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, Devon
Where to eat
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
The Grade II-listed Boat Float at Dart Harbour, Dartmouth, Devon. Image: Visit England
Dartmouth. One of the most picturesque settings in the UK, it lies within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
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.
Published in the September 2016 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)