You’ll find The Maltsters Arms hidden away on the banks of Bow Creek, in the picturesque hamlet of Tuckenhay, beautiful South Devon. The views from our wide quay are incredible whatever the time of day, or season. Across the water the steep wooded banks are rich with flora and fauna, a nature lover’s paradise.
It’s not difficult to see why it’s described as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Featured in The Times ‘Best 50 Places to Eat Al Fresco’ in April 2010 and described by The Independent as ‘One of Britain’s Best Riverside Locations’ you’d be hard pushed to find a more beautiful spot.
You don’t have to venture far to explore the coastal footpaths of the South Hams beaches and wild and stunning Dartmoor. There is no shortage of choice for walkers, climbers and cyclists. This area is perfect for kayakers, ramblers, bird-watchers, swimmers, surfers, horse riders, golfers and those interested in fishing, boating, sailing and windsurfing.
Tuckenhay is only a short drive from the Blue Flag beach at Blackpool Sands and the surfing beach at Bantham. These are just two of the huge number of stunning, natural beaches on the South Devon coast.
As well as this, the historic towns of Totnes and Dartmouth are just a ten minute drive away and there is Agatha Christies’s Greenway, as well as a local vineyard with award-winning wines at Sharpham Estate.
There is something for everyone in this area and at the end of a long day of activities, The Maltsters Arms is a wonderful place to stop for a drink or a bite to eat and watch the world go by.
Originally a pair of cottages, The Maltsters Arms is reported to originate from the late 18th Century when the quay of Tuckenhay was bustling with activity.
Various commodities such as lime, corn, paper, cider and malt were transported by water to and from the hamlet. By the mid 1800’s cider and malt were produced on the quayside. William Manning and John Earle owned a cider press and Thomas Edmond’s malthouse gave the name to the Maltsters Arms.
Trade continued to flourish until the beginning of World War II. The last ship of any size to arrive at the quayside was the 240 ton coaster Reedness in 1939.
After the War the principal activity at Bow Creek was cider making, still using water transport but this time by barge.Tuckenhay had the first mains gas lighting in the world before Manchester and London. The original gas engine house can be seen just 200 yards up the road. Bow Creek has in the past been associated with smuggling as the upper reaches of the Dart are so private and secluded.
The Maltsters was first made famous by the flamboyant TV chef Keith Floyd. He bought the pub in 1989 and sold up in 1996.
He spent a million pounds revamping the pub including decorating each of the B&B rooms with an eccentric theme, building a balcony from the middle floor and anchoring huge crocodile replicas in the river opposite the pub to scare the tourists.
He had three kitchens installed and put his Floyd stamp on the menu.
Denise and Quentin Thwaites successfully ran the pub for 13 years following the exit of Floyd.
George and Alison Scott-Welsh acquired the The Maltsters Arms in June 2011. They have since completed a major renovation bringing a new lease of life to the pub whilst retaining the character, charm and sense of fun that make the Maltsters such a very special place.
There are further plans to add a new balcony for diners. What an addition that will be! They’re set for a busy twelve months, so watch this space!