Dartmouth lies on the coast of the "South Hams" area of Devon, an area of 350 square miles with 60 miles of coastline, 130 square miles designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and 16 miles of beaches. The countryside of rolling farmland and wooded valleys, is dotted with picturesque villages (and old pubs), criss-crossed with scenic footpaths for walkers. Aside from Dartmouth, South Hams has five other market towns: Totnes, Ivybridge, Kingsbridge, Salcombe and Modbury.
Lying 10 miles up river (or about 1¼ hrs by River Link) Totnes shares many features with Dartmouth: artisans, craftsmen and galleries, atmospheric pubs, cafes and restaurants, with an emphasis on organic produce and vegetarian cookery, particularly promoted by Riverford Farm Shop. Markets are held on Friday and Saturday, featuring local produce. Totnes also features another picturesque steam railway running up the River Dart to Buckfast. See Totnes Information Centre for more details.
The town is also similar to Dartmouth in many ways, a steeply built town on the side of a deep water anchorage focussed almost entirely on boating, seafood and ice cream. Enjoy the beaches of North and South Sands, or take the ferry across to the beaches at East Portlemouth. For those who want to learn to sail, Salcombe's ICC offers some of the best tuition around, including fantastic residential courses for children. Salcombe has its Regatta in mid-August. See Salcombe Information Centre for upcoming events.
Sleepy Kingsbridge lies at the head of the main creek to Salcombe, a market town with a similar character to Totnes, with more cafes, craftsmen and galleries up the hill. Crab catching on the quayside is hugely popular with kids. See Kingsbridge Information Centre for upcoming events.
Here is our YouTube selection of the best of South Hams: