With a strong rural and maritime heritage the South Hams is noted for its quality local food, culture and scenic landscape The South Hams is a region of rural and coastal Devon much of which is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, stretching as far as the edges of Dartmoor National Park and featuring one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the UK which spans between Torbay and Plymouth.
The South Hams has a long history stretching back to Anglo Saxon times, when the area was a feudal estate. Since medieval times many of the villages were centred around the production of wool, and the local ports thrived on the export of local products. The strategic position of many coastal towns has meant that the Royal Navy has been a dominant presence throughout the centuries and still plays a major role in the economy and character of the region today.
Things to do
If you love the outdoors, you’ll love The South Hams. It’s a wonderful outdoor environment, with rivers, moor land, coasts and the sea offering visitors a range of activities including canoeing, walking and sailing. Heritage fans will love local attractions such as Totnes Castle and The South Devon Railway and a range of arts and food festivals keeps culture-vultures happy throughout the year. For the nautically inclined the coast has a big tradition of sailing regattas and arts events.
Food and drink
The West Country is one of the most important producers of food and drink in the UK, noted for its quality and traditional methods. Here you’ll be treated to some of the best fine dining using locally made produce. For seafood, towns such as Dartmouth and Salcombe boast award-winning restaurants, while inland gastro pubs serve excellent home cooked fare.
South Hams has many wonderful towns and villages waiting to be explored, below you’ll find a list to help you decided where to start.
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If you love the hustle and bustle of a traditional English market town, you’ll love Kingsbridge. Situated in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Kingsbridge sits on its own estuary and is surrounded by lush, green rolling countryside.
Click here to view accommodation in and around Noss Mayo.
The tiny, pretty little village of Noss Mayo is hidden away on the southern bank of the Yealm estuary. Across the water is the larger village of Newton Ferrers, and you can get between...
A substantial village set near the wooded flanks of the river Erme, nine miles east of Plymouth. Somewhat off the beaten track, its mixture of small thatched and stone cottages includes two pubs, post office and a local store. There is also a notable
Blackawton is a pretty village situated in the South Hams between Totnes and Dartmouth.
Many will drive through the village en route to Dartmouth, but few will stop. This village is well worth a stop with it's South Devon charm and friendly...
Barely more than a few quaint cottages, a pub and an old church and rectory, Ringmore is the ultimate peace and quiet destination. Accommodation is available at the Old Castle (in reality the rectory) and in a few scattered farms. Easy access to the
For details on places to stay, eat and visit in Totnes visit our Totnes Town Section here.
If you’re looking for a holiday that combines history, alternative therapies and breathtakingly beautiful countryside, you’ll find it in Totnes....
Click here to view accommodation in and around Newton Ferrers.
Newton Ferrers is a little slice of tranquillity just 10 miles from the urban sprawl of Plymouth. Surrounded by ancient woodland and creeks, the village of Newton Ferrers sits on the...
Dartington is a small, beautiful village located just outside Totnes and is famous for being the home of the world renowned Dartington College.
An exceptionally beautiful riverside settlement on the Dart. Book very early if you want a relaxed riverside holiday in this truly sublime spot. A local pub caters admirably for a predominantly tourist community, but for more than that you will need
A tiny village almost on the eastern edge of Dartmoor, 3 miles northwest of Buckfastleigh. Set in wild beautiful moorland. Direct access to open moorland walks, including Scorriton Down with a well known stone circle. On the Two Moors Way. There is a
Working village near Totnes set on the Harbourne - a tributary of the Dart. Woolen and edge tool mills survived here until the 1950's. There is a church, pubs and local shops.
A small town almost on the eastern edge of Plymouth on the Kingsbridge Road. Mother Hubbard's Cottage is here - formerly the home of the housekeeper at Kitley House who was the model for the character who appears in Mother Hubbard Rhymes written at
Situated within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and with the coastline forming part of the South Devon Heritage Coast, Wembury is a great place to visit if you fancy some rock pooling adventures or wildlife hunting.
Somewhat overshadowed by its illustrious neighbour Dartmouth, Kingswear has nevertheless a charm and character all of its own. The Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway terminates here (you must get the ferry to Dartmouth), and it has its own castle s
Vibrant, lively and with a touch of mystery surrounding it, you’ll discover that Buckfastleigh is one of the most diverse towns in South Devon. The town is dominated by the Benedictine Buckfast Abbey and is a mix of ancient and modern attractions...
A few houses, a pub, a ferry across the Avon and a huge sandy beach with clean (MCS award), lifeguard-monitored bathing make up Bantham. It is the place wind and kite surfers aim for in south devon. There is public access although privately owned, an
Attractive, well kept village on the fringe of Dartmoor, just off the A38. Remains of watermills and a windmill (on the moor). Interesting church, pubs and local shops. Bronze age remains on Dartmoor.
A solid granite-built village on the edge of dartmoor, a few miles northwest of Ivybridge. Focus of a huge parish, mainly of archaeology-rich moorland. Its principal livelihood is the local claypits. There is a pub, local shop and post office.
An interesting village with a large open space in front of the church. Originally a market area, it is now put to regular use for community events. Views from Ugborough Beacon, just over the A38 from the village, are among the best in South Devon. Th