Immediately surrounding Stoke Lodge you would be spoilt for choice from the incredible variety of activities on offer in and around this beautiful area. From coastal walks, Blue Flag beaches, and the Dartmouth Castle which has guarded the Dart Estuary for over 600 years, there is plenty to see and do. The area caters for all types of experiences, and you can spend your day soaking up the summer sun on Blackpool Sands or donning your hiking boots for an energetic hike in the wild open moorlands of Dartmoor National Park.
Let’s whet your appetite…
The town of Dartmouth is defined by the River Dart and from medieval times to the present day, has provided a sheltered deep water anchorage for both mercantile and naval ships alike. Britain’s Royal Naval College still sits atop the town, looking out across the river and beyond. There are many different shops, charming galleries, excellent restaurants and bars and a weekly market that is held in the old market square.
During the year Dartmouth hosts various festivals and events from the Music Festivals www.dartmusicfestival.co.uk in May to the Royal Dartmouth Regatta www.dartmouthregatta.co.uk in late August, and the Food Festival in October www.dartmouthfoodfestival.com
There are numerous boat trips that can be taken up and down the River Dart as well as a river steam train, which runs from Kingswear (on the opposite bank from Dartmouth), following the river inland, to Paignton. There are also two car ferries that transport foot passengers and cars between Dartmouth and Kingswear, making transportations links between Dartmouth and other coastal towns like Paignton and Torquay easier to navigate.
At the end of Castle Road sits the beautiful fortress of Dartmouth Castle, overlooking the Dart estuary. The fort was built to protect Dartmouth harbour as far back as 1380 in response to threats from French attacks. Over the ensuing years the castle was extended to beef up the defences and the artillery tower and gun batteries were added. You can wonder freely around this beautiful fortress exploring the ancient buildings or you can just be one with nature and walk the coastal and woodland paths. Take a ferry ride from Dartmouth or you can drive and park in the provided car park. A great day out of both young and old alike.
The area around the hotel has many diverse and beautiful blue flag beaches. Blackpool Sands, the closest beach to the Lodge, offers water sports, saunas, a great restaurant and shop. Sea Kayak Devon are positioned on the beach, and you can hire kayaks and paddles for paddle boards from them and they offer help and advice on the use of these. They even hire wetsuits! For those who would prefer to just sit back and watch the world go by, hire one of their deck chairs and just relax in comfort. A new addition to the beach is a beach sauna situated right on the beach and can be used for private sessions or public.
Slapton Sands is a beach for the entire family and friends to enjoy – even your pet is welcome on the beach throughout the year. The sea is safe and clean and there are plenty of water sports on offer such as surfing, windsurfing, and canoeing. During the summer months the beach has lifeguards in attendance.
The freshwater lake of Slapton Ley is a habitat for the many different plants, animals and birds that frequent the area throughout the year and is a wonderful nature reserve. The whole area of Slapton has been designated an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Dartmoor National Park
One of the UK’s most beautiful national parks, Dartmoor covers an area of 954 square kilometres. The topography consists of rolling hills, valleys, crystal clear streams, granite tors and breathtaking views. The moors are inhabited by semi wild ponies, highland cattle, sheep and a variety of elusive birds. A host of outdoor activities are on offer for outdoor enthusiasts from hiking, cycling, hacking over the moors on horseback, cold dip swimming, rock climbing and star gazing to name some but there is plenty more on offer. Dartmoor offers adventure, exploration, and unforgettable experiences, and the legendary sunsets and sunrises are perfect for the discerning photographers.
South West Coastal Path
The coastal path is an incredible 630 mile adventure around the coastline of the south and west peninsula. Starting in Minehead Somerset and finally ending at Pools Harbour. The path runs through Stoke Fleming and many walkers use the hotel for a refreshing break and even a night stop.
Stokely Farm Shop
A fully operational farm shop with restaurant, deli and butchery, open daily for all your local needs.
Pickles in a Pickle
Hedgehog Rescue and Wildlife Sanctuary. Established to treat and nurse injured hedgehogs, the sanctuary is situated in the village of Stoke Fleming.
Pennywell – Devon’s Award-Winning Farm
Pennywell farm is a delightful, working country farm, where you can become close and personal with a variety of farm animals.
Paignton Zoo covers 80 acres and has been open since 1923 and is home to some of the rarest species in the world. The Zoo is part of the Wild Planet Trust, a conservation charity dedicated to helping to stop species decline.