Plymouth's rich maritime history, and its position as the region's cultural capital, combine to make it one of the most dynamic places to visit in Devon. Must-see spots include The Hoe, with its iconic lighthouse and stunning views across one of the world's most spectacular natural harbours, the fascinating National Marine Aquarium, and the vibrant Barbican area with its continental ambience and numerous waterside bars, cafés and restaurants.
If you are looking to escape the city for the day, Plymouth is well-placed for accessing both the remote wilderness of Dartmoor, and the stunning south west coastline. There is a fantastic choice of unspoilt beaches nearby, including family-friendly Wembury, hidden gem Mothecombe, and dog owner's paradise Wonwelll, as well as the famous Bigbury-on-Sea where you can have the unforgettable ride on the quirky sea tractor that connects from Bigbury-on-Sea to Burgh Island at high tide.
Plymouth lies on the South West Coast Path, as do several visit-worthy neighbouring waterside towns and villages, such as the picturesque twin villages of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo, hidden away on the edge of the wooded Yealm estuary.
A holiday cottage in the Plymouth area is perfect for visitors who'd love to get to know South Devon's cultural capital better, whilst also being within a short drive of the natural beauty of Dartmoor and the magnificent south west coastline.
Sailing is an exhilarating way to explore the South Devon coast and Plymouth based company Devon Sailing Experiences offer a range of options to suit most abilities. Popular with our cottage guests are the skippered Day Sails around the sheltered waters of Plymouth Sound, where you can experience boat handling and anchor up for a delicious lunch. Alternatively, you could add on a 2 day sail to your Toad Hall Cottages holiday where you can sail to locations such as Salcombe or Fowey and stay on board overnight with lunches and your own private cabin included.
Devon Sailing Experiences King Point Marina, Plymouth PL1 3EF (T: 01752 424514)
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.
Traditional family-run country pub in a stunning location overlooking the Tamar River. Good ale, a warm welcome and a great selection of excellent home cooked food and a constantly changing specials board, wich the chefs use to compete and see whose creations are most popular!
The Wilcove Inn, Pengelly Hill, Wilcove, Torpoint PL11 2PG (T:01752 812381)
Perched in a unique position in the historic, charming and traffic -ree village of Cawsand, and just a stone's throw from the small beach that overlooks the Rame peninsula.
Offering light meals and snacks, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, featuring locally sourced and home cooked food, with a daily changing specials menu. In fine weather there's no better place to enjoy this picturesque position than sitting outside for a few pints, or al fresco dining, in the Cornish sunshine.
The Devonport Inn, The Cleave, Kingsand, Torpoint PL10 1NF (T:01752 822869)
A stunning 16th century manor house hotel, with bar and award winning restaurant open to non- residents for lunch, dinner and high tea. All meals are beautifully presented and served either in the candlelit restaurant or less formal brasserie.
Langdon Court Hotel & Restaurant Adam’s Lane, Down Thomas, Plymouth PL9 0DY
Friendly pub serving meals and bar snacks in a stunning location. A great place to stop for refreshments and enjoy the panoramic sea views after a walk on the South West Coast Path.
Eddystone Inn Heybrook Drive, Wembury PL9 0BN (T: 01752 862572)
A traditional Cornish inn at the heart of the pretty village of Cawsand, and just a stone's throw from the beach. Offering an excellent range of cask ales, ciders, lagers, wines, spirits and soft drinks, and serving meals in the dog and family-friendly bar or restaurant, with a varied menu which includes daily changing specials and local fish and seafood and locally sourced produce.
The Cross Keys Inn, The Square, Cawsand, Torpoint PL10 1PF (T:01752 822706)
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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Lovely beach but cafe was being renovated and we were gasping for a cuppa
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Lovely beach but bit of a trek for little ones
A spacious, grey sand beach that’s popular with families, Seaton Beach enjoys views across the green, surrounding countryside and walks in Seaton Valley nearby. At low tide the beach stretches all the way from Seaton Beach to Downderry Beach. There are facilities close by and there is are two car parks as well as road parking, but it does get busy quickly in the summer. The beach is great for surfing, but do be wary of undercurrents. There’s also a café and beach shop close by as well. Dogs are welcome at the beach all year round.
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