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Stay at home: South Devon

Head for South Devon and revel in its rolling green countryside, stunning beaches and irrepressible charm. From the dramatic beauty of Dartmouth to the pretty harbour of Brixham, itʼs easy to find a corner to suit your personality

Stay at home: South Devon
East Portlemouth Beach, Salcombe, Devon. Image:

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Why go

Simple answer, really: it’s impossibly beautiful, rain or shine. There’s something highly satisfying about its unspoilt countryside, breathtaking coastline, pretty fishing villages and hidden coves.

What to do

Swim, surf, sail, mooch, eat… Coastal hikes are pretty much compulsory — you can’t come this far and miss out. Kids will love the rock pools, farm parks and steam trains while Dartmouth and Salcombe are salubrious seaside retreats.

Oyster Shack, Bigbury

Oyster Shack, Bigbury, Devon

Where to eat

The Gastrobus and Sloop Inn in Bantham are both recommended, as is the Oyster Shack in Bigbury. Just round the coast, on the National Trust’s South Milton Sands, is the Beach House, one of the best spots for brunch.

Where to stay

The self-catering cottages at Dartmouth Golf & Country Club are ideal, while boutique hotels such as Soar Mill Cove, Dart Marina Hotel and South Sands Hotel are popular.

The Grade II-listed Boat Float at Dart Harbour, Dartmouth, Devon

The Grade II-listed Boat Float at Dart Harbour, Dartmouth, Devon. Image: Visit England

Don’t miss

Dartmouth. One of the most picturesque settings in the UK, it lies within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

We like

Bantham is a quiet village, but it’s home to sand dunes, vast expanses of beach (at low tide), a thriving surf community and a couple of excellent places to eat. On the other side of the estuary, Bigbury-on-Sea offers a five-star hotel and a 14th-century pub, the Pilchard Inn.

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Published in the September 2016 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)