The Local Area
High Barn is in the small hamlet of Torr. This is ten minutes walk or three minutes drive from the centre of Kingston. Kingston recently won the Calor prize as the best village in the West of England.
The Dolphin pub is the centre of local life. There is no shop.
There is an excellent minimarket/general store at St Anne's Chapel (2 miles away towards Bigbury), which is open long hours and has most things you would need on holiday.
Online shopping can be arranged for delivery or Morrison’s/Sainsbury’s/Tesco are all near to Plymouth (30 mins).
the erme estuary
The Erme Estuary is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an Area of Special Scientific Interest. Wonwell Beach, which is where the river Erme flows into the sea, is a mile down a small country lane from High Barn. At high tide the estuary fills and is ideal for kayaking, canoeing and windsurfing. The tide goes out to reveal vast expanses of sand and shallow water – perfect for young children, paddling, buckets and spades, fishing nets etc. See activities for details.
There is some lane-side parking at Wonwell beach, but this is deliberately minimal, with the result that the beach is never crowded.
the coastal path
The National Trust coastal path is a mile from High Barn, and can be accessed at several different points. It crosses the mouth of the Erme estuary at Wonwell beach, which can be walked at low tide in the summer. Follow the path either side of the estuary for wonderful cliff top walks and glorious views. See activities for details.
A good round walk will take you down to the beach, up on the cliff and back inland in time for lunch at the Dolphin in Kingston. Other walks - details of which are in the folder in High Barn - take in other excellent pubs and other parts of the coastal path.
The National Trust have many properties in the area including:
Saltram House, Plympton (George II mansion and gardens 10 miles towards Plymouth)
Antony House (18th Century house and gardens 2 miles the other side of the Tamar via the Torpoint car ferry)
Cotehele House (15th Century fortress and gardens at Calstock, 15 miles north of Plymouth on the Tamar; you can take a cruise from Plymouth if you wish to make a whole day outing).
Buckland Abbey (early monastery 25 miles towards Tavistock)
Overbecks Museum and Garden (11 miles, near Salcombe)
The Old Mill (cafe in a former mill house on beach, 6 miles near Yealmpton)
Sparkwell Wildlife Park, on the outskirts of Plympton (15 miles), accessible from A38. There are tigers, birds etc
Woodlands Adventure Park on the main road to Dartmouth just past Blackawton. This is ideal for families of all ages with water slides, animals etc
Sorley Tunnel Adventure Park, also suitable for families. You can ride a horse, do a day's pony trekking, or there is an indoor riding school for young ones.
Miniature Pony Centre, Mortonhampstead (30 miles)
Buckfast Butterflies and Otter Sanctuary, Buckfastleigh (15 miles)
The Eden Project in Cornwall could be a day trip.
Modbury (3 miles away) is an attractive small Georgian town with an excellent butcher, delicatessen, baker, greengrocer, Co-op, post office, gift shop (great for holiday birthdays) and hardware shop where you will find practically anything you might need. It has made national news by becoming a plastic-bag free town, so take a shopping bag with you. There is also a Medical Centre, vet and chemist. It has its own newspaper and web site www.modbury.org. There is a tourist information office if this web page and the information you will find at High Barn is not enough!
Newton Ferrers (8 miles) is a beautiful natural harbour which can accommodate substantial yachts. It is also a very attractive village. For ambitious and strong walkers, the walk from High Barn across the Erme estuary at low tide and along the coastal path to Newton Ferrers provides breathtaking views. You need a car or a taxi to get back.
Bigbury (3 miles) is a friendly village. The walk from High Barn to Wonwell Beach and then along the National Trust cliff path to Challaborough and Bigbury is strenuous but magnificent. You can visit Burgh Island (on foot or - if high tide - by its famous sea tractor) and its well-known hotel and excellent, very old Pilchard Inn.
Kingsbridge (5 miles) is a pretty town on the water. Boat trips for the family are available at the quay. It has a tourist information office.
Salcombe (10 miles) is a magnificent, large natural harbour, and a very well-known sailing centre. It is very busy in the summer.
Plymouth (15 miles) is a large and mostly unattractive sprawl. However, the Barbican and Plymouth Hoe are well worth a visit. There are a variety of attractions for the tourist - National Maritime Aquarium, Plymouth Dome, Plymouth Ski Slope.
Totnes (15 miles) is a lovely drive through South Devon countryside, and a very attractive place when you get there. The Cider Press at Dartington, three miles from Totnes, has a high quality craft shop.
Dartmouth (25 miles) is probably as far as you would want to go, but is worth it. A spectacular position and many historic sea-faring associations, including the Royal Naval College (not usually open to the public). Lots of restaurants.