Staycation: A review of Devon's Cricket Inn pub with rooms, which has views that'll bowl you over

Bowled over by The Cricket Inn: Inside the Devon pub with rooms that has a seaside location that’ll knock you for six

  • The Cricket Inn is located in Beesands, Devon, which is popular with walkers exploring South Hams
  • Rooms have a New England nautical vibe with tongue-and-groove white panels and views of Start Bay 
  • Breakfast covers everything from fresh fruit and granola pots to smoked salmon, eggs and fresh kippers

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When you hear that on winter nights, high tides can send waves over the roof of The Cricket Inn, you’ll get just how close it is to the sea.

Weather is everything here in Beesands, and so is The Cricket Inn, which opened its doors in 1867 to serve the thriving fishing community of 100 residents. Today, catches of plaice, crab and scallops from fisherman Alan Steer put seafood at the heart of its menu.

It’s family-run with attentive staff and, between lockdowns, is bursting with customers. Family parties tuck in to lunch and dinner, with all ages covered in the light, bright restaurant.

Heart of the community: The Cricket Inn, Beesands, opened its doors in 1867 to serve the thriving fishing community of 100 residents

Heart of the community: The Cricket Inn, Beesands, opened its doors in 1867 to serve the thriving fishing community of 100 residents

Ahoy there! Each of the rooms has a New England nautical vibe with tongue-and-groove white panels

Ahoy there! Each of the rooms has a New England nautical vibe with tongue-and-groove white panels

After being recommended as a stopover during his solo cycling holiday, one chap was happily eating amid the throng. If you want a break alone but still to feel in the thick of an intimate, lively scene then this is just the place.

Rooms, each with a cricketing reference such as Lord’s or the Botham Suite, are located above the bar, so guests remain part of the pub.

Beesands is on the South West Coastal path, and is popular with walkers exploring South Hams. Go beyond the views of Start Point lighthouse and take the path along gorse-filled clifftops to find yourself at Hallsands Beach in 15 minutes. Packed lunches are available from the bar if you order the night before (£11pp).

Beesands, pictured, is on the South West Coastal path and is popular with walkers exploring South Hams

Beesands, pictured, is on the South West Coastal path and is popular with walkers exploring South Hams

The Cricket Inn is in a world of gorse-filled clifftops, holiday cottages and delicious seafood

The Cricket Inn is in a world of gorse-filled clifftops, holiday cottages and delicious seafood

Stroll for miles along the quiet beach and you’ll be tempted to pick up the smooth slate pebbles that line the shore. There are few residents – only a smattering of tiny holiday cottages and fishing boats.

The only other place to find vittles in Beesands is the Britannia, a cafe where delicious takeaway fish and chips were welcome on a blustery day.

At night, you’ll go to sleep to the sound of the sea and happy murmurings of the pub below, then wake to the delightful aroma of breakfast.

Sarah writes: 'At night, you’ll go to sleep to the sound of the sea and happy murmurings of the pub below, then wake to the delightful aroma of breakfast'

Sarah writes: ‘At night, you’ll go to sleep to the sound of the sea and happy murmurings of the pub below, then wake to the delightful aroma of breakfast’

Five of the seven rooms at The Cricket Inn have views of Start Bay (pictured). Sarah writes: 'Book into Lord’s, where you can wake up to the sun, relax on the window seat and soak up the sea views'

Five of the seven rooms at The Cricket Inn have views of Start Bay (pictured). Sarah writes: ‘Book into Lord’s, where you can wake up to the sun, relax on the window seat and soak up the sea views’

The USP: The location of the only hostelry in Beesands will knock you for six. To reach the village along a single-track lane, there is an unofficial one-way system. It’s not for the faint-hearted.

The rooms: Five of the seven have views of Start Bay. Each has a New England nautical vibe with tongue-and-groove white panels. Book into Lord’s, where you can wake up to the sun, relax on the window seat and soak up the sea views.

The food: Even light fare is heartily served: delicious white onion and thyme soup or crab soup comes with hunks of fresh bread and aioli. Dinner of whole plaice, courgette gratin and Greek salad was enough to bowl me over. Breakfast covers everything from fresh fruit and granola pots to smoked salmon, eggs and fresh kippers. 

TRAVEL FACTS 

The Cricket Inn, Beesands, Devon. B&B costs from £120 to £160 per night based on two sharing (thecricketinn.com).

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