East Allington

all you need to know

A small village nestled deep within the picturesque South Hams countryside but also close to the coast, a holiday cottage in East Allington offers the perfect rural getaway from which to explore this beautiful corner of Devon.

About East Allington

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.
 

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Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre

Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre
(3 miles)

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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The Art Cafe

The Art Café
(4 miles)

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


Harbour House Art Gallery

Harbour House Art Gallery
(4 miles)

Harbour House Centre for Arts and Yoga sits in pride of place in Kingsbridge overlooking the estuary and offers yoga, meditation, Pilates and Tai Chi classes, a vegetarian café and art exhibitions in one beautiful, light filled environment. Friendly, healthy and holistic, they host local artists and a variety of artistic styles, but it’s not merely about observing, it’s about getting involved, so they also have life drawing, painting and arts classes available. The café overlooks the art gallery, adding another dimension to your lunch, but classes are popular, so while you can pop into most exhibitions, it’s a good idea to phone and check availability for classes before you turn up! Full details of timetables and current events on the site!

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(1)

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.

April 2017


Singing Paddle

Singing Paddles
(4 miles)

There’s no doubt about it, the best thing to do on a holiday in South Devon is get outside and have a waterside adventure, and Singing Paddles aim to help you do just that. Offering canoeing and coaching with more than 30 years of experience, the team are careful to operate a carbon neutral company funding local tree planting, hedge reinstating and using a grey water system to clean equipment. Paddling is an environmentally friendly water sport, and they offer a variety of sea kayaking and canoeing options for individuals and for groups starting at £15 for an individual session to £250 for a tailor made day.

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(2)

Have been on several tours with Singing Paddles and have always enjoyed them. Really good fun and feels like you had a good workout by the end!

December 2016

Very professional

December 2016


South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Walks and Trails

South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Walks and Trails
(4 miles)

We have said it before and we will say it again, the reason South Devon attracts so many visitors and captures their hearts is because it really is a phenomenally beautiful part of the world, and as such is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in many areas. So walking is a great pleasure when you’re on holiday here, especially as there are over 40 routes in the AONB itself, ranging in length from two to 12 miles. They are a wonderful opportunity to explore the wildlife, archaeology and history of South Devon, as well as the views and scenery along the way.

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(1)

Walked the South West Coastal path from Plymouth to Hope Cove - fantastic!

April 2017



The Fortescue Arms
(Less than a mile)

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) 

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(3)

Lovely pub with great food, in a wonderful village with some fantastic walks through the countryside

March 2017

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.

May 2017

Friendly atmosphere and food very good.

May 2017


Avon Mill Garden Centre & Café
(3 miles)

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)

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(3)

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.

April 2017

An upmarket garden centre with associated other 'outlets'. A very pleasant cash extraction facility, should you have an upmarket garden and/or excess cash.

April 2017

Located in a lovely area. Reminiscent of other multi purpose garden centres although on a smaller scale. Cafe does very good scones.

May 2017


The George Inn
(3 miles)

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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The Old Inn
(3 miles)

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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Aune Valley Farm Shop & Café
(4 miles)

A butchers, deli, farm shop and café located in a beautiful setting, selling high quality local produce from the surrounding area.  The Valley View Café provides home cooked, fresh and tasty meals, either inside in the vintage decorated café or outside on the terrace.

Aune Valley Farm Shop & Café Rake Farm, Loddiswell TQ7 4DA (T: 01548 550413)

 

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(3)

Popped in here for lunch and loved it. Quite a small cafe but brilliant views and really generous portions. Would defintiely recommend.

December 2016

Lovely food, good views

April 2017

A superb breakfast - very friendly staff - excellent view - reasonable prices. And the farm shop is small but decently stocked and alongside what I guess (I'm vegetarian) is an excellent butcher's. Go there!

April 2017


Blackpool Sands

Blackpool Sands
(5 miles)

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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(1)

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

May 2017


Slapton Sands

Slapton Sands
(6 miles)

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


Beesands

Beesands
(6 miles)

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


Sunny Cove

Sunny Cove
(7 miles)

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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Mill Bay
(7 miles)

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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