As is so often with small countryside settlements in Devon, I stumbled upon the beautiful village of Holbeton while lost in the meandering lanes that maze their way across the Southwest. Pretty and filled with thatched cottages, upon arrival, I simply knew that I had to stop and spend an hour or two wandering around this little Devonian village. Here’s a quick guide to the best things to do in Holbeton, a place which is seemingly in the middle of nowhere…
Holbeton Village Centre
Much of the attraction of Holbeton is its remoteness and that it is truly a place to ‘get away from it all’. A complete lack of phone signal coupled with centuries-old buildings surrounding you creates a historic atmosphere; perfect for soaking up the ambience of this quintessentially Devonian village.
Within the village centre itself, you’ll find plenty of pretty thatched cottages that wouldn’t look out of place on a vintage postcard. But if you’re looking for some more modern conveniences, then Holbeton has these as well in the form of a village shop selling all manner of essentials (food products etc.). Within the village shop, a post office service can be found.
All Saints Church, Holbeton
Near the very top of the town (the entirety of Holbeton is perched on one of the steepest hills I’ve ever had to drive down!), the All Saints Church sits mighty and imposing. In fact, the centuries-old spire of the ecclesiastical building stretches so high into the sky that it can often be spotted from the roadside before the village itself!
Dating back to the 14th-century and perhaps before, the interior of the church boasts beautiful stained glass windows, an intricately carved rood screen, and a monument dedicated to a local wealthy family, the Heles. If you get a chance to peek inside, you certainly won’t be disappointed…
Pubs in Holbeton
With a population hovering around 1500 residents, the village certainly isn’t small by Devonian standards! Thanks to its relatively populous size, Holbeton is served by two great pubs, each serving local dishes and plenty of local brews (Southwest England is well-known for its many breweries)…
The Dartmoor Union, Fore Street: Open on a daily basis, the Dartmoor Union reputedly serves great local seafood (the Southwest is known for its fish dishes), and has a range of options available for those of us who don’t eat meat!
Mildmay Colours Inn, Fore Street: In the very heart of the village, just below the steep slope that leads up to the church, the Mildmay Colours Inn has a roaring stove and is lit by candles throughout the winter months- the perfect place to warm up after a long hike along the Southwest coastal path!
On the fringes of the village, look hard enough and you’ll make out the remains of an iron age hillfort, yet more evidence that this part of the world has been inhabited for thousands of years. The fort overlooks the River Erme Estuary and is located just under 100 metres above sea level.
Attractions near Holbeton
Mothecombe Beach: This pretty and sandy oasis is easily one of the best beaches in SouthWest England. If you’re heading there in the summer, however, make sure to arrive early- many of the best beach spots fill up early!
Noss Mayo: Barely a few miles away, you’ll encounter the charming village of Noss Mayo. Perched precariously above the Yealm Estuary, it’s filled with quaint pubs and small lanes. Nearby, there are plenty of excellent coastal paths offering incredible views across the coastline and beyond.
Plymouth: An ancient maritime city, Plymouth is the largest settlement in Devon and filled with things to do. Whether you want to spend your day sampling local cuisine, shopping, or going to the theatre, Plymouth is absolutely filled with things to do!
Modbury: The lively town of Modbury combines all the charm of a modern village with the old-world feel of a centuries-old tightly-knit community. Filled with independent shops, craft stores, and plenty of British pubs, it’s’ the perfect location to base yourself for a week of sight-seeing and ‘touristing’ in Devon.