We recently came back from a gorgeous family trip to South Devon. After having done many a staycation in this area when the boys were small, I have to confess I wasn’t overly keen on the idea but thankfully this time the sun shone and it was a lovely few days.
Travelling down here can be tedious so we decided to break our journey at Killerton House which belongs to the National Trust:
Even on a slightly dreary day this house was a delight to behold in all its peachy glory! It was so nice to wander through the garden and parkland whilst stretching our legs and to come across the characterful cottage where a hermit used to live and later on a bear (yes, a real, live bear) was kept (those Victorians were a crazy bunch).
We felt like we were in New Zealand! It was quite unusual and so beautiful.
We’ve been to Dartmouth a number of times as my parents have a place down there, so I’m afraid I can’t share details of a boutique gem with you. Although if I wasn’t staying with them I’d probably chose to stay at the Dart Marina Hotel which is very close. It’s an easy walk into town and has lots of seating outside which is bliss on a sunny day.
The views over the River Dart are stunning and you can watch the steam train go up and down on the opposite bank whilst sipping a tipple from the fun wine bar/van.
Dartmouth town centre is quite small with a nice selection of restaurants (The Seahorse and The Angel being of note for romantic dinners), cafes, seaside boutiques and not a great deal else. It’s certainly bijou and quite picturesque.
The real draw is the river. We are lucky to have access to a boat whilst we’re down there but it’s definitely worth hiring a boat or at least getting on one or two whilst your there as it’s such a pleasant way to see the views and to get around without having to negotiate Devon’s narrow roads.
One of my favourite places to go for lunch is The Anchorstone at Dittisham. It’s not the most beautiful restaurant but the food, staff and views certainly make up for it. Do be prepared to wait for a table if you haven’t booked an early slot. (I didn’t take a photo of my gorgeous scallop salad as I was too hungry but it was really good!)
Also worth mentioning are Dartmouth Castle and it’s sweet cove, the National Trust Boathouse and Blackpool Sands beach (next time I visit I’ll try and do a post on these).
Lastly a real must for me is to visit The Oyster Shack at Bigbury. I first went here around 8 years ago and was almost scared to return – so good are the memories. Thankfully it didn’t disappoint. If you go, do try and go along the tidal road:
Like the Anchorstone this restaurant doesn’t look much – the word ‘shack’ is in the name after all. However if you want to go somewhere fun and enjoy great fish and seafood where the staff know their produce then this is the place:
It’s so lovely to eat somewhere where you can just go and chat to the chefs. They’re so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about what they’re cooking, it’s infectious.
Whilst we were there we also visited Burgh Island which is accessible on foot when the tide is out or by sea-tractor when the tide’s in.
Our next stop is Lisbon, Portugal so if you have any tips do let me know.