At the western side of the Stokenham Parish is the settlement of Chillington the largest of the settlements within the parish. It is a long 'ribbon' developed village stretching from Stokenham along the A379 to the western edge of the parish. Today Chillington enjoys excellent facilities, a newly refurbished pub, village hall, playing field, post office and general store.
If you love the hustle and bustle of a traditional English market town, you’ll love Kingsbridge. Situated in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Kingsbridge sits on its own estuary and is surrounded by lush, green rolling countryside, making it perennially popular for walking and sailing. The town attracts a lot of tourism yet manages to keep a tranquil charm and friendly atmosphere. From surfing to vineyards, there’s lots to see and do in the Kingsbridge area. The estuary provides plenty of opportunities if you’re a water sports enthusiast, while the town has a thriving arts and crafts community for the more laid back visitor. It has a modern leisure centre for those less than sunny days and lots of shops, cafes and pubs, as well as a wonderful independent cinema, showing current films.
Close to Kingsbridge in South Devon, Beesands has got all the right ingredients for a great beach holiday. It’s a mile-long shingle beach backed by fields and a freshwater lake. If you want a taste of old-school Devon life then this is the place to be. Fishing boats still offer up the catch of the day on the village green and the fresh crab sandwiches served locally have to be right at the top of any gastronome’s wish list. Beesands has won two important awards in recent years. The Blue Flag is an internationally recognised guarantee of excellence and indicated that Beesands has reached exceptional levels of cleanliness and safety. The Marine Conservation Society has also awarded Beesands a recommendation in the Good Beach Guide, so you know it’s good.
Torcross and Slapton
The beach at Slapton is a stunning, smooth pebble beach, situated between Dartmouth and Kingsbridge on the South Devon Coast – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area attracts visitors from around the world for its nature reserve and scenic countryside and coastline. Slapton sands is a popular beach, loved for its unspoilt surroundings and tranquil setting. Nearby you’ll find the pretty village of Torcross at the end of the beach, which has an active artist’s colony and good choice of places to eat. The entire area is excellent for walking and sightseeing, and Slapton Ley nature reserve is the largest body of freshwater in the South West and packed with rare plants and wildlife.
Situated at the mouth of the River Dart, opposite the picturesque village of Kingswear, you’ll find the historical town of Dartmouth. With its enchanting streets and scenic river location you have to go a long way to find a town as pretty. Overlooking one of the finest natural harbours in the UK, Dartmouth has a strong maritime heritage and is packed with events and things to do throughout the year, from sailing to arts and cultural festivals. Lying in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the town has a vibrant, coastal charm and is well served by ferry and coastal path links.
As one of the West Country’s best sailing ports, Dartmouth has a great range of facilities if you’re a water sports enthusiast. Sailing fans will love the Dartmouth Regatta - a spectacular weeklong celebration of the town’s maritime links. But you don’t have to have saltwater in your veins to enjoy Dartmouth. The town has many events geared around the arts, with a diverse range of exhibitions in the many galleries. During May Dartmouth turns into a music lover’s paradise as the 3 day annual Music Festival takes place.
From the bustle of the waterside to fine dining, traditional pub grub and bistros as well as fish and chip shops and ice cream vendors, there’s a huge variety of food and drink outlets in Dartmouth for you to choose from.
Catch one of the many ferries which operate out of Dartmouth and head for Torquay, Salcombe or Totnes or just enjoy a trip around the river month. Or catch the steam train from Kingswear for a nostalgic trip through the South Devon Countryside.
If you love messing about on the water, you’ll love Salcombe. With mild weather throughout the year, Salcombe is a popular destination thanks to its waterside location, West Country character and charm and stunning natural environment. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Salcombe is a vibrant, busy little town with excellent restaurants and bars which still manages to retain that unique Devon charm.
A network of ferries operates in and around Salcombe, giving you easy access to a selection of local beaches that would otherwise be difficult to get to. East Portlemouth beach includes some picturesque coves and fine soft sand. Bathing conditions here are ideal and the beach is home to a range of water sports. If you fancy trying your hand at sailing there are local schools where you can learn the ropes, and a popular regatta is held here annually.
Head to Fore Street for the best range of Salcombe’s cuisine. Restaurants and bars line the street and serve the best in Devon produce, fresh fish and local meats.
Devon is well known for its ale, and Salcombe pubs offer a good selection of locally made beer, as well as a friendly atmosphere in comfortable maritime surroundings.
Tucked into a sheltered cove behind Bolt Tail, Hope is an old fishing village now given over to a relaxed style of tourism. Smallish sandy beach, rock pools and clean sea, make Hope a great place to visit.
Somewhat overshadowed by its neighbour Dartmouth, Kingswear has nevertheless a charm and character all of its own. The Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway terminates here (you must get the ferry to Dartmouth), and it has its own castle sat squarely on the rocks perilously close to the sea.
Originally a tiny coastal hamlet, Thurlestone is now home to a gloriously sited hotel, a popular golf course, and a variety of accommodation for permanent residents and visitors alike. The beach is sandy, the sea is safe and clean (MCS award) and very popular with families and wind or kite surfers. Burgh Island is across the sands by sea tractor.
Dartington is a small, beautiful village located just outside Totnes and is famous for being the home of the world renowned College. Dartington College is a leading centre of new ideas in arts and social sciences and is housed within a wonderful medieval building mentioned in Pevsner. The village is also home to the Dartington Cider Press Crafts Centre, a great place to visit for shopping and a bite to eat.
Totnes combines history, alternative therapies and breathtakingly beautiful countryside. This unique and charming market town sits in the heart of South Devon and has an international reputation for its lively and diverse community. The atmosphere is cosmopolitan but with a distinctly rustic West Country flavour, and this makes it a remarkable place to visit for its heritage, culture and very pretty setting.
Turn any corner in Totnes and you’ll run into something special. The town is reputed to have more listed buildings per head of the population than anywhere else in Britain, and a stroll around Totnes is an attraction in itself. For shopping addicts, Totnes offers an exceptional range of small independent retailers and is famed for its promotion of ethical products, wholefoods and fair trade goods. There are river trips on the Dart, plenty of museums, a steam railway and many arts galleries which mean that you’ll never run out of things to do in and around Totnes.
Dittisham is one of the most attractive villages that you'll come across in South Devon. This un-spoilt and exceptionally beautiful riverside settlement nestles on the Dart. It's a very special place. Dittisham is a fantastic day trip location.
If you’re looking for something a little more laid back and off the beaten track then the town of Ivybridge gives you a great alternative to the usual seaside holiday destinations. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and moorland, Ivybridge has a magnificent natural setting and a rich heritage of traditional South Devon industries such as milling and cloth making. The town centre has some characterful pubs to relax in, and small independent retailers selling quality local produce and arts and crafts.
Vibrant, lively and with a touch of mystery surrounding it, you’ll discover that Buckfastleigh is one of the most diverse towns in South Devon. The town is dominated by the Benedictine Buckfast Abbey and is a mix of ancient and modern attractions surrounded by miles of prime Devon countryside, wild moorlands and hidden valleys to explore. Most visitors to Buckfastleigh head for the Abbey and its famous Tonic Wine, but for the little ones there’s a chance to get up close with the animals at Pennywell Farm and Wildlife Centre. For those who love the romance of bygone ages, the South Devon Steam Railway puffs its way through the countryside, giving you a completely different view of this corner of Devon.
Small village dominated by the castle of the same name. Ghosts are the stock in trade of Berry Pomeroy castle (English Heritage). In the event of serious scares, the village has a church in which to seek refuge.
A few houses, a pub, a ferry across the Avon and a huge sandy beach with clean (MCS award), lifeguard-monitored bathing make up Bantham. It is the place wind and kite surfers aim for in South Devon. There is public access although privately owned, and no beach shops in sight - a very rural beach.
The town of Modbury in South Devon has a great sense of community and boasts a number of small independent retailers. From arts and crafts to fine dining on quality local produce, Modbury is a picturesque and lively West Country holiday destination that takes the idea of preserving its unique environment seriously. Modbury has a strong sense of community, and the whole town comes together to celebrate Modbury May Fair every year, featuring stalls, performances and entertainments.