South Devon Summer Events & Highlights

Dittiscombe – your perfect base in South Devon

Dittiscombe Holiday Cottages is located mid-way between Kingsbridge and Dartmouth and is just a short drive from plenty of dog-friendly beaches, estuaries and the South West Coast Path.

You’ll find inspiration for things to do during your stay from the list of highlights and upcoming events below. Also we have a suggested 3 night itinerary on our Short Breaks page. You can visit the Tourist Information Centres in Kingsbridge and Dartmouth to get some local advice, or call at the Farmhouse and Ruth or Jon will be able to help you.

Recent guests have recommended . . .

We did the the Round Robin trip boat down the River Dart, then the steam train to Paignton then the bus to Totnes. Really fun also dog friendly. Harrison Family, May 2017

Start Point is very picturesque, we reveled in the history of Torcross and Slapton Sands. Salcombe is another gem to visit. Mr & Mrs Murdin, April 2017

Coleton Fishacre is wonderful. An art deco house and fantastic grounds. Dartmouth is well worth a visit and a trip on the ferry along the river is very worthwhile. Gilbert Family, April 2017

Dartmouth and Kingswear are a must. Beesands and Hallsands – a great walk ,also the lighthouse at Start Bay. East Portlemouth has Mill Bay and the ferry to Salcombe. Gara beach stunning. The walk around the Ley at Slapton. Mr & Mrs Brown, March 2017


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Slapton Ley

Wildlife & Nature

A new events list is now published by the Field Study Centre in Slapton, just two miles from Dittiscombe. Starting in April there is an exciting range of wildlife watching outings and safaris in and around the freshwater lagoon, woodlands and fields near the village. The South Devon Area of Outstanding Nature Beauty have a selection of events from early bird breakfast walks with a ranger to apple juice and cider tasting tours. Forest & Beach offer day packages for kids throughout the school holidays – activities include forest school, beach school, farm visits, agricultural education and bespoke visits. Located near Beesands beach. Beach Fun@South Milton Sands – a scavenger hunt and beach art, on Thursday 27th July. Meet at South Milton Sands SX677414.

Crabbing near Kingsbridge

Food & Drink

During your holiday you can buy local from our very own Kingsbridge Farmers’ Market which operates 1st & 3rd Saturdays every month in the Kingsbridge Town Square. The Venus Company is excited to announce the launch of their first ever Beach festival, Loving the Beach Fest, taking place at Blackpool Sands, Devon, on Saturday 8th July, opening from 8.30am until 11pm. Please note this beach is not open to dogs during the Summer months. From Sharpham Estate near Totnes explore one of the most scenic stretches of the River Dart by canoe, topped off with a gourmet riverside picnic opposite the Estate on 16th July. The Rockfish Crab Party with Mitch Tonks takes place in Dartmouth on 30th July between 12noon and 4pm. Renowned chef Angela Hartnett will be there hosting it with Mitch for the day.

Bowcombe bridge

Family Days Out

Start Point Lighthouse, about 6 miles from Dittiscombe is situated on one of the most exposed peninsulas on the English Coast. You can visit the lighthouse and enjoy a guided tour organised by Trinity HouseSouth Devon Railway is one of South Devon’s best loved tourist attractions and is the longest established steam railway in the South West. The Field Study Centre in Slapton (10 minutes from Dittiscombe) organises free wildlife safaris and pond dipping between April and September. Sheepdog trials return to Pennywell Farm: A full day event, all included in the admission price on 2nd August. Join a fully trained BSAC instructor for a snorkel taster session aimed at beginners at Wembury Marine Centre near Plymouth. You’ll practice basic snorkelling techniques followed by a short paddle around Wembury Bay. Full kit will be provided on 5 August.

Paddleboarding in Kingsbridge

Outdoors & Sports

The River Dart and the River Avon are both unspoilt waterways and a great place to slow down and experience the natural world on the water. Using safe two-man canoes Singing Paddles paddle throughout the year at various venues with 2 hour sessions or more of tours of local estuaries: 22nd April Tea and Cake Tour, suitable for beginners or Canoe Bat Sarfari, booking essential call 01752 346585. Dogs are welcome on these trips and go free. Stand Up Paddle boarding is also a gentle way of moving along the rivers and estuaries in this area – book a session either with Waterborn, situated on the Kingsbridge estuary next to the Crabshell Inn, or Discovery Surf School at Bigbury-on-sea, TQ7 4AZ. Dartmouth Sailing week during the Dartmouth Regatta will begin with dinghy racing from 19th – 22nd August on the River Dart. A free monthly 10k trail run along the rugged South West Coast Path and through Coleton Fishacre garden. Free, fun, informal,  for everyone, organised by the National Trust on 25 June, 23 July and 27 August.

Music, Culture & Crafts

The railway returns to the 1940s at a South Devon Railway event during the weekend of 1/2 July with military vehicles, live period music, displays and a licensed bar. Turn up in uniform or civilian clothing and don’t forget your ration book! Start at the Station at Buckfastleigh near Totnes. The Devon Guild of Craftsmens Summer exhibition of selected pieces by the Guild features a diverse range of contemporary crafts from across the South West on 22nd July in Fore Street, Bovey Tracey. Local talented artists are exhibited at both Harbour House in Kingsbridge and Avon Mill Garden Centre near Loddiswell. You’ll find a range of events, exhibitions and film screenings at Dartington Hall near Totnes as well as the renowned Ways With Words, the region’s biggest literary festival which takes place in this beautiful location from 7 – 17 July this year. The Chagstock Music Festival is family friendly and suitable for young and the not so young too! It takes place at Whiddon Down in Chagford on 21st and 22nd July

Gardens at Dittiscombe, South Devon

Houses & Gardens

Local National Trust houses and gardens Overbeck’s near Salcombe, Greenway near Dartmouth and Colyton Fishacre near Torquay are popular with our guests. You can find out more about events on the National Trust website. Read about Ruth’s visit to the exotic seaside garden of Overbeck’s on Ruth’s Blog Page. Guided tours of Lupton House and Gardens at Churston Ferrers take place on various dates.  On 19th July join an exclusive evening guided tour of Paignton Zoo’s gardens. With over 2,500 different plants this is a fantastic opportunity to see unusual and rare species, meet the gardeners and ask lots of questions. A fantastic opportunity to walk through Reptile Tropics to see more tender plants such as the banana tree; past the lakes with the spectacular Gunnera plant and through Croc Swamp with the Giant Lily Pads plus much more.