THINGS TO DO
There is so much to do in the South Hams that we can’t possibly tell you everything! So here is a flavour of the nearest towns & the opportunities that are on offer. For further information we recommend that you pop into Kingsbridge Tourist Information at the bottom of Fore Street which is an excellent source of local knowledge.
If you love the hustle and bustle of a traditional English market town, you’ll love the South Devon town of Kingsbridge. Situated in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Kingsbridge sits on the Salcombe estuary and is surrounded by lush, green rolling countryside, making it a popular destination for walking and sailing all year round. If you love being on the water, you can paddleboard or canoe up the estuary, enjoying the wildlife and peace of being on the water.
Kingsbridge is a great base for your holiday from which you can explore the South Devon beaches, the South West Coast Path and nearby towns and villages.
Kingsbridge has an eclectic selection of independent shops and a whole host of intriguing antique shops, art galleries, and gift shops to explore. There are Cafes, pubs and restaurants throughout the town and along the quay, serving the best local produce, including local craft beers, ales, cider, and even wine and gin. With a charming three screen cinema, yoga studio and leisure centre with swimming pool there are plenty of opportunities to stay active and entertained.
With a couple of key events running throughout the year, like a Music Festival in June and Fair in July, we also have Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas, bringing local artisans & a variety of delicious local fayre in stalls along Fore Street, all of which bring an exciting vibe to the town for everybody to enjoy.
For shopping addicts Totnes offers an excellent range of small independent retailers and unique shops, the town is famed for its promotion of ethical products, wholefoods and fair trade goods. In the Civil Hall Square you’ll find the weekly market which is held on Fridays and Saturdays. An Elizabethan market is held each Tuesday morning (May-September), where traders dress in Elizabethan period costumes. The award-winning Totnes Sunday Good Food Market is held on the third Sunday of the month providing you the chance to purchase and sample some of the very best in local South Devon produce.
As well as shopping and exploring, this historic town, dating from Saxon times, has a wealth of wonderful things to see and do. In 2018 the Daily Telegraph named it as one of Britain’s most eccentric towns. You can enjoy river trips on the Dart, discover one of the town’s museums, visit Totnes Castle, take a ride on a steam railway or visit one of the many art galleries.
If you love wine and cheese, then a visit to Sharpham Vineyard is the perfect day out – set on the banks of the River Dart, enjoy a tour of the winery and taste its award winning local produce. For the children, enjoy days out at Pennywell Farm or experience the South Devon Railway, which is near the Rare Breeds Farm and can take you to the Butterfly Farm & Otter sanctuary. For the more adventurous take a canoe trip up the River Dart or visit the High Ropes Experience.
The area around Totnes is stunning and there are a number of walks leading from the town from which to explore the river banks and surrounding countryside. To the North West of Totnes is Dartington, home to Dartington Hall Estate, with its historic house, listed gardens, barn cinema and shops.
In and around Totnes the focus is on locally produced organic food. Totnes has a colourful array of restaurants, cafe’s, pubs and wine bars which offer a wonderful range of both regional and internationally inspired cuisine with fresh produce at the heart of their menus.
If you love water sports, then Salcombe is the place for you. On the Estuary, Salcombe is surrounded by clear blue waters, golden beaches and green hills. It is the ideal location to try your hand at one of the many watersports on offer. Everything from kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, fishing trips or just swimming! All of these can be enjoyed at the hugely popular Salcombe Regatta in August, along with a week long entertainment schedule.
If you are not out on the water Salcombe is a shopper’s paradise, popular national brands, local stores and art galleries nestling side by side in the quaint narrow streets. a food lovers haven there is a wide range of Cafes, Bistros, Pubs and Restaurants to choose from.
The very popular Salcombe Gin Distillery is open for tours and tastings and you can even go to Gin School to distil your own tipple. They also provide a Gin Butler Service for visiting yachts and Gin Hamper Service for Yachts and Local Homes. Alongside their luxury Salcombe Gin Experience Days you have everything you need for the serious Gin Lover!
For young children you have the vibrant Kidz & Co soft play café and nearby, for all ages, you have Paper Bird Island where you can while away rainy days with paint and decoupage. Salcombe also has its own outdoor family swimming pool at the top of the town.
Enjoy the stunning cliff walks to really get a sense of the beauty of the Salcombe countryside, and don’t forget to visit the National Trust property Overbecks with its stunning gardens and views over the estuary.
Situated at the mouth of the River Dart, Dartmouth offers an amazing range of things to do to keep everyone entertained. All kinds of boating activities and steam train rides. There are ancient castles and buildings with a host of shops, galleries and cobbled streets to explore, not forgetting beaches and country walks. With a mouth-watering selection of top restaurants to choose from, it also enjoys a fantastic Food Festival in October and a fabulous Christmas market in December. The town is always busy and is proud to also host both the Music Festival in May and the hugely entertaining Regatta in August.
The town is steeped in history, so we recommend a visit to the small free museum to get a flavour of how Dartmouth has earned its stripes as one of the most interesting towns in the South Hams. You can book Guided history tours round the town to uncover all its secrets and even have a tour round the 150 year old Naval College and learn about its intriguing heritage and iconic architecture.
There is a leisure centre, with a newly built pool to enjoy on rainy days, or for lots of excitement visit Woodlands Theme Park. Nearby is Dartmouth Country Club with its 18 hole Championship golf course, a 9 hole course and the newly renovated Spa offering a wide range of treatments, not to mention the use of the swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam rooms and gym.
The NATIONAL TRUST have a wealth of properties to visit in the South Hams with Greenway and Overbecks being the nearest. Saltram and Coleton Fishacre are a little further away. On your way down to visit us you could also take in Cotehele or Buckland Abbey.