Nestled deep within the picturesque South Devon countryside, the village of Blackawton is graced with two pubs, The George Inn and The Normandy Arms, both providing good food and ale. However this little place has made a name for itself as the home of the weird and wonderful International Festival of Worm Charming! This quirky event held annually in early May always draws a crowd, come rain or shine, and is a real hit with the whole family.
If you’re after a wide choice of independent shops, cafes and restaurants head to the nearby bustling, waterside town of Dartmouth, which lies just 6 miles to the west of Blackawton. This historic maritime town is a lovely place to potter around, whether you're checking out the local art galleries or the browsing the stalls in the lively market. You can also embark on boat trips here, either up the River Dart, or out along the coast.
Blackawton is within easy reach of the coast. Strete Gate beach is nearest and has a small car park, but be aware that there is a nudist area here to the north. Head in the other direction and there’s literally miles of pebbly beach to walk along towards Torcross. Further along Slapton Sands the coast road is flanked either side by the sea and Slapton Ley, the region’s largest freshwater lake and National Nature Reserve. The Ley is bursting with bird life so if you fancy a change from the beach, take the nature trail and walk the circular route round to the quaint village of Slapton.
If you're not in the mood for a hike, and instead just want a quick blast of fresh air, lunch and a sea view, then try nearby Blackpool Sands. This family-friendly beach also boasts the popular Venus Café overlooking the sea which serves legendary breakfasts, and also fabulous traditional Devon cream teas.
A holiday cottage in Blackawton is a lovely rural spot to base your South Devon break.
A family theme park set in 90 acres of countryside in South Devon, Woodlands has a wealth of entertainment available for kids of all ages including rides, a toddler zone, a falconry centre, a sea monster zone, animal paddocks, a deer park, a chicken run, baby animals, a meerkat home and lots more to keep you entertained for a whole day. They also host a series of events that vary throughout the season from Dino Week to Peppa Pig, and for visiting groups they offer special rates and discounts. There are indoor and outdoor activities available making it perfect when the sun shines or for rainy days, and there are seasonal opening times with a range of ticket options so check the website for the latest information.
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(5)View all Reviews
I like Woodlands because it is entertaining whatever the weather
Brilliant day out for all ages.
No matter what the weather is you'll have a day of fun. Only downside is that if your 7 year old is a bit tall for their age they will be charged an adult ticket price
Don't expect Alton Towers- but if you want a great place to spend the day and keep the kids entertained, then this is the best there is in South Devon. I'd say better for 7-13s than anything over....
My daughter and granddaughter really enjoyed this park and was amazed how big it was and how many attractions it had.
Dartmouth is a particularly beautiful part of South Devon, and at the The Dartmouth Golf Club there are two courses to visit. It is one of the South West's most comprehensive golf resorts, and has been included in Golf Monthly's list of Great Britain and Ireland's best 80 courses. The Dartmouth Course is a more relaxing par 66, nine-hole experience and offers seven-day membership as an option. Meanwhile, the Championship Course is an 18-hole, 7,200 yard, par 72 course and has hosted the West Region PGA Championships on no less than six occasions. Dress codes apply and there is a bar and restaurant on site as well as a spa .
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Enjoy 25% off rack rate green fees or day spa membership with your Toad Hall Cottages Discount Card
(1)View all Reviews
Enjoyed the pool and the sauna and the jacuzzi - very relaxing
As the self proclaimed ‘home of horse riding in the South Hams’, Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre offers horse riding lessons to everyone, whether they’re beginners or seasoned riders. Friendly and professional, they have an indoor school and an outdoor school so you can organise lessons whatever the weather, and you can borrow hats when you’re visiting as well if you don’t have your own. You can opt for private or group lessons, and there are toilets and changing facilities on site as well as plenty of parking. The school is two miles inland from Slapton Sands, so you can also combine your lesson with a trip to the historic D-Day training site and a wander along the beach if you fancy it!
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Giving you the opportunity to take canoeing to the next level with guided tours in long canoes along the beautiful River Dart, Canoe Adventures offer a variety of options and opportunities to really make the experience your own with canoe share for families, riverside picnics, ice cream, wildlife, history and fire craft to be enjoyed. You can join a tour or opt for private hire with visits to the popular Sharpham Vineyard for family celebrations, hen parties, stag dos, school trips and corporate outings. Keep an eye on the website for scheduled trips including the Dart by Moonlight which is a complete cracker!
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Enjoy £10 off whole boat bookings with your Toad Hall Cottages Discount Card
If you like messing about in boats Dittisham Boats have lots to choose from. Operating from the pontoon by the Ferry Boat Inn in Dittisham they offer a range of easy to operate motor boats and sailing boats as well as kayaks and paddleboards. Whether you venture upriver to Totnes or downriver to Dartmouth, this is a particularly beautiful stretch of the River Dart and a day out on the water will be a highlight of your holiday.
A classic South Hams pub: home-cooked wholesome meals, a selection of Cask Marque accredited ales, wood burner fires for the colder months and a south facing decked terrace, outdoor bar and children’s play area for the summer. Dog and family friendly.
The George Inn Blackawton, Totnes TQ9 7BG (T: 01803 712342)
(2)View all Reviews
Perfect for good food. Take away full menue.
Friendly pub with good service and good home cooked food.
A traditional country pub serving home cooked food as well as a popular carvery. Ample parking, a large beer garden and a children’s play area make this a great choice for all the family. Dogs welcome.
The Sportsmans Arms, Hemborough Post, Dartmouth TQ9 7DE (T: 01803 712231)
(2)View all Reviews
Lovely food, good service, great atmosphere and good music on music nights
The Sportsman's Arms had been recommended to us by a previous guest - we were not disappointed! The food was excellent, and there's plenty of choice from the main menu, as well as many more choices from the daily specials board. All staff were very friendly. Efficient and attentive service. Definitely recommend.
This conveniently placed country pub, originally built in the 14th century and today offering good quality locally sourced food is a great place to stop off and enjoy lunch, dinner or a traditional Devon cream tea. Ample parking, friendly staff and a large garden add to the appeal.
The Old Inn Halwell TQ9 7JA (T: 01803 712329)
(1)View all Reviews
Very friendly staff and a very good meal.
With an interesting history dating back to the17th Century, The New Inn is a good place to stop for simple yet high quality food and a good selection of quality wines and real ales. Famous locally for its delicious steaks and homemade puddings, there are lots of cosy corners to sit with a pint or chat to the locals.
The New Inn Back Rd, Moreleigh, Totnes TQ9 7JH (T: 01548 821326)
The Fortescue Arms is a popular meeting place for locals, and visitors are always given a warm welcome. The beamed ceilings, candlelit restaurant and open fires create a cosy atmosphere in the winter and the quiet, comfortable garden makes for the perfect place to dine al fresco in the summer.
The Fortescue Arms East Allington TQ9 7RA (T: 01548 521215)
(6)View all Reviews
Lovely pub with great food, in a wonderful village with some fantastic walks through the countryside
We had Sunday lunch here on Easter Sunday, it was delicious! My party of 7 eat out a lot, and are picky - I can thoroughly recommend this pub.
Friendly atmosphere and food very good.
The menu is a bit limited. There seemed to be a lot of varieties of pie and chips. As it happened the pie I chose was top notch. Just a shame that it didn't go with mash instead. I didn't ask if I could have that to be fair. Having a separate vegetarian menu was great.
Really welcoming pub that fitted us in for Sunday lunch even though they were fully booked and it was a great lunch!
Really good food, excellent service and great value for mone
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!
(7)View all Reviews
Stunning beach, and you can get takeaway cream tea from the cafe to have on the beach!!
Our family 's favourite beach
The cost of the parking steep
Perfect venue for a sunny day! Secluded beach which is clean and tidy, with a cafe, snack bar and shop, beach equipment hire too
Beautiful location but shame it a shingle beach and not sandy. Also very disappointed with the £8 fee to park the car .
Beautiful clean beach with excellent facilities.Clean toilets lovely cafe and shop.Lifeguard on the beach.No dogs allowed.Plenty of parking.We enjoyed rock pooling at the far end of the beach.The owner does a great job.You can also visit Blackpool Sands garden but we did not have time.Also a juggler was there on the day we went great fun for everyone.
Lovely clean beach in super location along coastal road. Great place to visit.
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!
(10)View all Reviews
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
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.
Beautiful stretch of shingle beach - dogs allowed all year. Not many facilities - we went to the Strete end of the beach as there is a great little coffee hut there - great coffee and friendly staff.
Wonderful nature reserve with well signposted walks.
Beautiful beach right across from our Cottage
Really interesting area and good walks along the coast and by the Ley. Generous provision of toilets and parking and a number of places to eat. Would particularly recommend The Start Bay Inn, The Boathouse and Seabreeze Cafe at Torcross. Also very handy that there is a bus should you want to walk one way and get a bus back. Very beautiful and peaceful.
This is certainly a lovely beach and so little rubbish.
Clean beach.No plastic.
Lovely walk for wild flowers, bird watching sea views
Lovely walking -
(5)View all Reviews
Britannia Fish - Great fish - always fresh and lovely family run business. A must for anyone who likes eating good fish!
Ideal for quiet and peaceful holiday with two good restaurants both of which are dog friendly.
Lovely place, good food and very dog friendly :-)
Beautiful stoney beach with views of Start Point Lighthouse. Tasty fish and chips available, popular pub and public toilets.
We've been coming to this general area for over 20 years now and have stayed in many of the surrounding villages . This was the first time we'd stayed in Beesands - but we had walked through it on our coastal walks on many, many occasions. We both loved the peaceful charm of the place - secluded , tranquil and away from it all . But unlike Hallsands (next village along) , it does have two places where you can eat ( The cricket Inn and the Britannia0)and they are both very good . The beach is great - shingle - but really uncrowded in June . ( We were lucky with the weather) and on a clear,sunny day - it is quite magical. ( What a shame the water is so freezing cold !!) This stretch of coastline is stunning - and even if you do no other walks - walk over to Hallsands and read about the old village that was washed away in January 1917 - or just drink in the stunning views . I love this part of Devon and it never fails to take my breath away when you stand on the coast path near the lighthouse and look back across Start Bay to Hallsands , Beesands , Torr Cross , and over towards Dartmouth. Wonderful.
In between Brixham and Paignton, this long, sandy beach is a popular spot with families, thanks to its sheltered waters, year-round facilities and easy parking. The Blue Flag beach is perfect for making sandcastles and searching for wildlife in the rockpools. There are toilets, and two places to get ice creams, coffees and soft drinks. What’s more, the car park is right by the beach, so there’s no need to lug your provisions a long way. Behind the pretty row of colourful beach huts, there’s a large grassy area, so don’t forget to pack a ball or rounders bat to keep the whole family entertained. Broadsands Beach is a popular dog walking spot throughout autumn and winter, but there is a seasonal dog ban during the summer months (1st May - 30th September).
Far from the bustling crowds of Paignton and Brixham’s bigger beaches, this small pebbly cove is a truly relaxing spot. The calm waters are great for swimming and are said to have been one of Agatha Christie’s favourite bathing spots. Elberry Cove even features in one of her crime thriller novels, The ABC Murders. This picture-perfect cove, surrounded by sloping wooded hillsides and crystal clear water, can only be accessed by the coast path, with the nearest carpark at Broadsands Beach. From here, it is only a 10 - 15 minute walk, but make sure to pack a picnic or grab a bite to eat at Broadsands Beach before you set off, as there aren’t any facilities at here. Dogs are welcome on the beach throughout the year.