Big Barn is nestled in the heart of the South Hams in Devon, an area recognised as ‘An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ (AONB). Surrounded by stunning countryside and just a stone’s throw from the coast, there is plenty to see and do for all ages.
Kingsbridge is a traditional market town, sitting on the Kingsbridge Estuary and surrounded by rolling countryside. It is still very popular with local residents, retaining it’s rustic Devon charm and friendly atmosphere. Being the closest town to Big Barn it’s a great place to pick up supplies as well as having a number of good restaurants andtake aways.
Dartmouth is situated on the Mouth of the River Dart, as well as being home to the Brittania Royal Naval College, Dartmouth is a sailor’s paradise and a perfect place to relax, eat and shop. With cobbled streets housing charming art galleries, boutiques and fabulous restaurants there will be plenty to keep everyone happy. There is an excellent farmers market on the second Saturday of every month, a great opportunity to pick up local produce. Dartmouth also plays host to a number of festivals throughout the year including Dartmouth Regatta, Dartmouth Music Festival and Dartmouth Food Festival.
Totnes is another traditional market town renowned for its bohemian, quirky charm, with a weekly market and plenty of independent shops to browse. Good for riverside cafés, vintage teashops and art galleries including the Bowie Gallery and China Blue ceramic centre, an ideal place to take children on a rainy day. Totnes is the nearest train station to Big Barn with direct links to London Paddington and Exeter.
Salcombe is historically a shipbuilding and sailing port, although today this has changed quite substantially there is still evidence of the town’s past along the extensive waterfront and harbour. Today Salcombe is a very popular tourist destination particularly amongst the sailing community. Salcombe is famed for its beautiful location and Mediterranean feel, there are some excellent restaurants and plenty of things to do for all age groups including, crabbing on the waterfront, visiting the beaches or if you’re feeling brave it’s a great place to charter a boat and take a trip out to sea to catch some Mackerel. Home to Salcombe Dairy Ice Cream and perfect for luxury boutique shops.
TRIED AND TRUSTED FOR FOODIES
You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to fabulous places to eat and drink in the area. We recommend booking for all of the below to avoid disappointment.
THE NORMANDY ARMS (BLACKAWTON)
Just over a mile from Big Barn, the Normandy Arms is a fantastic local pub with an excellent chef.
THE FORTESCUE ARMS (EAST ALLINGTON)
Another local pub, The Fortescue Arms offers good pub food, beers and a friendly atmosphere.
THE MALTSTERS ARMS (TUCKENHAY)
A lively riverside pub situated on an idyllic spot on Bow Creek. Fabulous pub food, serving quay side barbeques in the summer. All locally sourced, imaginative food.
THE MILBROOK INN (SOUTH POOL)
On the South Pool Creek, The Milbrook Inn is great for summer barbeques and Sunday lunches. Serving locally sourced food, local real ales and live music.
THE SEAHORSE RESTAURANT (DARTMOUTH)
Owned by Mitch Tonks, The Seahorse offers delicious locally sourced fresh fish and an extensive wine list.
THE ROCKFISH (DARTMOUTH)
Also owned by Mitch Tonks is the RockFish, excellent fish and chips to have in the restaurant or to take away.
BEACHHOUSE (SOUTH MILTON SANDS)
A truly beautiful location overlooking South Milton Sands and Thurlestone Rock, serving excellent sea food and wine! One of our firm favourites!
THE VINEYARD CAFE SHARPHAM (ASHPRINGTON)
Stunning location, vineyard and cheese tours, vineyard café, perfect for al fresco eating and drinking. Locally sourced food and estate produced wine and cheese. (Opening is weather dependant, we recommend phoning in advance).
THE ANCHORSTONE (DITTISHAM)
Very popular, a wonderful expanded wooden hut with a raised terrace overlooking the water! Excellent Lobster, burgers and moules-frites. Heaven on a hot sunny day. Also offering the Ancherstone Picnic Boat, a chance to cruise along the River Dart whilst relaxing and enjoying local food with family and friends.
CAFE ALF RESCO (DARTMOUTH)
Perfect for late lazy breakfasts, often accompanied by a great guitarist and of course, eating al fresco!
THE OYSTER SHACK (BIGBURY)
Highly recommended, freshly caught fish. All simply cooked and delicious.
RUMOURS RESTAURANT (TOTNES)
Laid back, buzzy, wine bar/ restaurant serving great food, interesting beers and all very reasonably priced. Located on the high street in the centre of Totnes.
THE TREBY ARMS (SPARKWELL)
A little further a field but well worth a visit for a special meal. The Treby Arms is run by Masterchef 2012 winner Anton Piotrowski.
RIVERFORD FIELD KITCHEN (BUCKFASTLEIGH)
Award winning, locally sourced food. Serving seasonal dishes throughout the year. You can take a guided tour around the farm to see what they grow. The tours come complete with tractor trailer rides which the kids will love!
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST
With the beautiful South Devon coastline on your doorstep there is plenty to see and do. The area offers a wealth, of safe, clean beaches perfect for swimming, surfing, wind surfing, water skiing, sailing, canoeing and fishing.
Blackpool Sands has been voted the UK’s best family beach by Conde Nast Traveller readers, just over 5 miles from Big Barn it is a fabulous place to take children. With the award winning Venus Café on the beach (which is also open in the evening) and plenty of other facilities.
Slapton Sands is only 4 miles from Big Barn. It is a long stretch of pebbled beach, great for fishing and watersports. Slapton is near the village of Torcross, where you will find shops, pubs and traditional Devon cream teas.
South Milton Sands and Thurlestone Sands are perfect for rock pooling, safe for small children and renowned for wind surfing. There is great food available at the Beach House café, overlooking the beach.
Bantham and Bigbury are great for surfing and kite surfing. Be careful with smaller children here as the waves can be quite strong. Bantham is also home to The Sloop Inn and the Bantham Coffee shop.
Salcombe has several safe and sandy beaches, Salcombe is perfecr for sailing, crabbing, mackerel fishing, eating out and shopping.
Hope Cove has two lovely beaches. On the August bank holiday they hold the annual Hope Cove Weekend, a host of fun family activities, with live music, sandcastle competitions and much more.
Dittisham is great for sailing and boat hire. There is also a lively local pub, the Ferry Boat Inn, perfect to sit on the pontoon with a drink. If you don’t fancy pub grub there is the Ancherstone Café and picnic boat, which both serve exceptional food, the perfect venue to relax and enjoy a lazy afternoon on the Dartmouth Estuary.
There are some sensational coastal walks in the area, our favourite is the walk along the South West Coast path from East Prawle to Salcombe. It is testing, but very rewarding. The walk is approximately 6 miles long and takes about three hours to complete. There is also a wonderful put in East Prawle (The Pig’s Nose) for a quick drink before you start! For more information about Coastal Walks in the area, this website has an extensive list of excellent walks, click here.
There is also Dartmoor National Park within half an hour’s drive of Big Barn. Where there are some beautiful walks if you’re feeling energetic.
If you just need a breath of fresh air to blow out the cobwebs (clear a heavy head!) there are some lovely walks around the farm that Caroline would be happy to recommend.
As well as the fabulous beaches and restaurants there are plenty of other leisure activities the South Hams has to offer including: PAIGNTON ZOO, WOODLANDS ADVENTURE PARK, PENNYWELL FARM PARK, NATIONAL TRUST HOUSES, DART MARINA SPA, DARTMOUTH GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB, CHINA BLUE, DART ADVENTURES.