Activities in Noss Mayo

There is so much to do in Noss Mayo that it is a tough job getting everything into one easy to read guide. This is a short guide but there is so much more information available for guests staying at Anchor Cottage and I’m always happy to research any particular ideas you have, just email or call me!

Noss Mayo is a quiet Devonshire village that sits on the banks of the River Yealm facing it’s sister village Newton Ferrers. Between them they offer three fantastic riverside pubs, a fabulous deli with cafe, a pharmacy, a community run store with Post Office, a small Co-op as well as a Yacht Club, Tennis Courts and playground. Pretty impressive for a population of less than 2,000 residents!

Kayaking in Noss Mayo

We have two kayaks at Anchor Cottage that you are very welcome to use at your own risk. 1 x one seater and 1 x 2 seater. Noss is wonderful for kayaking, you can power down Newton Creek and onto the Yealm estuary which is great for exploring. I prefer to meander along until I find somewhere nice to sit and enjoy the view and the sunshine. You will need to check the tides and adjust your timings to make sure you can get back up to Bridgend. Please be aware that the paddles do not float so hold on to them tightly!

We have a range of lifejackets in the garage, but you might want to bring your own. You are very welcome to bring your own kayaks, canoes or boats. We have a lovely big space where you can store them securely. And launching them is really easy from the Malthouse’s shared private slipway. Please note if you’re using your own boards, canoes, kayaks you will need to pay a harbour fee of £20 per craft between 1st April and 30th September. Harbour dues for boats up to 11ft are £29.40 and £7.32 for each ft over that. You can see full charges here.

Paddle Boarding in Noss Mayo

Stand up paddle boarding or SUPing has become increasingly popular in the last 10 years. Anchor Cottage is perfect for paddle boarders as we have direct access to the tidal river. The Malthouse shared private slipway is ideal for getting straight into the water. There is a tide timetable on the bookcase in the dining area that you can check. If you time it right you can SUP out to the sea for the day and then use the incoming tide you take you back to Anchor Cottage.

Let me know if you want to hire paddleboards for your stay and you are very welcome to store your own in the secure garage. Want to learn how to paddleboard? Noss Mayo is ideal for learning as it’s a tidal river so pretty flat and not very deep. We’ve have loads of guests who’ve gone from zero to hero in an afternoon!

If you’re a more experienced SUPer you can paddle down the Yealm to the sea and find a nice secluded cove for a swim. Or you could book one of our day tours where your guide will take you along the coast, you might even be lucky enough to see a seahorse in our local seagrass meadow. Each tour comes with a gastro picnic.

SUP Yoga in Noss Mayo

Once you have mastered the basics of Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) why not try a session of SUP Yoga? It’s an hour of yoga on a paddle board and I have to say it’s the best new thing I’ve learnt to do in ages!

I must say it does demand quite a lot of your core stomach muscles but it is the most mindful activity I do apart from sailing.

 We have an excellent SUP yoga teacher who will paddle with you up the Yealm to a quiet place where you can see the sea. She will safely tether your board before guiding you through an incredible yoga lesson. Even a simple downward dog is harder when you’re balancing on open water and looking at the sky whilst upside down! She will also use gorgeous essential oils to open and close the practice.

You will feel like a different person on your way back, more at one with your environment. It really does have to be experienced to fully appreciate the benefits. The perfect way to restore your karma.

Cold Water Swimming

I took up cold water swimming seriously in 2020, I’d always swum in the sea but never after September! I know the jury is still out on the scientific benefits of swimming in cold water so I can only speak about the benefits that I have gained from embracing our local rivers and sea. And they are HUGE!

The first year I swam in a wetsuit, the second year I wore neoprene trousers and this year it’s just gloves and boots, they call this a Penguin!

To answer the most asked questions, yes it is cold, no I’m not mad, and yes I do feel blooming marvelous afterwards. In fact I feel an endomorphin high all day, every time. The only downside is that I struggle to swim in chlorinated pools now, a price worth paying I think.

And we are so lucky to have so many beautiful places to swim. Hidden coves, moorland rivers and I love a simple swim up the Yealm. The great thing about Anchor Cottage is that you can swim back to the slipway and grab a hot chocolate made in the milk frother!


If  you sail you will love Noss Mayo. Although mooring is only allowed at Cellar Beach, visitor moorings are available in the estuary. You will need to contact Yealm Harbour Authority to arrange.

Our local yacht club, Yealm Yacht Club, is very active and races on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer. There is a lovely bar and bistro which is very popular with members and their guests anda Sunday BBQ which is great fun with the best views in Newton Ferrers! You can find out more on their website.

If you’d like to learn to sail there are several places nearby that offer introductory and beginner sessions. You will be taken out with a qualifies skipper who can teach you the basics. You will be able to see if this is something that you might want to pursue. Noss Mayo also makes a great base if you want to add a couple of days sailing to your holiday. Being on the coast we have lots of sailing schools locally who can tailor a yachting or dinghy experience to suit you. Just let me know what you fancy and we’ll arrange that with you.

Rock Pooling in Wembury

I cannot recommend the Wembury Marine Centre highly enough. It’s free to visit and the staff are so friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic they’ll get any child excited about living on an island. You can even walk there from Anchor Cottage using our new electric water taxi to cross the Yealm. It’s a great day out.

They have an excellent range of coastal activities including rockpool and snorkeling safaris. If you book a rockpool safari one of the Devon Wildlife Trust staff will take you on a guided tour of the rockpools where you’ll meet cushion starfish, velvet swimming crabs and worm pipefish.

The snorkel safaris are £27.50 and places run out fast! As long as you’re over 8 years old and can swim you can join their qualified snorkel instructors who will teach you the basics of snorkelling before taking you on a guided snorkel around Wembury Bays’ rocky reefs.

You can see a full list of what’s on here.

Coasteering in South Devon

For the more adventurous members of your party a morning, afternoon or day of coasteering will sate their adrenaline appetites. I can book you in with great local guides who will get you togged up in wetsuits and the appropriate safety gear.

They will take you to the coast where you’ll be scrambling and climbing rocks, swimming in the sea, exploring caves and gullies. And most importantly of all…jumping off the rocks into the sea.

To be absolutely honest it’s not my cup of tea but my boys love it! According to one of my twins it’s “brilliant to just leap out even though the jump looks really scary”. Which is exactly the reason why I don’t do it but who am I to judge what counts as fun!!!

Seriously though we have lots of guests who’ve tried the local coasteering and come back raving about the brilliant time they’ve had, the wildlife they’ve seen, and we even had a family who had seals swim up close whilst they were exploring a cave. Now that is something I would really like to do.

Horse Riding in Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo

There is a riding school just over the river in Newton Ferrers. Newton Ferrers Equus offers pony rides, private lessons and hacks.

Our local countryside is perfect for beautiful rides where you will see the rolling Devon hills. You can trot along the coastal bridleway admiring the rugged coastline. You will experience all the wonderful wildlife and wildflowers as you go. The South Hams is a truly magnificent place to ride a horse.

The Equus team help you whatever your age or ability, you can book here. You can choose from a half hour private lesson or a group session.

Cycling in the South Hams

The South Hams in Devon is favoured by many keen cyclists. I’m more of a Dutch cyclist myself, preferring less steep routes! But there is loads of excellent cycling to be had here in Noss Mayo.

We’ve had many guests who have cycled along the coast across to Salcombe and Dartmouth, others who have got the train to Plymouth and cycled from there. But whichever way you go there will be hills!

One of the most popular routes is Drakes Trail. It’s a breathtakingly stunning ride from Plymouth on the coast to Tavistock on Dartmoor. You can pick it up just north of Laira Bridge on the outskirts of Plymouth. You can see the full route here. It is named after the famous Elizabethan Seafarer, Sir Francis Drake, who was born in Tavistock and set sail from Plymouth in 1577 to circumnavigate the globe, the first British explorer to do so.

You can store your bikes securely at Anchor Cottage.

Tennis in Noss Mayo

There is a rather excellent tennis court in Noss Mayo and we use it loads. It’s one of those lovely summer activities that our teenagers will engage in without moaning! Just a short walk from Anchor Cottage there are two courts that you can book, details are in the guidebook. There are rackets in the garage but if you play more seriously than we do the you’ll probably want to bring your own.

The tennis courts are situated in the local park, there is a nice field for kicking a football or rugby ball around as well as a great playground for the littler kids. There is also a community orchard and a lovely circular walk through the woods that won’t tire out younger children too much.

If the tide is low you can across the Voss to Newton Ferrers and grab a well deserved coffee and cake at The Green.  They also have lots of local goodies so you can treat yourself with or take home as gifts for the neighbours who have watered the plants whilst you’ve been away. If the tide is high you can sit outside the Ship Inn and sip a refreshing G&T.