Beautiful South Devon is not only known for its spectacular coastal path and stunning beaches, but also its close...
Strete is a stunning coastal South Devon village nestled within Start Bay, in a South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Modest in its abundant qualities, when you visit, expect to enjoy a perfect blend of rural charm alongside a thriving community anchoring this quintessentially British bolthole. From rose clad gardens and thatched cottages to stunning architectural properties taking in panoramic views across Start Bay, reaching as far as Dartmouth and Start Point Lighthouse, the village of Strete is understated in its beauty. Once you’ve experienced the magical charm of Strete, it’s easy to understand why there is a deep-rooted sense of satisfaction amongst the local residents.
Strete is ideally placed for those keen to explore the region, with Blackpool Sands, Dartmouth and Totnes within close proximity, and what’s more, the village is placed directly on the South West Coast Path making it easy to explore the area by foot. A popular spot with outdoor enthusiasts, particularly ramblers, you will also find a collection of cyclists, kayakers and paddle boarders making the most of the natural playground that is South Devon. The nearby beaches provide the perfect retreat should you want a little relaxation, and just a short drive away you will find the wild, rugged expanse that is Dartmoor, perfect for adventures. Even in the height of summer, there is a calm and relaxed atmosphere to the village, making it the perfect coastal escape for some rest and relaxation.
Here’s our guide to Strete, which is hands down, one of South Devon’s most striking rural coastal villages. Looking for something in particular? Use the quick links below to navigate the content, or read on for our comprehensive village guide…
The King’s Arms is a beautiful Grade II listed public house, dating from the early eighteenth century, and has always been proud of its strong local community, who can be found describing it as the beating heart of village life. The pub enjoys what is possibly the best elevated coastal view in South Devon stretching as far as Dartmouth – this is of course highly subjective, and we urge you to visit to make your own mind up! The enclosed garden is large with a popular children’s play area, and the South West Coast Path passes by the pub, making it the perfect place for a post or mid walk tipple. The King’s Arms is unfortunately closed at the moment, but the community has been working hard to find new tenants for this much-loved pub, and luckily, it is expected to reopen in the spring of 2021.
The region of South Devon is renowned for its culinary delights, and as you would expect, within just a few miles of Strete, there are various pubs, cafés and restaurants to choose from. In Torcross, you will find the Start Bay Inn, one of the most loved family-friendly pubs in our region, the Torcross Boathouse and the Sea Breeze Cafe. In Stokenham the popular Stokeley Farm shop and café serves indulgent Devon cream teas and is reputed to serve one of the best breakfasts in South Devon – a bold claim! There are also two fantastic nearby pubs, the Church House Inn (great for families) and The Tradesman’s Arms. Blackpool Sands is home to the excellent Venus Café and Takeaway which has a strong enough reputation, attracting healthy crowds of customers long after the busy summer season has ended. Dartmouth is just a short drive away, where you will find an abundance of cafés, restaurants and coffee shops – check out on article on the 10 best restaurants in Dartmouth for some sumptuous recommendations.
You’ll find Strete Post Office and Stores in the centre of the village on the main through road. It’s a well-stocked traditional shop, and where possible, the produce is locally sourced – the vegetables are from Slapton, fresh lamb from Blackawton, meat and fish from Dartmouth, and homemade cakes and scones are baked daily in the shop itself. The above is just a small example of produce available, with plenty more groceries, frozen foods, cleaning, personal and household products too. For those after an alcoholic beverage, the store is licensed and has a range of wine, beer and spirits, including a ‘wine of the week’ supplied by Totnes Wine.
The store offers a home delivery service and this can also include coal should you want to light an open fire. If you’re staying in the village, you can pre-order and this will be delivered on your arrival, the ultimate luxury! If you can’t find what you need at the village stores, not to worry, the nearest supermarkets are in Dartmouth, where you’ll find a Sainsbury’s, Lidl, small Co-op and Marks & Spencer Food Hall.
Enjoying panoramic coastal views, Strete village green is a popular place for dog-owners to give their canine companions some much needed exercise and for families to gather at the picnic benches and take in the sweeping views. Should you want to visit, you will find it on Vicarage Lane which is close to the centre of the village. It is also clearly signposted.
The Parish Hall is central to the village community, and you will find a timetable of events throughout the week, including yoga, bowls and a fortnightly social group. The space is available to hire for events, clubs and activities and is a great place for large group gatherings and family parties. For further details on pricing and availability visit the Strete community website which is jam packed with helpful information.
In the centre of the village you will find the striking St Michael’s Parish Church, a 19th Century listed building which is within the United Benefice of Stoke Fleming, Blackawton and Strete. A friendly church, they welcome both local residents and visitors to the area – the pattern of service changes weekly, so be sure to check the worship section of the Strete community website for the most up to date information.
Being so close to the South West Coast Path, it comes as no surprise that the village of Strete boasts some incredible walks. From the village itself you can walk the breadth of Start Bay. In one direction, head to Strete Gate, Slapton Sands (not forgetting Slapton Ley) and beyond to Beesands, Hallsands, and if you’re really feeling up for a challenge, navigate onwards to Start Point. Oppositely, you have Blackpool Sands and the secret ‘Valley Beach’, Stoke Fleming and also Dartmouth. You’re absolutely spoilt for choice, and will tread routes that are home to various secluded coves and amazing picnic spots. At Coast & Country Cottages we love walking, so much so we decided to create a South Devon walking guide, which is free to download here. Be sure to read this for detail on not only walks within the immediate area, but also for a wealth of South Devon walks that tread both coast and countryside.
Situated at the northern edge of Slapton Sands, Strete Gate Beach forms part of a three-mile fine shingle bay that is bountiful in its natural beauty with a wide expansive beach, and crystal clear waters. It’s dog-friendly too, and the beach welcomes canines and their companions throughout the year – for more information on the best beaches for you and your four legged friend to explore, read our South Devon dog-friendly beach guide. At Strete Gate, you’ll find ample parking and public toilets adjacent to the beach, and so whilst the beach may feel secluded in its location, you can enjoy easy access to conveniences at the same time too. In peak season (and sometimes through the winter), refreshments are available from the popular van, Lime Coffee parked by the entrance to the car park – a hive of activity, freshly ground coffee, delicious pastries and homemade cakes. Do note, the northernmost area of Strete Gate Beach is popular with naturists, especially during the summer (for obvious reasons), although don’t be surprised if you spot a few brave nudies enjoying the winter sun! You can easily walk to Strete Gate Beach, and it takes around 30 minutes from the village itself, through beautiful woodland with sea views through the leaves. Heading south will take you to the central area of Slapton Sands where there is further parking and public conveniences, and at the far southern edge you’ll find Torcross, with its war memorial, popular pub, restaurant and café, village stores and more.
The attractions of staying in Strete aren’t limited to what you’ll find in the village itself. Within just a few miles, there’s far more to do than you’d expect from its quiet coastal location, and you won’t find yourself short of things to do when visiting Strete. For water-based enthusiasts it’s the ultimate playground, and the nearby calm, crystal waters provide perfect conditions for sea swimming, kayaking and paddleboarding. For those who would rather keep their feet on dry land, the area is a haven for wildlife, especially the Slapton Ley Nature Reserve, which is a bird watchers paradise. For the eagle eyed, on the coastal path you may spot dolphins and seals, which regularly frequent Start Bay. Should you be partial to a little history, visit the ‘village that fell in the sea’ at Hallsands, and also Start Point Lighthouse to learn tales of storms and shipwrecks. Just a short drive away are the bustling harbour towns of Dartmouth and Salcombe, both popular options should you want to spend time exploring further afield. For more inspiration, download our comprehensive guide on Things to do in South Devon.
Just a few minutes walk from the centre of Strete, you will find Seaway House which is a spacious, attractively furnished holiday home with a large private garden and lovely sea views. This unique property is ideally suited to families or two couples looking for a comfortable holiday base in the beautiful region of South Devon.
At Coast & Country Cottages we boast an enviable portfolio of self-catering holiday properties near Strete, throughout Start Bay, Dartmouth and the surrounding coast and countryside. With something to suit all, choose from luxury holiday cottages with hot tubs, sea views and open fires, to traditional coastal cottages flanking the water’s edge. Browse our full collection of South Devon self-catering holiday cottages to find your perfect South Devon bolthole.