The South Hams

Property Finder and Buying Agent - Nigel Bishop

The South Hams



As people race down the A38 beyond the M5 and head towards Cornwall or maybe to the ferry terminal heading to France and Spain, you touch the southern tip of the rugged and majestic hills of Dartmoor. Yet turn left off the A38, meandering through the Dart Valley - the steam train whistling its approach  - and you enter some of Devon’s most picturesque countryside - The South Hams. I have found that most people who are looking to relocate to the South West from their hectic lifestyles, choose this affluent area for it’s tranquillity and lifestyle. It conjures what many  believe to be the vision of Devon –a  tapestry of brightly coloured fields , bustling towns with independent shops selling an eclectic  mix of locally made goods, all eventually tumbling down to sandy beaches, sailing estuaries and the sea glistening in the sunshine.

 There is an equally eclectic choice of property, whether a permanent home or for many choosing this wonderful area for a second home, be it country or waterside. The rural unspoilt villages, the buzz of the market towns like Totnes and Modbury vie with the waterside towns of Kingsbridge, Kingswear, Dartmouth and Salcombe –each with their own character and appeal, yet all successfully manage the mix of retaining a strong community with the influx of tourism-  the perfect place to live just for two weeks or forever..

Two miles from Totnes, with its mainline station, is the famous Dartington arts centre, host amongst other things to an annual Literary Festival, a Rudolf Steiner School here also attracts the creative influence. Here The Old Vicarage can be bought through Knight Frank (01392 432111), enjoying direct access to the Totnes cycle path through its own woodland. If you prefer something smaller then High House in Diptford, reputedly the oldest house in the village, is offered through Stags Totnes office (01803 865454).

Leaving Totnes and heading to Dartmouth, Luscombe Maye in Kingsbridge (01548 857474) are selling Blackberry Barn at Halwell –perfect for the pony mad family, having 6 acres and stabling. Then the choice of waterside homes in Dartmouth - many enjoying stunning views for those fit enough to climb the steep streets from where you get an unrivalled view of the firework display on the last night of the Regatta. If all that is too hectic and you still want the waterside then the twin villages of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo on the River Erme are idyllic -  perfect sailing, excellent pubs and the South West Coast Path. Here there are three new cottages being built with waterside gardens, a running mooring and garages (essential for the sailing kit!) Details from Charlie Smith of LREA on 020 3327 2750) –the perfect downtime retreats.

So soak up the sunshine, the peace, the bustling market and waterside towns, the sandy beaches, perfect sailing waters , the magical Burgh Island and it’s famous Art Deco hotel accessed only by tractor at high tide and feel the history .Wander through the single track lanes deep between Devon banks with wild flowers –whatever your choice it is hard to imagine a more idyllic environment in which to live –so” it’s all about coming home”.










James Nightingall