Serene self-catering at the Cary Arms, Babbacombe, Devon

Short break venues such as the self-catering cottages at Babbacombe Bay are gearing up for guests, Michael Edwards reviews.

Beach Cottage - Babbacombe, Devon

This is such a classic seaside location that the Cary Arms was a royal family favourite in Victorian times. Taking a morning train from London, the royals would be on the palm fringed English Riviera for the afternoon. 

Although it will be May 17th, at the earliest, before the Cary Arms, “the Inn on the beach”, is able to open its rooms and Hamptons-chic Beach Houses to guests, there is a coastal collection of sea-view cottages available right now. 

Since Peter and Lana de Savary took over the reins of the Cary Arms back in 2009, when it was a rather tired Olde World pub,  it has been reborn as a stylish coastal escape. Peter de Savary is a huge aficionado of The Age of the Great Illustrators, so the inn is a veritable gallery of original Art Deco works and retro 1920s and 1930s posters. 

Cary Arms - pint of prawns
Cary Arms – pint of prawns

With pubs and restaurants permitted to serve meals outside, The Cary Arms AA Rosette restaurant, offers one of the most spectacular al fresco dining locations in the land: The Captain’s Table. It has spectacular views across the bay to Portland Bill with Sammy the Seal sometimes calling in and pods of dolphins frolicking by. Guests ring the bell if Sammy or dolphins appear, to share the sighting. 

Dogs welcome at self-catering Cary Arms cottages

Already open, The Cary Arms has a choice of 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom cottages, all sea-facing with their own private entrance, outdoor dining terraces, gardens and BBQs. All displaying the de Savary flair, merging a sense of shoreline place with tasteful interior design. 

Foxes Walk Cottage
Foxes Walk Cottage

Foxes Walk Cottage is the largest cottage, sleeping up to eight adults and two children in its five bedrooms. It features a spacious coastal style fully fitted kitchen with large dining area, cosy sitting room with traditional fire and a charming sea view conservatory including a games room and large private terrace with hot tub. Providing dog beds, bowl and treats, Foxes Walk Cottage, is a dog and dog owner’s paradise with spectacular walking territory close by. 

Dogs are welcome on the guided coastal walks which start and finish at The Cary Arms. Other walks are inspired by the themes of Beauty of the Bay Walk, Hidden Harbour, Timeless Torquay, Agatha Christie and Torbay at War.

 If you still need more inspirational walking territory, take along a copy of Raynor Winn’s The Salt Path for your bedtime reading. It is an epic tale of a trek of defiance against a backdrop of bankruptcy, despair and illness along the South Western coastal path. Along this coastline even the blackberries taste salty. 

Babbacombe Bay, Devon
Coastal walk view of Babbacombe Bay, Devon

The bay is more than a bucket-and-spade and time-for-an-ice-cream venue. Guests fish for mackerel with the inn’s fishing gear. Out on the water there is sea kayaking, paddle boarding and the classic wooden sailing yacht “Escape” which explores Babbacombe, Oddicombe and Petitor Downs. 

Guests can con feel confident to stay at the Cary Arms as the Inn has received the AA Covid-19 Confident accreditation and the Visit England ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard, which means the inn is adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and have the required processes in place. 

Fact file

Visit for further information. 

The hotel is running a “Book Now, Pay Later” campaign where guests pay no deposit at time of booking and then it is a 50% deposit four weeks prior to check-in. Any guest booking within the  first two weeks of the reopening will receive complimentary  champagne.

Photo: Foxes Walk Cottage – ©Will Dolphin Photography

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Last modified: July 5, 2021

Written by 11:25 am Around The UK