About The Area
The South Hams is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with good reason. As well as miles of spectacular coastline there are dozens of lovely villages and towns, of which Slapton is a fine example. The 14th Century church and tower, thatched cottages and winding lanes are all you would expect of a quintessential English village. It takes five minutes to walk to the village centre from Highclere, where you will find two very good and lively pubs serving excellent food.
Just one mile away is Slapton Sands, a pebble beach forming part of the sweep of Start Bay. Lying just behind is Slapton Ley, the largest natural lake in south-west England and home an astonishing array of wildlife. The renowned Field Centre organises discovery trails or you can follow the beautifully designed and annotated boardwalk.
There is a great deal to do; here are some highlights.
As well as Slapton Sands there are numerous sandy beaches, from the unspoilt Great Mattiscombe Sands, Lannacombe Bay and Bantham to Blackpool Sands, East Portlemouth and Bigbury complete with water sports, cafes, and showers. From Bigbury you can cross to Burgh Island on foot or by sea tractor. All are within an easy drive.
The South West Coastal Path
The South West Coastal Path offers excellent walking all along this section of the coast. Start Bay lighthouse runs tours offering a visit to its famous light and stories of shipwrecks and rescues.
This well known naval and yachting town has river cruises, a castle, numerous shops, boutiques and art galleries. Agatha Christie’s house Greenway is just across the River Dart. There is plenty going on – The Dartmouth Music Festival in May, Regatta in August and Food Festival in
Sailing, walking and interesting shops plus gentle waves on the beaches for small children.
Theme and activity parks
There are plentiful, from Woodlands Family Theme Park just 6 miles away in Blackawton to the Splashdown Waterpark and the Zoo in Paignton. Get there by steam train from Kingswear, across the river from Dartmouth.
All kinds of sports are catered for, with sailing, diving, surfing, golf, riding and fishing facilities. A comprehensive file of local attractions is kept at the house.