A Trip to the South Hams

By road Dartmouth is about twenty five miles away from my home town of Brixham. It takes a good hour to get there because of the traffic through Paignton and Totnes. But there’s a far more pleasant option that cuts the journey time and mileage a little. I love to take the ferry from Kingswear.

For tourists this is quite an expensive option. The fare for a single car crossing on the lower ferry (there’s two) is £6.50. But frequent users have the option of topping up a card and we pay much less. I used to use the route a lot when the South Hams was my work patch. Crossing the River Dart was a rather a lovely part of my commute. It’s great now to be able to explore in a more leisurely way. I didn’t have much time to stop and stare in sixteen years of working there.

I have my ‘mother in law’ staying at the moment. Her mobility isn’t that great so we’re a bit limited in where we can take her. But the other day we had a lovely trip over to the South Hams that included an ice cream and a little amble around the flat part of the historic port of Dartmouth. Before that we negotiated the tiny lanes to the seaside village of Beesands. It’s a favourite place of mine Despite its isolation it’s a rare spot in these parts where you can get phone signal. There must be an aerial on the surrounding headland. I used to use WiFi connectivity as an excuse to drive there to write up my notes on my work laptop. I’d look along the coast to Start Point for inspiration.

There’s a pub in the village, the Cricket Inn, a perfectly lovely spot for a pint. Beesands is also the starting point for some great coastal walks including one to Hallsands, the ruined village that fell into the sea because of dredging. But on this occasion we had lunch from Britannia on the Beach, a seafood joint with a restaurant serving takeaways from a hatch. We chose to sit in the sun on one of the benches by the seawall. After all we don’t know how long this fair weather will last. It would have been a shame to waste it by staying instead. I had squid and chips, just the thing to stifle the hunger after a lovely swim from the shingle beach!

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