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The region of South Devon, also known as The South Hams is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty located in and around the south-west coast of Devon. It stretches along the coast from Plymouth across to Dartmouth and inland to touch the southern edge of Dartmoor to the North. Its self-proclaimed capital is the historic town of Totnes, which even has its own currency. The coastline around Dartmouth, Kingsbridge and Salcombe offer some of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK. South Devon is also very popular with the sailing fraternity with lovely safe, picturesque harbours and tidal inlets, such as at Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo (good news for those bringing their yachts on holiday).
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South Devon is dotted with beautiful towns and villages, probably the most famous being Dartmouth, home of the Royal Naval College. Here, many a holiday cottage or self-catering apartment offers superb waterside views across the wide river towards Kingswear. The Dart is packed with Marinas while ferries ply their trade carrying cars and foot passengers across to Kingswear, a terminus for the South Devon Railway. From the station restored Great Western steam locomotives haul visitors through the South Devon countryside to Paignton, from where it is often possible to get a pleasure boat back to Dartmouth.
The contrast in geography is most pronounced if you drive for an hour from the coast at Kingsbridge or Dartmouth. Here you will find yourself on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park. The region’s other heritage railway is the Dart Valley line, that chunters alongside the River Dart between Totnes and Buckfastleigh. Further down the coast is Burgh Island on which lists the hotel that features in at least one Agatha Christie novel. When the tide is in, reach it by ‘sea tractor’.