Blackpool Sands

Blackpool Sands beach is frequently cited as the best beach in Devon, and with good reason. In addition to its sheltered south coast location it has a certain Mediterranean feel to it. This could be down to the crystal clear water, crescent of golden sand or the pine trees which cling to the hillside behind, but given a sunny summer’s day and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d landed in a different country!

As a frequent recipient of the much coveted Blue Flag Award, you can be sure of the full range of facilities at Blackpool Sands. You will find toilets, disabled facilities, showers and the beachside Venus Beach Café, all of which are privately owned and managed.

This is a great family beach too. Safety is assured by the seasonal lifeguard service, whilst younger kids will enjoy the supervised sandpits. For those demanding a bit more than just soaking up the sun and taking int he view there are plenty of watersports on offer. The snorkelling is good and equipment can be hired along with surf skis and kayaks.

Of course nowhere is absolutely perfect and if we were to have one gripe about Blackpool Sands it would be the very sand itself; it is a little on the coarse sand.

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Tucked away in a deep wooded valley, Berry Pomeroy Castle is the perfect romantic ruin with a colourful history of intrigue.

Within the 15th-century defences of the Pomeroy family castle, looms the dramatic ruined shell of its successor, the great Elizabethan mansion of the Seymours. Begun in around 1560 and ambitiously enlarged from around 1600, their mansion was intended to become the most spectacular house in Devon, a match for Longleat and Audley End. Never completed, and abandoned by 1700, it became the focus of blood-curdling ghost stories, recounted in the audio tour.

The location of the castle makes it ideal for walkers who can explore the nearby beautiful woodland or you can enjoy a light lunch, home made cake or restorative cup of tea in the cafe. Within a short drive are Totnes Castle and Dartmouth Castle, making it an ideal day out for families.

The Castle Café (not managed by English Heritage) is open daily 10am – 5pm from June-October, then Sat-Sun from Nov-March. Enquiries: 01803 849473.

Don’t Miss

  • Audio tour that brings the castle to life
  • Stories of ghostly happenings
  • Beautiful grounds and woodland views