East Allington is a small but lively village served by The Fortescue Arms pub, with its lovely cottage garden in the summer and welcoming open fires in the winter. It was in the village church, in 1943, that the local people of East Allington and the surrounding area were told they were to be evacuated. The evacuation involved around 3000 people including entire farmsteads and all their animals. At the time people were kept in the dark about why, however it was because the nearby beach at Slapton Sands had been chosen by the War Office as a site for the troops to rehearse the D-Day landings. This was known as “Exercise Tiger” and sadly in a tragic twist, the rehearsing troops came under a surprise attack which resulted in the loss of 749 American soldiers in a single night.
The village is just 3 miles from the pretty market town of Kingsbridge, set at the head of the Kingsbridge/Salcombe estuary. The town has an array of shops, pubs, cafés, a cinema plus two supermarkets, so it’s the perfect place for stocking up on groceries, gifts and treats.
There’s also a choice of nearby beaches, including the 3 mile long, Slapton Sands at Torcross, the picturesque Blackpool Sands and the popular surf spots of Bigbury-on-Sea and Bantham. It’s also worth taking a drive along the dramatic coastal road from Torcross to the historic naval town of Dartmouth, or spending the day in nearby Totnes to experience its regular food and flea markets.
A holiday cottage in East Allington is perfectly situated to make the most of your stay in the beautiful South Hams.
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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Simply Soulful Yoga run by Donna McCheyne offers holistic treatments, yoga classes, workshops and retreats in Salcombe & Kingsbridge. Seasonal yoga classes include Stand up Paddleboard Yoga and Beach Yoga, and treatments are available in her Kingsbridge based treatment room or your holiday cottage. Donna is a qualified Yoga Teacher (FRYOG), SUP instructor and Holistic Therapist.
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The Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum, located on Fore Street in the original 17th century Grammar School, contains something for all the family, whatever the weather. Visitors can discover the story of Kingsbridge and the South Hams and explore the original schoolroom, the Victorian Kitchen, the Farm Gallery and much more.
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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.
(2)View all Reviews
Great place for kids and adults on a rainy day
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!
(1)View all Reviews
A decent enough café, with reasonable coffee and a pleasant ambience, alongside a local art gallery with (when we visited) an eclectic mix of art and artifacts. And if you're into yoga, my guess is that any type of yoga you can imagine is available here. If the weather's nice, the rear courtyard garden is quite pleasant, too.
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)
(5)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!
A great place to stop for coffee or a meal after browsing the plants and gifts at this attractive riverside garden centre. Delicious breakfasts, lunches, cakes and cream teas are all served in the warm and comfortable café with outdoor seating for sunny days.
Avon Mill Garden Centre & Café Woodleigh Road, Loddiswell TQ7 4DD (T: 01548 550338)
(5)View all Reviews
Nice food, very busy when we went and had to queue for a while. Nice conservatory room, definitely a good place for breakfasts or afternoon tea.
An upmarket garden centre with associated other 'outlets'. A very pleasant cash extraction facility, should you have an upmarket garden and/or excess cash.
Located in a lovely area. Reminiscent of other multi purpose garden centres although on a smaller scale. Cafe does very good scones.
Lovely garden centre with some additional shops. Enjoyed our Devon cream tea in the cafe - 2 scones par cream tea and the scones were large!
Lovely breakfasts and very friendly service. Highly recommended.
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)
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)
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Perfect for good food. Take away full menue.
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)
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Very friendly staff and a very good meal.
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!
(6)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.
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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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.
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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.
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!