If you've escaped to the coast then perhaps the last thing you want to do is head into a city, but you'd be missing something as our big cousins have something to offer the curious. Being equidistant from both means you'll find yourself in either in around 40 minute drive so they're easily accessible.
2020 was mean't to be the big celebration marking the first settlement on the US mainland by the Pilgrim Fathers who set sail from Plymouth in 1620 on the Mayflower. Due to the pandemic many of the planned celebrations have now been rather cleverly rescheduled to take place in 2021 in the hope that life will have resumed a greater sense of normality. Time will tell but here's hoping.
The Cary Arms
A ten minute drive or a two and half hour walk via the Coastal Path will bring to our closest pub of note. Great location overlooking Babbacombe Beach and inside it feels like a posh smugglers pub! Be warned though, it is at the bottom of a very steep hill with hairpin bends so not for the weak of heart or worn clutch. We'd leave it to a taxi.
Not a million miles away, about 20 minutes by car tucked away in the countryside. A mixture of old and new inside but stylishly done. The emphasis here is more on food than being a pub if you know what we mean .
the church house INN
Very much a village pub, it dates back to the 11th century which allows it a justifiable claim of being one of the oldest pubs in Britain. About 40 minutes drive away, and for the last few miles it's all windy, single tracked roads, but the very good food makes the journey worth while
It will take about an hour to get up on Dartmoor. Personally we love it when it's misty and wet, but whatever the weather this is a great lunchtime pub. The house cat rules the bar and hearty pub grub served here will set you up for an afternoon stroll round the village and its ancient church. If possible go on a weekday as at weekends it can be outside seating only.
About ten minutes drive the other side of Totnes, so about half an hour in total from Meadfoot, the Cott Inn has picked up a raft of awards for its food which ranges from fine dining to a cheese and pickle sandwich. So something for everyone. Beams everywhere inside so properly cosy and a big outdoor area at the back. What's more it's just two minutes from the entrance to the Dartington Estate.
Ferry Boat Inn
To say this pub is distinctive would be an understatement as its pink paint is visible from some way off. But don't let that put you off as it's in a great location on the banks of the River Dart - yes we know the name probably is a strong clue. Stone baked pizzas are what people go for and it's much loved by the locals despite of its paint job. Do be sure you put the right postcode in your satnav as there's more than one Ferryboat Inn in South Devon!
Start bay Inn
Located right on the beach at Slapton Sands, back in the 14th century the pub was known as the Fishermans Arms. Things have changed a bit since then. The fisherman are no more but the pub remains and prides itself on its famous fish & chips and seafood specialities. It's the far side of Dartmouth so depending on which route you take could take between an hour to an hour and a half with some fabulous views along the way.
Bayards Cove Inn
It's a Dartmouth institution, which is not surprising as its been serving customers for a five or six centuries. A Taste of the West Gold winner, there's a strong emphasis on food so finding something for lunch shouldn't be a problem! Added bonus is Dartmouth Castle is nearby. You'll need to take the Lower Ferry to cross the Dart Estuary which is an adventure in itself. Allow 40-50 minutes depending on the ferry times.
Just over an hour's drive away, the other side of the River Exe, the Masons' Arms has long held a reputation for good pub food classics so makes it the ideal choice for a casual bite en route or a fine dining experience if you have more time. A word of warning though, don't let your satnav take you to the Masons Arms in nearby Babbacombe!
The Rock Inn
One of our more modern public houses being built in the 1820s, but still worth a visit if your heading up to Haytor. The kitchen has two rosettes so standards are high whether it's a simple sandwich or something more filling. Just the thing to set you up for scaling Haytor which is a 25 minute walk from the front door of the Rock. Getting there will take a little longer, allow about 40 minutes.
The nobody Inn
We're still not sure if the name of the pub is a local joke, but as it's been around since 1820 then there must have been someone there for quite some time. The restaurant is award winning, the wine list extensive and the whisky collection impressive with over 240 to choose from. Better hope for a lock in...It's around 40 minutes away by car.
The nESS Inn
Located on the shoreline of the Teign Estuary, the Ness is about 25/30 minutes away. It's actually on the South West Coastal Path so you could, if you're keen and fit, walk it from Meadfoot. How long it would take is another matter entirely. Recently refurbished it has always been very popular so booking is a very good idea.