South Devon and the county’s capital city Plymouth are a magical mix of coastal estuaries, great sweeping sandy beach bays, quaint market towns, bohemian retreats and some of the UK’s most iconic maritime centres. Ocean city Plymouth is an outstanding waterfront city with themed districts featuring attractions including the National Marine Aquarium, the spectacularly restored Royal William Yard and famous landmarks like the Mayflower Steps and Smeaton’s Tower Lighthouse on the Hoe. Climb to the top of the lighthouse for magnificent views of the harbour seascape.
South Hams stretching from Torbay right round to Plymouth is a coast and countryside Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) containing estuary flanking jewels like Dartmouth and Salcombe. The South Devon AONB covers a vast 130 square miles of estuary, coast and countryside from Berry Head at Brixham round to Jennycliff in Plymouth. The area is one of Devon’s most beautiful corners offering a wealth of opportunities for sailing, wildlife watching boat trips and watersports. Award-winning family friendly beaches like Blackpool Sands are also here and South Hams is famed for its fine local produce, containing many award-winning restaurants, inns and outlets selling best seafood.
The Teignbridge coast and countryside is an area of South Devon pushing west of the Exe Estuary and Exeter. On the coast there are charming seaside resorts like Dawlish Warren, Dawlish and Teignmouth. Two popular events – the Dawlish Air Show and Teignmouth Regatta – are not to be missed in August. Stunning sandy beaches, sand dunes and estuary nature reserves sit close to family friendly seaside resorts.
Beaches & Activities
For beautiful safe sandy award-winning family beaches, South Devon’s coastline is hard to beat, with best beach favourites including South Sands beach at Salcombe and the sheltered bay of Blackpool Sands beach near Dartmouth. South Devon is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty rich in wildlife centres, estuary reserves and rivers along and across which you can pick up passenger ferry services and scenic pleasure boat cruises. Walking, cycling, horse riding and angling are all popular outdoor pursuits in the region, with walking particularly popular along the miles of riverside and estuary footpaths.
South Devon offers a fantastic choice of family attractions including family farm parks, steam railway rides, boat trips, wildlife zoos, restored coastal lidos and woodlands leisure parks. Explore ancient castles, old Elizabethan Merchant Houses and Guildhalls, great garden estates like Dartington or base yourself in Devon’s maritime capital Plymouth, an ocean city offering a wealth of attractions from boat trips and maritime museums to famous lighthouses and landmarks like The Mayflower Steps, from which the Pilgrim Fathers began their journey across to North America.
Food & Drink
Taste Devon and enjoy best local produce and seafood in South Devon. The region showcases the best of its local produce at great annual events like the Dartmouth Food Festival and Totnes Show, and in the many weekly markets in ancient market towns and villages. Highlights include the finest selection of West Country beers at Tuckers Maltings in Newton Abbot or enjoy a tour with tastings at Sharpham Vineyard near Totnes.