With miles of spectacular coastline, woodland trails, riverside rambles and rolling countryside, South Devon has a myriad of stunning...
It’s a tough job selecting the best Devon pub walks, but at Coast & Country Cottages we are well seasoned in both walking and frequenting our local pubs, so we are confident that we’ve done a good job selecting the top 10 Devon pub walks! The county of Devon takes in miles of spectacular coastline, canopied woodland trails, riverside rambles and rolling countryside, and as such, you will find a myriad of stunning walking routes that crisscross the region. Walking, regardless of distance, tends to build a healthy appetite, and a rumbling belly should never be ignored – luckily, you won’t have to travel far to find a Devon pub to rest your legs and recharge your batteries…
Whether it’s a short lunchtime stroll, or a whole day of exploring, those undertaking Devon pub walks love nothing more than going for a hike followed by a well-earned reward at a lovely pub. From sea-salty smuggler inns to fisherman’s resting points and countryside hunters lodges, it comes as no surprise that Devon pub walks are top of the agenda for both local residents and those visiting the region. Regardless of whether you’re sun-drenched and sandy toed or wind-swept and muddy, a Devon pub walk is something that can be enjoyed by everyone, especially the dog! These 10 Devon pub walks all share the common thread of boasting incredible views, a welcoming atmosphere, sumptuous food and a carefully curated selection of local tipples.
We are well and truly spoilt for choice when it comes to Devon pub walks, but if you are looking for somewhere in particular use the quick links below to help navigate the content, or read on for our guide to 10 of the best Devon pub walks…
– Thurlestone to Bantham
– Beesands to Hallsands
– Dartmouth to Dittisham
– Loddiswell Woods
– East Prawle to Prawle Point
– Noss Mayo via Revelstoke Drive
– Aveton Gifford to Bantham
– Brixham to Berry Head
– Slapton Ley Nature Reserve
Our top 10 Devon pub walks range in distance from one and a half miles to twelve miles, and so we are certain you will find a perfect route! Please note that whilst some of the routes are circular, others are just one way, so you may want to leave a car at one end or book a taxi in advance, or simply walk the return!
Distance: 4 miles (circular)
Starting point: South Milton Sands National Trust car park (TQ7 3JY)
A route that takes in epic coast and countryside views, Burgh Island and Thurlestone rock arch being of particular note, the circular route from Thurlestone to the village of Bantham walk is one of Devon’s crown jewels! Starting at the popular South Milton Sands (you could even stop at the popular Beachhouse Cafe at South Milton Sands for a pre-walk coffee!), you will walk adjacent to Thurlestone Beach and onto the South West Coast Path. The route itself navigates pavements, tracks, road, fields, coastal path and a few steep hills that are well worth the climb! View the full route in our Thurlestone to Bantham walking guide.
Towards the end of your walk you will pass The Village Inn, which oozes character and delicious gastropub food. It really is everything you could hope for from a traditional Devon pub – even the interior supports beams were recovered from wrecked Spanish armada ships. Regardless of whether you want to spend summer afternoons dining al fresco, or a winter’s evening beside the roaring fire, there is always something to look forward to!
Distance: 3 miles, or 6 miles including return
Starting point: Aveton Gifford car park (TQ7 4LB)
A challenging countryside amble that takes in country lanes, woodland trails and footpaths, the Aveton Gifford to Bantham walk delivers the ultimate countryside experience, so expect to jump over stiles, wind through wide-open fields and tiptoe alongside little streams. Whilst there are several steep climbs, the views are second to none and are certain to leave you wanting to come back for more – at one particular viewpoint you overlook not just the River Avon but also out towards Burgh Island. As you drop into the village of Bantham, you may be tempted for a quick swim, so be sure to pack your swimmers! Full details of this wonderful walk can be found here.
Situated in the heart of Bantham village you will find The Sloop Inn, a 14th Century pub. Passionate about the local environment, and in particular supporting the local community and farmers, the menu is ever changing and all ingredients are sourced from the incredible natural larder of Devon. It goes without saying that we recommend stopping at the Sloop Inn when you reach the village, either as a wonderful way to end your walk, or a halfway point if you have challenged yourself to do the full loop back. If you do this walk on a Sunday, their roast dinner is one of the best in the region!
Distance: 3.5 miles (circular)
Starting point: Beesands car park (TQ7 2EL)
A circular walk that treads pavement, tracks, grass and rocky paths, this route provides outstanding views over some of Start Bay’s most breathtaking sights. Steeped in history, wildlife and natural beauty, be warned, because the journey is steep in places with some areas overgrown – covered legs are recommended! The walk doesn’t just take in elevated views of the picturesque villages of Beesands and Hallsands, but also the ruins of South Hallsands and, in the distance, the iconic Start Point Lighthouse. For full route details, read our Beesands to Hallsands guide.
The Cricket Inn, situated directly on the South West Coast Path and just a stone’s throw from the water, puts a strong emphasis on local food, in particular, the fruits of Start Bay. Inside the pub itself you will find a modern interior with a nautical twist, one of our favourite features are the photos that echo Beesands rich fishing heritage. The restaurant area has sliding doors that open wide in the warmer months, meaning should you choose, you can dine al fresco whilst overlooking the sea. With a reputation as one of the ‘best foodie pubs in Kingsbridge’ it’s well worth a visit, just be sure to book in advance.
Distance: 10 – 12 miles depending on exact route
Starting point: Dartmouth Quay (TQ6 9PS)
The Dartmouth to Dittisham walk, via Greenway, is a famous hike along the Dart Valley Trail and this circular walk is considered one of the very best when it comes to showing off the incredible natural beauty of Devon. This is a challenging walk with many steep ascents and descents, but stunning views of the River Dart and beyond make it well worth the effort, and it’s a Devon pub walk we highly recommend! The terrain is varied, taking in pavements, roads, grass and rocky paths and upon your travels you will be spoiled to stunning river, estuary and coastal views stretching as far as Torbay. What’s more, you also cross unspoilt farmland and endless forest. Read our full Dartmouth to Dittisham via Greenway walking guide for full route details.
Around the middle of your walk you will reach the village of Dittisham, within which is the popular Ferry Boat Inn. Perched right on the water’s edge and offering panoramic views of the river, this is an excellent spot from which to rest aching limbs. As you would expect, the menu is local, sumptuous and seasonal, and the beverages are locally sourced where possible – the ultimate essentials for a true Devon pub.
Distance: 3.5 miles (circular)
Starting point: Loddiswell public car park (TQ7 4RJ)
Loddiswell Woods is well known for its idyllic riverside tranquillity, and it’s the perfect walk should you want to escape the crowds, or even, in the height of summer, take shelter from the heat under the canopy of the trees. The circular walk joins up the old ‘Primrose’ Railway Line, which operated between Kingsbridge and South Brent from 1893 to 1963. Whilst the railway has now very much gone, you will find many marks left on the landscape, including a convenient bridge allowing the trail to follow back to Loddiswell village. With regards to terrain, the walk incorporates a small amount of road, tracks, uneven steps and several challenging stretches – adequate footwear and a well stocked snack supply is essential! View the full route details in our Loddiswell Woods circular walk guide.
The Loddiswell Inn pub is a popular establishment, situated just off the village square and is the perfect resting point. It’s a spacious dog-friendly inn with a welcoming feel, and as such, is frequented by villagers and visitors alike – we are certain you’ll enjoy a hearty meal and a tipple or two here!
Distance: 4 miles (circular)
Starting point: East Prawle Village Green (TQ7 2BU)
East Prawle is in a prime location on the South Devon peninsular, and so as you would expect, it is home to some exceptionally epic hiking routes that tread both coast and countryside. The landscape is some of the most dramatic you will find in the area, with ancient green lanes, heart thumping cliffs and rocky outcrops. The walk to Prawle Point is one of the shortest routes leading from the village, however, it is regarded as challenging, with some rocky sections and green lanes, and you will also find several areas of steep ascent and descent. The name ‘Prawle’ derived from an Anglo-Saxon meaning ‘lookout’ and that you can, with views that sweep across the English Channel. It’s also a perfect place to watch wildlife, with birds and dolphins frequenting in abundance. For full route details, visit the East Prawle to Prawle Point South West Coast Path guide.
The Pigs Nose Inn is a quintessential English pub that oozes character and quirk. Overlooking the village green, The Pigs Nose Inn has an extensive menu of local ales and home cooked food, making it the perfect place to tuck into a hearty feast after a blustery coastal walk. Well behaved children and dogs are welcome.
Distance: 4.5 miles (circular)
Starting Point: Noss Mayo Tennis Court car park (PL8 1EH)
One of our favourite Devon pub walks starts in the chocolate box village of Noss Mayo, found tucked away on the Yealm Estuary. This secluded village is an ideal location if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and want a Devon walk that explores the estuary and dramatic coastline. Also known as the Revelstoke Drive walk, it leads you on a route around the wilder side of the estuary, and is generous in its variety of terrain – expect to take in wild open sea, rugged coast, sheltered estuary and wooded riverbanks, and for the eagle eyed ramblers, you may even spot the secluded cove known as Cellar Beach, so if you’re a water enthusiast, do pack your swimmers! Strenuous but rewarding, this two hour hike is well worth the effort. The National Trust have detailed the finer details of this walk here.
The Ship Inn really sets the benchmark when it comes to establishments found on Devon pub walks! A traditional, delightful waterside pub from which you can enjoy local beers and sumptuous, fresh homemade food. The interior is cosy, and you will find yourself surrounded by wooden floors, old furniture, log fires, bookcases and galleries of local photographs. The outdoor area is second to none, and you are quite literally just a stone’s throw from the water – it really is the perfect post walk Devon pub!
Distance: 3 miles (circular)
Starting Point: Widecombe-in-the-Moor car park (TQ13 7TA)
Dartmoor is a honeypot for ramblers, and the moorland is peppered with a wealth of varied walking routes. At Coast & Country Cottages, one of our favourite Dartmoor walks starts from the village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor. After a somewhat steep climb up a quiet country lane, you lead onto open moorland, where the views over Hameldown are second to none – if you’re an early riser, you may even become privy to the thundering gallop of the racehorses that train here on a clear morning. The walk also crosses Wind Tor which is equally as striking in its beauty, and also provides the opportunity to explore prehistoric remains such as the stone circle of an ancient hut. Lastly, a gentle flat section provides a gentle stroll along a wide green track between the blooms of gorse and heather, and it is quite the environment to listen to the thriving skylarks. At Coast & Country Cottages we love exploring Dartmoor, read our favourite Dartmoor walks for even more inspiration.
The Rugglestone Inn is arguably one of the most popular pubs in Devon, however, despite its popularity, it has modestly retained every inch of its character and charm! Unique and unspoilt, the pub is surrounded by open moorland and is adjacent to a small stream that children and their canine companions love to bathe tired toes and paws in during the warmer months. Inside you will find a cosy bar with a woodburner, and two further small rooms, one of which also has an open fire, and outside is a large sheltered garden with free roaming chickens! The menu is home cooked using local suppliers, and the bar is well stocked with local ales and cider served straight from the barrel.
Distance: 3 miles (circular)
Starting Point: Brixham Harbour North (TQ5 9AB)
The walk from the traditional fishing village of Brixham to Berry Head is a popular three mile circular route. It takes in some breathtaking views of the South Devon coastline, and is a particular favourite amongst nature lovers – Berry Head Nature Reserve is home to colonies of sea birds, including the largest breeding colony of guillemots on the Channel coast. You can also spot fulmars, a small colony of kittiwakes as well as sea-faring dolphins and porpoises if you’re lucky! Full walking route details can be found here.
After your walk, be sure to head to The Crown and Anchor for a re-fuel. A traditional quayside pub, the atmosphere is vibrant and welcoming, and what’s more, it is also family and dog-friendly. Renowned for their delicious crab sandwiches, be sure to order this when visiting!
Distance: 1.5 – 2.5 miles depending upon route!
Starting Point: Torcross Memorial car park (TQ7 2QW)
The largest freshwater lake in the South West of England, the Slapton Ley Nature Reserve is found adjacent to the beach of Slapton Sands, and is only separated by road from the salty sea. The Ley itself is surrounded by reeds, marshes and trees, giving visitors a sense of being fully immersed in nature – the experience really is quite unique! There are a number of walking routes that navigate Slapton Ley, including a family trail that takes under an hour, perfect for little legs! If you’re after something a little more strenuous, you can always continue through the countryside to the village of Slapton, and for a longer extension, head to Slapton Sands beach. With regard to distance, the family trail is 1.5 miles, the village trail 1.75 miles and the valley trail 2.5 miles, full details of which can be found on the Slapton Ley Nature Reserve website. The reserve is a haven for wildlife, and there are a number of bird hides situated around the lake. Spend a little time here spectating, and in particular, look out for warblers, swallows, badgers and the elusive otter as you make your way through the reserve.
In the heart of Slapton village, nestled in the shadows of a 14th Century tower, you will find the popular Tower Inn pub. A family run establishment, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and is very child and dog friendly – salty toes and paws are strongly encouraged! The pub serves fresh and locally sourced food, along with a varied wine menu. The roaring log fire and spiced mulled wine is perfect for the colder months, whilst the walled garden is ideal for enjoying an al fresco tipple or two after a walk.
The Start Bay Inn, situated in the village of Torcross is a family-friendly establishment that enjoys outside tables facing the sea. It’s a perfect spot to stop after a walk around the Ley should you want to soak up a dose of vitamin sea. Serving sumptuous seafood, and some of the best fish and chips in the area, it comes as no surprise that it is simply irresistible for passers-by!
Devon is the perfect destination for those that want a self catering holiday that is within close proximity to Devon pub walks. Our traditional coastal cottages are conveniently situated just a stone’s throw from the South West Coast Path, and our country escapes and farm holiday cottages are nestled in the rolling countryside providing easy access to a wealth of footpaths and quiet country lanes. Our property portfolio is extensive, and includes properties suitable for couples, groups and families, and we also have a wide selection of properties that are dog-friendly – there is something for everyone. To find your ideal holiday cottage perfect for navigating Devon pub walks from your doorstep, browse our portfolio or call our team of travel experts today.