This month in our series of blogs meeting the people behind Visit Devon, we catch up with Josh McCarty, a keen surfer, sailor and lover of marine life.
What brought you to Devon – and what’s your current role here?
I grew up on a farm on Dartmoor, but for me my passion for Devon really came in the form of summer holiday trips to the beach. As a child I could never understand why so many people went on holiday abroad as our beaches are just so wonderful. For me exploring the beaches of the southwest really shaped my life as I now work in the marine world as Head of Marketing for the National Marine Aquarium, and a board member of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership. I love all of Devon, but for this blog I’m going to focus on the amazing things on the doorstep of my home in Plymouth.
- Explore Devon’s beaches
What to you is the best thing about Devon?
If I had to bottle the essence of Devon I’d struggle as I don’t think they make bottles large enough. I love the relationship between the coast, rural and city living. Often people speak of other destinations with vast scale, but for me the fact you can walk on the moors, play on the beach and experience fine dining in a city all in the same day is really special.
- More about Devon’s areas to visit
What’s your perfect day in Devon?
A perfect day in Devon for me would be a healthy breakfast at The Dock in Millbay, Plymouth with my family, enjoying some sunshine over looking the new marina. Then we would head to Mothecombe Beach (pictured above) in the South Hams to have a surf and play in the water (although it’s not the most consistent surf spot, on this perfect day it would be amazing!). The area is also great for paddle boarding, and windsurfing. I love Mothecombe as the trees run down to the beach, like something magical from a novel or film, and a large sandy tidal estuary gives plenty of places to explore, rock pool and have a picnic. To finish the day off we would head back to Plymouth’s historic Barbican for dinner at Mezze Grill on Southside Street – it’s a Greek family restaurant in the old fishing quarter of Plymouth, and a real hidden gem.
What for you is the best-kept secret in Devon?
I do particularly love sunsets in Devon, and if pushed one my favourites would be from the quay of the Swan Inn in Noss Mayo (pictured below). It’s perfect in the early autumn when its a bit quieter and still warm. The kids can play in the water and you can work on your tan with a crisp half of cider, or for the more adventurous, an evening paddle board is truly therapeutic in this beautiful yachting destination.
Devon is very different across the seasons – where would you recommend people visit in Devon in spring, summer, autumn and winter?
Spring has to entail a crisp walk around the Headland at Noss Mayo, followed by a cosy pint in the Ship Inn to finish it off – that’s if our dog doesn’t get too muddy! Summer has to be looking out to the coast from the Dewerstone, near Shuagh Prior on the edge of Dartmoor (don’t forget a bottle of water). Autumn has to be a walk through the woods at Yealmpton and along the old railway line beside Kitley House Hotel; the estuary and the trees look incredible in golden brown. For a snowy winter walk with a view I recommend the moors around Holme, near Buckfastleigh.