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Located between the village of Stoke Gabriel and the medieval town of Totnes, in glorious South Devon, Aish Cross Holiday Cottages are just a 5 minute drive from one of the country’s most beautiful rivers, the River Dart.
The River Dart valley is great place to spend a holiday appealing to families, couples, walkers, water enthusiasts and bird watchers alike. Just 1 mile away in Stoke Gabriel you can take a walk alongside the banks of the river, go crabbing or launch your own boat or canoe.
Just a 5 minute drive away is Paignton Zoo Environmental Park – one of the very best in England attaching a high importance on conservation of species and with over 2000 animals – and it takes the same time to reach the quaint Elizabethan market town of Totnes, with its many individual shops and cafes (to preserve its independence and identity , the town famously voted to ban the opening of a Costa Coffee Shop!).
A 15 minute drive further down the Dart towards Kingswear you can visit the National Trust gardens of Greenway House, Agatha Christie’s previous home. From here you can take the short passenger ferry across to the picturesque waterside village of Dittisham and enjoy a pint and meal at The Ferry Boat Inn. At Kingswear take the car ferry across to Dartmouth. Here you can sample some fabulous food, great shopping and take one of many different boat trips on offer.
Also a 15 minute drive away is Coleton Fishacre – another lovely National Trust property with beautiful gardens – previously the country home of the D’Oyly Carte family.
Away from the Dart there are some great beaches within an easy drive including the popular Torbay beaches. Beyond Brixham, just off the beaten track is Mansands which is more peaceful. In just under a hours’ drive you can get to the superb award winning blue flag rated Blackpool Sands and many other excellent beaches.
The wonderful mild climate of the River Dart valley means it is a great place to enjoy all year round, perfect if you enjoy walking, fishing, bird watching, eating & drinking, golf, horse-riding not forgetting canoeing, sailing and crabbing.
The River Shack – 01803 782520 www.therivershack.co.uk
Situated between the millpond and the village quay the River Shack is a great place for coffee, ice cream and to watch the children crabbing.
Church House Inn – 01803 782384 www.churchhouseinn.co.uk
A characterful beamed local set on a cobbled path by the Church which serves great beer and cider.
Emmas Bistro – 01803 782697
Excellent home cooked food. Fish ‘n’ Chip night Wednesday – eat in or takeaway
The Waterside Bistro – 01803 864069 www.watersidebistro.com
Casual eating and wine bar – the food is pretty good and great value.
The Royal Seven Stars -01803 862125 www.royalsevenstars.co.uk
Enjoy home cooked food in the saloon or eat in their restaurant TQ9 which offers a menu sourced from fresh, local ingredients, or their Brasserie.
Rumours Wine Bar – 01803 864682
Easy going and cosmopolitan – a bit alternative and unusual but excellent menu.
We like it and have had many fun evenings there.
Willow – 01803 862605
Popular vegetarian restaurant offering a great selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Steam Packet Inn – 01803 863880 www.steampacketinn.co.uk
Particularly nice for lunch on a sunny day – tables in the open by the river.
The Corbyn Head – Torquay 01803 213611 www.thecorbynhead.com
A delightful Sunday lunch
Bickley Mill Inn, Stoneycombe – www.bickleymill.co.uk
More of a restaurant, nice décor and an excellent wide range of menu.
The Linny – Kingskerswell 01803 873192 www.thelinny.co.uk
A warm welcome, tasty food and great choice of beers, wines and spirits
The White Hart, Dartington Hall – www.dartingtonhall.com
Set in the middle of the Dartington Estate, perfect for summer lunches and with its huge fireplace great for winter time too.
The Malsters Arms, Tuckenhay – www.tuckenhay.com
Situated on Bow Creek this waterside pub is in a stunning location. Great food and excellent spot to spend a summer lunch or try one of their regular evening BBQs
The Ship Inn – Noss Mayo -01752 872387 www.nossmayo.com
On the quayside, a lovely place to stop off following a walk along the coast. Watch the tide when you park your car!
The Weary Ploughman, Churston Ferrers – www.wearyploughman.co.uk
Quite a large family run pub & restaurant serving good food at moderate prices- recently refurbished – nice décor etc.
The New Inn, Moreleigh – 01548 821326
A really good place to enjoy steak and chips. A hidden gem, beer from the barrel a real local.
Manor Inn – Galmpton – 01803 661101 www.manorinngalmpton.co.uk
Excellent pub fare with plentiful portions
Coppa Dola Inn – Broadhempston -01803 812455 www.coppadolainn.co.uk
Local pub with good atmosphere, home of the 2 in 1 pie
Amici – Torquay -01803 201770 www.amicitorquay.co.uk
Deliciously fresh Italian fine dining
The Cricket Inn – Beesands –01548 580215 www.thecricketinn.com – Local sea food.
The Old Market House – Brixham – 01803 856891 – www.oldmarkethousebrixham.co.uk – Local Sea Food.
Le Bistrot Pierre – Torquay – 01803 221213 – lebistrotpierre.co.uk – French Cuisine
Finally for those very special meals (more expensive!)
The Seahorse, Dartmouth www.seahorserestaurant.co.uk
The Elephant , Torquay www.elephantrestaurant.co.uk
No 7 Restaurant , Torquay www.no7-fish.com
The Orestone Manor, Torquay www.orestone.co.uk
Orange Tree – Torquay – 01803 213936 www.orangetreerestaurant.co.uk
Quay West www.quaywest.co.uk
Open from May each year, this is a wet and wild water park set on Goodrington beach in Paignton. Great family fun.
Woodlands Leisure Park www.woodlandspark.com
60 acres of entertainment, 15 family rides + play zones designed for all ages. Watercoasters, Toboggan Run, Arctic Gliders & Bumper Boats and one of the biggest indoor venture zone around.
Pennywell Farm & Wildlife Centre www.pennywellfarm.co.uk
Multi award winning farm activity park with lots of outside and indoor things to do and animals to see.
China Blue www.china-blue.co.uk
Paint your own pottery in one of the largest studio’s in the South West, great for a rainy day.
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park www.paigntonzoo.org.uk
There’s is a whole animal kingdom waiting to be explored all packed into 80 acres of natural habitat.
Living Coasts, Torquay’s Coastal Zoo www.livingcoasts.org.uk
Come face to face with penguins, catch the seals in their underwater viewing area and watch the elegant sea birds.
Paignton and Dartmouth Steam
Jump aboard in Paignton, Goodrington beach or Kingswear and experience some stunning scenery along the Torbay Coastline.
South Devon Railway www.southdevonrailway.org
This train follows the River Dart for 7 miles between Totnes and Buckfastleigh. Paid parking by the mainline train station or Totnes leisure centre and take the 10 walk to the platform
Take one of their many pleasure cruises on the River Dart, the Dartmouth to Totnes trip is the most popular where you can make a round trip by taking a steam train and open topped double decker bus.
Agatha Christie’s house on the banks of the River Dart. The beautiful garden stretch down to the river where you will find Christie’s bathhouse.
Coleton Fishacre www.nationaltrust.org.uk
This 1920’s house is in the arts & crafts style. Gardens are a haven of dense woodland and filled with rhododendrons and a scattering of rare rainforest plants
Berry Pomeroy Castle www.english-heritage.org.uk
Former home of the Pomeroy and Seymour families, set in woodland and is rumoured to be one of the most haunted castles in Britain.
Totnes Castle www.english-heritage.org.uk
This castle has commanding views of Totnes and the River Dart. It is one of the best surviving examples of a Norman castle.
Compton Castle www.nationaltrust.org
A fairy tale castle which was used for the set of Sense and Sensibility (2005). It has a medley of fortified towers and battlements. Dartington Hall & Gardenswww.dartingtonhall.com The 1200-acre Dartington Hall estate is located in the heart of South Devon. This encompasses one of the finest gardens in the south west with many beautiful woodland and riverside walks.
Ashley’s Fishing Trips, Paignton Harbour www.mackerelfishing.co.uk
Mackerel fishing trips and deep sea fishing trips
The Vue – Cinema www.myvue.com/cinemas/cinema/torbay
Located on the seafront in Paignton with 9 screens including 3D screens.
The Barn Cinema, Dartington Estate www.dartington.org/barn-cinema
This is an independent cinema set in a converted 14c barn with a wide film range program including art house, world and mainstream.
Babeny Farm Stables www.babenystables.co.uk
Situated on Dartmoor near Poundsgate, stunning off road riding for experienced and beginner riders.
Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre – 01548 581049
Located a few miles away from Slapton Sands the centre offer lessons and hacks for novice to experienced riders. Hacking in quiet country lanes and tracks. Indoor and Outdoor schools.
Cheston Equestrian Centre – 01364 649461
Hacking on Dartmoor and indoor school suitable for all levels.
Riviera Centre, Torquay www.rivieracentre.co.uk
Great wave pool with a flume.
Shoalstone Outdoor Pool
A sea water pool with free entry situated near Berry Head in Brixham.
Churston Tennis Club 01803 844577
Torquay Tennis Lawn Club www.torquayltc.co.uk
3 indoor courts as well as floodlit outside grass & claytex courts.
Ski west water sports www.skiwest.co.uk
Water ski and jet ski hire.
South Devon Discovery Surf School www.discoverysurf.com
Offers all year round tuition in Bigbury on Sea
Canoe Adventures www.canoeadventures.co.uk
Guided tours on the river dart
Fine coastal headland course stretching along the cliffs towards Brixham.
Dainton Park www.daintonparkgolf.co.uk
Undulating parkland course with water features on 6 holes and 2 of the toughest opening holes in Devon.
Dogs are not allowed on the following beaches between 1 May and 30 September 2017:
However, dogs and their owners will still have access to the following beaches all year round:
Dogs must be kept on a lead on the promenades.
If in doubt always check the carparks and signs by the beach for any restrictions.
One of the few dog friendly beaches you can find in Devon, Thurlestone Beach is a National Trust beach located near Kingsbridge.
The area offer hilly, flat and of course, beach walks, which is also a fairly quiet spot, which is unusual for most beaches in Devon.
Parke, Bovey Tracey
Part of the National Trust, Parke features lovely walks around the grounds and woodlands of the grand country Parke House.
There are many different types of walks to choose from, you can go through the woodlands, are along the streams.
Dogs are welcome in the grounds of the house, but are asked to be kept on a lead where stock is grazing. There are also animals across the grounds.
And to end this eventful walk, you can enjoy the dog friendly pub the Cleave
River Avon Dam, Dartmoor
An excellent scenic walk, as to be expected from Dartmoor. Starting at Shipley Bridge you will walk alongside the river where your dog may choose to have a dip in, before making your way up to the dam. The walk may be slightly hilly, but it is pathed the whole way, making it accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Stover Country Park
You can find this country park just before you reach Newton Abbot, where you will discover the surrounding woodland.
The only restriction for dogs is that they cannot go into the lake.
Just a nice recreational walk – Newton Abbot
Local dog friendly Pubs/Cafes/Restaurants
Below is a list of some of the dog friendly eateries in our local area in order of distance – do feel free to ask us for recommendations
R = Restaurant
Stoke Gabriel – 1 mile approx
The Castle Inn P 01803 782201
The Church House Inn P 01803 782384
The River Shack C/R 01803 782520
Totnes – 3 miles approx
Waterside Bistro P/R 01803 864069 Outside with heaters not inside
The Steam Packet Inn P/R 01803 863880 In bar area, and outside only
The Royal Seven Stars P/R 01803 862125 All bars but not restaurants
Rumours Wine Bar P/R 01803 864682
Willow R 01803 862605
Littlehempston 4.7 miles approx
The Pig and Whistle Inn P/R 01803 863733
The Tally Ho P/R 01803 862316
Dartington – 5 miles approx
The Cott Inn P/R 01803 863777
The White Hart P/R 01803 847111 Outside only (Dartington Hall)
Paignton – 5 miles approx
East in the West R 01803 269875
TJs R 01803 527389 Terrace and by arrangement inside
The Boat House C/R 01803 665066
Ye Old Smokey House P/R 01803 557630 Bar area only
Marldon 5.1 miles approx
The Church House Inn P/R 01803 558279 Bar only, not restaurant
Ashprington 5.6 miles approx
The Durrant Arms P/R 01803 732240
The Watermans Arms P/R 01803 73214 Bar only, not restaurant
Brixham – 6.4 miles approx
Rockfish P/R 01803 850872
The Erne Lister Bar P/R 01803 855751
Staverton 6.5 miles approx
The Sea Trout P/R 01803 762274
Riverford Field Kitchen R 01803 762074 Must advise when booking
Broadhempson – 6.5 miles approx
The Coppa Dolla P/R 01803 812455
The Monks Retreat P/R 01803 812203
Harberton 6.6 miles approx
The Church House Inn P/R 01803 863707
Tuckenhay – 7 miles approx
The Malsters Arms P/R 01803 732350
Torquay – 8 miles approx
Angels Cafe C 01803 324477
Le Bistrot Pierre R 01803 221213 Bar area, prior notice required
Moreleigh 10 Miles approx
The New Inn P/R 01548 821326
Cornworthy 10.7 miles approx
The Hunters Inn P/R 01803 732204
Bigbury 20 miles approx
The Oyster Shack R 01548 810876