Gara Mill, Slapton

Gara Mill lies at the base of woodland valley, surrounded by a canopy of trees in the most tranquil and private setting close to the little coastal village of Slapton in South Devon.  A small privately run group of nine luxury Scandinavian timber lodges that blend seamlessly into their leafy surroundings.


Choose a holiday at Gara Mill and you will have the opportunity to relax in supreme comfort and style, and enjoy the real essence of an outdoor holiday. Enjoy spending time together whether it be picnics in the meadow, barbecues around a fire pit or lazing in the summer sunshine on the nearby beaches.  Its a perfect choice for families with children, friends wanting to catch up or couples looking to spend some quality time or celebrate a special occasion.

Each of the lodges have been equipped in  a stylish and contemporary theme and  each one is a little different.  Most of the  lodges are three bedrooms, with an en-  suite shower room and a separate family  bathroom. There is one spacious two  bedroom lodge – Riverside as its name  suggest positioned at the base of the  valley next to the babbling brook that runs behind the lodge.  Each one has a decked timber balcony – perfect for those alfresco breakfasts in the summer sunshine and three boast private hot tubs: Spindrel Lodge, Hillside Lodge and Treetops Lodge

At Gara Mill, dogs are welcome and most of the lodges are pet friendly, however dogs must be kept under control around the grounds. Gara Mill is about spending quality time together and there is a meadow at the top of the hill for guests to meet up and enjoy each others company. Its perfect for families with children where children can meet and play together. There is a picnic area and a Firepit to sizzle sausages and warm your toes as you enjoy the setting sun. The meadow is also home to the owners goat herd who are very friendly and will love to meet you. Watch out for your sandwiches though!

Luxury Timber Lodges | Each with private decking |  Hot tubs

3 miles from the beach |  | Meadow, streams and nature trails

Stay in Gara Mill and explore South Devon

The best way to get around is definitely by car, as local transport can be limited in this area.  You are right in the heart of the South Hams here with some fabulous places to visit on  your doorstep.


GARA MILL, SLAPTONVisit Dartmouth – ten minutes from Gara Mill. A famous maritime town on the mouth of the River Dart, this historic naval port, the Royal Naval College standing majestically over the Dartmouth Marina, is a thriving town with a great selection of restaurants and cafes.  Enjoy a ferry trip from along the River stopping at picturesque villages along the way, or take the steam train from Kingswear, across the river and enjoy a scenic trip along the Torbay coastline to Paignton.

The town hosts festivals and events across the whole of the year – the most famous the Dartmouth Royal Regatta, held normally around the bank holiday in August.


Salcombe Ria (Estuary) - GARA MILL, SLAPTONThe main market town of the South Hams is Kingsbridge and just under 10 miles away which ever route you take.  Lying at the head of the Kingsbridge-Salcombe Estuary, you can choose to explore the area from here on foot, or to really experience the location hire a canoe, kayak or paddleboard, and enjoy the estuary from the water. Its a great base for watersports and you can take boat trips from here to Salcombe.

Salcombe is a hot favourite with families and the sailing hub of the area.  Its soft sandy beaches and picturesque town make it now one of the most sought after destinations on the South Coast.

You can charter your own sailing boat from here and enjoy a day out on the sea, dropping anchor at a beach of your choice where you can either enjoy a picnic or try and catch your own supper over the side of the boat

Beaches close to Gara Mill

The beaches in this region are some of the best in the land with a number boasting blue-flag status for their cleanliness. Warm waters and gently sloping sands are perfect for families with young children – many of the local beaches with rockpools full of little sea creatures, guaranteed to keep any budding fisherman busy for hours. A number of beaches are dog friendly all year round and some have sections that remain dog friendly throughout the summer season.

Although this beach is mainly pebbles and shingle it makes in no less popular with visitors. The beach stretches across the southern edge of Start Bay and is popular with dog walkers as the beach has no dog restrictions all year.  The beach has good road access and easy access onto the beach.  At the Western end of the beach (Torcross) seasonal facilities can be found in the village and this area is patrolled by the RNLI between July and September.  The beach is popular for watersports particularly Windsurfing, surfing, canoeing and sailing.

 Slapton at a glance:

Easy access from road
Café, Toilets and shops (Torcross end seasonal)
Dogs Allowed all year

Blackpool Sands

Blackpool Sands lies nestling between two headlands just four miles from Dartmouth. This immaculate beach is privately owned with clean turquoise waters earning the beach a Blue Flag award. The beach is mainly fine shingle and roughly two-thirds of a mile long. Its facilities are second to none and those that visit simply must enjoy the fantastic local organic food served by the Venus Cafe on the beachfront.  There is a fine selection of watersports on offer.  Windsurfing, kayaking and the latest sport paddle boarding are great fun for all the family and tuition and hire are available from the recognised training centre who operate from the Blackpool Sands.

Blackpool Sands at a glance:

Disabled facilities
Watersport Hire
Lifeguards on duty (summer months)
Clean water tested by the Environment Agency
Sand pits and paddling pools
No dogs (March – November)

Bigbury on Sea

This beautiful South Devon beach is in an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty, positioned on one side of the River Avon estuary. Famous for its art deco hotel that inspired two Agatha Christie novels, Burgh Island looks back across the causeway to Bigbury on Sea, where it’s possible to walk across at low tide. For many, the thrill is in riding the vintage sea tractor across to the island, standing tall high over the sands and lapping shallow waters. A popular family beach with shallow water and rock pools to keep children entertained. There is disabled access to the beach and a slipway. There are also toilets, a shower, a beach café and a beach shop. RNLI Lifeguards patrol the beach in the summer and there is a safe bathing area. Dogs are not allowed in the restricted area, and there is a separate area for moored bathing rafts. There is also a ferry across to Bantham.

Bigbury on Sea at a glance:

Disabled access and Parking
Café, toilets and shops
No Dogs

For more information on the area, or if you need help planning your holiday to Gara Mill – email  and she will be delighted to help make some suggestions on the area and offer some helpful advise on where to go and what to do while you are there.