2020 really will be remembered as the year of the great staycation won’t it? For those of us who get cabin fever at home without any trips on the horizon, as soon as lockdown was lifted we all sped off on the nearest staycation.
Apart from a one-night stay in York, my first staycation of the year was South Devon. And what a place to visit!
In this post I’ll be sharing my five must-visit places in South Devon, for those planning to spend at least a few days down by the coast.
Read more: Postcards from Cornwall
I hadn’t heard of Totnes before our trip, but I was looking for somewhere fairly central to stay for a few nights and stumbled across this gorgeous little town.
Our B&B (more on that soon!) was actually just outside Totnes in a village called Harberton, but we made time to explore Totnes for a few hours one morning.
So what can you do there? It’s very much a hilly town to just enjoy a walk and pop in and out of the many quaint little boutiques and coffee shops, but there’s also Totnes Castle that you can pay to enter, if castles are your thing.
If you then walk down to the River Dart, you’ll find plenty of places to eat and drink with stunning views of boats bobbing in the water.
We were forecasted rain but ended up with glorious, hot sunshine for our time in Totnes – so hopefully you get the same!
The point in going to Devon was to revisit and show Darryl some of the places I used to holiday in as a child, and Brixham was one of them.
I was only three years old, but somehow I can remember our time in Brixham so vividly. I remember a firework boat cruise, my mum losing her umbrella in a restaurant and spending afternoons crabbing along the harbour wall. All the best bits, right?
Brixham is the most gorgeous harbour town to spend a day in. We arrived late morning, parked up and spent the day walking every inch of the town. Including the long walk out to the lighthouse and right up to the Berry Head peninsular.
There’s a huge amount of choice for food and drink here too, so I highly recommend making plenty of stops to rest your feet. And don’t forget to stock up on tons of fudge!
I hadn’t visited this part of Devon before, but I’d heard it was the place to go. Unfortunately we had the worst weather on that day because of Storm Francis, but it didn’t ruin our time there.
Once you’ve explored the town, grabbed a coffee and maybe some fish and chips for lunch – I suggest walking down to North Sands, and then onto South Sands if you still have some energy. It takes maybe an hour at a leisurely pace and the views are worth the journey.
You can either walk back, or grab the ferry for £4.50 per person which drops you right in the heart of Salcombe. It takes fifteen minutes and is a great experience for those who love to be out on the water!
If you love gin, head straight over to the Salcombe Gin Distillery for a (rather pricey) but delicious drink. We did the latter and loved taking an hour out of our day to sip on a crisp gin and tonic with views over Baston Creek.
There are so many great places to enjoy dinner, especially for those who’re into their seafood, but we stopped off at The Fortescue Inn for their delicious woodfired pizzas.
And of course, the famous Salcombe Ice Cream Dairy for dessert!
Dartmouth is such a beautiful spot to spend a late afternoon and evening. We arrived around 5pm and headed straight to Rockfish for fish and chips (which were so delicious!), before watching the sun set over the harbour.
You can take a short ferry over to Kingswear, or stick around in Dartmouth for drinks and dessert. I got myself a two-scoop ice cream to enjoy by the water, but the seagull nearby had other plans and swooped in with no warning before swallowing it whole. I’m still mad about it.
If you’re craving a good old British beach day, head down to Bantham Beach. Go early if you can, as the car park gets pretty busy, but you can pay £8 to spend the entire day there.
If you’re into surfing, paddle boarding or bodyboarding, you can rent everything you need from Bantham Surfing Academy right near the beach. Or you can just chill on the sands.
For lunch, either do yourself a little picnic or grab a bit from one of the food vans at the car park. The pizza van looked great!
If you get itchy feet you can walk up to the left for cliffside views over the ocean. We walked along to Thurlestone, but if you have more time you can carry on to Hope Cove which is meant to be a good spot for some food.
Over to the right of Bantham Beach, you have Bigbury-on-Sea. You can’t walk there from Bantham Beach, but it might be a nice place to visit after. There are a couple of restaurants out on the island which you can walk to in low tide, or get a boat to in high tide.
There are so many great places to visit in South Devon, but hopefully this helps you plan your route if you’re hoping to head there for a little staycation!
As one little bonus tip, swing by Babbacombe for their model village. It’s £25 to enter but it’s such a fun experience for all the family. We don’t have kids but we thoroughly enjoyed our time there!
Where’s your favourite place in Devon? Let me know below!
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