The South Hams contains some of the most beautiful places in Devon, most of which need more than a quick glimpse through a car window to appreciate fully. In our opinion, the best way to explore the most beautiful places in Devon is to lace up your walking boots and enjoy the region’s natural delights on foot.
Here are three wonderful woodland, coastal and countryside walks to try whilst you’re down in South Devon.
The East Prawle to Lannacombe walk encompasses some of the most beautiful places in Devon within a moderate five-mile trek that takes in secret sandy coves, jagged bracing cliffs and all-round spectacular views. Escape the hustle and bustle of our seaside towns and enjoy taking in the scenery of this unspoilt coastal path.
This manageable walk starts at the village and follows the bridleway through grassy lanes before emerging along the top of the cliffs for striking vistas. Follow the public footpath signs to Lannacombe Beach. The steep descent is worth the effort – spend some time enjoying the shoreline or relax on one of the benches and enjoy the seascape.
This walk, within driving distance of Salcombe and Dartmouth, has limited amenities so we suggest picking up a sandwich at the Salcombe Yawl or the Smith Street Deli in Dartmouth. Alternatively, stop at the Frogmore Bakery for a traditional pasty.
For those looking to enjoy the countryside, views of the River Dart and some immaculate sculpted gardens, try the walk from Totnes to Dartington Hall. This is an ideal route for those who want to take in rural landscapes but like to be close to the conveniences of a lively market town.
From the Steamer Quay car park, head towards Totnes Bridge and turn right down the steps to follow the footpath that runs along the river. Take the signs for Dartington and turn in through the gates of the Dartington Hall Trust Estate, where you’ll be able to immerse yourself in what most would agree is truly one of the most beautiful places in Devon. Once at the brow of the hill you will start to see the gardens, which are easy to navigate. Spend the afternoon strolling around the peaceful plots.
This stunning walk is just a short drive away from Dartmouth or Salcombe. Enjoy the range of restaurants and coffee shops in Totnes or pick up some refreshments at the café at the Shops at Dartington (formerly the Dartington Cider Press). You can also dine at the White Hart located on the edge of the gardens. Alternatively, pay a visit to the 14th century Cott Inn, which is just a short walk from the Shops at Dartington. As well as being one of the most beautiful places in Devon, the Dartington-Totnes area is also one of the county’s most vibrant cultural hotspots. Artists flock there from around the world, so look out for concerts, exhibitions and stage performances all year round.
Loddiswell Woods is a stunning place to walk any time of the year. Spend warm summer days paddling in the water that runs alongside the path or savouring a picnic next to the riverbanks. Winter and autumn are perfect for trundling through the trees in your wellies, rustling through the multi-coloured fallen leaves.
To get there, head from Salcombe to Totnes through Churchstow. At the Sorley Cross junction, turn left and then take the right turn on the corner after Aune Valley Farm Shop. Head along this country lane until you come to the old railway station halfway up the steep hill. Park on the road before taking the stile into the woods – from here it’s safe for dogs to roam off the lead. Walk along the straight track adjacent to the river on your left hand side until you get to the impressive old railway bridge or venture further to Topsham Bridge. This is not a circular walk so you can decide how far you go and we recommend taking the raised boardwalk on your way back. This classic English woodland is a great for walkers of all ages and it’s easy to spend a whole afternoon savouring the landscape of what is one of the most beautiful places in Devon.
There are countless other beautiful places in Devon you can explore from your base in Salcombe, Dartmouth or elsewhere in the South Hams.
Looking to spend your holiday walking these routes plus many other stunning trails? Why not book a holiday cottage in Devon and have a luxurious home to return to after your days spent in the great outdoors?
Or call our friendly team on 01548 843773 for more information.