Just a 5 minute drive takes you into Brixham or 10 mins into Paignton or Dartmouth where there are a huge choice of supermarkets, garages, local restaurants, foodie & dog friendly pubs and amenities. Outside the cottage are bus stops offering a full local service as well as scenic walks down to Mansands Beach or down the valley towards National Trusts Coleton Fishacre.
From right outside the cottage regular buses run to Brixham, Paignton, Torquay, Totnes & Newton Abbot. They also travel to Kingswear where ferries cross over to Dartmouth which is ideal for the busy season when parking is busy or if you wish to indulge in a holiday tipple!! (10mins to Dartmouth - bus & ferry). Trains also run to & from Totnes, Paignton or Newton Abbot and can be accessed by buses from the cottage. (Paddington to Penzance line)
The South Hams is a district situated on the South Devon coast with a wonderful outdoor environment. Its rivers & estuaries offering beautiful scenic views as well as sailing & ferry trips between towns, nearby Dartmoor and its surrounding areas & long coastal walks with a range of beaches suited to either sun seekers or dog walkers. The area also prides itself on its local food & drink with a huge range of eateries offering local quality food, regular food fayres & an abundance of local producers. Fresh seafood is caught locally and offered from the markets or local restaurants.
The English Riviera spreads over 22 miles of coastland and incorporates the very popular seaside towns of Brixham, Paignton & Torquay. It has many attractions that have kept families returning year after year. This area is ideal for those who prefer a more lively vibe as it offers watersports, cinemas, a zoo, arcades, splash park, go karting, esplanades & a range of busy pubs, cafes & restaurants.
As well as towns, walks & beaches there is much to do - we have listed the tried & tested!
Woodlands Family Theme Park - Great for families with teens & tots
Cockington Court. Torquay - Beautiful grounds, cafe, pub & shops. Great for family picnic & walkabouts
Bygones & Babbacombe Model Village - Excellent Victorian museum, vintage shops, homes, war bunkers & more. Award winning model village.
Berry Head National Park - great family & dog walking area, fantastic dog friendly cafe too!
Shoalstone Outdoor Pool - seasonal sea pool in Brixham
Pennywell Farm - Award winning farm , great for the kids overlooking Dartmoor National Park
Paignton Zoo - Local zoo with fantastic family facilities & attractions
Slapton Beach - 3 miles of beach with a wildlife lake, cafes & fish & chips restaurant
Splashdown Quaywest Waterpark - slides, flumes & pools
South Devon Steam Railway - Stunning day out with round robin tickets exploring local towns on steam engine
Dartmouth - Totnes Ferry Cruise - Explore both these towns with a guided ferry trip up the River Dart to Totnes.
Churston Go Karts - great for adults & juniors with a need for speed!
Churston Golf Course - available throughout the season
South Devon Chilli Farm - guided tour, hot hot chillis, farm shop & farm cafe
Start Point Lighthouse - Start Point is on the most southerly tip of Devon and overlooking the busiest shipping lanes in the world. If you’re looking for an afternoon stroll, a walk along the South West Coast Path or something in between - you’ve come to the right place. The heritage, wildlife, geology and scenery are perfect for both locals and holidaymakers to explore.
Coleton Fishacre - stunning 1920's National trust retreat with house & gardens
Agatha Christies Greenway - close to Aft Cottage discover this authors house & gardens on the banks of the River Dart.
Dartmouth Golf & Spa - offers luxury spa & golf facilities.
River Dart Country Park - offering loads of outdoor activities including zip wire, canoeing, hiking, walks, picnic areas and more
For more information & things to do please check out the South Hams or English Riviera Tourist websites - we also have a more in depth guide of all local facilities in our cottage information folder
Kingswear - Small, colourful town overlooking Dartmouth with regular ferries to & fro - home of the Steam Railway with a small range of shops & a castle looking out to sea
Brixham - traditionally a working 'Fishing Town' with a busy harbour, narrow, windy streets and a great selection of pubs, shops & restaurants.
Paignton & Torquay - branded high street shops, pubs & restaurants, arcades, bucket & spade shops, beaches & family attractions.
Dartmouth - charming, naval town. Great boutique shops, award winning restaurants, fish & chips & cafes. Huge, busy boating harbour with regular visits from naval battleships, ferry trips, boating regattas and a Dartmouth Regatta week over the summer months.
Totnes - A 'alternative' market town offering a wide range of shops & cafes. Ideal for those looking for something different from the branded high street with local shops, a market & vegan/organic cafes
Kingsbridge - Traditional South Hams town situated on the Kingsbridge/Salcombe estuary. A popular tourist area in the typical South Hams green countryside. Local supermarket, cinema, small boutique shops & water sports on the estuary are all on offer. Nearby Aune Valley Meat is an award winning butchers, deli and farm shop. If you’re giving yourself the day off cooking then enjoy their wares at their café – their ‘butchers breakfast’ is a great way to prepare for a day exploring.
Salcombe - The busy sea side town of Salcombe has become very popular with tourists & locals. Pubs & cafes overlooking the estuary & beaches, ferries crossing to & from the sandy beaches of East Portlemouth & Millbay, its chilled out & relaxed and makes a great day out.
Plymouth - City of Plymouth home of the National Marine Aquarium, Tinside Lido, the Plymouth Hoe, huge indoor shopping centre, theatre, cinemas & a bustling high street.
DOGGY BEACHES. Mansands. ALL YEAR. 20 min countryside walk down to shingle beach. Broadsands Beach. OCT - APRIL. Slapton Sands. ALL YEAR. 20 min drive, 3 mile shingle beach with pubs / tea room & shops. Lannacombe Beach, ALL YEAR, 40 min drive, fantastic walk and quiet. Paignton / Goodrington, OCT - MARCH ONLY, sandy beach.
Paignton Sands - Offers the ultimate family day out at the seaside. With a sandy beach, safe swimming and a whole host of activities to enjoy, this promises to be a fun day out for all the family. There’s lots to do; you can hire a pedalo, take a fishing trip from the nearby harbour or simply sit back and relax in a deckchair.
In the middle of the beach sits the famous Paignton Pier. You’ll find kiosks, cafés and an abundance of amusement arcades to keep kids of all ages happy.
Goodrington Sands - Close to Paignton is the long, sandy stretch of Goodrington Sands. With a Seaside Award, safe swimming conditions and loads of great activities, this family friendly beach promises to keep the kids happy whatever the weather. This a great place to swim, and there are a number of different hire options available, with pedalos, paddle boats and even windsurfing for beginners.
If you’re planning to explore the rock pools at low tide, don’t forget to visit the Seashore Centre first. Here you can learn more about the English Riviera’s sea-life and Geopark through interactive displays.
Blackpool Sands - set in a sheltered bay surrounded by evergreens and pines, is one of South Devon's most beautiful natural treasures. An award-winning, privately managed 'Blue Flag' family beach with turquoise blue sea giving it an almost Mediterranean feel. A shingle beach, as are all the main beaches in Start Bay and all incorporating ‘Sands’ as a historical name, is located only 3 miles West of Dartmouth on the beautiful South Devon heritage coast in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). With sand pits, a bathing raft, kayaks and paddle boards for hire, a range of delicious hot and cold food and a beach shop, it has something for all the family.
Slapton Sands / Torcross - a beach where families and friends can enjoy great holidays. South Devon’s Mediterranean style climate means that the sea is safe, clean and calm, and there are plenty of water sports such as surfing, windsurfing and canoeing to try out. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the summer months and there is a flag system in place telling you where it’s safe to swim and when to stay out of the water. You can pick up a flag guide at the local Post Office or check local websites including the RNLI for details.
If you get peckish and have forgotten to pack the sandwiches, there’s a beachside café serving drinks and light refreshments and Slapton Sands has facilities for anyone with mobility restrictions, with disabled beach access and toilets. If you want to bring the dog, you’ll be pleased to hear that Slapton Sands is a dog-friendly beach, allowing dogs throughout the year.
Many visitors come to observe wildlife in the Nature Reserve. Throughout the year the plants and animals living in the freshwater lake, Slapton Ley, vary according to the seasons, giving you the chance to see something different every time you come. The whole stretch of this particular piece of coastline has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a great destination at any time of the year.
Bantham / Bigbury - Nestling deep in the South Hams at the mouth of the little known river Avon, Bantham beach is one of Devon’s premier beaches. Within easy driving distance of Salcombe and Kingsbridge, Bantham beach is situated in a designated AONB, it offers beautiful scenery with panoramic views over Bigbury Bay and the famous Burgh Island.
Bigbury Bay itself is a shallow sandy bay, which makes Bantham an ideal beach for swimming and paddling for all the family. Owing to the natural topography of the bay, Bantham also has a reputation as one of the best surf beaches in Devon.
At low tide the beach opens up to reveal acres of shallow sandy pools warming up quickly in the sun to create ideal play areas for toddlers. Venture over to the South end of the beach and the low tide will expose a fantastic array of rockpools below the headland.
East Portlemouth / Millbay - East Portlemouth Beach is an enticing series of sandy coves, visible from Salcombe town centre and accessible by an all-year-round passenger ferry.
When the tide is out, it is possible (with care!) to walk to Millbay on this dog-friendly beach. Alternatively, simply set out your picnic rug and enjoy the unbeatable estuary views, smooth sands and sparkling water, staying close to the excellent facilities at East Portlemouth. These include a popular Venus Café/beach shop and toilets with disabled access.
Families come to East Portlemouth for ice-creams, picnics, sandcastles and all of the classic beach activities, including rockpooling and beachcombing. The water is clean, shallow and relatively calm, making leisurely dips in the sea an irresistible option for many in the summer months.
Lannacombe Beach -One of South Devon’s quieter beaches, tucked away from the crowds of holidaymakers that descend on the larger, more commercial beaches. If you want to stretch your legs there is access to the South Devon Coastal Path, giving impressive views of both the coastline and the surrounding countryside. At low tide, the waters on Lannacombe beach reveal shallow rock pools, which are always a hit with the kids.
Thurlestone - This is the perfect location if you just want to relax and enjoy unspoilt surroundings. Thurlestone is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has won an award from the Marine Conservation Society thanks to its clear, clean waters. But to give you a little extra peace of mind there are lifeguards on duty between May and September. While you’re there, take the time to check out Thurlestone Rock, an ancient arch-shaped formation that was immortalised by Turner and is best seen at high tide.