About this book
This new second edition of South Devon and Dartmoor is part of Bradt’s distinctive ‘Slow travel’ series of guides to UK regions, offering in-depth exploration of one of England’s most popular areas. Written by resident experts Hilary Bradt and Janice Booth, it is the essential companion guide to discovering not just the obvious and most popular sites, but also for getting off the beaten track and understanding what makes this gorgeous part of the country tick.
Much of the information in Bradt’s South Devon and Dartmoor has appeared in no other guidebook (apart from the first edition of this book) as the authors uncover the lesser-known charms of the region as well as different aspects of the more popular places, together with colourful characters from the past, folk history, and literary links from Agatha Christie to Conan Doyle. The guide has a special emphasis on car-free travel: walking, cycling and river boats, as well as local buses and trains. Local food is covered, while accommodation and places to eat and drink have been hand-selected by the authors, from idyllically located campsites to stylish boutique B&Bs, with additional advice from a Devon-based tour operator who has personally tested many restaurants and hotels.
Colourful and witty writing, along with the authors’ enthusiasm for their subject, makes the guide a pleasure to read. With Bradt’s South Devon and Dartmoor discover the region’s award-winning gin distillery and new whisky distillery; learn what really goes on at a wassail gathering; find out what you should do if you're harassed by pixies on Dartmoor; and discover unique local events like the annual Orange Race held in Totnes. Also included are selected walking routes with maps, and entertaining and informative stories about historical characters and folklore, while small and historic little village churches, with their idiosyncratic saints and intriguing carvings, are described in loving detail. Wet weather activities are also suggested for each area.
About the author
Hilary Bradt co-founded Bradt Travel Guides in 1974, but now lives in semi-retirement in Seaton, East Devon. After 40 years of writing guidebooks to Africa and South America, she has embraced her chosen home to the extent of insisting that such a large, varied and beautiful county deserved three Slow guides, not just one. A keen walker, she has covered many miles of the South West Coast Path and inland footpaths, as well as enjoying Dartmoor on someone else’s legs – those of a horse. Most Saturdays see her taking part in one of Devon’s Parkruns (5k, but she’s appropriately slow) and during the summer a swim in the sea, just a few minutes away, is always a pleasure. She is a productive member of the South West Sculptors’ Association and lectures regularly on travel-related topics at libraries and literary festivals, both in Devon and further afield.
Janice Booth considers Devon her 'home county' and settled here in 2001, after many decades in various other parts of Britain. As a wartime toddler she lived briefly in Colyton (East Devon), where her mother took her 'to the seaside' at Seaton via a branch of the old Southern Railway that ran where the Seaton Tramway now rattles to and fro. On family holidays she tasted her first clotted cream in Sidmouth aged eight, rode on the Burgh Island tractor aged ten, and rock-hopped along the shore near Wembury in her early teens. She's fascinated by Devon folklore, has co-written (with Hilary) Bradt's Slow Guide to East Devon & the Jurassic Coast, and – further afield – is co-author of the Bradt's Rwanda. She lives within sound of the sea in Seaton, where she runs two poetry-reading groups and enjoys exploring the area on local buses.
GOING SLOW IN SOUTH DEVON & DARTMOOR
A taste of South Devon & Dartmoor, Getting there & around, Some favourite visits, Books & media, How to use this book
1 THE EXE & TEIGN ESTUARIES
Getting there & around, Essential Exeter, The Exe Estuary, Dawlish Warren & Dawlish, The Teign Valley, South of the Teign
2 THE ENGLISH RIVIERA: TORBAY
Getting there & around, North of Torbay, Torquay & around, Paignton to Brixham, Brixham
3 TOTNES & THE RIVER DART
Getting there & around, Totnes, Dartington & around, The middle & lower River Dart, Riverside villages, Dartmouth & around, Kingswear & the coast toward Brixham
4 THE SOUTH HAMS & DEVON’S FAR SOUTH
Getting there & around, The Slapton area, Approaching the South Hams from Dartmoor, Devon’s far south, The southern beaches, River Avon, Bigbury-on-Sea & Burgh Island, Ayrmer Cove, Westcombe Beach & Ringmore, Modbury & area
5 PLYMOUTH, THE TAMAR VALLEY & SOUTHERN DARTMOOR
Getting there & around, Plymouth, South & southeast of Plymouth, The Yealm Estuary, The Tamar Valley, East of the Tavy, Southern Dartmoor
6 THE EASTERN FRINGE OF DARTMOOR
Getting there & around, The northern Teign Valley, Newton Abbot & area, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh & area
7 THE NORTHWESTERN FRINGE OF DARTMOOR
Getting there & around, The Beacon Villages, Okehampton & around, Lydford & around
8 D ARTMOOR NATIONAL PARK
Dartmoor: the hand of man, Dartmoor tin & the stannary towns, Getting there & around, Chagford, Castle Drogo & the north, The east, Bovey Tracey, The high moor, Southwest Dartmoor, The western moor, Off the B3357
'Eye-opening and wonderful' India Knight, The Sunday Times Magazine
'Packed full of knowledge of the area.' Tavistock Times Gazette
'Bradt Guides really get to the heart of slow travel.' Devon Life