If your idea of staycation perfection includes beautiful beaches and incredible scenery, South Devon holidays should be top of your list.

With the landscape beginning at tor-strewn Dartmoor and finishing at Start Bay, the south of the county sweeps spans some of England’s most pristine coastline.

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Did you know? A local’s guide to South Devon holidays…


From fish and chips on Paignton Pier to sunbathing on a remote South Hams beach, a South Devon holidays have it all. So, whether you’re looking for a quiet weekend away or an action-packed break for the kids, there really is no better place.

Walking in South Devon

If photographing wide ocean views from the tip of a headland is your thing, you probably already know that some of the best places can only be discovered on foot.

And the South West Coast Path weaves its way through some of the area’s most unspoiled bits of coastline. It offers some pretty spectacular vantage points over land and sea so pick a path that suits you and set off on a seriously scenic adventure.

If you’re up for a challenge try hiking up and down the steep valleys and wild cliffs surrounding Salcombe and enjoy some amazing views over the estuary. Or for something a tad less energetic try the walks across Berry Head in Brixham or around Slapton Ley in Torcross.

Beaches in South Devon

From cliff-backed coves to sprawling sands and miles of shingle, South Devon beaches are pretty awesome. And living up to their Blue Flag status are the likes of Bantham, Bigbury-on-Sea, South Milton Sands and Thurlestone; all must-visit stops when you’re in the area.

Bantham Beach is also one of the south coast’s best surf beaches so if you’re looking to take to the water for the first time you can hire a board and grab a couple of lessons before hitting the waves.

A little further towards Dartmouth, the turquoise sea at Beesands and Torcross look positively Mediterranean on a sunny day, and just around the corner from here lies the magnificent Blackpool Sands with its fantastic Venus Beach Café.

South Devon Attractions

With much of its coastline being designated as an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, South Devon’s historic houses, country parks, leys, lighthouses and castles, are among some of the UK’s best.

The gardens at Coleton Fishacre and Greenaway (Agatha Christie’s residence) and the grounds at Cockington village and Park are a wonderful way to spend a day out in the sunshine.

Also well worth visiting are Berry Pomeroy castle, Start Bay lighthouse and the River Dart which flows from its source high up on Dartmoor and down to its mouth at Dartmouth.

Pop into a village pubs or waterside restaurant in Tuckenhay, Stoke Gabriel, Dittisham, or Kingswear on your way back from the beach,  and enjoy a lazy lunch and incredible views.

  • Where is the best place to SUP in South Devon?

    South Devon’s sheltered coves and calm bays are a SUPer’s dream. And one of the best places to take to the water is the Kingsbridge Estuary which has sheltered tidal waters and is perfect for newbies.

    Alternatively, setting off from Warfleet Creek near Dartmouth is a fantastic way to experience the majestic River Dart paddling either up-river towards Tuckenhay or down river towards Dartmouth Castle.

    Beaches like Maidencombe, Oddicombe and Meadfoot in Torquay are just a handful of the area’s paddleboarding spots frequented by both the local and visiting SUP fraternity.

  • Best place to go crabbing with the kids?

    As quintessentially ‘British seaside holiday’ as an ice cream on the promenade (and just as joyful), crabbing is a must for anyone visiting one of South Devon’s coastal towns.

    Bursting with terrific places for catching these little crustacean curios, places like the Mill Pond at Stoke Gabriel, the quayside in Kingsbridge, Brixham harbour and marina, Dittisham’s pontoon, Teignmouth and the South Pool pontoon in South Hams are some of the best in the area.

  • Where is the best cream tea in South Devon?

    Practically synonymous with the county itself, Devon cream teas are something of a national treasure.

    From a simple round of freshly baked scones and accompanying pot of Early Grey to a lavish ensemble of confectionary with champagne on the side. Angels Tea Rooms in Babbacombe, Orestone Manor in Maidencombe, Anne of Cleaves in Totnes and Old Mill Café in Wembury are our top picks.

  • Best place for a pub lunch?

    What could be better than a delicious pub lunch after spending a day out on the river or down at the beach? Throw in a stunning coastal location and we think you’ve found the recipe for unadulterated bliss.

    A few of our favourites include The Maltsters Arms in Tuckenhay, The Bear and Blacksmith in Chillington, Milbrook Inn in South Pool, The Cricket Inn in Beesands and The Village Inn in Thurlestone.

  • Where can I buy local crafts and produce?

    South Devon is peppered with pretty towns and coastal villages, many of which have weekly markets where you can stop by and pick up a few beautifully handmade local crafts or artisan products.

    Worth a visit are Totnes Good Food Sunday Market, Buckfastleigh Farmers Market and Dartmouth Old Market.

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