Smalls has the most idyllic location for your large group holiday in Devon; set in a large plot on the hillside with astonishing views across the estuary to Salcombe, the gardens tilt gently down to the sandy beach at Smalls Cove where an area is exclusively for guests' use. The backdrop is of woodlands where birds sing from the treetops, and the glorious landscape of the South Hams. To stay here is a hark back to the good old days, to the kind of holidays in the Famous Five books.
You don’t really need to go anywhere when you stay at Smalls; you can idle away the hours exploring the grounds, soaking in the hot tub, enjoying lazy days relaxing outdoors… long and leisurely alfresco lunches, evenings by the firepit, afternoons playing on the sand. But this part of Devon has so much to see and do so you might well want to plan for days out, to see a little bit of this beautiful part of the world.
Just a few minutes stroll from the house you can catch the passenger ferry at East Portlemouth to take you across the estuary to Salcombe where the maritime vibe is high and there’s so much to do. Amble around the narrow streets browsing the boutiques and galleries, stop for seafood at The Crab Shed or The Winking Prawn. If the lure of the water is too much to resist go dinghy sailing or paddleboarding, hire a self-drive boat or take a cruise with Whitestrand Boat Hire.
Even though you’ve got your own little beach to make sandcastles and take a splash you might want to see some of the other hidden coves close by. Sunny Cove and Mill Bay are popular sandy bays, or walk along the coast to the headland at Gara Rock where the Gara Rock Hotel is excellent for dinner or Sunday roast. The South West Coast Path runs close to Smalls so bring your walking boots, have a good hike on the clifftops; stride up to Snapes Point from Salcombe for panoramic views that will astound you.
There are attractions to visit, like the subtropical gardens at Overbeck’s (NT), and not too far away, Dartmouth Castle and Woodlands Family Theme Park – great for days out. Take the kids to Bigbury on Sea for rockpooling when the tide is out; when it’s in catch the Sea Tractor to Burgh Island to see the Art Deco hotel that inspired two of Agatha Christie’s novels.
Pootle about in the car and see what you find, where you end up; maybe it will be the picturesque village of South Pool with its quaint cottages and popular gastro pub, the Millbrook Inn. East Prawle has its charm too, and you can stop for hearty food at the Pigs Nose Inn.
And what better way to round off a wonderful day than to watch the sunset over Salcombe, gathered around the firepit as the stars come out one by one. This is what holidays are made of, come and see.