Things to do in Devon
Battisborough House is ideally situated as a base for exploring, with tons of things to do in Devon on your doorstep. The local area has an almost endless variety of interesting places, ranging from the natural beauty of Dartmoor and the coast through to wildlife, stately homes and museums. When you stay with us you will never be at a loss for something to do, whatever the season or weather!
Things to do within walking distance
Leave the car at the house and take a walk to the following:
- Potter down to Mothecombe beach used to film My Cousin Rachel and drop into the School House Café in the car park
- Visit the scenic villages of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo both providing welcoming pubs after a cliff walk.
- Wander to the small, picturesque and tranquil village of Holbeton boasting a pub, a village store and a post office amongst many thatched cottages.
Things to do within easy driving distance
There are so many places to visit by car from the house, here are some recommendations:
- Saltram House – a magnificent house and grounds run by the National Trust. Also nearby are Cothele, Buckfast Abbey and Morwellham Quay.
- Enjoy the Historic town of Totnes on the banks of the River Dart with its independent shopping, and international reputation for its lively and diverse community and relaxed atmosphere.
- Discover the nautical town of Dartmouth, full of culture, history and heritage, from castles to forts, ancient buildings and museums. Great places to eat, independent shops with local beaches. Don’t forget a ride on the Dart Valley steam railway.
- The Round Robin Trip includes a boat, ferry, steam train and open top double-decker bus. Start at Totnes or Dartmouth and stop off en route if you like or enjoy the whole trip in 2 hours.
- Dartmouth Castle is well-preserved by English Heritage and beautifully positioned, jutting out into the narrow entrance of the Dart Estuary. You can park up at Dartmouth Castle itself or park the car in the National Trust car park at Stoke and then walk along the coast park (25 mins) visit the castle and then take the ferry into Dartmouth.
- Start Point Lighthouse is one of the most exposed peninsulas on the English coast, running sharply almost a mile into the sea on the south side of Start Bay near Dartmouth.
- Salcombe is one of the prettiest coastal towns in South Devon with watersports, estuary cruises, a ferry over to Kingsbridge, great walks, local ice cream and gin distillery.
- Plymouth Barbican the old port full of narrow cobbled streets from where the Pilgrim Fathers departed to settle in the New World. Use Plymouth Boat trips for harbour or river cruises, or catch a ferry over to Cornwall with spectacular views of Mount Edgcumbe, Plymouth Sound and a good walk.
- Dartmoor National Park which provides something for walkers of all abilities. The fitter can enjoy the beauty of the heart of the moor with easier walks around Burrator Reservoir or up to the Avon Dam being accessible to all.
- Hire some Bicycles from Plymouth Bike Hire and cycle the Plym trail up to Yelverton and on to the historic stannary town of Tavistock, part of the World Heritage Site.
Ideal for children
- Pennywell Farm – a great day out for the family with many farm attractions and activities. Winner of Devon’t Best Family Attraction for the second year running.
- Woodlands near Dartmouth is a family theme park, with a large indoor play area for wet days, water rides, zoo farm, with exciting rides to suit all ages.
- Dartmoor Zoological Society is a charitable zoo with a unique history, made famous by the book and film “We Bought a zoo”.
- National Marine Aquarium the UK’s largest aquarium, is located in Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth. It is proudly part of the Ocean Conservation Trust a charity dedicated to connecting people with the Ocean.
- Visit Drakes Island in Plymouth for a guided tour with a ferry from Plymouth’s historic Barbican.
- Crealy Theme Park near Exeter has over 60 rides and family attractions to suit all ages and weather.
- Paignton Zoo, over 100 years old with more than 2,000 animals in 80 acres of grounds
- Paignton Pier is just one of a handful of traditional seaside piers still delighting holidaymakers around the country.
- River Dart Country Park has mountain bikes to hire, Dare Devil activities, including Canoe and Kayak hire, a mega zip wire and a climbing wall. Booking required.
- Kents Cavern, step into the Stone Age at Britain’s oldest home and explore the extensive system of caves, formed in Devonian Limestone. They also run lots of events throughout the year, so it’s worth checking out their website.
- Becky Falls with its famous waterfall, walks, family activities, animal collection, talks and free animal shows, its worth a visit
- Newton Ferrers Equestrian Centre, Newton Ferrers
Tel: 01752 872807
- Fitzworthy Riding Centre, Ivybridge
Tel: 01752 837000
- Wembury Bay Riding School, Wembury
Tel: 01752 862676
- Sorley Riding School, Staverton, Totnes
Tel: 01548 855035
- Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre, Slapton,
Tel: 01548 581049
Buckets and spades at the ready!
Mothecombe is the local beach located at the mouth of the River Erme. It is owned and maintained by the Flete Estate with no facilities on the beach but is the perfect family beach for damming streams building sand art or exploring the rock pools. N.B. Dogs are not permitted on Mothecombe Beach between 1st May to 30th September.
Around the corner is Coastguards Beach which is reached via a narrow road and slipway with bollards, giving access to wheelchairs, horse riders, windsurfers, canoes and surfboards. There is only turning room with parking available at the top of the hill in the car park. It’s a long sandy beach at low tide which is completely flooded at high tide. Coastguards welcome dogs all year round.
Wonwell Beach is on the opposite side of the River Erme and is reached by driving towards Kingston along very narrow lanes. This beach is wide and sandy and is especially popular with dog walkers. There is limited free parking on the road but it becomes congested at peak times.
Wembury Beach where the cliffs are home to nesting seabirds and the rocky shore, slate reefs and massive wave-cut platforms provide one of the United Kingdom’s best spots for marine life. There is an excellent Marine Centre which runs rockpool and snorkel safaris for all ages and is highly recommended.
Bigbury on Sea offers a wide and varied selection of water sports with instruction and hire of equipment for surfing, windsurfing and kite-surfing. Dogs are allowed on the beach although they are restricted to certain areas during the summer.
Bantham Beach is a wide sandy beach renowned for surfing.
Blackpool Sands, Dartmouth, a blue flag beach with a beach sauna, showers, takeaway and café, watersports and lifeguard cover during the summer months. Dogs are not allowed between 1st April and 30th September.
Swimming and Boats
- Quayside Leisure Centre, Kingsbridge
Tel: 01548 857100
- Ivybridge Swimming Pool, Ivybridge
Tel: 01752 896999
- The Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre is open all year round and offers a whole range of water and land-based activities.
Tel: 01752 404567
- Iconic Swims offers day trips, retreats and private coaching for those wishing to improve their sea swimming. They can plan a whole day out adventure swimming in places unreachable by car or on foot, arranging all of the logistics, safety cover and guiding.
Nearby Villages and Towns to visit
Modbury is a great little town with a variety of interesting shops and cafes such as The Lazy Cow.
Yealmpton – the nearest garage on the A379 with a well-stocked Londis store and Sunday papers. Bens’s farm shop sells local organic produce. Locally caught fresh fish can be bought there from a van in the car park on a Friday but get there early to avoid disappointment! A café offers a range of menus.
Other nearby towns are Ivybridge which is about a 15-minute drive or
Kingsbridge which is further afield (about a 25 min drive) but well worth a visit. It has an assortment of shops including local butchers, fishmongers, delis and bakery. There is also a Tesco and Morrisons.
Salcombe is a bustling seaside town selling all sorts of local souvenirs, clothing and trinkets. It’s great for eating out with a wide assortment of pubs, cafes and restaurants. It’s a wonderful place to visit to just absorb the lively atmosphere in this busy sailing town.
Totnes – full of quirky shops and a huge variety of eateries including vegan and vegetarian. The Friday morning market is always good to try out.
Holbeton has a Post Office and general stores selling a variety of locally produced products.
Bigbury Golf Club
A beautiful cliff-top 18-hole course overlooking the sea. No golfer visiting the South Hams should miss the opportunity of playing a round here. It’s an ideal holiday course: challenging enough for the low-handicappers but not too daunting for the holidaymaker. The great situation of the course makes it playable all year round. There are outstanding views from almost everywhere on the course, with Dartmoor to the north, the winding river Avon running near several holes and breathtaking views.
Thurlestone Golf Club
Thurlestone is one of the most beautiful courses in the South West of England. Running along the stunning coastline of Bigbury Bay, the course is a mix of links and cliff-top terrain with the latter providing breath-taking views of the legendary Thurlestone Rock to the East and the beautiful Avon Estuary and Burgh Island to the West. The course is one of the most exhilarating with majestic rocky seascapes above the coves where smugglers used to operate. It is also ideal holiday golf – not too severe, with quite generous fairways.
Yelverton Golf Course is a delightful moorland course in South Devon, designed by Herbert Fowler, who incorporated some of the old mine workings, and leats, as natural hazards to challenge golfers of all standards. Yelverton was ranked 88 in the National Club Golfer’s Top 100 ranking of best golf courses in England.
Staddon Heights Golf Club is a cliff-top course, with a Par of 70 and a yardage of 6164 yards. Located on the outskirts of Plymouth, this club offers a challenging 18-hole course with stunning views of Plymouth Sound.
Elfordleigh Golf Club is situated in Plympton, and features a 27-hole championship course and a 9-hole course.
China Fleet Country Club is located in Saltash, just into Cornwall, this club offers an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole course.
Eating out – involves a walk from the house
Other great places to eat – requires driving
- The White Hart, Modbury
- The Pickwick, St Anns Chapel does fabulous takeaway pizza.
- The Journey’s End, Ringmore Tel: 01548 810205
- The Dolphin Inn Kingston Tel: 01548 810314
- The Rose & Crown, Yealmpton Tel:01752 880223
- The Oyster Shack in Bigbury is one of our favourites. It gets extremely busy in the summer as it is so popular so it’s best to book.
- The Pilchard Inn on Burgh Island is a must! Park in the Bigbury beach car park and walk across at low tide or take the sea tractor just for fun
- The Sloop Inn at Bantham has an excellent reputation for fine cuisine. Booking is essential. Tel: 01548 560489
- The Winking Prawn – North Sands, Salcombe. Tel: 01548 842326
- The Crab Shed, Salcombe. A fun seafood restaurant near The Fish Quay. The restaurant is perched on the water’s edge close to their very own Crab Factory where 100% hand-picked crab meat is produced.
- The Barbican in Plymouth is full of lovely street cafes, takeaways and restaurants. Captain Jaspers is great for fish and chips and a large mug of tea!
Royal Spice Modbury Tel: 01548 831191
Modbury Chinese Tel: 01548 830061
Ming Dynasty, Yealmpton Tel: 01752 880085
Fish and Chips, Brixton Tel: 01752 880362
Supermarkets, some of which will deliver to the house
- Tescos at Lee Mill
- Sainsbury’s at March Mills Roundabout
- Morrisons, Pomphlett Road en route to Plymouth
- Waitrose at Saltash
- M&S in Plymouth
- The Yeampton Garage on the A379 has a well-stocked Londis
- Ben’s farm shop sells local organic produce