A local’s guide to Noss Mayo holiday cottages

A local’s guide to Noss Mayo

Content Team 11 February 2019

A picturesque village tucked away in a secluded area of South Devon, Noss Mayo is hidden on the southern bank of the Yealm Estuary and is a great holiday destination if you love boating and coastal walks. Noss Mayo is just across the river from the larger village of Newton Ferrers, and you can travel between the two by a ferry that operates a triangular route that also drops you along a point on the South West Coast Path. This ancient and secluded village is an ideal location if you’re looking to get away from the everyday business of life, the towns and the cities to simply relax or tour around the area.


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The beaches


Food and drink



The shopping


About the village:

Noss Mayo houses

Noss Mayo is well-loved by artists and ornithologists. First and foremost, if you are a devoted bird spotter the Yealm Estuary is a superb location to spy flocks of migratory and sedentary birds that live there. There are numerous vantage points to catch a sighting of a lesser-spotted species, so bring your binoculars and bird spotting books.

You can walk along the 9-mile long Revelstoke Drive, a coastal trail and former carriage ride, sunbathe at the gorgeous Cellar Beach, or make the most of the famous South Devon light for painting your local landscape portraits.

The village has a small handful of amenities and pubs for convenience, also head into Newton Ferrers for a slightly wider choice. There is a Co-op food store in Newton as well as a farm shop called Ben’s. The diverse city of Plymouth is just under 10 miles away and is packed with excellent visitor attractions and places of historical interest. There is also so many shopping and dining choices and opportunities across the city to discover as well.

The beaches:

Noss Mayo Beaches

Noss Mayo is close to several lovely South Devon beaches. The best known is Cellar Beach, named after a cellar that was used to store fishing equipment during periods when the local farmers didn’t have to rely on the sea to provide their living. Yes, you read that right: part-time fisher-farmers. These days, oysters are farmed off Cellar Beach and the neighbouring Yealm Estuary and the beach is nice and wide at low tide for rest and play. A great place to spot dolphins and other cetaceans is Warren Beach; it is a secluded shingle and pebble beach only accessed by a steep and narrow path. On the way to Cellar Beach, you can pass through peaceful woodlands where much of the wildlife that visits the beach hides out.

The accommodation:

Lezant Lodge

We also have some wonderful holiday cottages in and around Noss Mayo in our collection. From fantastic apartments perfect for a couples retreat to traditional lodges and log cabins so you can enjoy a South Devon escape, our selection of accommodation in this pretty village and across the surrounding area has something for everyone, so you can enjoy a great holiday. To view availability and to feel inspired, take a look at our collection of Noss Mayo cottages.

The food and drink:

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A delicious bowl of moules marinière at #theshipinn #nossmayo

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Noss Mayo is very small but it still has some very lovely pubs and places to eat, all with nice vistas of Newton Creek and the estuary. There are two pubs: The Ship Inn and The Swan Inn. The former is located by the water’s edge and is a great place to enjoy an evening meal and observe the yachtsmen as they come and go. The Swan has a pleasant beer garden which is a perfect spot for catching a sunset.  Visitors arrive by boat, shoring up at Pope’s Quay, from Newton Ferrers and beyond for a refreshing pint. Newton Ferrers hosts The Dolphin Inn, a traditional Devonshire pub close to the water that looks back across to Noss Mayo.

The history:

Local boats

The name Noss Mayo, translates as Matthew’s Nose, referring to a former landowner Mathew Fitzjohn, who was bequeathed the local area in 1287 by Edward I. Fishing is the main industry in the local area since there has been an established settlement.

Noss Mayo has a potted history of smugglers, sailing derring-do and of how its remoteness protected it from the Black Plague that cut a swathe through the country in the 14th century. In the 19th century, a local landowner built the Revelstoke Drive, which is a seaside ride that can still be walked along today. There are plenty of other historical sites in Noss Mayo. Keep an eye out the 18th-century Gunrow Signal Station that was constructed as part of the coastal defences during the Napoleonic Wars to warn of approaching warships on the horizon. Also, seek out the ruins of one of the oldest buildings in the area, the 13th century Church of St Peters. Today, the fishing industry has moved elsewhere on the coast.

The sights:

Noss Mayo - Revelstoke Dv

Revelstoke Drive is a wonderful 9-mile circular walk to enjoy, high above the sea, the causeway is framed by a low stone wall. They were constructed to prevent the horse riders of yesteryear from heading off course and over the cliff edge. Built in 1880, the land-owner Edward Baring (formerly of Barings Bank) would invite guests around its spectacular circuit. There are several great walks in and around Noss Mayo including The Stoke Point trail, Gara Point Walk, the Ringmore to Ayrmer Cove circuit, or a walk to the highest point on the coastline between Plymouth and Dartmouth, the Hoist Point trail.

The shopping:


Plymouth offers extensive shopping opportunities and it’s less than 10 miles away from Noss Mayo. From the modern mall featuring market leader chains, Drake Circus, to enclaves of interest, independent shops and eateries in the city centre, and The Barbican, Plymouth is shopper’s heaven. Everywhere else in the South Hams offers a quaint mixture of convenience stores, butchers, bakers, delicatessens and farm shops.

With spectacular rural retreats and barn conversions on farmland with a fine choice of beautiful walks and quality eateries, our holiday cottages offer the chance to enjoy everything Noss Mayo and the wider area have to offer. 

Whether you’re a couple with a four-legged friend or a larger group or family, we have self-catering accommodation to suit everyone’s needs. Browse our collection today to feel inspired.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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