The ancient, quintessentially English village of Stoke Gabriel is located in unspoilt countryside on the edge of an idyllic creek of the River Dart. Its waterside position makes it popular among boating enthusiasts and perfect for trying your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding.
The village benefits from a couple of shops and a Post Office, two pubs, and a lovely old quay where children can go crabbing, There are also many peaceful strolls to be taken along the riverbank or through the apple orchard and winding village streets.
Stoke Gabriel lies equal distance from the historic maritime town of Dartmouth, the ancient market town of Totnes, and the English Riviera town of Paignton. For a beach day out you can choose between Brixham, Paignton or Torquay in one direction, or head towards the beautiful beaches at Blackpool Sands and Torcross in the other. Whilst if you would like to experience the rugged bleak wilderness of Dartmoor, it is less than half an hour's drive away.
A holiday cottage in Stoke Gabriel provides a picturesque spot to relax and unwind in the heart of the beautiful South Hams countryside.
What better way to explore the beautiful river Dart than by kayak. Totnes Kayaks gives you the chance to enjoy the peace and quiet of the river, experiencing nature and wildlife close up. All equipment is rigourously safety checked, all gear is provided and no previous experience is necessary. The friendly team also monitor tidal conditions to ensure your safety and offer friendly guidance on where to go and things to spot.
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On a thousand-year-old farm of five hundred acres, Sharpham vineyard is one of England's foremost quality wine and cheese producers, and in the summer months they invite you to visit, explore, experience and learn about the production processes in this beautiful corner of South Devon near Totnes. Designed and built in 1770, the house itself overlooks fields and wooded slopes above the River Dart, making it the perfect setting to experience the best of South Devon produce. Both wines and cheeses boast award winning statuses so you can imagine the pleasure that comes from a tour, a Vineyard Ramble, a Trek and Taste visit or a complete Sharpham Experience lasting a decadent four hours exploring the estate.
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Enjoy 1 x complimentary Gold Trek & Taste Tour 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.
With over 2,000 animals across 80 acres – you’re in for a really wild time at Paignton Zoo. Get up close to some of the animal wonders of the world across the specially designed habitats - from the savannah to the wetlands and the tropical forest. Run wild in our play areas or hop aboard the unique Jungle Express train to get even closer to the action.
The zoo is a registered charity and part of a worldwide network of zoos which cares for and breeds rare species thanks to visitors who help fund the work. Come rain or shine Paignton Zoo is a fun filled day out for all the family.
Paignton Zoo Totnes Rd, Paignton TQ4 7EU (T. 01803 697500)
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Great day out for kids that like animals. Bigger zoo than you'd expect.
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
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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Lovely food, friendly and efficient staff and reasonable prices. Good menu choices as well.
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.
A homely eatery serving consistently good food including all day breakfasts, sandwiches, cream teas, coffees and delicious local meat, fish and seafood dishes. Children welcome with smaller portions available, unlicensed but diners are welcome to bring a bottle.
Emmas Paignton Road, Stoke Gabriel TQ9 6RD (T: 01803 782697)
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Delicious menu, packed with local ingredients. Only open Weds - Saturday and best to book as tiny.
Amazing food and gave us an anniversary card too.
Great food, good friendly local feel, thoroughly enjoyed the times we visited and had good.
Lovely traditional pub, with good basic, home cooked pub food.
Love the Church House Inn, great folk, good food. Really worth a visit.
Ok, but we ordered simple sandwiches and 2 portions of chips. Came as toasties with 1 chips.
In a fabulous alfresco setting at Sharpham Vineyard overlooking the River Dart, The Vineyard Kitchen draws from the Middle and Far East to create exciting and delicious dishes. Expect superb local fish and shellfish and meat cooked in the wood fired oven or over vine prunings, accompanied by exceptional salads and, of course, Sharpham wines.
The Vineyard Kitchen Sharpham Vineyard (T: 01803 732178)
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.
If you’re willing to venture off the beaten track, you’ll discover one of Brixham’s hidden gems, Churston Cove. Surrounded by sloping wooded hillsides, this beautiful little cove isn’t the easiest to get to, which makes it an idyllic, peaceful place to while away the day. The crystal clear water is safe for kids to paddle and play in, and is a popular swimming spot. Parking is available at Freshwater carpark, a 15-minute walk away. There are no toilet facilities or cafes, and the beach is accessed via a long, steep path, which is uneven in places, but this beautiful little cove is worth the effort. Churston Cove is dog-friendly all year round.
Take the coast path from Brixham and escape the crowds at Fishcombe Cove, a peaceful shingle cove, protected on all sides by tall red cliffs. Access to this little cove isn’t easy, via a steep path from Freshwater carpark, but it is definitely worth the effort. The clear, blue sea is sheltered and calm, making it a favourite with swimmers and kayakers. Fishcombe Cove is also a popular place for boats and yachts to moor up and make the most of the beautiful water. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a seal popping its head up to say hello. There is a café and toilets here, but both are only open during the summer months. Fishcombe Cove is dog-friendly all year round.
One of the cleanest beaches on the English Riviera, Breakwater beach is a Blue Flag, shingle beach right next to Brixham’s bustling harbour. With disabled ramps to the promenade and beach, as well as toilet facilities, adjoining parking and a café, this lovely, family-friendly beach is accessible for everyone. Hire out a deckchair and spend the day watching the kids splash about in the safe, clean water, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, learn to scuba dive! Breakwater beach is a great place to learn how to scuba dive, thanks to some of the warmest and calmest waters in the country. Whilst dogs are welcome out of season, there is a dog ban in place from May to September.