With a strong rural and maritime heritage the South Hams is noted for its beautiful landscape, quality local food, culture and scenic beaches. 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. 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 decide 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.
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
At the western side of the Stokenham Parish is the settlement of Chillington the largest of the settlements within the parish. It is a long 'ribbon' developed village stretching from Stokenham along the A379 to the western edge of the parish. Most
A tiny village 8 miles northeast of Plymouth, on the fringe of Dartmoor. No through routes make for a quiet environment. Close to Cadover Bridge, a popular picnic spot, with easy access to the moor. Daramatic clay workings to the east of the village
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
Originally a tiny coastal hamlet, Thurlestone is now home to a gloriously sited hotel, a popular golf course, and a variety of accommodation for permanent residents and visitors alike. The beach is sandy, the sea is safe and clean (MCS award) and ver
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 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
A pretty village set above the Dart Estuary where Bow Creek joins the Dart. The church set amid 19th Century cottages, has a 14th Century tower and Norman front. Home to Sharpham Vineyard and Cremery. There is a good village pub/restaurant.
The village of Stoke Gabriel, South Devon, is situated on a creek of the River Dart and is a quintessential English Village. Steeped in history and surrounded by beautiful countryside, this rural parish nestles into the green rolling hills of the Sou
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 delightful moorland village in the Dartmoor National Park with an active farm and farm shop (Holne Court) and tea shop for tired walkers. Perfect stop off point for Two Moors Way. Fishing and walking on the river Dart, crossed by two medieval bridg
Tucked into a sheltered cove behind Bolt Tail, Hope is an old fishing village now given over to a relaxed style of tourism. Smallish sandy beach, rock pools and clean sea, make Hope an attractive proposition for couples and families with quieter holi
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
Small village dominated by the castle of the same name. Ghosts are the stock in trade of Berry Pomeroy castle (English Heritage). In the event of serious scares, the village has a church in which to seek refuge.
Mayors Avenue, Dartmouth
For details on places to stay, eat and visit in Dartmouth visit our Dartmouth Town Section here.
Situated at the mouth of the River Dart, opposite the picturesque village of Kingswear, you’ll find the historical town of Dartmouth. With...
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....
Middling village with a curious history of smallscale manufacture and mining. Loddiswell had a copper mine, and a yellow ochre manufactory. There is a 14th Century church and the mysterious remains of a castle - at Loddiswell Rings - that does not ap
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...
A thriving community overlooking an attractive countryside, just off the Newton to Totnes road. The village stocks are still here in the churchyard. Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes creator, stayed here at Parkhill House. The found inspirration fo