South Devon, with its collection of seaside towns and villages, mass of sandy beaches and range of tourist attractions make it the perfect destination for a fun-packed family holiday.
In Part 2 of our series exploring great places to visit in the area we take a trip to Teignmouth, Shaldon, Dawlish Warren, Totnes and Dartmouth. You’ll find each destination is easily accessible from Welcome Family making them perfect for an action packed daytrip.
1. Ride England’s oldest passenger ferry from TEIGNMOUTH
The popular resort of Teignmouth with its long, spacious beach is perfect for seaside fun without the crowds. The sandy beach is ideal for paddling and rock pooling whilst the lawned “Den” area by the seafront is a popular place to chill out and soak up the vibe.
Teignmouth is also home to an attractive 18th Century Victorian pier. It’s well worth a stroll along – especially if penny arcades are your thing! In interesting contrast to the beach is Teignmouth’s historic working harbour. Here you can spot active fishing boats and yachts or even hire a boat for a spot of sea fishing.
And for a journey back in time be sure to take the short ferryboat trip to Shaldon. The Teign Ferry is possibly England’s oldest passenger ferry with roots back to 1296 and possibly beyond.
2. Visit the “Best Little Zoo in the West” at SHALDON Village
Shaldon’s main estuary fronted beach is mostly shingle and is a great place for relaxation, swimming and rock pooling. But for something a little different (and If you’re feeling brave) why not head to the picturesque, secluded Ness Beach. It’s accessible via an eerily lit original smugglers tunnel, which the kids will find fascinating.
Shaldon village itself is also worth an amble around, as you’ll discover a collection of stunning listed buildings – some dating back to the 1600s.
In addition, Shaldon is home to a charming little zoo owned by the Wildlife Trust. The zoo has an interesting collection of smaller animals including lemurs, parrots and pygmy marmosets – the world’s smallest monkeys. And if plants are more your thing, you’ll enjoy Homeyards Botanical Gardens which is located nearby.
3. Spot wildlife at DAWLISH WARREN
Located on a sand spit with the sea on one side and the Exe Estuary on the other, it’s a haven for wildlife. Dawlish Warren is home to a 500-acre nature reserve, which is just perfect for bird watching and discovering rare plants and local wildlife.
In addition, Dawlish Warren is a traditional beachside resort with colourful beach huts, donkey rides and plenty of opportunities for ice cream! Dawlish boasts a glorious sandy beach with a prestigious Blue Flag award making it perfect for swimming and other water sports. What’s more children will love scampering over the expansive sand dunes.
Dawlish Warren also has a golf course, and train spotters will love how the Riviera Line its way right along the seafront.
4. Visit the ancient town of TOTNES
With a history dating back to at least Saxon times, overlooked by Totnes Castle and situated on the River Dart, this ancient town proudly hosts an array of independent boutiques and eateries.
Why not transport yourself back to the glory days of steam travel on the delightful South Devon Railway between Totnes and Buckfastleigh, on the edge of Dartmoor. Visit the Rare Breeds Farm at the Totnes terminus and the Butterfly and Otter Sanctuary at the other end of the line.
5. Be a part of Royal Naval history at DARTMOUTH
Dartmouth is a bustling town located on the banks of the River Dart. It’s best known for its rich naval heritage, links to the famous crime novelist Agatha Christie and the annual Royal Regatta held in August.
The town hinges around a small harbour. From here you can dive into the meandering streets to discover a selection of shops, pubs and interesting places to eat. A gentle stroll along the riverside will take you to Dartmouth Castle. Owned by English Heritage this beautiful fortress guards the entrance to Dartmouth from the Dart Estuary and boasts stunning views of the estuary and out to sea.
Dartmouth is also home to the Britannia Naval College. Perched high on the hill overlooking the town, this imposing building has been the training ground of many recent monarchs and princes including heir to the throne Prince William.
And if the kids get bored (which is unlikely), you could always head off to Woodlands Family Theme Park!
If you and your family enjoy beaches, history and quaint towns, South Devon has stacks to offer. So be sure to plan a visit to at least one of these must-see destinations during your stay at Welcome Family Holiday Park.