Cary Arms & Spa Pub with rooms in Babbacombe, Devon

Prices from:
£245 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Stunning, secluded seaside location
  • Stylish bedrooms with sea views
  • Luxury characterful cottages
  • Local seafood; seasonal menus
  • Alfresco terrace overlooking the bay
  • Boutique spa; hydrotherapy pool

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsClose to WaterVisit a Stately PilePrivate Dining

Real Time Booking Available

Cary Arms & Spa Babbacombe, Devon, TQ1 3LX

The personal touch

Perched on the rocks right beside the sea in beautiful Babbacombe, the Cary Arms & Spa is a soul-soothing hideaway offering the kind of luxury accommodation that is surprisingly lacking in Torbay. The ‘Inn on the Beach’ dates back to 1662 and while it still retains plenty of old-world charm, it’s certainly been brought fully into the 21st century under the ownership of Peter and Lana de Savary. Once you’ve negotiated the steep, winding drive down from the top of the cliff, you’ll be greeted by the friendly staff who will arrange to park your car in the inn’s private car park if you’re staying the night (non-residents can park in the pay and display car park). The low ceilinged bar with its old stone walls, original beams, log burner and nautical themed décor is a cosy place in winter to sup a pint of Otter or enjoy an informal meal, while the conservatory or the large outdoor terrace are a magnet for those wanting to make the most of those fabulous coastal views. Every staying guest also gets the chance to take in the vista from their room, as all accommodation types have views across Babbacombe Bay to the Dorset coast beyond. For the ultimate relaxation, experience the new boutique spa for a Thalgo treatment or a dip in the sea-facing hydrotherapy pool.

Sticky fingers

Children can choose from their own Nippers menu, while highchairs and cots are available.

Muddy paws

Dogs are welcome in the bar area, while several of the rooms, including two cottages, are dog friendly, with dog beds and bowls provided.


The large terrace overlooking the sea is fabulous in the summer months but not out of bounds in winter thanks to a real fire.

What’s the damage?

8 doubles; six beach huts; 4 suites £245-£475; five cottages £425-£650 per night (room only)

What Else?

All credit cards accepted

Alfresco dining

Private dining



Cary Arms & Spa Babbacombe, Devon, TQ1 3LX

Do Not Disturb

From eight double rooms and two suites in the main inn, to the six stylish “beach huts” and two large suites perched just above the water, plus five holiday cottages, budget permitting you’re spoilt for choice at The Cary Arms. All rooms are decked out in a contemporary coastal style and all have large (mostly king size) beds, crisp white bed linen, colourful sea-themed artworks on the walls and, of course, lots of windows making the most of those views. All but one of the rooms have balconies or terraces complete with loungers for soaking up the South Devon sun. The five characterful cottages, nestled into the cliff side above the inn, each have their own individual personality and charm and are luxuriously appointed and spacious, with log burners for winter stays and private gardens. Modern bathrooms feature walk-in showers, fluffy towels and luxury White Company toiletries, while in some you can even enjoy a soak in the tub while gazing out to sea.


Relax in the state-of-the-art Cary Spa, replete with waterfall hydrotherapy pool, experience showers, sauna, steam room and gym.

What’s the damage?

8 doubles; six beach huts; 4 suites £245-£475; five cottages £425-£650 per night (room only)

What Else?

All credit cards accepted

Alfresco dining

Private dining


Eat & Drink

Cary Arms & Spa Babbacombe, Devon, TQ1 3LX

Mastering the Menu

(Starters: £6.25-£10.50; Main Courses: £14.25-£29.95; Desserts £4.00-£6.95; lunch menu £6.25-£23.95)

As you might expect with the ocean lapping at the rocks below the inn, seafood is a strong suit here. You can’t go far wrong at lunchtime by ordering the catch of the day – landed just 12 miles away at Brixham you can barely get fresher. The lunchtime menu is chalked up on the blackboards in the bar and dishes come and go daily, according to what fresh, local and seasonal produce the kitchen can get its hands on. So in early summer you might find dishes of Caesar salad with pan-fried mackerel fillets, or Scotch egg with asparagus, crispy Parma ham and seaweed garnish. Sandwich fillings certainly aren’t run-of-the-mill, with the white Brixham crabmeat sandwich with lemon mayo a particular treat. In the evenings the focus switches to the a la carte menu, which may offer the likes of pan-seared Brixham scallops with pea puree, chorizo and basil dressing, or pork, black pudding and bacon terrine with apple chutney and toasted granary bread to start. Main courses might run from pan-fried fillet of sea bass with crushed new potatoes, seasonal vegetables and basil pesto, to oven roasted lamb rump with sweet potato fondant, roasted vegetables and red wine jus. Round things off with sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and honeycomb ice cream, or perhaps go exotic with the coconut cream pudding with mango compote and mango sorbet. At the bar enjoy a pint of local Otter ale, or perhaps Bays Topsail, brewed just five miles down the road.

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8am – 10am

Lunch: 12 noon – 3pm

Dinner: 6.30pm – 9pm

Time at The Bar

12 noon – 11pm (10.30pm Sunday)

What’s the damage?

8 doubles; six beach huts; 4 suites £245-£475; five cottages £425-£650 per night (room only)

What Else?

All credit cards accepted

Alfresco dining

Private dining


Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know –

1 Inn Location - Cary Arms & Spa


Totnes, Devon TQ9 5YR

Totnes is a mecca for foodies – throw a stone and you’ll hit a good butcher, cheese shop, fish monger or grocer. Ben's Farm Shop is an organic ‘convenience’ store, the urban outpost of the Watson family’s Riverford Farm, where you’ll find meat, poultry, fruit, veg and wine. The Ticklemore Cheese shop sells local artisan cheeses, including those from Sharpham. Cranches Sweet Shop is packed with goodies you haven’t seen for years - sherbert lemons, pear drops and midget gems.


Sharpham Wine & Cheese, Sharpham Estate, Totnes, Devon TQ9 7UT

Sharpham Vineyard is set in one of Devon's most magical locations. The beautiful 550 acre estate is set on the bank of the River Dart, with 12,000 vines basking in the sun on the south facing slopes. The Estate also has a herd of 80 Jersey cows that graze the grassland whose milk is used for a range of handmade soft cheeses. The cheese dairy has viewing windows so visitors can view the process. Book a tour of the vineyard; cafe overlooking the River Dart.


Riverford Field Kitchen, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0JU

Family-friendly organic restaurant with a set menu that only uses the finest, seasonal, organic food, with herbs and vegetables picked daily on the farm. Visit the Field Kitchen Garden just yards from the restaurant. Cookery workshops and demonstrations.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - Cary Arms & Spa



Torquay Golf Club, Torquay TQ1 4QF

This delightful parkland course is an excellent and enjoyable test for visiting golfers, with stunning views over Babbacombe Bay to the east and Dartmoor to the west.


Dartmoor National Park, Devon PL20 6TH

From spectacular, wide open moorland to more secluded and sheltered tree-lined river valleys, Dartmoor has so much to offer all year round. Great walking, cycling, horse-riding and canoeing are just a few of the possiblities.


Discovery Surf School, Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon TQ7 4AR

Learn to ride the rolling waves under the expert guidance of top British surfer Martin Connolly and his highly experienced BSA instructors. Quality coaching in small groups for all ages and abilities from absolute beginners to experienced surfers


South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0DZ

Enjoy unspoilt Devon from the comfort of a vintage steam train. The line hugs the beautiful River Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes for seven miles - period uniforms, original station buildings and vintage motors complete the picture.


Places to visit


Becky Falls Woodland Park, Manaton, Devon TQ13 9UG

Set within a spectacular ancient valley in which wildlife and woodland thrive the park has been attracting and inspiring poets, writers, painters and visitors since it opened in 1903. Several graded and well-marked walks and for families there’s lots of children’s entertainment during weekends and school and bank holidays. Spring is an especially magical time to visit.


Berry Pomeroy Castle, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6LJ

A perfect romantic ruin hidden in a steep wooded valley with woodland walks that provide fine views of the castle from below. Within the 15th-century defences of the Pomeroy family castle looms the dramatic ruined shell of its successor, the great Elizabethan mansion of the Seymours. The audio tour tells of blood curdling ghost stories and more.


Coleton Fishacre, Kingswear, Devon TQ6 0EQ

Revel in the gorgeous Art Deco style in this former holiday home of the D'Oyly Carte family. A magical 30-acre garden affords views out over Start Bay and tender plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa and New Zealand thrive in the moist and sheltered valley. Glorious 1920s’ elegance and a real Jazz age feel fill the rooms and music plays, echoing the family's Gilbert and Sullivan connection.


Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6BN

Bradley Manor is a delightful small medieval manor house surrounded by woods & meadows, with an impressive collection of pre-Raphaelite pictures & Arts & Crafts furniture inside.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: From the M5 at Exeter, follow sign for the A380 to Torquay. At Ashcombe Cross, branch left then take second exit B3192 signposted to Teignmouth. On entering Teignmouth, at bottom of hill by traffic lights, turn right, take the coastal B3199 to Babbacombe, crossing the River Teign and continue following signs to Babbacombe. At mini roundabout continue forward on the B3199 signposted Babbacombe, Sea Front. Proceed pass Babbacombe Model Village and Bygones, straight on after traffic lights. Turn left onto Babbacombe Downs Road, continue along the Downs with the sea on your left finally turn left onto Beach Road.

By Rail: Nearest railway station is Torquay (3 hours from Paddington), 3.7 miles or a easy taxi ride away


Inn on the Beach, Babbacombe, Devon, TQ1 3LX

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