Located at the head of the Avon estuary, Aveton Gifford is the ideal base for exploring the natural beauty of South Devon, and for accessing the numerous exceptional beaches nearby.
About Aveton Gifford
Located at the head of the Avon estuary, the village of Aveton Gifford has its own small shop, PO and pub serving real ales, and is a prime spot for exploring this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and for accessing the numerous exceptional nearby beaches.
Wildlife watchers will be thrilled with the easy access to the estuary which is popular amongst walkers, kayakers and paddle boarders. The South Efford Marsh nature reserve, accessed from the bridge, is great for keen bird lovers, but anyone would enjoy a peaceful stroll through this wildlife-rich landscape.
It’s worth checking the tide tables when you visit as low tide allows a short cut along the picturesque tidal road to nearby Bigbury. On your way, pop into The Oyster Shack for a taste of freshly caught local seafood. If the tide is high when you return, the road will be flooded, so you’ll need to take a little detour along the main roads to get back.
You may get a little confused by the various pronunciations of Aveton Gifford whilst visiting, but take heart; this is still a heavily debated subject even amongst locals!
A holiday cottage in Aveton Gifford provides the ideal base for exploring the natural beauty of South Devon.
When in South Devon get out onto the water – or at least, that seems to be the unwritten mantra. So what you will need is the right equipment and for that you need to go to Triocean Surf Shop. South Devon's largest surf and water-sports shop located just two miles from Bantham Beach, well known as one of the premier surf spots in Devon and where, as we have mentioned, you will find some excellent tutors to get you riding waves like a pro. This is the place to buy wetsuits, surfboards, surfboard shapers, kayaks, body boards and paddle boards. See you on the water!
Bought a wetsuit from here for the summer and the guys were so helpful. Price matched a website I'd seen the suit on and gave me loads of good advice about the local beaches. Bantham is great but mind the rip!
Great place to hire equipment, they even provide soft racks if you don't have one
A friendly cliff top golf course close to Kingsbridge, Bigbury Golf Club is a links course with spectacular views of the South Devon coast. It is an 18-hole course where you can play as an individual or as part of a group. It’s 6,035 yards for men, 5,544 for ladies and par is 70 and 73 respectively. There’s a clubhouse with a restaurant and bar, but remember that dress should be smart/casual at all times, and in the clubhouse they ask that you don’t wear golf shoes, hats, untailored shorts, general beach wear, collarless tee shirts and non-golf sportswear like tracksuits and rugby shirts. The club offers rates for groups of 6-14 and society golf days for numbers over 14. Green fees are seasonal and depend on the time of day that you’re visiting so keep an eye on the website for full details.
Operating from the car park at postcard perfect surfer’s paradise Bantham Beach, Bantham Surfing Academy is run by experienced SurfingGB qualified instructors who offer tuition and coaching for all levels, including beginners, as well as supervised surfing sessions and a Kids Club. In addition to surfing lessons, the team offer Stand Up Paddle Boarding lessons, hire and tours around Burgh Island and the River Avon, and lifeguard and surf instructor tuition and qualifications. Prices start at £35 for a two-hour beginner lesson and equipment is available but remember to bring a towel, a swimming costume, and change for the car park which has charges in operation through the peak seasons.
Based at Bigbury-on-Sea and Challaborough Bay, Discovery Surf is a fun, friendly and professional environment where the team always have a smile and a word of encouragement to go with their expert tuition. Providing the opportunity to quite literally interact with South Devon’s primary asset - the environment - they offer lessons, courses and equipment hire, as well as Stand Up Paddleboarding and Kayaking. Prices start at £20 an hour, just make sure you take a towel and swimming cossies with you and arrive 20 minutes before your lesson.
Had a great lesson with Discovery Surf. Two hours on the Sedgewell side of Bigbury Beach. All equipment provided, the guys really knew their stuff and we were on our feet in no time. Such a buzz, definitely recommend trying it out if you've not surfed before or want to build up your confidence in the sea.
Excellent lesson in tough conditions on a windy down a Bigbury, really clear instruction, great place to srat and get in to surfing
On Fore Street in Kingsbridge, The Art Café is one of those joyous places where children and adults can enjoy visiting thanks to good coffee, good cake, toasted sandwiches and tea cakes alongside a welcoming, peaceful environment. Here you can paint ceramics to your heart’s content. Open from 10am-5pm daily, they offer pottery parties and takeaway ceramic painting if you want to take the experience home to your South Devon holiday cottage. Prices vary according to what you paint and staff are wonderfully helpful. It’s the perfect place to visit on a rainy day with the kids (they happen occasionally), or for a little peace and quiet after a long day outdoors.
Really good place to visit (especially if weather isnt great) that'll keep kids happy for a few hours. Be warned that whatever you make will need firing in the kiln, so will be a day or two until picking it back up usually!
A large riverside pub with extensive menu catering for most tastes, including a dedicated gluten free menu. Eat in the sit down restaurant or at the bar where regional beers are sold, along with a wide range of wines and other drinks.
In a glorious location overlooking the Avon Estuary this is a seafood lover’s heaven, with local oysters and other super fresh sustainable seafood served in a laid back setting. Menus updated daily with what’s been landed that morning, a large sunny terrace, chilled wine and delicious cocktails make this a popular choice.
Great value and good pizzas. We were surprised to find an Italian themed pub in the middle of nowhere but it works!
Have visited every year since it re opened as an Italian, for the pizza which is our boy's favourite!! Sadly found that the food on the last visit was dissappointing....pizzas very greasy/oily.The service was rather lacklustre and laid back even though we were the only customers. When we mentioned this we were met with some indifference; we won't be returning this year. This was at lunchtime so maybe evening service is better?
Used this pub for a meal whilst on holiday. The food was absolutely beautiful. The pizza I had was as good as the ones I was served italy! Nice ambience, very relaxed, and the best thing was that they were dog friendly. They have a lovely big area for those with pets. So refreshing, as most holiday accommodations won't allow to leave your dog home, even for short periods and that can be restrictive if it's too warm to leave your dog in the car. Just wish this pub was my local!
A butchers, deli, farm shop and café located in a beautiful setting, selling high quality local produce from the surrounding area. The Valley View Café provides home cooked, fresh and tasty meals, either inside in the vintage decorated café or outside on the terrace.
Popped in here for lunch and loved it. Quite a small cafe but brilliant views and really generous portions. Would defintiely recommend.
Lovely food, good views
A superb breakfast - very friendly staff - excellent view - reasonable prices. And the farm shop is small but decently stocked and alongside what I guess (I'm vegetarian) is an excellent butcher's.
Lovely cream teas and the Farm Shop has excellent produce. Highly recommended.
Roughly one kilometre (20 minutes depending on your pace) from the National Trust car park at Ringmore, and with a selection of footpaths to get to it, Ayrmer Cove is a quiet secluded beach on the South West Coast Path.
For anyone on holiday in South Devon it’s a peaceful place to sit and contemplate the natural scenery amongst the shingle, pebbles and rock pools, admiring the cliffs. It makes for a beautiful destination to walk to from Ringmore itself, which is a small village (population 230) with views towards the cove itself as well as Bigbury Bay – it makes for a wonderful holiday cottage destination in South Devon as well as a place to visit as part of your day.
Walking to the beach allows you to discover the surrounding woodland, wildlife and history of the area – taking in old smugglers’ routes and hedgerows that have been in situ since the 1800s.
It is a little tricky to get to so it’s not ideal for wheelchairs, and there aren’t any toilets or facilities at the beach itself so if you want to stay for a little while don’t forget to take snacks or a picnic if the weather is right. This is all about enjoying the environment that’s such a proud part of the National Trust – it’s everything a holiday in Devon is about, and yes, dogs are permitted all year round and will very much enjoy the walk!
Close to Kingsbridge, Challaborough Bay is a sandy beach in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that’s perfect for enjoying all the seaside activities nature can afford.
At low tide the beach is ideal for visiting families to build sandcastles and explore the rock pools, while the swells and shore breaks also attract surfers and bodyboarders. There are some beautiful walks along the coast path that surrounds it, heading towards Bigbury on Sea in particular.
Making it an ideal spot to spend the day, the beach has toilets, a café and a beach shop close by, although access is via steps and small paths so accessibility isn’t wheelchair friendly. There is a car park but it’s rather small, so it’s good to know that a 15-minute walk to Bigbury will see ample parking available – seasonal charges apply so remember to bring cash with you.
While four legged friends are welcome in the winter, they are not allowed on the beach between May and September, so do plan their walks with that in mind. It’s a lovely spot along the coast path to bring them to, you can even beach hop from one to the next!
At the mouth of the Avon River, Bantham beach is easy to reach from Salcombe, Kingsbridge and our other favourite holiday home locations, as well as being a beautiful area to stay in its own right.
The beach looks out over Bigbury Bay and offers a wonderful view of Burgh Island, which is famous for its art deco hotel of the same name that has hosted Agatha Christie and Noel Coward amongst its illustrious guests an can reach by sea tractor.
Bantham beach has a popular reputation amongst both novice and advanced surfers, and as such there are lessons available from the Bantham Surfing Academy, which operates from the beach. They also offer other water sports including paddle boarding, and a day pottering up the Avon River on one of those when the tide is right, is a day well spent.
When the tide is out at Bantham the sandy beach reveals rock pools and great swathes of space so you can happily set up a picnic and stay there for the whole day. If the mood strikes, why not walk along the coast path towards Thurlestone around the corner, and South Milton Sands beyond that, particularly as it’s also a popular beach for dog owners? Just keep in mind that from 1st May until 30th September restrictions apply, so look out for signposts with more information.
If you’re spending the whole day on the beach it’s worth popping to the Gastrobus which is open seasonally in the car park, offering everything from freshly made baps to coffees, teas and cakes, or for a larger meal head the short walking distance to The Sloop Inn gastropub.
There is plenty of parking available by Bantham, with charges from £3.50 per day, so make sure you have change on you as it’s a bit tricky to find parking otherwise. There are toilets in the car park, and from May to October from 10am until 6pm there is also lifeguard cover on the beach. All in, Bantham has something to offer everyone throughout the year and is one of many beautiful locations to spend time while you’re in South Devon.
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has visited that Bigbury on Sea is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Perfect for sand castles and rock pooling as well as tucking into lengthy summer picnics, it is an unusual beach to visit because the tide comes in from both sides. As a result, it is an endless source of fascination for children, not least for its sea tractor which provides transport from one end of the beach to the other in order to reach Burgh Island.
Burgh Island is connected to mainland England by the beach alone, it’s home to the famous art deco Burgh Island Hotel which has hosted Agatha Christie and Noel Coward since its incarnation in 1929, and has even made an appearance in the TV adaptation of Christie’s Poirot.
On a practical note there is on-site parking available close to the beach with daily charges from £3.50. Toilets and shower facilities with disabled access are also nearby, and lifeguards are present from May to September. The Venus café offers teas, coffees and other refreshments including the ice creams that are of such fundamental importance for a day at the beach. Meanwhile, dog lovers will be pleased to know that four legged friends are welcome at Bigbury on Sea, but restrictions apply from 1st May until 30th September.
Ultimately, Bigbury on Sea is a supremely beautiful location and fun family day out with abundant wildlife to enjoy and coastal footpaths to explore as well, making it a wonderful destination to visit on holiday in Devon, no matter what time of the year it is.
Fantastic unique place with sea both sides of the beach when the tide is out and Burgh Island to walk to with a lovely old pub but inefficient service.
Rather run down and disappointing that visitors are made to feel rather unwanted with only a small section of the pub open to non-residents and the hotel off limits completely to non-residents. View from the top lovely, but I wouldn't drive miles and miles to visit. What attracted me was the parting of the sea and that was a lovely view
A small sandy beach belonging to Thurlestone Golf Club, those who have been on regular Devon weekend breaks and holidays will have seen this beach change somewhat in recent years thanks to storm damage, but the evolving landscape merely adds to its charm.
A 200-metre walk down a paved path from the golf club and its car park and you find yourself heading down a gentle slope onto the sand, with the option of enjoying the beach in its own right or walking along the coast in either direction towards Bantham or South Milton Sands.
Dogs are allowed here at any time, which of course adds to the appeal for walkers, and if you fancy stopping somewhere for lunch then Thurlestone village nearby is home to a charming pub that’s cryptically named The Village Inn, which is suitable for the whole family and wonderfully cosy in the winter months. Alternatively head to the Beachhouse café at South Milton for lunches and evenings meals with a view of the sunset, or cups of tea and brownies from the Gastrobus at Bantham.
It is one of the area’s quieter beaches, often acting as a place to wander past rather than one to spend the whole day on, but given its easy access and the proximity of the car park, and the golf club, it’s a delightful little spot in which to while away the afternoon.