Activities in South Devon

Activities Surfing in Devon

While you are enjoying your holiday here at Carswell Farm Holiday Cottages, why not enjoy some of the leisure activities that South Devon has to offer? An abundance of activities are on offer for all the family – from fishing, walking & cycling to more adventurous activities like surfing, kayaking and coasteering!

Whether it’s an action packed adventure holiday you’re after or just lazy days on the beach listening to the sea with the prospect of a delicious evening supper of fresh local foods – there really is something for everyone. Here are some suggestions to help you plan your holiday…

Enjoy some of the outdoor activities available nearby
Boat Trips

Boat Trips

A variety of boat trips are available with Plymouth Boat Trips (10 miles) including harbour cruises, journeys up the River Tamar and ferries to Cremyll, Cawsand and Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall. Wander past the kiosks on the Barbican to find out more.

For short boat trips, a ferry runs in the summer months between Noss Mayo, Newton Ferrers and Warren Point on the other side of the River Yealm – phone ferryman Bill Gregor to check times: 07817 132757.

For more freedom, call Nick Oatway who hires small boats out at Mothecombe Beach at the mouth of the River Erme (13 miles): 01548 810249, 07717 677222. A little further afield, hire a boat from Dittisham Boats on the River Dart(25 miles) or from Whitestrand Boat Hire in Salcombe (19 miles) to explore the Kingsbridge Estuary.


Newton Ferrers is just over a mile away and is a great place to mess around in a boat. It’s a popular sailing centre and there is usually plenty going on over the summer including racing, fetes and regattas. Boat hire is available from Phil Carter on 01752 872189 (evenings).

Mount Batten Centre, Plymstock (11 miles):  With an impressive range of dinghies on offer, this is the perfect facility whether you are looking to get out on the water for the first time or you are an experienced sailor.

Devon Sailing Experiences, Plymouth (12 miles): Yacht charter specialists offering packages for beginners and experienced sailors, including day sails on a 41 foot yacht.

Salcombe Dinghy Sailing (19 miles): Dinghy sailing courses, children’s taster sessions and private lessons all available in the safe waters of the Kingsbridge Estuary.

Canoeing & Sailing in Devon

Kayaking & other water sports

There are many fantastic water sports options in South Devon including kayaking, surfing and stand up paddle boarding.

Mount Batten Centre, Plymstock (11 miles): Children and adults can do taster sessions and tours around Plymouth Sound on sit-on kayaks. Other water sports include stand up paddle boarding, dinghy sailing, powerboating and windsurfing.

Triocean Surf, Churchstow (14 miles): Hire paddle boards, wetsuits, kayaks, surfboards and bodyboards from knowledgeable staff. Close to Bantham and other popular beaches.

Sea Kayak Salcombe (19 miles): Explore the creeks, caves, coves and secluded beaches near Salcombe on a kayak tour.

Discovery Surf School, Bigbury on Sea (14 miles): Surf and stand up paddle board lessons for children and adults, in an extremely popular surf spot. Private and group lessons available.

Swell Hunter, Newton Ferrers (2.5 miles): 07738 447913. Stand up paddle board hire and lessons on the River Yealm.

Cycling Holidays in Devon


Cycling around South Devon is a joy as the roads are relatively quiet, and some of the cycle rides on Dartmoor are hard to beat. Bring your own bicycles or hire from Plymouth Bike Hire (11.5 miles).

There is a lovely cycle trail on the old train track heading north from Plymbridge, making a great family day out which is suitable for all ages. Park in the Plymbridge Woods National Trust car park (14.5 miles) and ride for about 5 miles until you reach Dewerstone Woods, or onwards to Princetown, about 15 miles from Plymbridge.
The Dart Valley Trail covers around 10 miles in total, running from Dartington (21 miles) to Sharpham Vineyard (22 miles), while the Exe Valley trail from Exeter (41 miles) which follows the estuary and is truly stunning.

Horse Riding & Pony Trekking

Horse Riding

We don’t have any riding facilities on the farm but there are local schools nearby:

Newton Ferrers Equus, Newton Downs (3 miles): Woodland hacks, beach rides and lessons are all available, with horses for all ages and abilities.

Cheston Farm Equestrian Centre, Wrangaton (12.5 miles): A well-established riding centre with a clubhouse café, offering a range of options for children and adults, beginners and advanced riders.

Adventure Clydesdale, Dartmeet (29 miles): They offer horse trail riding on Dartmoor in Devon exclusively on magnificent Clydesdale horses, great fun!

Shilstone Rocks Riding Centre, Widecombe-in-the-Moor (28 miles): Moorland hacks for all abilities.

If you want to bring your horse away with you we can, by prior arrangement, organise a paddock for you during your stay and we are very happy for you to ride over the farm.

Golf Courses & Tennis

Golf & Tennis

The nearest golf course is at Bigbury (13 miles), a beautiful course overlooking the stunning coastline and Burgh Island. There are also courses at Wrangaton (12.5 miles), Thurlestone (16.5 miles), Dartmouth (21.5 miles) and most famously at St Mellion (23 miles), which is just over the Tamar Bridge in Cornwall.

For tennis, the nearest option is Newton & Noss Mayo Tennis Club (2.5 miles) where you will find two outdoor hard surface courts. Visit the court and write your name on the board to book. If you’re more serious, there are indoor and outdoor courts at the South Devon Tennis Centre, Ivybridge (8.5 miles).

Tourist Information Centres

The local tourist information centres are always very helpful and have lots of information on their websites. Find out more about local towns by clicking the links below.







Find more general information about Devon