & dog friendly, gets very busy for Sunday lunches. Closed Mondays

March 2017



The River Shack

A light and bright café in a beautiful location overlooking the estuary. While the kids go crabbing you can sit and enjoy the views with lunch or a snack, accompanied perhaps by a locally brewed beer or Stoke Gabriel village Yarde cider.  

The River Shack  The Quay, Stoke Gabriel TQ9 6RD (T: 01803 782520) 

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(2)

Lovely food, friendly and efficient staff and reasonable prices. Good menu choices as well.

May 2017


Fantastic setting, with a lovely terrace... ideal for sitting out on a sunny day and having a coffee or glass of wine. We tried eating there in the evening and found the food rather disappointing, so wouldn't recommend it for food.

May 2017



The Watermans Arms

Relax in the friendly atmosphere of this pub by the cosy log fire in the winter or outside overlooking the river in the warmer months. Enjoy Devon’s finest produce accompanied by good beer and wine.  Children will enjoy paddling in the river as well as the play area.   Dogs welcome.  

The Watermans Arms Bow Bridge, Ashprington, Totnes TQ9 7EG (T: 01803 732214) 

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(2)

amazing pub. Great location by the river, really nice food and friendly staff. The dogs loved it too and we made to feel very welcome :)

December 2016


A warm welcome was received at this lovely pub that served great food especially Sunday roast - booking is reccomemnded

May 2017



The Maltsters Arms

Set in a beautiful location alongside Bow Creek and with a predominantly fish menu, this is a great place to enjoy some delicious food or a cold beer in the sunshine.  Watch boats mooring, kayaks launching and children crabbing during the summer, or enjoy the cosy atmosphere and open fires in colder months. 

The Maltsters Arms Tuckenhay, Totnes TQ9 7EH (T: 01803 732350) 

 

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(2)

Only stopped for a drink on the way to Dittisham but loved sitting out by the river and watching all the wildlife passing by

December 2016


Excellent food and great atomasphere.

May 2017



Hunter's Lodge Inn

Excellent food at a reasonable price and great local beers and ales, all in a cosy pub environment.

Hunter's Lodge Inn  Cornworthy, Totnes TQ9 7ES (T: 01803 732204)

 

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Ayrmer Cove

Ayrmer Cove

Roughly one kilometre (20 minutes depending on your pace) from the National Trust car park at Ringmore, and with a selection of footpaths to get to it, Ayrmer Cove is a quiet secluded beach on the South West Coast Path. For anyone on holiday in South Devon it’s a peaceful place to sit and contemplate the natural scenery amongst the shingle, pebbles and rock pools, admiring the cliffs. It makes for a beautiful destination to walk to from Ringmore itself, which is a small village (population 230) with views towards the cove itself as well as Bigbury Bay – it makes for a wonderful holiday cottage destination in South Devon as well as a place to visit as part of your day. Walking to the beach allows you to discover the surrounding woodland, wildlife and history of the area – taking in old smugglers’ routes and hedgerows that have been in situ since the 1800s. It is a little tricky to get to so it’s not ideal for wheelchairs, and there aren’t any toilets or facilities at the beach itself so if you want to stay for a little while don’t forget to take snacks or a picnic if the weather is right. This is all about enjoying the environment that’s such a proud part of the National Trust – it’s everything a holiday in Devon is about, and yes, dogs are permitted all year round and will very much enjoy the walk!

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(1)

Gorgeous beach for an evening swim and barbecue. So peaceful and beautiful

June 2017



Bantham Beach

Bantham Beach

At the mouth of the Avon River, Bantham beach is easy to reach from Salcombe, Kingsbridge and our other favourite holiday home locations, as well as being a beautiful area to stay in its own right. The beach looks out over Bigbury Bay and offers a wonderful view of Burgh Island, which is famous for its art deco hotel of the same name that has hosted Agatha Christie and Noel Coward amongst its illustrious guests an can reach by sea tractor. Bantham beach has a popular reputation amongst both novice and advanced surfers, and as such there are lessons available from the Bantham Surfing Academy, which operates from the beach. They also offer other water sports including paddle boarding, and a day pottering up the Avon River on one of those when the tide is right, is a day well spent. When the tide is out at Bantham the sandy beach reveals rock pools and great swathes of space so you can happily set up a picnic and stay there for the whole day. If the mood strikes, why not walk along the coast path towards Thurlestone around the corner, and South Milton Sands beyond that, particularly as it’s also a popular beach for dog owners? Just keep in mind that from 1st May until 30th September restrictions apply, so look out for signposts with more information. If you’re spending the whole day on the beach it’s worth popping to the Gastrobus which is open seasonally in the car park, offering everything from freshly made baps to coffees, teas and cakes, or for a larger meal head the short walking distance to The Sloop Inn gastropub. There is plenty of parking available by Bantham, with charges from £3.50 per day, so make sure you have change on you as it’s a bit tricky to find parking otherwise. There are toilets in the car park, and from May to October from 10am until 6pm there is also lifeguard cover on the beach. All in, Bantham has something to offer everyone throughout the year and is one of many beautiful locations to spend time while you’re in South Devon.

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(2)

Fantastic sandy beach and so big. My dog loved running around and jumping into the water. Plenty of space for all.

April 2017


A short walk (less than a mile) from Thurlestone, this is a stunning beach. Lots of shallow water with sand underfoot, truly amazing.

July 2017



Bigbury on Sea

Bigbury on Sea

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has visited that Bigbury on Sea is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Perfect for sand castles and rock pooling as well as tucking into lengthy summer picnics, it is an unusual beach to visit because the tide comes in from both sides. As a result, it is an endless source of fascination for children, not least for its sea tractor which provides transport from one end of the beach to the other in order to reach Burgh Island. Burgh Island is connected to mainland England by the beach alone, it’s home to the famous art deco Burgh Island Hotel which has hosted Agatha Christie and Noel Coward since its incarnation in 1929, and has even made an appearance in the TV adaptation of Christie’s Poirot. On a practical note there is on-site parking available close to the beach with daily charges from £3.50. Toilets and shower facilities with disabled access are also nearby, and lifeguards are present from May to September. The Venus café offers teas, coffees and other refreshments including the ice creams that are of such fundamental importance for a day at the beach. Meanwhile, dog lovers will be pleased to know that four legged friends are welcome at Bigbury on Sea, but restrictions apply from 1st May until 30th September. Ultimately, Bigbury on Sea is a supremely beautiful location and fun family day out with abundant wildlife to enjoy and coastal footpaths to explore as well, making it a wonderful destination to visit on holiday in Devon, no matter what time of the year it is.

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(2)

Fantastic unique place with sea both sides of the beach when the tide is out and Burgh Island to walk to with a lovely old pub but inefficient service.

April 2017


Rather run down and disappointing that visitors are made to feel rather unwanted with only a small section of the pub open to non-residents and the hotel off limits completely to non-residents. View from the top lovely, but I wouldn't drive miles and miles to visit. What attracted me was the parting of the sea and that was a lovely view

June 2017



Blackpool Sands

Blackpool Sands

Between Dartmouth and Slapton, Blackpool Sands is a beautiful shingle bay on the South West Coast Path, surrounded by evergreens and pine trees. It really is a treasure of a beach to visit while you’re in the area. Award-winning, the privately owned, blue flag beach boasts a sense of being in the Mediterranean on a good day in the summer, although a good jumper never goes amiss in this part of the world! You will no doubt not be surprised to hear that it is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, however it also boasts ample facilities and things to do. There are showers, toilets and disabled facilities, as well as paddle board, kayak and wetsuit hire available for those wishing to earn their visit to The Venus Beach Café, where light bites and refreshments are served. The Venus Shop also sells all the bits and pieces you might want for fun and games on the beach if you have forgotten them or are in need of extra buckets and spades. The water at Blackpool Sands is known for being clean and clear and tested by the Environment Agency, and lifeguards are on hand in the summer (July to September) so there’s every reason to pop in for a dip. However, dogs are not allowed on the beach in the high season (12th March to 30th October) so keep the walking for the cooler months. There is parking available at the beach with seasonal charges, and you can find out more information on those from the Blackpool Sands information line on 01803 771800. This beach is easy to get to and quite literally fun and games for the whole family, as well as a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year to take in the view!

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(4)

Stunning beach, and you can get takeaway cream tea from the cafe to have on the beach!!

May 2017


Our family 's favourite beach

June 2017


The cost of the parking steep

June 2017


Perfect venue for a sunny day! Secluded beach which is clean and tidy, with a cafe, snack bar and shop, beach equipment hire too

July 2017



Challaborough Bay

Challaborough Bay

Close to Kingsbridge, Challaborough Bay is a sandy beach in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that’s perfect for enjoying all the seaside activities nature can afford. At low tide the beach is ideal for visiting families to build sandcastles and explore the rock pools, while the swells and shore breaks also attract surfers and bodyboarders. There are some beautiful walks along the coast path that surrounds it, heading towards Bigbury on Sea in particular. Making it an ideal spot to spend the day, the beach has toilets, a café and a beach shop close by, although access is via steps and small paths so accessibility isn’t wheelchair friendly. There is a car park but it’s rather small, so it’s good to know that a 15-minute walk to Bigbury will see ample parking available – seasonal charges apply so remember to bring cash with you. While four legged friends are welcome in the winter, they are not allowed on the beach between May and September, so do plan their walks with that in mind. It’s a lovely spot along the coast path to bring them to, you can even beach hop from one to the next!

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(1)

Lovely beach

April 2017



Gara Rock Beach

Gara Rock Beach

A short ferry ride over the estuary from Salcombe to East Portlemouth, followed by a scenic walk along the coast (around 40 minutes depending on how speedy you are), will lead you to a dramatic headland and beach café known as Gara Rock. With panoramic views of the sea, the café is open for teas, cakes, lunch, and afternoon tea before you descend to Gara Rock Beach below. The beach is a sandy cove flanked by rocks, and can also be reached by parking at the Mill Bay car park which is around two miles away on foot. The beauty of this beach is that it is only accessible either on foot or by boat, so it does have a wonderful sense of escapism alongside its rugged splendour. Although it is a little bit of a climb back up to the café, the proximity of food and toilets means that you can set up camp here for most of the day, dipping into the water as and when you choose if the weather is warm enough. Alternatively, it’s the perfect place for a pit stop if you’re spending the day walking along the coast path towards Prawle Point and Dartmouth beyond. Dogs are allowed on the beach but not in high season, so keep that in mind, and while it’s a slightly tricky beach to get to it’s worth the effort… maybe just see if you can get a takeaway brownie and a cup of tea from the café to keep you going!

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Hope Cove

Hope Cove

Hope Cove is the perfect name for this inspiringly beautiful little corner of the South Hams. Divided into two areas, Inner Hope and Outer Hope, both linked by a footpath and road, and each with their own respective beaches, Outer Hope is also home to the Hope and Anchor Pub and a collection of shops and cafes, while Inner Hope is a quieter more residential area. At Outer Hope you will find Mouthwell Sands, a sandy cove scattered with pebbles and backed by rocky cliffs with a slipway and steps from the road down to the beach. It’s a popular spot with surfers, despite being a fairly small beach, and watching the sunset from here is a beautiful way to spend the evening. There is a car park by the beach where charges apply so make sure you have cash on you as you arrive, and dogs are permitted out of season with restrictions applying from 1st May until 30th September. Meanwhile, Harbour Beach is a short stroll away and bridges the two villages of Inner and Outer Hope. It is a wide sandy beach that’s perfect for rock pooling and sand castle building, and there is a harbour wall that makes for spectacular crashing waves in the winter as well as a tempting spot from which to jump into the water in the summer at high tide. Just make sure you don’t jump in when the water is low as it’s too shallow. Harbour Beach is also an ideal spot from which to paddle board or kayak across the bay, with the really intrepid amongst us pottering all the way along the coast to Thurlestone and Burgh Island. Finally, at Inner Hope itself there is a small sandy beach that’s accessible down a slipway. This is home to the old lifeboat station and is a quiet spot that marks a juncture along the coast path from Bolberry. Speaking of which, you can walk either way along the coast from Hope Cove, either towards South Milton Sands, Thurlestone and Bantham, or towards Salcombe. If you are making a day of it then why not start at the Winking Prawn at North Sands and stop at Hope Cove for lunch?

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(5)

Absolutely love this place! Perfect for families, safe swimming and and lots of rock pools to explore. Our kids were down there every day. Can't wait to come back next year. Mrs Sutton

December 2016


Beautiful coves and pretty cottages

April 2017


A really pretty place with all you need fir a relaxing holiday, beautiful views and lovely coast walks

April 2017


Lovely and well worth a visit.

May 2017


Friendly , beautiful - everything you could want in a holiday spot - didn't matter what the weather was like ,plenty to do and see .

May 2017



Lannacombe Beach

Lannacombe Beach

Rugged and unspoiled, Lannacombe is the beach for those looking for total escapism on their South West holiday. Small and perfect for escaping from the summer crowds, it’s one of the best places to visit to simply enjoy the Devon scenery in all its natural glory. There’s a small car park just behind the beach so do get there early in order to guarantee a space, although there is further parking a short walk away if need be. Dogs are welcome at the beach throughout the year and as it offers access to the Coast Path it’s a good idea to combine your visit with a walk to take in the views of sea and countryside, perhaps towards Start Point where there is further parking around 30-40 minutes away on foot. At low tide the beach offers gentle rock pooling so it’s a lovely spot to head to for a quiet afternoon with the family, building sandcastles and eating sandwiches if you remember to bring them. There aren’t any cafes and restaurants immediately on site, so do remember to take anything you need with you, and there aren’t any toilets in the near vicinity either, so that’s worth keeping in mind when you plan your day. If you have been on holidays in Devon and Cornwall before you will also know that you need to watch our for the tide at many of the beaches, including this one in order to avoid disappointment or getting wet, you can pick up a tide timetable at local post offices!

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Leas Foot Sands

Leas Foot Sands

A small sandy beach belonging to Thurlestone Golf Club, those who have been on regular Devon weekend breaks and holidays will have seen this beach change somewhat in recent years thanks to storm damage, but the evolving landscape merely adds to its charm. A 200-metre walk down a paved path from the golf club and its car park and you find yourself heading down a gentle slope onto the sand, with the option of enjoying the beach in its own right or walking along the coast in either direction towards Bantham or South Milton Sands. Dogs are allowed here at any time, which of course adds to the appeal for walkers, and if you fancy stopping somewhere for lunch then Thurlestone village nearby is home to a charming pub that’s cryptically named The Village Inn, which is suitable for the whole family and wonderfully cosy in the winter months. Alternatively head to the Beachhouse café at South Milton for lunches and evenings meals with a view of the sunset, or cups of tea and brownies from the Gastrobus at Bantham. It is one of the area’s quieter beaches, often acting as a place to wander past rather than one to spend the whole day on, but given its easy access and the proximity of the car park, and the golf club, it’s a delightful little spot in which to while away the afternoon.

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(1)

A very nice beach with quite a lot of sand at times. So easy to access, even managed to get both (octogenarian) parents to it and my mother in the sea for a paddle!

July 2017



Mattiscombe

Mattiscombe

A sandy beach close to Start Point, Mattiscombe is one of those little sandy treasure troves that we all love to find – it’s quiet, peaceful, and without very much around to distract you from the abundant natural beauty. Being a beautiful, secluded beach there aren’t any facilities or activities available here; it’s all about taking in your surroundings, perhaps doing a spot of rock pooling while you’re there, and walking the dog if you have one as they are welcome all year round. The rock formations are interesting and the views are remarkable, so remember to take your sandwiches and really spend some time taking it all in. It isn’t the easiest beach to access as the slope and steps onto the sand are quite steep and parking is at Start Point around a 10-minute walk along the South West Coast Path, so bring some appropriate footwear for exploring!

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(1)

A bit of a walk down from the car park but so worth it, arguably the best beach in the South Hams

December 2016



Mill Bay

A sandy beach on the East Portlemouth side of the Salcombe Estuary, at low tide Mill Bay stretches all the way up the coastline to East Portlemouth beach. It has the most wonderful view of Salcombe itself and is popular with everyone, especially families, because of the large swathes of sand on which you can set up camp for the day and enjoy safe, clean swimming conditions. Parking is limited, so the best way to get to it is either by boat or by catching the East Portlemouth Ferry from Salcombe and strolling along. That way you can also nip past The Venus Café by the slipway to pick ice creams, sandwiches and refreshments before settling in for the day. There are rock pools to explore, sandcastles to build and swimming to be done, just make sure you’re careful of any boats coming in and out of the beach. Dogs are welcome at Mill Bay all year round, and it makes an excellent spot to run around with them whatever time of the year. Like the other beaches along this stretch of coast, Mill Bay makes for an ideal place to spend the day right into the evening, although it is a little stroll to the nearest facilities. It’s also a lovely beach to meander across en route towards Gara Rock or on a longer walk along the coast path.

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Mothecombe Beach

One of South Devon’s quieter beaches, Mothecombe is a large and unspoiled, privately owned stretch of sand that’s open to the public on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Having won an award from the Marine Conservation Society for its clean sea and sand, you can be assured that relaxing here and pottering about in the water is going to be a happy, healthy and pleasant experience for all in this sheltered corner of Devon. For those wanting to try out water sports, Mothecombe offers the ideal conditions for windsurfing, kayaking, body boarding and generally enjoying the water, particularly for beginners as it’s a comparatively gentle environment in which to give it a go. Given its pristine nature, it will probably come as no surprise that dogs are not allowed on the beach in high season, so keep an eye out for signs for more information, but best to steer clear with furry friends from May to September. There is a car park from which you can access the beach down a narrow path, so it’s not ideal for wheelchair users, but is otherwise conveniently close by. There’s also a tea house in the car park for drinks and snacks and there are toilets nearby as well, so pending the tides you can spend a good day here enjoying the natural scenery and all the fun that it brings with it, whether that’s for the whole family, on a romantic afternoon in the summer sun, or simply enjoying the peace and quiet of this less populated park of the coastline.

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(1)

Lovely beach but cafe was being renovated and we were gasping for a cuppa

April 2017



North Hallsands

North Hallsands

A quiet beach of fine shingle with a reed bed providing the backdrop, North Hallsands is a picturesque place to visit for anyone staying in one of our holiday cottages in Devon. The beach is divided into north and south, and it’s about nine miles from Kingsbridge facing towards Start Bay. There is level access to the sand from North Hallsands car park, although it is small so keep that in mind in busier months, although there’s also another small car park five minutes away for South Hallsands. You might want to note that there aren’t any facilities or toilets close to the beach, which does mean that it’s fantastically peaceful and an experience that’s all about the natural environment, which ultimately is what we all love about a Devon break! For those bringing their four legged friends with them, the beach is completely dog friendly, welcoming them all year round, so just don’t get carried away with all that fun in the sand and get cut off by the tide in all the excitement. The sand stretches a fair distance at low tide and we wouldn’t want you to get wet!

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(1)

Gorgeous beach, but be careful if you have a dog that likes to run as our Border Collie got very sore paws on the pebbles.

May 2017



North Sands

North Sands, Salcombe

The first beach as you walk along the Cliff Road out of Salcombe, North Sands sits in a valley and is a sandy horseshoe shaped beach that’s expansive at low tide. Thanks to its shape and location, it’s extremely popular in the summer because there’s plenty of space to set up camp for the day with buckets, spades and fishing nets in tow for avid marine biologists and sand castle connoisseurs. The beach has a fresh water stream running through it from the top of the valley, which, aside from providing hours of entertainment for accompanying dogs and a marvellous place to wash the sand off your feet, also means that the beach is largely wet sand, so don’t forget to take something to sit on if you’re heading there for the day. Popular with swimmers, despite the chilly water, North Sands provides a wonderful view out of the mouth of the Salcombe estuary and into the deep blue yonder so, for keen photographers, it’s ideal. If the weather is right then it’s a favourite amongst body boarders or even surfers on choppier days, and it’s a great place to take the paddle boards and kayaks if you happen to have them. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, unlike many of the beaches in the area, there are toilets over the road and there’s a car park with charges from £1 throughout the year. The cherry on top of this beautiful location is The Winking Prawn café and restaurant that’s right next to the beach. Open all year round they serve everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner to coffee, tea and cake, and in the summer they provide a barbecue in the garden overlooking the sea. It is popular though so leave a little time to queue for that Salcombe Dairy honeycomb ice cream in the height of summer!

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(1)

Superb safe and stunningly picturesque

June 2017



South Sands

South Sands, Salcombe

Over a (rather large) hill along the road from North Sands and around a 30-minute walk from the centre of Salcombe, South Sands is a sandy beach, with a stream running through it, that’s particularly geared up for water sports. South Sands is also accessible from the centre of Salcombe by the South Sands Ferry, a merry looking yellow, blue and red boat that takes around 15 minutes at a cost of £3.60 per adult and £2.60 for children over the age of three. You’re then greeted at the beach by a sea tractor to take you onto the dry sand, where you will find the South Sands Hotel as well as the enchanting Bo’s Beach Café. The beach café is a family run business serving all the necessities for a day on the sand including tea, cake, coffee and light lunches as well as beach essentials and toys. It runs in conjunction with Sea Kayak Salcombe who provide kayak and paddle board rental and tours for all levels. During the Salcombe Town Regatta, South Sands also plays host to the annual sandcastle competition, an illustrious occasion that welcomes all participants with enthusiasm, so make sure you keep an eye out if you’re a budding architect or artist, or potter along and take a look at the local and visiting handiwork if you’re more of a spectator. It’s worth noting that there’s limited parking at South Sands so it’s a good idea to either walk to it, park at North Sands a short walk away, or park in Salcombe and catch the ferry over. Dogs are also welcome at South Sands.

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(1)

A beautiful sandy beach that is superb for children as you have to go out quite a way before the water gets deep. Water sports available. Access is via very narrow lanes so be prepared to reverse and parking is very limited.

July 2017



Slapton Sands

Slapton Sands

A long stretch of beach with spectacular views of the sea stretching into the distance, Slapton Sands is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and for good reason. Adjacent to Slapton Ley, a freshwater lake that’s home to an abundance of wildlife and one of the many reasons people come to visit the area, the beach has a history of welcoming families in the summer for long days in the sunshine, building sandcastles, surfing, windsurfing and kayaking. It’s amazing to believe that this peaceful corner of South Devon has its place in military history as in 1943 the beach was taken over by allied forces to use as a rehearsal area for the D-Day landings. However, live ammunition and poor visibility ended in the deaths of more than 700 servicemen, so today there is a stone monument in place for Operation Tiger, as it was called, as well as a Sherman Tank at nearby Torcross. On a more current note, there is a beachside café at Slapton Sands for teas, coffees and other light bites, and there are also toilets nearby. The beach has disabled access, and also allows dogs throughout the year, so it really is fun for everyone and very easy to get to. There is parking nearby and in the summer months from May to September there is lifeguard cover. Last, but not least, a small collection of pubs reside in Torcross for those who are feeling peckish after a long day in the fresh air, or if you have been for a nice walk along the sand!

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(2)

Great place for a walk along the beach and had some great events for children at Easter. Great fish and chips in the pub at the end on Torcross

April 2017


Clapton Sands is beautiful. The rocks are the most beautiful colours, wild flowers abound on the beach, the views in either direction are stunning and it is rarely over crowded.One of the most wonderful areas in the U.K.

May 2017



Soar Mill Cove

Soar Mill Cove

Nestled between the cliffs in the undulating Devon landscape, Soar Mill Cove is something of a hidden gem, and the kind of beach that would be well placed in a movie. An inlet below towering, black rocks, it’s small and only really accessible on foot. The easiest way reach it by walking down from the Soar Mill Cove Hotel, where there is a car park, or if you’re making a day of your jaunt, why not stroll along the South West Coast Path from Bolberry or even from Salcombe? The beach is a mix of sand and stone and has seen a fair amount of weathering in storms in recent along years, which has merely added to its character and charm. There are no facilities in the immediate vicinity unless you wander up to the hotel, although the Port Light Café is about a 25-minute walk away back towards Bolberry where there is also further parking. Dogs are welcome throughout the year at Soar Mill Cove, and it’s definitely worth the effort to visit!

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South Milton Sands

South Milton Sands

A long stretch of sand broken only by the South Milton Ley freshwater reed bed, South Milton Sands is a dramatic beach that’s exposed to the elements, making it something of a chameleon throughout the year. Rugged in its beauty, there’s nothing quite like watching the sun set at this beach behind an iconic rock archway in the water; it really is spectacular, particularly if you do so over dinner in the summer months from The Beach Café, a small but perfectly formed restaurant and café that’s perched just above the sand. If you want a table inside then you really do have to book this one, but if the weather is fine then eating outside is a joy. The beach is sandy and popular on windy days with kite surfers and windsurfers, but in calmer weather is perfect for a summer swim. Dogs are welcome at South Milton throughout the year, there’s a National Trust car park by the beach which costs from £5 for the day, £3 after 4pm or is free for National Trust members. There are also toilets nearby. It’s also worth knowing that in the summer months lifeguards are in situ from 6th July until 8th September, keeping everyone safe in the sun, sea and sand. When the weather is less conducive to sitting and admiring the view, South Milton is perfectly placed for a stroll along the coast path either towards Hope Cove and around towards Salcombe if you fancy making a day of it, or in the opposite direction you can walk towards Bantham and Bigbury on Sea. It’s a wonderful place to explore and watch Devon’s wildlife in all its glory.

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(4)

Fantastic sandy beach for everything, rock pools, building sandcastles body boarding.

April 2017


Beautiful.

May 2017


Fabulous dog friendly beach with amazing views

June 2017


A glorious beach! Dog friendly, sandy, rock pools at the far end. Parking handy, spectacular views - the stone arch beats Durdle Door in my mind..... Delightful. Loved it.

July 2017



Sunny Cove

Sunny Cove

Accessed either by boat, via a 10-minute walk through the woods from parking at Mill Bay, or a stroll from the Salcombe to East Portlemouth Ferry, Sunny Cove is a sandy beach which, as you might expect, catches the sun throughout the day, weather pending. It’s on the East Portlemouth side of the Salcombe Estuary opposite North Sands beach and Fort Charles, the ruined fortification that was originally constructed during the reign of Henry VIII to defend the Kingsbridge Estuary against French and Spanish Pirates. It’s a relatively gentle spot for swimming and ideal for picnics, lazy summer afternoons, and reaching on kayaks and paddle boards from other nearby beaches as well as being the perfect spot for building sandcastles. That said, the tide can come in quite quickly so make sure you don’t get caught out and be careful of the swell when bringing boats into the beach. Head there for the day in the summer or as a stop off en route to the café at Gara Rock or a longer walk along the coast path towards Prawle Point. Dogs are welcome all year round but keep in mind that there aren’t any facilities in the immediate vicinity (it would be a 10-15-minute walk along wooded footpaths) so take your sandwiches with you!

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Wonwell Beach

Wonwell Beach

In an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Wonwell is a sandy beach on the east shore of the Erme river which joins Mothecombe at low tide. It affords visitors a large expanse to explore and is accessed via a woodland path from the road which takes about 10 minutes. Alternatively, there is a slipway from the road to the shore of the river and at low tide you can walk along the edge to the beach itself, so make sure you get your timings right to make the most of this one. Parking is limited at Wonwell Beach so keep that in mind when you’re heading over. Road parking allows for around 20 cars depending on their size and there aren’t really any facilities around, although there are toilets nearby. This does mean you need to be prepared if you’re heading there for the best part of the day, but also makes for a very peaceful experience whether it’s lounging about on the sand with a picnic in the summer, or a stroll in the cooler months, simply taking in the atmosphere. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round so it’s the perfect place to take them for a run around. Something to be careful of – do keep an eye on the tide to avoid getting cut off when it comes in and getting very wet en route back to dry land!

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(1)

Lovely beach but bit of a trek for little ones

April 2017



Beesands

Beesands

Close to Kingsbridge and a favourite amongst residents and holiday makers in the South West, Beesands is a wonderful mile-long shingle beach surrounded by fields and a freshwater lake. You get a real flavour of the West Country here with fresh crab sandwiches for sale nearby and lots of Devon holiday cottages within walking distance to make it really convenient. The beach has won awards from the Marine Conservation Society as well as having The Blue Flag marker to attest to its excellence and high standards, so families and swimmers can be reassured. The beach is popular for surfing and body boarding amongst other water sports including fishing, so tackle is on sale close by. You can pick up light bites at nearby cafes as and when you’re ready, making it easy to spend the whole day running around on the sand and enjoying your seaside holiday to the max. Beesands is very much a beach for everyone thanks to its convenient location, easy and free road parking along most of the beach, level access, and the toilets, cafes and pubs close by. Dogs are also welcome on the beach throughout the year so the whole family can enjoy it!

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(2)

Britannia Fish - Great fish - always fresh and lovely family run business. A must for anyone who likes eating good fish!

May 2017


Ideal for quiet and peaceful holiday with two good restaurants both of which are dog friendly.

April 2017


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