Having taken rather a long hiatus from blogging due to dreary marketing assignments, I finally have some spare time to write again, yippee! I thought I would kick off with my most recent holiday to Dittisham, a delightful village by the River Dart in South Devon. I used to come here with my family for years, but having decided to visit some other parts of the country, it’s been at least ten years since we were last here. One of the main things I love so much about this place is that it’s barely changed – in a good way. It remains unspoilt, peaceful and just beautiful, as I hope some of my photos below will convey. We rented Dower House for eight of us (six adults, two children) which worked out really well. There are lots of holiday cottage rental websites, but Toad Hall Cottages is a really good website and they have properties all over South West England. This was the view from our bedroom window, which was just beautiful.
Day 1, Friday – Arriving mid-afternoon, after exploring the house we wandered off to explore the village, stopping at the quay to take in the peace and quiet (and a spot of crabbing!). Followed by dinner in the popular Ferry Boat Inn (or FBI as it’s locally known).
Day 2, Saturday – We spent quite a chilled day walking along the river to Mill Creek and up through the verdant hills.
Concluding the lovely sunny day with an amazing meal at The Seahorse restaurant in Dartmouth, specialising in seafood and fish. I had a huge delicious langoustine to start, followed by roasted Hake fillet with romesco sauce, courgette fritti and florence fennel gratin – yum! The wine list was pretty impressive; we were recommended a red wine that went really well with our fish dishes.
Day 3, Sunday – We were incredibly lucky with the sunny weather all week, but Sunday (9th April) in particular was a beautiful day – t-shirt and shorts weather! We took the opportunity to visit Greenway, the former holiday home of famous English crime novelist Agatha Christie (now looked after by the National Trust) and just a short boat ride across the river. It’s an absolutely beautiful house with breathtaking views of the River Dart, and gives an interesting insight into Agatha Christie’s life and novels. Apparently she spent just 6-8 weeks of the year here – I would be tempted to live there all year round!
Day 4, Monday – Luke and I took the opportunity to walk into the lovely seaside town of Dartmouth – a not-too-far walk of approx. 4 miles, but over very hilly terrain so we definitely worked up an appetite! Winding our way over luscious green hills full of little lambs and through shaded woodland.
We met up with the family for lunch in the Cherub Inn, a very cute old pub with good food, in the oldest building in Dartmouth. We then meandered through the streets, taking in the lovely views (and devouring an ice cream or two!).
Day 5, Tuesday – A lovely day spent at Slapton Sands, about 20 minutes’ drive from Dittisham. A beautiful long stretch of pebbly beach, which was surprisingly quiet. We enjoyed an hour or two just exploring the beach and then walking up the beach to see the Sherman Tank at Torcross, a memorial to the ill-fated ‘Operation Tiger‘ (28 April, 1944). Eight Landing Ship Tanks full of American servicemen and military equipment were making their way towards Slapton Sands for a D-Day rehearsal when four German E-boats intercepted the convoy. Approx. 639 American soldiers and sailors died, and when the news reached the Allied commanders they were very worried that so many men had lost their lives, and that the news might reach the Germans and reveal their plans for the D-Day landings. The survivors were ordered not to speak about the incident, and many didn’t speak about it until 50 years later.
After seeing this interesting and moving memorial, we had lunch at the very cute Boathouse Café which did really good food, including delicious pizzas.
We rounded off the day with dinner at the Maltsters’ Arms, a lovely riverside pub in nearby Tuckenhay, specialising in delicious fish. It’s a local hotspot, particularly for sailors who can moor their boats there. I just loved this pub, particularly the view of the river, and in summer I imagine it’s buzzing with people sitting on the outside terrace and enjoying the warm summer evenings.
Day 6, Wednesday – Another lovely walk, this time along the river to the aforementioned village of Tuckenhay, stopping off to play on the rope swing and admire the views as we swung over the river.
We walked through farmland and along to another lovely pub, the Waterman’s Arms in Ashprington, which has to be one of the loveliest spots for a pub.
We spent the rest of the afternoon meandering through the lovely Sharpham Vineyard.
Obviously followed by a tasting of their lovely wine! They had a good selection of white, sparkling and red wines to choose from, as well as their own cheese.
Day 7, Thursday – Our last full day in Dittisham (*sob*) which began with a delightful walk to Dartmouth again, this time through ‘Little Dartmouth’, drinking in the coastal views; and over to Dartmouth Castle, which guarded the narrow entrance to the Dart estuary for over 600 years. We had lunch at their cosy little tearoom.
Day 8, Friday – Our departure day, where I will end this blog post. I will leave you with another view from our bedroom window, which is just the image of serenity. I can’t wait to go back again to one of my favourite places in the world.