Cheap B&B Devon
A raincoat and all-weather gear. It is a coastal resort, so will often catch the rain.
What do you miss most when you’re away?
The peace, the light, the size of the sky, the colours from the sea. I like to just hang out for a bit, do a bit of reading, painting, cycling. It is perfect for the whole family to relax and recharge.
What’s the first thing you do on arrival?
After scouting around the town, maybe having a coffee in a café, we’d head off to the beach. Blackpool Sands and Slapton Sands are both quite pebbly, but further down the coast, at Gara Rock, there is a nice sandy one. Slapton Sands is fascinating because of its association with the Second World War. There is a tank on the beach, and the village has quite an eerie feel.
The exterior of Browns Hotel in Dartmouth
Where’s the best place to stay?
Where would you meet friends for a drink?
Where’s the best place for lunch?
Café Alf Resco (80; cafealfresco.co.uk) is the “go to” spot. It is only open for breakfast and lunch. Just down the road in Salcombe is the Winking Prawn (26; winkingprawn.co.uk), a beach shack where you can get crab and lobster within a stone’s throw of the sea.
Cafe Alf Resco, Dartmouth Photo: Alamy
And for dinner?
The Seahorse (47; seahorserestaurant.co.uk) is a good upmarket choice. But a few miles out of town, in Strete, the Laughing Monk (39; thelaughingmonkdevon.co.uk) is hard to beat.
Where would you send a first-time visitor?
A stroll around the town to take in the harbour. Dartmouth Castle (0370 333 1181; english-heritage.org.uk) has an interesting history. A boat trip up the river inland is great for exploring the small villages, while the naval college is also worth a visit. I’ve always wanted to take a boat out to sea and explore the coastal coves as well. Train enthusiasts should do a journey on the Dartmouth Steam Railway (72; dartmouthrailriver.co.uk). You can also join guided tours of the area with Monty Halls, the BBC television presenter, through Great Escapes Dartmouth (58; greatescapesdartmouth.co.uk) . The town also has a fantastic tradition during New Year when everyone is in fancy dress, and is a lot of fun.
The Seahorse restaurant in Dartmouth Photo: Alamy
What should I avoid?
Visiting at the height of summer. The town is a magnet for day-trippers, so we usually don’t visit around that time.
Public transport or taxi?
You can walk everywhere. But to enjoy surrounding areas, you need your own mode of transport.
Manbag or moneybelt?
I’d say manbag, as it is a very safe place to visit.
Dartmouth harbour at dusk Photo: Alamy
What should I bring home?
Anywhere that isn’t your kind of town?
I tend to get disappointed with every high street in every city I visit, as they all look the same. When I first started out as an actor and visited cities such as Bristol and Leeds, each had its own character and vibe with different shops – but that isn’t the case anymore.