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.
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
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
A delightful village set at the head of a creek on the Dart Estuary. Huge ancient yew trees in the churchyard, old orchard, mill pond and yearly wassailing ceremony - you can't get much more traditional than this. Popular with boating enthusiasts be
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...
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 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 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
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...
Dartington is a small, beautiful village located just outside Totnes and is famous for being the home of the world renowned Dartington College.
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.
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
From arts and crafts to fine dining on quality local produce, Modbury is a picturesque and lively West Country holiday destination.
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.
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
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
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
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...
Staverton and Landscove
A lively village on the Dart, Staverton has the best surviving medieval bridge in Devon. Cider making and slate quarrying have been a staple in the parish, the size of the quarrying community becoming so large in the 1850's that a new church was bui
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