Torcross

all you need to know

The seaside village of Torcross offers a scenic base from which to explore the magnificent strectch of coastline around Start Bay.

About Torcross

Torcross is located at the southern end of Slapton Sands, a narrow strip of land between the beautiful Start Bay and the stunning freshwater lake at Slapton Ley Nature Reserve. Surrounded by picturesque scenery on all sides, Torcross is home to some fantastic cafés and pubs and is the perfect place to enjoy a sunny afternoon watching (or participating in) watersports and fishing on the vast shingle beach.

While modern day guests will find a sleepy fishing village, nestling peacefully at the edge of a 2 mile beach, the area has a fascinating past. Most famously, during World War II, Torcross was evacuated along some of its neighbouring villages to make way for 15,000 allied troops who needed the beach to practice for the D-Day landings. Tragically, the operation ended in disaster, and the Exercise Tiger memorial at the edge of the ley commemorates the 800 Americans who lost their lives in the bay.

The short coastal walk from Torcross to neighbouring Beesands provides sensational views and is dotted with remnants from the military presence, as well as traces of the area's slate quarrying past. Beesands is also home to the fantastic seafood shack Britannia @ The Beach and the popular pub The Cricket Inn.

Continuing further along this stretch of rugged coastline (if you have the stamina) you will reach Hallsands and the Lighthouse. Meanwhile, a short drive will take you to wonderful beaches at Blackpool Sands in one direction or the more remote Lannacombe, Mattiscombe and Gara Rock in the other.

Twenty minutes away, the village of East Portlemouth with its golden sandy beaches, is where you can take the passenger ferry over the estuary to Salcombe, famous for its shops, sailing and great pubs and restaurants. The towns of Dartmouth and Kingsbridge are also within easy reach while the villages nearest neighbour, Slapton also boasts two great pubs.

A holiday cottage in Torcross offers a superb spot from which to explore this magnificent stretch of South Devon coastline.

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Start Point Lighthouse

Start Point Lighthouse
(3 miles)

Built in 1836 to mark one of the most exposed peninsulas on the English coast, Start Point lighthouse was designed by James Walker and sits on a headland that runs sharply out into the sea on the south side of Start Bay near Dartmouth. Its style is largely influenced by the Gothic movement, and the optic used was the first of its kind. Coastal erosion has affected it over time and the lighthouse was automated in 1993, but it’s still in operation and can now be visited. Tours last around 45 minutes and are on the hour from 11am until 4pm, or 5pm in July and August. Prices start at £4.00 for adults and £2.50 for children – remember to wear sensible shoes and keep in mind that tours are weather dependent… as you might expect!

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(2)

Fantastic walk with wonderful views, you'll find the best beach in the South Hams hear, bit of a walk but it is glorious.

December 2016


We really enjoyed our visit. My husband and son had a tour (£5 per adult and under 5's free) and thought it was brilliant. Children under 1.1m's tall can not go on the tour so my younger son and I enjoyed the coastal views which were fantastic.

June 2017



Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre

Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre
(4 miles)

As the self proclaimed ‘home of horse riding in the South Hams’, Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre offers horse riding lessons to everyone, whether they’re beginners or seasoned riders. Friendly and professional, they have an indoor school and an outdoor school so you can organise lessons whatever the weather, and you can borrow hats when you’re visiting as well if you don’t have your own. You can opt for private or group lessons, and there are toilets and changing facilities on site as well as plenty of parking. The school is two miles inland from Slapton Sands, so you can also combine your lesson with a trip to the historic D-Day training site and a wander along the beach if you fancy it!

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Fast Rabbit Farm Garden

Fast Rabbit Farm Garden
(5 miles)

In 42 acres of secluded Strawberry Valley, Fast Rabbit Farm Garden is the largest garden featuring acid loving plants in the county. Founded in 1991, the garden has something to offer visitors through every season, and provides a range of habitats for a vast family of wildlife and plant life. A beautiful sight, showcasing the intricacies of the South Devon climate and the magic it creates, visiting here is about a peaceful wander and experiencing the quieter side of Devon. They have a self-serve refreshment facility and picnic tables to take advantage of, and in the summer they even offer ‘Clothing Optional’ days if that strikes a chord.

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Waterborn Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand Up Paddle Boarding- Waterborn SUP
(6 miles)

If the weather’s right, Stand Up Paddleboarding is a wonderful way to really embrace the beautiful environment in the South Hams. Based in Kingsbridge Waterborn SUP offers lessons, board hire and a genuinely enthusiastic introduction to the variation on surfing whether you’re a pro or a beginner. They supply high quality equipment and tuition, whilst benefiting from a pretty spectacular learning environment. Opt for a lesson, an adventure or a harbour tour with prices starting at £22.50 for an hour. They have all the equipment ready to hire, so just turn up with a big smile on your face ready to go!

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(1)

Thank you Crispin for a fab family lesson introducing us and our 3 girls to paddle boarding

May 2017



Yawl & Launch Hire Salcombe
(6 miles)

Hiring a traditional Salcombe Yawl or launch is a fabulous way to explore the Salcombe estuary taking in the beaches and wildlife along the way.  The Salcombe Yawl is an attractive 16ft dingy unique to Salcombe suitable for racing or cruising with the family, or alternatively, less experienced sailors can hire a sturdier harbour launch with inboard engine to potter from beach to beach.  Both are available on a weekly basis along with everything you need to have and enjoyable yet safe time on the water.  Sailing tuition in a Salcombe Yawl, or leisurely skippered sails around the harbour are also available in the safe hands of experienced local sailor Scratch Hitchen. 

Yawl & Launch Hire Salcombe (T: 01548 561619 M: 07966 840436)

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Seabreeze Café
(Less than a mile)

A great spot to stop and soak up the sunshine on one of the outside tables and enjoy a cream tea, ice cream or light lunch along with lots of other home-made treats.  This pretty thatched café with its seaside style décor is open daily in summertime and weekends only in winter. 

Seabreeze Cafe Torcross, Slapton Sands TQ7 2TQ (T: 01548 580697)

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(4)

Lovely cosy cafe, bright and welcoming. Good choice on menu with some superb specials. Cakes delicious too.

March 2017


Great place to eat breakfast, lunch or simply an ice cream. Staff and management very friendly.

June 2017


Lovely Devon cream teas, excellent service, lovely location, would definitely recommend.

June 2017


excellent food etc , staff friendly and helpful.

July 2017



The Boathouse
(Less than a mile)

A bright and airy restaurant steps from the beach at Torcross offering fish and chips, stone baked pizzas, burgers, salads and a children’s menu along with fresh coffee, tea and cakes served all day.  All tables enjoy panoramic views over the water; there is a terrace to dine alfresco during summer and a cosy wood burner for cooler months.  Dogs welcome.

The Boathouse Torcross, Slapton Sands TQ7 2TQ (T: 01548 580747)

 

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(3)

Love this place. Reasonably priced food. Great pizzas, nice fresh seafood and takeaway to enjoy on the beach. Really light and spacious interior too. Looks like it was quite recently refurbed.

July 2017


Great place to eat and prices are great. Food is exceptional and we went a few times during our stay.

July 2017


Good environment but no wifi and a long wait for our orders.

July 2017



The Start Bay Inn
(Less than a mile)

A pretty thatched pub dating back to the 14th century with doors opening onto Slapton Sands beach offering fresh fish and seafood, fresh local produce, real ales and local ciders and friendly service.  Sit inside in the cosy bar and restaurant or outside on the patio.  Take away fish and chips available.

The Start Bay Inn Torcross, Slapton Sands TQ7 2TQ (T: 014548 580553)

 

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(7)

Delicious fish and chips with choice of cod or haddock, plus plenty of specials. A lovely traditional pub. Also have a restaurant for families, so cater for all. Right on the front and guaranteed to be busy during peak holiday times, so go early or late.

March 2017


Great fish & chips- best to get a take out when the weather is good enough and eat it on the beach. Can be a bit pricey- but it's good!

March 2017


Best fish and chips for a long time. Had large cod and it was huge, can't imagine how big a jumbo is!!

May 2017


We have been visiting this pub for about 30 years. People are often queuing to get in when the doors open in the evenings so need to be there early, or around 9pm when the early eaters are leaving! The speciality is fish, freshly caught, often in Start Bay. The cod is excellent, available in three sizes and always freshly cooked and served very promptly. Great selection of desserts, very good portions. Beachside location, friendly staff, what else could you ask for?

May 2017


Great place to eat and drink. Recommend it.

June 2017


The Start Bay Inn is a great pub/restaurant. We used it 4 out of the 7 nights of our stay, twice having takeaway fish & chips and twice eating outside the pub at the tables provided. Excellently kept Otter beers, service excellent too. Prices reflected the location and the fact the fish is fresh and locally sourced. Wish I lived next door to it!

June 2017


Would not recommend this place at all, just like a bun fight at Butlins ! and the Barman was condercending and rude. One star and that is for the food.

July 2017



Stokeley Farm Shop
(Less than a mile)

A popular food market, deli, restaurant and garden centre in a beautiful setting with a focus on supporting local producers.  Browse the shelves in the farm shop for local artisan goodies or enjoy the delicious food the café has to offer including a range of cooked breakfasts, coffees and cream teas, sandwiches, salads, burgers and pizzas straight from their wood fired pizza oven. 

Stokeley Farm Shop Stokeley Barton, Stokenham TQ7 2SE (T: 01548 581605)

 

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(6)

One of our favourite must go to places. Great food, good setting (with places to play for the kids) and good little shop too).

December 2016


Excellent small cafe/pizza area, Number One, sells a good range of gifts, many garden related. The plants are healthy, well cared for and reasonable priced and the farm shop produce fresh and good selection. Pleasant helpful staff

May 2017


Always a favourite for breakfast and for stocking up on delicious things for our holidays in Torcross. The tractor provides seemingly endless fun for a toddler and the friendly staff are all lovely.

May 2017


We love this place, probably popped in most days for delicious meat, cheese and treats. We don't eat out often as our dog is nervous around dogs that get too close so eating in can feel like a chore. But with lovely grub from a friendly shop, it becomes a treat. Plus it's supporting the local trade which is so important.

June 2017


LOvely but expensive

July 2017


Great selection of local provisions and also home to South Hams Brewery with all beers available and reasonably prices Recommend a visit

July 2017



Brittannia@TheBeach
(Less than a mile)

Known by locals as ‘The Shack’ this is a great al fresco restaurant and fishmonger serving super fresh seafood just off boat.  Menus change daily depending on what the fishermen have landed, and with just a few tables booking is advisable. Serves breakfasts, lunches and early dinner as well as tasty take away fish and chips; alcohol isn’t available but you are welcome to bring your own.

Britannia @The Beach Beesands, Kingsbridge TQ7 2EH (T: 01548 581168)

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(7)

Managed to squeeze us in for an early evening booking - so glad they did. Great food, and top notch service from very friendly staff. Seafood Jumbalaya is wonderful, and rather filling. If you are nearby, and are able to get a reservation do - if not, try the takeaway and each on the beach :)

April 2017


Great food, friendly and attentive staff, dogs made welcome , just perfect.

April 2017


Had a lovely meal at The Britannia. Super fresh fish , great people and it's a BYO. What more could you wish for! Necessary to book ahead as there are only a few tables.

May 2017


Wonderful! Such delicious food and friendly staff.

June 2017


A fave to do- grab fish & chips from their takeaway and sit and eat on the beach. Simply perfect.

June 2017


The best food by a mile in this area of South Devon. We had a lovely evening sat on a bench opposite - we brought our own wine as there's no licence (but this saves on costs!). We had the freshly caught and cooked lobster, 'crack-your-own' crab, and a beautiful bowl of mussels. The lady owner or manager couldn't have been more helpful - we turned up on a Friday night with no reservation, and she went out of her way to accommodate us. If you only go to one place to eat whilst on holiday in the area, then it has to be here. Yes, rustic. Yes, simple. But simple fresh food, cooked amazingly well....and what a view!!! Go with friends and make an evening of it! Cannot recommend highly enough!!

June 2017


Visited a few times during our week in Beesands and also had takeaway. Great food and lovely staff who really know how to look after their customers. Even went out to rescue lost customers after a local road was closed. Will definitely visit again. Make sure you book though, they will squeeze you in if they can but they are always busy.

July 2017



Slapton Sands

Slapton Sands
(Less than a mile)

A long stretch of beach with spectacular views of the sea stretching into the distance, Slapton Sands is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and for good reason. Adjacent to Slapton Ley, a freshwater lake that’s home to an abundance of wildlife and one of the many reasons people come to visit the area, the beach has a history of welcoming families in the summer for long days in the sunshine, building sandcastles, surfing, windsurfing and kayaking. It’s amazing to believe that this peaceful corner of South Devon has its place in military history as in 1943 the beach was taken over by allied forces to use as a rehearsal area for the D-Day landings. However, live ammunition and poor visibility ended in the deaths of more than 700 servicemen, so today there is a stone monument in place for Operation Tiger, as it was called, as well as a Sherman Tank at nearby Torcross. On a more current note, there is a beachside café at Slapton Sands for teas, coffees and other light bites, and there are also toilets nearby. The beach has disabled access, and also allows dogs throughout the year, so it really is fun for everyone and very easy to get to. There is parking nearby and in the summer months from May to September there is lifeguard cover. Last, but not least, a small collection of pubs reside in Torcross for those who are feeling peckish after a long day in the fresh air, or if you have been for a nice walk along the sand!

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(2)

Great place for a walk along the beach and had some great events for children at Easter. Great fish and chips in the pub at the end on Torcross

April 2017


Clapton Sands is beautiful. The rocks are the most beautiful colours, wild flowers abound on the beach, the views in either direction are stunning and it is rarely over crowded.One of the most wonderful areas in the U.K.

May 2017



Beesands

Beesands
(Less than a mile)

Close to Kingsbridge and a favourite amongst residents and holiday makers in the South West, Beesands is a wonderful mile-long shingle beach surrounded by fields and a freshwater lake. You get a real flavour of the West Country here with fresh crab sandwiches for sale nearby and lots of Devon holiday cottages within walking distance to make it really convenient. The beach has won awards from the Marine Conservation Society as well as having The Blue Flag marker to attest to its excellence and high standards, so families and swimmers can be reassured. The beach is popular for surfing and body boarding amongst other water sports including fishing, so tackle is on sale close by. You can pick up light bites at nearby cafes as and when you’re ready, making it easy to spend the whole day running around on the sand and enjoying your seaside holiday to the max. Beesands is very much a beach for everyone thanks to its convenient location, easy and free road parking along most of the beach, level access, and the toilets, cafes and pubs close by. Dogs are also welcome on the beach throughout the year so the whole family can enjoy it!

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(2)

Britannia Fish - Great fish - always fresh and lovely family run business. A must for anyone who likes eating good fish!

May 2017


Ideal for quiet and peaceful holiday with two good restaurants both of which are dog friendly.

April 2017



Blackpool Sands

Blackpool Sands
(2 miles)

Between Dartmouth and Slapton, Blackpool Sands is a beautiful shingle bay on the South West Coast Path, surrounded by evergreens and pine trees. It really is a treasure of a beach to visit while you’re in the area. Award-winning, the privately owned, blue flag beach boasts a sense of being in the Mediterranean on a good day in the summer, although a good jumper never goes amiss in this part of the world! You will no doubt not be surprised to hear that it is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, however it also boasts ample facilities and things to do. There are showers, toilets and disabled facilities, as well as paddle board, kayak and wetsuit hire available for those wishing to earn their visit to The Venus Beach Café, where light bites and refreshments are served. The Venus Shop also sells all the bits and pieces you might want for fun and games on the beach if you have forgotten them or are in need of extra buckets and spades. The water at Blackpool Sands is known for being clean and clear and tested by the Environment Agency, and lifeguards are on hand in the summer (July to September) so there’s every reason to pop in for a dip. However, dogs are not allowed on the beach in the high season (12th March to 30th October) so keep the walking for the cooler months. There is parking available at the beach with seasonal charges, and you can find out more information on those from the Blackpool Sands information line on 01803 771800. This beach is easy to get to and quite literally fun and games for the whole family, as well as a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year to take in the view!

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(4)

Stunning beach, and you can get takeaway cream tea from the cafe to have on the beach!!

May 2017


Our family 's favourite beach

June 2017


The cost of the parking steep

June 2017


Perfect venue for a sunny day! Secluded beach which is clean and tidy, with a cafe, snack bar and shop, beach equipment hire too

July 2017



North Hallsands

North Hallsands
(3 miles)

A quiet beach of fine shingle with a reed bed providing the backdrop, North Hallsands is a picturesque place to visit for anyone staying in one of our holiday cottages in Devon. The beach is divided into north and south, and it’s about nine miles from Kingsbridge facing towards Start Bay. There is level access to the sand from North Hallsands car park, although it is small so keep that in mind in busier months, although there’s also another small car park five minutes away for South Hallsands. You might want to note that there aren’t any facilities or toilets close to the beach, which does mean that it’s fantastically peaceful and an experience that’s all about the natural environment, which ultimately is what we all love about a Devon break! For those bringing their four legged friends with them, the beach is completely dog friendly, welcoming them all year round, so just don’t get carried away with all that fun in the sand and get cut off by the tide in all the excitement. The sand stretches a fair distance at low tide and we wouldn’t want you to get wet!

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(1)

Gorgeous beach, but be careful if you have a dog that likes to run as our Border Collie got very sore paws on the pebbles.

May 2017



Mattiscombe

Mattiscombe
(3 miles)

A sandy beach close to Start Point, Mattiscombe is one of those little sandy treasure troves that we all love to find – it’s quiet, peaceful, and without very much around to distract you from the abundant natural beauty. Being a beautiful, secluded beach there aren’t any facilities or activities available here; it’s all about taking in your surroundings, perhaps doing a spot of rock pooling while you’re there, and walking the dog if you have one as they are welcome all year round. The rock formations are interesting and the views are remarkable, so remember to take your sandwiches and really spend some time taking it all in. It isn’t the easiest beach to access as the slope and steps onto the sand are quite steep and parking is at Start Point around a 10-minute walk along the South West Coast Path, so bring some appropriate footwear for exploring!

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(1)

A bit of a walk down from the car park but so worth it, arguably the best beach in the South Hams

December 2016


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