What To Do On Your South Devon Holiday

Renting a holiday cottage in South Devon is – we think – the best way to experience a real South Devon holiday. More affordable than hotel accommodation, a cottage gives you a permanent base to explore the region without being tied to hotel or B&B meal regimes and with more space to spread out and make it your home from home.

So once you’re here, what do you do?

Photo from Riverford

One of the best things about going on a self-catering South Devon holiday is that you can take advantage of all the great food and drink down here. Cooking with great ingredients is a real pleasure, especially if you get a cottage in South Devon with a barbecue.

There’s more detail on where to buy good food on our destination pages but here are some of our favourites:

Where to shop:

Riverford Farm Shop – exceptional meat, fish and other stuff (Staverton, Kitley, Totnes)

Occombe Farm – beautiful place, great café and a proper “old school” butcher (on the outskirts of Paignton)

Brittania Shellfish – wonderful beachfront seafood shop, perfect spot for lunch (Beesands)

South Devon Chilli Farm – if you like it hot, try the Naga

Cafes & restaurants in South Devon:

Rumour – always busy and it’s obvious why (Totnes)

Riverford Field Kitchen – forward-thinking food, exciting informal dining (Buckfastleigh)

Riverford Farm Shop – great pancakes for breakfast (but buy some extra maple syrup from the shop if you want to really indulge) (Kitley)

River Cottage Canteen – much-needed informal eaterie (Plymouth, Royal William Yard)

Town Mill Bakery – probably one of the most interesting food brands of recent years (Plymouth, Royal William Yard)

Alf Resco – exceptional breakfasts – best in the county? (Dartmouth)

South Devon Beaches

Let’s face it most people book a South Devon holiday because of the beaches. No need to bang on about anything else, here’s our favourites:

Mothecombe – like a Famous Five adventure, small but perfectly formed

Bantham – an empire of sand dunes. Long, broad and wonderful

Bigbury – the only “double-sided” beach we know of down here. Great café – expensive parking though

Blackpool Sands – an easy, spur of the moment type beach, perfect for drinking a cappuccino as the sun goes down

Family Attractions

OK, despite the palm trees in Torbay it does rain down here occasionally so when the kids are driving you crackers it’s good to know there are a few places you can entertain them. Some are actually quite fun for grown ups too! Here are the places we go:

Woodlands – close to Dartmouth, hell for grown-ups, heaven for kids

Paignton Zoo – great zoo. We love the reptile house especially on a cold day and Monkey Heights

Dartmoor Zoo – they made a film about it recently. It’s a lovely family-run zoo. I hate to be negative because we really like the place but take a picnic with you.