South Hams Tour
Explore the rural beauty of South Hams, country lanes, pretty villages, sea, sand, lakes and old towns full of surprises
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Turn right out of Wrangaton business park then next right on to A3121. Take junction for B3196 to Loddiswell. (Watch out for the left turn junction at California Cross
signposted Loddiswell). Go past the South Devon Chilli Farm where everything chilli can be found, including chilli chocolate! From Loddiswell head for Kingsbridge.
The town takes its name from an ancient bridge built to link two royal estates – Alvington and Chillington, and by 1219 was a market town. Steep Fore Street, lined
with speciality shops, rises up from the Quay. Towards the top of Fore Street is a 15th century church with its odd-shaped 19th century clock tower.
Head out of Kingsbridge onto the A379 for West Charleton, heading towards Torcross. As part of the preparations for the D-Day landings in 1944, American troops used Slapton Sands for manoeuvres due to their similarity to the Normandy beaches. Tragically, while training, a convoy was attacked by German torpedo boats with the loss of nearly 1000 lives. An American Sherman tank in the car park at Torcross is a memorial to this event. The tank was remarkably salvaged from 65 feet of water in 1984. Follow the A379 with Slapton Sands (an uncommercialised 2 mile long shingle ridge) on one side and Slapton Ley (a freshwater lake, famous for wildfowl) on the other side of the road.Just North of Slapton is the unspoiled sandy cove of Blackpool Sands, rated as one of the best beaches in the South Hams.
Head for Stoke Flemming and on to Darmouth. The ancient town and deep-water port of Dartmouth enjoys an unrivalled setting at the mouth of the River Dart, with steep green hills either side and a busy, colourful estuary. Dartmouth was an important port since medieval times. The famous Royal Britannia Naval College rises high above the river, whilst at the mouth of the river is Dartmouth Castle.Park alongside the promenade and explore winding Elizabethan streets with independent shops, art galleries and a bustling market. Enjoy gourmet restaurants, bistros, bars and cosy cafes.
Leave Dartmouth refreshed and head towards Totnes on the A3122. The ancient picturesque town of Totnes set high on a hill above the River Dart is one of South Devon's gems. A Norman castle, 15th century church tower and 16th century High Street are some of the main attractions. This is the perfect place to have afternoon tea with an abundance of independant cafes and shops going up the Fore Street and into the Narrows. A lively local market is held every Friday and Saturday, along with the Elizabethan market on Tuesday in the summer.
When you leave Totnes take the Plymouth road for Avonwick (not the A385). Join the A38 at Avonwick just past the Turtley Cornmill and leave at the next junction. Turn right and then left and back to Wrangaton.
If you need to fill up with petrol then turn right and go back on to the A38, there is a petrol station on the next slip road. Fill up there and then take the slip road turn right under the A38 and back up the other side onto the A38 then leave at the next junction as before.