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Where to live in South/East Devon?

(66 Posts)
Snowcookie Mon 06-Aug-18 13:25:17

I'm planning a move within the next year or two, and I'm currently looking at Devon. I'd appreciate any advice on which areas I should consider.

My budget is 550-600,000. I'm looking for a three bedroom house(Could live with two bedrooms) with a small garden for the dogs. I have no children at present so they aren't a factor. I work from home so don't have to commute. I'm favouring the South but considering East too.

I'd like a suburban or semi rural area. Small town or village would be fine. Coastal would be preferable, but so long as I'm within 20-30 minutes drive of a nice beach I'm fine with that.

A town or village with some independent shops and a few nice restaurants would be ideal. I love gentle coastal and country walks, reading and anything involving museums, stately homes or animals. I like a quiet life.

I've been looking at Totnes, Teignmouth, Salcombe and Dartington. Possibly Newton Abbot, but it'd be helpful to hear from people with much greater knowledge of the area.

Thank you in advance and apologies if it seems like I'm looking for the moon on a stick.

wandathealien Mon 06-Aug-18 15:12:07

Personally I love Newton abbot but it's not for everyone from reading your op I think totnes is probably more suited for what you want.Teignmouth has a lovely beach/pier but the town is quite lacking in my opinion. Have you considered kingswear or Dartmouth? All though the ferry crossing may be an issue?

Snowcookie Mon 06-Aug-18 15:43:00

Thank you for your response. I know very little about Newton Abbot but it seems nice enough from what I've seen. What makes you say that it's not for everyone if I may ask? And what do you love about it. Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.

AwkwardAsAllGetout Mon 06-Aug-18 15:47:27

Look at Totnes, Kingsbridge and Topsham. I think Exeter would tick all your boxes, the convenience of a smallish city but close enough to the coast and countryside. I’d avoid Salcombe personally, I’ve always found it a very unwelcoming place to incomers.

Snowcookie Mon 06-Aug-18 15:57:37

That's disappointing to hear about Salcombe. I wonder if the villages nearby are just as bad I'll still keep it on my list but I'll keep that in mind. I tend to keep myself to myself, though happy to say hello to neighbours and take in parcels and let them borrow things, but I don't want to be made to feel completely unwelcome.

I hadn't considered Topsham and Kingsbridge so will put them on the list and investigate further. Also Exeter.

I was in Devon last month, but I'm in Central Scotland so it isn't easy to drive down there very often to check places out so I'm trying to do as much research as possible first, and this is very helpful. Thank you.

wandathealien Mon 06-Aug-18 16:09:51

Newton is a bit rough around the edges and not that rural, I love it more for the people as I know a lot there, and the night life pubs are especially good, I'm not sure that's what you're looking for though.
Seaside towns you've got Paignton or dawlish? Slapton is close to Blackpool sands which is a nice pebble beach. If you wanted really rural you could look at Dartmoor the moors on your doorstep. Would have to be willing to travel for everything though.
You have so much choice in Devon it's hard to narrow it down grin

Snowcookie Mon 06-Aug-18 16:17:55

Thank you so much for elaborating. Newton Abbot is probably off the list. It looks nice and I'm sure there are some lovely things about it but pubs and nightlife are definitely not what I'm looking for. I don't drink and I want relative peace and quiet.

Paignton seemed a bit full on seaside town for me, when we were there, though I love that there's a lot to do. Perhaps there are quieter parts though. I'll have a look when I go down again.

Dawlish is on my list. I don't know why I didn't include it. I'll have a look at Slapton too.

Yes, narrowing it down is the real problem but this thread has been very helpful so far. There are so many wonderful towns and villages there. It pained me that I couldn't visit them all.

Snowcookie Mon 06-Aug-18 16:20:16

I'll look at Kingswear and Darthmouth too. Perhaps Teignmouth isn't for me then if the town is rather lacking. You've been so helpful. Thank you.

HostaToFortune Mon 06-Aug-18 16:24:07

Totnes would probably fit the bill and I agree that Topsham and Exeter would also. If you want more of a small town feel with access to stuff, Topsham is your best bet. Your budget would be ok.

You said no children at present which makes me think you are younger? A lot of Topshamites are older (budget is a factor here) but an increasing number of young people are moving there. Personally it would drive me crazy, it’s cramped (small gardens and narrow streets) and there is one Main Street which always seems to be blocked by retired colonel types taking their own sweet time to park hmm but others love it. It has no real beach of its own but it’s handy for Exmouth and of course Exeter.

If at any stage you want access to main line train stations, both Exeter and Totnes are on the Paddington line but Totnes has a more restricted service.

Feel free to PM me if you want more in depth info or advice.

wandathealien Mon 06-Aug-18 16:29:33

Totnes is full of shops that are independent or a bit different to your usual high street. They have a Christmas market once a year in the streets, I haven't been yet but wish to one day. You have the train station close and paignton, Newton abbot, Dartmouth all within a few miles.
One place I would avoid living would be Torquay it's gone quite down hill in recent years.
Brixham is another option, it's a fisherman's town, very hilly, and narrow streets. It's not my cup of tea but some people love it and you have berry head very near.

katycb Mon 06-Aug-18 16:38:09

My in laws live in-between Torquay and Paignton in a really lovely area (surrounded by fields, nice and quiet have a pool etc) when we go down in summer there is loads to do in Torquay and Paignton but in winter less so. However we have been going for 11 years and I don't think it is getting more run down. Like any seaside town it has some areas that are nicer than others, if you are in Scotland I would compare it to somehow err like Ayr or Bewick. The other big plus is that their is a new bypass so it is fairly quick to Exeter. We live up north so normally fly down to Exeter airport and it is pretty quick. As others have mentioned totness is lovely and a bit different but whenever we go the traffic getting in and out is crazy. Dartington is nice too.

Snowcookie Mon 06-Aug-18 16:41:41

Thank you so much Hosta. That's very helpful and I might just do that once I've done a little more research. I appreciate the kind offer.

Wanda. I really fell in love with Totnes when visiting, so it's high on the list, especially due to the shops and restaurants. I'll have to try to visit so that I can enjoy the Christmas Market. I didn't know about that, and it'd be good to see what places are like in Winter before making a decision.

I actually rather liked Torquay when I visited. I'd heard it was run down, but it looked pretty good to me, if not so nice as other parts. That said I'd imagine it's a different story in Winter, and I didn't spend much time in the residential areas. It's probably a little too busy for me, so I'll heed your warning.

Adding Brixham to the list, and I'll study up on Topsham.

greengoose Mon 06-Aug-18 16:50:26

Totnes is lovely, good range of shops, and a proper town that is just as buzzing outside tourist season. Lots of smaller villages v near, but people come in to town for shopping, socialising etc.
Dartington is a big village, with the Dartington Hall estate to one side, which has Arts cinema and lots of workshops, craft opportunities, walks etc. There are a couple of great coffee shops and bakery etc
Ashburton also, a bit smaller, but with a real village feel and independent shops etc., also right on the edge of the moor, and some lovely wild swimming.
All of these about 1/2 hr from nearest beach, bit less to the moor. Further for nicest beaches...
Nearer the coast, Kingsbridge has a good little high street and a proper community, and is within 15mins of lovely beaches.

All of the above have lots of ‘incomers’ so it should be easy to find others who have moved recently, as well as proper Devon folk!

In terms of price, your budget seems about right, but markets a little stagnant right now. Totnes and it’s villages are costly, next prob Ashburton, and Kingsbridge a little cheaper (or it was a few years ago).

Feel free to PM me if you have something you want advice on, or a house you would like to know the location of. Good luck!

wandathealien Mon 06-Aug-18 16:50:40

Don't get me wrong Torquay is lovely with lovely scenery the harbour etc is really nice it's just the town that the problem. Outskirts of Torquay is fine.
Visiting places in winter is a good idea as it's out of tourist season. Marldon village has a lovely Christmas tree farm. As for things to do in winter it is rather lacking but with Exeter just up the road and Plymouth not too far away you still have things to do

Snowcookie Mon 06-Aug-18 17:17:47

Thank you so much, Greengoose. That's very helpful information, and once I've done a little more research I'll probably take you up on that kind offer.

I appreciate hearing the bad with the good, Wanda so will be taking your advice and avoiding the town centre. I definitely don't want to live in a 'rough' area or a somewhere that's likely to get rowdy at night. I'll consider the outskirts though.

Thank you for all of your help. It makes such a difference to hear from people who really know the area.

wandathealien Mon 06-Aug-18 17:17:49

Another one you're free to pm smile born and raised in Devon, lived here all my life couldn't think of anywhere I'd rather live

Snowcookie Mon 06-Aug-18 17:25:56

Thank you, Wanda. I appreciate it and will likely do just that in the near future.

I'm also considering Surrey(That'll be another thread and a lot more research) but I'm leaning towards Devon at the moment because I adored it so much. It also felt very 'me'. "Just right" as Goldilocks said about Baby Bear's porridge.

shoesoff1 Mon 06-Aug-18 17:29:13

Stayed in Kingsbridge recently & loved it, preferred it to Salcombe. Beautiful area

RobinEggs Mon 06-Aug-18 17:33:39

Brixham is good. Dartmouth and Salcombe are obviously pretty but lots of red trousers - you might like that though. If you’re considering Newton Abbot try visiting The Cider Bar on a Friday night and make your decision after that! Totnes is lovely too. Very alternative obviously but also a lot of completely normal, friendly people. Lots of lovely cafes and bars too. The primary schools are all hugely oversubscribed in Totnes with people having to drive out to Dartington and even Paignton.

OhMyGodTheyKilledKenny Mon 06-Aug-18 17:36:45

Of all the places mentioned on this thread I would go for Totnes or Teignmouth. I find both places have a good vibe about them. Teignmouth has the edge though because of the beaches. It also had an great local arts scene.

I know Newton Abbott fairly well but it's not really a place where I'd want to live . As someone put it earlier it's a "little rough around the edges".

Paignton seems very run down these days, Torquay not do much but is lacking in something.

Bunnyrabbitbinkyhouse Mon 06-Aug-18 17:43:12

Try Chudleigh, it’s a bit more inland but only a short drive
It’s close to Exeter but it’s a small town with a real community feel, semi rural and near the edge of the moors, or even better Bovey Tracey same sort of location and community

Bunnyrabbitbinkyhouse Mon 06-Aug-18 17:44:34

I wouldn’t live in Paignton or Torquay, too run down, teignmouth and dawlish the traffic is a nightmare in the summer due to holiday makers, Newton Abbot might be a bit too “towny” for you

Summersup Mon 06-Aug-18 17:51:09

Teignmouth has a Waitrose!

wandathealien Mon 06-Aug-18 17:52:37

@Summersup that made me laugh! grin so does Torquay if you're interested wink

applesauce1 Mon 06-Aug-18 17:53:02

My parents just bought a home in Dartmouth, but we have spent a lot of time on the Kingswear side too. Dartmouth has all the hustle bustle of a town, but Kingswear gets all the sun. Both are amazing places to live. Great for dog owners; so many amazing walks.

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