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The charming, chocolate box village of Noss Mayo is tucked away on the south side of the Yealm estuary and is regarded as one of the regions best kept secrets. This secluded village is an ideal location if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and enjoy spending time by the estuary. Whether you want to spend your time adventuring on the water, exploring the dramatic coastline, or simply feasting on sumptuous food and drink, Noss Mayo offers something to suit all tastes.
Referred to by many as a ‘slice of tranquility’, Noss Mayo is a small village found just 10 miles southeast of Plymouth. Surrounded by ancient woodland and creeks, Noss nestles into the southern side of the Yealm estuary. Adjacent, you will find the larger village of Newton Ferrers, and the twin villages form the civil parish of ‘Newton and Noss’. Divided by a creek of the River Yealm, the estuary provides a perfectly undisturbed natural harbour that enjoys thriving wildlife, and is a popular playground for yachts, sailboats and seafarers alike. At low tide, you can easily walk between the two villages, and at high tide, a ferry operates a triangular route and calls in at the South West coastal path, Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers.
Better known (amongst the locals) as ‘Newton’, Newton Ferrers is the largest of the twin villages, and is everything you would expect from a picture postcard idyll. Boasting white-washed cottages that line the waters edge, a waterfront pub and a thriving sailing club, it comes as no surprise that when you holiday in the parish, you find yourself yo-yoing between the two villages. The village’s shops, including a Co-op, a Post Office (selling fruit, veg, magazines and clothes), a pharmacy and a butcher provide everything you need whilst visiting the area.
Whilst the village of Noss Mayo is both small and secluded, you will find it brimming with a range of activities that all the family can enjoy. From paddleboarding and hiking the coastal path, to bird watching and tucking into locally sourced food and drink, this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty never fails to deliver, regardless of rain or shine…
For those that want to spend their time on (or in) the water, the River Yealm estuary provides ideal conditions for swimming, kayaking, sailing, rowing and paddleboarding. What’s more, if you’re a keen angler, the fishing is regarded as superb.
If you’re planning a large party or you’re on the lookout for community events, Noss Mayo Village Hall is a good venue for a range of functions and activities. Fully equipped, the main hall seats up to 120 people, although for seated meals 80 – 100 guests is much more realistic! To find out more, visit the village hall website.
For families with children in need of burning off a little extra energy, there is a popular playpark situated behind the village tennis court. Complete with amphitheatre terracing, balance beams, scramble nets and a newly planted orchard, it’s the perfect place for little legs in search of a run, hop, skip and a jump.
The most popular event of the year is the River Yealm Regatta, held throughout the months of July, August and September. Be sure to join in the village fun for events such as rock up and row, the regatta dance, a crabbing competition, waterborne treasure hunt, rowing finals, fireworks and much more! For the full regatta schedule, visit their website.
Within close proximity to the village you will find a whole wealth of activities to enjoy. For the active, try a round of golf at Bigbury golf course, book onto a horse riding lesson at Newton Ferrers Equus, or ride the South Devon waves with Discovery Surf. For a calmer, more gentle day, perhaps explore the beautiful gardens and unspoilt wildlife at the Flete Estate, or if the season allows, pick (and tuck into!) your own produce at Pips Fruit and Veg. For more inspiration on how to spend your time in South Devon, read our comprehensive guide on things to do in South Devon.
There are various opportunities for walkers eager to explore this beautiful part of South Devon. With immediate access to the South West Coast Path from the village, expect to enjoy many faces of South Devon in just one walk, from wild open sea and rugged coast, to sheltered estuary and wooded riverbanks. Furthermore, Noss Mayo is not only a bird watcher’s paradise, but with a stroke of luck, you may see marine life such as seals, dolphins and porpoises from the cliff-tops!
Our favourite walk, otherwise known as the Gara Point Walk, leads you on a route around the wilder side of the estuary, and takes in a combination of craggy cliffs, Victorian history and wildlife in abundance. Strenuous, but rewarding, this three hour hike is well worth the effort, but for those that aren’t feeling quite so adventurous, not to worry, there are several shorter routes to be enjoyed!
A popular circular route, starting its journey in Newton Ferrers at the Yealm Steps. Navigating first through the residential area of Court Wood Road, this walking route guides you towards Shallowford Creek, and into the enchanting Newton Wood. With stunning vantage points towards the upper reaches of the estuary, and across to Thorn Pool, this is a popular walk come rain or shine.
At Coast and Country Cottages, we love walking, so much so, that we’ve created a comprehensive walking guide to South Devon. The guide offers an exciting overview to some of the most popular walking routes in the region, so for further inspiration, download our walking guide.
Noss Mayo is a food lovers paradise, and you won’t ever find yourself far from gastro delights. There are a choice of two excellent eateries in Noss Mayo, and another two across the water in Newton Ferrers, all serving great food and drink that is locally sourced:
A popular award-winning waterside pub, The Ship Inn serves excellent homemade food, and has a great selection of local beers. Regardless of whether you choose to sit in the cosy interior, or enjoy a waterside table, be sure to arrive early or book in advance as it can attract quite a crowd. Well behaved children and dog are always welcome! Visit their website here.
With immediate access to the river, The Swan Inn is the perfect spot to relax after spending a day on the water, or hiking the coastal path. With a beer garden to the front that enjoys spectacular views down river, it’s a brilliant spot to watch the sunset. With easy access to Pope’s Quay, it’s great for those arriving by boat (tide depending), and also for children keen to enjoy a spot of crabbing.
Across the water from Noss Mayo, you will find The Dolphin Inn, in the village of Newton Ferrers. Serving local brews and fresh food, you can relax in the cosy interior, or if the sun is shining, enjoy riverside views from the outdoor courtyard area.
Also in Newton Ferrers, Bistro is located on the first floor of the Yealm Yacht Club. Enjoying panoramic views of the creek, toward Noss Mayo, choose from a light bar menu, a full dinner menu or a hearty Sunday roast. During the summer months there is also a BBQ on the terrace.
Just a short walk from Noss Mayo (around 30 – 40 minutes to reach by foot) you will find the cove of Cellar Beach, a small pebble and sand beach on the shore of the Yealm estuary. Known for being a little bit off the beaten track, it is perfect if you prefer not be surrounded by large groups of holiday makers. The final path to the beach is quite steep and rocky, so it’s best suited to confident walkers, with the closest parking and facilities remaining at Noss Mayo.
Found just off the coastal path, this secluded pebble beach is revealed at low tide and is a popular place to spot dolphins, porpoises and seals. The path is very steep and is only recommended for agile walkers.
In South Devon, we have some of the best beaches in the country, right on our doorstep. Some of our favourite spots within close proximity to Noss Mayo include:
Take a look at our South Devon Beach Bible to find out more about South Devon’s best beaches.
Due to the size of the village being a little on the smaller side, parking can sometimes be a bit of a squeeze. However, you will find two public car parks in the village, both of which are free of charge:
Public toilet facilities are located at the creek inlet near the Ship Inn pub.
Getting to Noss Mayo from Kingsbridge
Noss Mayo village is a little under 17 miles from Kingsbridge, and we recommend the following route:
Getting to Noss Mayo from Dartmouth
Dartmouth is a 25.7 mile journey from Noss Mayo, and we recommend the following route:
Both Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo are within close proximity to some of Coast & Country Cottages’ most popular holiday cottages. Explore our Newton Ferrers holiday cottage, and our range of almost 400 holiday cottages today.
Great Torr Barn, located in Kingston, is an extremely comfortable barn with a separate, private indoor heated swimming pool. Mostly reverse level, the accommodation is split over two floors and is very well presented and equipped. With five double bedrooms, the property sleeps up to ten guests, and is the perfect destination for families, or larger groups of friends eager to explore the South Devon coastline.
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Meadow View is a beautifully furnished property situated in a picturesque rural setting. Sleeping 2 (one bedroom), this is the perfect bolthole for couples looking for some rest and relaxation and tranquility! The property also has a delightful walled terraced garden, which is ideal for al fresco dining! The stunning coastline is just a short drive away, and what’s more, Dartmoor National Park is also nearby
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