Where is Noss Mayo in the UK? And other questions people ask me.

When I first heard of Noss Mayo I thought it must be somewhere in Ireland but when I checked the map I saw it was a village nestled at the mouth of the River Yealm on the South Hams coast, right here in Devon.

We moved to Devon from Bristol in 2012, we’d been trying to get to Devon for a long time and finally managed to move our three boys and business to South Devon. After 10 years in Bristol we had exhausted every country walk in a 30 mile radius of the city so we were like a bunch of puppies let off their leash 😊and Noss Mayo was one of our first outings.

Where should I stay in Devon?

Driving down the narrow steep hill we suddenly came out of the woodlands into Noss and the most beautiful creek, the sun was shining which made the water sparkle magically. The view was emerald green to right and left with a glorious v-shaped chunk of blue in the middle filled with river and sky. It was love at first sight. And just like the real thing it only gets deeper and more meaningful the longer you are there…

So where is Noss Mayo exactly?

Noss Mayo is an unspoiled village 20 minutes’ drive from Plymouth in the South Hams area of Devon. It sits opposite Newton Ferrers, the village churches compete for air time on a Sunday mornings. Noss Mayo derives its name from a former landowner’s nose, Matthew Fitzjohn was given the land of Stoke, which included this ancient fishing village, by Edward I in 1287, hence Noss (nose) Mayo (Matthew). To be honest I’ve no idea where the nose bit comes from, maybe the shape of the hill where St. Peter’s Church is or the shape of the coast line….

Is Noss Mayo nice?

It depends what you’re looking for, it’s definitely nothing like Salcombe, you won’t find a Fat Face or White Stuff in the village. It’s not like a Cornish fishing village with gift shops and crab sandwiches costing a tenner. But….if you’re looking for a ‘slice of tranquillity’ with a tidal river where the water is clear and the fish abundant… if you’re looking for wildlife, migratory birds and maybe even a seahorse…if you’re looking for a place that has three good local pubs all on the water’s edge serving great local food and produce…if you’re looking for access to the South West Coast Path, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and hidden coves…if you’re looking to kayak, SUP or try out some wild swimming…then you might say it’s nice…it’s not bad for sailing either.

“And oh, what a view. Anchor Cottage is in a showstopper location, right at the end of the creek, facing straight back down the water looking back at Noss Mayo with its picture postcard perfect scenescape. To wake up in the morning in the master bedroom and open the curtains to reveal that view was, for me, the highlight of my stay. I could have sat and stared at it for hours.” Andy Cooper, editor of Devon Life

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