Whilst ‘a loo, a brew and a view’ might be a good yardstick for a decent day out, a visit to the National Trust’s Overbecks near Salcombe will offer you a whole lot more besides.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll around Overbecks’ terraced sub-tropical gardens which provide wonderful vistas up the estuary and out to sea (above). You can then warm up in the café with a hot cup of tea and cake, or a bowl of homemade soup with fresh bread.
A tour of the house will reveal the bizarre invention which made Otto Overbeck his fortune, and how a ship’s cargo of pineapples and parrots almost came to ruin off the nearby coast ...
Overbecks is also currently hosting an exhibition of winning entries in the annual International Garden Photographer of the Year competition. This is a must-see. Even if you have only a passing interest in plants or photography, you’ll still be enchanted by these expertly captured images of flora and habitats, both cultivated and wild. Need to keep the kids amused? There will be an Easter egg hunt at the weekend, too. See Overbecks' page for more details.
If you’re feeling energetic, the walk circling the coastline around Overbecks has to be one of my all-time favourites. It’s a steep climb but the magnificent views over Salcombe you will enjoy from the cliff top before descending to Starehole Bay are second to none.
But, with the long Easter weekend ahead of you, why stop there? To celebrate the International Day of Happiness on Sunday, we asked you to tell us about some of your feel-good places in the South Hams.
Sally from Loddiswell has a great fondness for the Singing Kettle Tea Shoppe in Dartmouth. The charm and romance of a bygone era live on in its traditional china cups and saucers and silver tea services. For Sally it is a place where she can relax and leave all the stresses of her busy working week behind.
The Riverford Field Kitchen near Totnes is one of Val’s favourite haunts. Lunch or supper at this rural eco-restaurant is sure to be an unforgettable experience. You eat at long communal tables and pass around platters piled high with fabulous food to share. The seasonal organic vegetables grown on site are the star attraction but make sure you leave room for their superb desserts. You could then walk off the excess in the beautiful grounds of nearby Dartington Hall.
The White Hart in Modbury was also singled out for its relaxed atmosphere and excellent cuisine, and just down the road at Ivybridge there is a popular short walk along the Erme through Longtimber woods.
Thanks to all of you who shared your favourite places with us, and here’s hoping you enjoy some happy and inspiring days out with family and friends this Easter. Don't forget to keep us posted!