The South Hams
If you love the outdoors…you’ll love “The South Hams.” There are plenty of things to do, come rain or shine. It’s wonderful outdoor environment; from the wild expanses of Dartmoor right down to the spectacular coastline with its truly outstanding stretch of South West Coast Path right on the sea.
Within this unparalleled natural beauty there is a varied range of activities for all ages, interests and abilities. It’s endless! There are loads of local attractions and an amazing array of events to go and see and get involved in: Town regattas, village fetes, country shows, local food, arts and music festivals, vintage car, motorbike and farm machinery rallies, etc. The South Hams has many wonderful towns and villages waiting to be explored, here are just some of them!
A 10-minute drive away… Salcombe is the jewel of the South Hams! This delightful little town lies on its own magnificent estuary, laced with safe, sandy beaches and secluded coves, some of which are accessed by small ferry boats. Over the years it has found fame as a haven for family holidays.
Salcombe is also very popular with sailing and water sport enthusiasts and has all sorts of boat, canoe and kayak hire available, an ideal way to explore the pretty creeks and coastline.
The narrow, main street through the town itself is full of interesting shops and an excellent selection of waterside inns, restaurants, cafes, bars and galleries.
A 15-minute drive, the old market town of Kingsbridge is situated at the head of the Salcombe estuary. It has two supermarkets, banks and a host of traditional shops, plus an open air market in the Town Square twice weekly and a farmer’s market once a month.
There is a small 3 screen cinema in the old Town Hall, particularly popular on rainy days, as is the Leisure Centre which provides a great indoor swimming pool and many other sporting facilities. There are also public tennis courts on the Recreation Ground and a boules area for adults.
Once again here, there is a good selection of cafes, pubs and restaurants in and around the town and out along the estuary to enjoy. You can access the very popular, waterside inn ‘The Crabshell’ by boat or road, where they serve an excellent selection of beers and food all day. You can also learn to paddleboard here!
This historical Town is nestled in the rolling hills on the stunning River Dart. It is full of character, vibrant and bustling. There are weekly arts and craft markets full of locally made country fayre, one of which, between May and September, local folk dress up in Elizabethan costume. It’s a haven for all types of artisan produce and “alternative” interests. With its quirky shops and galleries, its organic wholefood cafés and colourful mix of bistro’s, pubs and restaurants and easy access to all the river boat trips and steam train rides, there is more than enough to explore and enjoy in this little gem of a town!
Just outside of Totnes is the infamous ‘Riverford Organic Farm’ estate, with it’s now massive distribution countrywide. They do brilliant farm tours and have an amazing organic Riverford Farm Field Kitchen Restaurant, cooking up veritable feasts for all to enjoy! You will NOT go away hungry!! Well worth a visit and booking is essential!
Also, there is the Dartington ‘Cider Press Visitor’s Centre‘ and 13th century Dartington Hall. It has its own pub in the grounds, with medieval dining room and a barn cinema and café. Take a walk around their outstanding grounds and there you will find a natural amphitheatre and beautiful arboretum. You won’t be disappointed!
To the south side of Totnes there is Sharpham Vineyard, on the banks of and overlooking the River Dart, its position is breath-taking. They also have a small dairy herd and produce delicious cheese, this along with their wines and fresh local fish can all be sampled in the ’Vineyard Café‘ within the vineyard itself. Definitely worth a visit!
Down the river at Dittisham there is yet another fab foodie shack, the waterside ’Anchorstone Café‘. So many wonderful places to enjoy – so many treats in store!
After a 45-minute drive via Torcross and Blackpool Sands, along one of the most scenic stretches of coastline in southern England, you will arrive at the old naval port of Dartmouth. Its stunning setting at the mouth of the River Dart was the main reason, over the last 100 years, it developed such a wealth of naval history, important enough to become home to the famous Britannia Royal Naval College.
It has a very busy marina and harbour and in recent years, has become a very popular stop for many of the big cruise liners, certainly a sight to behold in this small harbour.
Once again, this town has wonderful character with a brilliant variety of independent shops, boutiques and galleries galore! The selection of cafes, pubs and restaurants are endless with celebrity chefs in the midst… from yummy fish and chips, to fine dining, the choice is yours! The town’s food and music festivals are really worth supporting, both being well promoted and attended by the celebrity chefs and musicians themselves.
Because of its size, this harbour plays host to all sorts of boat trips whether it is a simple leisure trip i.e. the “Round Robin“, which includes a steam train ride along the River Dart and over to the English Riviera or sea fishing trips, all are readily available at the quayside. A treat not to be missed!