If you have already checked Agatha Christie's Greenways home off your list, chugged up and down on the steam train but fancy a change of scene over the river we have the perfect place to wile away a lazy afternoon - The Cary Arms in Babbacombe.
On the outskirts of Torquay, the Cary Arms hugs to the Babbacombe cliffs overlooking Babbacombe Beach, for us though our visits here are never about the beach (we have many closer) but rather this lovely inn above the beach. Rather like South Sands Hotel in Salcombe they have managed to take a 5 star offering and wrapped it in a comfortable blanket of relaxed and casual friendliness. In the summer plentiful open air terraces and a conservatory mean you can charge up your vitamin D while enjoying their excellent food and drink, whilst watching kids dive from the harbour wall. In the winter the cosy main bar built from warm red Devon stone and the roaring fire almost give it the ambience of a snug Swiss chalet. Their string of awards including the Condé Nast Johansen’s Awards for Excellence, clearly highlight that this is a team that knows what they are doing. If you have a boat or know someone who has, it is a comfortable sail from Dartmouth and moorings on the harbour wall can be booked with the hotel. If you have time to fill before or after your meal and have children or just fancy a little light education, the surprisingly well informed and chatty guides at the ‘Kent Caverns’ a few minutes from The Cary Arms are an entertaining pit stop.
Need to know:
From Dartmouth, ferries allowing it takes around 45 mins to an hour to drive.
There is no parking at the Inn unless a guest of the hotel, however there is limited parking at the bottom of the steep cliff road – if you don’t like Devon lanes and steep ones at that, park at the top and walk down.
The Cary Arms is usually busy so we would advise to book well in advance especially in the school holidays, in the winter ask for a table by the fire and in the summer on the terrace if the sun is out.