The South HAms, Devon, UK

Kingston Travel Blog

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Salcombe Harbour

Deciding to have a weekend away the good lady wife and I booked a couple of nights in The Dolphin Inn.

On route we stopped off at Salcombe, Outer Hope and Burgh Island. Salcombe is a small town with a collection of about 4 pubs and a few shops and working harbour. We just had a quick walk round, looked in a couple of shops and had a quick drink at a pub with a great view of the river. Salcombe is pretty enough but not somewhere we would rush back to.

So we drove a couple of miles along the coast to Hope Cove and had a short walk to Bolt Tail to take in the rugged coastline and views along to Bigbury-on-Sea and Burgh Island. Hope Cove is a quaint little coastal village typical of the South Hams with a few thatched cottages and other holiday homes.

Hope Cove
The beach there is small but I’d imagine doesn’t fill up too much during season and the sand was golden. We had a drink at the Hope & Anchor pub, which was a pretty good pub with a log fire and served a couple of local ales.

Stopping off at The Royal Oak in Bigbury for quick one we went to Burgh Island. Disappointed that the tide was out so we couldn’t rid the sea tractor we walk the fine sands to The Pilchard Inn. This 12th century smugglers inn is very atmospheric with open fire and very olde worlde with sparse decoration and stone floors. It served it’s own Pilchard Ale which was a decent drop but I fear it may be being gentrified too much by it’s association with the posh hotel on the island. Let’s hope they keep it as just a bar and not an extension of the hotels restaurant.

Next stop was the pub we were staying in, The Dolphin Inn at Kingston. Kingston is a small village just inland.

Erme Estuary
The Dolphin was a very cosy pub with two real fires. It served 2 real ales, the local Springtide and Sharps Doom Bar. Both were well kept and went down very well. The room we had was small, but the bed comfortable and clean with a decent en-suite and was reasonably priced. The food served at The Dolphin was superb and highly recommended. Mine host was very friendly and couldn’t do enough for you.

The morning after we were up reasonably early and after a good breakfast went for a circular walk, down from Kingston to the Erme estuary through some woods and then along some stunning coastal views from dramatic cliffs. As the landlord of the Dolphin warned us there was a couple of “stiff ones” to climb and after about 2 hours walking we got to the welcoming Journeys End pub at Ringmore. This was a great pub with loads of 40’s and 50’s memorabilia on the walls and a selection of 3 real ales. The American landlord recommended the Piddle ale that was OK.  Ringmore is a beautiful little village nestled in a small valley about a mile in land from the coast with loads of thatched cottages with lovely gardens.

Cliff Views, Burgh Island in the background

After a nourishing and tasty meal we set off for the Old Chapel Inn at St Anne’s Chapel. The Inn was much closer than expected but the wife was flagging a bit so we entered for a quick pint. The pub has a very interesting history as a former monastery and the pub has a lot of reminders of its former use. Again decent ale and a friendly landlady, we would have stayed longer but they were shutting up for the afternoon so we wandered back to The Dolphin Inn, which only took about half an hour along the lanes. After a quick nap we spent a very pleasant evening lazing by the open fire with a few pints.

Although The South Hams is obviously beautiful all year round we love visiting South Devon at this time of year because although the weather can be on the chilly and wet side it feels as though you virtually have the place to yourself. The locals seem more laid back and friendlier and the pubs are quieter and more cosy.

Journeys End Inn
All the pubs we visited had good local real ale and usually a reasonable selection. Another advantage of going this time of year is you aren’t stuck in insufferable traffic queues to get there. Don’t tell to many though as it would spoil it for us!!

 

For further information on the walk check out :

 

http://www.southdevonaonb.org.uk/sitedetails.asp?PageId=32&SiteId=878

 

Also the website for The Dolphin Inn is

 

http://www.dolphin-inn.co.uk/

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Salcombe Harbour
Salcombe Harbour
Hope Cove
Hope Cove
Erme Estuary
Erme Estuary
Cliff Views, Burgh Island in the b…
Cliff Views, Burgh Island in the …
Journeys End Inn
Journeys End Inn
Salcombe
Salcombe
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photo by: spanishrosie