Holiday Attractions in South Devon
There are so many things to do close by it is impossible to list them all. Here are a few favourites. There is a selection of brochures to peruse at leisure in the holiday cottage and more in the indoor pool foyer.
The beach at Bigbury Bay
Check tides in the local directory and plan your outing to fit in with high/low tides. When the tide is high there is still a lot of clean, soft sand, but as it ebbs there are many exciting rock-pools and vast expanses of superb sand. You also get to come back from Burgh Island on the sea tractor! Try The Pilchard Inn for lunch on the island - it used to be a smugglers' haunt. If you enjoy windsurfing, kitesurfing or bodyboarding this beach is for you. The exclusive Burgh Island Hotel is here – the location of many movies and TV programmes.
The beach at Mill Bay
Opposite Salcombe, via East Portlemouth. There is a National Trust carpark, a good beach shop, and for the energetic, good walks around the coast. You could have lunch at the Millbrook Inn South Pool then catch the little ferry over to Salcombe for a browse. Don't miss the local pubs and museum beneath the Tourist Information Centre in Salcombe.
The beach at South Sands
Next to Salcombe. Park at the hotel or at the National Trust carpark at Sharpitor Gardens where there is a superb picnic spot with a fantastic view, gardens reminiscent of the Mediterranean, and an interesting museum where children will spend some time doing the quiz and looking for Fred the friendly ghost in the children's area through the secret door. You could hire canoes etc at South Sands or catch the ferry boat to Salcombe, walking back along the coast lane - once again stunning views.
Dartmoor is easily accessible from the cottage - just 15 minutes will get you up onto the moor with its stunning scenery and wealth of walks. Children particularly enjoy scrambling up the tors and playing in the incredibly clear streams. There are several riding stables in the area where you can hack out onto the moor. Or just observe the wild ponies. Hound Tor, Sheeps Tor and Haytor are popular. Try the pub at Haytor Vale - fantastic food. Look for the giant goldfish in the pools at Haytor. “Letterboxing” is a unique activity suitable for all ages.
The Round Robin trip
By boat, ferry, steam train and open-top double decker bus. You can pick this up at Totnes or Dartmouth. You can take all day over this, stopping off en route, or nip around in about two hours. There is also a steam train from Buckfastleigh to Totnes with a vintage bus connection.
The town has intriguing narrow streets, picturesque half timbered houses and a deep water natural harbour, making it a haven for the yachting fraternity as well as the tourist. Why not hire a boat yourself from here - available by the hour.
The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth
The National Marine Aquarium is not to be missed - ideal for a rainy day - very new and allegedly the best in the country. Close to the Mayflower Experience in the picturesque Barbican. It has a fantastic shark tank – exciting for young and old.
You can park up at Dartmouth Castle or if you are more energetic you could park the car in the National Trust carpark at Stoke, walk along the coastal path or track (shorter/easier at 25 minutes), visit the castle then take the ferry into Dartmouth.
The Visitor's Centre at Princetown
There is much to see on Dartmoor itself. Views of Dartmoor Prison look quite Dickensian. Try antique shopping in Ashburton or white water rafting and other adventures at the Dart Country Park.
From Dartmouth, Plymouth or Salcombe - that's if you like cooking mackerel, as they are inclined to catch rather a lot!
Woodlands Theme Park and Pennywell Farm
Woodlands Theme Park and Pennywell Farm are perfect whole days out for children big and small. They are excellent choices come wet or shine. Woodlands has large under cover areas where you can let the children safely play..
Just a few more...
We love to visit Coleton Fishacre (NT), the Dartington Arts Centre, the Eden Project together with Lanhydrock (NT - about one hour drive, but leave early to be there by 10 am, otherwise arrive at 2pm) - and of course all the fantastic coastline walks.
For up to date info on the South Hams
If you visit www.southhamsevents.co.uk you can find out what's on in Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Salcombe and the South Hams - it's a comprehensive listing of local attractions, activities, music, walks, talks, cinema, theatre, festival and regattas"
There are a number of golf courses close by - the closest is stunningly situated on the edge of Dartmoor, or try the Dartmouth Golf and Country Club where there is a discount for Colmer visitors.
Finally, pamper your tastebuds
You should not be disappointed if you eat at:
- The California Inn at California Cross,
- The Modbury Inn at Modbury
- The Dartmoor Union at Holbeton,
- The Ship and The Anchor at Ugborough,
- the New Inn at Moreleigh,
- the Old Church House at Harberton,
- the Tower Inn at Slapton,
- the Port Light between Soar Mill and Hope Coves,
- the Old Bakery in Kingsbridge,
- the Ship and Dolphin pubs at Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo -
- and last but by far the least, the Oyster Shack at Easton, on the way to Bigbury - or you could just eat in.
Modbury has Chinese and Indian takeaways and the Jasmine Chinese Restaurant in Kingsbridge offer a free delivery service too, which can save the day if all else fails. But no doubt you will find favourites of your own - the opportunities are endless.