In August, we stayed at our favourite cottage in Shaldon with our extended family. South Devon at this time of year has a carnival atmosphere. On the road south, we stopped at the Old Station in the beautiful Wye valley for tea and cakes. This allowed us and the grandchildren to stretch our legs.
Shaldon is an unspoilt village over the bridge from Teignmouth. There are several places to eat in the village, the Shipwright Arms was very good, but we found that the Ness this year was more expensive and the service was poor. For further eating places, we took the ferry from Shaldon beach to Teignmouth back beach.
Being into steam trains we went to Dawlish to see them roaring down the track. Then on another day we took a ride on one from Paignton to Kingswear. This price included the chain ferry to Dartmouth a lovely picturesque town with winding Elizabethan streets.
South Devon is great for public transport and we visited several different places using our bus passes. One such place was Torquay where we walked up the cliff path for magnificent views of the bay. We also went to Totnes, which is a great place for arty crafty shops and people watching. Exeter is a beautiful old city and we love to relax at the historic quayside before travelling on to Topsham a sleepy place with lovely gift shops.
This year we took a trip to Castle Drogo a National Trust property. it is undergoing a massive renovation project, which was interesting, but I advise you to leave it a year or two before visiting. The views and gardens are magnificent though. If you are staying in the area the best NT places are A La Ronde and Greenway – the home of Agatha Christie.
The best way to trvel to Exmouth is via the Starcross Ferry. It was a bit rainy the day we visited, so we popped into the museum, which was a little gem staffed by enthusiastic volunteers.
We also went to Brixham a bustling little fishing town, where the local fishermen really struggle to make a living due to the quotas. (We found out this is nothing to do with the EU, but simply the unfair advantage that the major fishing companies have in selling to supermarkets) Back in Teignmouth the younger members of our family had a great time on a small boat catching fish and bringing them back to the cottage to cook.
Yes, Shaldon does not disappoint. There is nothing better than sitting with a pint watching the sun set over the estuary.