Holidays in Thurlestone: The South Devon Village with Plenty to See and Do

The historic coastal village of Thurlestone, South Devon, is adored for its thatched cottages, wildflower lanes and dreamy views of Bigbury Bay.

The village is named after the iconic Thurlestone Rock, the “thirled stone”, which stands just off-shore from the golden sands and sparkling waters of Thurlestone Bay.


Surrounded by acres of beautiful South Hams countryside, the village maintains its long association with farming, its oldest cottages originally occupied by farm labourers. Much of old Thurlestone – its gardens, courts, orchards and granary – still remains, in fact timbers salvaged from boats wrecked during the Spanish Armada are still visible in the local pub, The Village Inn.

Things to keep you occupied in Thurlestone, the heart of the South Hams

A summer’s day on Thurlestone Sands is a day to remember. This gorgeous stretch of South Devon coast is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; its golden sands perfect for sunbathing and beach games, its sparkling crystal blue waters an invitation for a gentle dip in the ocean and its rocky alcoves the ideal expedition for your young explorers. Set back in the dunes is The Beach House, a laid-back beachside café and takeaway famed for its freshly caught seafood. Thurlestone Sands remains one of the best family-friendly days out in the South Hams.

South Milton Ley Reserve is a wildlife haven and designated Site of Special Scientific Interest which attracts up to 200 bird species in any one year. The reserve includes Devon’s second largest reedbed and the South Huish Meadowlands. A track runs the full length of the reserve and incorporates a boardwalk crossing.


The Thurlestone coastline embraces a beautiful section of the South West Coast Path. From here, you can follow the undulating path as it hugs the dramatic peninsula to discover the historic fishing village of Hope Cove and the breathtaking views at Bantham Beach and the Avon Valley. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can walk all the way to the pretty harbourside town of Salcombe, passing the mica schist rock formations at Soar Mill Cove and maybe catching a glimpse of the magnificent peregrine falcons that hunt the cliff tops at Bolt Tail.

After a day out exploring the gorgeous South Devon coast, why not drop in at The Village Inn, Thurlestone’s historic pub, where you’ll receive a warm welcome and be tempted by its bumper menu and gleaming bar.

The most prominent building in the village is The Thurlestone Hotel, a luxury venue that has stayed in the hands of the Grose family for the past 120 years. Here, you’ll find a heated outdoor swimming bath, indoor pool and spa, an immaculate nine-hole golf course, all-weather tennis courts and croquette lawn. This award-winning seaside hotel also has a fine dining restaurant, alfresco-style bistro and terrace bar.

Running along this breathtaking stretch of coastline with its magnificent bay views that sweep from Thurlestone Rock to the famous Burgh Island are the glorious greens of Thurlestone Golf Club. Formed in 1897, this fabulous links course is known for its generous fairways and sometimes blustery winds. Visitors will receive a friendly welcome and can expect to enjoy a fabulous day’s golfing from the club house to the 18th pin.


Thurlestone Tennis Club has 12 tennis courts, 10 of them grass and two of them hard. Here, you can enjoy both a traditional game of lawn tennis and the fabulous sea air. Visitor and temporary memberships are available via the Thurlestone Golf Club.

With so much to keep both you and your family occupied in picturesque Thurlestone, you needn’t leave the village! Here is our long list of Thurlestone holiday cottages available to let, many of which are dog-friendly.