Stretching eastwards from Plymouth to Torbay, the South Hams has some of England’s best-loved coastline, with shingle and sand beaches, river estuaries and historic villages and towns.
Three South Hams favourites are bohemian Totnes, with its Elizabethan architecture-meets-New Age vibe, the lively, ancient port of Dartmouth, and Branscombe, a seaside village only 23 miles from Exeter, where Miss Marple-style thatched homes sit in gardens threaded with genteel roses.
"Our cottage pays dividends"
Hazel Mackrill and her husband Colin bought a cottage near Noss Mayo last year, after falling for the South Hams while on holiday there more than 25 years ago. “The landscape and beaches are stunning and it’s so calm and relaxed,” says Colin, 58, a retired finance director. “We returned a few years ago and fell in love with the place all over again. There are many outdoor activities in the area, great pubs and glorious beaches.”
The couple visit four or five times a year, otherwise renting it out through a local agency. “It is full most weeks from June to September and makes a tidy profit,” says Colin. “Buying a second home in the South Hams has been a shrewd business move and a great life choice.”