Visiting Stoke Gabriel
Beauty and tranquility
Steeped in history and surrounded by beautiful countryside, the rural parish of Stoke Gabriel nestles into the green rolling hills of the South Devon AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Situated on the River Dart between Dartmoor and the sea, there is plenty to see and do. The local towns of Brixham, Dartmouth, Totnes, Paignton and Torquay are all close by.
The village itself is much loved for its unique location and strong sense of community. You'll find a choice of shops, cosy pubs and eateries, lovely old parish church and ancient yew tree, imaginative children's playpark, peaceful village orchard, gorgeous river walks and wildlife galore are all set beside the tidal Mill Pool....
Stoke Gabriel has long been an inspiration for writers, artists, historians, inventors and explorers. There is a rich seafaring history. The parish was home of explorer John Davies who was born at Sandridge in 1550. Sir Walter Raleigh grew up just down the river at Dittisham. Old tales of smugglers and free traders are still whispered by the fireside, and every corner of the river has a story... The romance and intrigue hasn't gone unnoticed. Agatha Christie's home at Greenway, now owned by the National Trust showcases her life and work. Dead Man's Folly was based on the house just outside the edge of the parish, and many stories have been set in South Devon. Stoke Gabriel has its own novel - “Daughter of the River” by Brixham writer Irene Northan is a Victorian romance set in the village and nearby Duncannon. Historian Robert Graves mentions the church carvings of Gabriel and Herne in his book “The White Goddess” published in 1948. George Jackson Churchward was born in Stoke Gabriel in1857: he revolutionised boiler design in steam railway locomotives with the most notable being the 'Star Class Loco.' And it's not all in the past, Stoke Gabriel continues to inspire. Local musician Steve Banks recently produced the album“Blue Jewel” and continues to delight audiences with evocative lyrics and folk melodies. Local artists were commissioned to produce the sculptures in the village orchard – check out the apple, tree totem and the angel's wing. And you'll see many local artists exhibiting at the quay during the summer months, or in the Country Gallery Shop.
Walk, sail, relax...
There are so many things to do in Stoke Gabriel – enjoying the open countryside by foot, bicycle, buggy (for those smaller visitors), sail or motor. The river is a wonderful opportunity for recreation, and there are many open spaces to enjoy - particularly the Mill Pool, the parish orchard and the prize winning Hoyle Copse. Or if you'd rather, just relax and enjoy the fine fare and friendly atmosphere of the pubs, riverside bistro and tea room....
There is plenty to see and do:
- walk the river and coastal paths,
- relax and play on nearby sandy beaches
- sailing and boating on river and sea
- cruises and river trips, fishing
- exploring the local countryside
- be inspired to capture the scenery in paint or photography
- woodland walks
- natural history – abundance of local wildlife
- local history
- diving – explore one of the many wrecks off the devon coast
- family friendly shops and tea rooms, pubs and bistros