With the summer holidays officially over, we find ourselves making plans for the next break in the school calendar year,...
With such stunning scenery- rolling country hills, chocolate box cottages and dramatic coastline- it’s no wonder that South Devon has influenced many artists and craftspeople for decades. As a result we are spoilt for choice in the South Hams for interesting art galleries to wander around for a great days out in Devon.
For years artists have been painting boats traversing the waterways of Dartmouth as well as further down the river towards the scenic village of Dittisham and the Sharpham Estate. As a result you can spend a day out in Devon taking in a range of art on a boating theme with many galleries showcasing the best local artists have to offer. White Sails is a hugely popular gallery in Dartmouth where you will find a wide collection of art, exhibiting originals as well as limited edition works, from many local artists as well as nationally known names.
Also, Paul Barclay, a local artist whose style is instantly recognisable, has a gallery and shop at 1 Oxford Street. Famous for his contemporary artwork, Barclay has received commissions ranging from shop signs to Russian super-yachts since leaving work as Senior Dockworker at Dart Marina. Afterwards try the comfortable and relaxed Café Alf Resco on Lower Street- it’s great for good coffee and fantastic brunches to create a delightful day out in Devon.
Avon Mill Garden Centre, set along the River Avon just outside Loddiswell, near Kingsbridge, is a perfectly relaxing place for days out in Devon, successfully combining the beautiful location, great food and local arts and crafts. The ‘First Floor’ gallery above the café showcases the work of South West artists including limited edition work, with a new collection every three months; an interesting feature being shown in the near future, from the 17th to 25th October, is the work of the South Hams Arts Forum, an eclectic collective of artists and craftspeople from across the region. Within the café itself it’s a haven for art lovers with many paintings on show and you can enjoy delicious homemade cakes and cream teas too! However, the arty experience at Avon Mill doesn’t stop there. The Gallery Project, opened in 2012, is a treasure trove of arts and crafts supplied by artists from Devon such as Miranda Warner and Jane Vaux. You can find handmade gifts, soaps and home décor, like Olivia Wootton Jewellery, Emma’s Soaps and M & D Glass, so you can take a small piece of South Devon home with you.
Even in the more remote historic fishing village of Hope Cove, art is still an attraction for visitors. Influenced by the crystal clear water in the sheltered bays of the village, and by days out in Devon, the Hope Cove Gallery features art work by many local artists, jewellery makers and photographers. Featuring sea-inspired collections, the gallery has many unique, handmade gifts perfect for presents.
Days out in Devon would not be complete without a trip strolling through the streets of Salcombe gazing into shop windows. Gallery 5 on Island Street sells individual and humorous gifts, original paintings and prints and handmade glassware and ceramics. Awash with the colours of the sea, you’ll be reminded of summer days out in Devon.
When having a day out in Devon, you should not miss a trip to Salcombe for breathtaking estuary views and lovely cafés and boutiques. Striking amongst the shops of Fore Street, The Drang Gallery stands out as a fine art emporium. The gallery celebrates contemporary, modern art, showcasing unusual and diverse pieces and collections from hugely creative and established artists such as Damien Hurst and Marc Quinn, but also aims to feature work from young, emerging artists.
Looking through local art galleries and the areas that inspire the work they contain can give you many relaxing and creative days out in Devon to enjoy, as well as provide you with the chance to take a little bit of the South Hams away with you.