Bantham is known as one of South Devon’s best surf spots offering an action-packed get-away for families, watersports enthusiasts and walkers alike - in a stunning setting of windswept dunes, acres of golden sand, and fantastic views across to the idyllic Burgh Island.
Bantham is well known for being one of South Devon’s best surf spots. Sitting at the mouth of the estuary with its shallow bathing waters, and large sandy beach and dunes, it provides a fantastic holiday base offering something for everyone. Frequented by families, water-sports enthusiasts and dog walkers, Bantham enjoys fantastic views across to Bigbury and the idyllic Burgh Island.
Up in the village there’s a small shop, Bantham Village Stores, which also serves breakfast with a stunning view from their terrace overlooking the river Avon, and The Sloop Inn where you can tuck into hearty portions of delicious homemade food and real ales. Meanwhile, if you’ve worked up an appetite on the beach, you can refuel at The Gastrobus in the beach car park where you’ll find a tempting array of locally produced hot and cold treats.
The main beach has lifeguard cover from May to October, and it is advisable to swim between the flags due to the tidal ebbs and flows. If you fancy taking the plunge and giving surfing a try, the Bantham Surfing Academy provides fantastic group and private lessons.
Bantham beach is a favourite spot for dog walkers, especially during the winter months. Dog restrictions apply on the main beach from May to September, however, you can walk your four-legged friend on the Avon estuary beach year-round, but be aware that this dog-friendly area is trickier to access at high tide.
A holiday cottage in Bantham offers traditional seaside holiday fun in an exceptionally scenic setting.
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.
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.
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 the coast with spectacular views of the sea, Thurlestone Golf Club can be seen from the beach and is fortunate enough to be on a beautiful section of the South West Coast Path. The 18-hole course is a mix of links and cliff top terrain and aims to cater to all ages and abilities with a variety of tees. All visitors are welcome and will be pleased to know that there are two bars on site as well as a separate dining room. Green fees vary according to the season but start at £36 per person in the low season. As with most golf courses, there is a dress code so golf shoes must be worn and denim isn’t allowed, but a full list or restrictions are listed on their main website.
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
This historic pub, full of period features in the pretty village of Bantham, is a great spot to enjoy well-cooked classic meals or a pint after a day spent on the beach or walking the South West Coast Path. Menu’s change on a daily basis and children and dogs are welcome.
Brilliant pub. Love the village so much and spent every night in here during our stay. Great pub food, dogs welcome and a cosy fire. Want to come back now please!!!
A wonderful Sunday lunch - all it should be, in a relaxed and untarted-up - honest pub.
First rate sandwiches, very good and friendly service.
Back to the Sloop for burgers. Good portions, nicely presented. Great value. Always a good atmostphere and they are renovating the restaurant so should be even better.
Obviously a decent 'local' with good beer, a reasonable menu (with a small choice for vegetarians) and obliging staff - once you can get to the bar past the rather loud, clustered regulars ... It was a shame that the only vegetarian starter was 'off' when we visited, but in retrospect we ate very well and would probably have regretted it anyway. The food we received was very good - no complaints at all.
We have been going to the Sloop for many years and enjoyed the food. However, this year..on Easter Monday...having booked a table for 9 people at 6.30pm...we tried to order food and almost everything was sold out. This was extremely disappointing and rather spoilt our stay. We left and went to a nearby restaurant which wss very pleasant and had almost everything on the menu. We were told that the Sloop had been busier than usual and had been unable to get further supplies due to the holiday. This has been the same situation for the last 15 yrs we have been going there and we havent had this problem before. Very disappointing.
Good menu and food though the pub is a bit tatty, however, they are doing a refurbishment in May so this might improve it.
Lovely pub, the restaurant has been recently refurbished and has a lovely modern feel. Both the food and service were excellent.
Lovely waitresses, good solid food, not so friendly bar staff
A popular 16th century inn complete with beams salvaged from Spanish Armada ships wrecked nearby and today enjoying stylish modern décor and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere . Plenty of comfortable seating areas inside and out, along with a menu offering freshly prepared meals and daily specials. Children and dogs welcome.
A fine dining restaurant open daily to non-residents of the hotel for lunch and dinner, offering menu’s using the finest local produce accompanied by an extensive wine list. Complementing the high quality cuisine are the breath taking views over Thurlestone Sands and out to sea.
Welcoming and friendly, this branch of the Venus Café has lots of delicious options for children and adults alike. Homemade Devon burgers, breakfast baps, cakes, coffee’s and ice creams are available either to eat on the terrace or take away.
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.
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 long stretch of sand broken only by the South Milton Ley freshwater reed bed, South Milton Sands is a dramatic beach that’s exposed to the elements, making it something of a chameleon throughout the year. Rugged in its beauty, there’s nothing quite like watching the sun set at this beach behind an iconic rock archway in the water; it really is spectacular, particularly if you do so over dinner in the summer months from The Beach Café, a small but perfectly formed restaurant and café that’s perched just above the sand. If you want a table inside then you really do have to book this one, but if the weather is fine then eating outside is a joy. The beach is sandy and popular on windy days with kite surfers and windsurfers, but in calmer weather is perfect for a summer swim. Dogs are welcome at South Milton throughout the year, there’s a National Trust car park by the beach which costs from £5 for the day, £3 after 4pm or is free for National Trust members. There are also toilets nearby. It’s also worth knowing that in the summer months lifeguards are in situ from 6th July until 8th September, keeping everyone safe in the sun, sea and sand. When the weather is less conducive to sitting and admiring the view, South Milton is perfectly placed for a stroll along the coast path either towards Hope Cove and around towards Salcombe if you fancy making a day of it, or in the opposite direction you can walk towards Bantham and Bigbury on Sea. It’s a wonderful place to explore and watch Devon’s wildlife in all its glory.
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.
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!